10 Best Crime Movies of the 2000s, Ranked According to IMDb
The media frequently debunks crime as an issue of contention. Is it the romanticizing of crime that spurs more action, or is it the history of crime that motivates people to create movies about the greatest criminals—fantasy or real—to tell their stories? While the argument over whether art imitates life or vice versa continues, it cannot be denied that films of this category are invariably expertly crafted, exquisitely written, and superbly played.
When asked, the 1990s may be one of the decades that create a lot of excellent crime films, but the 2000s also gave birth to a few cult favorites. Ranging from movies that redefine an entire genre to ones that launch its filmmakers into stardom, these movies are must-watch for diehard crime movie enthusiasts.
10 Sin City (2005)
IMDb Score: 8/10
Based on Frank Miller‘s graphic novel of the same name, Sin City has four crime stories revolving around a muscular brute searching for the person responsible for the death of his beloved one-night stand; a man frustrated with Sin City’s lawlessness who decides to enforce the law himself after a terrible mistake; a cop risking his life to safeguard a girl from a malformed pedophile; and a hitman looking to make a little money.
The novels are brought to life in the movie rather than just being their essence written out in full. The riveting action, metaphor-heavy speech, and captivating cinematography more than outweigh the other factors that make Sin City so captivating.
9 Memories of Murder (2003)
IMDb Score: 8.1/10
Set in 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea where a string of mysterious murders occurs with female victims being raped, tied, and gagged with their underwear. Memories of Murder follows three detectives, two of whom are callous and incompetent local cops who brutally and pointlessly torture the suspects without any strategy while the other one is from Seoul who comes to assist with the inquiries and quickly gets invested.
Bong Joon-ho made headlines with his second picture, a superb criminal thriller that has gained international acclaim in addition to fame in the Korean film industry. Moreover, the movie takes a heartbreakingly depressing look at a nation struggling to survive rather than the sleek, torture-porn style of real crime thrillers that were in vogue.
8 Catch Me If You Can (2002)
IMDb Score: 8.1/10
Based on the semi-autobiographical book of the same name by Frank Abagnale, Catch Me If You Can follow Frank (DiCaprio), a barely 21-year-old man and a brilliant forger who has impersonated a doctor, lawyer, and pilot for money. Meanwhile, FBI agent Carl (Tom Hanks) becomes fixated on finding the con artist, who just enjoys the hunt.
Steven Spielberg‘s gift for empathizing with antiheroes and the film’s cheerful tone and shrewd pacing provides unwavering pleasure. Moreover, DiCaprio portrays Frank Abagnale’s narrative with amazing genuineness, timeliness, and magnetism.
7 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
IMDb Score: 8.2/10
Kill Bill: Vol.1 follows a former assassin named The Bride (Uma Thurman) who exacts revenge on the group of assassins and their leader a.k.a The Bride’s former lover and baby daddy, the titular Bill (David Carradine) who betrayed her after emerging from a four-year coma.
Kill Bill is a sensationally brutal revenge tale propelled by a filmmaker’s voracious passion for the films he watched growing up and visually and culturally rich in cinematic skill including its unrelenting action, and wide range of intriguing music.
6 Batman Begins (2005)
IMDb Score: 8.2/10
Batman Begins is the first installment in Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy which follows the titular vigilante, played by Bale, as his origin story is told, beginning with the death of his parents and continuing with his training to become Batman and his struggle to prevent Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) from causing anarchy in Gotham City.
Batman Begins transforms the superhero genre and goes beyond its restrictions with a moving, engaging, and thrilling experience. In addition, Bale gives the best Batman the series has seen so far, with a somber and troubled performance that perfectly fits Nolan’s tone.
5 Snatch (2000)
IMDb Score: 8.2/10
Set in London’s criminal underworld, Snatch has two connected stories: one is about finding a stolen diamond, and the other is about a small-time boxing promoter (Jason Statham) who is forced to work for a violent mobster who is willing to use harsh and sadistic acts of violence against him.
Snatch, Guy Ritchie‘s second major feature film is nicely done and demonstrates early signs of the expert craftsman he will eventually develop into. Moreover, the film is a fascinating study of interpersonal interaction and intricate story development, despite being a little difficult to follow at times.
4 No Country for Old Men (2007)
IMDb Score: 8.2/10
Set in rural Texas, No Country for Old Men follows three main characters: Welder Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a Vietnam War veteran who discovers a sizable sum of money in the desert; hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), charged with recovering the money; and Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), a local sheriff is looking into the crime.
The movie remains one of The Coen Brothers‘ most iconic works today, featuring a supporting character that eclipses the main one. With the ideal rhythm, the shocking brutality, and the right amount of dark humor, No Country for Old Men‘s characters are portrayed as broad archetypes of human morality, which only serves to increase their appeal.
3 The Departed (2006)
IMDb Score: 8.5/10
The Departedfocuses on the waging war between the Irish-American crime organization and the South Boston state police department. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young undercover police officer, has been tasked with infiltrating the gangland boss Frank Costello’s (Jack Nicholson) mob while a hardened young criminal named Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is ascending to a position of authority in the Special Investigation Unit after infiltrating the state police as an informant for the gang.
The Departed garnered both critical and popular acclaim, won multiple accolades and is still regarded as one of the best mobster movies of all time. Scorsese rediscovering his masterful talent for telling stories that crackle with sharp dialogue delivered by a talented ensemble, results in rich and rewarding material.
2 City of God (2002)
IMDb Score: 8.6/10
Adapted the story from the 1997 novel of the same name by Paulo Lins, City of God is a Brazilian epic crime film that follows two young kids in Rio’s slums who take different paths as one strives to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.
Several reviewers and viewers often name the City of God as one of the best movies of all time and among the top movies of the 20th and 21st centuries. The film is also a potent, darkly twisted coming-of-age story that masterfully exploits its enigmatic location and startling reality. Moreover, what makes the film so spectacular is the devotion director Fernando Meirelles gave to bring his characters to life.
1 The Dark Knight (2008)
IMDb Score: 9/10
The Dark Knight is the second installment in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and continues to follow the titular character, played by Christian Bale. The film focuses on the effort of vigilante Batman, police lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) as they team up to fight organized crime in Gotham City.
The Dark Knight is a superhero and crime thriller unlike any other, and an immediate classic in both genres since the day it was released. The late Heath Ledger‘s performance as Joker makes the film terrific on its own, but thankfully there is more to this movie than just that. It’s a rare blockbuster that flawlessly melds intellect, emotion, and pure fun.
NEXT: 10 Great Crime Movies That Are More Meditative Than Violent