Most people absolutely love gangster movies. The genre has been popular for many years and is still popular today. Colourful characters, intense scenes, complicated plots and interesting situations are what make gangster movies so attractive to viewers. It seems that moviegoers just can’t get enough of the genre.

Gangster genre today is what Westerns have been to the viewers of the previous generations. The plots are somewhat similar in that it is the police versus the criminals, white hats versus the black hats. It all comes down to the basic plots of good fighting the evil. These plots have been a staple of storytelling for thousands of years. One of the characteristics that makes gangster movies unique and keeps them interesting is the lineup of usual suspects that plays out differently in each new movie.

The characters are often similar in different movies and include the power-hungry boss, the stone-cold assassins and killers, the industrious workers and soldiers, the beautiful women, the wannabees, the men in uniform and the innocent bystanders. However, the number of plots, twists, and turns possible is truly unlimited, which is a critical part in the success of every gangster movie.

Another common ingredient of all gangster movies is a lot of tension. Tension often comes from law-breaking activities such as a robbery that goes bad, a shootout or a fight, a tense, long, undercover sting operation, a double-cross or a bloody planned hit and run. Moviegoers especially love gangster movies that are based on real-life events and stories. Examples of such movies include Donnie Brasco, Good Fellas, Casino and others.

Donnie Brasco is based on the real-life experience of an FBI agent infiltrating the mafia in NYC in the 1970s. Casino is about mob’s activities in Las Vegas in the 1970s and the 1980s. In the Departed, Jack Nicholson plays a character that was based on a real-life Irish gangster Whitey Bulger.