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Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movies


The Author is an adherent movie watcher and likes to pen down reviews and brief extracts on them.


Since the early 1970s , the academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese has made a big mark in the Hollywood market with his memorable movies, many of which are considered some of the bests of their time. Its no surprise that his films have continued to resonate to this very day. One of the big reasons for it is that his films are filled with compelling characters that makes the viewers watch and study more of them , few examples of it being Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull , where even if they are losing interest in the plot, It is the character that makes them sit down and still watch it with full enthusiasm. It's a real hard task to pick just ten movies from the stellar filmography of Martin Scorsese but here it is :-

10) Gangs of New York (2002)

The 2002 Christmas release starred two of the best actors of that time Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the 1860s New York when immigrants in the country were terrorized by Billy Butcher (Day-Lewis) with his disdain for the Irish was at a different level. DiCaprio plays the son of an Irish mob leader who was killed by Butcher during a gang war and wants to settle the score with Butcher. The plot is tight enough and well paced, with a couple of lows (expected in a three-hour film) but generally it comes out pretty neat. While there is a lot of gratuitous violence and gore, the film does an excellent job portraying life as it was in New York.


9) Cape Fear (1991)

A remake of a 1962 movie of the same name is not really seen amongst the great Scorsese movies but will find a place in my personal favorites list mainly due to a thrilling plot and an unforgettable performance from Robert De Niro. De Niro plays a villainous Max Cady who stalks his lawyer ,after he was framed in a rape case and served 14 years in prison, for concealing an evidence that was in his favor during the trial. All hell break loose when he goes on a rampage in his quest for revenge and as a viewer you will always be curious to know what is going to happen next.


8) Casino (1995)

The first De Niro - Pesci film in the list. This crime thriller deals with a particular time period and a particular atmosphere accomplishing an overwhelming achievement by creating and accurately portraying both. The art direction is splendid, most likely the best of any film Scorsese has ever done. Robert De Niro here plays manager of the Tangiers Casino who has to deal with his unstable wife who used to be a high-class prostitute and his childhood friend Nicky who is taking the city with extreme uncontrolled violence bringing a bad image to the plans that the mafia has in the city of Las Vegas.

It might not be as memorable as Goodfellas (we will come back to that later) , but still good enough to be watched even today


7) Shutter Island (2010)

Released in February 2010 , Shutter Island is mainly known for having the most shocking and disturbed ending of a Scorsese movie. A well articulated plot that keeps your interest for the entire 140 minute runtime with all of your confused questions reaching an answer by the time it reaches its culmination. A stellar cast of DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams do full justice to bring this exhilarating plot on the silver screen.


6) The King of Comedy (1982)

A perfect blend of thriller and some humorous elements, The king of comedy is a film that can be termed as one of its own kind. Robert De Niro plays a 34 year old Rupert Pumpkin who is trying to start his stand up comedy career while idolizing Jerry Langford played by the real life comedian Jerry Lewis. His obsession for success drives him to extreme lengths just to gain an opportunity to appear in the Jerry Langford show. De Niro being De Niro, executes this complex role with such elan, that one cannot help but, at times, side with his utter problematic character.


5) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The 2013 black comedy/biographical film was the fifth collaboration of Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio. Jordan Belfort 's life of rising as a stockbroker in New York City and his firm being engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street ultimately leading to his downfall is conveyed quite masterfully here. What makes this movie great apart from the performances from the entire cast is the direction of Martin Scorsese who quite easily shows his experience of grasping the pace of the film. You will never feel the runtime is almost three-hour as it moves at a lightning tempo and manages to keep the audience invested in the story thoroughly.


4) Raging Bull (1980)

The sport biography starred Scorsese 's favorite pair Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci ,in his first prominent role, together for the first time. It is based on the renowned boxer Jack LaMotta 's rise through the ranks of a middleweight boxer and how his personal life, laden with paranoia, jealousy and rage scuttles his professional growth. Fully shot in black & wight ... the hallmark of this movie is how the boxing sequences are performed , which are brutally realistic and you can feel the impact of every punch. Raging Bull is sort of an antithesis to every underdog story, the underdog here doesn't really win anything


3) The Departed (2006)

It's quite ironic that the movie which brought Scorsese 's first and to this date his only best director academy award was a remake of a Korean film. However it can be said that the remake was more entertaining than the original movie which was really good in its own right. A stellar cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg , Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and Jack Nicholson (in his first collaboration with the ace director) only makes this version much more popular and recognised compared to the original one. It was said that Scorsese didn't really enjoy the process of this film's making but that didn't lead to his efforts being downsized. A Special mention should be given to this movie's soundtrack, probably the best of any Scorsese film, which had two very catchy Rolling Stone's numbers as well.


2) Taxi Driver (1976)

What do i even say about this movie?? A flick which got it's share of controversies when it came out, was way ahead of time and it's context is used even in today's movies most notably being Todd Philip's Joker. There isn't really a strong plot in sight but what makes it great is a terrific character study of the protagonist Travis Bickle who has more psychological disorders than Edward Norton of Fight club. I believe one should watch it atleast twice to get the grasp of every minor detail which will make you fully enjoy it. De Niro gives his career best performance as the neurotic taxi driver Travis Bickle who thinks he's saving the city from prostitution in his own fantasy world. Also watch out for a small cameo of the man Scorsese himself who looked as menacing and screwed up in his part as the lead actor.


1) Goodfellas (1990)

The king of gangster mob movies with its greatest creation, nothing less than a masterpiece was possible. The starting five minutes of the film with three men in a car interrupted by their completion of a gory and flamboyantly casual murder, and a now famous voice-over of the protagonist, Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta): “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” gave an indication that this movie ,contrary to its name, is about some not so good fellas. As we go further deep about Henry's childhood and his introduction to the mob domination of the 1960s and 70s , we are introduced with a stellar supporting cast of De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino. Liotta does a fine job narrating the story in the start and later parts and the job is well taken over and ran by Bracco in the middle phases when we see the story from her side. This timeless classic Scorsese film is a study case for upcoming director's on how to make a gangster movie adequately.


So.. Here are my top ten movies of the ace director Martin Scorsese. Do you agree with the list? Vote in the poll and comment below :-

© 2021 Sid S

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