The 13 Best Documentaries About Gangs

Aug 9, 2023 | Best Of, Crime

Are you looking for an eye-opening and thought-provoking glimpse into the often misunderstood world of gangs? Then look no further than these documentaries about gangs, which explore a variety of perspectives on this complex topic. From firsthand accounts to in-depth interviews with experts, these films provide an insightful look at a highly controversial subject.


Streets of Compton (2016)

In Streets of Compton, the audience is taken on a journey through the vibrant and tumultuous city of Compton. Guided by rapper The Game, we are given an intimate look into the streets that raised him and shaped his music. Through interviews with various residents and historical footage, we witness the evolution of this iconic city and its impact on culture.




American Gang Wars (2016)

A gripping tale of redemption and resilience, “From Gang Leader to Filmmaker” follows the remarkable journey of Terrence Davis. Once a feared leader of one of South Carolina’s most notorious gangs, Terrence’s life took an unexpected turn when he found himself behind bars. But it was in prison that he discovered his true passion – filmmaking.






Gangs: The New Godfathers, Hosted by Robert Stack (2008)

Dive into the shadows of America’s most dangerous street gangs. The underground culture of gangs in present-day America is a complex and disturbing reality, drawing in both those seeking refuge and those seeking power. Unveil the truth behind “Gangs: The New Godfathers,” a raw and gripping exploration of an epidemic ravaging our society. Led by Robert Stack,






Catching Hell in the City of Angels (2017)

In the heart of South Central Los Angeles, a gripping story unfolds. Through the lens of this documentary, we see the raw reality of life in one of the most infamous neighborhoods in the world. With a balanced perspective, we are taken into the lives of both gang members and police officers, revealing the gritty truths and struggles that exist within this city of angels.






The People Vs. The Maras (2014)

In the heart of Central America, a deadly feud rages on between the notorious Maras gang and courageous citizen militia. The infamous drug traffickers have long plagued the region with their ruthless tactics, while corrupt authorities have turned a blind eye to their illicit activities. But now, fed up with living in fear, ordinary citizens have taken matters into their own hands and are fighting back against the Maras’ grip on their communities.





Slippin’: 10 Years with The Bloods (2022)

In the sprawling streets of Los Angeles, two dedicated filmmakers embarked on a decade-long journey alongside a group of teenagers from the notorious Rollin’ 20s Bloods. Through their lens, we witness first-hand the brutal and turbulent lives of one of America’s most feared gangs.






Chicago at the Crossroad (2020)

In the midst of a nationwide decrease in gun violence, one city seemed to defy all odds. Chicago’s segregated communities were still plagued by an alarming level of shootings and deaths. But how did this come to be?






Crips And Bloods: Made In America (2008)

Take a deep dive into the gritty reality of gang culture in South Los Angeles through an intimate lens. Through personal accounts and raw footage, this documentary delves into the turbulent world of the Crips and Bloods, exposing the underlying issues that have fueled generations of brutal violence among young African Americans.






The Best Free Gang Documentaries


1. Gangs, violence, hurricanes: in the heat of New Orleans

New Orleans is a vibrant city bustling with culture, art and music. But it also has a shadowy side which can be difficult to uncover. This dark face of the city lies in its gang activity; one of the most dangerous cities in America, New Orleans often sees life-threatening violence between rival gangs who fight for control over their neighbourhoods.


2. The Gang Crackdown

A slew of killings on Long Island since 2016 has been linked to the infamous gang MS-13. FRONTLINE delves into these horrific acts, examining how they have led to numerous immigrant teens being wrongly accused and detained. Uncovering the truth behind this tragedy, this powerful documentary is a must watch for anyone interested in better understanding the consequences of gang violence.


3. Crips And Bloods

Journey with us through the notorious gang-ridden streets of South Los Angeles to explore the epidemic of violence that has plagued young African Americans for decades. From the perspective of actual former Crips and Bloods members, we will gain insight into the societal conditions that have created such a conflict-filled environment.


4. The Hunt For Britain’s Slave Gangs

For generations, British citizens have been victims of human slavery by gangs. As West Midlands Police continue to tackle this ongoing issue, Panorama brings us a special that highlights the largest gang they’ve ever caught in their region. The frightening stories of those kept captive are heartbreaking as we get exclusive access to survivors willing to waive their right to anonymity.


5. Investigating El Salvador’s gang crackdown

In El Salvador, Gabriel Urrutia struggles to find answers. His wife and stepdaughter were swept up in the government’s anti-gang campaign that has arrested almost 70,000 people since March 2022. With the suspension of constitutional rights to legal defence, many have been locked away without trial – their fates unknown.


6. Visiting the Most Dangerous City in America

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled experience, why not take a trip to the most dangerous city in America? All across the United States there are cities steeped in gang culture and violence. But none of them can compare to the chaotic atmosphere found in this metropolis.


7. 10 Most Dangerous Gangs In The United States

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8. Gang Member Reacting To Serving Life In Prison!

We’ll dive into ancient rivalries, explore modern lifestyles, and get an up-close look at the realities of life in the gangland. With interviews from those involved, we’ll gain an understanding of how gangs have evolved and changed over the years, and discover how they continue to shape our world today. So get ready to take a mind-blowing journey that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for this often misunderstood topic.


9. Theft, Gangsters and Saigon’s Tenderloin Districts

Vietnam is a country filled with countless stories and wonders. From its bustling cities to its peaceful countryside, the country has something for everyone. But there’s one particular element of culture that’s often forgotten: the gangs of Vietnam.


10. Two Gangsters Reveal The Crimes They Regret

We had the chance to sit down with two former London gangsters – Marvin Herbert and Bobby Cummines – to get an inside look into their world of crime. They let us in on the struggles they went through, from living life as criminals to serving time in a maximum security prison.


11. Gangs in France

France has been a hot spot for criminal gangs of all types for some time. From organised robberies carried out by groups from Georgia, to bank card fraudsters from Romania and prostitution rings overseen by Nigerians, these mafias have found a safe haven in France.


12. Chicago Gang Violence in Detroit

It’s no secret that Detroit and Chicago are both cities with a history of gang violence. But which city is worse in terms of the number of gangs, crime rates, and social unrest? The debate has raged on for decades but it seems that most people agree that Detroit is home to some of the toughest gangs in the US.


13. Which Violent Gangs Control The UK?

Organised crime gangs lurk in the shadows of Britain’s urban areas, spreading fear and violence through their control of drugs. As police forces battle to keep ahead of the street gangs controlling major cities like Liverpool and London, former Scotland Yard undercover detective Peter Bleksley offers an eye-opening tour inside gangland Britain.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B