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Silver Screen Streak List #24: The Best Crime Thrillers I Haven't Seen

Silver Screen Streak List #24: The Best Crime Thrillers I Haven't Seen

Written by dorrk
18 November 2023

Now that the madness of Octoblur23 — during which I reviewed 61 horror movies in 31 days — is over, I am back at The Silver Screen Streak Movie Challenge for its 24th list: Crime Thrillers.

Because The Silver Screen Streak Movie Challenge has been going on for nearly four years at this point, I will restate, briefly, its goals and rules: Twenty-six volunteers each chose a list of movies for me to discover. A lot of these lists were genres or filmographies or some other criteria with the results sorted by average rating on sites like Flickchart or Letterboxd. Some were lists published by books/websites or featured on podcasts. My job is to watch the movies that I have not previously seen — or do not remember well — from each list until I hit one that I don't like. And then I move on to the next list.

That's the TL/DR version. There are some more gamified aspects of the challenge that are explained in far too much detail here. I will take two stabs at almost every list. I am almost through the first look at each list, so this could take another four years! I am going to try to be more diligent, so as to avoid that, but we'll see what really happens.

The 24th list in The Silver Screen Streak Movie Challenge was selected by Nigel Druitt, a fellow Flickcharter who became my movie nemesis (jokingly) in the Facebook group where we met, as our tastes sometimes diverge quite sharply. Despite this deep character flaw, Nigel nevertheless has sharply picked a very apt list for me, The Best Crime Thrillers I Haven't Seen, according to Flickchart. There are a lot of selections here that have been lingering on my watchlist for years and I am downright excited to finally watch some of them.

If I flip over to the Crime Thrillers that I have already charted on Flickchart, you'll find a lot of my all-time favorite movies; in fact, the top 14 are among my 250 favorite movies of all time, including: 

  • Wild at Heart (1990); Dir.: David Lynch
  • Miller's Crossing (1990); Dir.: Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Witness (1985); Dir.: Peter Weir
  • The Dark Knight (2008); Dir.: Christopher Nolan
  • High and Low (1963); Dir.: Akira Kurosawa
  • Die Hard (1988); Dir.: John McTiernan
  • Scarface (1983); Dir.: Brian De Palma
  • The Departed (2006); Dir.: Martin Scorsese
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955); Dir.: Charles Laughton
  • The Killer (1989); Dir.: John Woo
  • Gun Crazy (1950); Dir.: Joseph H. Lewis
  • Pulp Fiction (1994); Dir.: Quentin Tarantino
  • Manhunter (1986); Dir.: Michael Mann
  • Blue Velvet (1986); Dir.: David Lynch
  • Rififi (1955); Dir.: Jules Dassin

What a great list! And that's even excluding equally (or more) excellent crime dramas like:

  • The Godfather Part II (1974); Dir.: Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Godfather (1972); Dir.: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Taxi Driver (1976); Dir.: Martin Scorsese
  • Zodiac (2007); Dir.: David Fincher
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975); Dir.: Sidney Lumet
  • Badlands (1973); Dir.: Terrence Malick
  • L.A. Confidential (1997); Dir.: Curtis Hanson

So, yeah, this is a rich genre for me. Good job, Nigel! Now, let's see how this watchlist looks....

The First Two

I will watch at least two movies from every list in this movie challenge. The first movie is a freebie — I will watch the second movie regardless of whether I like the first one. (How much I like a movie may earn the list one or more FREE PASSES, which will bring me back to the list for a second look later on.)

The Best Crime Thrillers: Lady Snowblood (1973); Dir.: Toshiya Fujita and Doulos: The Finger Man (1962); Dir.: Jean-Pierre Melville

Lady Snowblood (1973); Dir.: Toshiya Fujita 

I've watched this before, but too long ago. I'm excited to revisit it. It's maybe best known for its influence on the climax of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill series.

Doulos: The Finger Man (1962); Dir.: Jean-Pierre Melville 

Melville has been one of my favorite discoveries since I started doing movie challenges 10 years ago. His Army of Shadows (1969), Le Cercle Rouge (1970), and Le samouraï (1967) have since joined the upper ranks of my Flickchart. No reason not to be excited about watching another one of his movies, although my recent reaction to Bob le Flambeur (1956) was lukewarm.

More from this list:

After the first two movies, if I'm having a good time, I will continue to "streak" my way through the list until I hit one that charts in the lower half of my Flickchart. A list can continue to accrue up to five total FREE PASSES for the next round. The most movies I've watched from a list during the first round is six. Some have hit a wall after the second movie. Only one so far has failed to earn any passes to the second round.

More of the Best Crime Thrillers according to Flickchart

  • In the Line of Fire (1993); Dir.: Wolfgang Petersen
  • The Woman in the Window (1944); Dir.: Fritz Lang
  • Purple Noon (1960); Dir.: René Clément
  • The Spanish Prisoner (1997); Dir.: David Mamet
  • Tokyo Drifter (1966); Dir.: Seijun Suzuki
  • Charley Varrick (1973); Dir.: Don Siegel
  • The Man from Nowhere (2010); Dir.: Jeong-beom Lee
  • I Confess (1953); Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock

You can follow my streak through this list on my website and my Substack, or on FacebookInstagram, or X.

Silver Screen Streak List #24: The Best Crime Thrillers I Haven't Seen