Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Looking at Martin Scorsese’s top five cinematic masterpieces

Reetika Choudhury 

Martin Scorsese truly stands out in the world of cinema. While many directors are fortunate to create just one timeless film, Scorsese has delivered hit after hit for over five decades. Talking about “the best Martin Scorsese films” is like debating the best chili cheese fries-no matter what- they are always pretty amazing. Ranking his films might seem daunting because each one gains more depth and complexity the more you watch them. However, we have taken on the challenge of listing his top 5 films, aiming to do justice to his incredible body of work.

Taxi Driver (1976)

If you appreciate powerful performances and gripping character studies, Taxi driver is a film you shouldn’t miss. While many consider Raging Bull to feature Robert De Niro’s best work, there’s a strong case that his role in Taxi Driver comes in a close second. In this film, De Niro portrays Travis Bickle, a Vietnam War veteran grappling with insomnia and living in New York City. To pass the long, sleepless nights, he becomes a taxi driver. As Bickle’s mental health deteriorates, he becomes increasingly delusional, believing that he can save the world through violent means. The film takes a disturbing turn as we watch his psyche unravel and his ambitions of “cleaning up” the streets through force take hold.

What makes Taxi Driver especially compelling is how director Martin Scorsese brings the psychological turmoil of Bickle and the gritty atmosphere of 1970s New York City to life. If you are a fan of intense dramas and stellar acting, Taxi Driver is a must watch.

Goodfellas (1990)

“Goodfellas” is a must-watch for any movie enthusiast, and it’s not hard to see why. This masterpiece by Martin Scorsese is often hailed as his finest work and stands tall among the greatest crime films ever made. The life of Henry Hill in the mob is portrayed with such style and visual flair that it’s hard to imagine a more captivating movie experience.

From start to finish, “Goodfellas” keeps glued to the screen. The story is not only exciting but also beautifully crafted, featuring numerous standout performances and an unforgettable soundtrack.

The Wolf of Wall Street

If you are ever wondering whether Martin Scorsese still that fiery filmmaking touch has, just give “The Wolf of Wall Street” a spin. Seriously, it’s like a shot of adrenaline for your movie night! Scorsese, even in his 70s, delivers an explosive, hyperactive ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Now, what sets this one apart? Well, forget the typical mobster dramas; here, Scorsese dives into the wild world of finance and fraud with the escapades of con artist Jordan Belfort. But it’s not just about the thrills and spills. “The Wolf of Wall Street” packs a punch with its sharp critique of greed and the darker side of human nature. Plus, it’s not short on laughs either! So just strap in and get ready for a wild ride you won’t soon forget!

Shutter Island (2010)

Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island is a gripping psychological thriller that’s worth your time. It follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniel (played by Leonardo DiCaprico) as he investigates the disappearance of a patient from a high security psychiatric hospital. He’s assisted by his new partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), as they navigate the eerie island. Teddy’s troubled past and some unexpected twists make the movie more intriguing than it first appears, as she senses some deep conspiracy going on in the island.

Shutter Island is a slow-burn movie, but the payoff is well worth it with a powerful ending. It is considered as one of the best psychological thriller films ever made.

The Departed (2006)

Regardless of whether you love mob films and crime dramas, you will definitely love The Departed. This film is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie Internal Affairs and has a touch of Shakespearean tragedy, complete with a Hamlet quote. Written by William Monahan, the film blends Martin Scorsese’s signature loose, free-flowing storytelling with a suspenseful, tightly woven plot.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon star as two cops living double lives- DiCaprio’s character is an undercover cop in the criminal world, while Damon’s character who is a police officer secretly works for the mob. With fatherly Martin Sheen, a sharp Vera Farmiga, an obnoxious mark Wahlberg, and a snarky Alec Baldwin, you get a gripping crime drama where every actor gets a chance to steal the spotlight. The Departed finally earned Scorsese an Oscar for Best Director, and the film also took home the award for Best Picture.

Which of these films by Martin Scorsese is your favorite? Do let us know!

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