Is The Godfather the best movie of all times?
Yes. It definitely is.
In 1972 –almost 45 years ago– Francis Ford Coppola changed the way cinema was made with his masterpiece about Vito Corleone and the origins of the Sicilian mafia. With ominous hints, set difficulties, unstable budget, and a stubborn Marlon Brando, Coppola managed to create a wonderful piece that raised the bar higher when it came to the seventh art. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo, The Godfather is the embodiment of contemporary cinema, and it has influenced generations to create stories with similar themes.
We could say there are no superior movies, but when we talk about films that deal with the "mafia" subject, there are some works that exceed Coppola's film's plot or even match its grandeur.
In recent years, we have seen many pieces about gangsters and their bloodthirsty lives inspired by The Godfather. The Sopranos is a great example of this, since it was acclaimed by the critics and real mafia members, who assured that it perfectly portrayed their reality.
These are the best gangster films.
Goodfellas (1990) – Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese took Coppola's mantle as the best director of gangster movies.Goodfellas innovates all those elements for which The Godfather was known for, creating a darker, more realistic movie. It tells the story of Henry Hill Jr., one of the most famous gangsters in history. It shows his rise and fall within the context of the classical mafia gangs in New York and how he betrayed most of his friends to keep his hands clean.
The Dark Knight (2008) – Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan changed the course of the game not only by creating an excellent superhero film, but also because he managed to use other genres to tell a great story. He contributed to the Batman franchise by creating a scenario in which a mentally disturbed individual works with the mafia. The film's structure is similar to that of noir films, but chaos takes over the crime world. This variation made The Dark Knight one of the best works of this century.
In Bruges (2008) – Martin McDonagh
In Bruges is quite different to most gangster films. The plot lacks many action scenes or tough encounters between mafia members but focuses on the moral concerns of the characters. The city of Bruges, Belgium is set as a sort of purgatory in which the protagonists try to find the sense of life while looking for the closure of a murder. This has been considered as one of the greatest stories in film history.
The Usual Suspects (1995) – Bryan Singer
"Who the hell is Keyzer Söze?" This is a question that is repeated throughout the masterpiece of Bryan Singer. The Usual Suspects focuses on the interrogation process of a man named Roger Klint, who narrates his adventures as a member of a group of criminals led by a gangster who sends them to steal a boat. The story is built around doubtful facts and a complex narrative, the movie, considered an instant classic, has turned into one of the most representative films of the noir genre.
Among all the movies of the genre created by Scorsese, The Departed is, without a doubt, his masterpiece. Filled with violence, betrayals, and intrigues, Scorsese masterly directs this film. Through its melancholic photography, together with a perfect soundtrack, it narrates the last years of the classic mafia. DiCaprio's acting is one of his best, and the elements of the film stand out for their quality and what they bring to the story.
When we talk about a better movie than The Godfather, it's hard to find one that can measure up to it. However, when talking about gangster films, there are superior examples. It's hard to accept this because Coppola's pieces have become pillars of cinema, but once we learn about the real story of violence, blood, and what it means to belong to the gangster world, everything makes sense.
Check the soundtrack of The Departed:
If you want to read more about cinema's masterpieces, check out these:
8 Films Inspired by the Theory of Carl Jung
Classic Films You Didn’t Know Were Box Office Flops
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards