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September 21, 2011 9:41 AM   Subscribe

What's the best mobster movie for every country (other than America) that's ever made a mobster movie?

I'm almost finished watching the Sopranos on DVD, and I'm interested in seeing different cultural takes on this familiar premise/setting.

By mobster movie, I mean a movie about organized crime that has recognizably similar tropes as American mobster flicks like the Godfather, Casino, or Goodfellas. Obviously doesn't have to be about people of Italian descent.
posted by Afroblanco to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I would say:

City of God - Brazil
Sonatine - Japan
Hard Boiled - Hong Kong
posted by tremspeed at 9:47 AM on September 21, 2011

The Long Good Friday - UK

(I'd be tempted to say Get Carter, but TLGF is a better fit with the question as asked.)
posted by holgate at 9:49 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gomorrah (Italy) was pretty popular and a bit of an international breakout hit.
The Long Good Friday - UK
posted by biffa at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2011

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie - Canada
posted by ian1977 at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Long Good Friday is my favourite from the UK, though others may disagree as the competition in this genre is fierce.

Honourable mention to Get Carter

On preview, what holgate said.
posted by Shave at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2011

The Pusher trilogy (Denmark) of films are about pretty low rent crims, not sure if they would qualify as mobsters.
posted by biffa at 9:52 AM on September 21, 2011

Sonatine (Japan) is fantastic, but I'm not sure if it's so much a Yakuza movie then it is a movie by Takeshi Kitano that happens to be about the Yakuza.
posted by Think_Long at 9:54 AM on September 21, 2011

For Hong Kong I'd pick The Killer over Hard Boiled. Also John Woo but much more refined IMHO.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:55 AM on September 21, 2011

A Prophet (French 2009) is a good example in my opinion.
posted by HoldFast at 10:00 AM on September 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Definitely The Long Good Friday for England. Definitely.
posted by Decani at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2011

Seconding Gomorrah, though there are certainly other Italian crime movie possibilities.
posted by box at 10:05 AM on September 21, 2011

I would also point to "Performance" for England. It's sort of the template for films like "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," but, in a lot of ways, is much weirder and more interesting.

I just saw the Irish film "The Guard," and recommend it highly. You're probably going to get "In Bruges." This is by that filmmaker's brother, and I prefer it.

For Japan, I'm going to recommend "Sonatine," although I'm also fond of "Kikujiro" by the same director.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:10 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Germany doesn't have much to offer in this genre but Chiko is supposed to be good. Can't vouch for it though since I haven't seen it yet:

also +1 for Sonatine... I absolutely LOVE that movie.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2011

Sexy Beast--The best of Ben Kingsley and British mobsters. Just one more job and a maybe a few killings.
posted by rmhsinc at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Animal Kingdom for Australia
posted by tokidoki at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2011

Maybe Friend or A Bittersweet Life for South Korea.
posted by cazoo at 11:10 AM on September 21, 2011

Satya or Maqbool for India.
There are also a lot of others like Sarkar and Raajneeti that aren't as good.
posted by jihaan at 11:12 AM on September 21, 2011

I disagree. I think the mobster movie from India is Nayakan.
posted by hariya at 11:30 AM on September 21, 2011

Battles without Honor and Humanity is considered the classic Yakuza film from Japan in the same vein as The Godfather.
posted by cazoo at 11:49 AM on September 21, 2011

Little Odessa, which is about the Russian mob in Brighton Beach, is a US film, but it's not about American gangsters.
Infernal Affairs and Triad Election and City on Fire--Chinese
A Bittersweet Life--Korean
Graveyard of Honor-Japan
Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema --South Africa
Flickering Lights--Denmark
Romanzo criminale --Italy, 1970s. Not Gomorrah, but a good film.
Van God Los/Godforsaken --Dutch
posted by Ideefixe at 12:13 PM on September 21, 2011

Layer Cake is one of my favorites. Really gives you a 'day in the life' feel.
posted by Sphinx at 12:43 PM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

A Prophet was stunningly good, though limited in breaking new ground; the classic for France is almost certainly Rififi, the template for all heist movies since. But there are many competitive examples, particularly from the New Wave era.
posted by dhartung at 1:12 PM on September 21, 2011

Chopper is kind of a mobster movie, in that the titular character was a hit man for gangs, the Australian version of mobsters. It's both disturbing and hilarious (No money here!)
posted by Wantok at 3:01 PM on September 21, 2011

For Canada (in French, at least), I'd say Arcand's Réjeanne Padovani is the main contender, with a clear depiction of "big" organized crime in a very good movie.

As previously remarked, France has a lot of contenders, including Pépé le Moko (1937).

Although they could be more considered as "supernatural supercriminal" movies in the Fantomas mold, you might include the first two Mabuse movies (1922, 1933).
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:17 PM on September 21, 2011

I second "Internal Affairs", but make sure its not the American version, make sure its the one with mostly Chinese people.
posted by udon at 4:06 PM on September 21, 2011

Seconding Sexy Beast.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:12 PM on September 21, 2011

InFERnal Affairs was remade as The Departed. Not the same as Internal Affairs.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:43 PM on September 21, 2011

Russia: Brother
Japan: Sonatine or Dead or Alive, depending on if you want contemplative or nutbar
Denmark: Flickering Lights
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:03 PM on September 21, 2011

Agree with recommendations for Jacques Audiard's A Prophet, it's really outstanding.

Hong Kong, I like John Woo as well, also Johnnie To's Election / Triad Election.
posted by citron at 9:07 PM on September 21, 2011

Oh, and for organized crime that is not particularly organized:

Romany: Black Cat White Cat
Sweden: Slim Susie
Iceland: Remote Control
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:07 PM on September 21, 2011

Seconding Battles without Honor and Humanity, which is likely to float your boat because, like The Sopranos, it's not a movie but a series of movies--five, to be exact. The plot may be somewhat convoluted for some peoples' tastes, but it's a rich and three-dimensional saga indeed, and also an example of 1970s Japanese movies at their finest. The movies feature an ensemble cast of famous actors and actresses, including a young and hyperactive Sonny Chiba (who you may remember from Kill Bill).
posted by Gordion Knott at 12:49 AM on September 22, 2011

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