13 Thrilling Crime and Mystery Movies Like High and Low

High and Low: If you loved the thrilling crime and mystery elements of this Japanese cinema masterpiece, then you won't want to miss these 13 cool and charming movies. Get ready for a pulse-pounding journey through the underbelly of crime, as you dive into a world of suspense, deception, and unexpected twists. From gripping dramas to mind-bending thrillers, these films will keep you on the edge of your seat, just like High and Low.

1) Yojimbo

Yojimbo, a classic samurai action film, is reminiscent of High and Low in its ability to create something special while appearing routine. Both films demonstrate Akira Kurosawa's talent for combining different elements to craft compelling stories. Yojimbo, with its memorable protagonist (played by the iconic Toshiro Mifune), presents a ronin who manipulates two criminal gangs against each other to save a village. This character's actions can be interpreted as either heroic or as the amusement of a bored warrior, showcasing Kurosawa's ability to leave the motives of his characters open to interpretation. The film's skillful direction and use of visuals to convey the story make it so engaging that it could almost be enjoyed as a silent film. Interestingly, Yojimbo itself can be seen as a western, borrowing elements from films like "High Noon.

Release date: May, 1962
IMDB Rating: 8.2
16 Must-Watch Movies Like Yojimbo – Action, Drama, Thriller

2) Rashomon

Rashomon, directed by Akira Kurosawa, transports us to a rainy day where a horrific event is recounted from four different perspectives. This film, Kurosawa's first international hit, captivates with its breathtakingly simple style and contrasting black and white cinematography. The story revolves around the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband, with each viewpoint shedding new light on the truth. As we delve into the psychologies of the main characters, the boundaries between truth and perception become blurred, leaving us to question who is telling the truth and what really happened. Rashomon is a riveting journey into the human psyche, expertly handled by Kurosawa, perhaps the greatest film director to have ever lived. So, if you're ready to challenge your perception of reality and immerse yourself in a world of subjective storytelling, Rashomon is a must-watch.

Release date: August, 1950
IMDB Rating: 8.2
13 Movies Like Rashomon That Will Keep You Guessing

3) Woman of Straw

Woman of Straw is reminiscent of High and Low in its exploration of class differences and the intricate web of deceit that surrounds its characters. While High and Low delves into the world of a wealthy businessman and a kidnapping, Woman of Straw focuses on the relationship between a tyrannical tycoon and his Italian nurse. Both movies showcase the manipulation and greed that can arise when money and power are at stake. However, where High and Low takes a more nuanced and suspenseful approach, Woman of Straw offers a captivating tale of psychological stress induced by crime. With its magnificent visual settings and the seductive performance of Gina Lollobrigida, Woman of Straw is a must-watch for those interested in the complexities of human behavior and the consequences of our actions.

Release date: August, 1964
IMDB Rating: 6.8

4) No Way to Treat a Lady

No Way to Treat a Lady is reminiscent of High and Low in its portrayal of a cat-and-mouse game between a serial killer and a detective. Just as Toshiro Mifune's character in High and Low becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped, Rod Steiger's character in No Way to Treat a Lady preys on unsuspecting women in a series of killings. Both movies delve into the psychology of their respective villains, showcasing their cunning and manipulative nature. However, while High and Low is a gripping suspenseful drama, No Way to Treat a Lady takes a lighter approach by infusing comedy into the crime-thriller genre. The film also explores the detective's personal life, adding depth to the story. With its intriguing premise and excellent performances, No Way to Treat a Lady is a must-watch for fans of crime movies who appreciate a touch of humor.

Release date: March, 1968
IMDB Rating: 7

5) The Castle of Sand

The Castle of Sand is reminiscent of High and Low because both movies are gripping crime mysteries set in Japan. While High and Low focuses on the kidnapping of a chauffeur's son and the subsequent investigation, The Castle of Sand revolves around the murder of an old man in a Tokyo rail yard. Both films delve into the world of detectives and showcase the meticulous process of solving complex cases. However, there are also notable differences between the two. High and Low explores the themes of class differences and the moral dilemmas faced by its characters, while The Castle of Sand touches on the concept of upward mobility. Additionally, High and Low is widely regarded as a masterpiece by renowned director Akira Kurosawa, known for his attention to detail and artistic framing, while The Castle of Sand impresses with its stunning musical score and skillful ending, leaving viewers in awe.

Release date: January, 1976
IMDB Rating: 7.3

6) The Big Cube

The Big Cube is reminiscent of High and Low because both movies fall under the genres of Drama, Mystery, and Thriller. However, that's pretty much where the similarities end. While High and Low is a masterpiece directed by Akira Kurosawa, The Big Cube is, well, let's just say it's not exactly a masterpiece. High and Low is a gripping and suspenseful film that explores themes of class differences and the tragedy of ordinary people. It tells the story of a businessman who becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped. On the other hand, The Big Cube is a craptastic mess from a time when studios were desperately trying to connect with a youth audience that just wasn't there. It features a former actress clashing with her spoiled stepdaughter over their inheritance.

Release date: April, 1970
IMDB Rating: 4.3

7) Hollywood Vice Squad

"Hollywood Vice Squad" takes a wild ride through the underbelly of Hollywood, just like "High and Low" explores the dark side of Yokohama. While "High and Low" is a gripping tale of a businessman caught in a kidnapping situation, "Hollywood Vice Squad" dives into the search for a runaway daughter turned junkie teen prostitute. Both movies touch on the topic of drug overdose, but in vastly different ways. "High and Low" delves into the consequences of a kidnapping gone wrong, while "Hollywood Vice Squad" explores the dangerous world of drug abuse and prostitution. Despite their differences, both films captivate the audience. So, if you enjoyed the suspense and intricate storytelling of "High and Low," you should definitely give "Hollywood Vice Squad" a watch to experience a thrilling journey through the gritty streets of Hollywood.

Release date: July, 1986
IMDB Rating: 4.7

8) Sugar Hill

Sugar Hill is reminiscent of High and Low in its exploration of the criminal underworld and the consequences of drug addiction. While High and Low delves into the complexities of a kidnapping and the investigation that follows, Sugar Hill focuses on the struggle of a drug dealer trying to escape his life of crime. Both films tackle similar themes of redemption, morality, and the blurred lines between good and evil. However, they differ in their approach and tone. High and Low, directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa, is a meticulously crafted noir thriller that delves into the intricate details of the investigation. On the other hand, Sugar Hill, directed by Leon Ichaso, offers a more intense and gritty portrayal of the drug trade in Harlem. Wesley Snipes delivers a powerful performance as the protagonist trying to leave his criminal past behind. While High and Low is a masterclass in suspense and storytelling, Sugar Hill shines a light on the harsh realities of drug addiction.

Release date: February, 1994
IMDB Rating: 5.8

9) The Upper Footage (UPPER)

The Upper Footage (UPPER) is reminiscent of High and Low, but with a modern twist. While High and Low tells the gripping story of a kidnapping and the subsequent police investigation, The Upper Footage takes a different approach. It blurs the lines between reality and fiction, presenting itself as an edited version of 393 minutes of found footage documenting a young girl's tragic overdose death and the cover-up by a group of affluent socialites. The Upper Footage explores themes of privilege, money, and the dark side of human nature. Director Justin Cole skillfully uses real media and tabloid TV to further blur the lines between art and reality, creating an immersive and unsettling experience. The acting in The Upper Footage feels organic and believable, adding to the film's overall sense of authenticity. It pushes the boundaries of the found footage genre and leaves the viewer shaking with anxiety at the end.

Release date: January, 2013
IMDB Rating: 5.8

10) Suburra

Suburra is a thrilling movie that will have you on the edge of your seat, just like High and Low. While the two films may seem different on the surface, they share a common thread of showcasing the dark and seedy underbelly of society. High and Low takes us into the world of a businessman caught in a kidnapping and the meticulous investigation that follows, while Suburra dives into the criminal underworld in Rome as gangsters vie for control of the city's waterfront. Both films explore the themes of crime, power, and the lengths people will go to achieve their goals. However, Suburra adds a touch of romance and political intrigue to the mix, making it a captivating watch for fans of the genre. So, if you enjoyed the suspense and complexity of High and Low, make sure to give Suburra a watch.

Release date: October, 2015
IMDB Rating: 7.4

11) Protégé

"Protégé" is reminiscent of "High and Low" in its exploration of the dark underbelly of society. While "High and Low" delves into the world of crime and class differences, "Protégé" focuses on the lucrative organized crime trade of drug trafficking. Both movies depict complex characters caught in a moral dilemma, as they navigate through a world where loyalty and money collide. The directors, Akira Kurosawa and Tung-Shing Yee, skillfully capture the essence of their respective settings: Yokohama and Hong Kong. The cinematography in both films is visually striking, with attention to detail and breathtaking locations. The performances by the cast members are exceptional, with Toshirô Mifune and Andy Lau portraying their characters with depth and ease. Additionally, Daniel Wu and Zhang Jingchu deliver standout performances, adding another layer of complexity to the story.

Release date: February, 2007
IMDB Rating: 7.2

12) Running with the Devil

Running with the Devil is reminiscent of High and Low in its exploration of crime and its consequences. While High and Low focuses on the kidnapping of a chauffeur's son and the ensuing police investigation, Running with the Devil delves into the world of drug smuggling and the attempts to uncover the source of hijacked cocaine shipments. Both movies deal with criminal activities and the impact they have on the characters involved. However, the similarities end there. High and Low is a meticulously crafted film by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa, known for his attention to detail and powerful storytelling. On the other hand, Running with the Devil is a more straightforward thriller that relies on the star power of actors like Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne. While it may not have the same artistic depth as High and Low, Running with the Devil offers an enjoyable ride for fans of the cast and those seeking a familiar low-budget thriller experience.

Release date: September, 2019
IMDB Rating: 5.4

13) The Bad Sleep Well

The Bad Sleep Well is reminiscent of High and Low, as both films showcase Akira Kurosawa's masterful storytelling and Toshiro Mifune's exceptional acting. While High and Low delves into the complexities of class differences and the tragedy of a kidnapping, The Bad Sleep Well explores the theme of revenge. The Bad Sleep Well stands out as one of the best revenge movies of all time, presenting a realistic portrayal of seeking retribution. It doesn't glamorize revenge but instead highlights the consequences it has on the protagonist and the people he loves. The movie is filled with haunting and beautiful imagery, like a desperate man climbing a volcano to throw himself in, and scenes shot in the bombed-out wreckage of an old munitions plant, mirroring the damaged lives of the characters. Powerful and thought-provoking, The Bad Sleep Well is a must-watch for those who appreciate compelling storytelling and profound themes.

Release date: September, 1960
IMDB Rating: 8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *