19. Chinatown (1974)
directed by Roman Polanski
As is always the case with the best film noir, a low level private detective starts investigating a seemingly innocuous adultery case, only to be pulled into a labyrinthine story of murder and betrayal. The specifics of this particular case are so heinous- combined with the fact that we feel that we’re watching exactly what goes into the founding of an American city- it’s no wonder that we’re instructed to just try to “forget it.” We can’t, of course, which is what makes Chinatown so heartbreakingly wonderful.