After decades of cross-pollinating with various genres and absorbing filmmaking traditions of other countries, the original definition of “noir” as 40s Hollywood crime dramas has become something trickier to define, but evermore fascinating. With many 21st century auteurs making their dent in the genre, we are now in a golden age of neo-noir. Here are 7 neo-noir gems in the Filmhub catalog.
Directed by Nadiah Hamzah | Crime | 2019 | 86 mins | Malaysia
Synopsis: As Dewi dives deeper into her assignment to search for a missing teenager, she goes head to head against the girl’s father, Hussein - a splitting image of her own husband. Dewi prides on being a sharp and intelligent detective, but how does she persevere.
What makes it special: An Asian noir and a women’s noir, Motif is bold and memorable in every way. With a stunning portrait of Malaysia’s tropical landscape, well-written and well-acted women characters who endure and rebel, it’s an ambitious and dazzling debut for director Nadiah Hamzah, and we look forward to her future projects.
Where to stream it: Coming soon
In The Land Of Lost Angels
Directed by Bishrel Mashbat | Crime | 2019 | 90 mins | United States
Synopsis: With time running out and desperate for cash, two Mongolian immigrants turn to crime as their only solution. They decide to kidnap the son of a wealthy businessman. However, once the deed is done the duo realizes that there is no turning back.
What makes it special: One of the first Mongolian-American feature films with a classic noir setting of Los Angeles - only more dystopian than the 40s. A rare crime drama that delves into the struggles of new immigrants and defies the model minority myth.
Where to stream it: Amazon
Directed by Richard Krause | Comedy/Crime | 2016 | 78 mins | United States
Synopsis: When Simon’s dog is taken from him, he stops at nothing to get her back.
What makes it special: Seasoned filmmaker, editor, and visual effects artist Richard Krause spent no more than 2k on his passion project, and it’s a tour de force of no-budget production. Think of an offbeat John Wick with less action but more dark humor and character study.
Directed by Andrew Tiernan | Thriller | 2014 | 80 mins | United Kingdom
Synopsis: A brutal, corrupt cop, DS Blake is no stranger to violence. His job on the line, he finds himself caught in a web of conspiracy, deceit, racism & murder. Will solving the case of Dragonfly lead to his redemption, or will his life spiral into a deep hell?
What makes it special: A regular feature on major Hollywood productions like 300, British actor Andrew Tiernan returned to his home country for his directorial debut - a classic flawed detective story with a touch of occultism and sharp social commentary.
R.L. Allman’s “Peter Pan”
Directed by Ronnie Allman | Thriller | 2020 | 26 mins | United States
Synopsis: A street artist is struggling to navigate the rules of growing up in Neverland, all the while his artist community is being pushed out by the greedy real estate mogul, C.J. Hooke.
What makes it special: First-time filmmaker Ronnie Allman has reimagined Peter Pan into a short but glorious neon noir affair. It’s fast, loud, and queer, all set in beautifully captured night-time San Francisco.
Where to stream it: Amazon
Directed by Hamit Ferhat Hazar | Drama/Crime | 2014 | 91 mins | Turkey
Synopsis: The Pirate, is a punisher who punishes random individuals in the corrupted society according to his own fictive norms but suddenly appears a lump which shakes his main idea and impresses him. The Pirate gets confused in between the lump and his idea.
What makes it special: A mesmerizing and poetic take on the noir style with handheld cinematography and stream-of-consciousness editing. One for the fans of slow cinema.
Where to stream it: Plex
Why Siegfried Teitelbaum Had To Die
Directed by Axel B. Steinmueller | Thriller/Comedy | 2016 | 99 mins | Germany
Synopsis: Hitman Stefán barely survives from a shot in the head. He reports to the officials, but his recollections seem fuzzy. Was he involved in the controversial Teitelbaum-case? Is he telling the truth? An off-beat cat and mouse chase will reveal all!
What makes it special: Another micro-budget triumph that emphasized on the comedy aspect of noir. Though a few jokes might get lost in translation, fans of the genre will appreciate the dark and hysterical humor and recognize parodies/homages of its American influences.
Where to stream it: Tubi