Crime thrillers – we love them, we really, really love them. There’s nothing better than seeing (eventually, after a very long pursuit) the bad guy get their comeuppance, whether that’s when a righteous cop is on the tail of a band of evil kidnappers, or when a group of reluctant heroes are being pursued by corrupt cops. Get your pyjamas on and pop one of these crime-themed films on this Christmas.
This is probably the ultimate crime thriller. It has violence and drama and it’s all you could want in a crime thriller. Taken will have you itching in suspense as you follow Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) on his quest to find his daughter – who has been kidnapped by sex traffickers. It’s a long and perilous journey, but he gets to kick some serious butt.
Joy Lee, YP cadet
Kingsman: The Secret Service
In this action-packed spy movie, a teen called Eggsy (Taron Egerton), who gets into more trouble than he can get out of, is recruited into a top-secret organisation called Kingsman. The movie follows Eggsy as he trains to become a skilled agent to fight evil. With everything from suspense, fights and stunning visuals to gory scenes that don’t shy away from blood, Kingsman: The Secret Service is perfect for people who want a thrilling ride.
Charlotte Fong, YP cadet
Okay so it’s technically not a movie… but the British TV show Sherlock is one of the most engrossing crime drama series out there right now. The show follows detective Sherlock Holmes and his best friend John Watson as they solve seemingly impossible crimes in London. Portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman respectively, the combination of their brilliant acting with writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s script will make you laugh and cry with equal intensity. The final season comes out in the New Year, and you definitely don’t want to be the only one not watching it. Trust me.
Serena Tam, YP cadet
The Dark Knight
Batman film The Dark Knight is considered one of the best crime films out there and stars Christian Bale as the titular Dark Knight – so Batman – and Heath Ledger as his nemesis, the Joker. The story is your typical good versus evil story. Ledger’s acting is oustanding, sometimes you have to really push the boundaries of what you consider right or wrong.
Ally Chan, YP cadet
Citizen X, like The Silence of the Lambs, is a story about a horrifying serial killer cannibal. Only this story is true, and Andrei Chikatilo really did kill 52 people in eight years. In the movie there is never any doubt as to who the killer is, so it’s more OMGOSH than whodunit. The hero is a pathologist, Viktor Burakov who not only has to outwit the monster, but also has to overcome the bureaucratic nightmare of the soviet system that refuses to believe a monster is on the loose. The sheer dogged determination, the grinding battle to take down the villain and the Oscar-worthy performances by the actors unite into one dark docudrama. Contains, just all sorts of things you don’t want to see and don’t want to know unless you are deeply interested in true crime.
Susan Ramsay, Editor
It was a serious toss-up between this and Die Hard (which combines a crime, a young Bruce Willis sweating it out in a bloody vest and Christmas - almost too perfect), but Gone Girl wins out simply because the film leaves you with more questions than answers, but in a really good way. When Nick Dunne’s (Ben Affleck) wife goes missing, he launches a very public appeal - only to find that all signs point to him being the culprit of Amy Dunne’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance slash death. She’s not dead though - and in fact has faked her own death to get Nick charged with her apparent murder… and executed for it. You’d expect a film with so many twists and turns to tie itself up in knots trying to explain it all, but it’s an immensely watchable film that delves into the dark, discomforting parts of human nature that everyone pretends they don’t have.
Ginny Wong, Sub-editor
The Bone Collector
This is a great crime fiction film with Denzel Washington (mmm…) in the lead as Lincoln Rhyme, an ex-homicide detective made quadriplegic by an accident. He’s drawn out from his pit of depression by a serial killer, whose string of murders he must decipher with the help of Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), an NYPD officer who now must be Rhyme’s eyes and ears on the scene. The pair work together and follow the gruesome work of a killer who leaves clues and taunts, and they try to find out who the killer is before another life is taken.
Heidi Yeung, Web sub-editor
This is the ultimate crime movie. It charts the rise of a mafia family in New York in the 1940s, the Corleones, and their epic saga revolving around greed, deception, money and power. Of course, you don’t become that rich and powerful without a healthy dose of criminal activity. While the film is fictional, the story is based on the real-life Five Families – five Italian American crime families who ran New York at that time – and the crooked, underhanded dealings that gave them their reputation.
Lucy Christie, Sub-editor
Murder on the Orient Express
There have been two versions so far of this famous Agatha Christie story (one with Albert Finney, and one with David Suchet) and a star-studded Kenneth Branagh-directed version is due out next year. In this Hercule Poirot classic, the Belgian detective is travelling on the glamorous titular transcontinental train, when a snowstorm means the train and its passengers are stranded in the middle of nowhere. A murder takes place (obviously): a wealthy American businessman is found dead in his compartment, his death caused by multiple stab wounds. With snow blocking the tracks, it’s going to be a few hours at least before the police arrive, and in that time the murderer could escape. Poirot deduces that the dead man was not who he said he was, but a criminal connected to a five-year-old kidnapping and murder of a toddler. As Poirot digs further into the lives of all the passengers, he starts to realise that nobody is exactly who they said, making solving the crime even more complicated.
Karly Cox, Deputy editor
The Shawshank Redemption
Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption is probably one of the greatest movies ever. The plot is a pretty simple “man is wrongfully accused of a crime, goes to jail and breaks out” story, but the way it’s done is pretty darn close to perfection. What’s even more astounding is it didn’t win any Oscars. But with Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction also competing for awards that year, the film faced - and lost against - serious competition.
Wong Tsui-kai, Web reporter
There’s a lot of money to be made from Bitcoin. But virtual money brings with it a wealth (geddit?) of problems, not least of which is crime. Deep Web is a documentary movie that examines Silk Road, an online black market on the darknet that sold drugs, organs and other unspeakable things. Bitcoin was used as the currency of choice when people wanted to purchase stuff on Silk Road, as it provided near-total anonymity to both the seller and the buyer. Deep Web really helps to inform the public about the dangers of Bitcoin, as well as the darker, seedier side of the internet.
Tiffany Choi, Junior reporters’ manager
Local HK movie Infernal Affairs has got to be the one for me. The film focuses on a police officer (Tony Leung) who goes undercover as a member of the Triad, as well as a Triad member (Andy Lau) who is planted in a police cadet class as a mole for the criminal gang. There are plenty of action scenes, as well as taking a long look at the internal conflicts that the two characters go through. The themes of betrayal and trust play a major part in the film, even if the question of who the real betrayer is keeps you on the edge of your seat til the very end.
Ben Pang, Reporter
When I think of my favourite movies, my mind goes back a long way – 1963, in fact. Charade, starring Hollywood’s then golden couple, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, is a charming blend of adventure, romance, suspense and comedy. Hepburn plays a woman whose husband has been murdered, and is harassed by three men who attended his funeral. They are apparently after the money he had stolen during the second world war. When Grant’s character steps in to help her, she finds out that he’s not the person he is supposed to be. Who can she trust? Henry Mancini’s stunning score makes the film doubly worthwhile.
Maligawage Premaratne, sub-editor