Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movies

Script written by Richard Bush. His are tales of redemption, crime, and violence. Lots and lots of violence. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 Martin Scorsese movies. For this list, we’ve chosen the cinematic landmarks of Martin Scorsese’s career that best display his talents as a director and everything that’s quintessentially Scorsese. Oh, and just a head’s up: you can expect some mature content. Trust us: it’s gonna get messy.
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Martin Scorsese Collection - Buy on Amazon
Mean Streets - Buy DVD on Amazon
Taxi Driver - Buy DVD on Amazon
The Departed - Buy DVD on Amazon
GoodFellas - Buy DVD on Amazon
Raging Bull - Buy DVD on Amazon
Casino - Buy DVD on Amazon
Hugo - Buy DVD on Amazon
The Aviator - Buy DVD on Amazon
Shutter Island - Buy DVD on Amazon
Cape Fear - Buy DVD on Amazon
Gangs Of New York - Buy DVD on Amazon
The King of Comedy - Buy DVD on Amazon
Bringing Out the Dead - Buy DVD on Amazon
The Last Waltz - Buy DVD on Amazon
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Script written by Richard Bush.

Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movies


His are tales of redemption, crime, and violence. Lots and lots of violence. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Martin Scorsese movies.

For this list, we’ve chosen the cinematic landmarks of Martin Scorsese’s career that best display his talents as a director and everything that’s quintessentially Scorsese. Oh, and just a head’s up: you can expect some mature content. Trust us: it’s gonna get messy.

#10: “Hugo” (2011)

This 3D extravaganza proves Scorsese doesn’t need guns, violence and bad language to captivate audiences. Set against the backdrop of 1930s Paris, young Hugo is an orphaned mechanical genius who befriends the goddaughter of an evil toymaker. Plenty of top-notch talent, dramatic confrontations and intriguing portrayals of fantasy themes make this family-friendly epic gripping right to the very end – and definitely a standout on Scorsese’s résumé.

#9: “Gangs of New York” (2002)

This movie is a great example of how Scorsese can take his trademark cutthroat gangster themes, and successfully apply them to different eras. As Amsterdam Vallon returns to New York seeking vengeance for his father’s murder, we’re sucked into the gang world and all its betrayal, sex and slaughter. “Gangs of New York” also exemplifies Scorsese’s ability to create eerie personas, especially that of Daniel Day-Lewis’s Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting. Seriously, this guy is terrifying.

#8: “The King of Comedy” (1983)

In this film, longtime Scorsese collaborator Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin; a goofy, obsessive and mediocre comic who’s infatuated with the idea of appearing on the comedy show run by Jerry Lewis’ Jerry Langford. Unlike many Scorsese films, this one’s a comedy, which gives Scorsese free rein to explore his actors’ versatility. And, although it’s a different take the American Dream, it still has Scorsese’s signature realism all over it.

#7: “The Aviator” (2004)

Aviation films may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this retelling of Howard Hughes’ life is truly riveting. Closely following each of Hughes’ brilliant ideas, as well as his descent into madness, Scorsese gives us a thorough story that manages to keep us intrigued – even though it is over two-and-a-half hours long. DiCaprio’s brilliant characterization and Scorsese’s use of dramatic angles all make this an integral addition to the filmmaker’s legacy.

#6: “Mean Streets” (1973)

When it comes to the mob narrative, New York City is legendary on the silver screen – and this movie epitomizes why. It follows Charlie, played by Harvey Keitel, as he tries to climb the wise-guy ladder. By helping to write the screenplay, Scorsese lays down a perfect framework that allows him to experiment with some of his earliest gangland directorial techniques, and with it he brings some truly malevolent characters to the screen.

#5: “Casino” (1995)

The gloves are off in this ultra-violent Vegas-based gangster flick. When two mobsters move into the casino grid, we learn that behind the façade of glitter balls and Bellagio water displays is a world of drugs, murder and two-faced characters. With Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci re-teamed for another successful outing together, “Casino” doesn’t glorify organized crime as much as some Scorsese movies; instead it offers us the grizzly truth.

#4: “Raging Bull” (1980)

This is arguably Scorsese’s greatest portrayal of Italian American family life. De Niro plays prizefighter Jake LaMotta, who’s an animal in and out of the ring. His temper, paranoia and downright aggression spell trouble to those closest to him. Scorsese offers us fly-on-the-wall insights into his broken home, proving that the director knows better than to shoot now, ask questions later when it comes to delicate storytelling.

#3: “The Departed” (2006)

With a complicated plot that sees a mole in the mob and a mole in the police department cross wires, this complex storyline has many great characters to choose from. Escaping the usual routine of evil-versus-evil and giving us something far less black and white, “The Departed” is another example of how Scorsese can adapt his methods to 21st century expectations – and the result was his long-awaited first Best Director Oscar.

#2: “Taxi Driver” (1976)

It’s the tale of a Vietnam-vet-turned-late-night-taxi-driver-turned-vigilante, a man who just can’t take the deteriorating concrete jungle of New York. Using a layered character like Travis Bickle, Scorsese again offers us a genius critique on the American Dream, raising questions about life after war, redemption and fighting for what you believe in. With an ambiguous ending that’s been torn apart since its release, “Taxi Driver” has gone down in Hollywood history as one of the greats.

Before we reveal our number one pick, let’s give a shout out to some of our honorable mentions:
- “Shutter Island” (2010)
- “Cape Fear” (1991)
- “Bringing Out the Dead” (1999)
- “The Last Waltz” (1978)

#1: “GoodFellas” (1990)

Based on the true story of Henry Hill, this film follows Ray Liotta’s journey through the mafia as he bribes, beats and blabs his way to the top. Scorsese favorites like Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci round out the cast list, and pull out all the stops to show us their trademark crazies. For us, this film sums up Scorsese perfectly as a filmmaker: it shows off his skills as a storyteller and his ability to make even the most confrontationally violent scenes enticing to watch.

Do you agree with our list? Which Scorsese film got your movie-lover motor running? For more top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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