1. Rear Window (1954)
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In order to capture the action of a car race, photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries suffers a broken leg. Having to be confined to his New York City apartment, he spends most of his time peering out of the back window at the people below. It dawns on him that the man across the courtyard is responsible for his wife’s murder. Lisa Freemont, Jeff’s high-society fashion consultant, and Stella, his nurse visitor, join him in the investigation.
2. Blue Velvet (1986)
While his father is in the hospital, Jeffrey Beaumont, a college student, returns to his idyllic hometown of Lumberton to manage his father’s hardware store. Jeffrey discovers a severed human ear while walking through a meadow near his house. Police officers in the area conducted a preliminary investigation and found As the investigation continues, Detective John Wil…liams advises Jeffrey to remain silent about the case. Detective Williams also informs Jeffrey that he is prohibited from disclosing any information about what the police are aware of.
Sandy Williams, the detective’s teenage daughter, tells Jeffrey what she’s learned from overhearing her father’s conversations about the case: that it has something to do with a nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens, who lives in an old apartment building near the Beaumont home. Curiosity getting the better of him, Jeffrey decides to break into Dorothy’s apartment while she is at work to find out more about the woman at the center of the case.
A new world opens up for Jeffrey, one that he has no idea how to navigate, but one that he can’t help but be drawn into despite the risks of being linked to a murder investigation. In spite of this, he’s torn between his current life and the prospect of getting closer to Sandy, even though Sandy is already dating the school’s star football player, Mike.
3. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
Their son has graduated from college and Larry and Carol are your average New Yorkers. In the hallway, they meet an elderly couple whose wife dies unexpectedly a few days later. Because of this, Carol begins to have doubts about Paul’s sincerity. She gets to work on her investigation right away. Larry believes she’s becoming overly obsessed with their next-door neighbor, as all of the anomalies point to something other than homicide.
Her investigation is assisted by Ted, a recently divorced friend, and Larry, who has grown envious of Ted and Larry’s relationship, agrees to assist her.
4. The Black Dahlia (2006)
Dwight “Bucky” Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, two ex-boxers turned cops, work in Los Angeles in 1946. Lee and his chief have a good working relationship, and Lee uses a boxing match to promote the department and get a raise for the officers. They are promoted to the rank of homicide detectives and begin working closely as a team.
Bucky becomes Lee and Kay Lake’s close friend, resulting in a love triangle. Soon after, Lee becomes obsessed with solving the mystery surrounding the murder of aspiring actress ‘Elizabeth Short (I)’ whose body was found mutilated. When it comes to the Black Dahlia case, Bucky’s investigation leads him to Madeleine Linscott, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful builder. Bucky uncovers hidden truths in a corrupt and deceptive environment.
5. Chinatown (1974)
Private investigator JJ ‘Jake’ Gittes specializes in matrimonial investigations. Evelyn Mulwray, the city’s water supply system builder, hires him when she suspects her husband Hollis of having an affair. Gittes does what he does best and takes pictures of him with a young girl, but it turns out that he was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray, as had been previously reported. A murder, incest, and municipal corruption all have something to do with the city’s water supply when Mr. Mulwray is found dead, and Jake is drawn into the web of deceit.
6. Caché (2005)
Set in France, Georges is a TV Literary Critic who lives with his publisher wife Ann and their young son Pierrot in a small but modern townhouse. They begin to receive videotapes, as well as childlike drawings, in the mail from their home and family. They go to the police in the hopes of getting help in catching the stalker, but since there is no immediate danger, the officers refuse to assist them in their investigation. As the tapes get more personal, Georges decides to track down the person responsible for subjecting his family to such suffering. This is a classic work of Michael Haneke’s.
7. Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)
It’s boring being Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Newton at home all the time, with her parents and younger sister and all that. The only thing she wants to happen is for her sophisticated and well-traveled uncle Charlie Oakley, her mother’s younger brother, to pay them a visit. It’s hard to imagine her delight when they receive a surprise visit from their long-lost uncle Charlie. It’s no surprise that Charlie Oakley causes quite a commotion and charms members of the ladies’ club and the bank’s president, where his brother-in-law works.
A strange behavior begins to emerge in young Charlie, such as cutting out a story about a man who marries and then murders wealthy widows from the local newspaper. Her worst fears about her beloved uncle Charlie are confirmed when two strangers approach her and inquire about him.
8. Hollywoodland (2006)
Poor private investigator Louis Simo views his work as a way to make money rather than something he does for his few clients out of altruism. Helen Bessolo hires Simo to look into the death of her son, actor ‘George… Reeves (I)’, through his connections with the investigation firm where he previously worked (qv). Most people know him from the title role in “Adventures of Superman” (1952) (qv), which he hated because it made him look like a “cartoon,” despite the fact that it made him famous. Reeves was born in 1926 and raised in New Jersey.
On June 16, 1959, he was found dead from a single gunshot wound in his Los Angeles bedroom, and the police ruled it a suicide because the house was packed with people at the time. It is revealed that Reeves had an open and lucrative affair with MGM General Manager ‘E.J. Mannix’ (qv), who bought him that house, and Simo, who is trying to make a name for himself with this case, talks to or tries to talk to some of the players involved, most notably Toni Mannix, the wife of E.J. Mannix, who bought him that house, and Reeves’ fiancée at the time of his demise, Le (or vice versa).
The further Simo gets into his high-profile investigation, the more he discovers that someone doesn’t want him poking around. It’s during this process that Simo takes stock of his professional and personal relationships, including his strained one with his wife and child.
9. Enemy Of The State (1998)
Robert Dean is a polite lawyer in the nation’s capital. Pintero, a drug lord, is the target of his pursuit. Meanwhile, Thomas Reynolds, a politician, is in talks with Phillip Hammersley, a congressman, about a new satellite surveillance system. Hammersley, on the other hand, refuses. Reynolds assassinates Hammersley, but the crime is caught on tape, and Reynolds’ team of NSA agents pursues the taper. Because he needs to get rid of the tape, the individual decides to place it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean).
Then the NSA makes the decision to eavesdrop on Dean’s private life. There came a point when everything in Dean’s life began to crumble around him, including his marriage and his job. Dean is curious as to what is taking place. Then he meets “Brill,” a man who claims to know something about Dean’s whereabouts. Dean and Brill devise a strategy to reclaim Dean’s freedom and defeat Reynolds.
10. Don’t Say A Word (2001)
In order to get the rare gem, a gang of thieves has to double cross the gang’s leader, Patrick, and steal the priceless stone. Psychiatrist Nathan Conrad returns to Elisabeth’s case ten years later, this time to examine her as a young woman. To get Elisabeth to reveal a secret number that will lead Patrick to the location of the priceless gem, Patrick immediately kidnaps Nathan’s daughter.
11. Murder By Death (1976)
With no prior knowledge of the wealthy Lionel Twain, world-famous detectives can’t resist the invitation to “dinner and murder” at his mansion.
Each person has no idea who else will be attending until they arrive at Two Two Twain. Some of these detectives include: New York socialites and amateur sleuths Dick…and Dora Charleston, who are accompanied by their pet terrier, Myron; Belgian detective Monsieur Milo Perrier, who is accompanied by his chauffeur, Marcel; Shanghai inspector Sidney Wang, who is accompanied by his Japanese adopted son, Willie Wang; British frump Miss Jessica Marbles, who is accompanied by her invalid nurse, Miss Withers; and San Francisco gumshoe Sam Diamond Twain’s blind butler, Jamesir Bensonmum, cannot communicate with Twain’s new deaf-mute, non-Anglophone cook, Yetta, which causes problems with the dinner portion of the invitation. The guests initially believe that Twain will attempt to assassinate them all.
In the end, Twain explains his reasoning for the gathering: that one of the people he’s invited to dinner is going to be murdered before midnight, and that if his guests, who are now trapped in the house until dawn, can’t figure out who committed the murder, that person is also sitting at the dinner table, Twain will consider himself the greatest detective in all of New England.
12. Gattaca (1997)
A man who isn’t perfect wants to go to the stars in the not-too-distant future. Vincent Freeman has been labeled as unsuitable by society due to his genetic make-up, and he has been relegated to the ranks of the underprivileged who are only fit for menial labor. Then he assumes the identity of a genetic specimen who was paralyzed in a car accident: Jerome Morrow. Vincent learns how to cheat on DNA and urine tests with the help of a professional. After the death of his program director, just as he is about to embark on a mission to space, the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his mission plans.
13. North By Northwest (1959)
When Roger Thornhill, a successful Madison Avenue advertising executive, is mistaken for George Kaplan, he is plunged into the world of espionage. After being set up by the Russian spy Philip Vandamm and his henchman Leonard, the British spy Thornhill sets out to clear his name… On the run from the police, he gets on board the 20th Century Limited bound for Chicago, where he meets a stunning blonde named Eve Kendall who helps him get away from the law enforcement. When he discovers that Eve isn’t the helpless bystander he assumed she was, his world is once again turned upside down. It turns out that nothing is as it seems, and a dramatic rescue and escape take place at the summit of Mt. Rushmore as a result.
14. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
Leon, an aspiring photographer, lives with his girlfriend Maya, a waitress, while he waits for an opportunity to break into the field. Upon Maya’s request, their friend Jurgis arranges for Leon to meet with Susan Hoff, the gallery’s successful owner, who looks over his work and gives him advice on how to make it better. Even though it is late at night, Leon decides to wander the streets with his camera and follows three punks to the subway station, where he defends a young woman from the attackers and the gang moves on.
Leon learns of the woman’s disappearance the following morning. In the police station, Detective Lynn Hadley discredits his statement and does not pay much attention to him. Leon becomes fixated on discovering what transpired to the stranger, and as a result, he begins to keep vigil in the subway station. When Leon first sees the dapper butcher Mahogany on the train, he suspects the latter of being a murderer and follows him around like a stalker.
15. Blow Out (1981)
De Palma’s suspenseful thriller plays on the theme of the unwitting witness who discovers a crime and is consequently put in grave danger, but with a new twist. When he’s not working on B-grade horror films, Jack Terry is a master sound recordist. He is recording sounds for his movies late one night when he hears something unexpected and records it with his sound equipment. Eventually, his curiosity gets the better of him and he begins to piece together a sinister conspiracy after the media gets involved. In his struggle to stay alive while revealing the truth about his dark enemies, he has no idea who to put his faith in.
16. Dressed To Kill (1980)
Kate Miller, a middle-aged New York City housewife who is sexually frustrated, has a rape fantasy while showering while her husband is shaving. At a museum later that day, after complaining to Dr. Robert Elliott about her husband’s pathetic performance in bed, she meets an exotic man and returns to his apartment where they continue an adulterous encounter that began in the taxicab earlier that morning… She discovers papers proving he has a venereal disease before she leaves his apartment. Kate rushes into the elevator in a state of panic, but when she realizes she’s forgotten her wedding ring, she’s forced to return to his apartment.
A tall blonde wearing dark sunglasses slashes her to death as the elevator doors open. The only person who saw the murder is Liz Blake, a wealthy call girl who becomes the prime suspect and the murderess’s next victim. The son of Kate’s killer, Peter, saves Liz from death by enlisting Liz’s assistance in catching the assassin. Detective Marino, the man in charge of the case, is being uncooperative.
17. Quarantine (2008)
A television crew consisting of a reporter and a cameraman has been tasked with covering a Los Angeles Fire Station’s night shift. When they arrive at a small apartment building after making a routine 911 call, they discover that police officers have already arrived in response to screams coming from one of the apartment units. Within a short time, they discover that the woman who lives in the building has been infected with an unknown pathogen.
After a vicious attack on a few of the residents, the news crew tries to flee with them, but they soon discover that the CDC has quarantined the entire building. Officials have cut off access to phones, internet, televisions, and cell phones, and those trapped inside have no way of getting information from outside. When the quarantine is lifted, all that’s left is the footage shot by the news crew.
18. The Company You Keep (2012)
After spending years in hiding, Nick Sloan aka Jim Grant, a former Weather Underground militant, learns of the arrest of an old compatriot in the 1970s for a deadly bank robbery in which he was an accomplice and is now wanted for that crime. So now Ben Shepard, a young, ambitious local reporter, is hot on the trail of a story that e…xposed Nick too. As a result, Nick flees with his daughter in tow. Nick is now one step ahead of the FBI as he searches for a way to clear his name. When it’s time for Nick to face the consequences of his ideals, Shepard digs deeper into the case to find out what they really are.
19. The Skulls (2000)
To improve his chances of getting into Harvard Law School, working-class senior Luke McNamara joins “The Skulls,” a secret elitist fraternity on his campus. After being initially seduced by the club’s promise of fame, fortune, and power, Luke’s investigation into the true nature of the organization and the truth behind his friend’s supposed suicide is prompted by a string of disturbing events, including the suicide of his best friend. After a while, he starts to realize that his future and even life are in jeopardy.
20. Perfect Stranger (2007)
She works for a New York newspaper as a sleuth who digs up dirt on corrupt officials. When a story she was working on about a Senator who is openly gay and preaches family values gets blown out of proportion, she resigns and ends up investigating the brutal murder of an old friend. Harrison Hill, the ad exec who dumped her friend, is now Rowena’s…prime suspect. Rowena is hired as a temp by the advertising agency, where she quickly becomes the focus of Hill’s attention. Miles Haley, a coworker at the paper who harbors romantic feelings for her, lends a hand in her ruse. No one is exempt from the need to keep their affairs hidden from those close to them. Will someone be caught in the act of murder?
21. Saw IV (2007)
Jigsaw has been killed, as has his apprentice Amanda. Because of this, two seasoned FBI profilers arrive in the terrified community to help Detective Hoffman sift through Jigsaw’s latest grisly remains and piece together the puzzle that is the murder of Detective Kerry. When SWAT Commander Rigg is kidnapped and thrown into a game, the last officer standing faces a race against time to save an old friend from Jigsaw’s demented traps before it’s too late.