A fan of well-crafted detective films? Discover our selection of the best of the genre to see on Prime Video. On the program: insane and insane investigations, Prohibition in fiction or reality, a game of cat and mouse at the top…
Please note: this ranking is based on the ratings of AlloCiné internet users. Only films with at least 500 votes were taken into account in this top.
1- Once upon a time in America
Third part of a legendary trilogy on the great moments of American History, Once upon a time in America is also the last masterpiece of the immense Sergio Leone featuring a simply masterful Robert De Niro in the role of Noodles, a former Prohibition gangster who returns to New York after 30 years of absence. There, the memories resurface: the good time spent with his friends to fill their pockets thanks to the illegal sale of alcohol from which they largely benefited, but also his failed relationship with Deborah, the one he always regretted.
Tracing forty years of the rich personal life of a fascinating man, the American-Italian film, adapted from the novel The Hoods by Harry Grey, is also a historic, deep and nostalgic fresco, telling a dense story through expert writing and obviously masterful production. A must.
2- Shutter Island
In 1954, a patient at the psychiatric hospital on Shutter Island, where dangerous criminals are interned, disappears without any explanation. To solve this enigma, Marshal Teddy Daniel and his teammate Chuck Aule are called to investigate. The question is simple: how did the murderess manage to escape from her closed cell from the outside? The only clue: a series of numbers and letters on a piece of paper left behind.
In Shutter Island, everything is as big as this mystery: the script, the suspense, the chills and the reversals of the situation, but also the production and the acting. By adapting the homonymous novel by
Dennis Lehane, Martin Scorsese gives here a lesson in cinema and presents an ambitious and hard-hitting intellectual work with multiple levels of reading which will not hesitate to shock you. As for the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio, masterful and distressing, it has not finished haunting you. Shutter Island is therefore to be seen for its fascinating twists and to be seen again to be seen differently.
Neil McCauley is criminally gifted: an outstanding bank robber, he strives to make no mistake that could betray him until the day when his less meticulous accomplices kill two security guards. Lieutenant Hanna then takes an interest in the investigation and does not take long to identify the mastermind of the gang. Between the two men, who get to know each other through surveillance, the challenge is launched: after a meeting, the game of cat and mouse can begin.
With its nervous staging, its monumental action scenes and its thrilling plot, Heat is definitely one of the best thrillers of all time. And to the impeccable realization of Michael Mann is added the major asset of the film: the confrontation of legend between two monsters of the cinema, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, rivaling in charisma. Heatit is finally a duel at the top at the limit of legality, a dense and muscular police drama, a great moment of cinema not to be missed.
4- The Incorruptibles
In 1930s Chicago, Al Capone and Eliot Ness clash. One is the king of the illegal sale of alcohol in the city, the other a federal agent with a mission: to arrest the first at all costs. For this, he surrounds himself with three trustworthy men who are just as determined as him. Together they form the “incorruptibles”, who will wage a merciless fight against the one nicknamed Scarface.
There is surely no more cult in the detective genre than Brian De Palma’s classic The Incorruptibles with its thrilling screenplay, meticulous direction and well-deserved status as a monument to cinema. And the nervous thriller, a faithful reconstruction of the era it depicts, benefits, in addition to a breathtaking soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, from performances by Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and Andy Garcia, among others, all as excellent as each other.
5- Gone Girl
A novel and a brilliant screenplay, those of Gillian Flynn, a skilful and masterfully orchestrated staging, that of David Fincher, a duo of remarkable actors, that formed by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike: that’s it Gone Girla nightmarish thriller of the most sophisticated from which you will not come out unscathed.
It all starts when Nick Dunne reports the disappearance of his wife Amy on the occasion of their 5 years of marriage: the investigation is then launched. But everything gets complicated when Nick becomes the main suspect. Police and media are stubborn, while the image of the couple breaks down. And during this time, Nick lies and behaves strangely: would he be guilty after all? In Gone Girl, the atmosphere is gloomy, the tension, the anguish and the frustrations at their height and the impressive pretenses. Terrifying, the film is an elaborate maze to manipulate and captivate you. You will want more.
6- Memories of Murder
In 1986, in a quiet Korean province, the body of a young woman who was raped and then murdered is found. Two months later, other similar crimes are committed. In a country that has never seen such atrocities, the possibility of the first serial killer on the loose is terrifying and a special unit created to stop him. A local detective and a detective specially sent from Seoul then join forces, but the crying lack of evidence quickly makes them doubt…
Written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Memories of Murder is based on the true story of the first serial murders in Korean history. If here the technique is mastered, the script neat, the powerful dialogues and the sumptuous imagery, the detective drama has the particularity of daring to play with the codes of the genre. In effect, Memories of Murder is a different thriller, both dark and funny. In addition to his excellent acting, the work is intelligent, dense, fair, violent, absurd, tragic: intense certainly. You will come out of it bowled over.
7- Mr the Cursed
When a child killer continues to plague a major German city, terrorizing the population, Commissioner Lohmann redoubles his efforts. But he is not alone in the investigation: the underworld, embarrassed by the turmoil, decides to find the culprit themselves by instructing beggars to watch every street corner.
Inspired by the Peter Kürten case and other similar news items, M the Cursed is the first talking film by Fritz Lang who, in 1931, had already understood everything with his brilliant dialogues. Powerful direction, solid plot and outstanding acting combine to form a relentless and visionary film that has not aged a bit. Set in the midst of the rise of Nazism, M the Cursed marked the history of cinema and that is not lacking. More than a work, here is a masterpiece to see at least once in your life.