by jamjameepolk | created - 14 Feb 2017 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Could be criminals or cops, as long as it involves crime of some sort. For heist films, see the related list "Heist"; for classic film noir, see the related list "Film Noir". Neo-noir films mainly focused on crime have been left in this list as of now (8/5/18) for simplicity, as many also border on Thriller territory.

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1. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R | 202 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,032,741 | Gross: $57.30M

This continues the epic saga set up by the first film. I liked this arguably more, because I thought the focus on familial relationships (both between Michael and Fredo/Connie, as well as Michael and Tom, or even Frank Pentangenelli and the "family" as a whole) was stronger with a relatively smaller cast. The flashback scenes with Vito helped establish context for his rise to power and also brought into question his morality several times, something which seemed to be glossed over in the first. Beautiful cinematography and several party scenes with massive ambition; the Godfather is at his finest (though loneliest) in this. Watched June 12th, 2018

2. The Godfather (1972)

R | 175 min | Crime, Drama

100 Metascore

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Votes: 1,483,111 | Gross: $134.97M

I unfortunately didn't see this the first time with subtitles, but I plan on rewatching it soon to fully grasp the dialogue that I missed out on. I enjoyed its slower pace and attention to detail, but it mostly felt like a build-up to the sequel. The cast did a fantastic job and the soundtrack was great as well; I appreciate it for its artistic merits and its impact on cinema as a whole, but I'll definitely need to watch it again to become more familiar with its themes. Watched December 2nd, 2017 with friends

3. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,104,649 | Gross: $132.38M

The ending scene is great, and the entire film is definitely a suspenseful ride the whole way through. Fantastic cast and acting. Even though this is a remake and I haven't seen the original, the nuance and tension throughout the film is phenomenal. Did a report on this in 8th grade; rewatched June 11th, 2018

4. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 934,314 | Gross: $46.84M

I liked the first person narrative and the fact that it was mostly based on true events. It satisfied my itch for a Mob movie and was an overall solid time; I liked the narration switching between Henry and Karen after her introduction, as it allowed the movie to portray the domestic side of the business as well. Lots of familiar faces from other Mob media (The Sopranos namely), so it was a fun time. It had really great follow shots/assumed single-takes as well. Watched April 10th, 2018 with friends

5. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,696,169 | Gross: $107.93M

This gets better on every rewatch; there's a lot of nuance in the film, and the non-linear storytelling was also a cool touch

6. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 425,743 | Gross: $42.44M

I liked the parallels established between Ace and Lester, both of whom emotionally manipulated Ginger, who in turn manipulated the two of them. Really cool fashion throughout, and a solid soundtrack. The slow burn of the deterioration of Ginger and Ace's relationship was also cool to watch, and Joe Pescie's rants are top-notch as always. Watched July 11th, 2018 with friends

7. Hell or High Water (II) (2016)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham

Votes: 183,291 | Gross: $26.86M

The revolving shots were great (especially at the beginning), and I appreciated the subtle acting and nuanced characters. The anti-bank lamentations of everyone being in debt seem particularly poignant with the student debt crisis, and I overall greatly enjoyed it. Probably my favorite thing Chris Pine has ever done Watched January 13th, 2019

8. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Votes: 854,091 | Gross: $2.83M

A bold move to have basically the entire movie told through dialogue with several flashbacks. Great cast and characters

9. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 574,660 | Gross: $24.61M

A cool premise, to see how small-town police officers deal with a grisly murder. The cast did a great job

10. Traffic (2000)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas

Votes: 188,278 | Gross: $124.12M

Phenomenal cinematography and great acting from the star-studded cast. I appreciated the in-depth and nuanced perspective from all aspects of the drug trade. My only qualms were with a few cliche plot points, but I overall enjoyed the film a lot Watched September 28th, 2019 with family

11. A Bronx Tale (1993)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro | Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato, Francis Capra

Votes: 119,315 | Gross: $17.27M

This needs a rewatch, but I remember loving it as a kid Rewatched June 16th, 2018: I thought the two "warring sides" of an honest but frugal life versus a dangerous but luxurious one were interesting in how they shaped Calogero ((mostly) non-prejudiced and hardworking but unenthused by the lfiestyle of the working man, etc.) The romantic subplot and racial tension was done tastefully but left little time to develop, so I had hoped the runtime for the film had been a bit longer. Nonetheless, fantastic soundtrack and great acting throughout (particularly by Lillo Brancato, Jr.)

12. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 503,231 | Gross: $64.62M

While I enjoyed the film and it was certainly thrilling, it seemed to rely fairly heavily on tropes and as such most of the plot points were predictable. Great acting from an all-star cast and thoroughly entertaining nonetheless Watched July 1st, 2018

13. Training Day (2001)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger

Votes: 364,128 | Gross: $76.63M

This was really entertaining, though I don't remember much about it. The scene in the bathtub was pretty iconic though

14. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 928,965 | Gross: $23.34M

The ending was great, but the buildup to get there seemed a bit dragged out Also Thriller, Mystery

15. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 62,020 | Gross: $24.38M

Though similar stories have been told of overcoming racial prejudices and working together across societal boundaries, I thought the development between the two leads was both believable and well-paced. The resolution of the plot seemed to come out of nowhere and I'm still not really sure how Tibbs figured out the whole mystery, but the rest of the film was nice. Tibbs slapping Endicott was iconic. Watched Mach 30th, 2019 with family

16. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 707,938

There were some beautiful shots in this and McDowell did a great job in portraying Alex. It had a slow and deliberate pace in its scenes, which was appreciated, but definitely would not lend itself well to repeat viewings. Questioned free will and what it means to be good, but altogether a bit overhyped for me. Watched March 17th, 2019

17. Get Carter (1971)

R | 112 min | Crime, Thriller

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne

Votes: 26,901

It was nice to see a young Michael Caine, and even though the violence was a bit much at times, this is a mostly satisfying tale of revenge with a few twists along the way. Watched June 7th, 2019

18. Mean Streets (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

96 Metascore

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson

Votes: 88,841 | Gross: $3.13M

This was an interesting character study of a man seeking redemption and a nice look into the more "mundane" aspects of criminal life. For how hyped Robert De Niro was in this, I was a bit surprised Harvey Keitel had more screentime (and frankly stood out more to me here). Watched July 23rd, 2019

19. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 286,087 | Gross: $5.32M

Amazing score and a sweeping tale of friendship and memories. I don't anticipate watching it again, but I thought the acting was good and the themes covered were interesting (other people have more well-written analyses that I won't put here). The women were poorly-written but I otherwise enjoyed the film. Watched February 7th, 2019

20. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 682,918 | Gross: $45.60M

Other than being intriguing for portraying a "person of color" as the main character and truly accomplishing the American Dream, the rest of the film was fairly mediocre. The plot was generic (overprotective brother, loveless marriage, addiction to drugs and subsequent downfall), but the movie was still entertaining. The iconic quote came near the end, which I hadn't expected, but it was nice to see a piece of cultural history. Watched February 24th, 2019

21. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 536,122 | Gross: $67.44M

I thought the acting was good and the heist sequences were certainly thrilling, but the slow character moments and borderline unnecessary romantic plotlines really dragged the movie for me. Every character was well-rounded, and even seemingly inconsequential characters (Breedan) ended up being important, but I couldn't help but feel that the movie could've been half an hour to forty-five minutes shorter with absolutely nothing lost. Still mostly enjoyable Watched December 25th, 2018

22. American Hustle (2013)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Votes: 425,374 | Gross: $150.12M

The ensemble cast and soundtrack were the big draws of this movie. While the plot was entertaining and partially based on real life, I was fairly underwhelmed throughout (though I found Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence's characters particularly interesting). Watched July 7th, 2018 with family

23. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A middle-aged woman finds herself in the middle of a huge conflict that will either make her a profit or cost her life.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Votes: 294,294 | Gross: $39.67M

A thoroughly entertaining watch, but it felt a little long. I don't remember much about it, but I watched it in the apartment

24. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 204,308 | Gross: $50.28M

Watched at a Disturbing Movie Night I believe. The peyote scene was pretty intense, but "Scagnetti" is a running joke with my friends to this day, so it was good in that regard Also Thriller, Satire

25. The Godfather: Part III (1990)

R | 162 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

In the midst of trying to legitimize his business dealings in New York City and Italy in 1979, aging Mafia Don Michael Corleone seeks to avow for his sins, while taking his nephew Vincent Mancini under his wing.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Talia Shire

Votes: 333,044 | Gross: $66.67M

While this certainly didn't live up to its predecessors, I think it's too harshly criticized. The evolution of Michael, from a cold and callous Don to a morally corrupt man seeking absolution, is believable as he advances in age. Joey Zasa and Vincent Mancini's characters weren't as compelling as they were intended to be and Sofia Coppola's acting, though I want to give it the benefit of the doubt, honestly tanked the movie. The helicopter shootout was over-the-top and of debatable necessity. Watched December 16th, 2018

26. Serpico (1973)

R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire

Votes: 99,673 | Gross: $29.80M

Pacino's acting was the highlight of the movie for me. I appreciated the scope of the movie and its apparent faithfulness to real life (I can't say for sure if it was entirely accurate). An entertaining but long watch. Watched August 5th, 2018

27. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,328,188 | Gross: $100.13M

Cool premise, but it fell a little flat for me

28. The Town (2010)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

74 Metascore

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the F.B.I. Agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 329,091 | Gross: $92.19M

Arguably Heist as well, but it's labelled a crime drama everywhere I've seen. I don't remember much about it, but it was entertaining

29. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just released from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and his brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 171,136 | Gross: $57.23M

This had more charm and pizzazz than the sequel, and Aykroyd and Belushi were definitely the best duo. I appreciate this more now that I'm older Also Comedy

30. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 261,432 | Gross: $76.27M

This was an entertaining watch but featured much less Capone than I would have liked and was a bit too cliche in some of its story beats. Great performance from Connery though Watched October 19th, 2019

31. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Sport

71 Metascore

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 679,611 | Gross: $17.50M

I didn't like this when I watched it, but I remember a lot about it, so it couldn't have been too bad

32. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Elwood must reunite the old band, with a few new members, and go on another "Mission from God."

Director: John Landis | Stars: Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Walter Levine, Tom Davis

Votes: 30,212 | Gross: $13.98M

I saw this one first and really liked it, but in retrospect I don't think it was that great of a movie. Entertaining, but the chemistry between the cast members didn't feel the same as the first one Also Comedy

33. The Family (I) (2013)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

42 Metascore

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the Witness Protection Program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging, as their old habits die hard.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, John D'Leo

Votes: 104,437 | Gross: $36.92M

I liked the cast but the movie itself was pretty lackluster

34. The Bling Ring (2013)

R | 90 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien

Votes: 78,767 | Gross: $5.84M

I don't remember much of this, but the only scene that stood out to me was towards the end with the sirens. Fine cast but unremarkable otherwise

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