18 Movies Similar to Z: Crime, Drama, Thriller Genres

Z: Crime, Drama, Thriller Genres - Discover 18 captivating movies that share the same intensity as Z. From cunning crime dramas to gripping thrillers, these films will keep you on the edge of your seat. Dive into a world where corruption and cover-ups collide, as determined individuals fight against powerful forces. Join us as we explore an eclectic selection of movies that will leave you craving for more suspense and drama.

1) State of Siege

State of Siege: Using the interrogation of a US counterinsurgency agent as a backdrop, the film explores the consequences of the struggle between Uruguay's government and the leftist Tupamaro guerrillas. While "Z" focuses on a murder investigation, "State of Siege" delves into the political turmoil of Latin America during the Cold War. Both movies tackle government corruption and abuse of power, but "State of Siege" takes it a step further by exposing how the U.S. aided and abetted right-wing dictatorships in the region. Yves Montand delivers another captivating performance in "State of Siege," this time as an American sent to teach torture techniques to police in Uruguay. The film generates tension and suspense, even though we know the outcome. Director Costa-Gavras tends to romanticize the Left, but the events depicted in the movie are now widely acknowledged as fact. "State of Siege" is a historically important film that sheds light on a dark chapter in Latin American politics.

Release date: February, 1973
IMDB Rating: 7.7

2) Schimanski

Schimanski is reminiscent of Z, the main movie, in several ways. Both movies fall under the genres of Crime, Drama, and Thriller, and involve murder investigations. However, while Z takes place in France in the late 1960s, Schimanski is set in Germany and spans several decades. The main character in Z is a tenacious magistrate determined to expose the cover-up of a politician's murder, while Schimanski features Horst Schimanski, an ex-policeman with a rough and unconventional approach to solving crimes. The plot of Z revolves around political corruption and government officials, while Schimanski focuses on criminal investigations. Despite their differences, both movies offer gripping stories and compelling characters that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Release date: November, 1997
IMDB Rating: 7

3) The Pledge

The Pledge: A retiring police detective pledges to catch the killer of a young child. I don't think I've ever said "Oh wow" as many times before as I did in the opening credits of 'The Pledge'. Huge name after huge name just kept appearing. Every time I thought that had to be the end of it, another massive star would pop up. It turns out a lot of them were only there for very short cameos, but still to see all those people in one movie was pretty cool. The real star of the show at the end of the day though is Jack Nicholson. I forget what an incredibly charismatic and natural actor he was. Every scene he's in feels so effortless and organic. I actually suspect a very large portion of my enjoyment of this film was simply down to his performance. The movie itself was a strange one. It sets up a really interesting premise, with a retired investigator who thinks the real killer of children is still on the loose.

Release date: November, 2001
IMDB Rating: 6.8

4) Police Python 357

Police Python 357: An inspector is having a secret relationship with a woman. When she is murdered by his boss, all proof is against him. If you enjoyed the political undertones and gripping storyline of "Z," then "Police Python 357" is a must-watch. While the subject matter is different, both films explore the theme of corruption within systems of power. "Police Python 357" delves into the dark underbelly of law enforcement, as an inspector's life unravels after he becomes the prime suspect in his lover's murder. With a stellar cast including Yves Montand, François Périer, Simone Signoret, and Stephania Sandrelli, the film captivates with its stylish cinematography and taut editing, justifying its two-hour runtime. Simone Signoret, in particular, delivers an emotionally charged performance as Périer's invalid wife.

Release date: July, 1977
IMDB Rating: 6.9

5) The Detective

The Detective is reminiscent of Z, the main movie, as both films revolve around murder investigations. However, while Z is set in France and explores political corruption, The Detective takes place in New York City and delves into issues of police corruption, homophobia, and the underbelly of society. The Detective features Frank Sinatra in one of his best performances, showcasing his range as an actor. The film tackles ground-breaking themes that were not commonly addressed in movies of that era, such as closet homosexuality and political corruption. With its gripping story, strong acting, and thought-provoking subject matter, The Detective is a must-watch for fans of crime and police movies from the 1960s and beyond.

Release date: May, 1968
IMDB Rating: 6.5

6) The Sleeping Car Murder

The Sleeping Car Murder takes us on a thrilling ride as the witnesses of a train murder are forced to take matters into their own hands to survive. Directed by the legendary Costa-Gavras, this lesser-known film showcases his talent for crafting intense and fast-paced narratives. The movie boasts a stellar cast, with Michel Piccoli delivering a standout performance as a troubled and desperate character. Yves Montand, the star of the main movie, Z, plays a world-weary police inspector, while Simone Signoret portrays an aging woman consumed by love for a mysterious young man, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant. The chemistry between Montand and Signoret, a real-life couple at the time, adds a charming touch to their scenes together. The plot unfolds on an overnight train journey from Marseilles to Paris, where a glamorous woman is discovered strangled to death in a sleeping car.

Release date: November, 1965
IMDB Rating: 7.3

7) The Confession

The Confession: "The Confession" takes us on a gripping journey through a high-ranking official's forced confession to high treason. Like "Z," this film is a pure masterpiece, expertly portraying the high dose of truth that lies beneath its surface. With its powerful acting and a final part that feels like an exorcism, "The Confession" will captivate you from start to finish. Though set in different countries and time periods, both films share the same thrilling intensity and political undertones. While "Z" delves into a murder investigation and the subsequent cover-up by military and government officials, "The Confession" explores the theme of betrayal and the brutal consequences of living under a communist regime. With its nominations and wins, "The Confession" has garnered acclaim, much like "Z," which received 13 nominations and 12 wins.

Release date: April, 1970
IMDB Rating: 7.8

8) Unforgettable

Unforgettable is reminiscent of Z because both movies revolve around crime and investigation. While Z focuses on a murder investigation in a political context, Unforgettable follows a former police detective with a rare ability to remember everything as she solves crimes. Despite their similarities, the two movies differ in their settings and tones. Z is set in France during a period of political upheaval, while Unforgettable takes place in New York City. Z has a serious and intense tone, reflecting the gravity of the political situation, whereas Unforgettable has a more light-hearted and entertaining tone, thanks to its crime-solving premise. If you enjoyed Z's gripping narrative and thought-provoking themes, you would find Unforgettable an interesting and enjoyable watch, with its unique twist on crime-solving.

Release date: November, 2011
IMDB Rating: 6.8

9) Wisting

Wisting is a Norwegian crime drama series that bears a striking resemblance to the classic French political thriller Z. Both stories revolve around a determined investigator who finds himself entangled in a high-stakes murder investigation. While Z explores the political and social ramifications of a cover-up, Wisting takes a more personal approach, intertwining the detective's pursuit of a serial killer with his daughter's dangerous journalistic endeavors. The performances in both films are top-notch, with notable actors like Yves Montand and Sven Nordin delivering compelling portrayals. However, Wisting injects some light-hearted moments into the mix, particularly through the amusing interactions between Norwegian police officers and FBI agents. With its gripping plot, strong acting, and exciting blend of crime and drama, Wisting offers a fresh perspective on the genre and is a must-watch for fans of Z.

Release date: December, 2019
IMDB Rating: 7.3

10) The Old Fox

The Old Fox: A police department led by an older, experienced detective solves crimes together. While the plot of The Old Fox might seem a world apart from the political thriller Z, there is an intriguing connection between the two. Both films delve into the world of investigation and crime-solving, showcasing the dedication and determination of the protagonists in pursuing justice. Z revolves around a tenacious magistrate determined not to let a murder cover-up go unpunished, while The Old Fox follows an older detective leading a police department in solving crimes. Despite their differences in setting and tone, both films highlight the importance of uncovering the truth and the resilience of those seeking it. If you enjoyed the gripping nature of Z and appreciate the intricacies of crime-solving, The Old Fox might just be the next captivating series for you.

Release date: April, 1977
IMDB Rating: 6.3

11) SOKO 5113

SOKO 5113, also known as SOKO München, is reminiscent of Z in terms of its crime and drama genres. While Z delves into a gripping murder investigation surrounded by political turmoil and government conspiracies, SOKO 5113 takes a different approach by focusing on the cases of the Munich police's major-crimes unit. Both movies share the common theme of murder and investigation, but Z stands out for its intense plot set against the backdrop of a violent demonstration and the cover-up orchestrated by military and government officials. On the other hand, SOKO 5113 offers a more localized perspective, delving into the crimes and investigations within the Munich police force. Despite their differences, fans of Z will appreciate SOKO 5113 for its crime-solving narratives and the dynamic characters of the major-crimes unit.

Release date: January, 1978
IMDB Rating: 5.8

12) The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is reminiscent of Z, the main movie, in its exploration of murder investigation and crime. While Z delves into the cover-up of a politician's murder by military and government officials, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes adapts mystery stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's contemporary rivals in the genre. Both movies touch upon the theme of murder investigation, but Z takes a more political and dramatic approach, while The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes focuses on the gentleman detective archetype in a period setting. Despite their differences, both movies offer a captivating exploration of crime and mystery, making The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes a delightful watch for fans of crime novels and those who appreciate the charm of British television.

Release date: September, 1977
IMDB Rating: 7.2

13) Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is a captivating movie that shares some similarities with Z. Both films revolve around murder investigations, delving into the corrupt systems that surround the crimes. While Z focuses on the cover-up of a politician's murder by military and government officials, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion centers on a chief of detectives who kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own guilt.
These movies share the themes of power, manipulation, and abuse of authority. They both shine a light on the dark underbelly of society, exposing the flaws and corruption within the government and law enforcement. However, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion takes a more psychological approach, exploring the inner workings of the main character's mind and the motivations behind his actions. It delves deep into the effects of state violence and the politicization of institutions, making it a thought-provoking and relevant watch.

Release date: July, 1972
IMDB Rating: 8

14) Moi, Pierre Rivière, ayant égorgé ma mère, ma soeur et mon frère...

"Moi, Pierre Rivière, ayant égorgé ma mère, ma soeur et mon frère..." is reminiscent of "Z" in its exploration of a real-life murder case and its consequences. Both films delve into the complexities of crime and the justice system, captivating the audience with their attention to detail and meticulous storytelling. While "Z" focuses on a political murder and the subsequent cover-up by government officials, "Moi, Pierre Rivière" examines a gruesome triple murder committed by a young man in 19th-century Normandy. What sets "Moi, Pierre Rivière" apart is its use of real-life villagers as actors, creating a hyper-realistic atmosphere that immerses the viewer in the events. Additionally, the film interrogates the concepts of truth and history, presenting the crime and trial from multiple perspectives, including the written confession of Pierre himself. The result is a rich and complex narrative that challenges our understanding of the case.

Release date: October, 1976
IMDB Rating: 7.2

15) The Naked City

The Naked City captures the essence of New York City in the late 1940s, providing an authentic and captivating look into a murder investigation on the city streets. Shot entirely on location, the film showcases the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of Manhattan, with real people going about their daily lives, from sidewalk salesmen to ice men. It's a time capsule of a bygone era, where everyone wears suits and ties, and the city is filled with ethnic neighborhoods and working-class accents. The documentary-style approach, with shots stolen from a van with tinted windows, adds a sense of realism and intrigue to the story. While the plot itself may be routine, the performances by the cast, including the lovable Barry Fitzgerald and the great Ted deCorsia, elevate the film and make it a joy to watch. The police procedures depicted in the movie may seem too clean and polite by today's standards, but it's fascinating to see how law enforcement operated during a time of relative civility.

Release date: March, 1948
IMDB Rating: 7.6

16) Reyka

In the crime-thriller series "Reyka," set in 1994 South Africa, a multiracial couple's daughter is kidnapped, but she manages to escape. As an adult, Reyka Gama becomes a detective, using her skills to solve mysteries while grappling with her past trauma. The show's gripping storyline and the complex character of Reyka are reminiscent of the 1969 film "Z." Both narratives revolve around murder investigations and the pursuit of justice in the face of government corruption. However, while "Z" is a tense drama set in 1960s Greece, "Reyka" offers a fresh perspective with its South African backdrop, exploring the country's complex history and racial dynamics. With its strong performances and compelling plot, "Reyka" is a must-watch for fans of crime dramas, offering a unique and engaging take on the genre.

Release date: July, 2021
IMDB Rating: 6.5

17) Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son is reminiscent of Z in its thrilling exploration of crime and investigation. While Z delves into a politically charged murder investigation, Prodigal Son takes a different approach by focusing on the mind of a criminal psychologist who assists the NYPD in solving crimes. Both stories captivate their audiences with intricate plots and gripping suspense. However, Prodigal Son differentiates itself through its modern setting in New York City and its incorporation of childhood trauma as a key topic. The series showcases the twisted genius of its protagonist, Malcolm Bright, as he navigates the darkest corners of the human psyche. Overall, Prodigal Son offers a fresh take on the crime genre, combining psychological analysis with thrilling investigations, making it a must-watch for fans of Z.

Release date: September, 2019
IMDB Rating: 7.7

18) Possessions

Possessions: In Israel. The very evening of her wedding in Israel, young Frenchwoman Natalie is accused of killing her husband. The French state sends Karim, a diplomat, to the scene to help her.
"Possessions" is reminiscent of "Z" in its exploration of a murder investigation, government manipulation, and political intrigue. Both films delve into the complexities of a crime and its cover-up, highlighting the determination of individuals to uncover the truth. While "Z" focuses on a prominent politician's assassination and its consequences in Greece, "Possessions" centers around a young woman accused of murdering her husband in Israel. Despite their different settings, both movies captivate viewers with their thrilling plotlines and thought-provoking themes. While "Z" is a timeless classic that has garnered numerous nominations and wins, "Possessions" offers a fresh perspective on crime and mystery, presenting an engaging narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

Release date: December, 2020
IMDB Rating: 5.7

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