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Top 10 crime movies

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

A crime movie is one of the most popular genres in movies. Most guys love a good crime film. The are movies for men! And women if they enjoy them too! Whether that's gangster movies, cop movies, prison flicks, or heist flicks. There are a variety of different crime moviess. Deciding on the best crime movie is difficult to decide. Great crime movies have been ongoing for over 80 years of filming. A lot of action, drama, dynamic characters, and glamour can make up the best crime movies out there. A great crime move will usually contain a bad guy vs a good guy. Sometimes crime movies contain all bad guys and no good guys. Some crime movies the bad guys are the good guys, and the law abiding ones are the bad guys. The audience usually needs to sympathize with one or two characters in a crime movie.

The main character in good crime movies tend to play anti-heroes. Whether they're good guys, or bad guys. A sense of heroism and sympathy is still usually found. Even if they're the most despicable character imaginable. A good crime movie needs a anti-hero. Otherwise, what would make a crime movie so fascinating to watch? Watching a good crime movie must provide the audience with some kind of interest, or fascination with the main characters of the story. Great crime movies are technically more character driven than other movies. Sometimes the characters in crime movies are tragic ones, that lead to tragic endings.

I've consist a list of my top 10 crime movies of all-time. This is just a personal opinion list of the best crime movies that I've currently seen to date. I've seen most of the popular crime movies to be known as classics from different eras. Each movie I've listed was considered a classic or a hit in its time. These are my top 10 favorite crime movies of all-time.


1.) The Godfather 1 and 2

Directed by: Starring: Francis Ford Coppola. Written by: Mario Puzo (novel and screenplay), Francis Ford Coppla (screenplay).

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino James Caan, Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Diane Keaton, and Lee Strasberg.

Hard to rank one movie higher than the other. So both movies get ranked together. What more can one say about the Godfather movies? They had style, riveting character development, and a unforgettable plot. Michael Corleone goes from the hero World War 2 boy coming home, to the most ruthless and powerful crime boss in New York. The Godfather has unforgettable dialogue, great acting, and an unforgettable legendary music score. The Godfather feels like a biography, its that detailed of a movie. Its been nearly 40 years since its release and the movie will forever be remembered in folklore movie land.


2.) Goodfellas

Directed by: Martin Scorsese. Written by: Nicholas Pileggi (novel and screenplay), Martin Scorsese (screenplay).

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, and Frank Vincent.

The Goodfellas is based on real-life experience from Henry Hill, and his daily activities of working for the mob, from the 60's to the 80's. The Goodfellas is violent, and the characters in the movie are ruthless and cunning. Henry Hill is a low-level mob wannabe, working for a local mob boss Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino). The movie focuses on Henry Hill and his daily workings with friends Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro), and extremely impulsive and volatile Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The Goodfellas is a classic, and a masterful direction by the legendary Martin Scorsese. Martin is brilliant at bringing the proper atmosphere, tension, and drama to a scene. He's a master at using music to incorporate into a particular scene.The Goodfellas is a movie one never forgets after watching. It stands the test of time being one of the greatest movies of all-time.


3.) The Sting

Directed by: George Roy Hill. Written by: Davis S. Ward.

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Saw, and Charles Durning.

The Sting is the perfect crime movie. It has everything, and any age group can watch it. It's not filled with action, or violence. Instead it relies on wits, great acting, and wonderful writing. It's a throwback crime movie. It definitely builds tension, and keeps you hooked until the last scene. This is the best "double-cross" movie of all-time. A young con man in Chicago Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and his partner put a con on a runner for the mob unknowingly. When word gets out to crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Saw), an example must be made. Johnny Hooker dodges the hitmen, while his partner Luther is killed before Johnny Hooker can warn him.

Out to get revenge for the death of his partner, and mentor, he goes to see a man named Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) an old friend of Luther's. Together they set to pull together a "big con" on crime boss Henry Gondorff, known as the sting. The setting of the movie is perfect. It takes place in 1930, and feels like its 1930. Just a wonderful movie, with an all-around terrific cast. A movie all crime lovers must see! There are plenty of laughs to go along with the tensity filled in each scene.


4.) Dog Day Afternoon


Directed by: Sidney Lumet. Written by: Frank Pierson.

Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning, and Chris Sarandon.

Some people might think of Al Pacino, and Godfather comes to mind first. However, I think this is Al Pacino's finest performance I've ever seen from him. This is based on a true story. Sonny Wortzik and two other members decide to rob a bank on August, 1972. Right away, Sonny and his crew are way over their heads. Or are they? Sonny soon becomes more adapt to the situation he's brought on himself and his crew. His hostages begin to sympathize with Sonny and even start to help him. A brief and short robbery turns into a long extended, national television, media event. Filled with spectators there to cheer Sonny on, cops and F.B.I agents desperately try to negotiate with Sonny. Sonny becomes a bit of a celebrity for one particular day. A day that none of them would ever forget.


5.) Cool Hand Luke


Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg. Written by: Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson.

Starring: Paul Newman and George Kennedy.

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate." Rebellious Luke, played by Paul Newman is arrested for destroying parking meters while drunk. He joins a chain gang, and quickly finds it difficult to abide to the rules of the warden. Luke quickly earns the respect from his inmates, especially Dragline (George Kennedy). Luke does what he wants, and won't allow anyone in his way when doing so. The bosses try to break Luke, as he continues to break rules, escape, and humiliate the warden's staff.

Cool Hand Luke is a well acted movie. It's about a man who refuses to allow society, rules, or authority shape him into what they want him to be. Rather he's a man out looking for his own answers in life. He's a man not really sure of what his purpose is, or if he has one at all. So Luke tests everything around him. Luke is who he is, and earns the respect among others because of his rebellious nature. He also earns the hatred of the warden, who believes society needs rules, direction, and authority in order to survive. Both men's views clash with each other throughout the course of the movie. Luke doesn't choose to be a hero, or tries to be one. Nor does he try to do things for the good of others. Luke is a loner who'd prefer to keep it that way, but ends up playing the role of hero to those in the prison anyways.


6.) Taxi Driver

Directed by: Martin Scorsese. Written by: Paul Schrader.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, and Harvey Keitel.


A good character study about a mentally unstable war veteran by the name of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). Travis Brickle is 26, a loner, and gets a Taxi Driver job because of his insomnia. He works the nights and watches the city which is filled with prostitutes, drug dealers, addicts, pimps, and plenty of other "scum" according to Bickle that walks the streets every night. The anti-social Travis Bickles gets a date with a girl named Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) who is working for a senator's campaign. Their date goes haywire, when Travis takes her to a porno. She gets offended, and leaves quite angered. Travis stalks her for awhile and becomes more agitated when she wants no part to do with him.

Travis's rage continues to boil, as he continues to see the filth and corruption in the city. He becomes obsessed with it and starts buying hand guns. Travis meets a young hooker, by the name of Iris (Jodie Foster). Travis takes an interest in Iris, and tries to encourage her to move back home with her parents. Things become too much for Travis, as he sets out to "wash all the scum off the street".


7.) Reservoir Dogs


Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Written by: Quentin Tarantino.

Casting: Starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, and Edward Bunker.

Quentin Tarantino's first movie, and boy was it a great one! On a very tight budget, but a very entertaining crime movie. It revolves around a jewelry heist involving criminals, put together by small-time crime boss Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney), and his son Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn). They put together a team of criminals. None of the thieves know each other, and they don't even know each others names. They're given nicknames to go by, so they can't identify one another if they get caught.

The heist is suppose to be simple and easy, involving top-notch thieves and criminals. However, the plan goes wrong and a violent shootout occurs. The plan is to meet back at a warehouse, but soon members are either dead, or running from the cops. Those who have survived are in panic, wounded, and left wondering what to do next. The story is told in flashbacks, and how a few of the key members got pulled into the heist. The remaining members believe there's a mole in the group. The survivors from the heist are left at one another's throats figuring out what went wrong. Reservoir dogs has style, tensity, brutality and is intriguing from start to finish.


8.) The Getaway


Directed by: Sam Pechkinpach. Written by: Jim Thompson (novel) and Walter Hill (screenplay).

Starring: Steve McQueen, Alie MacGraw, Ben Johnson, Sally Struthers, and Al Lettieri.

Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) has just been released from jail. A corrupt sheriff wants McCoy to rob a bank, but plans to set him up and take the fall afterward. McCoy seems harder to bring down than Sheriff Beynon and robber Rudy Butler expect. McQueen and MacGraw make a sexy, hot, and slick duo. MacGraw plays McCoy's wife who comes along for the ride. A cool flick for any crime movie lovers to enjoy. The movie is filled with action, intensity, great dialogue, and strong acting performances.


9.) Rope

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock. Written by: Patrick Hamilton (play), Hume Croyn (adaptation), Ben Hecht (screenplay).

Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger.

Alfred Hitchcock was the master at creating suspense. No one did it better. Rope is a great little crime-thriller that takes place in one setting. It was adapted from a play, and feels like one. The entire movie takes place in two upper class students apartment. Brandon and Philip. Brandon is constantly going on about superior intelligence and views committing murder as an art form, rather than a crime. To put his theory into use, he decides to kill a classmate, with Brandon participating.

Both have twisted views of morals, and arrogantly decide to keep the body stashed in a chest drawer out in the living room. That same day, they hold a party of friends, guests, relatives, and the fiancee of the victim. They even act flamboyant, and flaunt the the murder weapon and chest where the victim is stashed to their guests. Brandon the more boastful and bolder of the two tries to engage former teach Rubert Cadell into his game. As the evening wears on, Philip starts drinking more and becomes more paranoid. He even starts to question what they've done. Brandon continues to engage in a cat-and-mouse game about the missing party guest that he murdered. Where Rubert starts to catch onto Philip and Brandon, as he starts to put the missing pieces together. The rope is a very thrilling, chilling, well acted, and suspenseful crime-thriller.


10.) The French Connection


Directed by: William Friedkin. Written by: Ernest Tidyman (screenplay) and Robin Moore (book).

Starring: Gene Hackmans, Fernando Rey, and Roy Scheider.

There are two things that really stand out in the French Connection. Gene Hackman and the unforgettable chase scene. The French Connection doesn't stand the test of time like some movies. Mostly because lot of movies have redone the French Connection in a million different ways. However, French Connection is still a classic crime movie. It's a hard edge movie that takes you for an entertaining ride. Gene Hackman really brought toughness, grit, and a fierceness to the character Popeye Doyle. Doyle would knock your head in for a half smoked joint. He treated his job like its war.

A clean cut and polite French drug lord is smuggling heroin into New York. Popeye and Russo catch onto him. They start putting him under surveillance, that involves into one wild cat-and-mouse game being played between Doyle and Charnier (Fernando Rey) throughout the movie. Doyle will stop at nothing to nail drug lord Alain Chanier.


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