* AlternateCharacterInterpretation:
** Marv is Percival, Dwight is Lancelot and Hartigan is Galahad. Sin City is a DarkerAndEdgier Camelot.
** Is Marv a DeathSeeker wanting to end his miserable existence? Or does he just have a major case of HonorBeforeReason combined TheDulcineaEffect? Or is he just a BloodKnight who took the first chance he got to do what he does best?
* CompleteMonster: Due to the [[BlackAndGrayMorality general morality]], the villains are usually really bad. These are the absolute worst that the CrapsackWorld setting has to offer:
** Kevin from "The Hard Goodbye" (with a short cameo in "That Yellow Bastard") is a young [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalistic]] {{serial killer}} who acts as a hitman for Cardinal Roark when he's not murdering and eating prostitutes -- and he eats them piece by piece, keeping the women alive as long as possible and ''making them watch'', as evidenced when he got his hands on [[spoiler:Lucille, Marv's parole officer]], who was found by Marv and survived, but lost one of her hands to him before the two escaped, ending up as the {{trope codifier}} for {{forced to watch}}. However, he gets one of the most [[{{Gorn}} gruesome, over-the-top]], [[RasputinianDeath terribly long]], [[DeathByIrony and yet poetic]] punishments imaginable from the {{sociopathic hero}} Marv...even ''then'', he [[GoOutWithASmile smiles all the way]] to the end while being eaten by his pet wolf to deny Marv the pleasure of victory or revenge, and when Marv [[OffWithHisHead saws off his head]] to finish him, he doesn't give out a single scream.
** Ethan Roark "Junior" from "That Yellow Bastard" is the son of a US Senator with the appearance of a handsome young playboy. In reality, he is a {{sadist}}ic [[WouldHurtAChild pedophile]] with a penchant for [[SerialRapist raping]] and [[SerialKiller murdering]] preteen girls and who {{loves the sound of screaming}}. These horrible crimes are [[CorruptPolitician covered up]] by his [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney corrupt]] [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem Senator]] [[SleazyPolitician father]] (brother of the aforementioned Cardinal, natch), which means that no one on the police force is willing to take him down until [[AntiHero John Hartigan]] saves his latest victim, Nancy Callahan, and goes through eight long years of prison for it because of the vengeful Senator dad. Near the end, it's revealed that Roark Junior is impotent unless he hears little girls scream in pain and that there were ''hundreds'' of victims. In the second film, his father acknowledges that he is insane.
** The Colonel, also known as The Salesman, is one of the top enforcers in [[TheDon Herr Wallenquist]]'s Basin City Mob. He runs a clandestine [[MurderInc division of contract killers]] and occasionally [[ProfessionalKiller performs the hits himself]]. He mentors new trainees to shed all redeeming traits so they can become remorseless killing machines, inducing one of them into murdering the only man she ever loved before assigning her the code name "Blue Eyes". His largest operation is the "Human Resources" division, a massive kidnapping, sex slave-trading, brainwashing, organ harvesting and industrial-strength porn production operation. He kills off one of his own henchmen through {{eye scream}} on the off chance that the hero Wallace might track the minion down, after previously having the man's male lover [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill stabbed to death with over a dozen knives]]. He has an alliance with a {{dirty cop}} named Leibowitz, but when Leibowitz's loyalty might falter, he orders his son's arm broken as a warning and threatens to kill his whole family. The Colonel is pretty obviously a {{sociopath}} who displays no character traits other than hinting at a wish to direct the bodies of the people around him, to see their "full potential" realized.
* ContractualPurity: Creator/JessicaAlba famously refuses to do nude scenes so some fans were disappointed when she was picked to play Nancy, the topless dancer.
** Averted with Creator/EvaGreen, who spends most of A Dame To Kill For [[MissFanservice with not one stitch on.]]
* CreatorWorship
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The movie's usage of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eJoQWrhCtk Cells]] in the trailer and closing credits is so memorable that it's often called the "Sin City Theme" even though it's not the theme. The song predates the movie.
* FoeYay: It seems that Roark Jr. treats trying to kill Hartigan as both revenge and this.
* GratuitousSpecialEffects: The movie is an action/crime-noir film, the likes of which, are typically done with few special effects. This movie broke new ground in GreenScreen.
* IAmNotShazam: The Yellow Bastard is the character's name in {{Fanon}}, is the referencial title of the story in which he appears, and is used by Creator/FrankMiller himself but as far as {{Canon}} goes, he is simply Junior Roark.
* IdiotBall: Hartigan never even thinks to gather some troops together to storm Roark's mansion and kill him the way Nancy and Marv do four years later. Marv would have been up for it, especially if Nancy showed him what Roark Jnr. did to her at the time.
* IHaveBoobsYouMustObey: Ava Lord.
* JumpingTheShark: Some see it as one for Frank Miller's career, not as any statement on the comics themselves, but that ever since he seems incapable of ''not'' writing a story like he's doing another ''Sin City''.
* MemeticMutation: "Skinny little X. She grew up. She filled out."
** And thanks to ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'', [[http://www.shortpacked.com/2006/comic/book-2-pulls-the-drama-tag/06-the-drama-tag/whores/ "whoreswhoreswhoreswhoreswhor-"]]
* OldGuardVersusNewBlood
* OneSceneWonder: Both Senator and Cardinal Roark.
** Technically, Senator Roark appears in two scenes in the comic and the Director's Cut of the movie.
** Schlubb and Klump, though they too are technically in two scenes.
* TearJerker:
--> "Old man dies. Little girl lives. Fair trade."
--> Eleven year old Nancy: "Still alive and still a virgin. All thanks to you."
-->'''Marv:''' I got 'em good for you, didn't I, Goldie?
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Averted with the movie, which was usually word-for-word, panel-for-panel accurate to the comics, to the point where FrankMiller was given a director credit for it.
* UnfortunateImplications: Every single female character that appears is sexualized in some way. No exceptions. Even Nancy is sexualized, ''but only'' after [[SheIsAllGrownUp she grew up.]] The only time where it could come off as FanDisservice is with Luicille because [[spoiler: her hand was cut off.]] Then again, the work is an homage to hard-boiled detective fiction and film noir, which normally didn't have female characters front and center (or that well-developed).
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: The movie's use of green sceen allowed for gorgeous visuals throughout, both in the obvious ways (the environments and spot coloring) and the less obvious ways (Mickey Rourke has a fight scene with Elijah Wood, despite Wood not even having been cast when Rourke was shooting). Also, the green screen not only made production go by very smoothly but each actor was able to be lit individually without worrying about lighting the backgrounds which was the only way to get the Sin City look.
* WTHCastingAgency: Elijiah Wood as Kevin. Never thought Frodo could be that scary, did you?
** He would if the Ring took complete control of him.
** If you ever saw GreenStreet, you would know how scary he can be.