Critically-acclaimed director Martin Scorsese has created numerous iconic films during his long career in Hollywood. The New York-born director made his directorial debut in 1967 but truly came into his own in the 80s and 90s. To date, he has directed over twenty-five full-length feature films. His films include crime dramas, black comedies, music documentaries, and dramatic biopics. Over fifty years after he directed his first film, Scorsese is still going strong, with several upcoming projects planned. Many of Scorsese’s highest-grossing films have risen to the level of modern-day classics, and there’s no doubt he’ll continue adding to his impressive body of work in the years to come.
10. Goodfellas Is An Iconic Martin Scorsese Gangster Movie
Goodfellas is one of Martin Scorsese’s most recognizable films. It was released in 1990 and starred Scorsese’s frequent collaborative partner, Robert De Niro. To this day, it is a gold standard among gangster films. Goodfellas is an adaptation of the nonfiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who helped write the script. The movie was among the top fifty highest-grossing films of 1990 and won Scorsese several Best Director awards domestically and internationally. In addition, the Library of Congress selected Goodfellas for reservation in the Nation Film Registry due to its cultural significance. The film grossed $47,103,483 overall.
9. The Color Of Money Is A Star-Studded Sports Drama
The Color Of Money continues the story of Edward Felson, a high-stakes pool hustler. It is based on a novel by Walter Tevis, which has the same title as the film. This 1986 sports drama starred Paul Newman as Felson, a role which won him his first Academy Award for Best Actor. Additionally, the film featured Tom Cruise, Forest Whitaker, and John Turturro. Critics gave the movie mixed reviews, finding it enjoyable to watch but not quite as good as Scorsese’s other films. However, Martin Scorsese cracked the top twenty list of highest-grossing movies for 1986 with this sports classic. The film grossed a total of $52,293,982.
8. Casino Is Among Martin Scorsese’s Greatest Films To Date
Scorsese was very passionate about directing Casino, which is evident in the final product. Casino was another partnership between Scorsese and author Nichola Pileggi, who teamed with the director to write the movie’s screenplay. The 1995 crime drama starred Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci. Most critics loved the film at the time of its release, and fans enjoy re-watching it as much as they enjoyed seeing it in theaters. Casino was the twenty-fifth highest-grossing film of 1995 and performed well domestically and worldwide. To date, it has grossed $110,400,000.
7. Hugo Is A Highly Award-Nominated Adventure Movie
Hugo is a 2011 adventure film about a newly-orphaned boy from the 1930s. It’s a heartwarming but harrowing story, with a satisfyingly happy ending for the young Hugo. The movie is an adaptation of the novel The Invention Of Hugo Cabret. Despite not performing as well as expected at the box office, Hugo was still within the top fifty highest-grossing films of 2011. Furthermore, the film received eleven Academy Award nominations – the most for any movie that year. Martin Scorsese also won the movie’s third-ever Best Director Golden Globe and received a BAFTA nomination. Hugo grossed $180,047,784 overall, barely surpassing its original budget.
6. Cape Fear Is A Commercially Successful Remake Of A 1962 Thriller
Successfully remaking an established film is always a challenge, but Martin Scorsese succeeded in making Cape Fear a memorable 90s film. Scorsese’s version of the 1962 thriller features cameos by three different actors from the original movie. The story centers around a lawyer, his family, and a former client freshly released from prison. Juliette Lewis and Robert De Niro both won awards for their Cape Fear performances, and critics mostly gave the film positive reviews. Furthermore, the film was overwhelmingly considered a commercial success, ranking twelfth on the list of highest-grossing films for 1991. Cape Fear grossed an impressive $182,291,969.
5. Gangs Of New York Is A Riveting Historical Drama
Martin Scorsese partnered with Robert De Niro on many film projects, but Leonardo DiCaprio also regularly appears in the director’s films. Gangs Of New York stars DiCaprio as Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon. The movie also featured excellent performances from Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day-Lewis. Scorsese worked on the idea for the film for twenty years before it finally came to life on the big screen in 2002. Gangs Of New York was worth the wait: the movie was among the top twenty-five highest-grossing films of 2002 and received multiple award nominations worldwide. The film brought in a total of $183,124,621 in gross profits.
4. The Aviator Is A Dramatized Biography Adaptation
Many of Martin Scorsese’s best films tell the life stories of real people, and The Aviator follows that trend. The movie is an adaptation of a biography written by Charles Higham. It stars Leonardo Dicaprio as Howard Hughes, an aviation specialist and film director trying to balance those two worlds. The film grossed $208,370,892 overall and was among the top twenty-five highest-grossing films of 2004. In addition to box office success, the film received widespread positive reviews from critics. It was also nominated for eleven Academy Awards, fourteen British Academy Film Awards, and six Golden Globe Awards.
3. The Departed Won A Coveted Award For Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese has won many awards in his career, but 2006’s The Departed added an essential accolade to his collection. The crime drama won Scorsese his first-ever Academy Award for Best Director. The Departed was another very successful remake for Scorsese, improving on the original Hong Kong film Internal Affairs. The film’s cast includes many fan-favorite actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, all of whom received nominations for their performances. The movie landed in the top fifteen of the highest-grossing films for 2006, grossing a respectable $289,660,619.
2. Shutter Island Is A Mind-BendingPsychological Thriller
Shutter Island was another very popular Scorsese-DiCaprio film. The 2010 psychological thriller told the enjoyably complicated story of Deputy U.S. Marshall Edward Daniels, who investigates a psychiatric facility on the eponymous island. It is based on a novel of the same name, written by Dennis Lehane and published in 2003. Though the film received somewhat mixed reviews from critics, it was well-received by most moviegoers. Shutter Island was among the top twenty-five highest-grossing films of 2010 and grossed $294,805,697.
1. The Wolf Of Wall Street Is Martin Scorsese’s Most Successful Film
The Wolf Of Wall Street is a darkly comical biopic about Jordan Belfort, a former Wall Street Stockbroker. The film is based on Belfort’s memoir, in which he details the fraud and corruption that ultimately brought his career to a close. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in yet another excellent Scorsese film role, joined by Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie. Controversy surrounded the film, including criminal charges for one of the film’s producers. However, the film was still a massive box office success for Scorsese, grossing $389,918,903. It is his highest-grossing film to date.