Martin Scorsese is largely considered one of the greatest directors of all time, and to many, he’s the greatest, as he has directed gangster classics, timeless biopics, and some beautiful period dramas. And in between directing award-winning films, he has produced a significant amount of movies too, many of which may come as a surprise to his fans.
However, his batting average for producing doesn’t quite reach the near perfection of his directing portfolio, as many of them have bombed at the box office and some have even been labeled the worst movies of the decade in which they were released. But every producer has a bad day at the office and he has also produced some of the best movies of the 21st century.
10 Free Fire (2016)
Being a typically black comedy from the mind of Ben Wheatley, Free Fire is one of his most overtly funny movies, and it’s his movie with the largest amount of star power behind it too, which could very well have been due to Scorsese's clout.
The movie stars Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and loads more, but it didn’t stop Free Fire from becoming one of the worst Ben Wheatley movies.
9 The Snowman (2017)
Many critics felt that The Snowman was one of the worst thrillers of the 2010s, but it could have very well ended up being great. The movie is, unfortunately, a case of studio meddling, as the director wasn’t even finished shooting the full script when he was pulled out of Norway to edit what he had, and how much of this had to do with Scorsese is anybody’s guess.
With Scorsese having so many similar stories regarding studio demands, it’d be safe to say that it wasn’t his decision, but he was the executive producer, so it's difficult to say.
8 The Current War (2017)
The Current War went under everybody’s radar when it was released, and it’s partly because the movie was caught in the middle of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations, as it was being distributed by The Weinstein Company.
It’s a surprise that the movie didn’t even recoup its budget, as it stars some huge names, including Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, and Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Thomas Edison in a hilariously jerk-like fashion, which is just one of the historically accurate things about the movie.
7 Bleed For This (2016)
Scorsese threw his hat in the ring to executive produce Bleed For This, a boxing biopic that follows one of the most incredible comeback stories in the sport’s history.
Though it is not exactly Raging Bull, the movie was a more than serviceable boxing movie and Miles Teller joined the ranks of movie stars who went through an incredible body transformation for a performance. It ended up being one of his most memorable roles too.
6 The Souvenir
The Souvenir is very much an independent movie and features almost no bankable actors, except for Tilda Swinton and a small appearance from Richard Ayoade.
It was named the best film of 2019 by Sight & Sound when they polled 100 critics, and it has a sequel that’s currently in production, which is almost unprecedented for Scorsese, as he hasn’t worked on a sequel since 1986’s The Color of Money.
5 Clockers (1995)
Clockers features Harvey Keitel, which could have very well been Scorsese’s doing, as the actor and director go back decades all the way to Scorsese’s breakout movie, Mean Streets.
Clockers is one of the most underrated Spike Lee joints, as it was a box office bomb when it barely made back half of its budget, but the crime drama about some street level drug dealers has become timeless with its powerful message.
4 The Grifters (1990)
Though The Grifters is an almost by-the-numbers neo-noir movie, as it features the femme fatale, the chiaroscuro aesthetic, and many other tropes of a noir movie, it also features an incredible narrative and houses some terrific performances from John Cusack and Angelica Huston.
Released in 1990, the movie wasn’t as successful as it should have been, but it may have been overshadowed by another Scorsese movie released that year, Goodfellas.
3 The Family (2013)
Not shy of working together, as Scorsese has directed Robert De Niro nine times, the comedic gangster movie starring the prolific actor was also produced by his oldest collaborator. The two have made some classic movies together, and after fans waited for 22 years for another collaboration between the two, The Family answered their call.
The movie is an interesting take on the whole gangster genre, as it follows a family who goes in to witness protection, which is usually the point where gangster movies end, but the silly comedy kept the film from being great.
2 Life Itself (2014)
Life Itself is a documentary movie about the most famous movie critic in history, Roger Ebert. It’s rare when filmmakers pay such huge respect to critics on this level, as it’s usually a love/hate relationship, but Scorsese and Ebert had an incredibly close friendship and the director even appeared on the critic’s show on several occasions.
The documentary is incredibly respectful and it features tons of filmmakers talking about how much of an influence Ebert had.
1 Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems is the crown jewel of Scorsese’s productions, thus far. Not only is it, by far, the best film on this list, but many critics felt it’s the most intense thriller of the 21st century and features the greatest Adam Sandler performance of his career. Uncut Gems is a modern classic and it arguably stands up against some of the best Scorsese movies.
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