Well-executed crime dramas like The Town are difficult to come by. The well-rounded narrative of this Ben Affleck directorial makes you question the concepts of morality and justice. If you’re like me who just can’t get enough of the crime genre, here are 15 movies that promise a high dose of suspense and drama.
15. Body Of Lies
Much like The Town, Body of Lies is a thriller that plays with morality and manipulation and has been expertly crafted by Ridley Scott. The story is centered around the life of a CIA operative Roger Ferris, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie leaps forward with Roger’s life-threatening chase to catch a wanted terrorist. Russell Crowe has co-starred as Ed Hoffman, playing Ferris’s manipulative boss.
14. The Great Train Robbery
The Great Train Robbery remains a legendary classic crime movie from 1978, directed by Michael Crichton. The storyline depicts a gold heist (on a moving train!) planned by a group of Victorian Era Criminals. Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, and Lesley Anne Down have complimented their characters effortlessly. It is an interesting watch and creates a great contrast to the modern crime setting of The Town.
13. The Accountant
Helmed by director Gavin O’Connor, The Accountant is a crime drama starring Ben Affleck. This time, Affleck is seen portraying the role of an autistic forensic accountant, Christian Wolff. He is gifted with exceptional mathematical skills and uses them for laundering money for dangerous criminals. While the movie didn’t bag any major awards, Affleck’s mesmerizing performance has made it a memorable watch.
12. Good Time
Good Time is another intense crime movie like The Town that narrates the story of a bank robber who is trying to free his brother from prison. The movie has earned a reputation for its gritty portrayal of the criminal underworld. Robert Pattinson’s mesmerizing performance has been widely praised and revealed his versatility as an actor.
11. The Place Beyond The Pines
Derek Cianfrance took a unique approach to heist movies with The Place Beyond the Pines. The narrative depicts the story of a motorcycle stunt performer turned bank robber, Luke Glanton, played by Ryan Gosling. Luke’s lucrative crimes become a nuisance for a Rookie Cop, Avery Cross, played by Bradley Cooper. Unlike many other films in this genre, The Place Beyond the Pines depicts the consequences of a crime.
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10. The Negotiator
Directed by F. Gary Gray, the narrative reveals the story of a skilled hostage negotiator, Danny Roman, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Danny is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and now his fate lies in the hands of Chris Sabian, played by Kevin Spacey. The film might not have landed many major nominations, but the actors were highly praised for channeling their characters seamlessly.
Directed by Michael Mann, Thief reveals the story of Frank, a skilled safecracker trying to escape criminal life. Portrayed by James Caan, the protagonist struggles in his crusade to build a normal family life. The film was widely praised for sticking to a realistic and unfiltered portrayal of several criminal scenarios.
8. Baby Driver
There’s no way this list is complete without an Edgar Wright movie. This film focuses on the life of Baby played by Ansel Elgort who is a skilled getaway driver. Baby’s love for music is dramatically matched with musical action sequences throughout the film. Baby Driver is an innovative crime film that has landed it numerous awards, including three Academy Award nominations.
7. Charley Varrick
Don Siegel contributed to the heist genre with his cinematic gem Charley Varric back in 1973. The movie follows a bank robber Charley Varrick played by Walter Matthau. The film sets up the protagonist against a mob, creating a tense and thrilling scenario. The vintage vibe is what makes the film an aesthetic treat.
6. Gone Baby Gone
Gone Baby Gone is another beauty directed by cinematic genius Ben Affleck. The narrative showcases Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as private investigators hired to find a missing girl. Both The Town and Gone Baby Gone demonstrate a central crime theme, the latter, however, is more of a mystery thriller. The storyline is intense and gripping and will keep you on the edge throughout the film’s runtime.
5. Inside Man
This Spike Lee movie portrays the dynamic between a detective, Keith Frazier, and a bank robber, Dalton Russell. These roles are portrayed by Denzel Washington and Clive Owen respectively. The film depicts a complex hostage situation during a bank robbery with an underlying tone of morality.
4. Hell Or High Water
Hell or High Water comes very close to the cinematic brilliance of The Town. Directed by David Mackenzie, the movie reveals the story of two brothers who become partners in crime and commit a series of bank robberies in West Texas. Jeff Bridges plays the role of a Texas Ranger who is tasked to put this duo behind bars. The movie reflects the hardships and the psychology that forces common civilians into the territory of crime.
Award-winning director, Nicolas Winding Refn took the crime genre by storm with his 2011 release, Drive. Starring Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman who secretly works as a getaway driver, the film stands out for its stylish visuals, sound effects, and minimalistic dialogue. Often compared with Taxi Driver, this movie won the Critic’s Choice Best Action Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
Heat is one of the most brilliant portrayals of crime in a movie. Al Pacino plays the role of Lieutenant Vicent Hanna while Robert De Niro is seen channeling the role of a master thief. The brilliance of this film does not lie in the idea but in its treatment, and the film’s legacy speaks for it.
1. Reservoir Dogs
Quentin Tarantino has used a non-linear narrative style in his debut feature film to depict the aftermath of a failed diamond heist. The movie has been graced by the presence of stars like Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen. Over the years, Reservoir Dogs has been appreciated for its unconventional style and witty dialogues and has become a cult classic.