This is classed by those who see it as a neo-noir, and I have no beef with that. Only do not look for much that's deep here. It's mainly a man defending against the intrusion of some nasty types who entered his life through his mistake of having an affair.
Now this film is one on Chibob's list and Don assigns it to tier 3, and I have no problem at all with that. Its IMDb scores are 6.4 and 52. My message is that there are MANY films like this that are well-done, that receive scores like this, that the scores will be found to mirror what I might think of them in the preceding remarks. I think tier 3 will be loaded with films, if this process is continued. The main thing I suppose is to sift out these good but not great films as not being examples of neonoir par excellence. Yet these good films are the backbone of the genre and the ones that provide the day in and day out meat and potatoes for neo-noir fans (mixing metaphors).
A top 50 can be divided in two. That's feasible it looks like. A top 25 is coming into view slowly. I think a top 25 has to sustain a mood or noir tone and a creative contribution throughout its length. I don't think it should rely on a gimmick or gimmicks; it shouldn't be derivative; it's got to meet standards of technical proficiency; it has to say something. If a top 25 cannot be explicitly defended along some lines, then we're not doing the job properly.
52 Pick-Up is by no means a run of the mill film. It's not cheap or flimsy. And my reason for explaining it is better to grasp what is going to have to be required of a top tier film or even a second 25 tier film. I need to explain it to myself, not being schooled in making these quality assessments.
There are several films with Nick Cage, for example, that are about like this one. And Frankenheimer has one named Reindeer Games that I recollect is roughly like this in quality, and a movie like "A Walk Among the Tombstones" falls in this patch. And Don has no trouble assigning others to this patch. William Friedkin's "Sorcerer" is more of an adventure story to me, and that's one reason, without considering its overall quality, why it'll be in this patch.
If you ask me why I'm going to include "The French Connection" in the top 25, I may have to get down to fine details. I'd even be including the first notes of the music score.