Watch Lansky

"The Mind That Organised Crime"
  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 56 min
  • 5.5  (1,993)

Lansky is a crime drama movie from 1999, directed by John McNaughton, and starring Richard Dreyfuss as the notorious gangster Meyer Lansky. The movie tells the story of Lansky's life, from his early days as a poor immigrant in New York City to his rise to power as one of the most powerful and feared gangsters in the history of organized crime.

The movie begins in the early 1980s, with Lansky living in retirement in Miami Beach. He is approached by a young journalist (played by Eric Roberts) who wants to write a book about his life. Lansky agrees to cooperate, on the condition that the writer do his homework and get the facts right.

From there, the movie flashes back to the early 20th century and the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Lansky (played as a young man by Anthony LaPaglia) and his childhood friend Bugsy Siegel (Joe Mantegna) are just starting to get involved in the world of organized crime. Lansky quickly establishes himself as a valuable asset to a rising young mob boss named Lucky Luciano (Christian Slater) due to his financial acumen and organizational skills.

Over the years, Lansky becomes one of the most important figures in the American mob, instrumental in the creation of the National Crime Syndicate and the establishment of organized crime in Cuba. However, as he grows older, he begins to feel the weight of his many sins and turns to religion for solace.

The movie is an intriguing exploration of the life of Meyer Lansky, who is often overshadowed by more famous mobsters like Al Capone or Lucky Luciano. Richard Dreyfuss gives a standout performance as Lansky, bringing depth and complexity to the character, who is often portrayed as a one-dimensional white-collar criminal.

Dreyfuss makes the viewer sympathize with Lansky, showing how his sense of duty to his friends and family often forced him into a life of crime. But the movie never shies away from the fact that Lansky was a ruthless criminal who did terrible things in the name of power and money.

The other actors in the movie also deliver strong performances. Anthony LaPaglia does an excellent job as the young Lansky, conveying both his intelligence and his moral ambiguity. Joe Mantegna is also great as the volatile Bugsy Siegel, who is always the loose cannon to Lansky's steady hand.

The movie's period details are also impressive, immersing the viewer in the world of organized crime in the early 20th century. The sets and costumes are authentic, and the movie's depiction of the rise of organized crime in Cuba is particularly interesting.

Overall, Lansky is a well-made crime drama that offers a fresh take on a familiar topic. By focusing on the life and career of Meyer Lansky, the movie shows how organized crime was often fueled by hardworking, intelligent immigrants who saw crime as a way to escape poverty and oppression. The movie raises important questions about the morality of the American dream and the price of success. It's definitely worth a watch for fans of the gangster genre.

Lansky is a 1999 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 56 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.

Where to Watch Lansky
Lansky is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Lansky for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 56 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (1,993)