The 10 Best Crime Thrillers Set in Los Angeles

When it comes to staging crime thrillers, the stories almost always take place in New York, New Jersey, Chicago or Las Vegas.  Think about it. A significant portion of heist and gangster films involve the mafia as central or ancillary characters, making those places are practically automatic. Even when there isn’t a gangster component, you’ve got the writer/director that wants to make his mark in the film noir genre. For that you need lots of dark, gritty scenery, nasty weather and a lots of overweight cigar-chomping tough guys as extras. All of which the East Coast has in droves.Crime Thrillers

The last place you’d want to set your crime thriller would be a sunny, happy place with lots of tanned, fit models and cool ocean breezes. Like the City of Angels.

Unless you’re up for a challenge. In that case, you’d shoot most of your film at night, and in the summer, when it’s hot. You’d replace the mafia with crooked cops and the tough guys with drugged-up starlets. And voila – you’ve got yourself an L.A. noir film.

Here’s our top crime thrillers set in L.A.:

  • Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • Point Blank (1967)
  • Saboteur (1942)
  • Double Indemnity (1944)
  • Die Hard (1988)
  • Heat (1995)
  • Collateral (2003)
  • L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Chinatown (1974)

Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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