Entire years just seem to fly by, don’t they? It feels like only yesterday that we were welcoming in 2015.
And now? 2016 is almost upon us. Still, there’s little point getting too depressed at the sands of time that relentlessly slip through our fingers. Instead, let’s look back at the best of the year’s crime flicks, shall we? That might cheer us all up.
While movies like Jurassic World, Spectre and Mad Max dominated the box office, the films we were most interested in came in the shape of these little stolen diamonds. Here’s our pick of the best crime movies of 2015.
The very best crime movies of 2015
The incredible true story of the ‘unholy alliance’ between Boston’s most violent and feared gangster and the FBI, Scott Cooper’s portrait of the relationship between the feds and the infamous Irish-American criminal James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is as much of a horror as it is crime film. Johnny Depp almost haunts the role, wearing a bizarre wig/blue contact lens combo that makes him look more like Nosferatu than the real-life man he plays. Unflinchingly violent, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton and Jesse Plemons co-star in this excellent outing.
From the director who brought us 2013’s excellent crime thriller Prisoners comes an illuminating glimpse into the shady world of how the US government attempts to fight the ‘war’ on drugs south of the border. Emily Blunt delivers a searing performance alongside the ever-growly Josh Brolin and a career best Benicio Del Toro. If your knowledge of Mexican drug cartels comes from Breaking Bad, you need to get educating yourself with this stand-out cerebral thriller.
An ugly, brutal, blood-stained British police corruption thriller, Hyena pulls no punches. Which is ironic, considering the amount of punches that are thrown in it. Known as much for its jarring violence as it is for its enigmatic ending, this is a tough but rewarding watch. Think The Bill. On steroids. And cocaine. And you’re halfway there. Visceral, troubling stuff, but well worth the effort.
Son of a Gun
Rarely do we see Ewan McGregor given a chance to flex his muscles and bare his gnashers as a tough bad guy, but when we do? What a treat. The Scotsman plays a dangerous bank robber who recruits a new gang member while bossing a terrifying Australian prison. This tough, whip-smart crime thriller brings the best out of the Trainspotting star and introduces us to star of the future, Brenton Thwaites.
Perhaps not quite living up to its full promise, this Kray twins biopic still delivers plenty. Sharp tailoring, bursts of violence and an incredible double turn from Tom Hardy as both Ronnie and Reggie, Legend is still a stylish, if not entirely rounded ‘60s gangster flick. Read more about Legend in our review here.
Run All Night
Liam Neeson’s unlikely transition from serious A-List actor to sixty-something action star continues apace with this outing that has him saving his son from the evil clutches of Ed Harris’ gangland boss. But with a stellar cast including Joel Kinnamon, Vincent D’Onofrio and Nick Nolte, this popcorn flick rises above the Taken sequels to double up us an intriguing crime film, as well and bang-bang shoot ‘em up actioner.
Very much a film which sneaked in under the radar of many film fans this year, Broken Horses stars Anton Yelchin and Maria Valverde and fits very nicely into the ‘Southern Gothic’ genre (see also No Country For Old Men, Blue Ruin, Cape Fear…). In fact, you could even argue that this tale of two brothers of either side of the law is more of a modern western. Whatever it is – it’s packed full of crime and worth seeking out.
Now this interesting-sounding German film may sound a touch gimmick-y, but bear with the concept – it’s actually a pretty stunning piece of cinema. Centered around a Berlin bank robbery, the outstanding thing about Victoria? It was all shoot in just one take. Now you might imagine that this idea limits the thing, but in fact the very opposite is true. Track this down immediately – it’s a must see for any true fan of crime cinema…
How many of these fantastic crime movies have you seen? Which was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!