2017 started on a high note with an action-packed performance by Vin Diesel in ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’. Though the action thriller did well in the international market, we saw the genre slipping at the box office. What we witnessed in the next few months was exciting and record-breaking at the same time. Movies after movies broke records in earnings and popularity.
Where on one hand the horror genre ruled the box office, many crime thrillers did well in the overseas market. It was the zest of the talented filmmakers who took a brave attempt in bringing out crime stories when the market for horror flicks was soaring.
Here we have compiled the list of the most amazing crime-thriller movies you must watch before the year ends.
1. Wind River
© thunder road pictures
This murder mystery, starring Jeremy Renner, Graham Greene, and Elizabeth Olsen, has won accolades at many film festivals and award shows in different categories, including the Best Director award at Cannes Film Festival and Best Actor (Graham Greene) and Best Film at American Indian Film Festival. Directed by Taylor Sheridan, this movie is about two officers – a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer and an FBI agent – solving a murder that takes place on the Wind River Indian reservation in mysterious circumstances. Director Sheridan said that he was motivated to make this movie after finding out about the numerous true stories of assault and murder of women in reservations.
2. Baby Driver
© big talk productions
With a 7.8 rating on IMDb, ‘Baby Driver’, starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily Kames and Jamie Foxx, is a must watch for those who fancy action-thriller movies. More than 15 nominations in various award categories, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Ansel Elgort), this movie has been able to appeal to the audiences and critics alike. Writer and director Edgar Wright says that he found inspiration to develop a story around a post-heist car chase from the 1994 song ‘Bellbottoms’. Eventually, this song was used in the opening credits of this movie.
3. American Made
© universal pictures
This Tom Cruise starrer biographical crime movie is a gripping tale of a former pilot becoming a deadly drug dealer. With an 88 percent approval aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes, the critical consensus for this movie here is this: “American Made’s fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier – and delightfully watchable – energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role.” Now, don’t we love Tom Cruise donning aviators, crash landing planes and going badass? Of course, we do! A cherry on the cake is that he does most of it in a pilot’s uniform.
4. The Snowman
© perfect world pictures
This English crime thriller is based on a novel of the same name, written by Jo Nesbo. The story keeps viewers glued to their seats as they discover the protagonist – Detective Harry Hole investigating the case of the disappearance of a woman. Intriguingly, her scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. Though there have been mixed responses to the film but it has gained popularity for its impactful storytelling. Michael Fassbender gives a striking performance and has tried to explore a different genre through this film. The film is directed by Tomas Alfredson and keeps you gripped till the end. Scenic backdrop and snow-laden mountains are an attraction and make you feel the thrill.
5. Shot Caller
© bold films
This crime thriller stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lake Bell, Omari Hardwick, Emory Cohen, Jon Bernthal, Evan Jones, Jeffrey Donovan, with Holt McCallany and Benjamin Bratt. Written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, the movie entails the transformation of a charming family guy into a hardcore gangster. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s performance in the lead role received raving reviews. He has given a breathtaking performance and ensures that the movie never gets static at all. As per the New York Times, the film would be ‘Breaking Bad’ of the prison genre.
6. John Wick: Chapter 2
This film sets your heart racing. With a 7.5 IMDb rating, this Keanu Reeves thriller grossed a whopping 171 million dollars worldwide. Mike Rougeau of IGN stated that the movie “takes joy in expanding on the original’s lore”, giving it an 8.5 out of 10. He praised the movie as a big improvement with regard to action set pieces, cinematography, fight choreography and writing. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called this movie “pure cinema” and “the real deal”. Now, who would want to miss a movie that made both the audience and the critics happy?
7. The Foreigner
© wanda pictures
Written by David Marconi and directed by Martin Campbell, this Anglo China action thriller is must watch for suspense lovers. Based on Stephen Leather’s novel ‘The Chinaman’; the movie stars Jackie Chan, Katie Leung, Pierce Brosnan, and Rufus Jones among others. Oscar winner Jackie Chan received good reviews for his dramatic performance as Ngoc Minh Quan – a former war Special Forces operator turned restaurateur in London. It is needless to say that those who have a thing for action definitely have a thing for Jackie Chan. It would not be wrong to say that the story is a fierce vendetta dipped in emotions. In addition, we get to see different shades of Chan – desperate, helpless, crying and angry. So, go, watch it and thank us later!
8. Brawl in Cell Block 99
© assemble media
This is a story of a former boxer turned drug dealer who lands in prison after a drug deal goes wrong. With an IMDb rating of 7.2, this Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Carpenter criminal drama is a good watch. From nail-biting action scenes to a raunchy background score, this Craig Zahler directorial keeps you engaged and thrilled throughout. On Rotten Tomatoes, this movie has a brilliant aggregate of 93 percent and an approval of “certified fresh”. Need I say more?
9. Good Time
© elara pictures
‘Good Time’ is undoubtedly Robert Pattinson’s best performance so far. With a raw touch to his personality, Robert is almost unrecognizable in the trailers of this movie. He definitely walks out of his Cedric Diggory and Edward days in this one. Not just a pretty face anymore! With an IMDb rating of 7.4 and a whopping 91 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie was appreciated by almost all critics alike. The consensus rating on Rotten Tomatoes reads – “A visual treat filled out by consistently stellar work from Robert Pattinson, Good Time is a singularly distinctive crime drama offering far more than the usual genre thrills.”
This crime drama was written by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstien, and directed by Ben and Josh Safdie. Oneohtrix Point Never developed the film’s background score, which won the Soundtrack Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
© annapurna pictures
From Kathryn Ann Bigelow, an Academy Award-winning writer-director of blockbusters like Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, ‘Detroit’ is the story of one of the darkest times during the civil unrest in the summer of 1967 that rocked the city of Detroit. A 7.5 on IMDb, this gripping historical crime drama, is a must watch. The film stars Will Poulter, John Boyega, Jason Mitchell, Algee Smith, Anthony Mackie and John Krasinski.
Will Leitch and Tim Grierson from The New Republic referred to the film as a potential Oscar candidate in the main category of Best Picture. They also mentioned John Boyega as a potentially deserving Oscar nominee for Best Actor.