One of the hottest topics in the cinema world these days is the brilliant show Peaky Blinders which is sadly facing its final season. We have been waiting for it for three long years and now must accept that there will be no more Shelby brothers and their anecdotes. They reminded us of some beloved movies. They were probably even based on them. Gangster family who climbs to the top, very often mercilessly. Relationships between siblings, feelings such as jealousy, passion and envy.
These and many more things are why we don’t want this show to end. But it will eventually. It is a great opportunity to rewatch some movies similar to it and even better, discover new ones which will in some way remind us of the show. It doesn’t have to be the topic itself. We will definitely want to see some of these greatest actors somewhere else. Here is the list of 15 movies you should watch if you liked Peaky Blinders.
Once Upon a Time in America
The 1984 classic, a brilliant and unforgettable noir crime drama about the rise of the mob world in the United States. We follow a group of Jewish best friends who slowly become leaders of a big New York mafia organisation. Strong family connections and the ones between friends. A story about betrayal, love and hate. One that you will certainly recommend to others. A classic among the movies of the same genre and certainly one many others were based upon.
Followed by a wonderful score by Enio Morricone and directed by one of the greatest directors, Sergio Leone, the movie carries us to that period and gives us an excellent picture of New York at the beginning of the 20th century. Same time period and similar storyline makes it a must watch for everyone who enjoyed Peaky Blinders. And let’s not forget the creme de la creme of the acting world at that time. Robert de Niro, James Woods and Joe Pesci simply cannot be missed.
Once again Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci, this time under Martin Scorsese’s management. And it hardly gets any better. This biographical crime drama shows us what can happen when you step too deep into the world of organised crime. It is not easy to be on the top all the time. You start losing not only your friends, but also family members.
The movie shows what happens when people get too greedy and it is a great parallel to Peaky Blinders, especially when it comes to two main characters. Tommy is just like Henry Hill, he just can’t get enough of the power and wealth that surround him.
A story of three brothers Bondurant and their feuds and their relationship with the deputy Charley Rakes. Set in the Prohibition era in Virginia, this movie won’t let you rest until its very end. It will remind you of Peaky Blinders numerous times, you will probably compare it to the show. It is always interesting to observe a similar story from different point of views, various settings and through the same type of characters.
Gangs of New York
The name itself implies that this movie might interest you if you liked Peaky Blinders. Again gangsters, opposite sides, individuals who become involved in different criminal activities. Set a bit earlier than Peaky Blinders, this movie talks about Catholic-Protestant feud which gradually started becoming much more. It is a part of history which is very important for the Irish immigrants and their battle for independence in the USA.
Once again there is one of the most promising and unforgettable casts ever, having Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo di Caprio as the main protagonists, followed by Jim Broadbent, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Marsan and many more.
Once again New York and once again 1930s. It is the time when gangsters weren’t always portrayed by people as criminals. Some thought of them as national heroes who fight against the government and care for their citizens. Similar to Tommy Shelby.
He wasn’t always seen as a bad guy, but someone who might change the way the things were dealt with at the time. Public Enemies is an action packed Michael Mann’s movie, with always great Johnny Depp whom we really love to see playing gangsters.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
We are not lying when we say that our first association to Peaky Blinders is Tommy Shelby. And this wouldn’t be possible without the masterful acting by Cillian Murphy. The blue eyed Irishmen has filmed so many beautiful and memorable movies before this show, but he will be remembered as Tommy.
It doesn’t mean that we should forget about some of his earlier works. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a sad story about two Irish brothers who fight the British army. Cillian has already shown the intensity of his acting and dedication to the portrayal of his characters.
Another movie which is connected to Peaky Blinders not only through its topic, but the actor as well. Tom Hardy was perfect in the show as the Jewish gangster who is responsible for so many unforgettable scenes and quotes. He plays two brothers here, two criminal legends who dominate the London gangster scene.
Atmosphere, some situations and the similarity between Tommy Shelby and Reggie and Ronnie Kray are something that will definitely make you watch this movie. And Tom Hardy, of course.
Al Pacino, Brian de Palma, Oliver Stone. I think these names themselves tell us everything. Although set a bit later than Peaky Blinders, this movie definitely had some similarities to the show. An individual who becomes one of the most famous and notorious criminals ever. Starting as a nobody and ending as the biggest, Tony Montana is the name that must be mentioned when it comes to crime stories. We can only hope that Tommy Shelby won’t meet his destiny, too.
A true story about a young FBI cop who infiltrated himself in one of the most famous gangster families. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp delivered masterful performances in this crime drama which maybe isn’t too similar to Peaky Blinders at first. Still, we can find some similarities between the characters and we won’t be disappointed if we watch this excellent movie as a continuation of Peaky Blinders.
One of the most memorable movies about narco bosses and mafia organisations is definitely Carlito’s Way. Unforgettable performance by Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante and simply outstanding Sean Penn as a young, hotheaded Bronx gangster Benny Blanco will remind you of Peaky Blinders in many ways. The details which we learn about criminal organisations, the relationships between their members and the cruelty they operate with are the biggest similarities to the show.
Road to Perdition
This neo-noir period crime drama movie is set in 1931 during the Great Depression. This time period is very well described in Peaky Blinders and therefore a good connection to this excellent movie. Directed by Sam Mendes, with some of the best Hollywood actors such as Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law.
Once again a story about Irish gangsters, but as always, a story about family and their ways of dealing with each other. These two motives are so often intertwined that we cannot separate big, loud families from the shady businesses some of their elders get themselves into.
City of God
A Brazilian masterpiece, this movie shows us what was going on in the infamous Rio de Janeiro favelas in the second half of the 20th century. Once again violence, blood and murders. Once again individuals who entered the world of organised crime and don’t know how to get out of it. Or maybe don’t want to? What is actually the destiny of those young ones who don’t have the opportunity to become someone better? Tommy Shelby had it, but decided to step on the other side.
This list is governed by Martin Scorses and his movies. This movie gives us an insight into the world of Irish mafia bosses. It follows the story of the Boston kingpin Frank Costello who ruled the city at the time. This movie shows us that gangsters are always one step ahead and that people can never rely on what is presented to them. It is never what it looks like. Just like in Peaky Blinders. There is always someone who is connected to the Shelby brothers. They always know and will always be informed.
New York City mob, a biographical drama, a movie that must be mentioned. It is a story about the rise and fall of one of the most famous American gangsters, Frank Lucas. An interesting view of the criminal mind and way of thinking. Are they ready to surrender and at what cost? Do they always stay true to what they are doing? Is there a price for their knowledge and eventually their confessions?
This list is not complete without this masterpiece, one of the greatest movies of all time and one of the greatest gangster stories ever. But this is not only a story about gangsters. This is a story about family. And that’s why it is so close to Peaky Blinders.
This is why this movie is the first that comes to mind when we want to see something similar to the show. Exceptional in every segment, from Nino Rota’s music to the fantastic directing by F.F. Coppola and the unforgettable performances by some of the greatest actors ever.