Why are gangster movies so appealing?

The film industry is probably one of the most successful in the world of entertainment. With hundreds or thousands of movies released each year, you’ll never run out of options to watch. All these from varying genres – may it be romance, horror, comedy, or fantasy – fans all over the world definitely won’t risk missing the films they look forward to.

But despite having wide options of movies to watch out for, why do gangster movies still appeal to the public and be constantly considered box office hits despite being a controversial theme? Well, there are plenty of reasons for that, which we’ll discuss as you continue reading.


What makes a gangster movie?

A gangster film is something that narrates the life of gangsters and their organized crimes. It’s a subgenre for crime films that’s why these films are usually filled with bloody encounters, rule-breaking and running away from the law, killings, and other violent and illegal acts. These films may also feature legal acts but are somewhat taboo in society, such as gambling, sex working, and others.

At some point, the film industry – especially Hollywood, was stirred by these portrayals. While many people enjoy them, some may find inspiration from such films and copy them in real life. That’s one of the perils that gangster movies face even today.

Despite that, gangster movies still enjoy a fair share of film audiences.


Why are gangster movies popular?

Films like The Godfather, American Gangster, and The Untouchables are among the top-grossing gangster movies of all time, which are still popular today. Aside from that, today’s digital streaming platforms also produce films of the gangster genre, such as the Netflix films The Irishman (2019), iBoy (2017), and The Drug King (2018).


Some of the key elements of these films include daring, thrilling actions, and most especially, freedom from societal constraints. Doesn’t matter if the films talk about the law-breakers (such as mafia bosses) or they focus on the law enforcers (such as the police or FBI), filmmakers always find their ways returning to the subject from time to time.


These films talk about a reality that most people admire

Gangster movies, being a subgenre for crime films, usually depict the real-life stories of organized crimes and gangs through time. Either the audience can see it as an inspiration or they can relate to these kinds of films in one way or another. There is also a simple thrill seeing a gangster cash out all the coins from a slot machine using an improvised slot hacking device.

If you notice, most gangster films talk about society’s misfits who found their way to become a big-time and get a hold of power. Although the general message may sometimes be negative since being a law-breaker is highly condemned by society, people can empathize with the characters’ hardships.


These films may also explore the themes of power, loyalty, and betrayal, which are relatable for most people.

Being able to catch people’s emotions is what makes gangster movies appealing to general audiences.

Moreover, some of these films also reveal the faults in society, such as corruption within the law enforcers. People definitely find interest in learning possible loopholes within the government.


They’re full of action

Entertainment-wise, gangster movies will really make you sit back or make your heart leap. That’s because aside from the general message that they are communicating, how they are being conveyed is another factor why people love these films.

Filmmakers of gangster films usually make them thrilling and full of action. With that, we’re talking about all those epic fight scenes, gunfights, and bone-wrecking chases between the protagonists and antagonists or vice versa – which are oddly entertaining among adults. That’s also why these films usually have age restrictions and are only for adults.

There’s no denying why such film production appeals to the public. You won’t even want to blink so as not to miss the epic highlight scenes.


Breaking the rules and facing the consequences

As mentioned earlier, what most people find satisfying about these movies is how characters break the rules and then find themselves facing the consequences of their actions. So it’s fun to break rules, sometimes, but it’s a different level of fun if you don’t have to face consequences – and movie characters will do that for you.

Even though you’re watching blood-splattering stories from any crimes, violence, and death that films portray, you’re safe in front of your screen. Also, gangster films may give people the chance to fantasize about the life of dangerous criminals without having to face the consequences.

It’s undeniably satisfying to watch gangsters fighting one another, being chased and running away from the law, and doing illegal acts as a way of escape.


In this world where righteousness is what should be practiced or you’ll be prosecuted by the law, films that portray otherwise can be a good escape. That’s the beauty of art in film, you’ll be able to be entertained and enjoy countless stories, even when it’s about illegal acts, without fearing bad consequences.