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Feb 20 2009

The 20 Most Badass Fictional Movie Gangsters

Published by at 3:20 am under Movies


Movie gangster or real gangster, it’s always been an allure for us in the public.  Why?   I think it’s pretty simple really.  We’re always intrigued by people who don’t follow the rules.  It doesn’t mean that we’ll go out and be gangsters, but for a couple hours we can imagine what a life like that might be like.

And when the directors and actors get it right, you actually root for these criminals.  And these guys take form in all shapes and sizes, country of origin, and most importantly, willing to do anything and everything for their cause.

You won’t find anything from Goodfellas in here.  These are the most 20 badasses fictional movie gangsters

The Godfather – Vito Corleone

Movie Gangsters

Obviously you don’t start a list like this without the Godfather himself.  Never has there been a bad guy portrayed in such a good light in cinema before.  It’s amazing how much you root for this guy.    Although I have to say I think De Niro playing a young Vito is a bit more badass than Brando.  Brando’s character is a bit too old.  Still though, highly badass.

Nikolai – Eastern Promises


It doesn’t get tougher than that naked knife fight scene in the bathroom.  Viggo show’s his junk and also kills a guy in the process.  Plus the dude is a cop.  He ends up staying mafia though.  Very badass.

Bricktop – Snatch

Movie Gangsters

If I could understand half the words this guy was saying, I’d give him much more credit as a badass.  Although feeding his victims to pigs was certainly an interesting move.  Still though, Brad Pitt gets the best of him.

Frank Costello – The Departed

Movie Gangsters

I personally thought this was one of Nicholson’s better roles.   And it gave great insight into the Irish Mafia (what a dumb sentence).  My favorite line:  “snort it till your numb.”  He truly was a sadistic son of a bitch wasn’t he?

Lil Ze – City of God

Movie Gangsters

Perhaps no one was more psycho than the character of Lil Ze in City of God.  The guy shot up an entire motel before the age of 13.  Then he goes on to take over practically all of the drug trade in the slums of Rio.  The guy is an absolute machine.  If you haven’t see City of God, then you must.

Alex De Large – Clockwork Orange

Movie Gangsters

If you don’t think that Clockwork Orange classifies as a gangster movie then what the hell do you call Alex’s little group?  A book club?  Nope, that was a gang and Alex was the King of that gang.  Plus he masturbated to beheadings.  It doesn’t get more hardcore than that.

Sonny LoSpecchio – Bronx Tale

Movie Gangsters

Inventor of the door test and king of the neighborhood, Sonny was both a role model and a man to fear.  What a great movie Bronx Tale was.  Sonny definitely made it better.   When he took out that biker gang, that was the epitome of badass.

Frank White – King of New York

Movie Gangsters

Oh come on now.  When you’re used in the lyrics of over 200 rap songs you know you have to have a large amount of street cred.

Michael Corleone  -The Godfather

Movie Gangsters

Second to Vito and first in our hearts is Michael Corleone.  From goody two shoes solider to ruthless dictator, Corleone transforms before our eyes to become one of the most vicious gangsters that cinema has ever seen.  Killing your own brother?  Quite badass.

Big Chris – Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Movie Gangsters

It doesn’t get much cooler than the gun scene.  Remember?  Big Chris uses the term “balls” and how they’re definitely shriveling up for his enemies because they’re carrying replica guns unlike his massive pistol.  Plus the guy is carrying around his son the whole time.  What a stud.

Michael Sullivan – Road to Perdition

Movie Gangsters

Irish mob movies don’t get much better than Road to Perdition.  And I never thought I’d ever say Tom Hanks was a badass in anything but come on.  The man has the balls to come back and wipe out almost an entire mob by himself.  And he basically sacrifices himself for his son.

Marsellus Wallace – Pulp Fiction

Movie Gangsters

Possibly given some of the coolest lines in movie history, Marsellus is one badass guy you do not want to mess with.  If you do, “he’ll get medieval on your ass.”

Johnny Boy – Mean Streets

Movie Gangsters

Robert De Niro getting two spots here.  Most of you may not have seen Mean Streets but Johnny Boy is one crazy character.  He may not have been a big time gangster, but he feared no man.

Joe Cabot – Reservoir Dogs

Movie Gangsters

The leader.  Not to mention it’s Laurence Tierney.  Guy was born a badass.

Cody Jarrett – White Heat

Movie Gangsters

Going back to 1949, Jame Cagney played this role to a tee.  If you haven’t seen White Heat, it’s definitely worth it.  Cagney plays a guy who breaks out of prison to lead his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Tony Montana – Scarface

Movie Gangsters

Anyone who used the word f*&k that often has to be on this list.

Sonny Corleone – The Godfather

Movie Gangsters

He may have died but you just don’t get much cooler than Sonny.  Devoted to his family and will take down anyone who even remotely threatens them.  Highly tempered but great with the ladies.

Han – Enter the Dragon

Movie Gangsters

Han built up quite a little gang there in his private island.  If it weren’t for Bruce Lee coming in and busting his ass he’d probably still be running his dope operation overseas.

Junior – Kiss of Death

Movie Gangsters

He may have had asthma but he made a guy strip and bench pressed a chick 40 times.

The Joker  – Either Batman

Movie Gangsters

Certainly a different kind of gangster and perhaps the scariest, the Joker isn’t on any side.  He just is.

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12 responses so far

  • Fyouk

    don’t know his name but the son of the boss in rocknRolla
    the new guy ritchie movie

  • Nathan

    I would have to add Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. He was a crazy mo-fo

  • JamesK

    English east end villian Harold Shand from The Long Good Friday, he tell the mafia where to go ‘shut it you long streak of paralysed piss’ Marvellous.

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  • jaromir

    What? No “Good Fellas”!

  • albertoo

    tony sopranooooooo the best gangters of the tv … for my

    but of moviess sonny corleone

  • Alex

    Uh, guy in Snatch wasn’t “Big Chris”, it was Bullettooth Tony. And if you’re doing that, Boris the Bullet Dodger was way more badass even if he did get killed.

  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100150/ StumpGrinder

    You left out Gabrielle Byrne’s character from “Miller’s Crossing,” Tom Regan.

  • The The

    jaromir, You didn’t read what this list was all about. “FICTIONAL” Good Fellas= “Non-Fiction”

  • pete

    What about Keyser Sozse from “The Usual Suspects”?

    Butch Cassidy and Sundance? (It WAS ‘Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall Gang’)

    Clyde Barrow?

  • matt johnson

    great call on Sonny from the godfather, Is there anyone on this list who you would rather not fight. agreed too coolest gangster

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