The 90s Dark Violent Crime Thriller With Dune Star Is A Gritty Classic You Can Stream Now

By Douglas Helm | Published

King of New York

The 80s and 90s saw the release of some of the most lauded classic gangster films of all time, like Goodfellas, The Untouchables, Casino, Scarface, Once Upon a Time in America, and many more. But one of the more underrated gangster films from 1990 was King of New York, which starred Christopher Walken in the lead role. If you want to check this underseen classic out for yourself, you can stream it on Prime Video with a subscription or stream it for free (with ads) on platforms like Tubi and Freevee.

The Premise

King of New York

King of New York is a moody neo-noir gangster film directed by Abel Ferrara from a script by Nicholas St. John. Christopher Walken commands the screen in the lead role as Frank White, a drug lord who decides he’s going to share his profits with the poor after being released from prison. To do this, he also seeks to take over the criminal underworld and rebuild his empire.

The Cast

Along with Christopher Walken, King of New York features a great cast that includes Laurence Fishburne as his right-hand man, Jimmy Jump, and Wesley Snipes playing against his typical roles as Detective Tommy Flanigan. The rest of the cast is rounded out by strong supporting performances from David Caruso, Victor Argo, Janet Julian, Theresa Randle, Steve Buscemi, Giancarlo Esposito, and Paul Calderon. 

A Cult Classic

While King of New York originally received mixed reviews from critics, the movie would be reassessed in later years and is now considered one of Abel Ferrara’s best efforts in the neo-noir genre.

This is a fair summation, as the movie is dripping with style, and the performances from the cast are top-notch. With that being said, some people may find that the story is a bit lackluster, so your results may vary.

Still, King of New York has plenty of fans and generally has more people championing the film than detractors. If you’re a fan of neo-noir or if you just want to see a great Christopher Walken performance, then you likely won’t be disappointed with this film.

The film also has become somewhat of a cultural touchpoint, as evidenced by the fact that The Notorious B.I.G himself would sometimes refer to himself as “the new Frank White.”

Christopher Walken

King of New York

Christopher Walken was already a well-known name by the time he appeared in King of New York thanks to his performances in films like The Deer Hunter, but the film continued to cement his status as one of the most interesting actors in Hollywood.

Most recently, the actor was seen in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi sequel epic Dune: Part Two as Emperor Shaddam IV. While it wasn’t the most extensive role, Walken certainly made the most of his screen time.

Stream It Now

If you felt like you didn’t get nearly enough of Christopher Walken in Dune: Part Two, then make sure to check out King of New York for one of his most underrated performances. You can stream it over on Amazon Prime Video now. If you prefer to watch it for free with ads, you can check it out on Freevee or Tubi.