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  • 1. Dennis Hopper’s masterpiece COLORS (1988) is a crime film depicting the 1980s gang war between the Bloods and Crips. The film has historical references to the creation of the gang unit known as CRASH and mildly depicts the stresses of being a law enforcement officer and the differing views on law enforcement practices.
  • 2. Directed by Billy Corbin, Cocaine Cowboys (2006) is a documentary based on the early 1980s Miami drug trade and one of the most dangerous drug traffickers known as the Godmother Griselda Blanco.
  • 3. Donnie Brasco (1997), directed by Mike Newell, is a biographical crime film about FBI Special Agent Joe Pistone’s infiltration into the Bonnano crime family under the fake name Donnie Brasco.
  • 4. Goodfellas (1990), directed by Martin Scorcese, is a biographical film told by the character Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) about his rise into the Mafia and his role in the fall of the Lucchese crime family.
  • 5. Brian De Palma’s controversial film Scarface (1983) is a fictional tale of the rise of a Cuban immigrant Tony Montana who rises into the drug world and takes over a drug cartel. The character Tony Montana was largely based on the notorious gangsters Al Capone and Griselda Blanco.
  • 6. The Outsiders (1983), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a fictional tale that explores the cultural styles of 1950s street youth gangs through a story about rival gangs known as “greasers” and “socials.”
  • 7. BOYZ N THE HOOD (1991), directed by John Singleton, is a fictional tale about a group of childhood friends and their different paths while growing up in the ghetto of Los Angeles, having to face the problems of gangs, drugs, and teenage pregnancy.
  • 8. The Untouchables (1987), directed by Brian De Palma, is a film about FBI Agent Elliot Ness and his devotion to creating a team of agents who were not corruptible in order to combat Chicago gangster Al Capone.
  • 9. 12 Angry Men (1957), directed by Sidney Lumet, is a fictional story about a jury that must decide the fate of a young man accused of murder. One dissenting juror slowly argues his point of view on why he believes the defendant is innocent of the crime he is accused.
  • 10. Hoodlum (1997), directed by Bill Duke, is a biographical film based on the 1930s numbers racket in Harlem, the rise of Bumpy Johnson, and a looming mafia war among gangsters Dutch Schultz and Charles “Lucky” Luciano.
  • 11. Bonnano: A Godfather’s Story (1999), directed by Michel Poulette, is a biographical film about the life of Bonnano crime family godfather Joseph Bonnano from his birth in Italy to being the leader of the American Mafia.
  • 12. Against the Wall (2004), directed by John Frankenheimer, is a movie based on the true story of the 1971 Attica prison uprising that led to a prison take-over by inmates who made demands for better prison conditions.
  • 13. Larry Clark directed one of the most controversial movies ever when he directed Bully (2001). This film follows the real life story of two friends, Marty and his bully Bobby, that leads to a murder that shakes the suburban town of Weston in South Florida.
  • 14. Blow (2001), directed by Ted Demme, is a biographical crime story based on the life of George Jung who was part of the Medellin drug cartel and smuggled a large amount of cocaine into the United States during the 1970s.
  • 15. Michael Moore in his documentary Bowling for Columbine (2002) explores the historical roots and causes for gun violence in the United States.