15 Best Martin Scorsese Movies of All Time

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON October 17th, 2019

15 Best Martin Scorsese Movies of All Time

With more than five decades under his belt as one of Hollywood’s most elite directors, Martin Scorsese has seen it all and done it all. Responsible for several career highlights of veteran actors Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, there is actually much more than meets the eye and to chronicle his undeniably valiant services to the art of film-making, let’s take a look at the 15 best Martin Scorsese movies of all time:


15. Mean Streets (1973)

Mean Streets 1973

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Before The Godfather hit the theatres, it was Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets that was being hailed as the ultimate crime movie but it certainly had its fair share of hurdles. It was the director’s third film to date and his first movie was granted a budget of over $1 million.

With rising stars, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro in leading roles, Mean Streets became more than capable of winning over the audience and critics alike and it gradually marked the significant upsurge of Scorsese.


14. Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear 1991

It does not take an abundant amount of wisdom to realize that sex offenders are a menacing threat to society and should belong in prison but what if the criminal is actually innocent? When deranged sex offender Max Cady is accused of rape, attorney Sam Bowden intentionally hides the evidence that could acquit the former of the charges.

After spending 14 agonizing years in prison, Cady discovers about Bowden’s treachery. Now with revenge on his mind, he tracks down Bowden who must do everything in his hand to make sure that his wife and daughter remain safe.


13. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1973)

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore 1973

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While Martin Scorsese is typically known for his movies leaning towards crime, drama, and religion, he did take a shot at comedy with Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Starring Ellen Burstyn, the movie centralizes on aspiring singer Alice Hyatt.

Following the death of her husband, Alice and her son intend to relocate from New Mexico California where the former hoped to launch her singing career. However, weak financial conditions force the two to a settlement in Arizona where her life takes a swift turn as she falls in love with a divorced rancher named David.


12. Gangs of New York (2002)

Gangs of New York 2002

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Set in 1846, the slum neighborhood of Five Points, Manhattan, is drenched in gang violence stemming from William “The Butcher” Cutting. The gang leader strongly denounces immigrants and Irish migrant Amsterdam Vallon soon gets caught in his web.

Once his father gets murdered at the hands of Cutting, Amsterdam seeks vengeance and covertly joins the latter’s inner circle in order to have the chance to do so. Yet his quest for revenge is anything but an easy task as he becomes engulfed in a tug of war between his own survival and shielding Irish immigrants from oppression.


11. The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator 2004 Movie

The Howard Hughes biopic went on to win five Academy Awards from its eleven nominations and gives a glimpse of how even the most successful individuals can become a troubled soul.

The eccentric individual has many shades to his life such as a businessman, pilot, inventor, engineer, philanthropist, and Hollywood director but behind closed doors, Hughes is suffering from depression.


10. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The-Last-Temptation-of-Christ-Movie 1988

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As one of the most controversial movies at the time, The Last Temptation of Christ dared to present Jesus Christ as a human instead of a divine figure. The movie infuriated religious groups and their protests pressured Paramount Pictures to ax the movie.

Universal Studios stepped in to save the movie from never being made and Martin Scorsese directed a gut-wrenching epic drama movie. From depression to lust, the movie showcases several fictional temptations that came forward in Christ’s life and bestowed Scorsese his second Academy Award nomination for Best Director.


9. After Hours (1985)

After Hours 1985 Movie

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Usually recognized as one of the few forgettable movies made by Martin Scorsese, it is a shame that After Hours is short of the limelight than all of the movies on the list.

While the movie had no Academy Award nominations and relies on black comedy instead of Martin Scorsese’s signature styles of crime and drama After Hours is nonetheless a must-watch.


8. The King of Comedy (1982)

The King of Comedy 1982

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Decades before Robert De Niro began acting in comedy movies, the actor proved he has a funny bone in The King of Comedy despite mostly starring in dramas and thrillers. As Rupert Pupkin, he intends to make a name for himself as a comedian but constantly fails in doing so.

Upon meeting talk show host Jerry Langford, he requests a guest spot on his show but is refused. Bent on achieving his goal by any means necessary, Pupkin kidnaps Langford and promises to set him free if he is featured on his talk show.