When you think of film noir, you’re likely thinking of movies that came out decades ago, and films that are largely in black and white. While that’s not wrong, it doesn’t encompass everything that great film noir movies can be. They’re not action movies, although they may have great action scenes. They’re not quite great thrillers either, which is a genre unto itself, and while they might contain a heist, they aren’t defined by it like heist movies.
The genre is defined by its focus on gnarly crimes, and sometimes on the detectives who help solve those crimes. Noir movies are also defined by moody, uniquely cinematic lighting schemes, the femme fatale who exists to prey on men’s worst instincts, and the darkness at the heart of every man. The best noir films play on all of these elements and have stood the test of time as not just great entries in the genre, but as some of the greatest movies of all time.
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