Martin Scorsese, the mastermind filmmaker behind movies such as Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, has been making a splash in Hollywood since his first big hit in the 1970s. With over 50 directing credits to his name, Scorsese is known for his depiction of gritty New York and mob culture. If you’re wondering where to start with his catalog, don’t miss these five Martin Scorsese films.
1. Mean Streets (1973)
The first film that really brought Scorsese into the limelight was Mean Streets, released in 1973. This movie explored themes of good vs. evil, Italian-American crime culture and the dangers of self-destruction. Starring Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro, it’s a film school classic.
2. Taxi Driver (1976)
This award winning film, also starring Robert DeNiro, is a psychological thriller with a complex and increasingly violent main character. This movie also saw the breakthrough of popular actress Jodie Foster at the young age of only 14. Taxi Driver received multiple awards and is now lauded by critics as one of the best films of all time.
3. Raging Bull (1980)
Martin Scorsese has several acting muses, and Robert DeNiro is certainly one of them. Yet again, DeNiro stars in a Scorsese film – this time as an up-and-coming boxer in New York City. This black-and-white sports drama is often criticized for its depiction of violence, but ultimately won the hearts of critics and was the first film inducted into the National Film Registry.
4. Goodfellas (1990)
Scorsese’s most popular and famous film is 1990’s Goodfellas, a crime drama that spans several decades and was eventually nominated for six Academy Awards. Starring Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and – you guessed it – Robert DeNiro, Goodfellas brings together themes of gambling, organized crime and the dangers of the drug trafficking.
5. Casino (1995)
Playing off the success of Goodfellas, Scorsese made another hit about gambling and casinos with 1995’s aptly-named Casino. This film, starring Sharon Stone and regulars Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro, chronicles the epic career of gambler Sam “Ace” Rothstein, who is sent to a casino as a handicapper.
Scorsese has seen a prolific and exciting career as a director and producer of some of Hollywood’s most famous (and gritty) films. In fact, his first film in three years (Silence) debuted at the end of 2016. It’s safe to say we haven’t seen the last of this talented artist.