10 Best British Gangster Movies Ever

British crime cinema at its absolute best.

In Bruges Colin Farrell Brendan Gleeson Ralph Fiennes
Focus Features

Nobody does gangster movies quite like the Brits, eh? The origins of the British crime thriller go back almost 75 years, though the genre truly picked up speed in the late 1960s, with the following three decades in particular serving up a slew of quintessential British gangster romps.

From comedy-laced capers to more serious, unexpectedly character-driven thrillers, these are the ten most influential genre entries that have been copied, parodied and homaged over the years - often successfully, but more often not - and set the groundwork for an entire film industry in of itself.

You need only look to the glut of straight-to-DVD British gangster flicks released every year you've never heard of to observe the popularity of the genre, but to produce something truly, startlingly original is no easy feat.

The fact that only one of these films was released within the last decade, and the list goes all the way back to the 1940s, is proof perfect of both how enduring British crime cinema is, and how tough it is to stand out in such a crowded genre these days...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.