film noir

noun
\ -ˈnwär How to pronounce film noir (audio) \
plural film noirs\ -​ˈnwär(z) How to pronounce film noirs (audio) \ or films noir or films noirs\ -​ˈnwär How to pronounce films noirs (audio) \

Definition of film noir

: a type of crime film featuring cynical malevolent characters in a sleazy setting and an ominous atmosphere that is conveyed by shadowy photography and foreboding background music also : a film of this type

Examples of film noir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His debut feature film, Brick (2005), was a crime drama with film noir overtones, largely inspired by the works of Dashiell Hammett and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rian Johnson trades in lightsabers for postmodern whodunnit Knives Out," 2 July 2019 Humphrey Bogart’s slickness in the seminal film noir The Maltese Falcon, camp. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "An Ode to the Campiest Film You’ve Probably Never Seen," 19 Apr. 2019 Cage’s Spider-Man Noir is a parody of goofy film noir clichés. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Directed by Alston's brother Julius Ramsay, whose credits include directing and editing episodes of The Walking Dead, Midnighters is a low-budget film noir that benefits greatly from its tautness and lack of pretension. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Midnighters': Film Review," 1 Mar. 2018 The whole thing is very film noir, which may connect to the noir episode coming later this season. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 Secret Signs in the New "Riverdale" Trailer That Prove Season 3 Part 2 Will Be Epic," 10 Jan. 2019 Bertolucci draws heavily on German Expressionism, with its exaggerated, distorted shapes, and the deep, heavy shadows and stark contrasts of film noir. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018 Excellent drinks come on cloth beverage napkins, homemade pop tarts and charcuterie come from the kitchen, and in general the ambiance oozes the edge of film noir. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Bars in Charleston," 1 May 2018 The episodes take place in different places, and there are also different genres: there’s a fairy tale, a black comedy, a horror movie, a film noir, and so on. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Matthew Weiner Says Being a Romanoff Is "Almost Like Saying You’re a Kennedy"," 14 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'film noir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of film noir

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for film noir

French, literally, black film

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Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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The first known use of film noir was in 1930

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More Definitions for film noir

film noir

noun

English Language Learners Definition of film noir

: a movie about crime that uses dark shadows and lighting to show the complicated moral nature of the subject also : this style of film

More from Merriam-Webster on film noir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with film noir

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about film noir

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