The reason behind the power of every criminal empire lies in the wit, or in some cases ruthlessness, of the man in charge of the entire operation. Bad as they may be, it cannot be denied that the role of a don in any gangster movie has always been regarded as the most pivotal character; adding the icing to the cake. Here today we have compiled a list of the fifteen most memorable movie mob bosses of all time:
15. Vincenzo Coccotti – True Romance (1993)
Despite having quite a short screen time, actor Christopher Walken amazingly expanded the character’s magnitude with a touch of fearlessness and short-tempered behavior.
With words intimidating as much as his actions, Vincent Coccotti feels no remorse during his criminal run as is particularly shown when he murders Clifford Worley when he later insulted his Sicilian heritage.
14. John Rooney – Road to Perdition (2002)
Undoubtedly an Academy Award-worthy performance, no actor could have pulled the role of the head of a powerful Irish mafia John Rooney better than Paul Newman.
13. Brick Top – Snatch (2000)
Portrayed by Alan Ford, the ruthless crime boss spares no chance at showcasing how sadistic and twisted his mind can get as shown when he burned the mother of boxer Mickey to a devastating death.
12. Jabba the Hutt – Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
The only mob boss in the list whose wrath has reached all around the galaxy and not even a human, Jabba the Hutt is one of the most memorable and outright nasty villains Han Solo came across to.
Responsible for numerous illegal operations such as smuggling, slavery, piracy, and gunrunning, the bloated one has been one of the most memorable and notable villains of the Star Wars saga apart from Darth Vader.
11. Paul Vitti – Analyze This (1999)
Born in the Bronx, hanging out with notorious Italian-American criminals in New York, and having an appetite for chaos, Paul Vitti was destined to be a criminal; having joined a street gang at a very early age.
Portrayed by Robert De Niro, the character of Vitti, despite being utterly arm-less, is tough as nails. With connections in the criminal empire, while still a rookie, Vitti would eventually run a powerful mob of his own which would be known as the Vitti Crime Family.
10. Marsellus Wallace – Pulp Fiction (1994)
Throwing off a masseuse from a four-story balcony through a greenhouse for touching his wife’s feet pretty much sums up the aggression and hostility of the black menace named Marsellus Wallace.
Portrayed by Ving Rhames, crime boss Wallace answers neither and explains to no one. Having very few people he can count on, Wallace is the most fierce and intimidating gangster in his area.
9. Frank Lucas – American Gangster (2007)
Low profile, silent, and unlike the majority of the crime bosses, Frank Lucas has a lust for wealth; thus thinking about every aspect of his criminal life in an economical way. Portrayed by Denzel Washington, the character explores the fact that money truly is the root of all evil.
After learning every trick in the book from his boss bumpy Johnson until his death, the drug and wealth-addicted mob boss did not let anything cross his path during his illegal activities.
8. Keyser Söze – The Usual Suspects (1995)
Perhaps the most mysterious of all crime bosses to ever hit the television screen is none other than Keyser Söze due to the fact that no one really knows the status of his existence. Regarded as fiction by some and fact by many, his enigmatic status is what makes the crime boss so unique.
Appeared, so to speak, in the 1995 crime thriller The Usual Suspects, his unidentified role as the central theme of the entire movie makes even the simplest plot a heart-pounding one.
7. Frank White – King of New York (1990)
Resoluteness, determination, power, the powerful drug lord from New York has it all when it comes to the skills and resourcefulness of crime. An unlikely crime boss, Frank White utilizes the most heinous stunts even when attempting to do something good.
After being freed from jail, White decides to turn over a new leaf, as it seems, by making a hospital for his city with the very money he earned by drug trafficking. Portrayed by Christopher Walken, the character has been regarded as one of the best crime bosses dealing with drugs.
6. The Joker – The Dark Knight (2008)
The wrath of the mass-murdering psychopath known simply as the Joker ranges to even his own men. Portrayed by Heath Ledger, the Clown Prince of Crime is not after anything materialistic like power or wealth. The madman just wants to spread chaos.
With the aim of introducing a better class of criminals, what makes the Joker so matchless is the fact that he is one of the very few villains in the theatrical industry to defeat the very hero that stands against everything evil.
5. Al Capone – The Untouchables (1987)
Indeed Alphonse Gabriel Capone was the single most cunning, feared, and ruthless real-life crime boss to ever walk in the city of Chicago and when it comes to actors portraying the mobster, Robert De Niro is second to none.
Agile, smart, equipped with ammunition, laughing in the face of the law, and inciting disorder, Capone exhibits exactly why he is the biggest cheese in the Chicago criminal empire.
4. Frank Costello – The Departed (2006)
The crafty mobster from the Irish neighborhood of South Boston is one of the two movie mob bosses based on real-life criminals. Portrayed by Jack Nicholson, Francis “Frank” Costello is one of the most influential crime bosses of all time.
Gained notoriety for his atrocious image and questionable methods, the role impressively reminded the audience why the real-life counterpart was the most feared and dreadful criminal of his time in the United States of America.
3. Tony Montana – Scarface (1983)
Tony Montana was just an ordinary refugee from Cuba. Quitting his odd jobs and throwing the American Dream in the garbage, Montana quickly adopted the life of crime for a living. The character truly exemplifies how an average Joe can drastically change his life when compelled with determination.
After overthrowing his own boss, Montana reshaped the criminal empire and became the most notorious force, even by regular criminal standards. Unfortunately, his quick-tempered got the best of him as it resulted in his downfall.
2. Michael Corleone – The Godfather Part II (1974)
Indeed if history has taught us anything, it is the fact that you can kill anyone. Filled with redemption and a mind like no one else, as soon as the youngest son of Don Vito Corleone took over the family business, things could only get complicated.
Murdering his brother-in-law and even his own brother are a few of the many examples of how heartless and callous an individual can be even if he meant to make things right; adding the mystique to the crime boss Michael Corleone.
1. Vito Corleone – The Godfather (1972)
Created by Italian American author Mario Puzo, the sheer magnetism of Don Vito Corleone expands beyond the range of criminal stature. Regarded as one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, Vito Corleone is the head of the most powerful crime family in New York.
Referred to as the Godfather, the powerful crime boss considers criminal endeavors as a family business and aims to keep it respectful by abstaining from drugs and utilizing all his powers to fulfill the favors of the people in order to keep them in his debt.
Portrayed by Marlon Brando, the character won an Academy Award for Best Actor, though the legendary actor refused to accept it.
Is there any other movie mob boss that should have been included in our list of the top movie mob bosses of all time? Feel free to leave a comment below!