The term film noir, French for “black film,” was coined by a group of 1950s French film critics to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, especially those featuring sexual motivations and morally ambiguous protagonists. The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Touch Of Evil (1958) serve as approximate bookends when this type of movie was most prevalent, but there are many examples of film noir outside this period – Chinatown (1974), Body Heat (1981), L.A. Confidential (1997), Memento (2000), and Drive (2011) to name but a few. Common features of film noir are low-key lighting rooted in German expressionist cinematography and the femme fatale – a seductive woman who lures her lovers into dangerous situations. Her ability to pull the protagonist into her web of deceit serves as a central plot device in many of these stories.