Martin Scorsese is a true auteur. When you are watching a Scorsese film, you KNOW you are watching a Scorsese film. There is no question about it. From his classic collaborations with Robert De Niro to his latest groundbreaking films with Leonardo DiCaprio. All of his films show a creative genius that most filmmakers could only dream of.
Here is a list of the Top 7 Most Incredible Martin Scorsese Films.
#7 Cape Fear (1991)
“Come out Come out wherever you are!” This is the last film where Robert De Niro was absolutely terrifying to watch. This 1991 remake of the 1962 classic was Scorsese’s first attempt at the Horror/Thriller genre and he succeeded immensely. Cape Fear tells the story of Max Cady (De Niro) who has just been recently paroled after 14 years in prison for statutory rape. As soon as he is released his sole objective is to torment his Lawyer (Nick Nolte) who he blames for causing his conviction by burning a report that could have set him free. Scorsese was at the top of his game and directed a ferocious De Niro in one of his greatest performances as the vengeful hillbilly.
#6 The Aviator (2004)
One of the greatest biopics on Howard Hughes, the mad genius who created an aviation empire and subsequently lost his mind. Scorsese directed Leonardo DiCaprio in a raw portrayal of a filmmaker and aviation developer suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. The Aviator follows Hughes through nearly 30 years as he aggressively grew his empire yet nearly lost it all to corrupt politicians, failed relationships, corporate rivals and his growing mental instability.
#5 Shutter Island (2010)
Scorsese’s latest psychological thriller was a tremendous success with shades of Stanley Kubrick and an outstanding cast. Scorsese once again cast DiCaprio in the lead as US Marshall Teddy Daniels who is sent to investigate the mysterious State Mental Institution on Shutter Island. Little does he know that the island holds terrifying secrets that will change his life forever. Scorsese slowly builds the tension to a nerve-racking climax in one of the greatest thrillers to come out in recent years. Adapted from the 2003 novel Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.
#4 Casino (1995)
Based on the true story of mobsters Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Tony “The Ant” Spilotro who ran a violent Las Vegas casino empire during the 1970’s before the corporations took over. They were subsequently destroyed by greed, lust and betrayal. Excellent cast starring Robert De Niro, a demonic Joe Pesci and a devious Sharon Stone as Ginger. Not an official sequel to Goodfellas, although it used most of the same cast and crew and had a very similar plot structure. Both films were also based on the Nicholas Pileggi bestselling novels. Everything was working perfectly for these two until Ginger came between the two boyhood friends and destroyed them both.
One of the most underrated Scorsese films. Outstanding!
#3 Gangs of New York (2002)
Daniel Day-Lewis and Scorsese equals cinematic gold. Gangs of New York is a historical crime epic chronicling the early years of New York City when it was over run with violent street gangs. Lewis plays the part of Bill “The Butcher” Cutting with a brutal intensity hardly seen anymore in movies. This amazing gang epic was based on the 1928 Non-Fiction novel by Herbert Asbury. It was also nominated for several awards most notably for the intense performance by the great Daniel Day-Lewis who reputedly used Eminem music to get into the violent mindset of his character.
#2 The Departed (2006)
An excellent remake to the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. The Departed is Scorsese’s latest film in the crime thriller genre. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon play two very different cops on the opposite sides of the law both working for brutal mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) based on gangster “Whitey” Bulger. Damon is a police investigator who has secretly worked for Costello since childhood while DiCaprio is a misfit undercover cop who is assigned to infiltrate Costello’s gang and become one of them. Once the two cops discover the situation, they race to find out each others identity while trying not to expose their own. Loosely based on the true story of “Whitey” Bulger who was himself an FBI informant and was on the FBI’s Most wanted list for over 10 years finally being caught in June of this year after 16 years in hiding. Excellent remake and this is the film that won Scorsese his first Best Director Oscar as well as the award for Best Picture of 2006. Among other awards.
#1 Goodfellas (1990)
The Departed may have been a great gangster film, but Goodfellas set the bar to a whole new level of excellence. This crime classic was based on the true story of mobster Henry Hill and his mafia syndicate. The film examines Henry Hill as he progresses through three decades of mafia life before he finally turns informant and turns on his entire crew joining the witness protection program. Starring a relatively unknown Ray Liotta as the main character, this is the film that made him a star. This film solidified Scorsese as a master of his craft. Co-starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as Henry’s mob associates. This is one of the best films of the 1990’s. Based on the book Wiseguys by Nicholas Pileggi.