One of the most fun to watch genres is the cat-and-mouse chase movies. Typically, in such kind of films, the bad guy is on the run and the good guys are trying to get hold of him. It leads to some edge-of-the-seat moments, and more often than not you end up taking the side of the bad guy. The reason they are so much fun to watch is that there is an evil side in all of us that we don’t show to the world, but these films are an outlet to our evil sides — where nobody has to know that we secretly wish the evil to win over good. With that said, there are also films where you want the good to win over evil, especially when the evil isn’t charming but outrightly heinous (in films like ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ or ‘Se7en’).
Here are the 10 best cat-and-mouse thrillers that are worth your time.
10. Insomnia (1997)
First of all, this is the original Norwegian film we are talking about here (and not Christopher Nolan’s 2002 film). The film follows a insomniac police detective and a primary suspect of a murder and how they collide with each other in a cat-and-mouse game and the way their lives change forever. The whole set up and aura in which the film is built allows you to be invested in it from the first scene till the last.
9. Inside Man (2006)
Spike Lee’s ‘Inside Man’ tells us about a sturdy police detective, who faces a methodical bank robber, and how a tense hostage crisis unfolds, along with a mysterious woman, who has a secret motive and threatens the whole situation, making the film much more than a cat-and-mouse chase story. Starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster in lead roles and employing some of the most cleverly planned heist scenes and a well-though-out twist at the end, it is one hell of an enjoyable affair.
8. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
This Steven Spielberg romp is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. And despite it being about a criminal, the film goes on to give a lesson or two about how charm and confidence can get you places. Frank arrives to Manhattan with just $25 in his pocket but just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he’s extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad cheques. Leonardo DiCaprio is unsurprisingly effortless as Abignale, but it is the unique bond between him and FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) in the midst if a cat-and-mouse chase which springs a pleasant surprise.
7. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
After the failed attempt at killing Sarah Connor, the Skynet sends a more advanced robot, the T-1000 back in time to kill John Connor. But another terminator is also sent back from the future to protect Sarah and John Connor. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game of one trying to kill another. This movie took the creative genius of ‘The Terminator’ forward with a brilliant sequel. The terminator is more human in his approach and more intelligent. The influence of the themes alluded to in the movie goes to show the brilliance of James Cameron at his art.
6. Heat (1995)
Starring two of the greatest actors, Robert de Niro and Al Pacino, ‘Heat’ has become synonymous to the heist genre all through these years. The diner scene between de Niro’s Neil McCauley and Pacino’s Lt. Hanna is often debated to be as one of the best scenes of the cinematic world. Not only does Micheal Mann tells us a knitted and engaging story about the cat-and-mouse game between a master criminal and a police lieutenant, but he also clearly makes us feel the darkness through the characters pass through via meticulous scenes.
5. No Country For Old Men (2007)
A dizzying suspense drama involving a gripping cat-and-mouse chase interspersed with dark humor that takes you into the unfathomable depths of evil and poses existential questions about human destiny,’No Country for Old Men’ is unmistakably the best Coen Brothers’ movie of this century. And while the film gave us one of the meanest and ruthless villains of all time in the form of Anton Chigurh, it also showed us why Coen Brothers are among the best ever.
4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A nightmare in which lambs are being slaughtered on a firm, keeps a young trainee from Quantico, Virginia awake in the nights. She feels that if she could save another innocent from the clutches of a crazy psychopath, she just might get rid of those dreams. To nab a serial killer, she turns to another serial killer for help. Together, would they be able to save an innocent’s life? Or it will be the burden of failure, that will torment her for the rest of her life?
3. Zodiac (2007)
In the late sixties/early seventies, a serial killer was roaming loose on the streets of San Francisco. Each of his killings was followed up by an encrypted letter to the local news papers, taunting the police to crack them. While the police were unable to find the killer, two journalists take it on themselves to solve the mystery. David Fincher tells a chilling tale about the most infamous and still not caught serial killer of the modern era – Zodiac.
2. The French Connection (1971)
Inspired by a true story, ‘The French Connection’ is gritty, fast-paced, and innovative police drama about two New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. The film’s high point, a high-speed car chase, was one of the most viscerally exciting screen moments of its day and set the stage for dozens of action sequences to follow. And the film’s grimy realism (and downbeat ending) was a big change from the buff-and-shine gloss and good-guys-always-win heroics of most police dramas that preceded it.
1. Seven (1995)
Brutal killings, each describing a biblical sin, an unnamed American city. A soon to be retired detective with his hot headed partner start looking for this unknown killer called John Doe. After five dead bodies, the killer turns himself over to the police and offers to take them to two more bodies. What transpires next is an amalgamation of disturbing, nasty and thorough bizarreness. David Fincher’s ‘Se7en’ is a work of fiction, but somehow it appears to be a truth close to the heart that eventually your sin catches up to you.
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