Best Noir Movies


  • Brick

    Brick (R, 2006)

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Noah Segan
    "Brick," while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors... read more the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory - a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school. There, student Brendan Frye's piercing intelligence spares no one. Brendan is not afraid to back up his words with actions, and knows all the angles; yet he prefers to stay an outsider, and does - until the day that his ex-girlfriend, Emily reaches out to him unexpectedly and then vanishes. Brendan's feelings for her still run deep; so much so, that he becomes consumed with finding his troubled inamorata. To find her, Brendan enlists the aid of his only true peer, The Brain, while keeping the assistant vice principal only occasionally informed of what quickly becomes a dangerous investigation. Brendan's single-minded unearthing of students' secrets thrusts him headlong into the colliding social orbits of rich-girl sophisticate Laura, intimidating Tugger, substance-abusing Dode, seductive Kara, jock Brad and - most ominously - non-student The Pin. It is only by gaining acceptance into The Pin's closely guarded inner circle of crime and punishment that Brendan will be able to uncover hard truths about himself, Emily and the suspects that he is getting closer to.
    • fb82501890
      fb82501890: Film Noir goes to high school. An energetic, unique film.
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • fb100001944500499
      fb100001944500499: A wonderful noir mystery with a stone-cold, bad ass, yet sympathetic performance by Joseph Gordon Levitt. The st
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • mchammer731
      mchammer731: Absolutely brilliant film noir set in high school! Don't know how this one snuck by me until now!
      Reviewed 17 months days ago
  • Sin City

    Sin City (R, 2005)

    Jessica Alba, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson
    The Eisner Award-winning comic series Sin City comes to life in this live-action feature adaptation ... read morefrom director Robert Rodriguez and creator Frank Miller. Interweaving multiple storylines from the series' history, this violent crime noir paints the picture of the ultimate town without pity through the eyes of its roughest characters. There's the street thug Marv (Mickey Rourke), whose desperate quest to find the killer of a prostitute named Goldie (Jaime King) will lead him to the foulest edges of town. Inhabiting many of those areas is Dwight (Clive Owen), a photographer in league with the sordid ladies of Sin City, headed by Gail (Rosario Dawson), who opens up a mess of trouble after tangling with a corrupt cop by the name of Jackie Boy (Benicio Del Toro). Finally, there's Hartigan (Bruce Willis), an ex-cop with a heart problem who's hell-bent on protecting a stripper named Nancy (Jessica Alba). Featuring a who's who supporting cast that includes Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Devon Aoki, and Nick Stahl, Sin City promises to be one of the most direct translations from page to screen of a comic series, with shots and dialogue adapted straight from the original comic's panels. Rodriguez quit the Director's Guild when they refused to let Frank Miller co-direct the film, a deal hashed out after the two collaborators developed and shot the opening scene utilizing a green-screen process to harness the stark, black-and-white look of the books as a litmus test for the rest of the production. Quentin Tarantino was brought in and reportedly paid one dollar to direct an extended scene between Del Toro and Owen that amounts to one issue of The Big Fat Kill miniseries. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
    • fb1322023774
      fb1322023774: Great over the top noir film with an all star cast, great effects and beautiful cinematography.
      Reviewed 4 months days ago
    • michaelmontano1232
      michaelmontano1232: This modern noir film is set with gritty characters and stories that make you want to live in this fictional cit
      Reviewed 2 months days ago
    • fb553332446
      fb553332446: great production design; not very authentic noir. liked dark city better
      Reviewed 15 months days ago
  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon (PG, 1941)

    Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond
    After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner ... read moreBros. finally got it right in 1941--or, rather, John Huston, a long-established screenwriter making his directorial debut, got it right, simply by adhering as closely as possible to the original. Taking over from a recalcitrant George Raft, Humphrey Bogart achieved true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who can be as unscrupulous as the next guy but also adheres to his own personal code of honor. Into the offices of the Spade & Archer detective agency sweeps a Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor), who offers a large retainer to Sam and his partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) if they'll protect her from someone named Floyd Thursby. The detectives believe neither Miss Wonderly nor her story, but they believe her money. Since Archer saw her first, he takes the case -- and later that evening he is shot to death, as is the mysterious Thursby. Miss Wonderly's real name turns out to be Brigid O'Shaughnessey, and, as the story continues, Sam is also introduced to the effeminate Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and the fat, erudite Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet, in his film debut). It turns out that Brigid, Cairo and Gutman are all international scoundrels, all involved in the search for a foot-high, jewel-encrusted statuette in the shape of a falcon. Though both Cairo and Gutman offer Spade small fortunes to find the "black bird," they are obviously willing to commit mayhem and murder towards that goal: Gutman, for example, drugs Spade and allows his "gunsel" Wilmer (Elisha Cook Jr.) to kick and beat the unconscious detective. This classic film noir detective yarn gets better with each viewing, which is more than can be said for the first two Maltese Falcons and the ill-advised 1975 "sequel" The Black Bird. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    • fb1077523731
      fb1077523731: . Everything that we would consider cliche in a noir style of film can probably be traced back to this movie. Sam Spade and his partner Miles Archer
      Reviewed 15 days days ago
    • fb41000066
      fb41000066: classic film noir, a piece of art in cinema history. i like watching this movie sometimes solely for getting to
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • vossr
      vossr: One of Bogart's best performances and one of the greatest (if not the single greatest) noir films. A perfect cast is in place, also including Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Ast
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
  • Chinatown

    Chinatown (R, 1974)

    Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman
    A private detective, Jake Gittes, hired to investigate an adultery case, stumbles on the plot of a m... read moreurder involving incest and the privatization of water through state and municipal corruption, land use and real estate. If he doesn't drop the case at once he faces threats of legal action, but he pursues it anyway, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy.
    • fb755078042
      fb755078042: e film's dialogue was a delight as it takes inspirations from the hard-boiled dialogue from classic noir films while making it appropriate for the new style of cinema. Towne has also written the dialo
      Reviewed 5 months days ago
    • fb590272062
      fb590272062: Classic film noir with a complex but well told story that always keeps you engaged but never confused.
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • fb767444257
      fb767444257: . Like it or not this is film-noir at its most bleak and effective.
      Reviewed 33 days days ago
  • Dark City

    Dark City (R, 1998)

    Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O'Brien
    From the director of "The Crow," an atmospheric melange of styles and substance about aliens, night ... read moreand unspeakable acts. Interesting, but more than a bit addled.
    • fb1077523731
      fb1077523731: . That being said I loved the dark film noir feel of this movie. The scenes with the characters living in the city, but still feeling someho
      Reviewed 2 months days ago
    • fb100000469391382
      fb100000469391382: A very intriguing and surreal tale that even though was a bit rough around the edges was still a ve
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • caffeinatedalex
      caffeinatedalex: countless eras and looks of American culture, and we're left with an outstandingly creative mix of noir and future sci-fi that leaves us uncomfortable with everything we see; it seems about right, bu
      Reviewed 5 years days ago
  • Touch of Evil

    Touch of Evil (PG-13, 1958)

    Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Akim Tamiroff, Joseph Calleia
    This baroque nightmare of a south-of-the-border mystery is considered to be one of the great movies ... read moreof Orson Welles, who both directed and starred in it. On honeymoon with his new bride, Susan (Janet Leigh), Mexican-born policeman Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston) agrees to investigate a bomb explosion. In so doing, he incurs the wrath of local police chief Hank Quinlan (Welles), a corrupt, bullying behemoth with a perfect arrest record. Vargas suspects that Quinlan has planted evidence to win his past convictions, and he isn't about to let the suspect in the current case be railroaded. Quinlan, whose obsession with his own brand of justice is motivated by the long-ago murder of his wife, is equally determined to get Vargas out of his hair, and he makes a deal with local crime boss Uncle Joe Grandi (Akim Tamiroff) to frame Susan on a drug rap, leading to one of the movie's many truly harrowing sequences. Touch of Evil dissects the nature of good and evil in a hallucinatory, nightmarish ambience, helped by the shadow-laden cinematography of Russell Metty and by the cast, which, along with Tamiroff and Welles includes Charlton Heston as a Mexican; Marlene Dietrich, in a brunette wig, as a brittle madam who delivers the movie's unforgettable closing words; Mercedes McCambridge as a junkie; and Dennis Weaver as a tremulous motel clerk. Touch of Evil has been released with four different running times -- 95 minutes for the 1958 original, which was taken away from Welles and brutally cut by the studio; 108 minutes and 114 minutes in later versions; and 111 minutes in the 1998 restoration. Based on a 58-page memo written by Welles after he was barred from the editing room during the film's original post-production, this restoration, among numerous other changes, removed the opening titles and Henry Mancini's music from the opening crane shot, which in either version ranks as one of the most remarkably extended long takes in movie history. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
  • The Black Dahlia

    The Black Dahlia (R, 2006)

    Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner
    A tale of obsession, love, corruption, greed and depravity that revolves around a true story of the ... read morebrutal murder of a fledgling Hollywood starlet that shocked and fascinated the nation in 1947 and remains unsolved today. Two ex-pugilist cops, Lee Blanchard and Bucky Bleichert, are called to investigate the homicide of ambitious silver-screen B-lister Betty Ann Short -- aka 'The Black Dahlia' -- an attack so grisly that images of the killing were kept from the public. While Blanchard's growing preoccupation with the sensational murder threatens his marriage to Kay, his partner, Bleichert, finds himself attracted to the enigmatic Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of one of the city's most prominent families -- who just happens to have an unsavory connection to the murder victim.
    • dylanshapiro1
      dylanshapiro1: riminally underrated, expertly paced, and brilliantly lensed, The Black Dahlia is an evocative film noir that's complex, mysterious, at times baffling, and above all, enthralling. The acting leaves pl
      Reviewed 3 months days ago
    • fb526676639
      fb526676639: .
      It played like a noir mystery from the 40's and 50's very well.
      The story was a little drab considering the subject i
      Reviewed 2 years days ago
    • fb531758208
      fb531758208: A good film noir, but the story could have been fleshed out more.
      Reviewed 20 months days ago