posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:42 PM
As mentioned above: watch Double Indemnity as soon as you can. Awesome movie.
Next, watch Brick. One of my favorite movies of all time and it was made pretty recently. The plot sounds dumb because it involves high school kids,
but this isn't some kind of Hardy Boys thing. It's dark and serious. Not just one of the best noir movies of recent times, but one of the best EVER.
Seriously, if you've already seen Double Indemnity, go watch Brick right now. It's on netflix instant.
Someone up above mentioned Chinatown. Right on, total classic.
Noir is kind of hard to narrow down, so if some of the rest of these don't fit into your idea of noir, sorry. My operating idea for these suggestions
is that a noir movie contains the following elements: Crime, mystery, dark themes, a flawed main character(s), a world that has been upset, and
(usually) the idea that some sort of knowledge can set that world right (in my mind, noir and gnosticism have a lot in common). Noir also has an
indescribable feel that means something can have all those elements, but not feel like noir.
LA Confidential- Based on the great James Ellroy book. Three LAPD detectives try to solve a case that keeps going deeper and deeper. Great
performances, great characters, solid movie all around. Made in 1997.
The Long Goodbye- Based on the book by Raymond Chandler. Elliot Gould is a real rough around the edges PI who seems barely interested in his work at
times. This is a Robert Altman movie and Altman is weird because he focuses primarily on character instead of plot. Plot is the stuff around his
characters. Good movie, but a weird entry in the genre. 1973. On Netflix instant.
The Parallax View- A reporter investigates the slew of deaths that befell witnesses to the assassination of a senator. He begins to uncover a
conspiracy revolving around the Parallax Corporation, a group that might be training assassins. This one is pretty slow, but if you dig on conspiracy
stuff I definitely recommend it. Some critics absolutely hated it. It really picks up towards the end. Made in 1974.
Blue Velvet- Not for the faint of heart. Directed by David Lynch, has uncomfortable stuff like abuse to women and non-consensual sex (I hesitate to
call it rape, but that word kind of fits). If you can get over that, this movie is tremendous. A young man comes home to visit his hospitalized
father. While walking home, he finds an ear and even though the police are taking care of it, his curiosity gets the best of him. Soon, he meets the
insane Frank Booth, one of the best characters in movie history. Made in 1986. You might also want to check out the show Twin Peaks, also by Lynch,
not really noir, but definitely a memorable detective show. Mulholland Drive is another Lynch movie that has some detective and mystery stuff in it.
It's an incredible strange and surreal movie that should be watch, but, again, hard to call it noir. Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks are on Netflix
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang- A comedy that plays with all the noir and detective tropes. One of the funniest and most clever movies ever made. Robert Downey
Jr is a small-time thief who goes to Hollywood and, naturally, sees something he shouldn't have seen causing him to get caught up in the crime. Made
The Limey- An ex-con from Britain comes to LA to investigate the death of his daughter. File this under "Old Guys Being Badass." Terrence Stamp
plays a great tough guy but also projects a lot of sadness and regret. Made in 1999.
Miller's Crossing- Not really noir, but such a great movie I'm throwing it on here. Coen Brothers movie about an Irish mob advisor who ends up
between his gang and the rival Italian mob. Set during the Prohibition Era. Incredible movie all around. I don't even have the words to describe it.
Made in 1990. The Coens also did the black-and-white movie The Man Who Wasn't There which plays with a lot of noir conventions. A bit slow, but a
very good movie as well.
You might also want to consider (not lesser films, but I'm running out of space):
Alphaville (can't vouch for all of Alphaville, haven't seen it all, but it's a light sci-fi French noir that took a familiar stock character called
Lemmy Caution and put him in a dystopian future)
The BBC's newest Sherlock Holmes TV movies (not really noir, but still great)