10 Upcoming Crime Thriller Films We’re Looking Forward to in 2024


Despite the massive hype behind big-budget franchise movies in 2024 (in March alone, you have the releases of Dune: Part Two, Kung Fu Panda 4, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire), genre films are still very much alive and well in Hollywood, and one of the genres that is poised to have a big year is the crime thriller genre.

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With a strong basis in the noir films of the 1940s and ’50s, the crime thrillers of today still possess underlying dark themes, but they have much more to offer than cryptic and expository voiceover narration from trench coat-wearing detectives wandering around in dark alleys. Whether you’re into high-octane action, psychological thrills, or ensemble-based drama, this year’s lineup has a little bit of something for everyone. Here are 10 upcoming crime thriller films that we’re looking forward to in 2024.

10 Love Lies Bleeding (March 8)

Love Lies Bleeding stars Kristen Stewart as Lou, a gym manager from New Mexico who falls in love with Jackie (Katy O’Brian), a bodybuilder making her way to Las Vegas to compete in a high-stakes competition. Things eventually descend into violence and mayhem after the couple is forced to confront Lou’s criminal family, led by patriarch Lou Sr. (Ed Harris). Directed by Rose Glass, who made her debut with the 2019 psychological horror film Saint Maud, the A24 film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20th, and is set for its U.S. theatrical release on March 8.

A Unique, A24 Thriller

Having already debuted to promising reviews back in January, Love Lies Bleeding looks to be an action-packed thriller with a unique script and engaging performances from its leads. It also helps that the movie is under the A24 banner, as the indie production company has put out a number of critically acclaimed crime films over the years, including Good Time and Uncut Gems.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR LOVE LIES BLEEDING HERE

9 Sleeping Dogs (March 22)

Based on the crime novel The Book of Mirrors by Romanian author E.O. Chirovici, Sleeping Dogs stars Russell Crowe as retired homicide detective Roy Freeman who, while undergoing experimental Alzheimer’s treatment, revisits the unsolved murder of a college professor (Marton Csokas). Co-written and directed by Adam Cooper, the film also stars Karan Gillan, Thomas M. Wright, and Tommy Flanagan.

A Much-Needed Jolt to Russell Crowe’s Career

Taking its cues from other memory-based movies like Memento, Sleeping Dogs truly has the potential to be a solid addition to the crime thriller genre. On top of that, the movie could also inject a much-needed jolt of life into Russell Crowe’s career, because while the Academy Award winner’s certainly been keeping busy in recent years, his last few films haven’t been doing him too many favors in terms of critical success (he’s up for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in the 2023 supernatural horror movie The Pope’s Exorcist).

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR SLEEPING DOGS HERE

8 Monkey Man (April 5)

Monkey Man

Monkey Man

Release Date
April 5, 2024

Runtime
1hr 53min

Monkey Man marks Dev Patel’s directorial debut, as the Oscar-nominated actor also stars in the highly-anticipated film about an underground fighter seeking violent retribution against the corrupt leaders who killed his mother and continue to victimize the poor people in his community. Inspired by the legend of Hanuman, the half-monkey, half-human Hindu deity who represents courage and strength, Monkey Man was initially set for a Netflix release, but was later acquired for a theatrical release by Jordan Peele under his Monkeypaw Productions banner. Making its world premiere at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March, the film will hit big screens everywhere on April 5.

Brilliant Fight Choreography

Described by one industry insider as “John Wick in Mumbai,” Monkey Man clearly has plenty of hype surrounding it, especially with its coveted Super Bowl trailer spot. The action sequences should definitely be up to snuff, as the film features fight choreography by Brahim Chab, who has worked with everyone from Jackie Chan to Jean-Claude Van Damme to Donnie Yen.

Still, the fact that Monkey Man is clearly a passion project of Patel’s (he also co-wrote the script) and is based on Hindu mythology indicates that it will be more than just a mindless action flick and should be on everyone’s radar as a must-watch movie in the first half of 2024.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR MONKEY MAN HERE

Related: Dev Patel’s Best Performances, Ranked

7 Ballerina (June 7)

Ana de Armas surrounded by guns and knives in movie poster for Ballerina (2024)
Lionsgate

Speaking of John Wick, Len Wiseman’s Ballerina is the first spin-off film, and the fifth overall installment, in the critically-acclaimed franchise. Ana de Armas stars as Rooney (originally played by actual ballet dancer Unity Phelan in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum), a ballerina/assassin who seeks revenge against the people who murdered her family. Aside from de Armas, other newcomers to the John Wick series include Norman Reedus and Gabriel Byrne, who will play the film’s main antagonist. Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Anjelica Huston, and Lance Reddick (who passed away back in March 2023) will reprise their roles from the previous films.

A John Wick Spin-Off

The John Wick universe expanded for the first time with the release of the Peacock television series The Continental in September 2023, and Ballerina will look to build out the world even further. It may be up against stiff competition in Monkey Man and a number of other major action films in 2024, but considering the critical and commercial success of the John Wick movies as well as the introduction of a new butt-kicking lead to the franchise, Ballerina will no doubt be bringing in movie-goers in droves come opening weekend.

6 The Bikeriders (June 21)

The Bikeriders is a fictional adaptation of Danny Lyon’s 1967 photo book of the same name, which follows the lives of the Chicago-based Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the film features an all-star ensemble cast that includes Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Jodie Comer, Michael Shannon, and Norman Reedus. Having premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in August 2023, The Bikeriders‘ late-2023 release date was pushed back due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, and it is now set to theatrically debut on June 21 of this year.

Gritty and Stylistic

The Bikeriders currently boasts an 86% Rotten Tomatoes score out of 35 critics’ reviews, and positive assessments have praised the film’s gritty and stylistic portrayal of motorcycle culture in the late ’60s. It may not really be breaking any new ground in the crime genre, but fans of films like Easy Rider and Goodfellas should enjoy Jeff Nichols’s latest project.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THE BIKERIDERS HERE

5 Longlegs (July 12)

Longlegs

Longlegs

Release Date
July 12, 2024

Runtime
1hr 41min

Written and directed by Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Gretel & Hansel), Longlegs follows Lee Harker (Maika Monroe), a rookie FBI agent assigned to the unsolved case of a serial killer (Nicolas Cage) who murdered a family of four. When Harker discovers evidence of an occult connection to the case, she must race to stop the killer before he strikes again. Set in the mid-1970s, the crime thriller clearly features strong horror elements and has been bolstered by an effectively terrifying ad campaign that includes an eerily minimalist trailer and four creepy posters.

Nic Cage Becomes His Most Unhinged

Thanks to the marketing team behind Longlegs, the Neon-distributed picture looks to be one of the year’s scariest films. While he hasn’t been featured too prominently in promotional material just yet, Nicolas Cage has also done a decent job of hyping up the film, providing more backstory for his insidious character, who he describes as a “possessed Geppetto,” in a February interview.

“He makes these dolls, and the dolls infiltrate families and get the families to do terrible things. It’s a horror film. And [Oz Perkins] was, I think telling a story, in some ways, about his mother, and I played Longlegs as a very androgynous character, and I’m channeling my mom.”

Aside from Cage’s performance, which is sure to be the actor’s most twisted yet, it will also be interesting to see what Oz Perkins, the son of late Psycho star Anthony Perkins, will be able to accomplish with his sixth feature-length project.

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR LONGLEGS HERE

Zoë Kravitz as Bonnie in Big Little Lies
HBO

Zoë Kravitz will make her directorial debut with Blink Twice, a film she co-wrote with E.T. Feigenbaum. The movie tells the story of a tech billionaire (played by Channing Tatum, Kravitz’s fiancé) who invites a cocktail waitress (Naomi Ackie) he just met to party with him and his friends on his private island. What starts as the ultimate dream vacation eventually descends into chaos. Christian Slater, Alia Shawkat, Geena Davis, Haley Joel Osment, and Kyle MacLachlan also star.

A Script of Anger and Frustration

While a trailer has yet to be released, Zoë Kravitz spoke with W Magazine in late January about the artistic motivations behind Blink Twice, which she started working on before things like #MeToo and the Epstein Island revelations came to the cultural forefront.

According to Kravitz, the film’s script “was born out of a lot of anger and frustration around the lack of conversation about the treatment of women, specifically in industries that have a lot of money in them, like Hollywood, the tech world, all of that.” Kravitz, like Dev Patel, is clearly showing avid interest in working behind the camera as well as in front, and it will be exciting to if she can see success with her first directorial outing.

3 Wolfs (September 20)

George Clooney as Danny and Brad Pitt as Rusty in Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Warner Bros. Pictures

In Wolfs, Brad Pitt and George Clooney will reunite on-screen for the first time since the 2008 Coen brothers comedy Burn After Reading. Written and directed by Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home), the thriller follows two professional fixers (Pitt and Clooney) who end up getting hired for the same job. One of the many films to have filming effected by the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, Wolfs also stars Austin Abrams, Amy Ryan, and Poorna Jagannathan.

Clooney and Pitt, Back Together Again

While not too much is known about Wolfs plot-wise (yes, the movie is apparently spelled Wolfs not Wolves), George Clooney teased it back in early January as “an R-rated Ocean’s film.” It’s a promising sign for the upcoming film, given the critical and commercial success of the Ocean’s trilogy, as well as the fact that the films did a fantastic job of showcasing the on-screen chemistry between Pitt and Clooney.

2 Joker: Folie à Deux (October 4)

Joker: Folie à Deux, Todd Phillips’s sequel to his 2019 psychological thriller film Joker, will focus on the relationship between Arthur Fleck/Joker (Joaquin Phoenix) and Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (Lady Gaga), the psychiatrist initially assigned to treat Arthur who later develops a romantic obsession with him. Zazie Beetz returns as Sophie Dumond, Arthur’s former neighbor, while Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan, and Ken Leung also star.

An Anticipated Follow-Up

Folie à Deux has a lot to live up to as a sequel, as Joker grossed over $1 billion worldwide and earned two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Actor for Phoenix). The fact that it’s being billed as a musical may help shield the film against the clear superhero fatigue among movie-goers; while director of photography Lawrence Sher claimed that Folie à Deux won’t be a musical in the traditional sense, he admitted that music will play a major part in it (Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir will once again provide the score, and 13-time Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga’s co-leading role is clearly for good reason).

In any case, the second Joker installment is likely to still rely on a dark and psychological tone, which helped make the first film such a success.

Related: Why Joker 2 Being a Musical Makes It Even More Unhinged

1 Alto Knights (November 15)

Robert De Niro wearing glasses and frowning as William King Hale in Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)
Paramount Pictures/Apple Original Films

In the Barry Levinson-directed Alto Knights, Robert De Niro will star in a dual role as competing 1950s mob bosses Vito Genovese and Frank Costello. Written by Nicholas Pileggi (whose 1985 non-fiction Wiseguy was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s classic gangster flick Goodfellas), the film also features Kathrine Narducci as Genovese’s wife Anna and Debra Messing as Costello’s wife Bobbie.

A Dual Role for De Niro

Alto Knights is a film that will either be made or broken by De Niro’s performance as the feuding mob bosses. Even at 80 years old, De Niro showed that he can still act with the best of them with his Academy Award-nominated performance in Killers of the Flower Moon. It remains to be seen whether he still has the star power to essentially carry an entire movie by himself, but Levinson’s directing pedigree and the film’s subject matter (people still like gangster movies after all these years), Alto Knights could be a promising end-of-year flick.





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