20 Must-Watch Crime Thriller Movies Like Fargo

If you can't get enough of the icy crime thriller "Fargo," then you're in luck. We've rounded up 20 must-watch movies that capture the same cool and captivating essence. From bungling criminals to persistent detectives, these crime thrillers are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, just like the Coen Brothers' masterpiece. Get ready for a cinematic journey that will leave you craving for more.

1) Fargo

Fargo: A dark comedy crime film set in snowy Fargo, North Dakota. It's a Coen brothers masterpiece where the bungling of a car salesman's inept crime unravels due to the persistent police work of a heavily pregnant Marge Gunderson. The film subverts genre conventions, with the hero being a pregnant woman and the chief villain being a car salesman with no slickness whatsoever. It's a beautifully shot film that quietly mocks not just its subjects, but also the idea that a film should take itself seriously. While nearly moving and nearly funny, Fargo lacks a beating heart, refusing to fully commit itself. Enter Fargo, the series. Like the film, the series is set in frozen Minnesota and revolves around deception, intrigue, and murder. But here's the twist: each season of the series is an anthology, with its own unique cast of characters and plot. Despite some ups and downs, each season is worth watching.

Release date: July, 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.9
17 Movies Like Fargo That Will Leave You Begging for More

2) Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading is reminiscent of Fargo in its dark comedy and unconventional take on the crime genre. Both movies skillfully blend humor and crime elements, creating a unique and entertaining viewing experience. While Fargo takes place in the snow-covered landscape of Fargo, North Dakota, Burn After Reading is set in a more urban environment. However, both films share a common theme of ineptitude and the consequences that arise from it. The characters in Burn After Reading, just like those in Fargo, are quirky and eccentric, with their actions and situations bordering on the absurd. The performances in both movies are outstanding, with Frances McDormand shining in both films. Burn After Reading also features George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and John Malkovich, who deliver disturbingly crazy and delusional roles filled with stupidity. The plot of Burn After Reading revolves around a mysterious CIA disk that falls into the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees, leading to a series of hilarious misadventures.

Release date: October, 2008
IMDB Rating: 7

3) Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog is reminiscent of Fargo in its dark comedy and crime elements. Both films have a unique way of blending humor and violence, creating a twisted and entertaining experience for the viewer. While Fargo takes place in snowy Fargo, North Dakota, Man Bites Dog is set in Belgium, showcasing the versatility of the genre. In Fargo, the protagonist is a bumbling car salesman, while in Man Bites Dog, we follow the ruthless and charming Ben, a serial killer. The similarities lie in the way both films challenge conventional storytelling and subvert expectations. Man Bites Dog, like Fargo, keeps you on your toes, blurring the line between subject and documenter as the film crew begins to actively participate in the crimes. It's a darkly humorous mockumentary that explores the corrupting influence of visual media on its audience.

Release date: November, 1992
IMDB Rating: 7.4

4) Terriers

Terriers, a series released in 2012, reminds me of Fargo in many ways. Both have a dark comedic tone that keeps you laughing while witnessing botched crimes unfold. While Fargo is set in the snowy Fargo, North Dakota and centers around a bungled kidnapping, Terriers takes place in sunny San Diego, California and follows the misadventures of an ex-cop and a former criminal running an unlicensed private investigation business. The witty banter and chemistry between the main characters in both movies are what make them so enjoyable to watch. However, Terriers adds a layer of mystery and drama to the mix, making it even more intriguing. With its smart storytelling, interesting characters, and unexpected plot twists, Terriers is a must-watch for anyone who loved Fargo and wants a fresh take on the dark comedy genre.

Release date: November, 2012
IMDB Rating: 8.4

5) Blow the Man Down

Blow the Man Down is reminiscent of Fargo in its dark and twisted comedy genre. Both movies explore the theme of botched crimes and the consequences that follow. While Fargo takes place in the snow-covered landscape of Fargo, North Dakota, Blow the Man Down unfolds in a small coastal town. Despite their differences in setting, both films effectively capture the essence of their locations, with Fargo showcasing the peculiarities of the mid-western city, and Blow the Man Down delving into the secrets of a tight-knit community. The Coen brothers' masterpiece and Blow the Man Down share a common thread of strong female characters, with Frances McDormand's Marge Gunderson and the Connolly sisters in the latter film taking charge of their own destinies. However, Blow the Man Down takes a more sinister turn, as Mary Beth and Priscilla must navigate the criminal underbelly of their hometown to cover up a gruesome incident.

Release date: March, 2020
IMDB Rating: 6.4

6) Reservoir Dogs

"Reservoir Dogs" is reminiscent of "Fargo" in its dark and twisted take on the crime genre. Both films delve into the botched heist and the aftermath of the criminal's mistakes. However, while "Fargo" takes a more deadpan and black comedy approach, "Reservoir Dogs" embraces a nonlinear timeline and a neo-noir style. Quentin Tarantino's dialogue-driven storytelling shines in this film, with unforgettable one-liners and impossibly cool characters. The violence is used sparingly but effectively, leaving a lasting impact. "Reservoir Dogs" is a must-watch for its sheer quality, originality, and the genius editing that surprises you with forgotten scenes. It surpasses Tarantino's later works like "Kill Bill" and stands as his best film. So, if you haven't seen "Reservoir Dogs," go rent it, buy it, or maybe just steal it right now. You won't be disappointed.

Release date: December, 1993
IMDB Rating: 8.3
20 Must-Watch Crime and Thriller Movies Like Reservoir Dogs

7) Nighty Night

Nighty Night is a dark comedy series that shares some similarities with Fargo. Both movies delve into the realm of black comedy, showcasing the absurdity of certain situations. While Fargo takes place in the snowy landscape of Fargo, North Dakota, Nighty Night is set in the slightly less chilly but equally intriguing world of suburban England. Both films have a knack for subverting conventions, with Fargo featuring a pregnant policewoman as its hero and Nighty Night exploring the manipulative and tormented mind of its main character, Jill. However, Nighty Night takes the darkness to a whole new level, with Jill pretending her husband is dying and pursuing her next-door neighbor, Don. The show's witty and outrageous dialogue keeps viewers on their toes, never quite knowing what shocking line will come next. Nighty Night may not be for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for a twisted and darkly humorous series that pushes the boundaries of comedy, it's definitely worth a watch.

Release date: January, 2004
IMDB Rating: 8.1

8) Death in Brunswick

Release date: April, 1991
IMDB Rating: 6.5

9) The Hitman

"The Hitman" is a hidden gem that takes us back to the glory days of low-budget action movies. This Chuck Norris flick may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you appreciate the charm of movies from the same sub-genre, you're in for a treat. While the story might not blow you away, it's the perfect blend of slick and goofy, crass and sentimental, moral and ultraviolent. It's a rare combination that makes this movie both "funny bad" and just plain funny at the same time. But the real standout feature is the great Michael Parks. Just like he did in other underrated films like "Death Wish V: The Face of Death," and his memorable cameo in "From Dusk Until Dawn," Parks steals the show and effortlessly walks away with the movie. It's a shame this brilliant actor hasn't been given more leading roles.

Release date: October, 1991
IMDB Rating: 5.3

10) Story of Ricky

"Story of Ricky" is a wild ride that will leave you both amazed and slightly disturbed. This Hong Kong exploitation film takes the action genre to a whole new level with its over-the-top gore and fight scenes. The story revolves around Riki-Oh, a young man with superhuman strength who finds himself in a private prison where inmates are treated like slaves. To fight against the corrupt officials and their lackeys, Riki-Oh unleashes his unstoppable martial arts skills. The film is a perfect blend of black comedy, political exploitation, and martial arts action.
While "Fargo" and "Story of Ricky" may seem worlds apart, they share some interesting similarities. Both films feature a protagonist who finds themselves caught up in a dangerous situation and must use their unique abilities to fight back against powerful adversaries.

Release date: April, 1992
IMDB Rating: 7

11) Wild Target

Wild Target is a charming French film that shares similarities with the American classic Fargo. Both movies fall under the crime and thriller genres, but their tones and approaches differ. While Fargo is a dark comedy set in the snow-covered Fargo, North Dakota, Wild Target takes a more comedic route, blending humor and violent death. The dynamic between the characters in Wild Target, especially the middle-aged hitman Victor Meynard, the bold thief Renée, and Victor's apprentice Antoine, is fascinating and well-drawn. The film's pace, Gallic finesse, and the accordion-driven score add to its overall kookiness. Jean Rochefort delivers a standout performance as Victor, showcasing his subtlety and innate quirkiness. Despite not being a classic, Wild Target's merits shine even brighter when comparing it to the utterly worthless British remake from 2010.

Release date: September, 1994
IMDB Rating: 6.9

12) Gunmen

Gunmen, released in 1994, has a lot in common with the main movie, Fargo. Both movies fall under the genres of Crime and Thriller, but they take different approaches to these genres. Fargo is a dark and black comedy that subverts the conventions of crime films, while Gunmen leans more towards light-hearted action with a comedic tone. While Fargo is known for its clever plot and deadpan acting, Gunmen focuses more on the chemistry between the actors, particularly Christopher Lambert and Mario Van Peebles. Gunmen may not have received as much critical acclaim as Fargo, but it still offers an entertaining and enjoyable experience for fans of action and comedy. So, if you're looking for a fun-filled adventure with a touch of comedy and a catchy First-Aid kit trading scene, Gunmen is definitely worth a watch.

Release date: February, 1994
IMDB Rating: 5.2

13) Goodbye Lover

Goodbye Lover is a film that will remind you of Fargo, but with a twist. While Fargo is set in the snowy and quirky world of Minnesota, Goodbye Lover takes place in a more glamorous and sinister environment. Both movies explore the dark side of human nature and feature black comedy elements, but Goodbye Lover adds a layer of mystery to the mix. Patricia Arquette delivers a standout performance as Sandra, a woman with a secret relationship, while Ellen DeGeneres brings her signature charm and wit as a lazy detective. Goodbye Lover is a perfect blend of film noir and comedy, with a smooth and well-written script that will keep you entertained from start to finish. So if you enjoyed the offbeat humor and unconventional storytelling of Fargo, you should definitely give Goodbye Lover a watch.

Release date: April, 1999
IMDB Rating: 5.6

14) My Brother's Gun

My Brother's Gun is reminiscent of Fargo in its portrayal of a crime gone wrong and the unlikely bond formed between two individuals. While Fargo takes place in the snowy landscapes of Minnesota, My Brother's Gun is set against the backdrop of a beach. Both movies explore the darker side of human nature and the consequences of impulsive actions. However, My Brother's Gun diverges from Fargo in its focus on a love story and the characters' search for meaning in their lives. The film's slower pace and disjointed narrative may not be as captivating as Fargo, but it still offers a visually decent portrayal of a dramatic journey. With notable performances from the supporting cast and a colorful cinematography by José Luis Alcaine, My Brother's Gun is worth watching for fans of the crime genre seeking an alternative take on the theme of a criminal couple on the run.

Release date: November, 1997
IMDB Rating: 5.5

15) Gen-X Cops

Gen-X Cops is reminiscent of Fargo in its genre and plot elements. While Fargo is a dark comedy crime thriller set in snowy Fargo, North Dakota, Gen-X Cops is an action comedy crime thriller set in Hong Kong. Both movies involve a group of unconventional individuals who are tasked with solving a crime. In Fargo, a bungling car salesman's inept crime leads to the persistent investigation of a pregnant police officer. Similarly, in Gen-X Cops, a ridiculed Hong Kong cop hires three cadets who were thrown out of the police academy to go undercover and catch criminals who stole explosives and killed his partner. Despite their similarities, the movies differ in their tone and execution. Fargo is known for its deadpan acting and absurdly stoic demeanor, while Gen-X Cops offers fresh faces and eye candy for the audience. While Fargo has been praised as a masterpiece, Gen-X Cops offers a more lighthearted and entertaining take on the crime thriller genre.

Release date: June, 1999
IMDB Rating: 5.9

16) Lava

Lava is a wicked, dark comedy that will have you laughing out loud while also keeping you on the edge of your seat. This film follows two unlikely friends who team up to seek revenge on a small-time drug dealer. Although Lava shares some similarities with Fargo, such as the black comedy and crime genres, the two movies couldn't be more different. While Fargo takes a more subtle and ironic approach to its storytelling, Lava embraces its gritty and gory nature with a bit of a laugh. With its unique blend of comedy and thriller elements, Lava is a must-watch for anyone looking for a fun and thrilling movie experience.

Release date: January, 2002
IMDB Rating: 5.3

17) Three Chinamen with a Double Bass

"Three Chinamen with a Double Bass" is a German comedy that shares some similarities with "Fargo." Both movies fall under the genre of black comedy and involve accidental killings. However, while "Fargo" takes place in the snowy landscapes of Fargo, North Dakota, "Three Chinamen with a Double Bass" is set in Germany. Despite the differences in location, both films use dark humor to explore the consequences of their characters' actions. In "Three Chinamen with a Double Bass," the protagonist finds himself in a series of awkward situations as he tries to get rid of his dead girlfriend's body. Similarly, "Fargo" follows the bungled crime of a car salesman and his henchmen, which leads to the persistent police work of a heavily pregnant detective. While "Fargo" is known for its deadpan acting and absurdly stoic demeanor, "Three Chinamen with a Double Bass" presents its characters as relatable and real people.

Release date: March, 2000
IMDB Rating: 6.6

18) Novocaine

Novocaine, released in 2001, is reminiscent of Fargo in its dark comedy and crime elements. Both movies explore the consequences of bungled crimes and feature blackly comic moments. However, Novocaine takes a different approach by incorporating elements of screwball comedy, adding a unique twist to the genre. While Fargo is known for its wry outlook and deadpan acting, Novocaine features well-played characters that border on caricatures. The film's plot holes, though noticeable, don't prevent it from being an enjoyable experience. If you're a fan of Fargo's offbeat humor and crime stories, Novocaine offers a fresh take on the genre, with standout performances from Steve Martin and Helena Bonham Carter.

Release date: December, 2001
IMDB Rating: 5.8

19) Common Wealth

Common Wealth is reminiscent of Fargo in its darkly comedic and unconventional approach to crime. While Fargo takes place in the snowy and remote setting of Fargo, North Dakota, Common Wealth is set in the bustling city of Madrid. Both movies feature bungling characters who find themselves in over their heads due to their greed and poor decision-making. In Fargo, a car salesman's inept crime falls apart, while in Common Wealth, a real estate agent becomes trapped by her neighbors after discovering a hidden fortune. Both films expertly blend genres, with Fargo being a crime thriller and Common Wealth incorporating elements of comedy, crime, horror, mystery, and thriller. The absurd situations faced by the characters and the dark humor throughout create an engrossing and entertaining viewing experience. However, while Fargo is known for its deadpan acting and wacky accents, Common Wealth takes a more surreal and bizarre approach, with animated sequences and eccentric characters.

Release date: September, 2000
IMDB Rating: 7.2

20) Insaat

Insaat is reminiscent of Fargo in its dark and twisted sense of humor. Both films revolve around botched crimes and have a black comedy element. While Fargo takes place in the snowy and desolate Fargo, North Dakota, Insaat is set in the construction industry of Turkey. Insaat explores the adventures of two young construction workers who stumble upon something bad about their boss. The film captures the essence of the lower class in Turkish society, portraying their happiness, frustration, and approach to life in a way that feels authentic. Despite being a crime flick, Insaat doesn't shy away from comedy, providing exaggerated scenes and an amusing screenplay. Although the cultural references may be specific to Turkey, Insaat's interesting storyline and depth make it an enjoyable watch for audiences worldwide.

Release date: November, 2003
IMDB Rating: 7.2

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