Top 10 Best Crime Movies Of All Time

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7. Chinatown (1974)

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Directed by Roman Polanski, Chinatown follows the story of a private detective (Jack Nicholson) hired to find a person involved in flagrante delicto only to wind up in a web of betrayal, corruption, heinous crime and murder, all related to the city’s water supply where the story is set. The screenplay, acting, soundtrack and cinematography overall combine very well to give it a convincing and atmospheric background. The crushing dark ending is so much more frosting on the cake.

With “Chinatown”, Polanski achieved his directorial peak with wide critical acclaims amidst the scandals which tried to spoil and contaminate everything expect his art and flair. The film is ranked at No. 78 in “Sight & Sound Critics’ Top 250 Films (2012)”, and remains one of the best crime movies that beautifully enveloped other genres like drama, mystery, thriller and film-noir.

6. M (1931)

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Fritz Lang’s “M” is German expressionism at its cinematic best. The heart-touching and sensual story follows a series of child murders in Germany, where the police are unable to catch the murderer, and other criminals in the city are forced to join in the manhunt. The film unravels a challenging and unforgettable performance by Peter Lorre, which is disturbing and tormenting without embracing any extreme violent acts.

This ground-breaking film was Lang’s debut talking picture, and is one of the very first serial killer films in history. Additionally, it was overtly anti-Nazi in the time it was released, between the two World Wars. M enjoys a well-deserved no. 56 rank in “Sight & Sound Critics’ Top 250 Films (2012)”. Many critics claim it to be the most influential crime-drama-thriller motion picture ever that influenced almost every crime and thriller film after its release.

5. The 400 Blows

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François Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows” is inspired by the director’s own childhood, and follows the story of a young boy brought up in Paris with his mother and stepfather. Most adults in his neighborhood and school see him as a potential troublemaker, but he is really the protagonist in the film who is apparently led into a life of petty crime.

Jean-Pierre Léaud’s young role as Antoine Doinel in this film is lauded by many critics and other filmmakers as the best child role in film history. “The 400 Blows” is Truffaut’s landmark film by which his sublime directional capability changed the direction of cinema for ever. The film is ranked at No. 40 in “Sight & Sound Critics’ Top 250 Films (2012)”, and is one of the shining stars of the French New Wave.

4. The Godfather II (1974)

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The second part of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic gangster-crime trilogy, The Godfather II, follows the reign of Don Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as the head of the Corleone family. The film also shows the early years of Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), and how he developed his crime-empire of money and respect as an Italian-American. Both these plots parallel and compliment each other to show cold, unemotional and ruthless betray, the price which both Corleones pay for power.

Many acts of crime and violence are intertwined with religion; one for example is Fredo’s hunting repetition of the Rosary while catching a fish. The cinematography is stunning and dark, like in the first part of the trilogy, covering footage from New York and Sicily around the end of the century.

The Godfather II is a cinematic art as well as a treasure of film history. Critics call it the finest or the best sequel ever made. It is recently ranked at No. 32 in “Sight & Sound Critics’ Top 250 Films (2012)”.

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