Criminals Cry Too: Top 20 Crime Dramas

The crime genre gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of people doing what is considered taboo in a normal society. After all, the chances of meeting a real gangster in reality, fortunately, are minimal. But we can click the remote control and be transported into the thick of events on the screen without the risk of getting a bullet or a pen in the ribs. Our selection contains the best crime dramas about robbers, hitmen, bootleggers, psychopaths and reluctant criminals.

Without sudden movements (2021)

The novelty of film noir will tell about a group of criminals-losers who failed the case. In Detroit in the 1950s, recently released from prison, Curtis and thug Ronald are offered to make quick money: you need to break into the house of an accountant and steal a document from him. More precisely, not even steal, but wait until he, being under the supervision of the third bandit, brings papers from the office, while the couple is holding his wife and children hostage. However, the case immediately begins to burst at the seams, and Curtis and Ronald decide to find out who framed them.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
No Sudden Move

Actors:
Don Cheadle, Mooms Da Shemer, Brendan Fraser, Benicio Del Toro…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.5

Age limit:
16+


Justice Knights (2020)

The director of this highly rated foreign film masterfully juggles genres – here you have a bitter human drama, crime, and black comedy . The death of his wife in a railway accident does not bring military Marcus closer to his daughter, about whose life he knows almost nothing. And then there is a witness who claims that the accident was not an accident. Now Marcus, in the company of geeks and a crazy mathematician , begins his own investigation in search of truth and justice.

Original title:
Retfærdighedens ryttere

Actors:
Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolai Lie Kaas, Andrea Heik Gadeberg …

Country:
Denmark, Sweden, Finland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Downhill (2020)

The drama tells about the fate of an ordinary guy Nico Walker, whose fate changes dramatically after serving in the army. After returning home from the war in Iraq , Niko is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Unable to cope with the help of prescribed medications, he begins to take drugs . And when the funds for the next dose run out, he gets involved with crime and is going to rob a bank.

Original title:
Cherry

Actors:
Tom Holland, Ciera Bravo, Jack Reynor…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Godmother (2020)

The next in the list of the best feature films in the crime drama genre is a European project about an enterprising lady. Patience works as a French-Arabic interpreter for the police and specializes in wiretapping. During one of the investigations, she learns about the whereabouts of a large shipment of drugs, lost sight of the suppliers. Patience decides to appropriate the goods and finds herself at the head of a huge drug traffic, becoming the “godmother” right under the noses of her colleagues.

Original title:
La Daronne

Actors:
Isabelle Huppert, Hippolyte Girardot, Farida Ushani…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Joker (2019)

The Oscar-winning film, which has become one of the main film events of recent years, tells the story of the birth of the sinister legend of Gotham. Arthur Fleck is a middle-aged man with mental disabilities who still lives with his mother and works as a clown . Due to constant depression, he smokes a lot, drinks a bunch of drugs and languishes from loneliness. Years of ridicule and humiliation from society were imprinted in Arthur’s soul, and after a series of traumatic incidents, this time bomb exploded, making him a real killer villain.

Original title:
Joker

Actors:
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Bitz…

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Irishman (2019)

The next film in our top is an interesting crime drama based on real events based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. The film will tell about the legendary criminal Frank Sheeran. During World War II , a young soldier learned to kill. And when he returned to the USA, he got a job as a driver , but soon discovered that his skills and abilities are highly valued in the criminal world. It is believed that hitman Frank Sheeran, nicknamed “The Irishman”, committed at least 25 contract killings.

Original title:
The Irishman

Actors:
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


El Camino: Breaking Bad (2019)

The long-awaited continuation of one of the cult crime series of recent years will tell about the fate of Jesse Pinkman. The story begins after he escapes from captivity from neo-Nazis. In search of himself and trying to forget the past, Jesse decides to go to Alaska, but this requires money, and getting it is not so easy when you are one of the most wanted criminals in the United States. And then the man remembers a cache of money hidden in the house of Tod, who was once killed by him.

Original title:
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Actors:
Aaron Paul, Matt Jones, Charles Baker…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.3


Chasing Bonnie and Clyde (2019)

The action-packed foreign film, which combines the genres of crime and drama, perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the 30s – the sultry Texas steppes, Louisiana swamps, provincial towns and dusty sandy roads. The police are powerless before the rampage of the criminal couple – Bonnie and Clyde, who shoot all the cops in their path. Then the retired rangers get down to business. They collect a lot of weapons, grab a brand new car and set off in pursuit of elusive killers.

Original title:
The Highwaymen

Actors:
Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Beautiful, Bad, Evil (2018)

The crime drama is based on the biography of the famous American serial killer Ted Bundy. Single mother Elizabeth no longer hopes to meet a good man. Once in a bar, she meets the handsome Ted and falls in love without memory. He is attentive, affectionate and gets along well with her daughter. All this promises Elizabeth a happy family future until Ted is taken into custody for assaulting girls. So who is he? A manipulator skillfully hiding the truth or a mentally unhealthy person? A gentle and loving family man or a murderous maniac?

Original title:
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Actors:
Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Plant (2018)

Eternal delays in wages, double shifts and the impending closure of the plant bring the workers to the boiling point – they decide to kidnap the owner of the plant and still get their money. Then Fog, the head of the businessman’s bodyguard, gets down to business . He and his team do not yet know that the kidnappers are simple Russian hard workers led by the former special forces officer Sedym – men who have nothing to lose. This single-episode movie combines crime and a strong drama about the Russian hinterland and brutal men who are desperate to achieve justice by peaceful means.

Actors:
Denis Shvedov, Andrey Smolyakov, Vladislav Abashin …

Country:
Russia, France, Armenia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Drug Courier (2018)

Old Earl Stone was never an exemplary family man. He rarely spent time with his family, disappeared at work, and even missed his own daughter ‘s wedding . His only passion is the horticultural business. However, his life’s work is soon threatened with bankruptcy, and circumstances force Earl to look for new ways to earn money. The option to earn extra money is just turning up – you just need to drive back and forth in your pickup truck, delivering some cargo for some guys. So the lonely grandfather himself did not notice how he became the main courier of the drug cartel.

Original title:
The Mule

Actors:
Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Andy Garcia, Taissa Farmiga…

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
18+


Big game (2017)

This foreign crime drama is worth watching for fans of poker movies . Molly Bloom has compromising evidence capable of pulverizing many influential people in Hollywood. Once the girl was a budding skier, but after an injury she settled in Los Angeles. Soon, the athlete becomes the organizer of underground poker games and opens a casino in a hotel room. Members of noble families, celebrities, millionaires are present at her evenings. But when representatives of the Russian mafia appear among the players, Molly is under the gun of the FBI.

Original title:
Molly’s Game

Actors:
Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera…

Country:
USA, Canada, China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Moth (2017)

Burglar nicknamed Moth is a young guy who received a prison sentence for a murder he did not commit. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in hard labor in French Guinea. Based on the true story of Henri Charrière, the film follows Moth’s three escape attempts from prison. Marine bearing and craving for freedom helped him maintain his fortitude, and the hope of escaping from prison did not dry up no matter what.

Original title:
Papillon

Actors:
Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek, Roland Muller…

Country:
Czech Republic, Spain, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
18+


At any cost (2016)

In the center of the story are two brothers who are trying to solve the financial problems of their mother. However, they choose a very risky way for this – to rob banks. In their opinion, the owners of these financial institutions are profiting from the unfortunate poor, so cleaning out their vaults is no crime. When the raids of the guys fall under the guns of the seasoned cop Marcus, the race against time begins. The American crime drama turned out to be a kind of modern western with a gripping plot, strong direction and excellent acting.

Original title:
Hell or High Water

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Legend (2015)

A drama that captivated the audience with the talented play of Tom Hardy – the actor portrayed two gangster twins on the screen at once. The film tells about the formation of the Kray brothers – significant figures in the underworld of Great Britain in the 1960s. Reggie and Ronald dream of a beautiful life and wealth. And to quickly achieve the goal, one cannot do without crime. Therefore, they decide to organize their group and seize power over the underworld of London.

Original title:
Legend

Actors:
Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis…

Country:
Great Britain, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Shot into the void (2015)

What are you willing to do to save your life? The hero of the film with an unexpected ending – a modest broker and family man Jacob – will have to find the answer to this question. After a car accident where his friend died, a man gets a prison sentence. There are completely different rules behind bars, and neither money nor position in society can guarantee your safety. To survive in this new harsh world, Jacob will have to participate in prison showdowns and join one of the criminal gangs.

Original title:
Shot Caller

Actors:
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Black Mass (2015)

The film is set in 1970s Boston. An FBI agent convinces Irish gangster Whitey Bulger to cooperate with the office. However, the secret pact gets out of control of the authorities, because of which Whitey manages to deceive law enforcement and become one of the most dangerous and ruthless criminals in Boston. And in 1995, the manipulative killer disappears from sight, stops communicating with the FBI and disappears for sixteen years until he is caught in 2011.

Original title:
Black Mass

Actors:
Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


The Drunkest County in the World (2012)

The film in the genre of crime takes the viewer to the period of the Great Depression and Prohibition in the South of America, where three brothers are engaged in a business that was forbidden at that time – the sale of alcoholic beverages. However, the appearance of new servants of the law in the city brings with it new rules. Only now the brothers already consider themselves full-fledged masters of the south and to leave the path of a corrupt special agent for them is tantamount to death.

Original title:
Lawless

Actors:
Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


The Place Under the Pines (2012)

Motorcycle racer Luke Glanton learns that he has a one-year-old son. He has to give up his profession as a stuntman due to frequent trips, and get a job with a mechanic, Robin, to be closer to his family. However, his ex-girlfriend is in no hurry to accept Luke with open arms, and the man does not have enough money for a happy future. And it seems to the hero that the only way out is to contact the crime.

Original title:
The Place Beyond the Pines

Actors:
Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Dane DeHaan, Eva Mendes…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Bodyguard (2010)

The film is based on Ken Bruen’s novel “London Boulevard” and tells about the criminal Mitchell, who served time in prison and decided to quit crime. Fate brings him together with a young actress Charlotte. The girl leads a secluded life and hides in her mansion from the paparazzi. Mitchell becomes a bodyguard for a beautiful movie star, and over time, romantic feelings develop between the two. However, it is not so easy to escape from the past.

Original title:
London Boulevard

Actors:
Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winston …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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