The term “noir” in film is used to describe subject matter that is dark and cynical. It was first used in the 1940s and is associated with movies about criminal enterprises and conspiracies. Noir film women are often gorgeous, but they have an evil side as well. That bit of conflict often makes the female stars of these movies even hotter and more appealing.

“Body Heat” (1981)

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Scintillating Mattee Walker (Catherine Turner) begins a scintillating affair with attorney Ned Racine (William Hurt). What starts out as white-hot chemistry between the two turns into a plot that allows Walker to manipulate Racine into killing her husband. Walker comes off as a woman whose needs are not being met by her older husband in the beginning, but she is really just trying to implement a scheme so she can steal her husband’s money.

“Basic Instinct” (1992)

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Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is a sexy crime novelist who can have any man she looks at. One of her partners is rocker Johnny Boz, who was Tramell’s boyfriend before he was murdered. San Francisco detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is investigating the case and is drawn in by Tramell’s seductiveness while trying to pin Boz’s murder on her. At one point, Curran is convinced that Tramell is the murderer but as the movie unfolds he is not quite as certain of her guilt.

“Black Widow” (1987)

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Catherine Peterson (Theresa Russell) is a sexy vamp who is in the business of finding millionaires and marrying them. After she marries them, they mysteriously die. Peterson appears to be unstoppable in her ability to get these men to change their wills and then kill them until police detective Alex Barnes (Debra Winger) starts her investigation and uncovers her diabolical scheme.

“The Grifters” (1990)

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Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a small-town con artist who has loyalties to his girlfriend (Annette Bening) and his mother (Angelica Huston). Both of them are grifters who are always trying to work their own cons and want to manipulate him to help their respective causes.

“Pulp Fiction” (1994)

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Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed this classic film that looks at the lives of two mob hit men, a gangster’s wife and a boxer and how they intertwine. One of the hit men (John Travolta) is required to entertain the mobster’s wife (Uma Thurman) for a night of “innocent” fun. When Thurman gets a hold of Travolta’s drug stash and loses consciousness, he must find a way to keep her alive and revive her.

“The Last Seduction” (1994)

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Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) is a beautiful and clever manipulator who is the wife of a successful doctor (Bill Pullman). That’s not enough for her and she persuades her husband to sell medical cocaine to drug dealers. She takes off with the money and then devises a scheme to get rid of her husband with the help of Mike Swale (Peter Berg).