Crime film is one of the most popular film genres, with a history dating back to the very beginning of cinema. Although most of the most famous crime films originate in the United States, virtually every country with a film industry dabbles in the genre as well. Over the years, some of the best detective films have come from abroad and are told in the local language.
Users of r/movies, the biggest movie subreddit, have repeatedly discussed the best foreign crime movies. Their recommendations range from realistic French dramas to crazy Belgian thrillers, Brazilian gangster epics and South African morality tales.
‘The Hatred’ (1995)
Hatred (which means “hate”) follows a single day in the life of three young men from a poor district of Paris. During a riot, their friend is seriously injured by the police, and they all react in different ways. Come (Vincent Cassel) swears revenge, boxer/drug dealer Hubert (Hubert Kounde) is upset but reluctant to antagonize the cops, and the calm Saïd (Said Taghmaoui) tries to mediate between them.
It is a gripping drama and also a study of French society, with a focus on the young people at the center of the story. “I decided to show the story from the children’s point of view because no one knew about children, especially in 1995,” the director said. Mathieu KassovitzExplain. Edgar Wright is also a huge fan of the film. He called him an “incendiary drama set in the suburbs of Paris”.
‘The Man Bites the Dog’ (1992)
This goofy mockumentary centers on a film crew that follows a serial killer and films his murders. At first they simply document what they see, but eventually they participate in his crimes. The tension continues to build from there until the film hits some really lopsided places.
A man bites a dog is a black comedy, with many meta-observations around art and cinema. It is directed by Belgian filmmakers Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, and Benoit Poelvoorde. Poelvoorde also stars as the charming but psychopathic Ben. Wright also loved this movie and included it in his list of his 1000 favorite movies.
“Love Dogs” (2000)
love dogs (Spanish for ‘Love’s a Bitch’) features three interlocking narratives. In the first, a teenager (Gael Garcia Bernal) gets involved in underground dog fights; in the second, a model (Goya Toledo) suffers a career-threatening injury, and the third follows a hitman (Emilio Echevarria) looking for his daughter.
love dogs is a bit like a grainier pulp Fictionwith some social criticism and class comments. Alejandro Inarritu would move on to more ambitious movies likebirdman and The ghostbut love dogs remains his most impactful creation.
A shame (meaning “criminal”) is a South African film directed by Gavin Hoodwho also did X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Ender’s game. It follows a young gangster (Presley Chweneyagae) in a car-stealing Johannesburg slum, only to find a three-month-old baby in the backseat. He tries to take care of the child, but the situation is untenable.
A shame made history as the first South African film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. “I think it’s a [story] which deals with timeless and universal themes of redemption, self-discovery, coming of age, forgiveness and self-forgiveness,” says Hood. “It’s essentially a universal, timeless story of a young man’s journey from a very angry position with the world to a place where the character achieves clarity and self-awareness.”
Irreversible is a brutal thriller from the French experimental author gaspar noahwho is probably best known for Step into the void. It centers on two men trying to get revenge on the men who assaulted a woman they love. It takes place over a single night in Paris and is edited to look like one continuous take, but is set in reverse chronological order.
“When people play with time, you can see things differently. I’m tired of chronological films. It makes this movie so much more tragic because you can’t escape fate,” Noé said of the movie’s unorthodox structure. “People can always step in and change the course of things. Here, things are inevitable.”
“A Prophet” (2009)
a prophet centered on Malik (Tahar Rahim), a prisoner in a French prison. He starts out as a gentle introvert, but prison life hardens him into a real mobster. As a Frenchman of Algerian descent, Malik occupies a unique position in the prison, torn apart by a conflict between Corsican and Muslim gangs. He uses this to his advantage.
The film is impressively realistic and gives a poignant view of life behind bars. Rahim also deserves credit for his nuanced handling of a difficult role. “The hero of my film is there to illustrate the individual’s capacity for resistance and his ability to make his own rules, his own life”, explains the director. Jacques Audiard. “I like to ask the question: do I just have one life to live or is there another way? »
“Ichi the killer” (2001)
Ichi the killer is a wild, hyper-stylized and tongue-in-cheek thriller from cult Japanese director Takashi Miike. Based on a manga, it follows an unstable young man (Nao Omori) who is manipulated into killing several yakuza during a gang war. This catches Kakihara’s attention (Tadanobu Asano), a sadomasochistic enforcer for one of the gangs.
The film is packed with some of the most outrageous and over-the-top violence ever filmed, including fatal kicks from a bladed shoe and severed, tossed faces. It’s also maniacally funny, especially Kakihara’s hero worship of Ichi. Mike’s movie Hearingwhich is more serious but also gore-loving, is also worth a look.
‘Elite Team’ (2007)
Elite squad takes place in 1997, in the run-up to the Pope’s visit to Rio de Janeiro. A team of senior law enforcement officers led by Roberto Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is tasked with eliminating dozens of criminals before the arrival of the religious leader. At the same time, Nascimento must find a worthy successor who will be able to ensure the security of the city. However, the cops are ethically dubious and use heavy-handed tactics.
The film caused a stir in Brazil, becoming that country’s highest-grossing film while garnering critical acclaim. “Elite squad it’s like being a cop in an environment as violent as Rio, and what the cop thinks/how he sees the world”, realized the director Jose Padilha Explain. “Nascimento, like Henry in Freedmenis full of facts and he tortures people, but you bond with him.”
“No Name” (2009)
Nameless is the first feature film by no time to die director Cary Joji Fukunaga. He follows Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a Honduran woman attempting to travel to the United States. Along the way, she crosses paths with a young Mexican gangster (Edgar Flores) that helps him deal with the host of threats lurking in the country. The young protagonists deliver intense and committed performances.
The film is tense and fast, practically a neo-western. “You can’t have trains or bandits without thinking about westerns,” Fukunaga said. “And also the themes – that you think John Ford, Houston, some of the greatest westerns and there’s a sense of retribution. A lot of stories are about justice, closing a chapter on something that happened earlier in the movie, so this way [Sin Nombre] is definitely built like that.”
“The City of God” (2002)
“If you run, the beast catches you; if you stay, the beast eats you.” city of god is another gang epic from Brazil. Set in a neighborhood of Rio between the 1960s and 1980s, it chronicles the rise of a criminal syndicate and a feud between several gangsters and vigilantes. It’s anchored by terrific performances from the ensemble cast.
city of god received critical and director acclaim Fernando Meirelles received an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Director Robert Altman (who did MASH POTATOES and Gosford Park) was a massive man in the film. “I don’t know how Fernando Meirelles did city of god. It’s so brave, so truthful,” he said. “I think it’s the best picture I’ve ever seen.”
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