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13 Awesome True Crime Movies to Make Your Movie Night Thrilling

by Gloria Louden
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Are you having trouble finding a good movie to watch on a quiet night at home? Do you love intrigue, mysteries, crimes, and murders? Well, if that’s the case, this true crime movies list is just what you need.

We guarantee that you’ll find something worth watching among these 13 films. So grab some popcorn, pour a drink, sit back, and enjoy this countdown.

1. Goodfellas (1990)

A Martin Scorsese masterpiece, Goodfellas follows the story of Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta. Starring opposite Liotta are Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Lorraine Bracco. For his role in the movie, Pesci won an Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor.

The movie is based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi. It offers a closer look at Hill’s life in the mafia, as well as his relationship with his wife and crime partners.

As his partners set their sights on a higher position in the mafia, Hill is torn between his loyalty to them and bringing them down.

Goodfellas was a box office success and grossed over six million dollars in its opening weekend.

2. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Coming in at number two on our true crime movies countdown, we have another Scorsese production. The Wolf of Wall Street has a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie.

This black comedy crime film follows the story of Jordan Belfort, a big-shot stockbroker in New York City.  In the movie, we see the rise and downfall of a powerful man who liked to work hard and party harder.

One interesting fact about this film is that it holds a Guinness World Record for the most swearing instances in a movie. Also, it was Scorsese’s biggest commercial success that has divided critics and viewers.

3. Monster (2003)

A Petty Jenkins movie, Monster is one of the most critically-acclaimed true crime movies in the world. It’s about an infamous serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, who shot and killed seven men during the course of one year.

For her role as Wuornos, Charlize Theron won countless awards and received international acclaim. Some of them include:

  • Academy Award for Best Leading Actress
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Lead Actress

Playing her girlfriend is Christina Ricci and the role of her friend went to Bruce Dern. Monster grossed over 56 million dollars and has been a fan favorite for years.

4. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

A cult classic, Bonnie and Clyde is one movie that should be on everyone’s watchlist. It’s funny, violent, honest, and depicts the love story of two criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

Portraying this diabolical couple are Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, along with Estelle Parsons and Gene Hackman. Bonnie and Clyde, like all others on this true crime movies list, was a huge box office hit and has the awards to show for it.

In fact, the Library of Congress chose Bonnie and Clyde as one of only a hundred movies to preserve in the National Film Registry.

5. Foxcatcher (2014)

An instant classic, Foxcatcher is loosely based on a murder surrounding the powerful and influential Du Pont family. In the leading roles, we have Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.

It follows the story of a multi-millionaire John Du Pont who wants to put together a wrestling team to participate in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He wants to train two brothers Dave and Mark Schultz, but only Mark accepts and becomes part of his team, Foxcatcher.

Over the course of the film, Du Pont becomes more obsessed with the sport, as well as the two brothers, all resulting in a chilling murder.

6. Zodiac (2007)

Following the story of one of San Francisco’s most notorious killers, Zodiac is one of the most thrilling true crime movies. It begins on a hot July night in 1969, when an unknown attacker shoots a couple at a lovers’ lane.

Only a month later, a San Francisco journal starts receiving cryptic messages and threats from someone who calls themselves the Zodiac. The person goes on to kill even more people during the course of ten years, before the murders finally stop.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Rober Downey Jr, and Dermot Mulroney are just some of the actors leading this star-studded cast.

7. Summer of Sam (1999)

During the summer of 1977, there’s a string of murders in NYC that are terrifying the residents. This movie takes a closer look at the Son of Sam murders and how they affected the lives of two men from the Bronx, Ritchie and Vinnie.

As the director of Summer of Sam, Spike Lee also uses the 1977 NYC blackout and the Yankees’ winning season to set the scene. As the number of killed by the hand of Son of Sam increases, so does the distrust between the two friends and families.

Summer of Sam has divided movie critics and viewers, with them claiming it’s either the best or the trashiest movie ever. But we’ll let you be the judge of that.

8. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Next up in our true crime movies showdown, we have another movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In Catch Me If You Can, he plays a conman from New York who stole millions of dollars by pretending to be a doctor, pilot, and prosecutor.

It’s based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who was so skilled at check fraud, the FBI later hired him to help catch other check forgers.

Also, opposite him, we have Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, and Nathalie Baye. When it was released, the movie was a huge box office success and earned over 352 million dollars.

9. All Good Things (2010)

Do you love true crime movies, but want some romance mixed in? If so, All Good Things is an absolute must-watch that follows the story of David Marks and his wife’s mysterious disappearance.

Starring in the leading roles, we have Ryan Gosling as Marks and Kirsten Dunst as his wife Katie.

Also making an appearance in the movie is Frank Langella. Even though the film kind of flopped at the box office, it’s still, in our opinion, a true crime masterpiece.

10. Public Enemies (2009)

Starring as the lead, we have Hollywood’s favorite bad boy, Johnny Depp, alongside Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard.

Public Enemies is set during the Great Depression and chronicles the final years of an infamous bank robber, John Dillinger, played by Depp. An FBI agent played by Bale is building a case against Dillinger and his entire operation.

Some of the scenes were shot on location, exactly where some of the original events took place. However, before watching, keep in mind that the movie isn’t completely historically accurate.

With such an impressive cast directed by Michael Mann, Public Enemies was a success both at the box office and with the critics.

11. The Bling Ring (2013)

Back in 2008, a group of teenagers committed a string of robberies, mostly targeting celebrity homes, and stole around $3 million worth of belongings and cash. Inspired by those events, Sofia Coppola wrote and directed The Bling Ring.

The film had an international co-production and received mixed reviews from critics. Leading the cast, we have Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Katie Chang, and many others.

Also, Paris Hilton and Kirsten Dunst, the two actual victims of the burglaries, make an appearance in the film. Coppola even managed to persuade officer Brett Goodkin, who worked on the robberies, to make a cameo.

12. Making a Murder (2015)

Making a Murder is a Netflix original 20-episode miniseries directed and written by Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi. The docuseries was shot over the course of ten years and depicts the life of Steven Avery.

He was wrongfully convicted of attempted murder and sexual assault and served 18 years in prison. The first season explores the events that took place between 1985 and 2007, showing his arrest and release.

However, only two years after his release, law enforcement arrested Avery and his nephew for the murder of Teresa Halback.

In the second season, we see the aftermath of the events and what life looks like for both Avery and his nephew.

13. Black Mass (2015)

Topping off our list of true crime movies, we have Black Mass, a Scott Cooper movie. It’s a chilling depiction of Whitey Bulger, one of South Boston’s most violent criminals, who was also the brother of a senator.

Black Mass follows Bulger’s life in the mafia, as well as his later connections with the FBI, and subsequent run.

The film has an incredible cast, starting with Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, and many others. Even though it was a box office success, Whitey’s associate Kevin Weeks calls it “pure fiction.”

Final Thoughts

These true crime movies are sure to entertain you and send chills down your spine. They are all incredible, thrilling, and are sure to grab your attention. But don’t take our word for it; choose your favorites, play them, and see for yourself!

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