Greatest Movies Based on real life Serial Killers Murderers.

List by john Last updated September 04, 2017

A run down of the greatest movies that are about real life murderers and serial killers.


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films about real life serial killers murderers. List order as defined by john

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Zodiac (2007)

Crime Drama Mystery
There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer

The true story of the investigation of 'The Zodiac Killer', a serial killer who terrified the San Francisco Bay Area, taunting police with his ciphers and letters. The case becomes an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are built and destroyed by the endless trail of clues.

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Vote count 1,566 Vote avg 72 Release date 2007-03-02

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Citizen X (1995)

History Crime Drama

Based on the true story of a Russian serial killer who, over many years, claimed victim to over 50 people. His victims were mostly under the age of 17. In what was then a communists state, the police investigations were hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and those in power. The story is told from the viewpoint of the detective in charge of the case.

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Vote count 29 Vote avg 68 Release date 1995-02-25

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The Boston Strangler (1968)

Crime Drama Mystery

Boston is being terrorized by a series of seemingly random murders of women. Based on the true story, the film follows the investigators path through several leads before introducing the Strangler as a character. It is seen almost exclusively from the point of view of the investigators who have very few clues to build a case upon.

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Vote count 39 Vote avg 65 Release date 1968-10-08

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To Catch a Killer (1992)

Crime Drama Thriller

"To Catch a Killer" tells the true gruesome story of John Wayne Gacy - a good friend and helpful neighbour, a great child entertainer, a respectful businessman, and a violent serial killer who raped and murdered over 30 young boys.

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Vote count 9 Vote avg 53 Release date 1992-05-15

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In Cold Blood (1967)

Crime Drama

A 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.

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Vote count 76 Vote avg 74 Release date 1967-12-14

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Snowtown (2011)

Crime Drama Horror
Australia's most infamous crime story.

Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.

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Vote count 95 Vote avg 61 Release date 2011-05-16

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Polytechnique (2009)

Crime Drama

A dramatization of the Montreal Massacre of 1989 where several female engineering students were murdered by an unstable misogynist.

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Vote count 60 Vote avg 66 Release date 2009-01-24

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Jack the Ripper (1988)

Horror Drama Crime

Jack the Ripper was a 1988 two-part television movie/mini-series portraying a fictionalized account of the hunt for Jack The Ripper, the killer responsible for the Whitechapel murders of 1888. The series coincided with the 100th anniversary of the murders. Using historical characters involved in the genuine 1888 hunt for the killer, the film was written by Derek Marlowe and David Wickes

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Vote count 14 Vote avg 63 Release date 1988-10-21

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The Hunt for the BTK Killer (2005)

TV Movie Crime Drama

After 31 years at-large, detectives in Wichita, Kansas hone in on the serial killer known as BTK.

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Vote count 11 Vote avg 41 Release date 2005-10-09

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Memories of Murder (2003)

Crime Drama Thriller
The worst of them will stay with you... forever

1986 Gyunggi Province. The body of a young woman is found brutally raped and murdered. Two months later, a series of rapes and murders commences under similar circumstances. And in a country that had never known such crimes, the dark whispers about a serial murderer grow louder. A special task force is set up in the area, with two local detectives Park Doo-Man and Jo Young-Goo joined by a detective from Seoul who requested to be assigned to the case.

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Vote count 322 Vote avg 78 Release date 2003-04-24

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Angst (1983)

Crime Drama Horror
Based on a true story.

A killer is released from prison and breaks into a remote home to kill a woman, her handicapped son and her pretty daughter.

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Vote count 55 Vote avg 70 Release date 1983-01-01

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Summer of Sam (1999)

Thriller Drama Crime
No one is safe from son of sam

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

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Vote count 100 Vote avg 64 Release date 1999-07-02

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The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

Crime Drama Thriller
Love is a bitch...called Martha.

Based on the true story of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, who met through a lonely-hearts correspondence club, Ray is weedy, feral, and untrustworthy; Martha is enormous, compulsive, and needy. Together, they play out a horrifying scheme in which he lures lonely women out on dates and proposes marriage to them, with she pretending to be his sister. They take the women's savings and then murder them remorselessly. Dank, claustrophobic, and weirdly engrossing, this movie never quite gives in to the comforts of conventional narrative. Francois Truffaut named it as his favorite American film.

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Vote count 21 Vote avg 65 Release date 1970-02-04

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M (1931)

Drama Action Thriller

A psychotic child murderer stalks a city. Despite an exhaustive investigation fueled by public hysteria and outcry, the police have been unable to find him. The police crackdown makes it nearly impossible for the organized criminal underground to operate. The criminals decide that the only way to get the police off their backs is to catch the murderer themselves.

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Vote count 372 Vote avg 80 Release date 1931-05-11

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The Hillside Strangler (2004)

Horror Drama Mystery
They lived to watch you die.

Kenneth Bianchi is a security guard whose attempts to become a police officer are repeatedly thwarted. He moves to California to live with his cousin Angelo and dates a string of women, becoming increasingly preoccupied with sex. Eventually the cousins decide to start an escort agency. After violently killing a prostitute they thought had betrayed them, Kenneth and Angelo begin committing a series of crimes that become a media sensation.

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Vote count 5 Vote avg 38 Release date 2004-11-12

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Rampage (1987)

Thriller Drama
This is the face of Charles Reece, a mass murderer. He doesn't think he's done anything wrong. The real crime is that the jury may agree.

Rampage delves into the subject of legal insanity, so often the default defense in modern-time gruesome crime trials. Alex McArthur plays an outwardly normal guy who goes on incredible killing and mutilating sprees until (and even after, when he escapes for a short time) he's captured. When he comes to trial, the liberal DA (Michael Biehn) is torn between his own leftist leanings and the reality of the heinous crimes for which the accused is being tried. He must argue for the death penalty.

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Vote count 11 Vote avg 59 Release date 1987-09-01

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Karla (2006)

Crime Drama Thriller
Evil has a beautiful face.

Based on real events, Canada's most notorious serial killers, Paul Bernardo and wife Karla Homolka kidnap, sexually abuse, and murder three young girls.

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Vote count 26 Vote avg 43 Release date 2006-01-20

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Cruising (1980)

Action Drama Mystery
Al Pacino is Cruising for a killer.

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S/M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society.

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Vote count 76 Vote avg 58 Release date 1980-09-23

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The Chaser (2008)

Crime Drama Thriller

Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.

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Vote count 202 Vote avg 76 Release date 2008-02-14

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The Countess (2009)

Drama History Horror

A 17th century Hungarian countess embarks on a murderous undertaking, with the belief that bathing in the blood of virgins will preserve her beauty.

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Vote count 36 Vote avg 52 Release date 2009-02-09

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Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Crime Drama
They’re young… they’re in love… and they kill people.

Bonnie and Clyde is based on the true stories of the gangster pair Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow who in the 1930s began robbing banks in U.S. cities until they were eventually killed. The film is a major landmark in the aesthetic movement known as the New Hollywood.

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Vote count 312 Vote avg 76 Release date 1967-07-18

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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Drama Fantasy
From a secret world no one could see... came a crime no one could believe.

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

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Vote count 258 Vote avg 70 Release date 1994-09-02

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The Alphabet Killer (2008)

Crime Mystery Thriller

Based on the true story of double killings occurring in Rochester, NY during the 80’s and the troubled police officer determined to solve them, with or without the help of her department

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Vote count 41 Vote avg 50 Release date 2008-11-07

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Wolf Creek (2005)

Horror Thriller
The Thrill Is In The Hunt.

Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive

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Vote count 235 Vote avg 62 Release date 2005-01-01

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Wonderland (2003)

Crime Drama Mystery
Sex, drugs, murder. Welcome to L.A.

On the afternoon of July 1, 1981, Los Angeles police responded to a distress call on Wonderland Avenue and discovered a grisly quadruple homicide. The police investigation that followed uncovered two versions of the events leading up to the brutal murders - both involving legendary porn actor John Holmes. You're about to experience both versions.

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Vote count 59 Vote avg 63 Release date 2003-10-23

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All Good Things (2010)

Drama Mystery Thriller
The perfect love story. Until it became the perfect crime.

"All Good Things" is a love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for an imaginative spellbinding story of family, obsession, love and loss.

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Vote count 255 Vote avg 59 Release date 2010-12-03

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The Frozen Ground (2013)

Thriller Crime
The hunter becomes the hunted

An Alaska State Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.

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Vote count 410 Vote avg 62 Release date 2013-07-18

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Gerry (2002)

Mystery Drama Adventure

Two friends named Gerry become lost in the desert after taking a wrong turn. Their attempts to find their way home only lead them into further trouble.

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Vote count 60 Vote avg 58 Release date 2002-01-12

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Animal Kingdom (2010)

Drama Thriller Crime
A crime story.

Following the death of his mother, J finds himself living with his estranged family, under the watchful eye of his doting grandmother, Smurf, mother to the Cody boys. J quickly comes to believe that he is a player in this world. But, as he soon discovers, this world is far larger and more menacing than he could ever imagine. J finds himself at the center of a cold-blooded revenge plot that turns the family upside down.

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Vote count 193 Vote avg 68 Release date 2010-06-03

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Elephant (2003)

Drama Crime
An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent. The film chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting.

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Vote count 345 Vote avg 70 Release date 2003-05-18

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He Walked by Night (1948)

Drama Thriller
Savage TRUTH! Stronger than Fiction!

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

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Vote count 15 Vote avg 59 Release date 1948-11-24

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Frenzy (1972)

Crime Drama Mystery
Just an ordinary necktie used with a deadly new twist.

A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.

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Vote count 140 Vote avg 70 Release date 1972-05-25

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Serial Killer 1 (2015)

Thriller Crime Drama

The hunt, capture and trial of Guy Georges, one of France's most notorious serial killer.

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Vote count 67 Vote avg 69 Release date 2015-01-07

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Bordertown (2006)

Crime Drama Mystery

The opening titles explain that American corporations are using the North American Free Trade Agreement by opening large maquiladoras right across the United States–Mexico border. The maquiladoras hire mostly Mexican women to work long hours for little money in order to produce mass quantity products.Lauren Adrian (Jennifer Lopez), an impassioned American news reporter for the "Chicago Sentinel" wants to be assigned to the Iraq front-lines to cover the war. Instead, her editor George Morgan (Martin Sheen) assigns her to investigate a series of slayings involving young maquiladora factory women in a Mexican bordertown.

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Vote count 47 Vote avg 61 Release date 2006-05-18

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Amish Grace (2010)

Drama

When a gunman killed five Amish children and injured five others in a Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting in October of 2006, the world media attention rapidly turned from the tragic events to the extraordinary forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish community.

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Vote count 10 Vote avg 57 Release date 2010-03-28

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Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story (1991)

Crime Drama TV Movie
Their sex games have no boundaries.

Pamela Smart knows exactly what she wants and is willing to do anything to get it. She is fed up with teaching, and her marriage offers little excitement. Looking for a way out she applies for a job at a local TV station. When her dreams of fame are dashed by rejection, she seduces 15-year-old Billy, one of her students. Pam challenges Billy to prove his love for her by getting rid of her husband. The stakes heat up with a huge insurance policy on her husband's life.

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Vote count 6 Vote avg 37 Release date 1991-09-23

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The Devil in the White City (2019)

History Thriller

Their fates were linked by the magical Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, nicknamed the “White City” for its majestic beauty. Architect Daniel Burnham built it; serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes used it to lure victims to his World’s Fair Hotel, designed for murder. Both men left behind them a powerful legacy, one of brilliance and energy, the other of sorrow and darkness.

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Vote count 1 Vote avg 0 Release date 2019-12-31

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Bully (2001)

Crime Drama
It's 4 a.m... do you know where your kids are?

After finding himself at the constant abuse of his best friend Bobby, Marty has become fed up with his friend's twisted ways. His girlfriend, a victim of Bobby's often cruel ways, couldn't agree more and they strategize murdering Bobby.

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Vote count 100 Vote avg 66 Release date 2001-06-15

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Dark Matter (2007)

Drama

Liu Xing a brilliant Chinese student, arrives at University and makes the transition into American life with the help of Joanna Silver. Xing joins a cosmology group working to create a model of the origins of the universe. He is obsessed with the study of dark matter and a theory that conflicts with the group's model. When he begins to make breakthroughs of his own, he encounters obstructions.

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Vote count 14 Vote avg 58 Release date 2007-01-23

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Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Drama Thriller Crime
No one is safe.

In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective teams up with a cop from New York City to investigate a series of unsolved murders.

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Vote count 110 Vote avg 55 Release date 2011-10-14

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Target for Rage (1997)

Drama Thriller

A former high school student, Jason Copeland, returns to his school to take his revenge on the teachers for failing him out of school.

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Vote count 1 Vote avg 0 Release date 1997-05-19

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Borderland (2007)

Crime Horror Thriller
The Devil's Playground is Just Around The Corner

Three college students, Phil, Ed, and Henry take a road trip into Mexico for a week of drinking and carefree fun only to have Phil find himself a captive of a group of satanic Mexican drug smugglers who kill tourists and whom are looking for a group of new ones to prepare for a sacrifice.

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Vote count 50 Vote avg 51 Release date 2007-11-09

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The Craigslist Killer (2011)

TV Movie Thriller Drama
Be Careful What You Search For.

Based on a true story, learn about the double life that Philip Markoff led. He is a Boston University medical student and National Honor Society member who has been accused of killing a New York masseuse he found through classified ads on Craigslist.

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Vote count 16 Vote avg 45 Release date 2011-01-03

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The Untold Story (1993)

Comedy Crime Drama

In 1978 in Hong Kong, a grisly murder takes place. Eight years later, on a Macao beach, kids discover the severed hands of a fresh victim. A squadron of coarse, happy-go-lucky cops investigate, and suspicion falls on Wong Chi Hang, the new owner of Eight Immortals Restaurant, which serves delicious pork bao. The hands belong to the missing mother of the restaurant's former owner; he and his family have disappeared; staff at the restaurant continue to go missing; and, Wong can't produce a signed bill of sale: but there's no evidence. The police arrest Wong and try to torture him into a confession. Can they make him talk? And what was in those pork bao?

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Vote count 17 Vote avg 62 Release date 1993-05-13

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At Close Range (1986)

Crime Drama
Like father. Like son. Like hell.

Based upon the true story of Bruce Johnston Sr., his son, and his brothers; together, they constituted one of suburban Philadelphia's most notorious crime families during the 1970's. Their criminal activities ranged from burglary, theft... and ultimately, murder.

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Vote count 48 Vote avg 64 Release date 1986-04-18

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Changeling (2008)

Crime Drama Mystery
To find her son, she did what no one else dared.

Christine Collins is overjoyed when her kidnapped son is brought back home. But when Christine suspects that the boy returned to her isn't her child, the police captain has her committed to an asylum.

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Vote count 932 Vote avg 73 Release date 2008-01-30

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Eaten Alive (1976)

Horror
Meet the maniac & his friend. Together they make the greatest team in the history of the mass slaughter in...

A psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in the backwater swamps of Louisiana kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

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Vote count 32 Vote avg 46 Release date 1976-12-25

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The Onion Field (1979)

Crime Drama
The Onion Field

Greg Powell, a disturbed ex-con, recruits Jimmy Youngblood (Smith) a petty thief, as partner in crime. Powell panics when they two of are pulled over by two cops for tail lights. Powell decides to kidnap the cops and Smith goes along with his crazy scheme. They drive out to a deserted onion field in Bakersfield, where one cop is killed and the other escapes. The film explores the consequences.

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Vote count 25 Vote avg 59 Release date 1979-09-09

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Savage Grace (2007)

Drama
Truth is more shocking than fiction.

This examination of a famous scandal from the 1970s explores the relationship between Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore) and her only son, Antony (Eddie Redmayne). Barbara, a lonely social climber unhappily married to the wealthy but remote plastics heir Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), dotes on Antony, who is homosexual. As Barbara tries to "cure" Antony of his sexuality -- sometimes by seducing him herself -- the groundwork is laid for a murderous tragedy.

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Vote count 51 Vote avg 56 Release date 2007-05-18

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River's Edge (1987)

Crime Drama
The most controversial film you will see this year.

A group of high school friends discover that they are in the presence of a killer. One of them, Samson, has murdered his girlfriend Jamie. He brags to his friends about killing her, and when they discover he is telling the truth, their reactions vary.

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Vote count 54 Vote avg 66 Release date 1987-04-23

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