Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024
Top 10 Crime Thrillers You Must Watch Before 2024 | Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO

As we step into 2023, crime thriller fans have an incredible lineup of movies to look forward to. However, there are also some award-winning recent crime thrillers that should not be overlooked before 2024 kicks in.

Here are detailed overviews of the top 10 crime thriller films to catch, along with where to stream them online and the recognitions they have received:

Top 10 Crime Thrillers You Must Watch Before 2024 | Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO

The Dark Knight (2008)

The gold standard for superhero movies, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is a sprawling crime saga anchored by Heath Ledger’s legendary performance as the Joker. Christian Bale’s Caped Crusader battles chaotic evil in the form of Ledger’s anarchist trying to unravel order in Gotham.

The gripping cat-and-mouse games, the Joker’s terrorizing mindgames and gadget-filled action scenes make The Dark Knight an unmissable cinematic experience. It finds that perfect balance between mass entertainment and artistic brilliance.

Where To Stream: HBO Max

Awards & Nominations:

  • Won 2 Academy Awards – Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger) & Best Sound Editing
  • Nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Won 3 BAFTA Awards – Best Supporting Actor (Ledger), Best Production Design, Best Sound
  • Won 2 Golden Globe Awards – Best Supporting Actor (Ledger) & Best Original Score
  • Won several critics awards

Zodiac (2007)

Directed by David Fincher, this meticulously crafted drama follows the desperate hunt for the notorious Zodiac serial killer who haunted 1960s-70s San Francisco. Based on true events, Jake Gyllenhaal leads the obsessive case with cryptic puzzles and red herrings sending the cops into despair. The killer ultimately defeats the system and escapes unidentified.

Spanning decades, Zodiac’s slow-burning pace, stunning visuals and attention to period detail makes it a breathtaking work of true crime with scathing commentary on systemic failures. It deserves a spot among the great American crime epics.

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime Video

Awards & Nominations:

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar – Best Editing
  • Nominated for 4 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Director
  • Won 2 Critics’ Choice Awards – Best Writer, Best Editing
  • Won several regional critics awards in 2007-08

Prisoners (2013)

Visionary director Denis Villeneuve helms this morally ambiguous crime mystery about two girls who go missing on Thanksgiving. Hugh Jackman delivers a career-best performance as the distraught father who employs torture believing a suspect has abducted them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the cop grappling with uncertainties around the case.

Prisoners masterfully utilizes rain, shadows and biblical subtext to craft nerve-wracking suspense through its complex moral spectrum. Villeneuve purposefully challenges preconceived audience notions on right versus wrong across a disturbing yet thoughtful crime narrative.

Where To Stream: Hulu

Awards & Nominations:

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar – Best Cinematography
  • Nominated for Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor (Jackman)

Sicario (2015)

Denis Villeneuve strikes again with Sicario, a gritty action thriller centered on the volatile issues surrounding the US-Mexico border drug wars. Emily Blunt plays the idealistic FBI agent exposed to the ominous realities behind cartel operations. But it’s Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro who steal the show as shady undercover assets pushing legal boundaries to orchestrate takedowns.

Led by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, Sicario delivers an experience that’s grim, chaotic and always tense right till its famous tunnel sequence climax. As an exhilarating piece of crime action, this deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Where To Stream: Netflix

Awards & Nominations:

  • Won 3 Academy Awards – Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing
  • Nominated for multiple BAFTAs, Golden Globes

L.A Confidential (1997)

Curtis Hansen’s elegant ode to film noir, L.A Confidential unfolds in scintillating fashion across 1950s Los Angeles following three distinctly different cops whose paths intersect. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey are stellar as the trio involves themselves in Tinseltown crimes and police corruption. With multilayered characters, stylish presentation and great writing, no other ’90s crime film comes close.

Where To Stream: HBO Max, Apple TV

Awards & Nominations:

  • Won Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay & Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger)
  • Nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Editing
  • Won Golden Globes for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Crowe)
  • Nominated for multiple BAFTAs, Directors Guild Awards

Infernal Affairs (2002)

This Hong Kong thriller directly inspired Scorsese’s multiple Oscar-winning The Departed. But the original stands tall on its own too as a deftly crafted cat-and-mouse tale centered on an undercover cop amidst criminals and a mole in the police. Tony Leung and Andy Lau give exceptional performances as the two leads whose fates become antagonistically intertwined.

Infernal Affairs delivers dazzling plot twists all the way uptil its coolly staged climax across a stylishly shot saga of ethical ambiguity. While The Departed cranked up melodrama, Infernal Affairs retains subtleties around its moral and existential dilemmas.

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime Video

Awards & Nominations:

  • Nominated for Best Film at Hong Kong Film Awards
  • Lau and Leung won acting awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards & Golden Horse Awards

Memories of Murder (2003)

Before Parasite, acclaimed Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho made this ambitious crime procedural based on the country’s first known serial murders from 1986. At the center lies incompetent local detectives flummoxed by the killings and violent nature of crimes. As the film progresses, the lack of conclusive justice exposes the vast systemic inadequacies that enabled the horror spree.

Memories of Murder blends procedural detail, quirky humor and socio-political commentary into an enthralling, meaningful watch. It makes you alternately laugh and flinch but leaves a lasting impression on the utter helplessness in bringing closure.

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

Awards & Nominations:

  • Won 5 awards at Korean Film Critics Awards, Director’s Cut Awards & Blue Dragon Awards
  • Nominated for Best Film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

Se7en (1995)

The film that established David Fincher as an generational master of suspense, Se7en still holds up as a pioneering neo noir psychological thriller. The terrifying serial killer targets victims reflecting the seven deadly sins through inventively horrific murders. But what lingers most is the shocking climax that reveals something deeper and more sinister.

Led by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as the investigating detectives, Seven derives most impact from its larger message on moral decay interlaced between the gruesome crimes. Over 25 years later, it remains the ultimate modern thriller.

Where To Stream: Netflix

Awards & Nominations:

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar – Best Film Editing
  • Won MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
  • Recognized as one of the most influential films of the decade through several critics polls
  • Preserved at Library of Congress’ National Film Registry

Gone Girl (2014)

Only David Fincher could have taken Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel and crafted this pulpy yet pH-neutral thriller masterpiece. When his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) mysteriously disappears, suspicions mount on Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) in a case that twists expectations multiple times over. With themes of media trials, toxic relationships and staged realities, Gone Girl is ultimately a skillful deconstruction of modern behavior.

Where To Stream: Netflix, YouTube Movies

Awards & Nominations:

  • Nominated for 1 Oscar – Best Actress (Pike)
  • Nominated for 4 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Actress
  • Won numerous critics awards in 2014 for Best Actress (Pike)
  1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The only horror movie to win the Oscars for Best Film, the terrifying masterpiece still remains deeply unsettling with Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal Lecter an example of sheer cinematic menace. Jodie Foster equally impresses as the FBI recruit seeking Lecter’s insights on another serial killer investigation. Layered with symbolism and technical excellence, The Silence of the Lambs pioneered psychological crime thrillers on celluloid.

Where To Stream: Peacock Premium, DirecTV

Awards & Nominations:

  • Won Academy Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Won 3 out of the 7 Golden Globes it was nominated for
  • Won multiple BAFTAs, Directors Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards

Conclusion

As can be evidenced, these triumphs of modern crime cinema over the past 25 years deliver thought-provoking stories told through technical and cinematic innovation. The works of master directors like Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve and pioneers like Curtis Hansen and Jonathan Demme have moved the genre into unprecedented terrain.

Top 10 Crime Thrillers You Must Watch Before 2024  | Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO , hulu

One can deeply dive into their filmographies besides these works above across eras to analyze crime cinema evolution. But these 10 films undoubtedly represent pinnacles showcasing how the genre can successfully blend mass entertainment with creative ambition.

Through streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video and dedicated revival screenings, there is easy access available to experience these memorable hits before looking ahead. Their undertones on system failures, ethical ambiguity and psychological manipulation also make them vital perspectives for our times.

Immerse yourself into their grim worlds this year before new milestones arrive. The Dark Knight’s epic scale, Zodiac’s obsessive manhunts, the gut-wrenching plots of Prisoners, visceral action in Sicario, L.A Confidential’s period glamor, Infernal Affairs’ dazzling twists, the urgent helplessness of Memories of Murder, Seven’s shocking finale, Gone Girl’s pulpy thrills and The Silence of the Lambs’ profound terror await.

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