Martin ‘Marty’ Scorsese is considered to be one of the most influential and highly revered directors of all time. With a career that spans over 50 years, Scorsese is the recipient of the Academy Award as well as several Golden Globes and Emmys. You most likely know at least one quote from a Scorsese movie, whether it be “You talking’ to me?” from Taxi Driver, or “Funny how, like a clown? Am I here to amuse you?” from that tense scene in Goodfellas. Marty’s films are not only critically acclaimed, but they are also so culturally ingrained into our society that its nearly impossible to not admire the work. Check out my top 5 best Martin Scorsese movies below!
Best Martin Scorsese Movies #5 – Taxi Driver
An essential Scorsese classic, Taxi Driver tells the story of veteran Travis Bickle, living in New York and driving taxis to cope with his depression, isolation, and insomnia. Aesthetically stunning and superbly acted, Taxi Driver will leave you on edge and flabbergasted at the same time. Robert De Niro plays Travis and is joined by Harvey kettle, Cybill Shepherd, and Jodie Foster.
Best Martin Scorsese Movies #4 – The Departed (2006)
The film that won Scorsese his first Oscar, the Departed is a fantastic movie that delves into the corrupt nature of the police and the mafia, and how more often than not, the two have a very close relationship. Jack Nicholson plays Frank Costello, an Irish mob boss who grooms Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) to be a mole in the Massachusetts police force. Meanwhile, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is recruited by the police force to go undercover with Costello’s crew. With many twists and turns, the Departed is thrilling, funny, and a mind blower.
Best Martin Scorsese Movies #3 – Raging Bull (1980)
If you haven’t figured out by now, Scorsese is attracted to true stories and Raging Bull doesn’t deviate from a lot of his other films. Based on the true story of Italian middle-weight boxer Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull explores the ups and downs of LaMotta’s life and how his reckless behavior caused him to nearly lose everything. Shot entirely in black and white, the movie is chilling and raw, violent and harsh, and leaves you on the edge of your seat. Robert De Niro stars as LaMotta, along with Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, and Cathy Moriarty in this Scorsese classic you can’t miss.
#2 – Casino (1995)
A dramatic epic that centers on the inside mob secrets of running a Casino in Las Vegas, Casino is another classic Scorsese film. The movie’s plot is based on the story of Frank Rosenthal, a recruit of the Chicago Outfit (a Chicago based branch of the mafia) and his management of several casinos in Las Vegas during the 1970s and 80s. In typical Scorsese fashion, the movie has a fantastic soundtrack, beautiful cinematography, hysterically funny moments, and an all star cast which includes: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, and Don Rickles. This is must see in my book!
#1 – Goodfellas (1990)
The iconic Scorsese movie for many, Goodfellas is equally funny, edgy and dark. It combines all the elements that make an excellent well-rounded movie: comedy, action, a little bit of romance, family, and a sprinkle of profanity (just a sprinkle)! Goodfellas is based on the true story of mobster Henry Hill as he rises into the mob world until his drug problems turn his life upside down. With an stellar cast including: Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Lorraine Bracco, Goodfellas is just one of those movies you have to watch in your lifetime.