5 Movie Criminals We Want to Live Like

Published 1 year ago by

Movie Criminals Live Like Wolf of Wall Street 5 Movie Criminals We Want to Live Like

They say crime doesn’t pay, but Hollywood has a different take on the old adage. For decades, the crime genre has produced some of cinema’s most popular films, providing us regular Joes with a look into the lives of mobsters, gangsters, and other high-profile criminals.

The Wolf of Wall Street is the latest movie to showcase the extravagant lifestyle of a career criminal. Using methods that are “absolutely not” legal, Jordan Belfort and his merry band of stock brokers are able to acquire an unthinkable amount of cash by scamming the wealthiest Americans out of their money – and then bask in the fruits of their labor.

Anyone who has seen the trailers for the film knows that it would be hard to resist the opportunity to be in Belfort’s entourage. Elaborate pool parties, fancy cars, and bikini models on yachts are only a few reasons why most of us would follow in the footsteps of Jonah Hill’s Donnie Azoff by quitting our day jobs to work for Belfort. That got us thinking about the five movie criminals we would want to live like. Obviously, the fall from grace is always around the corner, but the high life is difficult to turn down.


Henry Hill – Goodfellas

Movie Criminals We Want to Live Like Henry Hill 5 Movie Criminals We Want to Live Like

As far back as Henry Hill could remember, he always wanted to be a gangster and one viewing of Goodfellas’ opening sequence will make you want to be one too. In Martin Scorsese’s classic, we are introduced to the protagonist as a wide-eyed youth who is infatuated with becoming a member of the mob. In a monologue filled with optimism, young Henry glamorizes the lifestyle, claiming that there is no better way to be.

Starting from his job at the cabstand as a teenager to an adult working heists with Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito, Henry spends the first part of Goodfellas validating everything he says in those opening minutes. He becomes rich early in his life, enjoys the family nature of the New York mob, doesn’t have to work a “real” job, and commands the utmost respect from the mob’s associates (symbolized by the famous Copacabana sequence). Herein lies the beauty of Goodfellas. It takes people who murder and steal for a living and turns them into relatable characters.

Of course, Henry’s naivety from his childhood comes back to bite him as the less-appealing aspects of gangster life rear their ugly heads in the film’s second half (most notably, FBI helicopters and jail time). Still, through designer suits, expensive meals, and a feeling of invulnerability – however short-lived – we’d still take his experiences over being a schnook.


NEXT PAGE: The Con-Men


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  1. Scarface his house was tacky but awsome especially the water fountain

    when Tony is buying the Porsche i can’t remember the line but he says “the one with the foglights in case i get stuck in a swamp, and one of them phones with scramblers and radar with scanners to pick up flying saucers”

  2. No Frank Costello from The Departed

  3. Ah…

    No, no, no, no, and no.

    Isn’t it long past time to stop glorifying criminals in our society?

    • I’m with this guy with a few exceptions. Glorifying criminals, I think, sends the wrong signal to some of the more impressionable people in modern society. And most depictions don’t show the criminals confront the wrongness of some of their deeds. Sure sometimes there’s a trial and whatnot, but I’m talking about confronting the morality of their actions. If they murdered people, do they even feel sorry for doing that or having done that? Do they understand how worthless their life is, and how they perpetuate a pointless lifestyle where people live and people die, but the world is no better for it? Stuff like that.

      My exceptions are when morality supersedes legality. And I have somewhat of a biased view towards that are Robin Hood types.

      And there’s another kind. Unfortunately, in a society where there are rules, you’ll always have those few that wish to break those rules for whatever reasons. So there are some criminals who try to contain the criminality, take the position of being at the top of the food chain and dictate rules so that the criminality is kept at a certain standard. I can’t think of an example right except an obscure one from literature, the criminal boss in the Dresden Files, Johnny Marcone. Without getting into spoilers, you find out in the series why he decided to position himself on top of the food chain of the criminal world.

      • Henry Hill lived the rest of his life always looking over his shoulder, especially when he broke anonymity to tell his story.

        Tony Montana was brutally murdered by a rival drug lord in his own home after watching his sister die by machine gun fire when his life crumbled around him due to his own actions.

        Frank Abignale Jr was arrested, served time and turned his life around to stop others from committing fraud, much like today’s hackers are sought and employed by the FBI to work for them.

        Three people on a list of 5 who didn’t have much of a life to glorify because it caught up to them in the end.

        It’s like Clarence Boddicker in Robocop. Probably the coolest and most awesome movie villain of all time in my opinion with great lines (“Bitches, leave” being one of my faves), he’s also a brutal, sadistic gang leader who thinks nothing of killing his own men to save his own skin. He’s also committed armed robbery, murder and is a known cop killer.

        He ends up having Robocop’s data spike stabbed into his neck and dies in a puddle of dirty water at an abandoned industrial plant. Definitely not a glorification of crime.

        • Can’t speak for Jeff, but I wasn’t talking about every movie about criminals. And the three movies you mentioned, they spent about most of the movie glorifying it and you’re focusing in on small portions of it, some of it going beyond the movie. You’re going beyond what was presented. And you seem to be suggesting that criminality wasn’t glorified because they were caught in the end with your statement: “didn’t have much of a life to glorify because it caught up to them in the end.” Most of the movies revolving around criminality glorify it for a good portion of the movie, and that’s what most people take away from it. I don’t think all of that glorification simply goes away just because they get caught in the end.

          Selective instances doesn’t really apply. Most of the movies mentioned in this article revolve vastly around those involved on the criminal end. Robocop focuses on the other end. Different focus.

        • The title of this article is “5 Movie Criminals We Want to Live Like”…

          If that doesn’t glorify criminals, I don’t know what does.

    • Weird.

      I tried to refute this silly comment but for some reason, it won’t post, despite several replies and no immature name-calling words used. Not typing it all again.

  4. i was hoping for a little more diversity…

    Robin Hood
    V for Vendetta
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Blank Check

    • NOSTALGIA BOMB! My god, I need to go check if my wife has seen Blank Check.

  5. no mention of Han Solo?

  6. Where’s Dolemite??lol

  7. How in the world could you not mention the Godfather, Marlon Brando. The gentlmanly respect and power this man holds over the media, judges, and polititians can not be understated.

  8. No American Gangster? But wooo! Ocean’s 11 and Catch Me if You Can!

  9. Yeah. Good article but one should be done about corrupt cops and law enforcement that abuses their powers to get an arrest. Now that would be something. Lord knows that happens every day.
    Staying on topic I have always like Danny Ocean from the list. Not on the list, I would add George Jung.