How many of you had a childhood dream of becoming a spy or a detective? In my case, Totally Spies! and detective movies and novels are to blame. Specifically, the Sherlock Holmes franchise and Agatha Christie's book to film adaptations. Growing up, the feelings of curiosity and nosiness were insatiable, and watching detective films was one way to "feed" the latter. It was likely The Pink Panther and Totally Spies! that got us hooked on the detective genre in the first place. However, it was Doyle's and Christie's novels and their film adaptations that kept the passion for whodunit movies going strong to this day.

And I assume many of us had our hearts sink into our boots when we realized that one can't simply become a spy or that being a detective isn't as exciting as it's portrayed in the CSI series. And although we understand that many murder mystery movies and novels are just the fruits of writers' imagination, it doesn't make them any less appealing or intriguing. However, the detective genre doesn't lack many true crime movies either. Somehow, there's this strange thing about humans that evil fascinates us. It's not just the adrenaline rush causing us to shake and tremble when the serial killer pops up behind the protagonist's back. In the best murder mystery movies, there's always a riddle that must be unraveled with more questions than answers. When watching crime movies, it feels like we are trying to help the detective solve it and find all the missing puzzle pieces.

For all fans of crime and mystery movies, below, we've compiled an extensive list of, in our opinion, the best whodunit movies. So put your trench coat on, have your magnifying glass ready, and keep your eyes peeled for clues because we present you with the best detective movies! Do you see your favorite detective movie on the list? Let us know!

#1

Seven

Seven

1995 | 2 hours 7 minutes | Directed by David Fincher
 
Starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
 
The tone of the film is established from the very beginning. A mood that permeates the entire movie is one of darkness, intensity, chills, and mystery. The film is slow-paced and takes time to develop the characters without resorting to blatant clichés, in contrast to many other films in the same genre. The film's two leads, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, are portrayed as an odd police couple who are very different from one another. However, their differences play out well together in a way that makes them a perfect crime-solving duo. I advise you to stay far away from this movie if you have a hate relationship with blood and gore. However, if you're up for it, it's a must-watch. It's tragic and unpleasant, but fascinating nonetheless.

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Angela Allen Simms
Community Member
2 months ago

I found no entertainment in the torture of the women in this movie!! It was truly appalling!! This was the movie that affected me so negatively that I wanted my money back!!!

#2

Memento

Memento

2000 | 1 hour 53 minutes | Directed by Christopher Nolan
 
Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
 
I can assure you that this movie is intended to leave you feeling confused if you watch it for the first or even second time. This movie will stick in your head until you have figured everything out. And you can only do that by doing extensive online research. It's unlikely that you will get all the answers from the film itself or even after reading the book on which the movie was based. Memento is a classic film noir-style mystery thriller with an intriguing, brilliant twist. Due to its innovative narrative approach and unique dramatic undertones, Memento is an instant classic and one of the most memorable (pun intended) movies you're likely to ever see. There could not be a better movie for those jaded moviegoers who want something to keep them awake, interested, and constantly guessing than this one.

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LisaMarie
Community Member
2 months ago

I watched this film and did not have to do any 'extensive online research' to figure it out. Incredibly clever and interesting film, one of Nolan's best.

#3

Knives Out

Knives Out

2019 | 2 hours 10 minutes | Directed by Rian Johnson
 
Starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas
 
Sweet beans! It seems like Rian Johnson was destined to make this movie. Superb editing, outstanding performances, slick writing, and evocative music are all brought together by expert directing. Agatha Christie and vintage murder mystery fans will both find plenty to enjoy here. Knives Out is comparable to an Agatha Christie novel set in the present, featuring Americans as the main characters. But it's also a genuinely excellent and distinctive movie in its own right, not just a parody of Christie-style movies. A family tragedy featuring a brilliant amateur detective, a housekeeper, a heritage that none of the family members deserve, and... oh, enough with the spoilers! See it for yourself.

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#4

Bad Times At The El Royale

Bad Times At The El Royale

2018 | 2 hours 21 minutes | Directed by Drew Goddard
 
Starring Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson
 
This movie is a roller coaster. You'll constantly sit on the edge of your seat because you won't know what will happen next. However, with this film, you will either love it or hate it. It's pretty complicated how the story develops and how information is revealed. This may make it a little too tricky for some people. Still, it makes it an absolute delight for anyone willing to delve deeper and get analytical. There is so much to explore in it, both visually and in terms of foreshadowing. Bad Times at the El Royale is the perfect way to spend a few hours if you want something classy, fashionable, and generally exciting.

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#5

Brick

Brick

2005 | 1 hour 50 minutes | Directed by Rian Johnson
 
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin
 
The film's plot goes that to find out what happened to his ex-girlfriend, a teen loner forces his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring. The dialogue in this film is one of the things that really stands out. All of the high school students speak with maturity and self-awareness. That keeps it from turning into a teen-oriented movie and somehow grounds the entire ordeal in a more believable world. The detective story opens right off the bat, but it's slow and somewhat creepy. After that, it immerses the viewer in the world that writer and director Rian Johnson created by adding layers of mystery on top of the already present mystery. Also, why "brick," though? You'll have to watch the film to find out!

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#6

The Lovebirds

The Lovebirds

2020 | 1 hour 26 minutes | Directed by Michael Showalter
 
Starring Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks
 
When a couple on the verge of breaking up unintentionally becomes involved in a murder mystery, it becomes a turning point in their relationship. This film is not serious. And it's not trying to be. This is the kind of movie you watch to unwind and have fun. It's full of rather weird humor if you're into it! So if you're looking for a fun, no-brainer movie to watch this evening, you might as well give it a shot.

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#7

The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train

2016 | 1 hour 52 minutes | Directed by Tate Taylor
 
Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson
 
Perhaps we've all endured the same boring train or bus ride to work or college. Every day we pass by the same locations and encounter the same people. However, I suppose none of us have experienced a commute that has altered our lives as much as Rachel Watson’s in The Girl on the Train. This film is unpredictable and keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. You feel alarmed, interested, moved, and cringing as events occur. And this is precisely what you would expect from a suspenseful mystery novel. A definite must-watch in our books!

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#8

Dark Places

Dark Places

2015 | 1 hour 53 minutes | Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner
 
Starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks
 
This movie tells the story of a woman whose mother and two sisters were brutally murdered at night on their farm. The woman's brother gets convicted of the triple murder. Later, she receives a call from a group interested in unsolved murders and is forced to face her traumatizing past. Dark Places is an incredibly unnerving drama that keeps you glued to the screen. From the beginning, viewers have this sense that the woman is not being entirely honest. Are their feelings justified? You'll have to see for yourself. The shocking truth is finally disclosed as more and more of the past is revealed in flashbacks and various interviews. It is certainly worth watching if you are in for a bit of detective work. Our rating: a good-solid whodunit.

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#9

Rebecca

Rebecca

1940 | 2 hours 10 minutes | Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
 
Starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
 
Would this be a complete and "worthy" movie list without at least a single work by Alfred Hitchcock? Rebecca is Hitchcock's first American-made film, which is pretty ironic, considering that the entire cast and nearly the entire crew were British. Rebecca, the only movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock to win the Oscar for Best Picture, has a fantastic plot and a shocking conclusion. The performances are the best of what Hollywood used to be. The story is beautiful, the casting is excellent, and the sets are stunningly designed and constructed. To be fair, you wouldn't expect anything less from Hitchcock. Even though it might not be the most well-known of his movies, it is unquestionably one of the best. This is definitely a must-see for suspense, horror, Hitchcock, or classic film fans.

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#10

Death On The Nile (1978)

Death On The Nile (1978)

1978 | 2 hours 20 minutes | Directed by John Guillermin
 
Starring Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Simon MacCorkindale
 
The story revolves around an heiress who is killed on her honeymoon on a cruise down the Nile. Fortunately, the reputed Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is vacationing on the same ship and launches an investigation. However, all the other people on the boat appear to have specific reasons for committing the homicide. So who's the killer? Can the detective find the guilty? These questions, and many more, are swirling around the viewer's head throughout the film. All in all, it's another brilliant adaptation of an Agatha Christie mystery that is both gorgeous to look at and completely fascinating. For sheer entertainment, Death On The Nile is hard to beat.

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#11

Fargo

Fargo

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-
Community Member
2 months ago

Loved this one for the pregnant detective (Frances McDormand) and her simple down-to-earth values. The local accents are fun, too.

#12

Game Night

Game Night

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Trin DM
Community Member
2 months ago

Watched it twice in a month! Might watch it again, so funny

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#13

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

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#14

L.A. Confidential

L.A. Confidential

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#15

The Silence Of The Lambs

The Silence Of The Lambs

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#16

The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye

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#17

North By Northwest

North By Northwest

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#18

The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys

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#21

Murder On The Orient Express

Murder On The Orient Express

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Shelby Moonheart
Community Member
2 months ago

I like the version with David Suchet better.

#23

Clue

Clue

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Joni-lee Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

This movie is absolutely hilarious

#24

Shutter Island

Shutter Island

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-
Community Member
2 months ago

Leonardo DiCaprio frowns a lot. I preferred Mark Ruffalo.

#25

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

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#26

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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Joni-lee Smith
Community Member
2 months ago

The older I get the more impressed I am about how wall they made this film 🤗

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#28

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector

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#29

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

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#31

The French Connection

The French Connection

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Echidna learns extreme ironing
Community Member
6 days ago

Loved this movie

#32

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

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#33

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

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#35

Insomnia

Insomnia

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Echidna learns extreme ironing
Community Member
6 days ago

Sooooo atmospheric

#36

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive

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Marisol L. Banks
Community Member
2 months ago

Even after watching it twice you still won’t know what the hell you just saw. Love me some David Lynch.

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#37

Memories Of Murder

Memories Of Murder

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Serina Mars
Community Member
2 months ago

Fantastic movie

#38

Along Came A Spider

Along Came A Spider

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#39

Kiss The Girls

Kiss The Girls

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#42

Mystic River

Mystic River

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Pheebs
Community Member
2 months ago

I wanted to smack so many of the movie characters by the end of this one.

#45

Prisoners

Prisoners

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LisaMarie
Community Member
2 months ago

Surprised that this is so low on the list! This was an excellent film.

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#49

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

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#50

Laura

Laura

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Note: this post originally had 62 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.