Typical signs and signifiers which may be found in American crime films are:
- The consumption of alcohol and illegal substances.
- The use of weapons such as guns or knives.
- The main protagonist attending a party/rave.
- Police attempting to arrest/intimidate the main protagonist.
- The main protagonist is usually a male character who has had a hard upbringing.
- They emphasise the struggles and difficulties faced by the characters.
American crime films usually have a strong female character that the female audience can relate to, however British crime films have a lack of female influence in their films.
American crime films focus on the harsh upbringing and lives which the characters have been through to try and make them relatable. The films also incorporate a lot of violence and drug drug crimes and portray the police and authority in a negative light.