The 10 Darkest & Grittiest Crime Movies of All Time, Ranked by IMDb Score

Mar 10, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: (Jeremy Urquhart).

By virtue of belonging to the crime genre, there's a good chance any crime movie is going to get a little dark at some point. Some will be darker than others of course, but these films will naturally deal with characters who act outside the law, with some criminal characters portrayed sympathetically and others depicted as villains. After all, multiple actions can be considered "crimes," meaning crime movies could well strike all sorts of tones.

The following crime films, however, stand out for how realistic and gritty they are. While not all of the following are 100% realistic, they do feel more grounded and authentic than the average crime movie. For those who appreciate a crime film that captures something genuine, regardless of whether it tells a true story or not, the following movies are certainly worth checking out.

10'Straight Time' (1978)

A slow-burn 1970s crime movie, Straight Time follows a burglar played by Dustin Hoffman who gets released on parole, only to find life on the outside has become tougher since being labeled as an ex-con. Work's hard to come by, money's tighter than ever, and his uncaring probation officer just makes things worse. Ultimately, his circumstances make him turn back to a life of crime.

With most of the first half following the protagonist's attempts to reintegrate into society, and the second half a rebellion against it, it's an interestingly structured, empathetic, and effective look at a real-life situation for many. It's also got an impressive cast beyond Hoffman, including Gary Busey, Kathy Bates, and Harry Dean Stanton.

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