Films Noir Ranked by IMDb User Ratings

by bderoes-12985 | created - 12 Jun 2015 | updated - 13 Dec 2017 | Public

All the titles with IMDb genre Film-Noir, ranked according to their average User Rating as of this list's creation.

The official IMDb definition of their genre Film-Noir can be viewed here, and it states "Typically features dark, brooding characters, corruption, detectives, and the seedy side of the big city. Almost always shot in black and white, American, and set in contemporary times (relative to shooting date). We take the view that this genre began with Underworld (1927) and ended with Touch of Evil (1958). Note: neo-noir should be submitted as a keyword instead of this genre for titles that do not fit all criteria. Objective."

While assembling this list (is there a way to import an Advanced Search into a list? I remember there used to be.) I spotted a handful of exceptions to the "American" criteria, but I suppose it says "almost always." And if you sort this list by Release Date, you'll see two of the foreign films, and several American titles released after Touch of Evil, but not beyond 1958.

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1. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 186,796

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 1, rating 8.5, votes 121460

2. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 133,381 | Gross: $5.72M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 2, rating 8.4, votes 84990

3. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 149,961 | Gross: $0.45M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 3, rating 8.3, votes 99810

4. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 26,833

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 4, rating 8.2, votes 18648

5. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir

72 Metascore

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

Votes: 26,967 | Gross: $3.97M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 5, rating 8.2, votes 16923

6. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 143,439 | Gross: $2.11M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 6, rating 8.2, votes 100044

7. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 25,521

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 7, rating 8.2, votes 17922

8. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 94,540 | Gross: $2.24M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 8, rating 8.2, votes 64192

9. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 39,887 | Gross: $4.36M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 9, rating 8.1, votes 27449

10. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 10,900

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 10, rating 8.1, votes 8526

11. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

88 Metascore

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 117,214 | Gross: $7.63M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 11, rating 8.1, votes 83252

12. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

100 Metascore

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 87,321 | Gross: $10.46M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 12, rating 8.1, votes 65523

13. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 30,196

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 13, rating 8.1, votes 20428

14. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 77,273 | Gross: $0.65M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 14, rating 8.1, votes 56744

15. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 75,427 | Gross: $6.54M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 15, rating 8.1, votes 58479

16. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 76,195

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 16, rating 8.1, votes 55407

17. In a Lonely Place (1950)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid

Votes: 23,493

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 17, rating 8.1, votes 14732

18. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 21,025

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 18, rating 8.0, votes 14465

19. Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 11,045 | Gross: $3.60M

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 19, rating 8.0, votes 7145

20. The Big Heat (1953)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby

Votes: 21,610

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 20, rating 8.0, votes 14985

21. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 18,837

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 21, rating 8.0, votes 14774

22. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Passed | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 22,452

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 22, rating 7.9, votes 16126

23. Key Largo (1948)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 35,040

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 23, rating 7.9, votes 26088

24. Fury (1936)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 10,541

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 24, rating 7.9, votes 7902

25. Scarlet Street (1945)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 13,092

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 25, rating 7.9, votes 8783

26. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 11,952

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 26, rating 7.9, votes 8522

27. The Killers (1946)

Passed | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker

Votes: 17,740

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 27, rating 7.9, votes 11794

28. Johnny Belinda (1948)

Unrated | 102 min | Drama

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 4,000

newly classified as film-noir

29. Stray Dog (1949)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji, Eiko Miyoshi

Votes: 13,790

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 28, rating 7.9, votes 9947

30. Pickup on South Street (1953)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye

Votes: 11,909

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 29, rating 7.8, votes 8259

31. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An ambitious and nearly insane violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson | Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins

Votes: 23,738

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 30, rating 7.8, votes 18022

32. Body and Soul (1947)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport

A talented boxer's young career hits difficult terrain when an unethical promoter takes interest in him.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks, Anne Revere

Votes: 4,024

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 31, rating 7.8, votes 2918

33. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Not Rated | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A one-armed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger

Votes: 17,922

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 32, rating 7.8, votes 13124

34. Odd Man Out (1947)

Not Rated | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A wounded Irish nationalist leader attempts to evade police following a failed robbery in Belfast.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack, F.J. McCormick

Votes: 8,272

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 33, rating 7.8, votes 5513

35. 5 Fingers (1952)

Approved | 108 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie, Walter Hampden

Votes: 3,988

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 34, rating 7.8, votes 2588

36. Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker

Votes: 6,800

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 35, rating 7.8, votes 4617

37. Gilda (1946)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino discovers his employer's new wife is his former lover.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 25,782

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 36, rating 7.8, votes 18066

38. The Set-Up (1949)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Sport

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter

Votes: 7,158

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 37, rating 7.8, votes 5190

39. Caged (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby, Hope Emerson

Votes: 3,247

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 38, rating 7.8, votes 2083

40. La Bête Humaine (1938)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux

Votes: 6,388

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 39, rating 7.8, votes 4488

41. The Woman in the Window (1944)

Approved | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon

Votes: 12,652

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 40, rating 7.8, votes 8700

42. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 10,022

as of 12.Jun.2015, rank 41, rating 7.7, votes 6956

43. The Narrow Margin (1952)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir