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Updated by Soubin Nath on Jul 29, 2017
Headline for 20 Best Neo-Noir Movies Ever Released
Soubin Nath Soubin Nath
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20 Best Neo-Noir Movies Ever Released

Neo-Noir is one of the most celebrated genres in world cinema. Hollywood crime dramas were redesigned after this genre. Here is the list of best 20 neo-noir movies of all time.


Get Carter (1971)

Directed by Mike Hodges
With Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

The Long Good Friday (1980)

Directed by John Mackenzie
With Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan

Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his action, and Harold wants to know who they are. He finds out soon enough, and bloody mayhem ensues.

Dirty Harry (1971)

Directed by Don Siegel
With Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni

When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Serpico (1973)

Directed by Sidney Lumet
With Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Directed by Sidney Lumet
With Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Thief (1981)

Directed by Michael Mann
With James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who have other plans for him.

Léon: The Professional (1994)

Directed by Luc Besson
With Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

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

Heat (1995)

Directed by Michael Mann
With Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

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 lives with their professional lives.

King of New York (1990)

Directed by Abel Ferrara
With Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne, Victor Argo

A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor and lower classes in this stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.

Violent Cop (1989)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano
With Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shirô Sano

A violence prone police officer discovers that his colleague is trafficking drugs.

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

Directed by William Friedkin
With William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Blood Simple. (1984)

Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
With John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Manhunter (1986)

Directed by Michael Mann
With William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named 'the Tooth Fairy' by the media.

Hard Boiled (1992)

Directed by John Woo
With Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Se7en (1995)

Directed by David Fincher
With Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

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

A History of Violence (2005)

Directed by David Cronenberg
With Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt

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.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
With Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling, Lena Endre

A journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years.

Cold in July (2014)

Directed by Jim Mickle
With Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Vinessa Shaw

When a protective father meets a murderous ex-con, both need to deviate from the path they are on as they soon find themselves entangled in a downwards spiral of lies and violence while having to confront their own inner psyche.

Drive (2011)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
With Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

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

Brick (2005)

Directed by Rian Johnson
With Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good

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