5. Taxi Driver (1976)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
> Average critic rating: 9.05/10
Martin Scorsese reached the top ranks of directors with this gritty look at the chaos and violence of New York City in the 1970s. Robert De Niro, the taxi driver, is repulsed by the decadence around him and resorts to violence to free teenage hooker Jodie Foster from a life of prostitution.
4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
> Genre: Drama
> Directed by: Frank Darabont
> Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
> Average critic rating: 8.21/10
“The Shawshank Redemption,” nominated for seven Academy Awards, is the story of a prisoner wrongly jailed for two murders. He exacts his revenge on the warden who won’t free him despite evidence that he did not commit the killings.
3. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
> Genre: Western
> Directed by: Sergio Leone
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards
> Average critic rating: 9.01/10
“Once Upon a Time in the West” is considered one of the best Westerns of all time. The film was directed by Sergio Leone, famous for his “spaghetti Westerns” of the 1960s. The plot centers on a young woman (Claudia Cardinale) who moves to the Utah frontier from New Orleans and finds her entire family slain. She hires a gunman, played by Jason Robards, to find the killers, led by a psychopathic assassin (Henry Fonda).
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
> Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine
> Average critic rating: 8.85/10
The revenge angle in “The Dark Knight,” starring Christian Bale as Batman, centers around a crusading district attorney played by Aaron Eckhart. As the Joker sows chaos around Gotham City, the district attorney’s face is disfigured by an explosion triggered by the archvillain. The blast also kills the woman he loves. The DA is bent on revenge and believes everything should be decided by chance, by flipping a coin to determine whether a person lives or dies.
1. The Godfather (1972)
> Genre: Crime, Drama
> Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
> Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton
> Average critic rating: 9.27/10
Marlon Brando won the Best Actor Oscar for playing Don Corleone in “The Godfather,” but the movie was as much Al Pacino’s as it was Brando’s. That’s because Pacino, who succeeds his father as the mob don, plots to wipe out the killers of his older brother, his first wife, and the gangsters who tried to kill his father.