CATEGORIES Top 25
No Country for Old Men'Vertigo' ... 'The Manchurian Candidate' ... 'No Country for Old Men' ... see where they rank on our list.

In 'Eagle Eye,' Shia LaBeouf plays a disaffected youth (read: slacker) who's one of a group of seemingly random folks manipulated by an evil Big Brother-type organization into committing acts of terrorism.

It's a fast-paced thrill ride, but can the movie stack up to the truly great thrillers by auteurs such as Hitchcock, Kubrick and the Coen brothers?

Strap on your handgun, your hat and your distrust of the law -- and join us as we count down the 25 best crime thrillers ever.


Best Crime Thrillers of All Time

    In 'Eagle Eye,' Shia LaBeouf plays a disaffected youth (read: slacker) who's one of a group of seemingly random folks manipulated by an evil Big Brother-type organization into committing acts of terrorism. It's a fast-paced thrill ride, but can the movie stack up to the truly great thrillers by auteurs such as Hitchcock, Kubrick and the Coen brothers? Strap on your handgun, your hat and your distrust of the law -- and join us as we count down the 25 best crime thrillers ever.

    Paramount

    25. 'Blue Velvet'
    Most crime thrillers wouldn't feature such brain-searing moments as Isabella Rossellini naked and shaking, Dean Stockwell lip-synching a Roy Orbison song, and Dennis Hopper inhaling amyl-nitrate like it's his job. Then again, David Lynch is anything but normal -- and we raise our Pabst Blue Ribbons in heartfelt thanks.

    De Laurentis Group / ZUMA Press

    24. 'The Killing'
    Stanley Kubrick's racetrack heist flick is the sort of movie that is shown to film students who have little to no expectations for it, but leave the lecture halls 85 minutes later wowed (not to mentioned enlightened). Its conventional setup is a ruse: This is one of the most innovative films of its time.

    United Artists / ZUMA Press

    23. 'Blood Simple'
    The setup is so simple -- rich man hires P.I. to clip his cheating wife and her lover -- but what follows is anything but. It involves one corpse after another, and it's bloody brilliant. It was our introduction to the Coen brothers' genius, and remains one of their best works.

    USA Films / ZUMA Press

    22. 'The Fugitive'
    One of the best films ever made from a TV series, 'The Fugitive' boasts a perfect blend of suspense, action and righteousness (he didn't kill his wife!). But what makes this movie tick is the dynamic between Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford, who get our vote for the most adorable cop-fugitive couple in movie history.

    Everett Collection

    21. 'Cape Fear'
    Sure, De Niro creeped us out in Martin Scorsese's remake, but the '62 Gregory Peck original is still the one to watch. Robert Mitchum menaces as Max Cady, while Peck and family are archetypal "good" folk. A young-looking Lori Martin as the preteen daughter makes the interplay between her and Cady positively shocking.

    ZUMA Press

    20. 'Body Heat'
    Something strange happened in 1981: In between 'Escape from New York' and 'Taps' came a return to a genre 40 years young. This noirish yarn was based on the same news story as 'Double Indemnity,' but given a contemporary makeover, with passionate turns from William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.

    LADD Company / ZUMA Press

    19. 'Dial M for Murder'
    Ray Milland is always suave -- even when he's profoundly diabolical, as he is in this '54 suspenser, one of Alfred Hitchcock's pairings with the sublime Grace Kelly: she, an adulterous moneyed wife to Milland's conniving murderous hubby. It's one of Hitchcock's go-to themes: familial treachery (see also 'Strangers on a Train').

    Everett Collection

    18. 'No Country for Old Men'
    The Coen brothers won four Oscars for their brutal adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel, and with good reason. Josh Brolin is excellent as the Vietnam vet who stumbles onto a drug deal gone wrong, but it's Javier Bardem, as the sociopathic assassin Chigurh, who gives one of the great villainous performances of all time -- and instilled in us a lifelong fear of bowl cuts, coin flips and air compressors. Chew on that, Friendo.

    Miramax

    17. 'Memento'
    Christopher Nolan's detective noir about a man (Guy Pearce) on a quest to avenge his wife's murder is like nothing that came before it. Told in reverse to mimic the protagonist's inability to make new memories, the tale hurtles toward a shocking conclusion/beginning that'll have you asking: Does the start justify the means?

    Newmarket Films / ZUMA Press