Martin Scorsese’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked According to Letterboxd



Martin Scorsese is one of Hollywood’s most revered directors, having released several classics in every decade since the 1970s. Few filmmakers are as prolific as he, and few can deliver the high-energy, crowd-pleasing dramas exciting as it can either.

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However, interestingly, Letterboxd users don’t completely agree with IMDb users or Rotten Tomatoes reviewers, as they prefer a few lesser-known films by the director over some of his classics. Between an unjustly forgotten 80s comedy, a no-holds-barred modern-day cat-and-mouse thriller, and a boatload of gangster films, Scorsese continues to be unrivaled.

ten The Irishman (2019) – 3.9

Tony Pro in The Irishman

Even though the director has been criticized for his opinions on superhero movies, there’s no denying that Scorsese is adapting to modern cinema and storytelling. Throughout his career, there are many examples of him experimenting with the film format and attempting to push the medium forward, such as the use of 3D in Hugo.

But the best example is the use of de-aging in The Irishmanand while that may have led to somewhat polarizing results, Scorsese couldn’t have made a sprawling 3.5-hour epic spanning decades without it. The Irishman is almost like a hit movie when it comes to gangster movies, and it’s impossible to resist a Scorsese-directed crime movie starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel.

9 Shutter Island (2010) – 4.0

shutter island is a psychological thriller that has never been done by Scorsese before, at least not like this. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, the film follows a U.S. Marshal who is sent to investigate a missing person’s case at a mental institution on an island, which leads to all sorts of strange happenings.

The film has one of the most shocking and haunting plot twists of the 2010s that will stick with audiences for weeks, and it will also have viewers rewatching the film over and over and skimming through each scene in search of clues. It’s the most atmospheric film in Scorsese’s entire filmography and, interestingly, shutter island is a Scorsese film that doesn’t deal with organized crime, which makes the dark and brooding thriller surprisingly refreshing.


8 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – 4.0

Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street

the wolf of Wall Street is one of the funniest films of the 2010s, and it shows audiences that a filmmaker and actor who seemingly takes himself very seriously can deliver hilarious comedy. However, the movie tricks audiences into thinking it’s a comedy when in reality it’s as much a crime drama about a criminal on a downward spiral as it is. Freedmen.

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With the way the film is frenetically paced and the way classic rock songs soundtrack FBI raids, the 2013 film is almost like a spiritual successor to the 1990 mob movie and hits all the same beats. While some viewers think that the wolf of Wall Street glamorizes bad behavior, it’s more of a cautionary tale, even though parties and yacht life are so entertaining.

7 After Hours (1985) – 4.0

Paul and Marcy at a dinner party at After Hours.

While the audience was captivated by the wolf of Wall Street, which was as much a comedy as it was a crime film, critics reacted to it as if Scorsese had never directed a comedy before. The 2013 film may have had people laughing out loud, but Scorsese also had hysterical viewers nearly 30 years earlier with after hours.

The film takes place over one night, as it follows a New York yuppie as he tries to get home after a night of partying. Interestingly, the 1985 film is so highly rated on Letterboxd because it doesn’t even come close to Scorsese’s highest rated films on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes.

6 Casino (1995) – 4.1

While Scorsese is obviously a popular filmmaker, he’s an experimental director as much as anything else. However, Casino felt more like a victory lap than anything else, as he got the Freedmen regroup.

The Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci trio that created the classics angry bull and Freedmen together, collaborated again five years later, and it was another three-hour opus. This time it was surprisingly melodramatic, and it was more heartfelt than any movie Scorsese had made in years. However, the film still moves at a generally breakneck speed that could give any viewer a boost.

5 The King of Comedy (1982) – 4.1

Robert De Niro in a stand-up number in The King Of Comedy.

Although the film is not a complete comedy as the title suggests, The king of comedy is a gripping satire about a man who kidnaps his idol, a late-night talk show host. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the movie 982 inspired the 2019s. Jokerwhich follows a similar relationship between Arthur Fleck and Murray Franklin.

The king of comedy is more relevant today than it was when it was released 40 years ago, as it satirizes people’s obsession with celebrity culture. And although it was a box office bomb when it was first released, it has since found its audience and become a cult classic.

4 Taxi Driver (1976) – 4.2

Travis Bickel in his cab in Taxi Driver.

Martin Scorsese had modest success in the early 70s with films like average streets and Alice doesn’t live here anymorebut it was Taxi driver which cemented him as an author. Between the beautiful staging with steam rising from the railings, the majestic jazz score and De Niro’s performance of a deranged and psychotic vigilante, Taxi driver is totally unique.

RELATED: Martin Scorsese’s Last 10 Movies Ranked (According To Metacritic)

Although Scorsese has been criticized throughout his career for glorifying violence, Taxi driver has a decidedly unglamorous portrayal of it, which is why it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

3 Raging Bull (1980) – 4.2

Jake LaMotta boxing in Raging Bull

Although many different films directed by Scorsese appear on the favorite lists of other filmmakers, it is angry bull who consistently pops up on director and actor lists, whether it’s Paul Bettany or David O. Russell. That’s no surprise, as De Niro’s portrayal of Jake LaMotta and Scorsese’s craftsmanship are both on top form.

The film has class and style, but it’s also powerful, ambitious and unsympathetic. Between the seductive black-and-white cinematography, the inventive ways in which the boxing matches are filmed, and the heartbreaking closing monologue, angry bull still holds today.

2 The Departed (2006) – 4.2

Frank Costello acting like a rat in The Departed

Another movie that comes as no surprise that it is rated so highly on the website is The dead. According to The New York TimesLetterboxd’s largest user group is 18-24 year olds, so it makes sense that they gravitate towards the 2006 film.

Interesting way, The dead is the only Scorsese-directed film set in modern times, which makes the mob and FBI’s use of cell phones and technology so fascinating in the film. The current setting, aside from being a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase movie, is why The dead is Scorsese’s best gangster film.

1 Goodfellas (1990) – 4.4

Henry Hill Freedmen's Audience Hall

While Letterboxd users tend to be more enthusiastic, and certainly more critical, about movies than IMDb, some things are just universal. Freedmen is arguably Scorsese’s best film by any measure, and it’s the perfect representation of his style, which has been imitated endlessly by countless other filmmakers.

The rock soundtrack, long tracking shots, improvisation and frenetic energy make it one of the most thrilling and entertaining American films of all time. Not to mention, it features career-best performances from De Niro and Pesci, and it’s one of the most accurate portrayals of the Mafia. It’s a perfect movie.

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