Martin Scorsese is one of the most respected and admired names in American cinema. With a career spanning more than 50 years, Scorsese has left us with countless cinematic treasures that have revolutionised storytelling and filmmaking. His newest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” is yet another cinematic masterpiece that will be released this year, on October 6th, 2023. While you wait for the movie to hit the theatres, you might as well enjoy some of Scorsese’s older classics!

In this article, we’ll examine the top 10 Martin Scorsese movies that have had a lasting impact on us as well as the industry. The following list is ordered based on the year the films were released. 

1. Mean Streets (1973)

Cover of Martin Scorsese's first big film, Mean Streets.
Source: IMDb

First and foremost, “Mean Streets” launched Scorsese’s career and introduced audiences to his distinguishing aesthetic. De Niro and Harvey Keitel give their first leading roles in this gritty, character-driven movie. The film is set in Little Italy, New York City.

2. Taxi Driver (1976)

Cover photo of movie Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro.
Source: IMDb

Next, Scorsese and Robert De Niro became staple figures because of the movie “Taxi Driver”. It is a grim, character-driven investigation of urban alienation. The movie stars Robert De Niro as a damaged Vietnam War veteran, Travis Bickle. It’s gloomy, moody, photography effectively depicts New York City’s atmosphere. 

3. Raging Bull (1980)

Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull.
Sourc: IMDb

“Raging Bull” portrays the chaotic life of boxer Jake LaMotta. It’s regarded as one of the greatest sports movies ever made. In fact, Robert De Niro’s ground-breaking performance in the film won him an Oscar.

4. Goodfellas (1990)

Cover of Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
Source: IMDb

Then, in 1990, Scorsese released the classic mob film “Goodfellas” which provides an exciting look into the world of organized crime. The film is considered a classic because of its fast-paced, endearing characters, and brilliant storytelling that never gets old. 

5. Gangs of New York (2002)

Cover of movie Gangs of Newyork starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Source: IMDb

Sixth on the list is the mid-19th century drama “Gangs of New York”. This movie examines the turbulent history of New York City through the perspectives of opposing gangs. One of the highlights is Daniel Day-Lewis’ captivating performance as Bill the Butcher. Another is, of course, Leonardo Di Caprio as Amsterdam Vallon. 

6. The Departed (2006)

Cover of movie The Departed starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nickolson and Mark Wahlberg.
Source: IMDb

The Departed led to Scorsese’s first Oscar for Best Director. The cast of this suspenseful crime drama takes place in the centre of Boston’s organized crime scene and is led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. 

7. Shutter Island (2010)

Cover of movie Shutter Island starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
Source: IMDb

This psychological suspense film with Leonardo DiCaprio takes viewers on a surreal voyage into a far-off mental institution. Up to the very last frame, audiences are left doubting reality as Scorsese skillfully creates an unsettling atmosphere.

8. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Cover of Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wallstreet starring Leonardo Dicaprio.
Source: IMDb

Once again, Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio collaborated to produce another classic through the notorious stories of Wall Street. This satirical investigation of greed and ambition is both hilarious and thought-provoking. 

9. The Irishman (2019)

Cover of movie Irishman starring Robert Deniro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
Source: IMDb

For this epic crime saga, Scorsese reconnected with De Niro and Pesci and used de-ageing technology to portray the tale of mob hitman Frank Sheeran. It is a sombre examination of commitment, betrayal, and the passage of time.

10. Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Cover of upcoming film Killers of the Flower Moon.
Source: IMDb

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is an upcoming film directed by Martin Scorsese that is based on true events. Set in the 1920s, it uncovers a series of mysterious murders of the Osage Nation after they discover oil on their land. The film follows the FBI’s investigation into a sinister conspiracy involving greed and corruption.

Martin Scorsese’s career is evidence of his unmatched storytelling talent and directing skills. These top 10 movies only scratch the surface of his filmography. Scorsese’s work continues to strike a chord with viewers all over the world, solidifying his reputation as one of the greatest directors in movie history. Whether he delves into the depths of human nature, the curiosity of crime, or the complexities of greed and power, Scorsese films will always be deemed classics.