With the approaching release of Black Mass it seemed like a good time to look back on some of the best crime biopics of all time. This is a genre that has seen a lot of exceptionally strong films with some great performances and brilliant stories.
5. “American Gangster”
This film proved to me that Ridley Scott was still one of the best filmmakers in the world despite a few recent misses. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) is a heroin kingpin during the 1970’s and Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is the detective out to stop him. This film is exceptionally well acted and has a very strong cast. It is also a fairly good rags to riches story about a man who builds himself up to being a multi-millionaire from poverty. The main criticism that can be levelled at this film is its length but it’s fairly normal for films of this genre to be very long.
4. “The Untouchables”
Based on the memoirs of Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner), The Untouchables follows the attempts to bring down one of the most famous gangsters of all time, Al Capone (Robert De Niro), during prohibition. This film is another great example of a good combination of cast and crew leading to a very well rounded picture. Brian De Palma also managed to put some references to classic cinema in the film which will please the cinephile among you. However, the fact Sean Connery is supposedly playing an Irish-American is just laughable seeing as he sounds exactly like Sean Connery.