30 Best Crime Thriller Movies to You Must Watch!

Crime tends to find the way back into the minds and hearts of people who are truly looking for it. Undeniably the passion and allure of a crime thriller movie is something to go for. It is something that keeps all of us looked to our seats till the end and the suspense of the ultimate disclosure keeps us going till the end even if we do not like this genre at all. Crime thrillers have intricate narratives along with Giallo horror and lucid action scenes.

These elements packed in one movie truly makes it worth watching. Crime thrillers can be anything from blood fests to psychological thrillers and if you have never liked this genre for whatever reason, you are going to fall in love with it as we bring to you the best 30 crime thriller movies of all times. These movies will surely make your heart skip a beat.

1. Infernal Affairs (2002)

This is a lean, tense and beautiful film about the cat and dog struggle between an undercover cop and the entire police department. Chan Wing Yan is the main character of the movie who acts as recruitment of the Police Department to go undercover for the Triad Society which is a criminal group of course. When a new gang member is added to the group his cover is threatened and this is when a deadly game of death and life begins. This thriller movie very intricately weaves emotions and moral consequences of trust and undercover work and lets the audience decide the message.

2. A History Of Violence (2005)

This film is directed by David Cronenberg which arguably passes as one of the best crime thriller movies of all times. This movie is fully packed with violence which sometimes becomes too much even for people who love to watch violence movies for long hours. This uncomfortably violent movie reaches out to cater some very grave issues which include a violent and long history in the past, violent being used to settle petty disputes and also the place of the weaker organisms on the Earth is quite evidently shown. This movie also has some sex scenes which feels quite refreshing after long violent scenes. The chilling gangster flick is a must-watch for all violence lovers.

3. Sicario (2015)

This film is directed by Denis Villeneuve and it deals with the most well-known crime all over the world which is drugs. This movie features Kate Macer who is an ideal FBI agent and who has increased her rank within a profession which is mostly dominated by males. She was hired by a unanimous government official to unleash hell on drugs. Kate along with her shadowy and intense team captain Alejandro travel across the Mexica-U.S border to eradicate the head of all the drug dealers. This movie is a jam-packed crime thriller which sometimes feels like any supernatural occurrence.

4. Good Time (2017)

Robert Pattinson is at his best in this movie and this movie is directed by the Safdie brothers. The story revolves around a robber who has robbed the bank and tries everything to free his brother from prison. This attempt launches him in a winding odyssey within New York’s dangerous and dark criminal world. The movie shows the race of a brother for the freedom of another.

5. Gomorra (2008)

This crime thriller is an authentic and stark portrait of what crime looks like in Southern Italy and the effect it has on the lives of the Italian citizens. This movie revolves around a crime syndicate known as Camora who has made a fortune on chemical waste and cocaine corruption. It also throws light on the other aspect of the society which includes teens who fight back to protect their own and also to break free from the shackles of Camora. But Camora, as it turns out, is too big to be taken down. This subject matter was woven in complex narratives and brutal realism which vowed the critics making it the most acclaimed crime thrillers of all times.

6. Brick (2005)

A high-school movie which has an e4ngrossing det5ective story along with a spellbinding narrative turns out to be the greatest crime thrillers of all times. This is a debut movie for the director Rian Johnson and he undoubtedly gave his best. The story revolves around the murder of a high-school kid and a loner boyfriend who tries to solve the murder. While doing so he comes across some of the roughest characters in schools and as the search for truth continues the confrontation of drug dealing comes out.

7. Kiss Kiss Bang (2005)

This movie turns out to the sharpest crime thrillers of all times. Directed by Shane Black this movie revolves around a crook Harry Lockhart who accidentally lands himself on the audition of a mysterious film while being chased by the cops. He scores the part and reaches Hollywood where he finds himself tangled within a murderous conspiracy along with Hermoine Lane who happens to be her sweetheart and a detective Perry Van Shrike. This hard-boiled and affectionate parody marks the film in the good books of the critics.

8. Shutter Island (2010)

A twisty thriller which keeps you hooked on your seats till the end is a good way to start our list. This movie stars Oscar awarded Leonardo Di Caprio as the main actor who along with Mark Ruffalo plays the role of US marshalls who are sent to a mental asylum namely Ashecliffe Hospital to investigate about a murderer who has recently escaped. The gravity of the film is felt when Leonardo DiCaprio realizes that his fears are standing in the way of his staying alive. This is a movie which throws several questions to its viewers and allows them to fit every piece of the puzzle together.

9. Shoplifters (2018)

This is a film based on Tokyo and the director Hirokazu Kore-Eda has marvelously woven empathy in this crime thriller where a band of dysfunctional outsiders is united together for penchant theft. The film revolves around a family whose lives are changed when they decide to take in a young and abused girl. Their carefree lives are changed into a more dramatic situation and all their habits and acts fall under the radar. The film makes the viewer explore the reasons to stick to one’s family even when everything is falling apart.

10. Zodiac (2007)

This crime thriller is based on a true story and will undoubtedly give you a spine chilling experience. This movie is based on the hunt of a notorious murderer who is known as the Zodiac killer. Zodiac haunts the residents of San Francisco in the late 1970s and the investigators go crazy while figuring out the identity of this serial killer. While the investigators are obsessed with the killer and try hard to bring justice, the zodiac killer is roaming free out there targeting his next victim and taunting the expert authorities with phone calls, cryptic messages, and ciphers.

11. Drive (2011)

A crime thriller directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and it stars Ryan Gosling as the main character. He plays the role of a Hollywood stuntman who is no afraid to pull up stunts in real life by allowing himself to be the driver for dangerous criminals. He is seen to develop a relationship with his neighbor which is soon interrupted by the return of her criminal husband from prison. The criminal husband indulges driver in a big heist which when goes wrong requires the driver to protect the masterminds by risking his own life. A hyper-violent thriller with a catchy soundtrack is worth your watch.

12. A Prophet ( 2009)

This is a critically acclaimed crime thriller which is directed by Jacques Audiard. This is a prison drama which stars a petty criminal of 19 years with a six years sentence. He finds himself alone and vulnerable and soon ties up with Corsican gang lord who uses this young boy to perform crimes for him. This film progress as the young boy grows up and masters his job by transforming himself to a drug trafficker and assassin thereby developing several enemies. His want for more power ultimately brings him feud with his mentor.

13. Cold In July (2014)

A crime thriller which deals with a very simple theme known as revenge. This film revolves around a family man who murders an intruder in his house and soon finds himself protecting his family from the hands of the intruder’s father who is targeting him and his family for revenge. This film is both disturbing and hilarious at the same time.

14. Nightcrawler (2014)

No one can forget the creepy look on the face of Jake Gyllenhaal which is exactly why this movie is one of the most acclaimed crime thrillers. The story revolves around a petty thief who soon realizes that he can make handsome money just by clicking photographs. He begins on his venture and becomes nocturnal waiting to use his scanner and camcorder as his valuable tools. This movie shows the relationship between consumer demand and unethical journalism and also portrays the nightlife of Los Angeles. The eerie performance of Jake makes him a character straight out of a horror movie.

15. The Departed (2006)

The story revolves around a spy and an agent who goes undercover to penetrate a criminal organization. The main character is Billy who is a spy of the police de[artment and when he begins to gain the trust of the criminal lord meanwhile there is a criminal who penetrates the police department and discloses all moves and operation to the criminal side. When both the organizations realize that there is a spy in between them they need to figure out their next move and safely get out of their respective places.

16. Don’t Breathe (2016)

This is a horror movie which is a very interesting crime thriller if you see it. The story revolves around three kids who break in inside the house of a person who happens to be visually impaired to retrieve prize money that he has won. They think this man to be an easy target but soon realizes that they are highly mistaken. He might be blind but he has a dark past and they must find a way out from his trap. While doing so they discover a victim and decides to free her as well from the shackles of the mind man.

17. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Undoubtedly one of the best crime thriller movies of all times. The story revolves around Clarice who is an intelligent student of the academy of FBI and is required to interview a psychiatrist and violent psychopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He is currently behind the bars for severe cannibalism and several murders. Clarice is sent by her bosses to draw out information about a case in which the doctor might be able to provide valuable insight. Her bosses want her to use her attractive charm and lure him out.

18. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The story revolves around 5 suspects who meet each other for the first time at the police station during a police line up. Since they are already named as suspects in the police records they decide to pull off a million-dollar heist once they are released. These criminals are to do this job for a mythical criminal which goes wrong and the result is a massive explosion in San Fransisco eradicating the entire town while leaving only a few survivors.

19. No Country For Old Men (2007)

This crime thriller involves the life of a hunter whose life is changed when he discovers a bag full of million dollars while he was strolling through the consequences of a drug deal. The hunter decides to take the cash and this is when he gets hunted by a psychotic killer who is after the money and wants to retrieve it at any costs. This is when an aging lawman jumps in and tries to protect the hunter. The struggle between these three different personalities is the heart of this movie.

20. Reservoir Dogs ( 1992)

This story is about six criminals who have pseudo names and are hired for diamond thefts. All of them are unknown to each other but they must partner together for this huge theft. They are being ambushed by the police forcing them to find their way out. While doing so they realize that there is a traitor among them and simultaneously try to find the one while being on the run from the cops.

21. Dial M For Murder (1954)

The story revolves around a couple where the husband plans the murder of his cheating wife. He wants to get her killed so that he can inherit her wealth and finding the perfect reason as infidelity he forms a perfect plan by blackmailing an old acquaintance to carry out this murder along with him. But things do not go out as planned and the husband must try to find a perfect plan to stay away from the hands of the law.

22. Collateral (2004)

The story centers Max who is a cab driver finds himself in shock when he realizes that his passenger is a well-trained assassin. Max decides to try and stop this hitman while wondering if he will be alive to see the light of the day. Luckily the hitman is being hunted by the police and FBI so there is still hope for him.

23. Scarface (1983)

The story revolves around Tony Montana who receives a green card after killing a government official of Cuba. He becomes a drug lord in Miami and mercilessly kills anyone who decides to stop him or come in his way. He soon raises to become the most powerful drug lord but every arrogant man suffers downfall and this is the case with him too. His downfall is marked by government pressure and feud with the rival drug lords.

24. Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004)

A crime thriller centering badass women known as the Bride is all set to start from where she left in vol 1 and decides to finish off her list which comprises of everyone who has ever wronged her. Her ex-boyfriend Bill happens to be on this list too. She kills several in her way while finally reaching Bill who is in Mexico. She uses her skills to track him down and decides to finish him for having tried to kill her.

25. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

This film centers around a gangster Danny Ocean who hires a group of eleven people to indulge them in the theft of robbing three most popular casinos in the charming city of Las Vegas. This theft has only three rules which include not to hurt anybody, not to steal from undeserving people and play along without the fear of losing anything. A charismatic and glamorous thriller is worth watching.

26. Road To Preditition (2002)

The film is about an assassin who is running along with his son for revenge. It stars Mike Sullivan who is a hitman for John Rooney. Rooney’s son is jealous of their bond and decides to kill Sullivan’s wife and his younger son. Getting to know this Sullivan decides to protect his elder son and trakes him with himself while he sets out on revenge for his loss.

27. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The story involves a disgraced reporter who is hired by a wealthy man to solve a murder mystery of a 40-year-old woman. To redeem back his honor he takes up the case a hires a computer hacker to help him long to solve the mystery. They finally learn that the woman was murdered by someone close possibly a family member and the quest goes on.

28. Monster (2003)

This story is based on a criminal of real-life known as Aileen Wuornos. She is a prostitute who has no right to love but unfortunately falls in love with a girl after meeting her at the bar. She tries to make everything right but while doing so she does something that changes her life drastically leading her to her tragic end. This movie shows how everybody needs a partner but how obsession and desperation can turn things around.

29. Identity (2003)

This movie has a haunting effect but for all the right reasons. This is a movie about 10 people who are stuck in a motel during a rainstorm. While they are trapped strange things start to happen. They soon realize that there is an intruder who tries to kill everyone and they all need to stick together to survive and find their way out.

30. Orphan (2009)

This movie is a story about an orphan girl and a happy family who happily adopts her. Ever since she has entered the family that has been strange things happening with the. The mother soon realizes that the adopted child is not normal and that she has everything to do with the happenings. After much digging, she finds out that she is not a child at all but grown women and has a dark past. The film has too many secrets and also portrays the love of the mother for her family. A binge-worthy movie which can give you sleepless nights if you are trying to adopt.


Finding a good movie is seriously hard to find and especially crime thrillers. Here were the listy of 30 great movies of all time which are worth a watch for all the right reasons. So the next time you are up for a crime thriller try selecting any of these.

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