Rooney Mara in the US adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo;
For film enthusiasts, November is known as #Noirvember – a month-long celebration of films that fall within the ambit of the film noir genre. The genre is denoted by sombre narratives, which centre crime, greed, deception, violence, revenge and fate. The films are usually anchored by morally ambivalent characters – a lone ranger or people acting in concert, a private investigator or a femme fatale.
Contemporary filmmakers have gotten creative in their reimagination of the genre, but fundamentals remain intact. Showmax has a collection of brilliant neo-noir films that are perfect for viewing this #Noirvember. Here's a list of the ten best neo-noir films currently showing.
1. Broken City (2013)
Temperamental but goodhearted New York cop Billy Taggart resigns after being involved in a controversial shooting. Years later, he works as a private investigator, then gets hired by a thuggish mayor who suspects that his wife is cheating on him. What he uncovers is a web of covert deception.
2. Extortion (2017)
A family of three (husband, wife and son) on vacation in the Caribbean goes on a boat ride. They get stranded on a remote island but are rescued days later – near death – by a local fisherman. At first, this appears to be an act of goodwill, until it turns into a nightmare.
3. Destroyer (2018)
Having not recovered from a traumatic experience that happened while undercover, a haggard detective responds to a crime scene that gives her impetus to infiltrate a gang she previously busted. Despite non-support from colleagues, and with her own demons in tow, she sets out on a lone mission.
4. All the Money in the World (2017)
When the grandson of the richest man in the world, oil tycoon John Paul Getty, is kidnapped with a ransom demand attached, we see a deeply seated dysfunction that permeates the Getty patriarch, as he refuses to yield to the ransom demand of his grandson's kidnappers.
5. Shot Caller (2017)
A fatal car accident not only kills a man's best friend but also lands him in jail. Previously a loving family man, he is forced to acclimatise to prison, at first as a means for survival, until it soon becomes who he truly is.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (US remake, 2011)
An investigative journalist investigating the disappearance of a woman from a wealthy family in Stockholm, teams up with an emotionally closed off computer hacker, who was previously abused and is a covert vigilante.
7. Wind River (2017)
Wind River Reservation is rocked by the murder of an 18-year-old. After it is revealed that the teen was raped before being killed, a Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent team up to try solve the murder, putting their own lives in danger in the process.
8. John Wick 3: Parabellum (2019)
The third instalment in the John Wick franchise finds him declared excommunicado, with a bounty on his head after he murders an international crime lord. He must now save himself and evade those who are after him.
9. Donnie Brasco (1997)
Based on a true story, an undercover FBI agent assumes a new identity to infiltrate the mob. He inadvertently forms a deep friendship with one of the members, thus blurring the lines between his true and fake identities.
10. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
A group of six strangers, unknown to each other, are assembled to perform a robbery which goes horribly wrong after a police ambush. As a result, they all end up suspecting each other, thinking that one of them was an undercover cop.