Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movies of All Time (Video Edition)
With THE WOLF OF WALL STREET opening and appearing to be yet another notch in Martin Scorsese's filmography, we take some time to go back over the twenty plus films he has made in his career to find the best of the best. How do you whittle down such an amazing career to only ten choices? Believe me, it wasn't easy and I am sure many of you will disagree, but take a look at the rankings and if you find something out of place or missing, feel free to add it in the Talk Backs below.
Not one of Scorsese's best movies, but possibly one of the most fun. I would consider GANGS OF NEW YORK to be Uncle Marty's equivalent of an exploitation movie. Epic in scope and violence, the movie provided yet another piece of proof that Daniel Day-Lewis is a brilliant actor.
Scorsese has often been considered a director of "movies for men" seeing as his films often center on violence and crime, but his fourth film showcases a comedic film with Ellen Burstyn, Diane Ladd, and Jodie Foster as three different types of female roles that are at once realistic and exceptionally portrayed. In fact, the movie inspired the sitcom ALICE. So, the next time you wonder why there aren't any TV shows based on great movies, here is one.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is Martin Scorsese's most romantic film and also his most uncharacteristic. Adapting the Edith Wharton novel about high society and the class system of the 19th century, this movie is a definite change of pace and style for the filmmaker. More of an erotic and sexual film than any made before or since, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE is still a masterfully shot film.
Many consider this movie to be an inferior follow-up to THE HUSTLER, but when you get Martin Scorsese to direct a sequel you better believe it is going to be good. Working with Paul Newman in an Oscar-winning performance, Scorsese plays with camera tricks inspired by the movie BLACK NARCISSUS and delivers one of his most "studio" movies. But, that doesn't mean it isn't a damn good one.
Underrated, yes, but also one of the funniest movies you will ever see. A black comedy that has influenced numerous films about the perils of fame and celebrity, THE KING OF COMEDY is a dark movie that proves that Martin Scorsese does not need to be relegated to one genre. Robert De Niro is hilarious and Jerry Lewis is brilliant. Forget anyone who criticizes the ending of the movie since you will be too busy loving the rest of it.
Another underrated and underseen movie, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD is a nightmarish movie that plays like a parallel to TAXI DRIVER. Both films feature a character on the brink of madness and the city of New York plays a major character. Tom Sizemore delivers a chilling supporting role to Nicolas Cage who is at the height of his acting abilities here. Definitely one movie that most people have not seen and really should. Paul Schrader wrote the screenplay, marking his fourth collaboration with Scorsese.
Another film considered one of Scorsese's best, RAGING BULL is a sports movie like only Uncle Marty could direct. Robert De Niro's dedication to the role of Jake LaMotta is evident by his sixty pound weight gain and Joe Pesci is perfect as his brother Joey. Scorsese's decision to film the movie in black and white gives it a very cold quality and enhances both the fight scenes and the brilliantly delivered dialogue throughout the film. An instant classic and one of the best movies of all time.
Martin Scorsese embraced both digital filmmaking and 3D to make a beautiful ode to the history of cinema. A thrilling adventure appropriate for all ages, HUGO is a director at the top of his game. Whether you are a child or an adult, you will love HUGO and rarely find a film that can make you fall in love with the movies all over again. Funny, dramatic, and simply gorgeous to watch, HUGO may be Scorsese's most distinct film.
This list may be top heavy with De Niro movies, but if you look at his work with Scorsese, can you really disagree? TAXI DRIVER may be the most realistic portrayal of Hell put to screen. Balancing the post-Vietnam mentality of America along with the tempestuous New York of the 1970s, TAXI DRIVER was Scorsese's most timely film and has gone on to become one of his most timeless. Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, and Jodie Foster all return to work with Scorsese and deliver powerhouse performances.
Many consider GOODFELLAS to be Scorsese's masterpiece. I personally prefer CASINO, but the two films are almost mirrors of each other, dealing with different aspects of the mafia and crime using similar casts. While GOODFELLAS follows the rise of Ray Liotta's character through the levels of organized crime, CASINO takes an established member of the crime world and shows us his decline. Both films should be viewed as a double feature to truly appreciate every element of the films.
MEAN STREETS is not Scorsese's biggest film or his smallest. But, at the center of it is one of the most personal stories he has ever told. Enveloping aspects of every movie he has made since, MEAN STREETS is the definitive Martin Scorsese movie: violent, raw, real, dramatic, funny, thrilling, and above all cinematic. This is not a movie about the mob or crime or anything high concept. This is a movie about America and what it means to live in this country. If you have never seen MEAN STREETS you owe it to yourself.