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The Best Gangster Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Gangster movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Gangster movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

VIEW: best
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1. La Haine

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.1/10
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87/100
Released: 1995
Crime, Drama

What it's about: After a chaotic night of rioting in a marginal suburb of Paris, three young friends, Vinz, Hubert and Saïd, wander around unoccupied waiting for news about the state of health of a mutual friend who has been seriously injured when confronting the police.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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2. Police Story

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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80/100
Released: 1985Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Comedy

What it's about: A virtuous Hong Kong police officer must clear his name after he is framed for murder.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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3. A Brighter Summer Day

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.4/10
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79/100
Released: 1991
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A boy experiences first love, friendships and injustices growing up in 1960s Taiwan.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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4. The Public Enemy

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
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77/100
Released: 1931
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfound wealth, the duo feels the heat from the cops and rival gangsters both. Despite his ruthless criminal reputation, Tom tries to remain connected to his family, however, gang warfare and the need for revenge eventually pull him away.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 4 services (iTunes, Google Play & 2 others).

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5. The Long Good Friday

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.6/10
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77/100
Released: 1980Rated: R
Crime, Cult

What it's about: In the late 1970s, Cockney crime boss Harold Shand, a gangster trying to become a legitimate property mogul, has big plans to get the American Mafia to bankroll his transformation of a derelict area of London into the possible venue for a future Olympic Games. However, a series of bombings targets his empire on the very weekend the Americans are in town. Shand is convinced there is a traitor in his organization, and sets out to eliminate the rat in typically ruthless fashion.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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6. Gomorrah

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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75/100
Released: 2008
Crime, Drama

What it's about: An inside look at Italy's modern-day crime families, the Camorra in Naples and Caserta. Based on a book by Roberto Saviano. Power, money and blood: these are the "values" that the residents of the Province of Naples and Caserta have to face every day. They hardly ever have a choice and are forced to obey the rules of the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a normal life.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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7. Mona Lisa

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.3/10
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75/100
Released: 1986Rated: R
Crime, Cult

What it's about: George is a small-time crook just out of prison who discovers his tough-guy image is out of date. Reduced to working as a minder/driver for high class call girl Simone, he has to agree when she asks him to find a young colleague from her King's Cross days. That's when George's troubles just start.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel).

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8. Drunken Angel

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.7/10
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74/100
Released: 1948
Crime, Drama

What it's about: The chaotic worlds of the Yakuza and an alcoholic doctor collide in this film noir classic from Akira Kurosawa. Gangster Toshiro Mifune visits doctor Takashi Shimura, after an unfortunate incident with a bullet. The doctor, who despises the Yakuza, discovers the young man is suffering from tuberculosis, a disease symbolic of what is happening to the doctor and the community he serves. Facing his own anger and fear, the doctor aligns himself with the gangster's world.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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9. Branded to Kill

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
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73/100
Released: 1967
Action & Adventure, Crime

What it's about: After botching his latest assignment, a third-ranked Japanese hit man becomes the target of another assassin.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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10. Le Deuxième Souffle

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7.9/10
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71/100
Released: 1966
Crime, Drama

What it's about: A gangster escapes jail and quickly makes plans to continue his criminal ways elsewhere, but a determined inspector is closing in.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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11. Pale Flower

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7.8/10
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70/100
Released: 1964
Crime, Thriller

What it's about: Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young upper-class woman who is out seeking thrills, and whose presence adds spice to the staid masculine underworld rituals. Muraki becomes her mentor while simultaneously coping with the shifts of power that have affected the gangs while he was interred. When he notices a rogue, drug-addicted young punk hanging around the gambling dens, he realizes that Saeko's insatiable lust for intense pleasures may be leading her to self-destruction.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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12. The Hit

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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69/100
Released: 1984Rated: R
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Ex-gangster Willie Parker has betrayed his former "colleagues" and now lives in Spain where he thinks he can hide from their vengeance...

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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13. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
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65/100
Released: 1964
Action & Adventure, Fantasy

What it's about: The Princess Mas Selina Salno is seemingly assassinated as a mysterious meteorite lands in Kurobe Valley. When a scientific expedition examines the meteorite, they discover the rock is growing, producing heat and has a strong magnetic pull. Soon a prophetess, with a striking resemblance to the princess, warns of great calamity in the return of Godzilla, Rodan, and the arrival of King Ghidorah.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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14. The Sun's Burial

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.1/10
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45/100
Released: 1960
Drama

What it's about: In Osaka's slum, youth without futures engage in pilfering, assault and robbery, prostitution, and the buying and selling of identity cards and of blood. Alliances constantly shift. Tatsu and Takeshi, friends since boyhood, reluctantly join Shin's gang. Shin's an upstart and moves his gang often to avoid the local kingpin. Hanoko is a young woman with ambitions: first she's in the blood business with her father, then she joins forces with Shin. She soon breaks off that partnership, even though she's taken the sensitive Takeshi under her wing. Double crosses multiply. Those with the closest bonds become each others' murderers.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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15. Blondie Johnson

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6.6/10
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42/100
Released: 1933
Crime, Drama

What it's about: When Blondie Johnson's mother dies in poverty, Blondie vows that she will never be poor again. Convinced that virtue doesn't pay, she travels to the city and immediately begins a con with the help of taxi driver Red Charley. Later that evening, after splitting the take with Red, one of her marks, Danny Jones, spots her and invites her home with him for a talk.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Vudu).

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16. Heat Wave

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.6/10
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39/100
Released: 1991
Crime, Drama

What it's about: Rin Jyoshima lost her father to death-by-gambling; years later, she's grown up in the Kosugi household and has fallen victim to gambling herself.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Prime Video & Vudu).

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17. Woman in Witness Protection

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.0/10
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35/100
Released: 1997
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: Biwako a star actress, is the sole witness to a grizzly murder. The cops persuade her to play the bait to catch the killers. Two veteran detectives are assigned to protect her at all times, and as the film progresses the guardians have no choice but to deal with the overly dramatic, hilarious, and sometimes harrowing ups-and-downs of Biwako's life.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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