Brooklyn is one of the most known places in the world. It is the most populous county in New York City and the second-most densely populated in the United States.
Songs have been composed about Brooklyn, and authors have written books about Brooklyn, so it is not a shocker that there would be movies about Brooklyn.
I am sure that you have seen the Brooklyn Bridge in many movies.
This article will look into the movies that talked about Brooklyn and the people living there. The list will be in chronological order.
1. The Lords of Flatbush (1974)
The Lords of Flatbush is a 1 hour 26 minutes American drama film. Martin Davidson and Stephen Verona directed it. The lead roles were played by Perry King, Henry Winkler, and Sylvester Stallone.
The story is about teenagers from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The teenagers often wore leather jackets and were involved in gang-related activities.
They used to hang out at a local malt shop to chase girls, shoot pools and even steal cars.
The film has been rated 67% on rotten tomatoes and 53 out of 100 on Metacritic. For the most part, however, the film was considered a low-budget film.
2. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dog Day Afternoon is a 2hour 30 minutes film that was produced in 1975. It is an American biographical crime drama movie that was produced by directed by Martin Elfand and Martin Bregman. The director of the Movie was Sidney Lumet.
The stars of the Movie are John Cazale, James Broderick, Charles Durning, and Al Pacino. The movie is based on a Life magazine article by P. F. Kluge and Thomas Moore known as “The Boys in the Bank.”
The story involves one of the first Savings banks in Brooklyn known as chase at the Manhattan branch. Three friends Sonny Wortzik, Salvatore, and Stevie plan to rob the bank. But, unfortunately, Stevie flees and spoils the plan even before it started.
Sonny creates suspicion when he burns the register in a trash can, and the smoke from the burning register creates suspicion outside. In the movie, we see the authorities working together to resolve the situation.
The movie was nominated for seven golden globes. From the nomination, it got one. Moreover, it got six nominations for the academy awards.
3. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Saturday Night Fever is a 1hour 59-minute dance drama film. It was produced by Robert Stigwood and directed by John Badham. The stars of the Movie are John Travolta and Karen Gorney.
The movie is based on “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” an article by Nik Cohn. Nik Cohn is a music writer, and he published the article in June of 1976 in the New York magazine.
The movie had a tremendous effect on the popular culture that existed in the late 1970s. The disco music that was becoming popular in Brooklyn was shown in the movie. In addition, the film showed aspects of the music, dancing, and the subculture that surrounded the disco era.
The entire film was shot in Brooklyn. People viewed it as one of the best movies of 1977. Based on 49 reviews, it had a rating of 82% on rotten tomatoes.
Although it has received many praises, the film has also received many criticisms. One of the criticisms was that the film was wrongfully credited for sparking the disco culture.
4. Last Exit To Brooklyn (1989)
Last Exit To Brooklyn is a German-British drama film that is 1 hour 43 minutes long. Uli Edel directed the film. The people who starred in the Movie were Stephen Lang, Jennifer, Jason Leigh, Burt Young, Peter Dobson, and Jerry Orbach.
The film explores the complicated lives of some people living in Brooklyn. These people include prostitutes, unionized workers, and drag queens. The neighborhood is characterized by violence, crime, and addiction to drugs.
The film got many positive reviews, including the 78% it garnered on rotten tomatoes. It, however, did not become a commercial success as expected because of limited distribution and a low-key subject matter.
5. Hey Good Lookin (1982)
Hey Good Lookin is a 1 hour 17 Minute American adult animated movie. Ralph Bakshi wrote and produced this comedy-drama film. The stars of the Movie are Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jesse Welles, and Tina Bowman.
The film’s set in the 1950s, and the story focuses on Vinnie, a gang leader. The Stompers is the name of his gang. The Stormers live in Brooklyn, where there exist multiple gangs.
The movie looks into rival gang feuds and related crimes such as murder and even prostitution.
Although the movie is decent, it has received many negative reviews from critics. One critic commented, “not exactly incoherent, but whatever it originally had on its mind seems to have slipped away.”
6. Do The Right Thing (1989)
Do the right thing is a 2-hour comedy-drama film that was released in 1989. Spike Lee directed and wrote the script for the movie. The movie stares Spikes Lee, Martin Lawrence, Ossie Davis, Rosie Perez, Richard Edson, Ruby Dee, Samuel L Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Danny Aiello.
The story looks into the racial tension that is rising in one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods. The movie’s attention is on the life of Mookie, a 25-year-old African American Man, and his Italian-American boss Sal.
Saul’s eldest son Pino is racist. He and Mookie get into arguments often concerning racism. Things get tense when Mookies friend Buggin questions Sal about his ‘Wall of Fame. He tells Sal to put up pictures of black celebrities since he runs his business in a black neighborhood.
Buggin starts a boycott on Sal’s pizzeria after Sal refuses to honor his request. This results in the death of one of Buggin’s friends and the destruction of Sal’s pizzeria.
The film was ranked one of the best movies in 1989 by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. However, the movie did spike some controversy as some reviewers thought it would incite black audiences to riot.
7. Straight Out of Brooklyn (1991)
Straight out of Brooklyn is a 1 hour 30 minutes independent film. Matty Rich directed it. This marked his directorial debut. The stars of the Movie were George T. Odom, Ann D. Sanders, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., and Mark Malone.
The movie explores the life of an African American teen called Denis. Dennis lives in the Red Hook housing project in Brooklyn with his mother, sister, and an alcoholic father who is also abusive. Dennis becomes tired of the life he is living and plans to rob a local drug dealer together with his friend.
The movie shows the struggle of how a young man gets into crime because of poverty. In the Brooklyn Red Hook projects, many people are poor, and the crime rate is high. So people sought to crimes to try and elevate themselves from their poverty.
The movie not only receives positive reviews but also got nominated for awards. The movie earned a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival that was held in 1991.
8. Little Odessa (1994)
Little Odessa is a 1 hour 38 minutes American Crime drama film that was released in 1994. James Gray wrote and directed the movie, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave, Maximilian Schell, and Moira Kelly.
The movie follows the life of Arkady Shapira, his wife Irina, and their two sons. Russian-Jewish mafia in Brooklyn has recruited Joshua, who is the elder son of Arkady, to be their hitman.
Joshua commits a series of murders at the command of the mafia. This includes killing and burning the body of a local Jeweler.
The movie shows the insecurity and gang-related violence that is experienced in Brooklyn. As a result, the movie gained a lot of positive reviews from its audience. At the Venice film festival, it earned a Silver Lion.
9. Crooklyn (1994)
Crooklyn is an autobiographical movie that Spikes Lee directed. The stars of the movie include Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee, and Zelda Harris.
The film focuses on a young girl who lives in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and her family. We see the girl, whose name is Troy, learn life lessons while living in that neighborhood.
Crooklyn shows the kind of life that people lived in Brooklyn in the 1970s. They explored certain aspects, such as the games played by the kids on the streets at that time. The setting is different from what is currently happening in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Right now, children are afraid to go outside and play in the streets.
Crooklyn has received good ratings from those who have watched it. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has received a 77% rating as of October 2017. According to Spikes Lee, this was a personal project that warmly showed his childhood.
10. Clockers (1995)
Clockers is a 2-hour American crime drama film that Spikes Lee directed. Spike Lee and Richard price wrote it. It is an adaptation of the 1992 movie by Richard price, also known as Clockers.
The stars of the Movie are Delroy Lindo, Mekhi Phifer, John Turturro, and Harvey Keitel. The movie tells the story of Strike (Phifer), who is a street-level drug dealer.
A group of clockers, also known as street-level drug dealers, sells drugs within their community in a Brooklyn housing project. Rodney, the drug lord, sends his leading clocker strike to kill another dealer known as Adam, stealing from him.
Rocco, who is a detective, tries his best to uncover the murderers of Adam. He tries to pit the gang members against each other and succeeds. This is in an attempt to persuade Spikes to confess and turn on his drug lord.
Spikes is labeled a snitch by the rest of the gang. In the end, Spikes leaves town so that the gang members would not kill him.
The story centered on gun violence and drug trafficking that is rampant in Brooklyn. The movie generally received good reviews from the public.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie had a 71% approval rate based on 58 reviews. However, one critic stated that the movie was more emotional and less factual when compared to the original story.
11. Deuces Wild (2002)
Deuces Wild is a 1 hour 40 minutes American crime drama film. The movie was written by Paul Kimatian and Christopher Gambale and directed by Scott Kalvert. It stars James Franco, Fairuza Balk, Stephen Dorff, Matt Dillon and Brad Renfro.
The film is set in 1958 in Brooklyn. The movie explores the existence of street gangs in Brooklyn around that time. We can see their activities and why the people living in Brooklyn decide to join gangs in the first place.
The movie is centered on the lives of Bobby and Leon as gang members of Dueces. Ever since their brother died of an overdose of drugs, they have been trying to keep it off their streets. However, they are opposed by the Vipers, who are determined to sell their drugs within the neighborhood.
There is so much killing around the neighborhood as even Leon gets shot at killed. Marco, who is the Leader of the Viper, is also shot and killed.
In this movie, we see the strained relationship between the police and some of the residents. Before his death, Marco has wanted to revenge on Leon for ratting him out to the police.
However captivating the film seemed to be, it received so many negative reviews. However, on Rotten Tomatoes, it got a 3% approval rating.
12. Brooklyn Lobster (2005)
Brooklyn Lobster is a 1 hour 33 minutes American drama film that Martin Scorsese wrote and produced. Kevin Jordan directed the movie. The stars of the Movie are Danny Aiello and Jane Curtin.
Giorgio’s Lobster Farm has been a tradition in Brooklyn for over 65 years. The establishment serves the best seafood in the state.
After facing grave financial troubles, the Giorgio family tries to save their family business. However, everyone is under pressure because the business that holds the family’s identity is about to be taken away.
In the end, a long-term customer saves the buys the business and partners up with the owners of Brooklyn Lobster.
13. Brooklyn Rules (2007)
Brooklyn Rules is a 1 hour 49 Minutes American crime drama movie. The film was written by Terence Winter and directed by Michael Corrente. The movie stars Scott Caan, Jerry Ferrara, Mena Suavi, Freddie Prinze and Alec Baldwin.
The movie is set in the 1980s, exploring the activities of gangs in the area. In the movie, a group of lifelong friends gets themselves involved with the Brooklyn Mafia.
Michael, a pre-law student, Bobby, who works in the post office, and carmine, who loves a lavish lifestyle, are the movie’s center. Carmine is a good-looking lady killer who is involved with the mafia and loves that kind of lifestyle.
In the movie, we can see that sometimes members are recruited into gangs, not because of their liking but because they are forced. Bobby and Michael are getting involved with the mafia despite their reluctance.
The movie received numerous reviews from the public, which contained mixed feelings. Based on 40 reviews, the movie got an approval rating of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, it scored 53 out of 100, based on the reviews of 13 critics.
14. We own the night (2007)
We own the night is a 1 hour 58-minute American action thriller movie. James Gray wrote the script for the movie and directed it. The leading roles were played by Eva Mendes, Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Duval, and Mark Wahlberg. The name of the movie comes from the motto of the NYPD’s Street Crimes Unit.
The motto was, however, disbanded in 2002.
Just like many others on this list, the film speaks to the crimes committed by gang members in Brooklyn.
Booby starts as a manager at a nightclub that a Russian drug lord frequents. Boobys brother Joseph is the captain of the police force. He tries to make him cooperate so that he can catch the drug lord.
Bobby, however, refuses to work with the police. Finally, after his brother’s life is threatened by the drug lord Bobby finally accepts to cooperate.
Bobby ultimately decides to join the police force when the drug lord kills his father. However, during another raid, Bobby shoots the drug lord and fatally wounds him.
The movie speaks to the insecurity that has been created by drug use and gangs in Brooklyn.
The movie gets an approval rating of 57% based on 153critics.On Metacritic, it scored 59 out of 100 based on 33 critics.
15. Brooklyn’s Finest (2009)
Brooklyn fines is a 2 hour 20-minute American crime film. The movie was written by Michael Martin and directed by Antonine Fuqua. The stars of the film were Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Richard Gere, and Ethan Hawke.
The movie is centered on the work of the police. The police are trying to stop the criminal activities that are taking place in Brooklyn. These crimes are mainly involved with drugs. However, we also see the shortcoming of the detectives and police officers as they also commit crimes on their job.
Detective Sal shoots someone as having a conversation at the beginning of the movie and doesn’t report himself. The movie also shows crimes such as kidnapping as officer Eddie rescues kidnapped girls at the end of the movie.
There were mixed feelings about the movie from the viewers. Based on 151 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an approval rating of 44%. Metacritic received a rating of 43% based on 33 reviews.
Critics felt that the movie was so cliche about desperate cops.
16. Red hooker Summer (2012)
Red Hooker summer is a 2 hour 15 minutes American film. Spikes Lee was the writer and the director of the movie, part of his “Chronicles of Brooklyn” series. The movie starred Clarke Peters, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson, Toni Lysaith, and Jules Brown.
The film mainly portrays life in the Red Hook projects of Brooklyn. Flik Royale, who lives in Atlanta, is sent to stay with his grandfather, a preacher in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Filk and his grandfather Enoch have trouble connecting, and Finn ends up being friends with a girl named Chazz. The preacher is accused of sexual relations with a minor and gets beaten and deserted by his congregation.
Based on 56 reviews, the film got an approval rating of 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, the film scored 48 out of 100 based on the reviews of 5 critics.
17. Brooklyn (2015)
Brooklyn is a 2hr 52minutes romantic film that was produced in 2015. Nick Hornby wrote it was the scriptwriter, while John Crowley was the director.
It is based on the Brooklyn novel by Colm Tóibín. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Julie Walters, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Emory Cohen.
The story explores the adaptation of new settlers in Brooklyn. The setting is 1951. Eilis Lacey, an Irish woman, moves to Brooklyn from her hometown in Ireland to find employment.
Her life in Brooklyn involves settling in an Irish boarding house and ultimately getting married to Toney. In the end, Eilis is forced to choose between the life she has in Brooklyn and the one she left in her hometown of Enniscorthy.
Brooklyn received many praises from people for its screenplay and direction. The movie got three academy award nominations and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
Most of the time, the writers of films tend to take inspiration from what is currently happening around them when writing a script.
Over the years, Brooklyn has been characterized by a high crime rate, drug use, and violence. This may be due to the poverty that people have been living in, especially in the projects.
Statistics show that Brooklyn is one of the leading counties with the highest crime rates in New York, apart from the Bronks. Most of the movies that I have discussed in this article have highlighted the problems people go through in Brooklyn.
The movies also end with someone learning a lesson to mean that they are trying to tell the people a better way of living.