Top 5 Martin Scorsese Films

“I always say that I’ve been in a bad mood for maybe 35 years now. I try to lighten it up, but that’s what comes out when you get me on camera.”
-Martin Scorsese

Over the past few weeks I have been watching lots of films directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese. He is without a doubt my favorite director of all time, and I figured why not compile a top five movie list consisting of his brilliant work.

1. Goodfellas

Henry Hill: All they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what the FBI can never understand – that what Paulie and the organization offer is protection for the kinds of guys who can’t go to the cops. They’re like the police department for wiseguys.

Goodfellas was an easy choice at number one for me. I absolutely love this film. The direction is brilliant and the character development takes a life of its own. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta just jump from scene to scene and it only gets better with time.

2. Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle: You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here.

Taxi Driver has really taken a life of its own since its conception in 1976. Multiple theaters have re-screened this unique film, and fans continue to appreciate it for what is is. Robert De Niro puts on an epic performance of emotions that at the end of the day leaves you extremely disturbed.

3. Raging Bull

Joey LaMotta: If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win.

The Robert De Niro + Martin Scorsese duo rages on. An exhilarating story about boxer Jake La Motta, a loose cannon who struggles to separate his life from the ring.

4. The Departed

Frank Costello: When you decide to be something, you can be it. That’s what they don’t tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I’m saying to you is this: when you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?

The Departed finally brought Oscar gold to the life of Martin Scorsese. A gritty film, with a gritty cast. In order to harness so much talent on one screen, you need a director that can lead, and that’s exactly what Scorsese does in this film. It’s a modern masterpiece involving the Irish-American mafia in South Boston. Scorsese once again is able to take you behind the scenes of organized crime, like no one else can.

5. The Aviator

Howard Hughes: [talking of Juan Trippe] He owns Pan-Am. He owns Congress. He owns the Civil Aeronautics Board. But he does not own the sky.

The Aviator is a fascinating movie about Howard Hughes the legendary aviation expert during the 1920’s-1940’s. He was a entertaining character, that did everything BIG and BOLD. The direction is fantastic, the old school vibe is very classy, and Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a stellar portrayal of this controversial man.

Doing a top 5 Martin Scorsese list is tough. I realize for many Marty fans they are looking at this list and saying “where is Mean Streets, where is The King of Comedy, where is Casino?” Trust me I have no complaints on any of the ones that did not crack my list, but I thought starting with the old and ending with the new would round out how impressive Martin Scorsese’s career has been.

What are your top 5 Martin Scorsese films?

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Martin Scorsese Films

  1. Nice list Hiren.

    My top 5 would be :

    Taxi Driver
    Raging Bull
    The King of Comedy
    After Hours
    Mean Streets

    But it’s hard to mention only five, I like a lot of other Scorsese movies like Goodfellas – New York, New York – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More – Bringing Out the Dead – The Last Temptation of Christ… And a lot of other ones.

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