Double Indemnity

100 Best Film Noir Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

If you’ve got a bottle of whiskey, a ceiling fan lazily revolving above you, and a good eye for trouble (especially when it comes sauntering through your office door), then have we got a swell guide for you: the 100 best film noirs of all time!

To put together this rogues gallery, we kept it lean and hard-boiled: American-made movies from the 1940s and 1950s, with each rated after at least 10 reviews. And to get the know-all on noir, we’ve invited film writer and Noirvember creator Marya E. Gates to share an introduction.


Film noir now has many interpretations. Initially coined by Italian-born French film critic Nino Frank, he used the term to describe a wave of American films made in the 1940s with dark themes and highly stylized cinematography. Although some of these films began appearing during the war years, mainly adaptations of crime novels from the 1920s and 1930s from writers like Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler. But it was in the post-World War II years that these films thrived, tapping into a malaise that began during the Great Depression and lingered as an even greater world weariness crept into a society that had witnessed the worst of humanity.

Many of the filmmakers who shaped this movement in the Hollywood studio system of the ’40s were European émigrés like Fritz Lang (Scarlet Street), Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity), Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour), Robert Siodmak (The Killers), Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce), and Jacques Tourneur (Out of the Past). These filmmakers brought with them aesthetics more aligned with continental film techniques including German expressionism, as well as a more psychological approach to storytelling that was expressed in both the script-writing and visual composition of their films.

Whether film noir is a genre, an era, a tone, or a movement is hotly debated. My favorite definition comes from the czar of Noir himself, Eddie Muller (host of TCM’s weekly program Noir Alley, and the Film Noir Foundation president) who refers to noir as “suffering with style.” In these films, characters go through the ringer. A hapless man falls victim to a cunning femme fatale. A police detective becomes disillusioned by the corruption all around him. An ex-con finds himself drawn into that one last job.

For the sake of this list, we’ve highlighted the top-reviewed films from the classic film noir era, roughly defined as starting in 1940 and ending in 1959. On this list you’ll find some of the most definitively noir films of the era. They’ve not only stood the test of time, but influenced the art of cinema as a whole. Among the Certified Fresh films on this list are some of my all-time favorites, like Otto Preminger’s Laura. This 1944 adaptation of the novel by Vera Caspary features an iconic and alluring performance by Gene Tierney as the title character, a Manhattan advertising exec whose mysterious murder brings together cynical detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews), playboy Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), and caustic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) with tragic results. It also became a major inspiration for David Lynch and Mark Frost’s landmark television series Twin Peaks.

What are some other films on this list that I recommend seeking out whether you are a film noir newbie or a seasoned fan? Alexander Mackendrick’s Sweet Smell of Success, starring Burt Lancaster as a powerful newspaper columnist and Tony Curtis as an unscrupulous press agent, is as insightful about the decay of American media as it ever was. Nicholas Ray’s In A Lonely Place, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, may not be the most faithful adaptation ever made (and you should absolutely read the book by Dorothy B. Hughes), but Ray’s poison pen letter to the Hollywood machine and toxic masculinity still stings today. True crime-inspired The Hitch-Hiker also takes a stark look at masculine violence, and includes some knockout location work in Lone Pine, California from actress-turned-director Ida Lupino.

For femme fatales, few are more depraved than Peggy Cummins as the heat-packing Annie Laurie Starr in Joseph H. Lewis’s Gun Crazy. Unless, of course, it’s Tierney again in the Technicolor noir Leave Her To Heaven from director John M. Stahl.

If you’re a fan of the decidedly not-so-noir To Have and Have Not, then check out a much more faithful adaptation of the Hemingway novel: Curtiz’s The Breaking Point, starring John Garfield as a charter boat captain in way over his head. Richard Fleischer’s train-set The Narrow Margin features the best performance from genre mainstay Marie Windsor. Roy Ward Baker’s Don’t Bother To Knock will have you re-examining everything you think you know about Marilyn Monroe as a dramatic actress. Dick Powell’s take on Philip Marlowe in Edward Dmytryk’s Murder, My Sweet gives Bogie in The Big Sleep a run for his money. Fred Zinnemann’s Act of Violence features a truly terrifying performance from star Robert Ryan and captures the lost beauty of L.A.’s Bunker Hill like no other. And Phil Karlson’s low-budget wonder Kansas City Confidential, starring John Payne and Coleen Gray, served as a major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s debut Reservoir Dogs.

You can trace the impact of the films on this list throughout the history of cinema, whether it is in the noir movements in countries like Japan and France (Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog and Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows were produced in this period), Nordic noir (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the neo-noir films of early Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver), Christopher Nolan (Memento), and Michael Mann (Thief), the erotic thrillers of the 1980s and 1990s (Body Heat, Bound), and up to Best Picture Oscar-nominated films like ​​Guillermo del Toro‘s re-imagining of Nightmare Alley. The cinematic light from these dark films continues to pulsate in the very heart of this thing we call the movies.

#1

Laura (1944)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 109588%
Critics Consensus: A psychologically complex portrait of obsession, Laura is also a deliciously well-crafted murder mystery.
Synopsis: In one of the most celebrated 1940s film noirs, Manhattan detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of Madison... [More]
Directed By: Otto Preminger

#2

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 109897%
Critics Consensus: Alfred Hitchcock's earliest classic -- and his own personal favorite -- deals its flesh-crawling thrills as deftly as its finely shaded characters.
Synopsis: Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) visits his relatives in Santa Rosa. He is a very charming man, but his niece slowly... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 115788%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful, labyrinthine, and brilliantly cast, The Maltese Falcon is one of the most influential noirs -- as well as a showcase for Humphrey Bogart at his finest.
Synopsis: In this noir classic, detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets more than he bargained for when he takes a case... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#4

The Third Man (1949)
99%

#4
Adjusted Score: 114860%
Critics Consensus: This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.
Synopsis: Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#5

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 114582%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest movie about Hollywood, Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, black comedy, and character study.
Synopsis: An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 106648%
Critics Consensus: Sweet Smell of Success boasts a top-notch cast, sharp direction, atmospheric cinematography, and an appropriately jazzy score, making it one of the best noir crime thrillers ever made.
Synopsis: New York City newspaper writer J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) holds considerable sway over public opinion with his Broadway column, but... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 107439%
Critics Consensus: A provocative premise and inventive set design lights the way for Hitchcock diabolically entertaining masterpiece.
Synopsis: In Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller, tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is enraged by his trampy wife's... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#8

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
98%

#8
Adjusted Score: 102907%
Critics Consensus: An intriguing, wonderfully subversive blend of art and commerce, Kiss Me Deadly is an influential noir classic.
Synopsis: One evening, private detective Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) picks up a strange woman, Christina (Cloris Leachman), who's standing on the... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#9

Detour (1945)
98%

#9
Adjusted Score: 103438%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and gripping, Detour offers further proof that a patsy and a femme fatale often add up to a satisfying story.
Synopsis: In New York, piano player Al Roberts (Tom Neal) laments when his singer girlfriend, Sue Harvey (Claudia Drake), leaves for... [More]
Directed By: Edgar G. Ulmer

#10

Double Indemnity (1944)
97%

#10
Adjusted Score: 113647%
Critics Consensus: A dark, tautly constructed adaptation of James M. Cain's novel -- penned by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler -- Double Indemnity continues to set the standard for the best in Hollywood film noir.
Synopsis: In this classic film noir, insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) gets roped into a murderous scheme when he falls... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#11

The Lost Weekend (1945)
97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 107343%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's unflinchingly honest look at the effects of alcoholism may have had some of its impact blunted by time, but it remains a powerful and remarkably prescient film.
Synopsis: Writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) is on the wagon. Sober for only a few days, Don is supposed to be... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 109415%
Critics Consensus: Broderick Crawford is spellbinding as politician Willie Stark in director Robert Rossen's adaptation of the Robert Penn Warren novel about the corrosive effects of power on the human soul.
Synopsis: Drama about the rise and fall of a corrupt southern governor who promises his way to power. Broderick Crawford portrays... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#13

The Big Sleep (1946)
96%

#13
Adjusted Score: 106168%
Critics Consensus: A perfect match of screenplay, director, and leading man, The Big Sleep stands as a towering achievement in film noir whose grim vitality remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by General Sternwood to help resolve the gambling debts of his wild... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 103174%
Critics Consensus: Led by extraordinary performances from Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, In a Lonely Place is a gripping noir of uncommon depth and maturity.
Synopsis: Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) and his neighbor Laurel (Gloria Grahame) are just getting to know each other romantically... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#15

Notorious (1946)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 103376%
Critics Consensus: Sublime direction from Hitchcock, and terrific central performances from Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant make this a bona-fide classic worthy of a re-visit.
Synopsis: In order to help bring Nazis to justice, U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman),... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#16

The Killing (1956)
96%

#16
Adjusted Score: 102853%
Critics Consensus: An expertly crafted noir with more on its mind than stylishly staged violence, The Killing establishes Stanley Kubrick as a filmmaker of uncommon vision and control.
Synopsis: Career criminal Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) recruits a sharpshooter (Timothy Carey), a crooked police officer (Ted de Corsia), a bartender... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#17

Touch of Evil (1958)
95%

#17
Adjusted Score: 107939%
Critics Consensus: Artistically innovative and emotionally gripping, Orson Welles' classic noir is a visual treat, as well as a dark, sinister thriller.
Synopsis: When a car bomb explodes on the American side of the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel Vargas (Charlton... [More]
Directed By: Orson Welles

#18

Diabolique (1955)
95%

#18
Adjusted Score: 105680%
Critics Consensus: Cruel, dark, but undeniably effective, Diabolique is a suspense thriller as effective as Hitchcock's best work and with a brilliant twist ending.
Synopsis: In this classic of French suspense, the cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school, Michel Delassalle (Paul Meurisse), becomes... [More]
Directed By: Henri-Georges Clouzot

#19

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 99747%
Critics Consensus: Simply and sturdily constructed, The Hitch-Hiker consistently derives genuine terror from a chillingly plausible scenario.
Synopsis: Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert's (Frank Lovejoy) fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker (William Talman) they pick... [More]
Directed By: Ida Lupino

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 103546%
Critics Consensus: Featuring Robert Mitchum's formidable performance as a child-hunting preacher, The Night of the Hunter is a disturbing look at good and evil.
Synopsis: The Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is a religious fanatic and serial killer who targets women who use their sexuality... [More]
Directed By: Charles Laughton

#21

Out of the Past (1947)
93%

#21
Adjusted Score: 100019%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by a wistful Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past is an exemplary noir steeped in doom and sensuality.
Synopsis: The quiet life of small-town gas station owner Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is interrupted when a figure from his shady... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Tourneur

#22

Ace in the Hole (1951)
90%

#22
Adjusted Score: 96560%
Critics Consensus: Spearheaded by an excellent Kirk Douglas, Ace in the Hole is an incisive and sardonic satire that, much like its opportunistic hero, never lets moral compunction get in the way of a good story.
Synopsis: With flaws that outweigh his talent, reporter Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) has bounced across the country from job to job.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 97731%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and satisfyingly dark, Pickup on South Street is a Cold War noir that moves confidently to the rhythm of city street life.
Synopsis: In New York City, an insolent pickpocket, Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark), inadvertently sets off a chain of events when he... [More]
Directed By: Samuel Fuller

#24

Gun Crazy (1950)
91%

#24
Adjusted Score: 100179%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and strikingly filmed, Gun Crazy (Deadly Is the Female) delves into the darkness of human nature with noir-fueled B-movie flair.
Synopsis: When gun-obsessed pacifist Bart Tare (John Dall) witnesses expert shooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) demonstrate her firearm prowess at... [More]
Directed By: Joseph H. Lewis

#25

Gilda (1946)
90%

#25
Adjusted Score: 100661%
Critics Consensus: Rita Hayworth carries Gilda on the sheer strength of her screen presence, rendering the film's somewhat middling story almost irrelevant.
Synopsis: Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small-time American gambler, newly arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When he is caught cheating... [More]
Directed By: Charles Vidor

#26

Mildred Pierce (1945)
88%

#26
Adjusted Score: 94511%
Critics Consensus: Tied together by a powerhouse performance from Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce blends noir and social drama to soapily intoxicating effect.
Synopsis: When Mildred Pierce's (Joan Crawford) wealthy husband leaves her for another woman, Mildred decides to raise her two daughters on... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#27

Nightmare Alley (1947)
88%

#27
Adjusted Score: 99517%
Critics Consensus: Playing against type with Nightmare Alley, Tyrone Power and Edmund Goulding deliver some of their best work in a carnival-set noir unafraid to showcase true despair.
Synopsis: Roustabout Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power) joins a traveling carny and unsuccessfully schemes to figure out the mind-reading act of Mademoiselle... [More]
Directed By: Edmund Goulding

#28

Spellbound (1945)
86%

#28
Adjusted Score: 91438%
Critics Consensus: Spellbound's exploration of the subconscious could have benefitted from more analysis, but Alfred Hitchcock's psychedelic flourishes elevate this heady thriller along with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck's star power.
Synopsis: When Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) arrives at a Vermont mental hospital to replace the outgoing hospital director, Dr. Constance... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 94270%
Critics Consensus: Leave Her to Heaven suffers from a surfeit of unlikable characters, but the solid cast -- led by an outstanding Gene Tierney -- makes it hard to turn away.
Synopsis: While on a train, writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) strikes up a relationship with the gorgeous Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney).... [More]
Directed By: John M. Stahl

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 93009%
Critics Consensus: Energetic and inventive, The Lady from Shanghai overcomes its script deficiencies with some of Orson Welles' brilliantly conceived set pieces.
Synopsis: A seaman becomes involved in a complex murder plot when he is hired to work on a yacht. He soon... [More]
Directed By: Orson Welles

#31

The Fallen Idol (1948)
100%

#31
Adjusted Score: 104949%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The young son of a diplomat, Phillipe (Bobby Henrey), often finds himself alone. To entertain the boy, the household butler,... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#32

The Killers (1946)
100%

#32
Adjusted Score: 104748%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two hit men walk into a diner asking for a man called "the Swede" (Burt Lancaster). When the killers find... [More]
Directed By: Robert Siodmak

#33

The Big Heat (1953)
94%

#33
Adjusted Score: 103049%
Critics Consensus: Presented with stark power by director Fritz Lang, The Big Heat is a delightfully grim noir that peers into the heart of darkness without blinking.
Synopsis: A police officer seems to have committed suicide, but Detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) thinks there's more to the story.... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#34

Odd Man Out (1947)
100%

#34
Adjusted Score: 105650%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A wounded fugitive's dark odyssey through the streets of Belfast. Following a "fundraising" robbery which goes horribly wrong, the badly... [More]
Directed By: Carol Reed

#35

The Prowler (1951)
100%

#35
Adjusted Score: 102240%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After being frightened by a peeping Tom at her mansion in the suburbs, the beautiful Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) calls... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Losey

#36

Force of Evil (1948)
100%

#36
Adjusted Score: 102060%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In New York City, unscrupulous lawyer Joe Morse (John Garfield), has the opportunity to make it big by teaming up... [More]
Directed By: Abraham Polonsky

#37

Scarlet Street (1945)
100%

#37
Adjusted Score: 101759%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Cashier and part-time starving artist Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) is absolutely smitten with the beautiful Kitty March (Joan Bennett).... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 101622%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ashamed that his father lived a life of crime, hard-boiled New York City cop Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews) has a... [More]
Directed By: Otto Preminger

#39

The Letter (1940)
100%

#39
Adjusted Score: 101278%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In Singapore, Leslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) shoots and kills a man, claiming that he tried to take advantage of her.... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#40

The Breaking Point (1950)
100%

#40
Adjusted Score: 101313%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A charter-boat captain winds up in the middle of a syndicate shootout after transporting illegal immigrants.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 101339%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Broke and without work, newspaper reporter Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart) agrees to work for the corrupt boxing promoter Nick Benko... [More]
Directed By: Mark Robson

#42

Moonrise (1948)
100%

#42
Adjusted Score: 101210%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the tiny community of Woodsville, young Danny Hawkins (Dane Clark) is constantly tormented by his fellow townspeople because his... [More]
Directed By: Frank Borzage

#43
Adjusted Score: 100971%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) inadvertently causes the death of her cruel, authoritarian aunt. Martha lies to the cops, and Walter... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Milestone

#44

The Blue Dahlia (1946)
100%

#44
Adjusted Score: 100971%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Discharged naval officer Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd) returns to his wife, Helen (Doris Dowling), in Hollywood after fighting in the... [More]
Directed By: George Marshall

#45

The Narrow Margin (1952)
100%

#45
Adjusted Score: 101250%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tense story of a tough cop attempting to transport the widow of a gangster to the trial in which she'll... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#46

Murder by Contract (1958)
100%

#46
Adjusted Score: 101083%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a hit man fails to carry through with the execution of a star witness, he finds himself marked for... [More]
Directed By: Irving Lerner

#47

Raw Deal (1948)
100%

#47
Adjusted Score: 100870%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An escaped convict (Dennis O'Keefe) flees with his moll (Claire Trevor) and a social worker (Marsha Hunt) he loves.... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Mann

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 101067%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Pilot Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) encounters the beautiful Nell Forbes (Marilyn Monroe) while staying at a hotel in New York... [More]
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 100838%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Amoral Bud Corliss (Robert Wagner) pursues young heiress Dorie Kingship (Joanne Woodward) in the hopes of getting his hands on... [More]
Directed By: Gerd Oswald

#50

Suddenly (1954)
100%

#50
Adjusted Score: 100335%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In advance of a presidential visit to the small town of Suddenly, California, a trio of FBI agents enters the... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Allen

#51

The Dark Corner (1946)
100%

#51
Adjusted Score: 100642%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens), a tough private investigator, realizes that he's being followed, he confronts his assailant, a shifty... [More]
Directed By: Henry Hathaway

#52

T-Men (1947)
100%

#52
Adjusted Score: 100956%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two U.S. Treasury agents (Dennis O'Keefe, Alfred Ryder) pose as mobsters to bust a counterfeiting ring.... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Mann

#53

Thieves' Highway (1949)
100%

#53
Adjusted Score: 100813%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) comes back from his tour of duty in World War II planning to settle down with... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 100652%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When noted gambler Alfred "Gloves" Donahue (Humphrey Bogart) makes a trip to his local bakery to see why his cheesecake... [More]
Directed By: Vincent Sherman

#55

Caught (1949)
100%

#55
Adjusted Score: 100994%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Wide-eyed and poor young Leonora (Barbara Bel Geddes) weds an obsessive millionaire named Ohlrig (Robert Ryan), but the marriage is... [More]
Directed By: Max Ophuls

#56

White Heat (1949)
94%

#56
Adjusted Score: 107503%
Critics Consensus: Raoul Walsh's crime drama goes further into the psychology of a gangster than most fear to tread and James Cagney's portrayal of the tragic anti-hero is constantly volatile.
Synopsis: Gang leader Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) lives for his mother, planning heists between horrible headaches. During a train robbery that... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Walsh

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 103169%
Critics Consensus: The Asphalt Jungle is an expertly told crime story with attention paid to the crime and characters in equal measure.
Synopsis: Recently released from prison, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) concocts a plan to steal $1 million in jewels. Dix gathers a... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#58

Key Largo (1948)
97%

#58
Adjusted Score: 102289%
Critics Consensus: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are at the mercy of Edward G. Robinson's menacing gangster -- and so is the audience in this enthralling chamber piece.
Synopsis: This classic film noir by John Huston stars Humphrey Bogart as World War II vet Frank McCloud. Visiting Key Largo... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#59

Suspicion (1941)
97%

#59
Adjusted Score: 101498%
Critics Consensus: Not even notorious studio meddling can diminish the craft and tantalizing suspense of Suspicion, a sly showcase for Joan Fontaine's nervy prowess and Alfred Hitchcock's flair for disquiet.
Synopsis: Charming scoundrel Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) woos wealthy but plain Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine), who runs away with him despite... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#60

The Stranger (1946)
97%

#60
Adjusted Score: 101256%
Critics Consensus: The sins of World War II reemerge in an idyllic American setting in this diabolically effective noir, buoyed by Orson Welles' virtuosic direction and performance.
Synopsis: Immediately following World War II, ex-Nazi Franz Kindler (Orson Welles) is living under a false identity as a teacher in... [More]
Directed By: Orson Welles

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 100627%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After Dr. Clint Reed (Richard Widmark) is called in to supervise an autopsy of a unknown man, he discovers that... [More]
Directed By: Elia Kazan

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 99419%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Wrongly convicted for murder as a teen, "Bowie" Bowers (Farley Granger) breaks out of prison with two other criminals, Chickamaw... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#63

Brighton Rock (1948)
95%

#63
Adjusted Score: 98107%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1940s Brighton, England, the vicious criminal Pinkie Brown (Richard Attenborough) is the leader of his small-time gang. After Brown... [More]
Directed By: John Boulting

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 98112%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After young Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) discovers that her older sister Jacqueline (Jean Brooks) has disappeared, she leaves her boarding... [More]
Directed By: Mark Robson

#65

Brute Force (1947)
95%

#65
Adjusted Score: 98107%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Released from solitary confinement, prisoner Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) learns that his supportive wife, Ruth (Ann Blyth), is refusing surgery... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 95809%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sadistic killer-for-hire Raven (Alan Ladd) becomes enraged when his latest job is paid off in marked bills. Vowing to track... [More]
Directed By: Frank Tuttle

#67

Murder, My Sweet (1944)
94%

#67
Adjusted Score: 95718%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gumshoe Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is hired by the oafish Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) to track down his former girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Edward Dmytryk

#68

I Want to Live! (1958)
94%

#68
Adjusted Score: 95884%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This film tells the riveting true story of brazen bad girl Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward, in an Academy Award-winning performance),... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#69

Champion (1949)
94%

#69
Adjusted Score: 95901%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scrappy Michael "Midge" Kelly (Kirk Douglas), on the run from a shotgun marriage and needing to help support his handicapped... [More]
Directed By: Mark Robson

#70

The Wrong Man (1956)
93%

#70
Adjusted Score: 96511%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Musician Manny Balestrero (Henry Fonda) needs money to pay for his wife Rose's (Vera Miles) dental procedure. When he tries... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#71

The Big Combo (1955)
93%

#71
Adjusted Score: 93878%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Film noir about a police lieutenant who comes under pressure from a gang headed by a vicious thug. He is... [More]
Directed By: Joseph H. Lewis

#72

Act of Violence (1949)
93%

#72
Adjusted Score: 94538%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#73

High Sierra (1941)
92%

#73
Adjusted Score: 95204%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aging mobster Big Mac (Donald MacBride) is looking to pull off one more heist before he retires. With his sights... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Walsh

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 94949%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul Fabrini (Humphrey Bogart), who are delivery-truck drivers, push themselves hard trying to run their... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Walsh

#75

Whirlpool (1949)
92%

#75
Adjusted Score: 93175%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Plagued by an overwhelming urge to shoplift, Ann Sutton (Gene Tierney) is helped out of a tight spot by David... [More]
Directed By: Otto Preminger

#76

Body and Soul (1947)
92%

#76
Adjusted Score: 93347%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When amateur boxer Charley Davis (John Garfield) wins his first big match, he attracts the interest of small-time promoter Quinn... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rossen

#77

Dark Passage (1947)
90%

#77
Adjusted Score: 95063%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) has just escaped from prison after being locked up for a crime he did not commit... [More]
Directed By: Delmer Daves

#78

Stage Fright (1950)
92%

#78
Adjusted Score: 94703%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The police think actor Jonathan Cooper (Richard Todd) is a murderer, and now they're on his tail. He asserts that... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#79

The Big Knife (1955)
91%

#79
Adjusted Score: 91477%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Movie star Charlie Castle (Jack Palance) draws the ire of Hollywood producer Stanley Hoff (Rod Steiger) when he refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Aldrich

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 93676%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A serial killer is on the loose in New York City. Dubbed "The Lipstick Killer," he has also strangely become... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#81

Phantom Lady (1944)
90%

#81
Adjusted Score: 90599%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scott Henderson's (Alan Curtis) innocuous evening with a strange woman becomes crucial when he is later accused of murdering his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Siodmak

#82
Adjusted Score: 92599%
Critics Consensus: The Postman Always Rings Twice spins a sultry web of mystery with a gripping adaptation of a classic noir tale.
Synopsis: Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), a middle-aged roadside diner owner, hires a drifter, Frank Chambers (John Garfield), to work at his... [More]
Directed By: Tay Garnett

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 92600%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) is New York police detective on the edge. Hardened and embittered by his years of dealing... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 91157%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: His family packed off to Maine, Professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) is anticipating some quiet time alone. Then he... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#85

D.O.A. (1949)
88%

#85
Adjusted Score: 91532%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) is about to die, and he knows it. The accountant has been poisoned and has only... [More]
Directed By: Rudolph Maté

#86

Crossfire (1947)
88%

#86
Adjusted Score: 91694%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Stark, claustrophobic thriller about an anti-Semitic soldier who kills a Jewish war veteran, evading detection because of his loyal friends'... [More]
Directed By: Edward Dmytryk

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 88739%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Due to a telephone glitch, Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck), a controlling heiress confined to a wheelchair, overhears a conversation about... [More]
Directed By: Anatole Litvak

#88

Hangmen Also Die (1943)
87%

#88
Adjusted Score: 89084%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovokia, insurgent Franticek Svoboda (Brian Donlevy) assassinates the brutal German leader Reinhard Heydrich (Hans Heinrich... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#89

The Naked City (1948)
87%

#89
Adjusted Score: 91099%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a former model is drowned in her bathtub, Detective James Halloran (Don Taylor) and Lieutenant Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald)... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#90

No Way Out (1950)
86%

#90
Adjusted Score: 87159%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Robbers Ray Biddle (Richard Widmark) and his brother are shot and taken to the local hospital. There, the two are... [More]
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

#91

Criss Cross (1948)
86%

#91
Adjusted Score: 87380%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An armored-car guard (Burt Lancaster) must join a robbery after being caught with his ex-wife (Yvonne De Carlo) by her... [More]
Directed By: Robert Siodmak

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 89030%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Disgraced former police officer David Burke (Ed Begley) is looking for a way to make some quick money. When he... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 86865%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Deeply distraught that her GI ex-boyfriend plans to marry another woman, Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) agrees to go out on... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#94

The Set-Up (1949)
85%

#94
Adjusted Score: 86357%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A boxer on the wane, Bill "Stoker" Thompson (Robert Ryan) is determined to stay in the game, in spite of... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#95

Fallen Angel (1945)
85%

#95
Adjusted Score: 85981%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An unemployed drifter, Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) wanders into a small California town and begins hanging around the local diner.... [More]
Directed By: Otto Preminger

#96

Killer's Kiss (1955)
83%

#96
Adjusted Score: 85893%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith), a New York City boxer aging out of his profession, meets dancer Gloria Price (Irene Kane),... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#97

Party Girl (1958)
83%

#97
Adjusted Score: 83923%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Deft lawyer Thomas Farrell (Robert Taylor) has found himself a role successfully defending the crooked goons of crime boss Rico... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#98

Possessed (1947)
83%

#98
Adjusted Score: 84347%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After collapsing, disoriented, in a Los Angeles diner, Louise (Joan Crawford) recounts the events of her life to a psychiatrist.... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Bernhardt

#99
#99
Adjusted Score: 84393%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Londoner Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) is a second-rate con man looking for an angle. After years of putting up with... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#100
#100
Adjusted Score: 81812%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A mysterious fellow (Preston Foster) contacts a trio of criminals (Jack Elam, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef) to help with... [More]
Directed By: Phil Karlson