Stephen King Has Ranked His Top Three Gangster Movies of All Time — Did Yours Make the Cut?

What are the best gangster films of all time? Stephen King wants to know. On May 27, the renowned author took to Twitter and asked his 5.8 million followers the question that cinephiles and college sophomores everywhere argue over. "Assuming The Godfather and The Godfather 2 are the best, what are the other 8 greatest gangster movies?" he wrote.

Here's a question: Assuming The Godfather and The Godfather 2 are the best, what are the other 8 greatest gangster movies?

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 27, 2020

A few minutes later, he tweeted again, noting that Goodfellas is the third greatest. Many film fans flocked to Twitter and weighed in on what belongs in the genre's top ten.

According to the American Film Institute—which, in 2008, ranked the top 10 films in 10 different genres, including the gangster genre—The Godfather does rank at the top. However, Goodfellas was the AFI's pick for second best, followed by The Godfather Part II. The rest of the top ten films, in their respective order, were White Heat (1949), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Public Enemy (1931), Little Caesar (1931), and Scarface (1983).

Those films were brought up on Twitter by people responding to King's question, along with many others. Fans mentioned The Departed, The Irishman, The Untouchables, Once Upon a Time In America, Donnie Brasco, Miller's Crossing, Casino, Bugsy Malone, Road to Perdition, and On the Waterfront, to name a few. There were a few hot takes, too, including mentions of The Dark Knight and Shark Tale.

Assuming GOODFELLAS is #3, what are the other 7 best gangster movies?

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 27, 2020

Some fans were baffled that Goodfellas was not King's top pick. "Having Goodfellas at anything other than #1 makes my head roll," one person wrote. "Goodfellas IS NOT #3. It's 1. A Bronx Tale is very underrated too," another chimed in. "Goodfellas is #1 my good man," a third replied to King. (They're not wrong!)

Goodfellas is better than both https://t.co/AgqJe8Fr7F

— Nik Patel (@cointradernik) May 27, 2020

Whether or not Martin Scorsese's The Departed belongs on the list was also a hot topic of debate. "The Departed should not be anywhere near these others," one fan argued. "The last shot of the rat on the balcony railing alone disqualifies it from consideration as a great movie."

However, some recognize the 2006 Boston-based crime flick as a worthy entrant in the gangster film canon. "Can The Departed be considered a gangster movie? I love Nicholson in this!" one fan wrote. "I think The Departed gets a bad rap for being like the quintessential 'frat bro' movie, or whatever, but the acting and directing were top notch," another weighed in. "They really nailed the suspense."

GettyImages-187854706
Author Stephen King asked Twitter what the top ten gangster movies are of all time, ranking "The Godfather" as his number one pick. Credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

Black Mass, the 2015 film about James "Whitey" Bulger also got a shoutout. "People are not giving Black Mass enough praise," one Twitter user said. "Johnny Depp was absolutely phenomenal in that movie."

Road to Perdition was also a fan favorite. "One of the most underrated movies of all time," one fan said of the movie. "[Tom] Hanks & [Paul] Newman. Plus Daniel Craig and Stanley Tucci!! Outstanding."

One fan noted that the early gangster films have stood the test of time. "The early 1930s run - Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, Scarface - still have raw energy and brutal charisma. The Roaring Twenties is the first great nostalgia/historic sweep gangster film," the user wrote. "Bogart in High Sierra and Cagney in White Heat perfect gangster-as-outlaw and gangster-as-monster. No screen gangster has ever died as well - or often - as Cagney."

Other fans noted that although it isn't a film, The Sopranos needed recognition. "Not a movie, but after Godfather I & II & Goodfellas, The Sopranos deserves to be on this list." HBO's Boardwalk Empire also got a shoutout. "And the best gangster SHOW hands down is Boardwalk Empire. Fantastic series."

Here are some of Twitter's rankings for top ten gangster films of all time. How does your list compare?

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather PT II
3. Goodfellas
4. Casino
5. Donnie Brasco
6. The Departed
7. Scarface
8. Casablanca
9. White Heat
10. King of New York

— Dave Hoj (@TheHojer) May 27, 2020

Casino, Once upon a Time in America, Scarface, Carlito's Way, Miller's Crossing, Fargo (yes, it is).

— Ben Stuart (@DrinksProject) May 27, 2020

Went to 12
1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather PT II
3. Goodfellas
4. The Departed
5. Casino
6. Once Upon A Time In America - Full Cut
7. Boyz in the Hood
8. Eastern Promises
9. Menace II Society
10. American Gangster
11. Miller’s Crossing
12. Killing Them Softly

— The Logical Optimist (@OptimistLogical) May 27, 2020

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather PT II
3. Goodfellas
4. The Departed
5. Leon
6. Scarface
7. American Gangster
8. Eastern Promises
9. Casino
10. Reservoir Dogs

— Elizabeth Day (@elizabday) May 27, 2020

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather Part 2
3. Goodfellas
4. White Heat
5. Once Upon a Time in America
6. Out of the Past
7. Scarface
8. Public Enemy
9. The Big Heat
10. Get Carter

— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) May 27, 2020

The Godfather
The Godfather II
Goodfellas
Scarface
Casino
The Godfather III
The Krays
Bonnie and Clyde
Miller's Crossing
Road to Perdition

— John McKinstry (@JMcKWriter) May 27, 2020

In my list:
1.- Godfather #1
2.- Godfather #2
3.- Once upon a time in America
4.- Goodfellas
5.- Scarface
6.- Road to perdition
7.- Casino
8.- Godfather#3
9.- Departed
10.- American Gangster

— Luis (@Luismrdzcas) May 27, 2020

1. Once Upon a Time in America
2. Scarface
3. Goodfellas
4. American Gangster
5. Casino
6. The untouchables
7. Donnie Brasco
8.Carlito's Way
9. Reservoir Dogs
10. The Departed

— AussieYank (@AussieYank01) May 27, 2020

1. Godfather part II
2. Casino
3. Goodfellas
4. Godfather
5. The Departed
6. Mean Streets
7. A Bronx Tale
8. Scarface
9. Carlito’s Way
10. Gangs of NY

Honorable mentions: Eastern Promises, Donnie Brasco, Reservoir Dogs and Snatch

— Icculus The Brave (@FirenzeMike) May 27, 2020