Rules are meant to be broken, or at least, that’s what rule-breakers tell themselves! It is an undeniable thought that humans, not all of them, find a certain satisfaction in going against the law, doing something that they are told not to, taking something that they are told not to touch. This intrinsic character of criminality is within all of us, some more than others. The question is: do you choose to act upon it? (My advice, don’t!) But, enough with the preaching. Point is, we all like stories about crimes and criminals. The mystery of whodunit and how it was done, and the thrill of the cat and mouse chase that ensues between the criminals and the cops is what keeps us glued to our seats. If you are looking for such a film, here is the list of the top crime movies of 2018. The list also includes best gangster movies, true crime movies, action crime movies and crime thriller movies.
20. King of Thieves (2018)
Greed is a slippery slope. Although a driving force in augmenting human standard of life, it also possesses an element of destruction, sending capable men into fatalistic down spirals. ‘King of Thieves’ is based on a similar group of thieves, whose heist, though successful, becomes a cause for fallouts within the group. This cultivated distrust is the centerpiece in the ensuing madness that threatens to be all-consuming. The true-to-life rendition of the Hatton Gardens burglary of 2015 benefits greatly from the lead performance by Michael Caine. The veteran actor shows no signs of stopping anytime soon and makes the most of a rare opportunity to dictate a film at his age. He is ably supported by the side cast, who do well to compliment him on screen. Despite being rough around the edges, ‘King of Thieves’ coasts on its charisma, nodding at the stars’ iconic screen moments of yesteryear.
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19. Ocean’s 8 (2018)
Debbie Ocean, the sister of the now deceased Danny Ocean, is released from prison. After breathing her freedom, Debbie assembles a team to steal one of the world’s most precious jewels in existence. To do the same, she employs the services of Daphne Kluger, a renowned public figure, and hatches a plan to give effect to her ground-shaking heist. ‘Ocean’s Eight’ quickly became a hotly discussed topic among movie-goers after its release. Criticisms were misconstrued as anti-feminist and patriarchal dogmatism, with even the cast joining the bandwagon. Despite the negativity that flowed from their comments, the film does uphold some credibility. Although not as witty and original as its “all-male” predecessor, ‘Ocean’s Eight’ sustains on the star-power of its brilliant cast and the adrenaline-pumping thrill of its partially well-executed heist. The film, though, suffers from grave issues with its plot. The narrative lacks structure and a cohesive attachment, that might result in the viewer falling off track in the middle.
18. The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)
Based on the book of the same name by David Lagercrantz, ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ stars Claire Foy as the master hacker Lisbeth Salander (previously portrayed by Rooney Mara in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’). It starts with Frans Balder approaching Lisbeth for her services. He had previously worked for the National Security Agency and wants her to help him steal a program that could make anyone the most powerful person in the world. Lisbeth gets the job done but her actions attract attention and soon, she finds herself in a spiral that takes her deeper and deeper into the dark world of politics and espionage.
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17. Gringo (2018)
Harold Soyinka was an employee at Promethium Pharmaceuticals. Once, he went with the co-presidents of his company, Richard Rusk and Elaine Markinson, to Mexico to meet the head of the company’s Mexico plant. A lot of information comes to light for Harold, on both personal and professional level. He discovers that his wife has been having an affair which totally ruins his personal life. And while having dinner, he overhears his employers talking about a possible merger which will result in him losing his job. Also, there is a lot of drugs involved in the company. The chain of events leads to Harold being abducted and held for the ransom of five million dollars.
16. Dragged Across Concrete (2018)
Brett Ridgeman and Anthony Lurasetti were good cops; however, their methods weren’t really ideal. Brett has been on the force for a long time and understood the need to have a clear mind. However, Anthony is younger and has a bit of anger pent up inside him which can burst out at any moment. They face suspension when the media gets hold of their offbeat tactics. Now, both of them have to find a way to earn some money. They both believe that the underworld holds their due. So, they decide to dive in and get what they deserve. But this world turns out to be too dark and twisted for someone to find their way back.
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15. Hotel Artemis (2018)
This film fast forwards a few years into the future. It is 2028 and a lot of things have changed in the world. The scarcity of resources has caught up with people and Water has become a commodity now. It is being privatized and now, people are on the streets, protesting against its availability to normal people. A group of robbers take advantage of these protests and rob a bank. However, their plans go drastically awry and three of them end up getting wounded. They head towards the only place that can treat them: Hotel Artemis. It is a special type of place that only caters to criminals but comes with its own conditions.
14. Den of Thieves (2018)
The most important thing when a heist takes place is to catch the criminals red-handed, for the police, that is. For the criminals, the most important job is to use every trick in their bag to escape successfully and not get caught. A crew has been committing robberies in Los Angeles and Nick O’Brien has been closely following these robbers. Now, he has come closer than ever. He has found the man who could be intimately indulged in the planning, if not the execution, of the robbery. And from him, he has found out the location for the next heist. So, now Nick is ready. He’ll catch those guys, the next time they hit a bank.
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13. American Animals (2018)
This film is based on a true story that took place in 2004 in the library of Transylvania University in Lexington. Two students realise that there are a lot of priceless things in this world and the library of their university houses one of those things. A set of rare books sits there, just inside their reach. Spencer Reinhard is doing all of this for nothing but pure excitement which is something that he believes his life desperately needs. Warren Lipkais is only doing this because he wants to do something to piss off his parents. This heist is his way of rebelling. But these kids are only thinking about the act, not the consequences.
12. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
The first instalment of this series, named ‘Sicario’, featured Emily Blunt as an FBI officer who gets entangled in a mess that CIA agent Matt Graver and his operative Alejandro Gillick create. This film was Blunt-less and perhaps that’s what was missing from it. Anyway, it picks up some time after the events of the first film and follows a different case. After an incident which kills a number of people, the CIA believes that the effect of the Mexican drug cartels is the reason behind it. They decide to cause a problem between the cartels to create a state of war between them. But things spiral out of control when Gillick is ordered to do morally questionable things.
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11. White Boy Rick (2018)
The job of a police officer is very difficult. But more dangerous than that is the job of an informant. Living amongst criminals and then telling on them is a very difficult job. If you are caught, it is over for you. But Rick Wershe Jr. took this risk at the age of fourteen. It is the 1980s and Detroit is beginning to see a rise in the number of drug addicts implying that the business has spread its roots here. ‘White Boy Rick’ follows the story of the titular character who, even after helping the police, goes through a series of trials and meets with a tragic end.
10. Under the Silver Lake (2018)
Sam’s neighbour was a beautiful enticing woman who quickly made an impression on the naïve young man. Sam believed that he had fallen in love with her, but before he could do anything about it, the woman went missing. Desperate to prove himself, Sam decides to take the responsibility of finding out what happened to her. In his wildest fantasies, perhaps he would save her and this way would impress and make her fall in love with him. However, before he made this decision, Sam had no idea how difficult the road ahead was and what a dangerous game he was getting himself into.
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9. The Guilty (2018)
There is a lot of work to be done in the police department. Although Asger Holm doesn’t normally do phone duty, he is assigned to it because the next day is the hearing of one of the cases. After that is done, Holm will be back to his normal work. His day starts with some calls that might alert normal people, but being a seasoned cop, Asger is used to them and they are nothing he can’t handle. But there comes a call that changes his stance on the matter. A woman calls him and by the sound of it, it looks like she has been abducted. Now, Asger has to find a way to figure out her identity and save her before things get any worse.
8. The Old Man and the Gun (2018)
When people get old, the only thing they think about is finally retiring and settling down. So, when seventy-year-old Forrest Tucker escaped from San Quentin, no one had thought that he would make a daring escape, much less plan a series of heists that just might be the best work of his entire life! John Hunt is the detective who is put on Tucker’s case. Hunt is a sort of fan of Tucker’s work. He sees inspiration in the dedication that the criminal puts into his work and it is this admiration for his adversary work that allows Hunt to think like him in order to catch him down. But Hunt is not the only one looking for Tucker.
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7. Destroyer (2018)
When Erin Bell was younger, she worked undercover with a gang. She had worked hard to make connections there and she had succeeded in getting a lot of jobs done. However, something went wrong, as it often does in such cases. The operation blew up and Erin was left to pick up the pieces of the mess that was created. But that was years ago. Erin has moved on now. It might still haunt her dreams, but that’s okay. Until one day, the leader of the gang resurfaces. It looks like he is getting the team back together. Now is the time for Erin to get the wrongs turned into rights. She has to settle this case, once and for all.
6. The Mule (2018)
This film is directed and acted in by Clint Eastwood for whom it has been a long time since he donned the role of both the major positions, simultaneously. It tells the story of a man who worked as a courier for a drug cartel. The only difference between him and regular mules was that this man was eight-year-old. The veteran of the Second World War, Earl Stone is forced to resort a better job in order to have a better pay. His search leads him to the dangerous waters of the drug cartels. Once caught up, it becomes quite difficult for him to let go and even the cartels see his old age as an opportunity.
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5. 22 July (2018)
Based on the book called ‘One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway- and Its Aftermath’ by Asne Seirerstad, this film is inspired by true events that shook Norway in 2011. It focuses on the terrorism caused by the right-wing extremist groups, something that is becoming quite a popular thought-process in today’s world. Seventy-seven teens were killed that day. The film analyses the mindset of the people who commit these awful acts while shedding a light on how the victims’ families were affected due to this, and what acts like these could mean for this world.
4. The Angel (2018)
Looks don’t mean much when you are reading people for who they are. At least, they didn’t mean much for Carlitos. When he was caught for his crimes, the jury found it hard to believe that a person as beautiful as he could have a soul so malicious as to commit such heinous crimes. The media billed him as “the Angel of Death” owing to the fact that he looked immensely pretty yet only brought death and misery wherever he went. Based on a true story, ‘The Angel’ follows the misadventure of Carlitos, taking us through the times that decides the direction that his life took and how he ended up killing thirteen people.
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3. Widows (2018)
Husbands keep secrets from wives, but too dark secrets have repercussions. After her husband’s death, when some men knock at Veronica’s door asking her for the money that they say her husband had stolen from them, does Veronica come to know about her husband’s true occupation. Knowing that if she doesn’t return the money, these men will come after her and the family of the partners of her husband, she decides to enlist the help of the rest of the Widows to organise a heist of her own.
2. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
This film is directed by Spike Lee and is based on a true story. Racial issues are a big problem now but it was even worse (or was it?) back in the 70s when organisations like Ku Klux Klan existed and exacted brutality owing to their racial bigotry. In Colorado, an African-American detective was given the task to infiltrate the ranks of the organization and expose the identity of its high-ranking people. While the film does take a lot of poetic and dramatic licence to tell the story, still, the themes that it presents and the issues that it raises are not lost in translation.
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1. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Based on the book of the same name by James Baldwin, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ tells the story of a wrongly convicted man and his wife who tries to prove his innocence to bring him back home. One of the best films of the year, it focuses on the racial issues that have haunted the society for so long and how people are still biased in their evaluation of one another. With its utter honesty, it sometimes seems too brutal a story, yet, it is aimed to sadden the audience by the presentation of the clear reality of the times that they are living in, without painting any butterflies or bright colours in the background. It is also the story of perseverance of a woman to save her family and of a man to survive against all odds. ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ is one of the most essential films of the year, and one that you simply cannot miss.
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