French for "black cinema," film noir is a film style that sprang up in the United States after World War II. It emphasizes a fatalistic, despairing world where no one can escape from loneliness, isolation, death, and the horrors of urban society.

Stylistically, noir utilized low-key and high-contrast lighting, lots of shadows, fog, and rain, and complex compositions to create an atmosphere of dread and paranoia.

Some of the best-known examples of film noir include "The Maltese Falcon", "Double Indemnity", "Sunset Boulevard", and more recently, "Chinatown", "Body Heat", "Blade Runner", and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".