A list of 45 Modern Crime Thrillers

by Metamoris | created - 20 Feb 2016 | updated - 1 day ago | Public

Modern film technology transcends the neo-noir feel traditionally associated with crime dramas, allowing them to appeal to wider audiences. Advanced cinematography allows the audience to feel closer to the characters with an intense, high resolution display of action and suspense.

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1. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 533,449 | Gross: $67.44M

2. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 1,048,430 | Gross: $25.54M

3. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,319,403 | Gross: $100.13M

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,162,784 | Gross: $130.74M

5. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

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.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 782,500 | Gross: $74.28M

6. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A middle-aged woman finds herself in the middle of a huge conflict that will either make her a profit or cost her life.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Votes: 292,488 | Gross: $39.67M

7. Training Day (2001)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger

Votes: 362,561 | Gross: $76.63M

8. Narc (2002)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

70 Metascore

When the trail goes cold on a murder investigation of a policeman an undercover narcotics officer is lured back to the force to help solve the case.

Director: Joe Carnahan | Stars: Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Chi McBride, Dan Leis

Votes: 37,108 | Gross: $10.46M

9. The Fugitive (1993)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt led by a seasoned U.S. Marshal.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore

Votes: 249,341 | Gross: $183.88M

10. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,685,299 | Gross: $107.93M

11. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 732,456 | Gross: $83.01M

12. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 949,452 | Gross: $19.50M

13. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

R | 158 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

71 Metascore

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 393,759 | Gross: $102.52M

14. Michael Clayton (2007)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

82 Metascore

A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class action suit.

Director: Tony Gilroy | Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Michael O'Keefe

Votes: 149,978 | Gross: $49.03M

15. Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

59 Metascore

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny

Votes: 364,674 | Gross: $180.98M

16. The Negotiator (1998)

R | 140 min | Action, Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, Ron Rifkin

Votes: 123,595 | Gross: $44.48M

17. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 151,563 | Gross: $28.97M

18. Brick (2005)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good

Votes: 95,918 | Gross: $2.06M

19. Red Dragon (2002)

R | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel

Votes: 234,795 | Gross: $93.15M

20. Fresh (1994)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

Death and violence anger a twelve-year-old drug courier, who sets his employers against each other.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, N'Bushe Wright

Votes: 11,353 | Gross: $8.09M

21. GoldenEye (1995)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

65 Metascore

James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen

Votes: 225,738 | Gross: $106.60M

22. Prisoners (2013)

R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

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.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo

Votes: 540,072 | Gross: $61.00M

23. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

84 Metascore

The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Votes: 394,200 | Gross: $90.14M

24. Zodiac (2007)

R | 157 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards

Votes: 404,288 | Gross: $33.08M

25. Sicario (2015)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 336,888 | Gross: $46.89M

26. Nightcrawler (2014)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Dan Gilroy | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

Votes: 416,138 | Gross: $32.38M

27. Drive (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor in this action drama.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

Votes: 530,663 | Gross: $35.06M

28. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

A New York City doctor embarks on a harrowing, night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife reveals a painful secret to him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack

Votes: 277,646 | Gross: $55.69M

29. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 501,304 | Gross: $64.62M

30. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

72 Metascore

Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan

Votes: 237,255 | Gross: $20.30M

31. La Femme Nikita (1990)

R | 117 min | Action, Thriller

56 Metascore

Convicted felon Nikita, instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained, stylishly, as a top secret spy/assassin.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière

Votes: 63,819 | Gross: $5.02M

32. End of Watch (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera

Votes: 214,396 | Gross: $41.00M

33. Hell or High Water (II) (2016)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham

Votes: 181,875 | Gross: $26.86M

34. Inside Man (2006)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

76 Metascore

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 317,730 | Gross: $88.51M

35. Wind River (2017)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A veteran hunter helps an FBI agent investigate the murder of a young woman on a Wyoming Native American reservation.

Director: Taylor Sheridan | Stars: Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, Julia Jones, Teo Briones

Votes: 176,920 | Gross: $33.80M

36. The Town (2010)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

74 Metascore

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the F.B.I. Agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 327,506 | Gross: $92.19M

37. In the Valley of Elah (2007)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker, Jason Patric

Votes: 66,479 | Gross: $6.78M

38. Deep Cover (1992)

R | 107 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Duke | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Lira Angel, René Assa

Votes: 8,125 | Gross: $16.64M

39. Insomnia (2002)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

78 Metascore

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan

Votes: 257,156 | Gross: $67.36M

40. Street Kings (2008)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

55 Metascore

An undercover cop, disillusioned by the death of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans

Votes: 103,703 | Gross: $26.42M

41. Unfaithful (2002)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

63 Metascore

A New York suburban couple's marriage goes dangerously awry when the wife indulges in an adulterous fling.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan

Votes: 74,784 | Gross: $52.80M

42. Triple 9 (2016)

R | 115 min | Crime, Thriller

52 Metascore

A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul

Votes: 61,442 | Gross: $12.63M

43. The Drop (2014)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama

69 Metascore

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.

Director: Michaël R. Roskam | Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts

Votes: 134,456 | Gross: $10.72M

44. Blue Ruin (2013)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack

Votes: 60,244 | Gross: $0.26M

45. Arbitrage (2012)

R | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Director: Nicholas Jarecki | Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth

Votes: 47,489 | Gross: $7.92M



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