In Japan, nobody does it better than Miike and Kitano I reckon Though I do love me some Fukasaku as well, and some Suzuki too. Some great current (late eighties and up I guess) Gangster flicks:
Graveyard of Honor - Balls out classic gangster style with some brutality as well.
Full Metal Yakuza - Absurd Frankenstein gangster film with a lot of weirdness, some blood and a giant penis.
Dead or Alive I, II - The first film is classic gangster cinema, the second is a bit more meloncholy. Great films.
Gozu - Absurd horror comedy meets gangster craziness.
Kikoku - Classic crime film plot with a slightly zany ending, but until then it’s all bullets, bloodshed and honor.
Violent Fire - Much like Kikoku, Violent Fire tends to follow a rather formulaic plot up until the final half - but is a bit more liberal with its insanity.
Shinjuku Triad Society - Horrifying, offense, violent and one of my favorite crime films EVER.
Rainy Dog - A more somber and reflective film following in the footsteps of STS, a beautiful and tragic film that shouldn’t be missed.
Ley Lines - More about kids playing gangsters opposite the real thing, Ley Lines is another tragic and poetic look at the crime life.
Ichi the Killer - Not much to say that hasn’t already been said really, is there? Ichi is the shizzle.
Agitator - A fairly by the numbers crime film, but with a good helping of attitude and style that keeps the pace up and makes an exciting film.
The City of Lost Souls - An adrenaline pumping tour through the worlds of the triads, yakuza and all sorts of criminal life. One of Miike’s underappreciated masterpieces.
Fudoh: The New Generation - Gore galore and some outright looney plot devices make Fudoh unforgettable. Vagina darts? Hell yeah!
Violent Cop - One of my favorite Kitano films, gritty, disturbing and unrelenting. Some don’t have the taste for it and prefer his more somber work, I enjoy Kitano’s brooding here.
Boiling Point - A little too weird for a lot of folks, but I think Boiling Point is a beautiful look into Kitano’s world of disassociation.
Sonatine - Probably Kitano’s greatest work in my opinion, dealing with the knowledge of most certain death and the boredom that comes with it, Kitano is at his most poetic here.
Brother - It may have been shot in the states, but it’s certainly all Kitano. Not his greatest film, but still wonderful.
Hana-Bi and Kids Return should still count in my opinion since both deal with lives of crime, but I’ll just exclude them regardless just in case.
A Better Tomorrow - Woo’s brings out all the guns, bullets and blood in his introduction to the Triad film - showing his amazing penchant for choreography and action.
A Better Tomorrow II - The bloodier sequel is probably ranked second in Woo’s filmography in the action department. The final thirty minutes is packed to the brim with explosions, squibs, gunfire and destruction.
The Killer - Woo’s poetic love affair with the concept of honor and loyalty, The Killer will be the film he is likely remembered for. Combining action and content like no other film could.
Tragic Heroes - Only a film that is partly Woo’s but still a great piece of work, Tragic Heroes is a fairly mundane triad film but features an engaging story and some truly great action.
Hard Boiled - The most action packed film I have ever seen, and also a great addition to the “police undercover” genre. No words can describe it’s greatness simply.
Other Japanese Films
Gonin 1, 2
Sharkskin Man and Peachhip Girl
Another Lonely Hitman
Onibi: The Fire Within
Other HK Films
Tiger on Beat
Running out of Time
City on Fire
Long Arm of the Law
Rich & Famous/Tragic Hero
There are plenty of others I’m forgetting to list, just so tired. I’ll try and add on some more descriptions if I can think of it tomorrow