Crime films, in the broadest sense, is a film genre inspired by and analogous to the crime fiction literary genre. Films of this genre generally involve various aspects of crime and its detection. Stylistically, the genre may overlap and combine with many other genres, such as drama or gangster film, but also include comedy, and, in turn, is divided into many sub-genres, such as mystery, suspense or noir.
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Screenwriter and scholar Eric R. Williams identified crime film as one of eleven super-genres in his screenwriters’ taxonomy, claiming that all feature-length narrative films can be classified by these super-genres. The other ten super-genres are action, fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, slice of life, sports, thriller, war and western. Williams identifies drama in a broader category called "film type", mystery and suspense as "macro-genres", and film noir as a "screenwriter's pathway" explaining that these categories are additive rather than exclusionary. Chinatown would be an example of a film that is a drama (film type) crime film (super-genre) that is also a noir (pathway) mystery (macro-genre).