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Changeling (2008)
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Changeling (2008)

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? (Read More)

Subgenre:
melodrama conspiracy 
Themes:
police corruption murder of son missing child dying hope execution mental illness grief insanity blackmail paranoia psychopath corruption deception investigation escape torture fear prison kidnapping murder death  (See All)
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
los angeles california singing in a car canada courtroom police car bus bathtub motorcycle church school train restaurant 
Characters:
mother love coroner uncle niece relationship mayor cousin cousin relationship bible single mother lawyer photographer policeman detective nurse serial killer girl teacher female protagonist prostitute brother sister relationship boy singer husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police  (See All)
Period:
1920s 1930s 
Story:
execution by hanging reading a newspaper chicken coop court hearing reading aloud search for truth listening to a radio riverside california telephone switchboard telephone company telephone operator axe murder sadistic psychopath moral corruption newspaper headline flash camera torture of a child child kidnapping telephone call royal canadian mounted police los angeles police department chief of police switchboard operator violation of law reference to tom mix psycho ward audio montage vaginal exam san quentin overheated car ford model t reference to babe ruth circumcised penis paddy wagon silent night year 1935 year 1928 wooden sword presbyterian changeling pederasty grieving mother lost son media circus waving goodbye bootlegging serial child killer ruler disbelief chauvinism missing son dining hall breaking down a door syphilis electroshock therapy reference to charlie chaplin mob of reporters cell mate media frenzy bones ends with biographical notes water hose death sentence verdict ends with text streetcar miscarriage of justice wrongful arrest captivity intercom circumcision lapd death row police captain roller skates hoax two way mirror wrongful conviction roller skating hanged man police chief palm tree loss of child reverend stethoscope shoe jury scooter digging farmhouse mental breakdown abuse of power psychopathic killer pedophilia testimony drifter seattle washington sermon illegal immigrant pill injustice ranch death threat deceit lipstick pedophile mental hospital medication despair headphones sexism loss of son impostor minister suffering dentist breakfast preacher railway station burial teddy bear desperation jail cell demonstration crucifix captive sociopath what happened to epilogue cage child murder single parent class chicken reunion witness american flag pursuit disappearance court hanging skeleton missing person reading umbrella liar protest screaming microphone grave confession pain search bath radio no opening credits false accusation trial judge stabbed to death prisoner diner eating woman stabbing axe california candle newspaper reporter telephone reference to jesus christ prayer classroom handcuffs bathroom cafe running tears rifle lie shooting camera punched in the face shotgun face slap machine gun food blood splatter song crying voice over narration based on true story shower chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title f rated gun blood flashback violence fight  (See All)

Conviction (2010)
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Conviction (2010)

Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.

Themes:
investigation fear prison death murder 
Locations:
courtroom police car church school 
Characters:
single mother lawyer photographer policeman girl female protagonist brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call chief of police media frenzy miscarriage of justice wrongful conviction jury testimony despair class american flag court liar false accusation trial judge diner eating woman stabbing prayer classroom handcuffs running tears lie camera punched in the face face slap food crying photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title flashback fight violence blood gun  (See All)

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Runaway Jury (2003)
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Runaway Jury (2003)

Wendell Rohr is a torts lawyer taking on the gun lobby. Rankin Fitch is the jury consultant for the Defendants and between them the battle is for the hearts and minds of the jury. But there is someone on the inside. Nicholas Easter is a juror with a girlfriend, Marlee, on the outside. they have a past ..... and their own agenda. (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
blackmail paranoia psychopath corruption deception murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom bus church restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer policeman singer husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
court hearing telephone call streetcar miscarriage of justice jury abuse of power lipstick crucifix pursuit court umbrella trial judge diner eating woman candle telephone prayer bathroom cafe rifle shooting camera food song chase singing photograph cigarette smoking gun blood fight  (See All)

Gothika (2003)
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Gothika (2003)

Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychiatrist who works in a penitentiary, in the mental institution sector. She is married with Dr. Douglas Grey, the chief of department where Dr. Pete Graham also works. Chloe Sava, a patient of Dr. Miranda formerly abused by her stepfather, claims that she is frequently raped by the devil in her cell. After leaving the asylum in a stormy night, Dr. Miranda has a car accident, and when she wakes up, she is an inmate of the institution, being accused of an horrible crime and having no memory of the incident. (Read More)

Themes:
missing child mental illness insanity paranoia psychopath escape torture fear prison kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car bathtub 
Characters:
lawyer policeman nurse serial killer female protagonist husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
listening to a radio axe murder sadistic psychopath telephone call circumcision stethoscope mental breakdown psychopathic killer death threat mental hospital medication desperation jail cell pursuit umbrella screaming microphone false accusation prisoner woman axe reporter running tears rifle shooting shotgun blood splatter crying shower chase photograph bare chested male f rated fight flashback gun violence blood  (See All)

In The Valley Of Elah (2007) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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In The Valley Of Elah (2007)

In Monroe, Tennessee, Hank Deerfield, an aging warrior, gets a call that his son, just back from 18 months' fighting in Iraq, is missing from his base. Hank drives to Fort Rudd, New Mexico, to search. Within a day, the charred and dismembered body of his son is found on the outskirts of town. Deerfield pushes himself into the investigation, marked by jurisdictional antagonism between the Army and local police. Working mostly with a new detective, Emily Sanders, Hank seems to close in on what happened. Major smuggling? A drug deal gone awry? Credit card slips, some photographs, and video clips from Iraq may hold the key. If Hank gets to the truth, what will it tell him? (Read More)

Themes:
murder of son grief investigation torture fear death murder 
Locations:
police car bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
bible single mother policeman detective boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
listening to a radio telephone call missing son police chief despair sexism american flag pursuit disappearance hanging missing person reading liar search stabbed to death woman stabbing telephone prayer bathroom cafe running tears lie camera punched in the face crying based on true story shower chase photograph bare chested male fight flashback gun  (See All)

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Chugyeogja (2008)
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Chugyeogja (2008)

Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.

Themes:
police corruption grief investigation escape torture fear kidnapping murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car church 
Characters:
mayor photographer detective nurse serial killer prostitute 
Story:
police chief digging burial pursuit disappearance umbrella grave pain search prisoner reporter handcuffs running tears camera punched in the face face slap blood splatter crying based on true story photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title blood flashback violence  (See All)

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)
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Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

The Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless. (Read More)

Themes:
execution mental illness psychopath investigation torture prison 
Locations:
courtroom 
Characters:
mayor lawyer photographer policeman nurse female protagonist brother sister relationship singer father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
flash camera telephone call verdict death row injustice minister jail cell crucifix witness court liar screaming confession search trial judge prisoner reference to jesus christ prayer handcuffs tears lie camera song crying based on true story singing cigarette smoking f rated gun blood  (See All)

Inherent Vice (2014)
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Inherent Vice (2014)

During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry "Doc" Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon. (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
police corruption paranoia investigation escape torture fear kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
los angeles california police car motorcycle 
Characters:
coroner lawyer photographer policeman detective prostitute brother sister relationship singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
reading a newspaper newspaper headline flash camera telephone call los angeles police department breaking down a door lapd police chief pedophile mental hospital dentist desperation captive witness disappearance missing person liar protest screaming false accusation eating woman california newspaper telephone reference to jesus christ handcuffs cafe running lie shooting face slap food voice over narration singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male flashback blood fight gun violence  (See All)

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All Good Things (2010) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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All Good Things (2010)

A love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for a story of family, obsession, love and loss.

Themes:
dying mental illness blackmail fear death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
los angeles california courtroom train restaurant 
Characters:
mayor lawyer photographer nurse girl brother sister relationship boy singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
reading a newspaper telephone call ends with biographical notes jury what happened to epilogue disappearance court missing person umbrella search trial judge eating newspaper cafe running tears shooting camera food song crying based on true story shower singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male violence blood gun flashback  (See All)

Tell No One (2006)
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Tell No One (2006)

The pediatrician Alexandre Beck misses his beloved wife Margot Beck, who was brutally murdered eight years ago when he was the prime suspect. When two bodies are found near where the corpse of Margot was dumped, the police reopen the case and Alex becomes suspect again. The mystery increases when Alex receives an e-mail showing Margot older and alive. (Read More)

Themes:
police corruption grief blackmail corruption investigation escape torture kidnapping death murder 
Locations:
police car bus restaurant 
Characters:
coroner lawyer photographer policeman detective nurse serial killer girl brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call intercom abuse of power desperation pursuit disappearance missing person confession search false accusation eating newspaper telephone cafe running tears rifle lie shooting camera punched in the face shotgun face slap food crying shower chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male fight violence gun blood flashback  (See All)

Primal Fear (1996)
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Primal Fear (1996)

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest.

Themes:
mental illness psychopath corruption deception investigation fear murder 
Locations:
courtroom police car church train 
Characters:
lawyer photographer detective boy 
Story:
newspaper headline jury testimony sermon deceit jail cell sociopath microphone confession trial judge reporter camera punched in the face chase singing photograph cigarette smoking blood  (See All)

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Boy A (2007)
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Boy A (2007)

A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. (Read More)

Themes:
dying paranoia escape fear prison death murder 
Locations:
courtroom bus bathtub school train restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer policeman girl teacher boy mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
newspaper headline telephone call media frenzy digging class witness court hanging liar screaming confession trial newspaper reporter classroom cafe tears lie camera punched in the face face slap crying based on true story photograph bare chested male violence fight flashback blood  (See All)

Sleepers (1996) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Sleepers (1996)

As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the experience to regroup their lives. In their want to forget about the experience, they made a vow not to talk about it either between themselves or with others. Fast forward thirteen years, with Tommy and Johnny being career criminals, Michael an assistant district attorney and Shakes a newspaper writer, their friendship on the surface more loose than it was when they were children. When Tommy and John spot Nokes, it leads to Shakes and Michael banding together to exact revenge not only on Nokes b… (Read More)

Themes:
corruption deception escape torture prison murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom bus bathtub church train restaurant 
Characters:
mayor lawyer policeman girl teacher boy singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call verdict jury pedophilia testimony deceit pedophile crucifix what happened to epilogue class witness american flag court liar confession bath trial judge eating candle newspaper reporter classroom bathroom cafe tears lie shooting food song crying voice over narration chase singing photograph cigarette smoking one word title violence fight flashback gun  (See All)

Woman In Gold (2015)
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Woman In Gold (2015)

Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.

Themes:
escape death murder 
Locations:
los angeles california courtroom 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship lawyer girl singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud listening to a radio flash camera telephone call verdict ends with text injustice burial demonstration what happened to epilogue pursuit liar protest false accusation trial judge woman california newspaper reporter telephone running tears rifle lie shooting song crying based on true story chase singing photograph cigarette smoking fight flashback  (See All)

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Monster (2003)
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Monster (2003)

The true story of serial killer Aileen Wuernos who was convicted of luring men to their death and eventually executed in 2002. In 1989, she was working as a prostitute and finally makes a friend when she meets and begins a relationship with a young woman, Selby. Determined to straighten out her life, she tries to find legitimate work but with little education and limited social skills, she fails at every turn. She starts working as a hooker hitching rides along the local interstate highway and after robbing a few clients has an encounter with a vicious client whom she kills in self-defense. After that however she just takes to killing clients taking their money and car. Once arrested she claims self-defense but is eventually convicted. (Read More)

Themes:
execution prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom bus church restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer policeman serial killer girl female protagonist prostitute brother sister relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
death sentence death row roller skating jury death threat pedophile burial court liar trial judge diner eating woman telephone handcuffs tears lie shooting face slap food crying voice over narration based on true story shower cigarette smoking one word title f rated violence blood gun  (See All)

Persepolis (2007)
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Persepolis (2007)

In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah's defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs. (Read More)

Themes:
execution blackmail torture fear prison murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bathtub motorcycle school restaurant 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship cousin cousin relationship policeman girl teacher female protagonist prostitute boy mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
execution by hanging telephone call injustice despair sexism suffering burial jail cell demonstration class pursuit hanging reading liar protest grave pain false accusation trial eating woman newspaper prayer classroom cafe running tears rifle lie shooting food crying voice over narration shower chase cigarette smoking one word title f rated fight flashback blood  (See All)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent. (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
psychopath escape prison death murder 
Locations:
courtroom bus bathtub motorcycle church train 
Characters:
lawyer policeman brother sister relationship boy mother son relationship police 
Period:
1930s 
Story:
reading a newspaper newspaper headline telephone call streetcar police chief jury witness pursuit grave confession bath no opening credits trial judge stabbed to death prisoner eating stabbing axe candle newspaper telephone reference to jesus christ running tears rifle punched in the face face slap food crying chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male flashback blood gun violence  (See All)

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Zodiac (2007)
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Zodiac (2007)

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. (Read More)

Themes:
paranoia investigation prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
motorcycle school restaurant 
Characters:
mayor lawyer photographer policeman serial killer girl boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
riverside california newspaper headline telephone call pedophilia pedophile what happened to epilogue witness screaming confession pain search judge stabbed to death diner stabbing california newspaper reporter cafe running rifle shooting camera blood splatter based on true story photograph cigarette smoking one word title violence gun blood  (See All)

The Water Diviner (2014)
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The Water Diviner (2014)

After the Battle of Gallipoli, in 1915, an Australian farmer, Connor (Russell Crowe), travels to Turkey to find his 3 missing sons. While staying at a hotel in Istanbul, he meets Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), the hotel manager. And tries to find a way to Gallipoli.

Themes:
murder of son hope execution grief murder death 
Locations:
church train 
Characters:
nurse girl prostitute boy singer husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud missing son ends with text circumcision digging loss of son burial demonstration chicken pursuit skeleton umbrella liar protest grave prisoner candle prayer running tears rifle lie shooting face slap machine gun food song crying based on true story shower chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male gun violence fight blood flashback  (See All)

The Lovely Bones (2009)
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The Lovely Bones (2009)

A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body.

Themes:
missing child hope investigation murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car bathtub school 
Characters:
photographer policeman detective serial killer girl brother sister relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call serial child killer breaking down a door bones digging pedophilia pedophile breakfast teddy bear pursuit reading search no opening credits eating axe candle running tears camera food blood splatter crying voice over narration chase photograph cigarette smoking f rated flashback blood  (See All)

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle suspects murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history; but, the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves. (Read More)

Themes:
blackmail psychopath investigation torture fear death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom police car bus motorcycle train 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship cousin cousin relationship bible lawyer photographer policeman serial killer girl female protagonist prostitute brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
newspaper headline telephone call mob of reporters verdict wrongful conviction breakfast sociopath cage reunion pursuit disappearance hanging microphone false accusation trial eating newspaper reporter handcuffs bathroom running rifle shooting camera punched in the face face slap food crying chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male f rated gun blood flashback violence  (See All)

Big Eyes (2014)
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Big Eyes (2014)

In San Francisco in the 1950s, Margaret was a woman trying to make it on her own after leaving her husband with only her daughter and her paintings. She meets gregarious ladies' man and fellow painter Walter Keane in a park while she was struggling to make an impact with her drawings of children with big eyes. The two quickly become a pair with outgoing Walter selling their paintings and quiet Margaret holed up at home painting even more children with big eyes. But Walter's actually selling her paintings as his own. A clash of financial success and critical failure soon sends Margaret reeling in her life of lies. With Walter still living the high life, Margaret's going to have to try making it on her own again and re-claiming her name and her paintings. (Read More)

Themes:
mental illness insanity deception fear 
Locations:
courtroom church restaurant 
Characters:
mayor single mother lawyer photographer girl boy husband wife relationship 
Story:
reading a newspaper listening to a radio newspaper headline flash camera telephone call chauvinism ends with biographical notes streetcar jury deceit what happened to epilogue witness pursuit court liar microphone confession trial judge eating woman california newspaper reporter telephone reference to jesus christ cafe running tears lie camera food crying voice over narration based on true story photograph cigarette smoking fight  (See All)

Public Enemies (2009)
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Public Enemies (2009)

This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. (Read More)

Themes:
dying deception escape torture fear prison kidnapping murder death 
Locations:
singing in a car police car bathtub motorcycle train restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer policeman boy singer police 
Period:
1930s 
Story:
telephone call farmhouse railway station what happened to epilogue pursuit court bath radio no opening credits judge eating woman handcuffs cafe tears rifle shooting camera punched in the face shotgun face slap machine gun food blood splatter song crying based on true story chase singing photograph cigarette smoking gun violence blood  (See All)

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The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)
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The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

When a younger girl called Emily Rose dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trail begins with lawyer Erin Bruner representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true. (Read More)

Themes:
mental illness investigation death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom church restaurant 
Characters:
bible lawyer policeman girl female protagonist mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call electroshock therapy verdict jury farmhouse testimony minister jail cell crucifix witness court umbrella screaming grave trial judge stabbing reference to jesus christ prayer cafe based on true story photograph flashback  (See All)

Dead Man Walking (1995) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Dead Man Walking (1995)

A convicted murderer on Death Row and the nun who befriends him. Through the portrayal of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes tick down to the condemned man's execution, powerful emotions are unleashed. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean desperately try to gain a stay of execution from the governor or the courts, scenes are intercut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired. In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation. (Read More)

Themes:
execution grief prison death murder 
Locations:
police car bus church 
Characters:
bible lawyer father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
court hearing telephone call death row jury testimony burial crucifix witness court microphone confession stabbed to death prisoner stabbing candle reporter prayer classroom handcuffs tears rifle crying based on true story singing photograph flashback  (See All)

Legend (2015)
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Legend (2015)

The true story of London's most notorious gangsters, twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray. As the brothers rise through the criminal underworld, Ronnie advances the family business with violence and intimidation while Reggie struggles to go legitimate for local girl Frances Shea. In and out of prison, Ronnie's unpredictable tendencies and the slow disintegration of Reggie's marriage threaten to bring the brothers' empire tumbling to the ground. (Read More)

Themes:
mental illness grief insanity psychopath investigation torture fear prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom church restaurant 
Characters:
photographer policeman detective girl brother sister relationship singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
newspaper headline flash camera pill mental hospital suffering what happened to epilogue witness court umbrella microphone grave confession pain no opening credits judge stabbed to death eating stabbing newspaper handcuffs running rifle lie camera punched in the face shotgun face slap food song voice over narration based on true story singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title violence blood gun  (See All)

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Disturbia (2007)
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Disturbia (2007)

After his father is killed in a car accident, things unravel for Kale Brecht and he is placed under house-arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. Having nothing better to do, Kale occupies himself by spying on his neighbors. But one night, he witnesses what appears to be a murder going on in Mr. Turner's house. Kale becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind these murders but, after a few unsettling run-ins with Mr. Turner, it becomes a matter of life and death. And the ominous question: Who is watching whom? (Read More)

Themes:
paranoia psychopath investigation escape kidnapping death murder 
Locations:
courtroom police car 
Characters:
cousin cousin relationship policeman serial killer teacher boy mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
listening to a radio telephone call psychopathic killer captive sociopath class witness skeleton missing person reading trial judge stabbed to death eating woman newspaper classroom handcuffs bathroom running punched in the face food blood splatter chase one word title fight gun violence blood  (See All)

Rang De Basanti (2006)
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Rang De Basanti (2006)

A young idealistic English filmmaker, Sue, arrives in India to make a film on Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and their contemporaries and their fight for freedom from the British Raj. Owing to a lack of funds, she recruits students from Delhi University to act in her docu-drama. She finds DJ, who graduated five years ago but still wants to be a part of the University because he doesn't think there's too much out there in the real world to look forward to. Karan, the son of Industrialist Rajnath Singhania, who shares an uncomfortable relationship with his father, but continues to live off him, albeit very grudgingly. Aslam, is a middle class Muslim boy, who lives in the by-lanes near Jama Masjid, poet, philosopher and guide to his friends. Sukhi, the group's baby, innocent, vulnerable and with a weakness for only one thing - girls. Laxman Pandey, the fundamentalist in the group, the only one who still believes that politics can make the world a better place and finally Sonia - the sole girl in the group, tomboy and vivacious spirit, engaged to Ajay - the dashing air pilot. Through her film, Sue wishes to showcase to the world the efforts of these young revolutionaries and the enormity of their contribution to the freedom movement in India. What unfolds is the inspiration behind Sue's passion for bringing their story to the world. The twist in the tale is of course the fact that more than just telling the world, Sue's film makes DJ and his friends stop… (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
police corruption dying execution grief corruption investigation torture fear prison kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
motorcycle church train 
Characters:
policeman girl boy singer husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
execution by hanging listening to a radio newspaper headline flash camera telephone call ends with text sexism jail cell demonstration crucifix class pursuit hanging protest microphone confession trial prisoner eating candle newspaper telephone prayer running tears rifle shooting face slap food blood splatter song crying voice over narration chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male gun fight flashback violence blood  (See All)

Cloud Atlas (2012) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his lover; a thriller about a conspiracy at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living on post-apocalyptic Hawaii far in the future. (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
dying execution escape death murder 
Locations:
bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship lawyer policeman nurse girl prostitute brother sister relationship boy singer husband wife relationship father son relationship 
Story:
telephone call despair demonstration child murder reunion pursuit skeleton umbrella protest no opening credits eating stabbing candle newspaper reporter telephone prayer handcuffs cafe running tears rifle shooting punched in the face face slap food blood splatter song crying chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male f rated fight gun flashback blood  (See All)

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88 Minutes (2007)
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88 Minutes (2007)

In Seattle, the successful forensic psychiatrist and college professor Jack Gramm is in evidence since he was responsible for the condemnation of the serial killer Jon Forster, influencing the jury to sentence him to the death row. Jon accuses Jack of manipulation, inducing one witness and sister of one of his victims to testify against him. On the eve of Jon's execution, Jack receives a phone call telling him that he has only eighty-eight minutes of life, while a killer is copycatting Jon, killing women with the same "modus-operandi" and is investigated by Seattle Slayer Task Force. With the support of associate Shelly Barnes, an FBI agent, his friend Frank Parks, and his assistant Kim Cummings, Jack investigates some weird and problematic students, a security guard of the campus and the woman with whom he had one night stand. (Read More)

Themes:
execution paranoia investigation torture prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom motorcycle 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship lawyer policeman serial killer teacher brother sister relationship police 
Story:
listening to a radio newspaper headline telephone call death row wrongful conviction jury seattle washington death threat class witness american flag pursuit court umbrella confession search trial judge woman classroom running shooting flashback gun violence blood  (See All)

Dark Places (2015)
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Dark Places (2015)

Libby Day is a lifeless woman who survived the massacre of her family in their farmhouse in the countryside of Kansas when she was eight. She's been living on donations and lectures ever since. Thirty years ago, the police believed that a satanic cult was responsible for the murder of her mother and two sisters, and her brother Ben was convicted with her testimony in court. Today, however, an acquaintance, Lyle Wirth, invites Libby to visit "The Kill Club", where amateurs investigate famous crimes, and she finds that they believe Ben is innocent. Libby needs money and, in return, accepts to revisit the slaughter of her family and comes up to the painful revelations and the ultimate truth. (Read More)

Themes:
investigation escape fear prison murder death 
Locations:
restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer serial killer girl brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
newspaper headline flash camera telephone call miscarriage of justice farmhouse testimony breakfast witness pursuit disappearance court missing person confession false accusation judge stabbed to death eating woman stabbing axe newspaper telephone reference to jesus christ rifle lie shooting camera shotgun face slap food voice over narration chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male violence blood flashback gun  (See All)

Children Of Men (2006)
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Children Of Men (2006)

The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth. (Read More)

Themes:
dying hope execution grief escape torture kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car bus motorcycle train 
Characters:
mother love cousin cousin relationship single mother policeman singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
seattle washington illegal immigrant pill deceit demonstration cage reunion pursuit protest prisoner eating woman newspaper reporter tears shooting face slap machine gun food blood splatter crying chase singing photograph cigarette smoking blood violence gun  (See All)

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The Master (2012) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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The Master (2012)

Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie Quell drifts through a series of breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear emotions and he becomes deeply involved with them.

Themes:
mental illness insanity paranoia fear 
Locations:
courtroom motorcycle school 
Characters:
photographer policeman singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
reading aloud telephone call digging drifter mental hospital jail cell pursuit court microphone false accusation eating telephone reference to jesus christ handcuffs bathroom running tears rifle lie camera face slap food song crying chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male fight flashback violence  (See All)

Double Jeopardy (1999)
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Double Jeopardy (1999)

When Nick Parsons appears to be murdered his wife Libby is tried and convicted. Six years later Libby is paroled and with the help of Travis Lehman (her parole officer) she sets out to find her son and the truth behind the "murder".

Themes:
psychopath escape fear prison murder 
Locations:
courtroom police car school 
Characters:
lawyer teacher female protagonist singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
newspaper headline wrongful arrest wrongful conviction jury testimony injustice jail cell sociopath search trial judge prisoner handcuffs tears camera chase singing photograph cigarette smoking blood  (See All)

The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)
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The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)

Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the yet fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation lead by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold. And while he succeeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he's only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
dying execution paranoia investigation escape torture fear prison kidnapping death murder 
Locations:
singing in a car courtroom police car bathtub motorcycle train 
Characters:
lawyer photographer husband wife relationship police 
Story:
newspaper headline flash camera telephone call injustice jail cell pursuit protest microphone grave confession bath trial judge prisoner woman candle newspaper handcuffs running tears shooting camera punched in the face machine gun crying voice over narration based on true story shower chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male gun flashback violence blood fight  (See All)

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Harsh Times (2005)
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Harsh Times (2005)

Jim Davis is an ex-Army Ranger who finds himself slipping back into his old life of petty crime after a job offer from the LAPD evaporates. His best friend is pressured by his girlfriend Sylvia to find a job, but Jim is more interested in hanging out and making cash from small heists, while trying to get a law enforcement job so he can marry his Mexican girlfriend. (Read More)

Themes:
psychopath corruption deception murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
los angeles california police car 
Characters:
lawyer policeman prostitute husband wife relationship police 
Story:
los angeles police department lapd illegal immigrant deceit hanging reading liar eating running rifle lie shooting punched in the face shotgun machine gun food blood splatter chase photograph cigarette smoking blood violence fight gun  (See All)

A Mighty Heart (2007) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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A Mighty Heart (2007)

On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is to fly from Karachi to Dubai with his pregnant wife, Mariane, also a reporter. On the day before, with great care, he has arranged an interview in a cafe with an Islamic fundamentalist cleric. When Danny doesn't return, Mariane initiates a search. Pakistani police, American embassy personnel, and the FBI examine witnesses, phone records, e-mails, and hard drives. Who has him? Where is he? There's also the why: because of U.S. abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, because of a history of Journal cooperation with the CIA, because Pearl is a Jew? Through it all, Mariane is clearheaded, direct, and determined. (Read More)

Themes:
hope execution grief investigation torture fear kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
los angeles california courtroom bus bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer policeman husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call disappearance court search bath trial prisoner candle reporter prayer cafe rifle face slap food voice over narration photograph cigarette smoking flashback gun  (See All)

Mother (2009)
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Mother (2009)

A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it's his mother's call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned.

Themes:
blackmail investigation fear prison murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bus restaurant 
Characters:
mother love lawyer policeman detective girl female protagonist boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
chief of police lipstick suffering desperation umbrella microphone confession pain search false accusation eating candle handcuffs cafe running tears face slap food blood splatter crying photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title flashback blood violence fight  (See All)

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A Very Long Engagement (2004)
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A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Five desperate French soldiers during The Battle of the Somme shoot themselves, either by accident or with purpose, in order to be invalided back home. Having been "caught" a court-martial convenes and determines punishment to be banishment to No Man's Land with the objective of having the Germans finish them off. In the process of telling this tale each man's life is briefly explored along with their next of kin as Methilde, fiancee to one of the men, tries to determine the circumstances of her lover's death. This task is not made any easier for her due to a bout with polio as a child. Along the way she discovers the heights and depths of the human soul. (Read More)

Themes:
hope execution investigation fear prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
bus bathtub motorcycle church train restaurant 
Characters:
uncle niece relationship single mother photographer detective nurse girl female protagonist prostitute boy singer husband wife relationship 
Period:
1920s 
Story:
telephone call syphilis suffering railway station burial crucifix disappearance court missing person umbrella pain bath prisoner eating stabbing cafe tears rifle lie shooting camera face slap machine gun food song crying voice over narration singing photograph cigarette smoking flashback gun  (See All)

Body Of Lies (2008)
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Body Of Lies (2008)

Roger Ferris is a CIA operative in the Middle East; Ed Hoffman is his control at Langley. Cynicism is everywhere. In Amman, Roger works with Hani Salaam, Jordan's head of security, whose only dictum is "Don't lie to me." The Americans are in pursuit of a cleric who leads a group placing bombs all over Europe. When Hani rebukes Ed's demand that Jordan allow the Americans to use one of Jordan's double agents, Roger and Ed hatch a plan to bring the cleric to them. The plan is complicated by its being a secret from Hani and by Roger's attraction to a local nurse. Satellites and cell phones, bodies and lies: modern warfare. (Read More)

Themes:
execution paranoia deception torture kidnapping death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer nurse girl boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
reading a newspaper telephone call jail cell american flag pursuit pain search no opening credits false accusation stabbed to death eating woman stabbing newspaper telephone prayer cafe running rifle lie camera punched in the face face slap machine gun food crying voice over narration chase photograph cigarette smoking violence flashback gun blood  (See All)

Lovelace (2013) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Lovelace (2013)

Themes:
fear death 
Locations:
police car bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
photographer policeman prostitute singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call ends with biographical notes roller skating suffering jail cell what happened to epilogue pursuit microphone pain diner eating telephone reference to jesus christ prayer cafe running camera face slap food song crying based on true story chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title violence fight blood gun flashback  (See All)

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The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
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The Night Of The Hunter (1955)

It's the Great Depression. In the process of robbing a bank of $10,000, Ben Harper kills two people. Before he is captured, he is able to convince his adolescent son John and his daughter Pearl not to tell anyone, including their mother Willa, where he hid the money, namely in Pearl's favorite toy, a doll that she carries everywhere with her. Ben, who is captured, tried and convicted, is sentenced to death. But before he is executed, Ben is in the state penitentiary with a cell mate, a man by the name of Harry Powell, a self-professed man of the cloth, who is really a con man and murderer, swindling lonely women, primarily rich widows, of their money before he kills them. Harry does whatever he can, unsuccessfully, to find out the location of the $10,000 from Ben. After Ben's execution, Harry decides that Willa will be his next mark, figuring that someone in the family knows where the money is hidden. Despite vowing not to remarry, Willa ends up being easy prey for Harry's outward evangelicalism; she is a pious woman who feels she needs to atone for her sins which led to Ben doing what he did, especially as Harry presents himself as the preacher who worked at the prison and provided salvation to Ben before his death. Harry quickly figures out that John and Pearl know where the money is. Conversely, John doesn't trust Harry, John who first tries not to show to Harry that he indeed does know where the money is, and then second constantly reminds a more-trusting Pearl of their p… (Read More)

Themes:
execution psychopath prison murder death 
Locations:
courtroom police car bathtub church train restaurant 
Characters:
bible policeman serial killer girl brother sister relationship boy singer husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Period:
1930s 
Story:
execution by hanging telephone call ford model t breaking down a door cell mate reverend minister preacher jail cell pursuit court hanging reading liar judge woman reference to jesus christ handcuffs bathroom cafe tears rifle lie shotgun face slap song crying chase singing photograph gun blood  (See All)

The Life Of David Gale (2003)
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The Life Of David Gale (2003)

When anti-death-penalty activist David Gale is convicted and condemned to death for the murder of a colleague, reporter Bitsey Bloom sets out to learn the story behind Gale's crime. What she finds challenges her belief in Gale's guilt and, finally, in the justice system.

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
dying execution paranoia deception prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
church train restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer policeman boy husband wife relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call presbyterian circumcision death row wrongful conviction sexism false accusation diner reporter reference to jesus christ handcuffs cafe running tears camera crying shower chase photograph cigarette smoking flashback  (See All)

The Battle Of Algiers (1966)
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The Battle Of Algiers (1966)

A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian's use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it. (Read More)

Themes:
execution corruption escape torture fear prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
motorcycle school restaurant 
Characters:
policeman teacher prostitute boy husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call breaking down a door death sentence police captain suffering jail cell demonstration reading umbrella protest screaming microphone search trial prisoner stabbing reporter prayer classroom handcuffs cafe running tears rifle shooting punched in the face machine gun crying based on true story chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male f rated gun violence fight blood flashback  (See All)

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Biutiful (2010) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Biutiful (2010)

Uxbal, single father of two children, finds his life in chaos as he is forced to deal with his life in order to escape the heat of crime in underground Barcelona, to break with the love for the divorced, manic depressive, abusive mother of his children and to regain spiritual insight in his life as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. (Read More)

Themes:
police corruption dying grief escape fear murder death 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
police car church school restaurant 
Characters:
policeman nurse girl prostitute brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
telephone call illegal immigrant injustice suffering desperation crucifix single parent pursuit microphone grave pain eating candle telephone bathroom cafe running tears face slap food crying shower chase singing photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male one word title fight violence blood  (See All)

15 Minutes (2001)
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15 Minutes (2001)

When Eastern European criminals Oleg and Emil come to New York City to pick up their share of a heist score, Oleg steals a video camera and starts filming their activities, both legal and illegal. When they learn how the American media circus can make a remorseless killer look like the victim and make them rich, they target media-savvy NYPD Homicide Detective Eddie Flemming and media-naive FDNY Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw, the cops investigating their murder and torching of their former criminal partner, filming everything to sell to the local tabloid TV show "Top Story." (Read More)

Themes:
insanity paranoia psychopath investigation escape torture fear prison death murder 
Locations:
bathtub restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer policeman detective serial killer prostitute boy husband wife relationship police 
Story:
telephone call media circus illegal immigrant death threat sociopath witness american flag stabbed to death prisoner stabbing axe reporter handcuffs cafe camera punched in the face shotgun face slap blood splatter chase photograph cigarette smoking bare chested male fight violence blood  (See All)

The Judge (2014)
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The Judge (2014)

Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father's aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family. (Read More)

Themes:
murder of son dying prison death murder 
Mood:
rain 
Locations:
courtroom police car church restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer girl husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
reading aloud newspaper headline verdict jury testimony breakfast burial american flag court umbrella liar grave confession pain trial judge diner eating newspaper bathroom cafe lie face slap food shower photograph bare chested male flashback  (See All)

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16 Blocks (2006)
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16 Blocks (2006)

Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective, is assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long... (Read More)

Subgenre:
conspiracy 
Themes:
police corruption paranoia deception kidnapping murder death 
Locations:
bus 
Characters:
lawyer policeman detective girl brother sister relationship police 
Story:
reading a newspaper telephone call police captain testimony seattle washington jail cell witness pursuit liar telephone handcuffs rifle lie shooting voice over narration chase photograph bare chested male gun blood flashback violence  (See All)

Capote (2005) is one of the best movies like Changeling (2008)
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Capote (2005)

Famed writer 'Truman Capote' (qv), southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959 cold blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle 'Harper Lee (I)' (qv), also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. Truman hopes to use his celebrity status to gain access to whomever he needs, such as to Laura Kinney, a friend of the Clutter daughter she who discovered the bodies, and to Alvin Dewey, the lead police investigator and also a Clutter family friend. If his celebrity doesn't work, Truman will grease the wheels by whatever means necessary. When the police eventually charge suspects, two young men named Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith, Truman uses those same tactics to gain access to them. Truman's fascination with the story makes him believe that he can revolutionize writing by expanding the germ of the article into what he calls a non-fiction novel. His personal involvement also changes as he grows emotionally attached to Perry, the seemingly sensitive and thus probable submissive in the criminal pairing, thus Truman becoming part of the story itself. Article or non-fiction novel, Trum… (Read More)

Themes:
execution investigation prison murder death 
Locations:
courtroom police car train restaurant 
Characters:
lawyer photographer policeman detective brother sister relationship boy husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
execution by hanging telephone call cell mate death row jury farmhouse jail cell what happened to epilogue court hanging reading liar microphone pain trial judge newspaper reporter reference to jesus christ cafe tears rifle lie shooting camera shotgun crying photograph cigarette smoking one word title violence blood gun  (See All)

White Oleander (2002)
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White Oleander (2002)

Astrid Magnussen is a 15 year old girl, living in California. Her mother, Ingrid, is a beautiful, free-spirited poet. Their life, though unusual, is satisfying until one day, a man named Barry Kolker (that her mother refers to at first as "The goat man") comes into their lives, and Ingrid falls madly in love with him, only to have her heart broken, and her life ruined. For revenge, Ingrid murders Barry with the deadly poison of her favourite flower: The White Oleander. She is sent to prison for life, and Astrid has to go through foster home after foster home. Throughout nearly a decade she experiences forbidden love, religion, near-death experiences, drugs, starvation, and how it feels to be loved. But throughout these years, she keeps in touch with her mother via letters to prison. And while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love. (Read More)

Subgenre:
melodrama 
Themes:
paranoia prison death murder 
Locations:
los angeles california courtroom bus school restaurant 
Characters:
mother love bible single mother lawyer photographer girl teacher prostitute brother sister relationship boy singer husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
palm tree reverend testimony minister class reunion court trial judge california reference to jesus christ classroom handcuffs cafe tears shooting crying voice over narration photograph cigarette smoking violence fight flashback gun blood  (See All)

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