15 Best Martin Scorsese Movies of All Time

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON January 24th, 2019


7. Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island 2010

Martin Scorsese certainly knows how to pull off an amazing plot-twist as depicted in the psychological thriller Shutter Island. When United States Marshall Edward Daniels (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) travels to Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island in order to track down the escaped resident Rachel Solando, things only get complicated.

Just when it seems that he is moments away from solving the case, it is soon revealed that the entire scenario was a shrewd scheme orchestrated by the medical staff to lure in Daniels, who himself is a patient, in order to medically treat him.


6. Casino (1995)

Casino serves as the eighth time when Martin Scorsese and his frequent collaborator Robert De Niro paired together for a movie. The result was nothing short of spectacular as Casino brilliantly shows how a life of crime ultimately leads to a downfall.

The epic crime movie revolves around mobster Sam Rothstein who runs a casino but gradually spirals down to legal dilemmas stemming from his hothead enforcer Nicky Santoro, his drug-addicted wife Ginger McKenna, her former boyfriend Lester Diamond and numerous corrupt politicians.


5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

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Based on the lavish lifestyle of stockbroker and con artist Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street begs the audience to get up from their couch and earn cold hard cash or at least think about how they can sell a pen.

Once he founds his own brokerage company named Stratton Oakmont in order to defraud numerous of his wealthy investors, Belfort is engulfed in drugs, scams, and sex but it all comes crashing down when FBI intervenes.

Having a gigantic budget of $100 million and nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, The Wolf of Wall Street is widely regarded as the best movie directed by Martin Scorsese in recent memory.


4. Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull (1980)

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While no one denies that Raging Bull is one of the finest works by Martin Scorsese, a lot of its success weighed on the shoulders of its leading star Robert De Niro. In order to portray the real-life boxer Jake La Motta, the actor had to undergo intensive training sessions with the real-life Jake La Motta.

After gaining incredible physique of an athlete and razor-sharp boxing skills, De Niro admirably convinced La Motta that he could have easily become a boxer instead of an actor. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two including Best Actor for De Niro.


3. The Departed (2006)

The Departed 2006

Thirty-nine years after the release of his very first feature-length film, Martin Scorsese finally won the most coveted prize in Hollywood – the Academy Award. The 2006 crime drama movie The Departed had a star-studded cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg etc. and with Scorsese sitting in the director’s chair, it was a guarantee that The Departed would be one hell of a movie.

When FBI and crime boss Frank Costello send their most trusted man to infiltrate each other’s divisions, a stunning stream of cat-and-mouse game ensues. The storyline gets even more nail-biting when both men fall in love with the same woman. Apart from a being a fantastic movie about organized crime, FBI informants and gun violence, The Departed is responsible for inducting Scorsese in the elite club of Oscar winners.


2. Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver 1976

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It was a passion project that put Martin Scorsese on the map as every single individual in the film industry became aware of the relatively new director. As his fifth film, Taxi Driver still stands out as a complex piece of art that showcases several enigmatic shades of acclaimed actor Robert De Niro.

Even after forty-two years after its release, Taxi Driver is still relevant as it was on the day it first hit the theatres due to boldly tackling several sociopolitical issues such as insomnia, assassination attempts of political candidates, sudden urge to save the world, child prostitution etc. Above everything else, the psychological thriller movie delivers one of the most iconic dialogues ever spoken in cinematic history – “You talkin’ to me?”


1. Goodfellas (1990)

Based on the criminal empire founded by the quintessential figureheads of the Lucchese crime family that ruled organized crime in New York, Goodfellas is a hard-hitting crime flick that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Impressed by the men who live outside the law, high school student Henry Hill joins the criminal underworld only to realize that all that glitters is not gold. Without a shadow of a doubt, Goodfellas is the gold standard of the crime genre and one of the most critically acclaimed movies ever made by Martin Scorsese.


Honorable Mentions:

We can’t resist mentioning these flicks as well that barely escaped the top 15:

  • The Color of Money (1986)
  • New York, New York (1977)
  • The Age of Innocence (1993)

Hope you enjoyed our list of best Martin Scorsese movies of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!