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How many have you seen? As in his better-known A Separation , Asghar Farhadi renders moral questions as nail-biting as a Fast and Furious car chase. Pivoting among a large ensemble of characters, Farhadi retains absolute command of his inquest into sexual repression and social conformity.
A one-armed stranger gets off. A pulsating and memorably sleazy blockbuster , packed with sex and violence. As brutal as a Michael Mann thriller, without a drop of blood spilt. Lang holds the shot on the hob as the boiling pot is removed. Explicit, no. Set against the patriotic American bicentennial, it builds to a memorably tragic conclusion and folds into itself with a startling sense of self-awareness.
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Among the subtlest of great thrillers, Le Boucher is meticulous, psychologically probing and deeply suspenseful. The only film on our list with a sex educator on set probably. Best of all, the gay relationship is part of the film, not the whole film. And it feels genuinely sexy. Sex education money well spent.
Characters may be thinly sketched, but the scenario is effectively nightmarish, and Russell drives the narrative through raw emotion alone. Atmospherically set in s London watch out for a cameo from The Zombies , this unsettling missing-toddler case sees thriller master Otto Preminger experiment with lacing psychological thrills and social realism. Two years before Psycho ripped open film grammar, this layered masterpiece pored over similar psychosexual fissures — shockingly for an Egyptian film in But where Hitchcock crept into interior recesses, Youssef Chahine — who also plays a lame, tormented newspaper seller — made his film a communal trauma echoing with the tumult of newly republican Egypt.
Robert Mitchum plays a force of brute evil in this disturbing family-in-peril chiller. His lecherous ex-con Max Cady begins a campaign of terror on the household of the lawyer Gregory Peck whose testimony sent him down. A Christmas Carol reworked as a heist thriller. The irony, of course, is that the sinner — charming to the staff, brutally honest with Fordyce — offers salvation.
A stylish two-hander , simmering with tension. Gene Hackman is exceptional as a paranoid surveillance expert, while Walter Murch and Art Rochester were Oscar-nominated for the evocative sound design.
Fred Zinnemann was likely more famous for his westerns and romantic dramas than his thrillers, but he tackled big material in this political drama: the attempted assassination of French president Charles De Gaulle. Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill play the grieving couple whose recuperative sailing trip takes a deadly turn after they rescue a marooned man.
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Full of vertiginous peril, guess-the-psycho gameplay and fish-out-of-water fun, Deadly Pursuit was once the stuff that video-rental dreams were made of. The daddy of all weekend-gone-wrong survival thrillers stars Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds as Atlanta businessmen who get more than they bargained for on a canoe trip through the wilderness.
Harrowing stuff, and a haunting film about our desecration of the land. The wife and mistress of a repulsive man team up to remove their mutual problem, but disposing of the corpse is more difficult than they anticipate. A crime movie that encourages the audience to side with the murderers. Famed for its audacious, rapid dialogue, dripping with sexual innuendo, Double Indemnity places insurance salesman Fred MacMurray in the path of ice-blonde aspiring widow Barbara Stanwyck.
Directed by Billy Wilder as a series of confessional flashbacks, from a script co-written by Raymond Chandler and adapted from a James M. Cain story, this is film noir at its finest. Nothing can be trusted and nothing stays still for long in this slick, excessive and hugely influential paranoid thriller.
As commuter David Mann Dennis Weaver is randomly targeted by an unseen trucker, Spielberg utilises the isolated location and universal fear of the unknown to deliver a tense David and Goliath-esque thriller. Sniffy, but — with hindsight — dead right. The thrill of his revolution, however phony, endures. One is one of the best thrillers of all time, the other stars Steven Seagal. Rebecca De Mornay is suitably unhinged as the nanny wreaking bloody havoc on the family she believes responsible for the death of her husband and unborn child.
With Lemming to follow, director Dominik Moll looked peerless for a brief spell in the early s. No cliffhangers or races-against-the-clock here. No beheadings either. The Headless Woman unfolds in a state of foggy concussion, with the facts hanging tantalisingly out of reach. Echoes of They Drive by Night and The Wages of Fear reverberate around this testosterone-fuelled study of the risks taken by pittance-paid truckers.
Seething with macho resentment, Stanley Baker leads an exceptional cast of British acting stalwarts including Sean Connery and Patrick McGoohan who ably square up to the reckless action sequences and no-nonsense realism. Someone is sending them surveillance videos of their Paris apartment. High and Low , set in s Yokohama, offers a true test of nobility. The adventure lies in seeing which way a good man will turn, and whether he can retain his goodness, despite its absence around him. A race against the clock. The final shootout romps through the town, leaving a trail of burned out barns and panicked horses in its wake.
A psychopath takes two friends captive after they offer him a ride, tormenting them mentally and turning them against each other, on a trip across the Mexican border. Inspired by the story of spree killer Billy Cook, The Hitch-hiker is a brutally chilling movie, and the first film noir to be directed by a woman, former actor Ida Lupino.
The girl cried wolf, the pack turned on its own. A textbook example of the all-star conspiracy thriller. Director and co-writer Erik Skjoldbjaerg expertly utilises his atmospheric Norwegian location for this tense murder mystery.
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Stellan Skarsgard is Swedish murder investigator Jonas Engstrom, who, struggling to cope with the 24 hours of daylight, makes a terrible mistake that has dramatic implications on the case. Self doubt kicks in. This is what happens to private detective, Varg Veum, in the opening chapter of Wolves in the Dark.
He manages a little easily it must be said… to escape during a bathroom break. And begins to try and work out what is happening. Someone must be out to get him… but who exactly and why? He goes back in his mind over recent cases. It is fast paced and exciting story that moves to a thrilling — and unexpected — conclusion.
A map of Bergen precedes the first chapter and it is easy to follow the plot around the city. Staalesen is a native of Bergen, and his intimate knowledge shows.
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You can almost feel you are there…. Wolves in the Dark is the sixteenth book in the Varg Veum series, going back over 40 years! The subject matter is distasteful, and it is quite a brave man who would choose to write in such areas. Staalesen does, though, pull it off. Wolves in the Dark is an exciting and well constructed thriller, covering pretty dark subject matter.
A great addition to the world of Scandi Noir. Two months before I was born, my parents moved to Bergen from Oslo, because my father had got a job as a teacher in a school here. Walking around Bergen is, indeed, like taking a tour of a film noir set, with its dark narrow streets, cobblestones and asphalt wet with rain — yes, it rains in Bergen for days of the year more or less — not to mention the femmes fatales around every corner. Bergen is an old city; a city by the sea.
In the medieval era, the crime rate was higher here than it was in Harlem, New York in the s.
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