Hollywood’s New Favorite Child: Top 10 Mexican Gangster Movies Of All Time 

Hollywood’s New Favorite Child: Top 10 Mexican Gangster Movies Of All Time 

Do you love watching hood movies or gangster movies? If so, you might want to watch these classic Mexican Gangster movies of all time that became a hit among the masses. If you loved watching violence, glamour, murders, illegal trades and mob life-based movies you would, like these Mexican gangster movies. 

Since the release of Godfather, gangster crime thriller movies have got a fan following of their own. People love outlaws or mob bosses who do not care about anything but their own goals. What attracts people to these kinds of movies is the sheer power to overtake even law which often people are bound by in real life. 

This creates a kind of escapism for audiences who love watching gangster crime genre movies. Be it American gangsters or Irish mob boss or Mexican mafias, people love their gangster crime movies. 

So, we have provided a list of gangster movies Mexican and American loves equally. In this article you will find the top 10 Mexican gangster movies of all time. 

Top 10 Mexican Gangster Movies Of All Time

Top 10 Mexican Gangster Movies Of All Time

Here is the list of Mexican gangster movies that are timeless and loved by people across the globe.  

Americana Me (1992)

Americana Me is among the best Mexican gangster movies of all time that stars Edward James Olmos, Sal Lopez, William Forsythe and Vira Montes. Americana Me is directed by Edward James Olmos. Americana Me is loosely based on the real-life Mexican gangster, Rodolfo Cadena. 

Americana Me follows the life of Montoya Santana (played by Edward James Olmos), who is an American- Mexican mob boss who rise to power in American leader of Chicano gang. He is imprisoned for his crimes and still rises to become a gang leader of La Eme, a prison gang. 

Americana Me explores the world of gang life and its harsh realities. The movie puts forwards all the crimes and circumstances that led to Montoya becoming the gangster. The movie also throws light on violence on Latino Americans or Hispanics. 

Blood In Blood Out (1993)

Blood In Blood Out is a gangster crime movie directed by Taylor Hackford which was released in 1993. Blood In Blood Out is on the top of the list of classic Mexican gangster movies. The movie is based on the real-life experiences of Jimmy Santiago Baca. 

Blood In Blood Out stars Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Pratt and Damian Chapa. The movie revolves around Milko (Chapa), Paco (Bratt) and Cruz (Borrego), three Chicano cousins who live in a Los Angeles neighborhood full of gangs.  

Their circumstances make them join a gang and how the influence of the gangster world affects their lives. The movie navigates the Chicano cousins struggle to survive the gang life while maintaining family ties as well. 

The movie title ‘Blood In Blood Out’ symbolizes the initiative ritual the cousins take to join the gang. To join the gang, one needs to kill someone and leaving the gang is even harder as only through death you can leave the gang. 

Boulevard Nights (1979)

Boulevard Nights is a neo noir crime genre movie directed by Michael Pressman. The movie stars Danny De La Paz and Richard Yniguez. Boulevard Nights is one of the best Mexican gangster movies of the period. 

Boulevard Nights explores the gang life of Los Angeles from the eyes of Latino Americans brothers, Raymond (Yniguez) and Chuco (Paz). The movie explores the lives of these two brothers who live in the East Los Angeles neighborhood full of gangs.  

The movie explores the desire for the American dream which is a dream of better life for the family but Raymond’s loyalty towards his gang might destroy the dream. 

Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life, 1993)

Mi Vida Loca is a coming-of-age crime drama directed and written by Allison Anders. Mi Vida Loca stars Angel Aviles, Salma Hayek Marlo Marron, and Seidy Lopez. The movie follows the lives of Sad girl (Aviles), Giggles (Marron), Gata (Hayek), Mousie (Lopez) and Baby Doll (Christina Solis). 

These are all fellow gang members living in Echo Park, Los Angeles whose lives are affected by violence around them. From growing up in the gang led neighborhood to living a life in the same neighborhood, the movie explores relationships in a gang filled neighborhood.  

Complex emotions are explored by the lead actors as they struggle to maintain their family life, friends and gang activities all together. My crazy Life is among the best Latino Americans female led Mexican gangster movies of all time. 

Mi Familia (1995)

Mi Familia or My Family is one of the Mexican gangster movies which explores the multi-generational Latino American family living in East Los Angeles. The movie is directed by Gregory Nava and written by Anna Thomas. 

Mi Familia stars Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits and Esai Morales. The movie shows the lives of three generations of Hispanic family who immigrated from Mexico to start a new life in East Los Angeles. 

Zoot Suit

Zoot Suit is based on the real-life events about murder trial called the ‘the Sleepy Lagoon trial.’ The trial was based on a group of Mexican American youths who was charged with murder which results in the Zoot Suit Riots in 1940s. Zoot Suit is directed by Luis Valdez and written by him as well. 

The movie stars Daniel Valdez who plays the role of 21, year old Chicano youth, Henry Reyna and Edward James Olmos as his narrator “El Pachuco.”  

Valdez portrays the character of Henry exceptionally as a racially profiled convict by police in a murder case. He expresses the emotions and conflicts he faces as a convict who is arrested in a murder case based on his race. 

The movie explores the racism and discrimination faced by the Hispanic community in the 1940s. This movie is among the list of Mexican gangster movies which explores racism other community faces in America. 

Colors (1988)

Colors is a police procedural action crime movie that revolves around two cops Bob Hodges, a senior LAPD officer and a veteran of Vietnam War and Danny McGavin, a rookie officer.  

The movie shows the equation between a cool mature cop who preaches “rapport” among gang members when patrolling local streets and McGavin, an aggressive enthusiastic cop who is desperate to attack criminals and rule breakers. The movie is directed by Dennis Hopper and the story by Michael Schiffer and Richard Di Lello. Colors stars Sean Penn as Danny Mc Gavin and Robert Duvall as Bob Hodges. 

Stand And Deliver (1988)

Another 1988 another American movie that falls under gangster movie genre yet stand on its own as one of the unique gangster genre movies.  

Stand and Deliver is a movie based on Jaime Escalante who was a high school mathematics teacher in the early 1980s. He taught in a school that was attended mostly by Latino Americans from working-class families. 

Stand and Deliver is directed by Ramon Menendez and stars Edward James Olmos as Jamie, and Lou Diamond Phillips and Rosanna DeSoto. The movie shows how two students who are gangsters come to the high school to the high school challenges the mathematics teacher, Jaime who introduces himself to them s “one-man gang.” 

Carlito’s Way (1993)

Carlito’s Way is another one of the top Mexican gangster movies which is based on the novel of the same name and After Hours (1979) written by Judge Edwin Torres. The movie stars Al Pacino, Penelope Ann Miller, Sean Pen, and Luiz Guzman. 

Carlito’s Way revolves around Carlito Brigante, Puerto Rican- American former gangster who plans to lead a straight life after his imprisonment is over. He pledges to stay away from his past life of violence and drugs, but it is harder than he thought because of his past actions.  

The promise to leave his past behind is harder than he imagined when he gets dragged into the same activities which led to his imprisonment. Al Pacino phenomenally portrays the role of Carlito Brigante. Carlito’s Way is among the top position in the list of Mexican gangster movies. 

Walk Proud (1979)

Walk Proud is a Mexican hood movie directed by Robert L. Collins. The movie stars Sarah Holcomb, Robby Benson, Pepe Serna, Henry Darrow, Ji-Tu Cumbuka and Trinidad Silva. Walk Proud is among the top Mexican gangster movies in 1979 along with Boulevard Nights, The Wanderers and Over the Edge. 

The movie revolves around Emilio Mendez, a young Chicano gang member who starts questioning his gangster lifestyle. Emilio is played by Robby Benson, who beautifully portrays the conflicts faced by Emilio who wants an escape out of his gang life. 


Gangster crime genre movies have had a huge fan base especially from 1920s since the release of Underworld movie in 1927. This movie was in the Pre-code era when no regulations were set on what scenes were to be shown in gangster crime movies.  

This led to several great Gangster movies like Scarface, Goodfellas, Little Caesar and the Public Enemy. These movies highlighted the gangster scene to the masses popularizing the genre. Sex, murders, violent crimes, illegal drug trades and profanities were shown in the pre-code era movies. 

Similarly, since Mexico is neighboring to America several illegal trades took place in Mexico-America border resulting in several gangs forming. This led to several Mexican gangster movies being made based on real life gangsters or inspired from real life gangsters. 

Now that you have learned about these Mexican gangster movies, which movie would you like to watch first? Or did you previously watch anyone these Mexican gangster movies? If so let us know which movie you watched.

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Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favorite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel, and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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