5 Films to Understand the Mind of a Criminal

· September 29, 2017

Criminals are the main characters in many films from all types of genres. Evil characters cause fear, but also fascination among viewers. Their stories reveal that the human mind has mysterious and shadowy paths and that within the human being there lives a monster that sometimes wakes up and terrifies us.

Some of the films refer exclusively to atrocities that can be found in the minds of criminals and the crimes they are able to commit. Other films, on the other hand, delve into the motivations, their way of working and the character quirks of the criminals.

“Look at me with contempt, you’ll see an idiot. Look at me with admiration, you will see your master. Look at me carefully, you will see yourself. “
-Charles Manson-

There are some true classics about the minds of criminals. Some of these films provide important elements to help us understand the human condition. They are totally to do with us, because, as a saying goes: “we are human and nothing in a human is unconnected” Here are five of those movies which help you to understand the minds of criminals.

Seven, the criminal obsessions

This is already a cult movie. It has a clever plot, in which most of the drama focuses on figuring out how the criminal mind of a killer (John Doe) works. It deals with intolerance, expressed through religious convictions, and which leads to atrocious crimes.


A notable element of this film is the manipulation game that establishes the criminal. A game that ultimately leads its pursuers to become victims. And this is how the fanatic and intolerant murderer wins the game: he triumphs over reason.

The Silence of the Lambs…

Based on the novel of the same name, it develops the idea of two criminal minds confronting each other. On the one hand we have a dangerous convict, who is also a psychiatrist, who becomes the key to understanding the mind of a murderer that is plaguing the area.

On the other hand we have the murderer, who hardly speaks in the film – he is known for his actions, rather than for his speech. It shows an individual with a serious personality disorder, who resorts to criminal actions to become someone other than who he is.

Zodiac, based on real life events

Zodiac highlights one of the most common traits among sociopathic criminals or psychopaths: the deep desire to manipulate others. It is based on the story of a serial killer who called himself “The Zodiac Killer” and who operated in San Francisco.

This killer makes fun of the authorities and challenges them. He sends letters and coded messages to newspapers. He enjoys the idea of playing with his opponents. This is a very common trait in different types of criminals. It gives them a feeling of omnipotence that satisfies their unlimited narcissism.

Elite Troop, breaking the law to comply with the law

This is a Brazilian film from 2007. It tells the story of a police captain who is entrusted with subduing one of the toughest slums in Rio de Janeiro. He is about to become a father and has to leave the police force, but first he has to find a replacement for his job.

He devotes himself to training two honest policemen he completely trusts. However, when they come into contact with the harsh reality of crime in the slums they start to change. What were two honest policemen are gradually transformed into individuals with criminal instincts. They use these instincts to keep order, using any means they can to achieve this goal.

The Clockwork Orange

In this selection we couldn’t miss out such a cult film as “The Clockwork Orange”, based on the novel of the same name. It tells the story of a young delinquent who finds great pleasure in causing extreme pain to others. He leads a band dedicated to committing misdemeanors, for the sheer sake of doing them.

The story takes a radical turn when this delinquent is arrested and subjected to behavioral therapy. This is intended to eradicate his taste for violence. Methods are used to try and generate an aversion to crime, subjecting him to experiences that are close to torture.

All these movies allow you to enter the complex mind of the criminal. In this way, you come to understand more about their modus operandi, and the traits and behavior that define them. They are films to watch and discuss. To study and digest. Suitable for these times when the dark side of human nature is perhaps more evident than ever.