Haven’t watched last night’s finale yet (don’t tell me! don’t tell me! time is a flat circle!), but I’ll admit to having gotten hooked on this weirdly hypnotic HBO series — and to the mumbly, prickly rapport between Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. For those seeking more of the same (i.e. dark, addictive, artful crime-investigation dramas), a few recommendations:
- Slate beat me to this, but I strongly concur: “Red Riding,” a trilogy of films originally made for British television, was briefly released theatrically in the U.S. in 2010 and is well worth looking up. Like “True Detective,” it’s an investigation into a series of savage crimes, spread out over a period of years (its three parts are set, primarily, in 1974, 1980, and 1983); also like “True Detective,” its setting is eerie and evocative: north Yorkshire, with its howling winds and terrifying remoteness.
- Before “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” before “The Social Network,” David Fincher made “Zodiac,” a mesmerizing fact-based tale of the search for a San Francisco serial killer. It’s a long movie that feels like it’s over in a flash — and features the powerhouse trio of Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal.
- “Gone Baby Gone,” Ben Affleck’s 2007 directing debut based on a Dennis Lehane novel, followed a kidnapping case through some dark Boston streets. Beautifully acted (and featuring Michelle Monaghan in a role far juicier than what she got on “True Detective”), it’s a smart and thoughtful work that’ll haunt you for a while, as the best crime dramas do.
- “The Silence,” a smart, hypnotic German crime thriller, came and went from theaters last year with little notice but deserved more; it’s the tale of the unsolved murder of a child — and of a similar case, 23 years later. (The same detective pursues both cases, even though he’s retired by the latter — because he can’t not do so.)
Got a favorite crime-investigation movie? Tell us.