The 10 darkest and grittiest crime movies of all time, ranked by IMDb score

Belonging to the crime genre, there’s a good chance that any crime novel will get a little dark at some point. Some will of course be darker than others, but these films will of course deal with characters acting outside the law, with some criminal characters being portrayed compassionately and others as villains. Finally, several acts can be considered “crimes”, which means crime films can take on all sorts of tones.

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However, the following crime films stand out for how realistic and gritty they are. While not all of the following are 100% realistic, they feel more grounded and authentic than the average crime thriller. For those who appreciate a crime thriller that captures something real, whether or not it tells a true story, the following films are certainly worth checking out.

10 “Even Time” (1978)

Just time0

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

A slow-burning crime thriller set in the 1970s Just time follows a mock burglar Dustin Hoffman who is released on parole, only to find that life outside has gotten tougher since he was labeled an ex-convict. Work is hard to come by, money is tighter than ever, and his indifferent parole officer makes things worse. Ultimately, his circumstances force him back to a life of crime.

Since most of the first half follows the protagonist’s attempts to reintegrate into society, and the second half is a rebellion against it, many find it an interestingly structured, sensitive, and effective look at a real-life situation. It also has an impressive cast beyond Hoffman, including Gary Busy, Kathy BatesAnd Harry Dean Stanton.

9 ‘Blue Collar’ (1978)

blue big0

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Although Paul Schraders Best known for his screenplays, he has also directed an impressive number of great films Blue collar to be one of the best. It’s a tense and gripping film about three workers who are fed up with their low wages and decide to steal from their union only to have unforeseen consequences.

It has a particularly sordid aesthetic that makes the film’s events seem visceral and like they’re actually happening, with the naturalistic performances also adding to that feeling. Harvey Keith And Yapheth Kotto are great as you would expect but it is Richard Prior who ends up stealing the show. Although he was best known for his standup and comedy performances, in Blue collarhe proves that he was also a great dramatic actor.

8th ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976)

Travis Bickel is in his cab in Taxi Driver

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Few crime films dig so deeply into the state of mind of their protagonists taxi driver does. It’s a dark and uncompromising film that stands there Martin Scorsese first full-blown masterpiece revolving around an insomniac Vietnam veteran who starts driving cabs to get his nights through.

Exposure to the darker side of New York City affects his mind in unexpected ways, and as he begins to hate the world he lives in, he lashes out at it with increasing violence. taxi driver A film that takes its time to show that the main character is changing and out of whack, but does so in an incredibly effective way that ensures the film remains a disturbing watch almost 50 years after its release.

7 ‘Casino’ (1995)

Casino - 1995 (1)
Image via Universal Pictures

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Serve as Goodfellas darker and more violent younger sibling, casinocould be one of the meanest mainstream gangster movies of all time. Scorsese went to great lengths to portray the ruthlessness of the mobs in Las Vegas in the 1970s, when they controlled the city’s lucrative casinos and, essentially, the city itself.

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With an average rating of 8.2/10 on IMDb, it’s not far off the mark Goodfellas, but it’s not far behind. And one thing is for sure: if the IMDb rankings were decided by how violent and gritty a film was, casino would easily have a higher GPA than his older brother from 1990.

6 “No Country for Old Men” (2007)

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

No country for old men is one of the darkest westerns of all time and one of the darkest crime films in recent memory. It depicts a lawless and violent world where death seems to lurk around every corner and no one is safe. That’s in large part because the ruthless Anton Chigurh will stop at nothing to recover $2 million in cash found by a lone hunter at the scene of a deadly drug deal.

Just like in life, people can – and do – die without warning. Worse, the film goes to great lengths to show that those on the so-called right side of the law can do little to stop those on the wrong side. In the end, the film is even so dark that it ends without much resolution, because that’s how life is sometimes…

5 ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (1992)

Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Madsen, Edward Bunker and Lawrence Tierney in Reservoir Dogs

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Quentin Tarantino caused a stir with his tough feature film debut Reservoir Dogs. It shook the world upon release and remains as intense and gruesome to this day, telling the story of a jewelry heist gone wrong and the tension between the thieves who begin to suspect someone in the gang is an undercover cop .

Reservoir Dogs feels gritty and down-to-earth due to its low-budget look, use of real-world locations rather than sets, and refusal to shy away from the gory effects of violence. It’s a tough, dogged film that served as an effective tone setter for Tarantino’s later films, with his debut immediately establishing him as a director to be reckoned with.

4 “City of God” (2002)

city ​​of god

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Both as a coming-of-age film and as a crime epic with an ensemble cast, city ​​of god is a Brazilian film set in the slums of Rio. It mainly revolves around two children whose paths drastically part as they grow into teenagers, with one becoming an influential figure in the town’s criminal underworld while the other does whatever it takes to escape the town.

With an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb, it ranks as one of the top rated crime films on the entire site. It’s also one of the most frantic, grounded and disturbing, as it offers an uncompromising look at a life of crime in Rio, with things sometimes being particularly difficult to observe because those involved in such a lifestyle are so young.

3 ‘Se7en’ (1995)

Se7en - 1995
Image via New Line Cinema

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

A crime/thriller about the pursuit of a serial killer who bases his murders on the seven deadly sins, Se7enis a relentless and consistently dark police process. Rain is a constant presence throughout most of the film, creating a somber atmosphere that matches in grimness the gruesome crime scenes the killer leaves behind for the police to find.

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It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t exactly start out cheerful but gets more and more twisted and stomach-churning as time goes on. There are scenes towards the end that are particularly notorious for how they can catch a first-time viewer off-guard, making this a highly rated film that’s not exactly easy to watch.

2 ‘Good Fellas’ (1990)

Good Fellas - 1990 (2)
Image from Warner Bros.

IMDb Rating: 8.7/10

Crime movies don’t get much better than Goodfellas. It tells the kind of rise and fall popular in many classic gangster films, but in a way that feels more realistic and less preachy. It has style and vibrancy – especially as far as the soundtrack goes – but the story itself is dark and brutally real.

Nevertheless, the fact is a lot of Goodfellas fun to keep from being one of the darkest crime films out there (and certainly not as dark as Scorsese’s 1995 spiritual sequel). casino), but it falls short when it comes to hammering home certain hard truths. It strikes an effective balance between entertainment and despair, making for a thrilling thrill ride of a crime thriller.

1 “The Godfather Part II” (1974)

Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II

IMDb rating: 9.0/10

Not only is The Godfather Part IIOne of the highest rated crime films on IMDb, but also one of the highest rated Best Picture winners according to site users. It has earned a reputation for being one of the best sequels of all time, continuing the story of the Corleone family after Michael took the lead, while also chronicling the rise of Vito, Michael’s father, from his youth in Italy to his later Life reveals mob boss status in New York City.

The first godfather wasn’t exactly a happy or light-hearted film, but the mafia lifestyle it portrayed still had a certain romance (or at least elegance), thanks largely to Vito’s guidance. On the other hand, Michael is a colder and more calculating boss, which comes into play with his appearance as the film’s protagonist The Godfather Part II significantly darker and more disturbing than its predecessor.

NEXT: The Most Underrated Crime Movies of the 2010s The 10 darkest and grittiest crime movies of all time, ranked by IMDb score

Olly Dawes

Olly Dawes is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Olly Dawes joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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