99 shades of Noir (with notes).

Listed in order of preference, these are all the Noir/Neo-noir that I recommend.

The tag 'Film Noir' is a subjective one. The style was only really identified and extensively written about after the classic cycle was already over. No one making a picture then (1940-1960) thought of it as a Noir. They probably thought of these films as "second feature crime thrillers".

Let's face it, we generally categorize to simply help find or avoid certain types of art/entertainment. My point being, Noir is an invented category, so let's not get too pedantic about which films are and are not Noirs.

For further reading, I suggest Paul Schrader's wonderful essay from 1971, Notes On Film Noir.
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1.
Classe Tous Risques (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife... (110 mins.)
Director: Claude Sautet
“ The same writer as the great Le Deuxieme Souffle. The first film Claude Sautet directed from start to finish is a knockout. His 'first' film "Bonjour Sourire!" being the taking over another director's ailing project.

This is one of the best Noirs of all time. Make it a top priority. ” - un_samourai
 
2.
Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A gangster escapes jail and quickly makes plans to continue his criminal ways elsewhere, but a determined inspector is closing in. (150 mins.)
“ Much better than it's reputation as a slightly second tier Melville film, this is one of the all time great crime films. It's (neo)noir heaven. Love it!! ” - un_samourai
 
3.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
“ Certainly a contender for best noir of all time. A must see title if there ever was one.
Robert Mitchum in the lead is magnetic, but very relatable. Jane Greer is simply one of the most alluring, and mendacious femme fatale's ever.
I could go on and on. It has everything that make the noir genre so enjoyable. ” - un_samourai
 
4.
Le Corbeau (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion. (92 mins.)
“ Better than 'Les Diaboliques' and 'Wages of Fear' in my opinion. It's a truly great noir thriller, in fact, it's simply one of the very best films period. I've had the pleasure of watching it three times, and it killed every time. ” - un_samourai
 
5.
Blade Runner (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Of course this features high on the list. If you've never seen it, make it a priority (especially with the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049 on the horizon).

This is one of the absolute best neo-noirs. The set-decoration, design, and special effects are notable, as is the gorgeous Vangelis score. Just what is it to be human?
These days, I like the original theatrical cut with the very noir narration by Harrison Ford better than the director's cut, even though the ending is a bit more commercial. ” - un_samourai
 
6.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ It's a hard film to classify, but it certainly has a lot of Noir in it. It's more an experience than just a film. When watching this for the first time, you just don't now where Q.T. will take you next. I just watched this again, probably for the 8th time, and it knocked me out yet again.

It has enough content for two great films. The dialogue is marvelous, and so is the music selection. The non-chronological structure also works beautifully for this film.

This is one of two great Tarantino films (Reservoir Dogs being the other). For me, his subsequent films have not measured up to his first two pictures. ” - un_samourai
 
7.
Army of Shadows (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France. (145 mins.)
“ Probably the best Melville of all for it's pithy subject. The deminonde of the French Resistance is the subject, and it is fascinating, and grim.
This is a good film to see if J.P. Melville's stylish, but spare film making is up your alley. ” - un_samourai
 
8.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
“ The sewers of post war Vienna, and a zither score that you'll never forget. Welles is fabulous. ” - un_samourai
 
9.
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot. (87 mins.)
“ For me, this film is quite a bit better than Wells' 'Touch of Evil'. See it for the house of mirrors scene alone. It is certainly one of the best of all film Noirs. This picture is packed with wonderfully sleazy characters, and deceit is everywhere. ” - un_samourai
 
10.
Pierrot le Fou (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run. (110 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ For art-house fans only.

Super original, and super fun, this noir colors WAY outside the lines. It is an example of how malleable the noir framework really is. There is a core entertainment to watching a couple on a doomed crime spree.

IMHO, this is the best J.L.Godard film. ” - un_samourai
 
11.
Le Samouraï (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner. (105 mins.)
“ This is one of the 'coolest' films ever, and Alain Delon is the handsomest film star to grace the screen.
Not for those who don't like to be left with a little mystery at the end of a film, as Melville almost always liked to do.
I can see an influence of 'This Gun For Hire' in this picture, but Melville does it oh so much better. ” - un_samourai
 
12.
Le Doulos (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A burglar betraying other criminals, prepares for a big heist with a trusted friend that might be as untrustworthy as he. (108 mins.)
“ Another great J.P. Melville film. A very grimy Paris, and a twisty story add up to another must see Melville film. I watched it again a day after seeing it for the first time. ” - un_samourai
 
13.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman. (104 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ **Mild Spoilers**

Many compare it to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's writing, with good reason. For me, it's the best Woody Allen film. It could be seen as a very serious riff on film Noir.
One of the things that makes it Woody's best, is aside from the main story of a crime (Landau, Houston), there is a secondary, lighter, funnier story line (Alda, Allen and Farrow) that balances out the heaviness of the Landau/Houston plot beautifully. ” - un_samourai
 
14.
Revanche (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ex-con Alex plans to flee to the South with his girl after a robbery. But something terrible happens and revenge seems inevitable. (121 mins.)
Director: Götz Spielmann
“ For art-house fans only. It is a quiet, minimal film.

This is a great, great film noir, but it also to me seems to transcend the genre by sheer emotional depth. Those of you with shorter attention spans be warned though: this film has a European quietness/minimalness to it. Lots of still camera setups that are really beautifully framed. I just watched this film again, and loved it even more on second viewing. ” - un_samourai
 
15.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ A perfect neo-noir with a very powerful gut-punch of an ending added by Polanski to Robert Towne's script.

It could only be more Noir if it was shot in B&W. An essential film. One of Jack Nicholson's best rolls as well (which is saying a lot!). ” - un_samourai
 
16.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. (122 mins.)
“ Probably the best Coen brothers film. Excellent, excellent picture! ” - un_samourai
 
17.
The Killers (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins. (103 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
“ This may be a good film to use as an example of what a Noir is to those who don't know the term. It's one of the best. ” - un_samourai
 
18.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. (147 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ A terrific dark, disturbing, (solvable) puzzle. Naomi Watts is fantastic. ” - un_samourai
 
19.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? (101 mins.)
“ One of Hitch's best films. A must see. ” - un_samourai
 
20.
Se7en (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. (127 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Simply one of my all time favorites. I remember several people saying they were rather disturbed after seeing this picture. Yes, it is dark stuff, but I just adore it. The opening credits are terrifically stylish. ” - un_samourai
 
21.
Act of Violence (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp. (82 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ This one's got just about everything, including social relevance, yet very few people champion this film. Do yourself a huge favor and see it. ” - un_samourai
 
22.
Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist. (140 mins.)
“ Beautiful tones of color, great set decoration (as per usual with Melville) and the theme of comradery between thieves. One of the all time great heists as well. I do find that people either love or hate Mellville's films. They're certainly more quiet/minimal than most plot driven films.

As you see by my list, Melville is one of my very favorite directors. ” - un_samourai
 
23.
Taxi Driver (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a twelve-year-old prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ There's got to be the odd person who's not gotten around to this picture. Only one of the best films ever committed to celluloid. A little caveat though: It's definitely got some very adult content. ” - un_samourai
 
24.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. (99 mins.)
“ Almost Shakespearian in it's finale. The last flash-back in particular (Mr. White) is phenomenal! What a gem! ” - un_samourai
 
25.
Ace in the Hole (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. (111 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Billy Wilder's follow-up to Sunset Boulevard (also excellent) is a terrific film. Kirk Douglas has been great in so many films. This is up there with his best.
Cynicism , oportunism, and capitalism are the themes of this terrific, dark picture. It is my favorite Billy Wilder film, and is sadly underknown. ” - un_samourai
 
26.
The Limey (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death. (89 mins.)
“ Wonderful film. Steven Soderbergh's revenge film is on the art-house side of Noir, and is clearly inspired by the style of the film 'Point Blank' replete with flash-backs, and flash-forwards. I love Terrence Stamp in this, but it's got many great performances. ” - un_samourai
 
27.
The Big Combo (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead. (87 mins.)
Director: Joseph Lewis
“ Hard-boiled heaven. ” - un_samourai
 
28.
Rififi (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes... (118 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
“ It's a shame that Jules Dassin was blacklisted in the insane commie-hunt craze of McCarthyism.

The expressionistic shots near the end are just incredible. The silent heist is just excellent as well. It features a wonderfully cool, tough, protagonist played by Jean Servais.

Prix Méliès, French Syndicate of Cinema Critics
Best Director, Cannes ” - un_samourai
 
29.
Insomnia (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting. (96 mins.)
“ This is vastly superior to Christoper Nolan's remake in 2002 in every way. It has a really nice, spare, grey aesthetic to the look of the film, and what a wonderful central performance by Stellan Skarsgard. It also features an excellent electronic score. Very highly recommenced. ” - un_samourai
 
30.
Key Largo (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ So enjoyable to see time and time again. This type of role/performance is why Bogart is such a household name to this day. ” - un_samourai
 
31.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
“ The pacing of the flash-backs in this Neo-Noir is simply too perfect for words. Love the ambient score as well. ” - un_samourai
 
32.
Crossfire (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why? (86 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
“ A message film that still works beautifully. Bravo. How many great film noirs featured Robert Ryan? He had a wonderful flexibility to what type of character he could play.

As a side note, Richard Conte and Richard Widmark, though not in this film, comes to mind as a similarly flexible noir actors. ” - un_samourai
 
33.
The Killing (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. (85 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ This is a great early Stanley Kubrick heist film. I didn't think much of his 'Killer's Kiss' (to be fair, made on a tiny budget), but this film is terrific. ” - un_samourai
 
34.
Bob le Flambeur (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino. (98 mins.)
Director: Melville
“ Pre new-wave gem. Very cool, early-ish J.P. Melville caper picture. ” - un_samourai
 
35.
Heat (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and their professional lives. (170 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
“ The bank job shoot out is a bit of heaven. ” - un_samourai
 
36.
Nightcrawler (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. (118 mins.)
Director: Dan Gilroy
“ What a great film. Love it! You'll never see the local crime news the same.
Jake Gyllenhaal's cold grin is just unforgettable. ” - un_samourai
 
37.
Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by paroled convict Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend Velma, former seedy nightclub dancer. (95 mins.)
Director: Dick Richards
“ Having just seen this film for the second time, I was so impressed by it. This pretty much has the super high quality of "Chinatown" (another 70's era noir).
It's a more faithful film version of the same Chandler story as the film "Murder My Sweet". The set decoration, score, cinematography, acting, and storytelling are all excellent.

For some reason this film is really under-rated. It is a top notch neo-noir. ” - un_samourai
 
38.
Casque d'Or (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In an open-air dance hall, the members of Leca's gang are relaxing with their ladies. One of them, Marie... (96 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
“ A belle epoque noir love story. Excellent in every way. Jacques Becker, who apprenticed as AD under Jean Renoir, was a fantastic director: Le Trou, Touchez Pas Au Grisbi and this film are all gold. ” - un_samourai
 
39.
The Woman in the Window (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder. (107 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ A more like-able film than "Scarlet Street" to be sure (with the same 3 principal actors). Very fun suspense film. Maybe the best of the Fritz Lang noirs. I watch it often. ” - un_samourai
 
40.
Laura (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating. (88 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
“ It may be more detective/murder mystery, but it is considered a Noir by most critics so I've put it on my list. It is one of my most often watched films.
Such a pleasant, easy to watch film. Oh yeah, and Gene Tierney is awfully easy on the eyes... ” - un_samourai
 
41.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit." (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
“ The crescendo of the classic noir cycle is realized in this wonderfully dark detective film. Highly recommended. ” - un_samourai
 
42.
Hard Eight (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine. (102 mins.)
“ P T Anderson's Noir impresses from the first viewing, and holds up, no check that, it gets even better when subsequently viewed. I've heard that PTA was heavily influenced buy J.P. Melville's "Bob Le Flambeur". That makes sense to me.

I've the feeling this was very much a below the radar film. No one ever talks about this film, because next to no one has seen it. What a shame. ” - un_samourai
 
43.
Pale Flower (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling. (96 mins.)
“ The main character is one of the coolest noir protagonists I've seen. It's simply a very good film in general with a very cute femme fatale. ” - un_samourai
 
44.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Just a wonderful, non menacing, early Noir. The cast, with supporting players like Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet, add so much to this film, and keep me coming back for more. I probably watch it twice a year. Lots of twists and turns to the story keep things very interesting. Required viewing for the genre. ” - un_samourai
 
45.
Drive (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor. (100 mins.)
“ A great genre film that's lifted to the level of best getaway driver film ever. Great love story, cinematography, music, editing, but very violent. I scarcely could have enjoyed it more. ” - un_samourai
 
46.
Bullitt (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection. (114 mins.)
Director: Peter Yates
“ Wonderful score by Lalo Schifrin, and of course there's McQueen. Known for the car chase, and winning the best editing Oscar in '68, but the whole film is very enjoyable. The story, to me has a slightly elusive quality to it when all is said and done which lends the film well to repeated viewings. ” - un_samourai
 
47.
Get Carter (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate. (112 mins.)
Director: Mike Hodges
“ One of the all time great anti-heroes. It may surprise you how well Michael Caine plays a tough guy if you know him only from his work from the 80's through today.

Great theme song and score by Roy Budd. I'd love to have more films just like this in my collection. It's a very cool picture. ” - un_samourai
 
48.
Europa (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him. (112 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ Another Von Trier film with an extraordinary visual presentation. It's presented mainly in B & W with extensive use of rear-projection, and splashes of color here and there. Very original, and I love the ending.

Having just watched Jacques Tourneur's film "Berlin Express" for the second time, I see its influence on Europa. ” - un_samourai
 
49.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ It has charm, and certainly is chock-a-block with all the hallmarks of the genre. Nice construction in general, and is one of the principal blue-print's for the genre, it's just a bit overrated IMHO. ” - un_samourai
 
50.
Breathless (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“ The rule breaker that ushered in 'la nouvelle vague'. A lot of fun, and supercool. Great Jazz score, and two very sexy lead actors. ” - un_samourai
 
51.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ A hugely enjoyable nod to film noir. Great lead Performances by an ensemble cast of A-listers. Quite a bit better than the somewhat similar film Mulholland Falls, but slighter than the great Chinatown. ” - un_samourai
 
52.
A History of Violence (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core. (96 mins.)
“ A set-up not unlike 'Out of the Past'. The violence is portrayed in a way that really makes us re-consider our love of watching on screen violence. ” - un_samourai
 
53.
Dark Passage (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence. (106 mins.)
Director: Delmer Daves
“ Bacall and Bogart up to their old magic. A very, very enjoyable watch. ” - un_samourai
 
54.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ Is it a police procedural, or a noir? It's bloody great regardless of what you call it. ” - un_samourai
 
55.
Mississippi Mermaid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A wealthy plantation owner is captivated by a mysterious woman with a shady past. (123 mins.)
“ One of film historian David Thomson's very favorite films. I like it more every time I watch it. It is not a blow you away film, but look at the two leads, and then throw in Truffaut channeling Hitchcock, and you've got a really cool film. ” - un_samourai
 
56.
Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother... (81 mins.)
“ A nouvelle vague film noir that transcends the genre a fair bit. Very good film that's more on the art house side. ” - un_samourai
 
57.
Blast of Silence (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way. (77 mins.)
Director: Allen Baron
“ Well, this indie was at the absolute end of the classic noir cycle. The narration is very charming, and there are great shots and sequences.
Another positive is the 'Taxi Driver'-esque isolated, delusional loner qualities of the protagonist.
Many people just adore this film. My second viewing was the one that did it for me. On first viewing, I'd say it's an interesting little noir that is certainly great considering it's tiny budget. ” - un_samourai
 
58.
Ex Machina (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I. (108 mins.)
Director: Alex Garland
“ Tech-noir heaven. Alicia Vicander is perfect as the cyborg femme fatale.

I like how the film keeps you guessing about the motives of Oscar Issac's character throughout the film. ” - un_samourai
 
59.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants. (122 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
“ Werner Herzog's skewed cop film is great. Nicolas Cage is impressive in this, possibly as good as he was in 'Adaptation'.
Keep in mind the thought of Herzog poking you in the rib with his elbow about 3/4 into the film though (can't say more than that without spoiling anything) and you should really enjoy this picture. ” - un_samourai
 
60.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. (112 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ I enjoyed this film better the second time (the first time watching this, I'd just seen the wonderful 'Rififi' a few days before, and then there's the huge reputation that comes with this film). There's a lot right about this heist film, the wrong for me is Dix's girlfriend (two dimensional, and annoying). Nice to see a young Marilyn Monroe, and a slew of noir staple actors in this film. ” - un_samourai
 
61.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax. (117 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ Sidney Lumet's Neo-Noir was a real favorite of mine in 2007. I feel like it didn't get it's due. Some films just seem to get lost in the shuffle. ” - un_samourai
 
62.
Inherent Vice (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. (148 mins.)
“ A funny, early 70's set neo-noir that could be described as The Big Sleep + the Big Lebowski + The Long Goodbye. This is incredibly well directed. Phoenix is great in the lead, and Brolin has never been as funny. ” - un_samourai
 
63.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ One of the best comic Neo-Noirs. See it twice. The Cohen's films are more about characters than plot. Once you've seen the film, you can savor the delicious characters. ” - un_samourai
 
64.
Death of a Cyclist (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A couple having an affair strike a bicyclist with their car and do not offer aid out of fear of their relationship being exposed. (88 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bardem
“ A very good spanish noir with political undertones. ” - un_samourai
 
65.
The Element of Crime (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor. (104 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
“ This one is certainly more for art house fans. Shot in sepia toned B & W, with odd flashes of blue, it is one of the most visually interesting films one will ever encounter (some of the shots remind me of Andrei Tarkovsky's 'Stalker'). Nice dark detective story. ” - un_samourai
 
66.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. (126 mins.)
“ Excellent Noir political thriller. ” - un_samourai
 
67.
He Walked by Night (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop. (79 mins.)
Director: Alfred Werker
“ This is a very good true crime film. Nicely shot (by John Alton), and executed in general. Richard Basehart is quite a good villain. The end sequence was probably an influence on 'The Third Man' (this film is a year before) It's a tense, very cool film. ” - un_samourai
 
68.
Armored Car Robbery (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A well-planned robbery goes awry, with tough cop Cordell in pursuit. (67 mins.)
“ This Noir was probably an influence on Kubrick's 'The Killing'.

It's a compact, very solid caper picture populated with great Noir archetypes. I watch it often. ” - un_samourai
 
69.
Cry of the City (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Police Lieut. Candella, longtime friend of the Rome family, walks a tightrope in the case of cop-killer Martin Rome. (95 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
“ It's not as strong and flawless as "The Killers", but it is certainly a well above average noir by Robert Siodmak. It's well worth seeking out for fans of the dark cinema. Richard Conte is at his criminal best, right up there with his role in "The Big Combo", and he carries the film more than the other players.

This film is newly out on burn on demand DVD by 20th century fox archive collection and is a very decent quality print/transfer. ” - un_samourai
 
70.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Very enjoyable, with a twisty plot that even the writer admitted had one or two unanswered questions within it (though nothing crucial). As one would imagine, great chemistry between Bogart and Bacall. ” - un_samourai
 
71.
The French Connection (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. (104 mins.)
“ Gene Hackman is indelible in this roll. Great soundtrack. Wonderful texture to the film in general. I'd say it's essential film viewing. ” - un_samourai
 
72.
Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An aging, world-weary gangster is double-crossed and forced out of retirement when his best friend is kidnapped and their stash of eight stolen gold bars demanded as ransom. (94 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
“ Jean Gabin is very cool in this French film by the great director Jaques Becker. The price of friendship can be very high indeed. ” - un_samourai
 
73.
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn? (82 mins.)
“ Excellent noir. My favorite role for Victor Mature. ” - un_samourai
 
74.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Wells is great, and there are wonderful creepy, dark moods in general throughout this film. One does have to get over Charlton Heston playing a mexican cop. Must have been before hispanics could be cast in lead roles. One of the last noir's of the classic cycle (1940-1958) ” - un_samourai
 
75.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (115 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ The Coen's bring their slightly skewed/caricatured universe to the classic noir era with plenty of great performances. ” - un_samourai
 
76.
The Last Seduction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A devious sexpot steals her husband's drug money and hides out in a small town where she meets the perfect dupe for her next scheme. (110 mins.)
Director: John Dahl
“ One of the best Femme fatale's ever in a very enjoyable film noir. The DVD I have is in 4:3 which is probably the wrong aspect ratio. Oh well, still a great film. ” - un_samourai
 
77.
Kansas City Confidential (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits. (99 mins.)
Director: Phil Karlson
“ This film starts out rather so-so for the first third, but from then on is a really good, intriguing picture. The lead, John Payne is really terrific (and is almost a dead ringer for Ray Miland). Also features Coleen Gray from Kubrick's 'The Killing'. ” - un_samourai
 
78.
The Prowler (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way. (92 mins.)
Director: Joseph Losey
“ This is a very interesting noir. Quite a performance by Van Heflin, in a pretty risque scenario. Robert Aldrich was the AD. ” - un_samourai
 
79.
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit. (95 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
“ Very good film in the vein of "The Big Sleep". Lots of twists and turns.

I prefer the film "Farewell My Lovely" to this one. They are both based on the same book. ” - un_samourai
 
80.
The Narrow Margin (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. (71 mins.)
“ Very good 'suspense on a train' film with some classic noir actors. Very worth tracking down. ” - un_samourai
 
81.
The Driver (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenancious detective. (91 mins.)
Director: Walter Hill
“ Imagine if someone made a getaway driver film with a heavy influence of J.P. Melville (the stoic anti-hero). It gets better and better with repeat viewings. It's more an old favorite, than a blow you away film. ” - un_samourai
 
82.
Dead Reckoning (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow. (100 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
“ Starts slightly weak, but gets very interesting about 20 minutes in. The two principals are quite good, and there's a lot of twists regarding Scott being either a good girl or a femme fatale. It's not quite as good as 'The Maltese Falcon', 'the Big Sleep', or 'Key Largo', but it's a very worth-while find. I can also say that I always enjoy watching Bogart. ” - un_samourai
 
83.
The American Friend (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Tom Ripley, who deals in forged art, suggests a picture framer he knows would make a good hit man. (125 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ Very good Wim Wenders film with plenty of noir to the whole setup and execution. To me this picture feels more like it's from the early 80's rather than 1977. It's very artfully shot. Some very nice frames here and there. ” - un_samourai
 
84.
Impact (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Lubin
“ Good Noir in general, with great lead performances. The plot is certainly not always terribly realistic. Still it's a very enjoyable film that goes down real nice. ” - un_samourai
 
85.
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him. (95 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
“ Otto Preminger again re-teaming Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. Second in charm to 'Laura', but a grittier story line with a nice bit of moral struggle for the main character. A very nice watch with plenty of great supporting players like Karl Malden, Neville Brand, and Gary Merrill. ” - un_samourai
 
86.
The Lineup (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers. (86 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
“ This film features two interesting characters as the 2 killers, and overall, is a very good noir with lots of tension towards the end. Good direction by Don Siegel. A very solid recommend. ” - un_samourai
 
87.
The Phenix City Story (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town. (100 mins.)
Director: Phil Karlson
“ True crime story that packs a punch. Very effective, educational, and engaging film. It reminds one what true bravery really entails. ” - un_samourai
 
88.
Lady in the Lake (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder. (105 mins.)
“ Slight but very enjoyable 'first person perspective' film. I really liked Audrey Totter in this a lot. All the performances are a bit over the top, but still charming. ” - un_samourai
 
89.
Crime Wave (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter. (73 mins.)
Director: André De Toth
“ The hazards of being an ex-con are exploited beautifully in this picture. Early performance by Charles Bronson as well. This is very much the type of picture I hope I find more of in my film Noir research.

PS, I just read that french director JP Melville loved this film. Enough said! ” - un_samourai
 
90.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years. (164 mins.)
“ A worthy followup to the original. Villneuve does not disappoint. The score is excellent, and the visuals are wonderful. The story is a nice extension of the first film. It is almost 2:45 though so be prepared for a long film. ” - un_samourai
 
91.
Confidentially Yours (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that... (110 mins.)
“ A light, easy to watch murder mystery/noir that has Truffaut tipping his hat to Hitchcock. I like it more than I should. It just has that X factor for me. ” - un_samourai
 
92.
Point Blank (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the rather inconsequential sum of money that was stolen from him. (92 mins.)
Director: John Boorman
“ I like 'The Limey' better, but this is the film that so much was lifted from.
I've read that Boorman was influenced by Alain Resnais' non chronological films like 'Je T'aime Je T'aime' & 'Last Year at Marienbad'. ” - un_samourai
 
93.
Sin City (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption. (124 mins.)
“ An exaggerated pulp film noir which does good justice to the hard-boiled comics of Frank Miller. ” - un_samourai
 
94.
Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers... (99 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
“ The best Fuller film, and quite under-sung. Highly recommended even if, like me, you don't really like Fuller's films. ” - un_samourai
 
95.
Only God Forgives (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death. (90 mins.)
“ Not as flawless as Drive, but still a fever-dream of a Noir with a lot going for it, including some David Lynch like moments. ” - un_samourai
 
96.
The Wrong Man (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber. (105 mins.)
“ A very real feeling, moral story. It doesn't have a lot of the Hitchcock flourishes of style, but that suites the content. ” - un_samourai
 
97.
Experiment in Terror (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man with an asthmatic voice telephones bank clerk Kelly Sherwood at home and coerces her into helping him steal a large sum from her bank. (123 mins.)
Director: Blake Edwards
“ Very good noir thriller directed and produced by Blake Edwards after he did the wildly popular "Breakfast at Tiffany's". This is what a noir looked like in 1962. ” - un_samourai
 
98.
Gun Crazy (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is. (87 mins.)
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
“ A great Femme Fatale that looks like Lee Remmick with a little Veronica lake thrown in for good measure. A definite influence on the excellent Bonnie and Clyde '67. Great film! ” - un_samourai
 
99.
Prisoners (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. (153 mins.)
“ A dour & dark, violent, twisty thriller, somewhat like Se7en. ” - un_samourai
 
100.
Magical Girl (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The father of a terminally ill girl is determined to grant his daughter's last wish, a ridiculously expensive collectors' costume from a Japanese TV series. The request will drive him into a journey within his city's dark underbelly. (127 mins.)
Director: Carlos Vermut
“ A spare, art-house Spanish Neo-Noir that starts out slow, but gets better and better as it progresses. It's a very well made film. ” - un_samourai