10 Good Crime Movies

Wednesday, February 9 by Mason Kaho

A list of 10 good crime movies includes some of the most gripping and action-packed films ever made. Crime doesn’t pay… unless you’re a Hollywood studio, that is. Movies about criminals and “good guys vs. bad guys” tend to do very well at the box office, with audiences flocking to see intriguing evil-doers and heroic crime fighters. The struggle between good and evil gives screenwriters plenty of opportunity to craft great stories.

  1. “The Godfather” One of the best films ever made, this tops the list of 10 good crime movies. Marlon Brando cements his legend by playing Don Vito Corleone, the head of a New York mafia family. The movie depicts the duels and relationships between various organized crime entities and introduced many unforgettable characters.
  2. “The Departed” A great cast—including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, and Matt Damon—star in this really good crime movie. DiCaprio’s character goes undercover to infiltrate a mob ring, and in the process exposes one of the police department’s best men as crooked.
  3. “Batman” People may remember this as a lavish comic book film, but it was also a good crime movie. Nicholson stole most scenes as “The Joker,” a demented and disfigured criminal hell-bent on making people laugh to death using his chemical concoction of cosmetics.
  4. “No Country for Old Men” This dark, gripping, austere film is about the psychotic Anton Chigurh and his search for a satchel of money that was picked up at a crime scene by Josh Brolin's character. Chigurh is one of cinema’s great bad guys, killing without reason and provin unstoppable.
  5. “Pulp Fiction” This early 1990's film had a major influence on films that followed it and put director and writer Quentin Tarantino on the map. With interesting, eclectic dialogue, indifference towards violence, and great characters, it immediately became one of the top good crime movies.  
  6. “The Ladykillers” This film had a lighter take on crime, a dark comedy about a gang of misfits planning a major heist. They rent a room from a kindly old lady and convince her that they are nothing more than a musical group. After their theft is a success, things go humorously wrong. The original, 1955 version starred Alec Guinness. This good crime movie was remade in 2004.
  7. “Lethal Weapon”  Mel Gibson and Danny Glover starred in this film, the first of a franchise. A great buddy-cop film, this poorly-paired duo investigate what appears to be a suicide but unravels into a vast murder plot. With action sequences galore, this is a great good guy vs. bad guy movie.
  8. “Silence of the Lambs”  Anthony Hopkins plays the incredibly creeper Hannibal Lecter in this great suspense movie. A serial killer is on the loose and the FBI consult Lecter—a criminally insane genius—for advice on how to catch him. Lecter gives them what they want, but when he gets what he wants, things go horribly wrong.
  9. “North by Northwest” A great film by master director Alfred Hitchcock, this movie is about a man—played by Cary Grant—who is mistaken for another and kidnapped out of a hotel. Layer after layer of a conspiracy are peeled away, leading to the climactic scene on Mount Rushmore.
  10. “Blow” This film, one of the 10 good crime movies of the 2000s, is based on the real-life George Jung, portrayed by Johnny Depp. Jung started off as a small-time drug dealer, selling pot, but then went into business with the infamous Medellin drug cartel in Mexico, becoming the nation’s largest importer of cocaine.
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