A crime movie makes for a great watch. And when it has elements of romance in it, it makes things even better. But the best crime movies are those that have seemingly sweet-looking couples who are in love with each other test their limits in the most thrilling of ways — by going on a crime spree! We know this sounds like an acquired or even weird taste in movies, but one look at the list below will make you fall in love with these couples and their extraordinary stories too. So, without any of you having to put a gun to our heads, we bring you our list of top 10 movie crime couples that would give even the infamous and villainous Bonnie and Clyde a run for their money. And we are not just talking murder and mayhem here. We are talking about giving in to that evil side that leads audiences to some of the most sinful acts on screen.
10. Kathryn and Sebastian in Cruel Intentions
We begin our countdown with a movie that may not seem like an out-and-out crime movie at first but dig deeper, and you will know that this one has all the deceit, malice, and sinful concoctions one can think of. Portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Reese Witherspoon, the three main protagonists of the film, create a plot that has all the makings of a deeply disturbing yet brilliantly executed manipulative plot. Directed by Roger Kumble, this one explores the seductive chemistry between step-siblings, where Kathryn offers herself up to her stepbrother Sebastian, as long as he beds the headmaster’s innocent-looking daughter. Thanks to the plot of the movie, there wasn’t much Kathryn and Sebastian could do in terms of damage. Now, only imagine them going beyond this little game they played, and you will know these two youngsters sure had a lot of potential for more serious crimes!
9. Sam ‘Ace’ and Ginger in Casino
The beautiful Sharon Stone and the powerful Robert De Niro lead the way in this classic Las Vegas gambling movie, Casino. As Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein and Ginger McKenna, both characters perfectly display their unapologetic hunger for money and power, even betraying one another in this mad hunger for wealth. Although the main protagonist, the character of Ace comes across as one that is ruthless and, soon enough, friendless. With iconic scenes brought alive by the acting prowess of De Niro and the directorial moves of Martin Scorsese, this one may not have given the villainous couple on our list a lot of screentime, but the two do complete justice to the limelight they do get together. Ace’s passionate obsession and almost puppy-like love for his beautiful lover and Ginger’s one-sided affair with money come together to make this movie a unique one indeed.
8. Ray and Fantasia in One False Move
One of the most impactful pieces of work from the early 90s, this movie gained popularity even before it hit theaters. In fact, while One False Move was originally intended to go straight to video, it was purely by word of mouth that the film gained so much popularity that the makers eventually decided to let it hit the big screens instead. A movie that portrays six heinous killings in a single night, this one follows the money and cocaine-driven exploits of Ray, his girlfriend Fantasia, and Pluto. Directed by Carl Franklin and starring Billy Bob Thornton as Ray, Cynda Williams as Fantasia, and Michael Beach as Pluto, the movie follows the awaited face-off between the murderous trio and the police. The violent culmination of this pursuit, with all three villains suffering gory deaths — the beautiful Fantasia even meets her end at the hands of her lover — brings to an end this highly underrated movie.
7. Imhotep and Anck Su Namun in The Mummy Series
Are you surprised to find this movie here? Don’t be! After all, how can we leave out from our list this oh-so-in-love couple who leave no stone unturned when it comes to a murderous quest for love and immortality! Anyone who has seen The Mummy and its sequels will vouch for the fact that it was indeed a tad difficult to choose between the heroes of the movies and the villains. When asked to choose between two handsome hunks and two beautiful damsels, there were many who chose to side with the villainous couple. Played by Arnold Vosloo and Patricia Velasquez, the illegitimate lovers Imhotep and Anck Su Namun create the very foundation of all that goes down in the series, from a series of murderous plots to wiping out entire armies. Professing their undying love for one another even in the face of eternal damnation, we love the passion that the two show. In fighting for the other even at the cost of their own souls, these two sure show us how true love can last for all eternity. Well, almost!
6. Veronica and JD in Heathers (1989)
Directed by Michael Lehmann and released in the US in 1989, two months after it debuted at Sundance, Heathers wasn’t really a runaway hit at the box office. Still, it certainly gave the movie world one of the most endearing murderous couples of all time — Veronica and JD. With Winona Ryder and Christian Slater in the lead, the peculiar storyline of the movie is entertaining enough to keep you glued to your seats. Of course, the college couple who’d rather spend their time plotting murders than follow the conventional route of getting educated only add to a brilliance that is idiosyncratic yet lovable at the same time. In one scene in the movie, Winona screams, “That blade is filthy!” with Christian retorting, “What do you think I’m gonna do with it? Take out her tonsils?!” Now, if that doesn’t set the tone for a movie with a series of killings that do not hurt the conscience of the killers in any way, we don’t know what does! Easily one of the best college crime movies out there, this one’s a must-watch for its original sequences and highly entertaining storyline alone. The funny and over-the-top scenes all add up to be a bonus that has you asking for more.
5. Kit and Holly in Badlands
“My girl Holly and I have decided to kill ourselves, the same way I did her dad.” The line may seem like one that has two lovers cornered by circumstances, but watching Badlands will tell you that this isn’t true at all. With a cast led by a young Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, the film’s director, writer, and producer Terrence Malick takes audiences on a journey that shows just how the emptiness in one’s life can translate into hatred, lack of pity, and even a murder spree. Narrated by 15-year-old Holly, who falls for the charms of 25-year-old Kit, the violence begins with the killing of Holly’s dad. Soon, after faking their own suicides by burning down the house, begins a killing spree that sees the innocent Holly being dragged into more murders and police chases. Although the story ends badly for Kit, Holly survives the ordeal and begins a new life. A story of how young love can be blind in every way, this one makes for an interesting take on how love doesn’t always mean all things good!
4. Henry and Karen in Goodfellas
“Never rat on your friends. And always keep your mouth shut.” This may seem like the line that started off Henry Hill’s criminal career in the movie Goodfellas, but you know his association with the mob began long before he was accepted as one of them. As are most of his works, a Martin Scorcese film brings to the audience a slew of convincing performances. This one makes our list for exploring how two people in a relationship inevitably end up playing a part in the other’s follies. As a young woman smitten by the glamorous and reckless life of a young Henry, Karen does not know what she’s getting into. And when she does, she pretends she doesn’t see. And finally, she begins playing her part in protecting her husband and her family. From flushing drugs down the toilet to turning a blind eye to his gangster husband’s affairs, Karen’s character, played by Lorraine Brocco, is soon an accomplice. Powerful performances by Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Paul Sorvino take the movie to another level. Even so, as crime couples go, the evolution of this couple is indeed worth a watch.
3. Mickey and Mallory in Natural Born Killers
Yet another underrated piece of movie magic — we sure have a penchant for picking these — Natural Born Killers gives the audience to sit back and enjoy the brilliance of Woody Harrelson coupled with the quirkiness of Juliette Lewis. Directed by Oliver Stone, this story by Quentin Tarantino (we bet not many of you knew this) begins at a diner where Mickey Knox stops by with his wife, Mallory. After an altercation with a couple of rednecks and the mindless killing of everyone in the diner, save one begins a journey of more mindless killings. Labeled by the media as a perfect serving for a nation obsessed with fame and crime, this one made headlines for more than just moviemaking brilliance. Accused of inspiring several cold-blooded killings across the US, including one where the killers even codenamed their crime NBK, an acronym for the title of the movie, Natural Born Killers, was labeled by Entertainment Weekly as the eighth most controversial movie ever to hit the screens.
2. Queen and Slim in Queen & Slim
This is one movie where the audiences just couldn’t get enough of the main protagonists, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. The plot evolves from a traffic violation gone bad, and soon enough, a man and a woman only out on their first date find themselves plastered all over the news as cop killers. Easily one of the most underrated movies in the genre, this one relays the fear, angst, and helplessness of the couple, at the same time characterizing their struggles with courage we do not know exists within all of us unless we are faced with extraordinary circumstances. Queen & Slim was directed by Melina Matsoukas and also starred Bokeem Woodbine in a central role. The movie brings to the forefront a wide range of emotions and makes it to our list for rendering a touching story of courage and love in the face of hopelessness and trauma.
1. Leon and Mathilda in Leon: The Professional
This movie finds the numero uno spot on our list for a reason. In a storyline that has loads of mindless killings where even children are not spared, the main protagonists are the only ones that come across as killers with a conscience. The unique relationship that a young yet impactful Natalie Portman and talented Jean Reno share in Leon: The Professional, also simply known as Leon or The Professional in some circles, makes the movie a special one indeed. A crime couple that certainly breaks the law more than once, this duo takes on the city police that’s in cahoots with the drug mafia. What follows is a whole lot of gunfire in which Reno’s character’s professional killer instincts and skills come into play. What’s even more endearing than the beautiful bond that forms between Portman and Reno is how the audience can almost reach out and touch the strength that a killer with a conscience passes on to his younger prodigy.
Bonus Movie: Bonnie and Clyde in Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Oh, come on! Did you really think we could wrap up this list without mentioning the crime couple we even have in the title of this listing? Easily one of the most enigmatic crime couples in movie history, Bonnie and Clyde rewrote the rules on how audiences viewed movie couples. Yes, there was romance in the air, and yes, there was raw passion in the way they looked at each other, but even a peek into the lives they led will have you confused on whether they loved each other more or what they did together way more! Well, there have been quite a few Bonnie and Clyde movies that have set the registers ringing at box offices across the globe, but the one we’d pick for this list is the evergreen classic that showed the way — the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie that had Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty showing the world how to love amidst car chases and ambushes, and roadblocks and gunfire. Easily one of the best crime movies of the time, the movie has you spellbound even today. We often watch movies featuring crime couples with some amount of dread. This is especially true when we know that the crime couple on screen, whom we have to come to love in only a matter of a couple of hours or less, will soon meet their dreaded fate. Well, in the case of this Arthur Penn-directed Bonnie and Clyde, you are left heartbroken.
It’s Time to Flee This Scene of Crime!
It takes one bad apple to know another. Well, these badasses we’ve brought to you are not just criminal masterminds who know how to commit a crime. They are the ones who even know how to commit to love and relationships while doing it! We hope you enjoyed this quick ride through these stories of crime and deceit. Frankly, it would be a crime if, after witnessing these amazing glimpses, you don’t go ahead and watch these equally amazing movies. The only warning we can give you is this — we hope you find unlimited entertainment in them, not undue inspiration!