Goodfellas turns 30 this weekend, and when looking back, it’s easy to forget how goddamn ruthless it is. That’s because Martin Scorsese’s epic thesis on how organized crime is emblematic of the American Dream has been the subject of countless pop-culture homages, many of which make light of the film’s almost clinical depiction of gang violence. Yeah, that’s right — clinical. Moralists be damned; the brutal murders enacted by Robert DeNiro’s Jimmy “The Gent” Conway and Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito (Ray Liotta’s protagonist Henry Hill is usually an onlooker) aren’t glamorous, but treated rather coldly. Other than whatever’s playing on the jukebox, there’s rarely ever any incidental music that tells you how you’re supposed to feel.
So, when picking our top 10 tributes to the film, we made sure to include some darkness (The Sopranos, Casino, Compton’s Most Wanted), as well as some lighter fare, just to remind viewers that no matter how many times you’ve seen it, Goodfellas has a heart of shadow, even if it still pumps very real, very human blood.