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The 40 best crime movies

1. Goodfellas (1990)

What's not to love about Goodfellas? Chronicling a young man's desire to be a part of a New York crime family, Martin Scorsese's 1990 adaptation of Henry Hill's memoir still bristles with verve, energy and wit, twenty five years on.

"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," Ray Liotta's voiceover explains, overlaying shots of Hill as a youngster watching the neighbourhood's mobsters come and go, the allure of their glamorous, powerful lives too much for the impressionable kid. It's a gripping start that's so immensely watchable, it's impossible to look away or not feel as if you're rooting for the good guys when Henry and Jimmy (a flawless Robert De Niro) pull off the Lufthansa job. Or when Nicky (an equally as impressive Joe Pesci) goes off at the group's dogsbody Spider and kills him.

Everything about the film seems as fresh and modern, as if it had been made today. From the work of Scorsese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker to the perfectly-orchestrated tracking shot of Henry and Karen entering the Copacabana through the staff entrance, Goodfellas still puts its imitators to shame.

Gem Seddon
Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.