• The Thin Blue Line (1988) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Sit back, put your detective hat on, and immerse yourself in this collection of the most bone-chilling true crime movies and documentaries available now on SBS On Demand.
SBS Movies

26 May 2016 - 2:41 PM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2017 - 11:50 AM

Murder on a Sunday Morning

France, USA, 2001
Genre: Crime, Documentary, Foreign
Language: English
Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
What's it about?
Director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade won an Academy Award in 2001 for his fascinating documentary feature Murder on a Sunday Morning about the trial of a black American teenager accused of robbing and murdering an elderly white tourist at a Florida hotel. The film follows the teen's defense team as they build a case that shows ineptitude and prejudice on the part of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, which led to one of the most appalling miscarriages of justice in American history.


How to Make Money Selling Drugs

USA, 2012
Genre: Documentary
Language: English
Director: Matthew Cooke
What's it about?
Eminem, 50 Cent, Susan Sarandon and David Simon (The Wire) appear in a mock guide for aspiring drug dealers on how to maximise profits and evade prison. A shockingly candid examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease. This documentary is an insider's guide to the violent but extremely lucrative drug industry, and shines a light on the consequences of the War on Drugs.


The Thin Blue Line

USA, 1988
Genre: Documentary
Director: Errol Morris
What's it about?
Directed by legendary documentary-maker Errol Morris, The Thin Blue Line tells the controversial and true story of the arrest and conviction of Randall Dale Adams for the murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976. This documentary, with its use of expressionistic re-enactments and interview material, is credited with overturning the conviction of Adams for the murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood, a crime for which Adams was sentenced to death. The Thin Blue Line is often referred to by critics as one of the best documentaries of all time.

Watch David and Margaret's original ★★★★★ review: Meticulous, masterful



USA, 2012
Director: Craig Zobel
Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy
What's it about?
A prank caller pretends to be a police officer and convinces Sandra, the manager of a fast-food restaurant, that one of her employee committed a crime. He manages to convince her into interrogating the employee, by carrying out increasingly intrusive and unlawful procedures on her. Based on true events (the Mount Washington McDonald's scam), Compliance offers a delectably unnerving cinematic experience and explores how far we're prepared to go against our common sense in the face of authority.

Read ★★★★ review


On Death Row

(4-part documentary series)

USA, UK, Austria, 2012
Genre: Documentary
Language: English
Director: Werner Herzog
Starring: Werner Herzog
What's it about?
Internationally renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) embarks on a dialogue with death-row prisoners and lets them express their views on life and death. As Herzog looks deep into these individuals, their stories, and their crimes, his penetrating journey into the human soul also becomes a plea for humanity and understanding. 


Cocaine Cowboys

USA, 2006
Director: Billy Corben
What's it about?
If you are a fan of Miami Vice and Scarface, you will enjoy this fascinating and gritty documentary about how ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami in the 1980s, with a brand of violence unseen in that country since Prohibition-era Chicago. Cocaine Cowboys is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.


Crime Novel

Italy, 2005
Director: Michele Placido
Starring: Stefano Accorsi, Kim Rossi Stuart, Pierfrancesco Favino
What's it about?
Crime Novel (Romanzo Criminale) is based on the true story of a gang of young hoodlums, who went from petty crimes to big-time drug dealing and murder in the 1970s. This engrossing gangster epic include news footage from actual events like the 1980 Bologna train station bombing, which adds even more realism to this period of Italy's history marred by terrorism. Featuring a great soundtrack (KC & The Sunshine Band, Queen), the movie stars some of Italy's best actors, including Stefano Accorsi (Kiss Me Again) and Riccardo Scamarcio (Loose Cannons) and spawned an even more successful TV series in 2008. 


A Very British Gangster

UK, 2007
Director: Donal MacIntyre
What's it about?
Dominic Noonan, 37 years old (22 of which he spent in jail) is the head of one of Britain's biggest crime families. Irish investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre gives us an insight into the life of the charismatic, openly gay gangster, from gun trials to the murder of his brother on the streets of Manchester, and reveals a community struggling with poverty, violence and drugs.


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