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60 Best Mystery Movies Of All Time

Who doesn't love a good mystery movie? Watching a clever detective figure out who's behind a murder never gets old. Sometimes these films are comical, sometimes they're bizarre, and sometimes they're deadly serious. Yet all of them leave you guessing until the final frame.

Not every whodunit is a winner, however. How's a fan supposed to know which flicks are worth checking out, and which should remain in the bargain bin? That's where we come in. From brilliant Hitchcock classics to modern day crime sagas, these are the 60 best mystery movies of all time.

Updated on October 14, 2021: New mystery movies come out every day, from all corners of the globe. We keep a close eye on the cinematic landscape, and update this list whenever a new classic is released. Be sure to check back for new and exciting developments in the realm of mystery movies.

Memento

Christopher Nolan's breakout film follows Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a man who suffers from anterograde amnesia. This means he can't form new memories, which makes it particularly difficult for him to figure out who killed his wife. Told in reverse chronological order, "Memento" is a good example of how Nolan plays with the audience's perception of linear time, an approach he returns to in "Inception" and "Dunkirk." Even though you know how this story ends, your jaw will be on the floor once you see its beginning.

  • Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Rear Window

Alfred Hitchcock knew how to tap into people's primordial fears. This is never more clear than in "Rear Window," which stands as one of his greatest movies. James Stewart plays L.B. Jefferies, a photographer who's homebound due to a broken leg. He apparently witnesses a neighbor murdering his wife, as well as other strange happenings. L.B. takes it upon himself to solve the case, but doing so proves to be much more complicated than he might have thought. Stewart proves himself to be one of the finest actors of his day in this film, working off a script that ups the suspense with every page.

  • Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1954
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Clue

Many mystery films are dark and dour, but "Clue," based off the best-selling board game, is a delight from start to finish. We begin with a group of people who are invited to a luxurious mansion. When Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving) winds up dead, the guests have to determine which one of them is behind it. To add to the intrigue, three different endings are presented. Like any great mystery movie, "Clue" keeps you on your toes, but it also keeps you laughing.

Zodiac

Fictional mysteries are scary enough, but "Zodiac" ups the ante by exploring a real-world case. The Zodiac Killer terrified the Bay Area for years, sending letters, ciphers, and bloody clothing to local newspapers as he murdered innocents. It remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in American history. With the help of an all-star cast, this powerful movie focuses on the officers and reporters who sacrificed so much in their efforts to bring this maniac to justice.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 157 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Mulholland Drive

David Lynch is an infamously enigmatic filmmaker, and "Mulholland Drive" proves this reputation is well-earned. The film picks up with a woman who survives a car crash, then wanders into the apartment of an aspiring actress. It's soon revealed that the survivor has absolutely no idea who she is. Together, the two women will have to figure out where she belongs — but that's a trickier question to answer than you might think. Watching "Mulholland Drive" is like being inside of a dream that gradually transforms into a nightmare. Your entire perception of the story will change as it unfolds, and you'll love every mysterious minute.

Seven

"Seven" is the kind of mystery that makes you question your own sense of right and wrong. Two detectives end up on a case involving a serial killer who bases his crimes off the seven deadly sins. What ensues is terrifying, gruesome, and brilliant — and it all leads to one of the most memorable film climaxes ever. Though "Seven" is undoubtedly dark, it also manages to argue that the world is worth fighting for, even if the battle is beyond your wildest nightmares.

The Big Sleep

The mystery genre owes a major debt of gratitude to author Raymond Chandler, who wrote some of the best detective stories of all time. Many of them were adapted into movies, including "The Big Sleep." Philip Marlowe's on the case in this mystery tale, which is more concerned with the process of finding answers than the answers themselves. Fun fact: "The Sound and the Fury" author William Faulkner co-wrote the screenplay.

  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Year: 1946
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Chinatown

This neo-noir classic follows Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), a private eye who's hired by a woman to investigate her husband's misdeeds. It seems like a routine case ... until he realizes the woman who hired him isn't actually the man's wife. Things only grow more complex from there as Jake delves into a world of corruption and dark family secrets. This twisty masterpiece is widely regarded as one of the best mystery films of all time, and it's easy to see why. Despite the movie's most famous line, you won't soon forget "Chinatown."

North by Northwest

As with many great mystery films, "North by Northwest" kicks off with a case of mistaken identity. Ad man Roger Thornhill ends up getting kidnapped as a result of this mix-up, but no matter how many times he protests, no one will believe he's not really who they believe him to be. This is a movie that has no problem being mean to its protagonist — Hitchcock masterfully sets up plenty of traps for Roger to fall into. Plus, the movie's worth watching for the iconic crop duster scene alone.

  • Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1959
  • Runtime: 136 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Knives Out

Whodunits have become something of a lost art form in the 21st century. This might be the result of our media-savvy age: Even non-cinephiles know to anticipate red herrings and be on the lookout for anyone who seems a little too innocent. Then "Knives Out" came along and flipped the genre on its head with its story of a deceased novelist and his suspicious family. This expert caper has humor, political commentary, and more than a few twists and turns. The set-up may be straight out of an Agatha Christie novel, but the delivery is classic Rian Johnson.

  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Brick

Long before Rian Johnson reinvented the whodunit with "Knives Out," he explored another mystery subgenre: the hardboiled noir. "Brick" takes the detective out of the mean streets and into a high school by following teen Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he figures out what happened to his ex-girlfriend. This tale plays like a classic Dashiell Hammett mystery, albeit one transplanted into high school. This setting adds a fun twist to the proceedings, while still offering everything a mystery fan could want.

  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

Bad Times at the El Royale

What happens when you lock a bunch of strangers with dark secrets in a hotel together? In real life, you'd probably get a bunch of awkward encounters, but in "Bad Times at the El Royale," you get sheer entertainment. This is the kind of thriller that's best to go into knowing as little as possible. Watch it with an open mind and a willingness to accept Chris Hemsworth as you've never seen him before, and you will be rewarded. All these strangers want is a shot at redemption — provided they don't end up dead. This turns out to be a tall order.

  • Starring: Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth
  • Director: Drew Goddard
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 141 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Rebecca

If you're in the mood for a tense game of cat-and-mouse, you can't do better than this Hitchcock classic. "Rebecca" follows Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier), a wealthy Englishman who marries a naïve young woman following the death of his first wife, the titular Rebcca. Despite everyone's attempts to move on from the first Mrs. de Winter, her presence remains a haunting constant throughout the movie, which won Best Picture at that year's Academy Awards.

  • Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1940
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Death on the Nile

No one crafts a tale of suspense quite like Agatha Christie. 1978's "Death on the Nile" adapts one of her finest works, which takes place on a tranquil cruise through Egypt. Of course, all that peace is shattered once a beautiful young woman winds up dead. If you're unfamiliar with Hercule Poirot, Christie's beloved detective, "Death on the Nile" is a great introduction to his stories. If you're already acquainted but haven't seen this film, squeeze it into your schedule ASAP — it's Poirot at his best.

  • Starring: Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith
  • Director: John Guillermin
  • Year: 1978
  • Runtime: 140 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

This darkly funny flick sees two-bit criminal Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) accidentally wind up with a part in a Hollywood film. In the process, he gets flung into a massive conspiracy alongside his new partner, Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer). "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" excels where so many other films have failed in attempting to parody the mystery genre. What makes it work here, as opposed to those missteps, is the filmmakers' clear affection for classically hard-boiled tropes.

Fargo

The Coen Brothers juxtapose abhorrent violence with a seemingly innocent environment in this black comedy masterpiece. A car salesman hires a couple of ignorant ne'er-do-wells to kidnap his own wife, hoping to use the ransom money to get out of debt. The plan goes awry, however, when one of the criminals shoots a state trooper. All the hallmarks of a classic Coen Brothers film are present in "Fargo," making it a must-see for curious newbies and dedicated fans.

  • Starring: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi
  • Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

The Long Goodbye

Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is back in the thick of things in this twist-filled mystery. After giving his friend Terry (Jim Bouton) a ride to Mexico, Marlowe returns to Los Angeles to discover that Terry's wife is dead. All signs may seem to point to Terry as the culprit, but there's more to this story than meets the eye. "The Long Goodbye" is a cornerstone of the genre that mixes deep social commentary with sheer entertainment.

  • Starring: Elliott Gould, Jim Bouton, Nina van Pallandt
  • Director: Robert Altman
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

L.A. Confidential

Los Angeles is the ideal location for a good mystery: The glitz and glamor of Hollywood contrast nicely with fame's seedy underbelly. "L.A. Confidential" dives deep into both worlds with a story involving three very different policemen looking to rid the city of corruption. They all have their own desires and motivations, but their stories are deliciously intertwined. This complex approach paid off: The movie took home Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

  • Starring: Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger
  • Director: Curtis Hanson
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 138 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

The Nice Guys

After watching "The Nice Guys," you'll wonder why there aren't more movies starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a pair of mismatched detectives. As Healy and March, they plumb Los Angeles' depths in search of a missing girl. The movie's mystery is enough to keep you guessing all the way through, but what truly sets "The Nice Guys" apart is its humor. There are plenty of scenes here that will make you bust out laughing — one moment featuring Ryan Gosling's attempt to keep a bathroom door open is particularly hilarious.

  • Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice
  • Director: Shane Black
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Charade

You don't find many rom-com mysteries in theaters these days. But the combination of romance and intrigue can't be beat, and "Charade" is proof. This flick follows a woman who falls for a dashing man on a ski holiday in the French Alps. While she's away, she learns of her husband's death. Together, the pair track down her husband's old cronies to put the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together. Death may be involved in this film, but "Charade" applies a light touch, allowing for warmth and charm throughout the proceedings.

  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Walter Matthau
  • Director: Stanley Donen
  • Year: 1963
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

The Usual Suspects

In this fascinating film, a con man talks with the police about his involvement in a multi-million dollar heist controlled by the mysterious Keyser Soze. Authorities have always been doubtful that this storied crime lord actually exists, but they're about to learn the horrible truth: He's out there, and he's dangling a carrot in front of their noses. This film's twist is one of the genre's best — once you see it for yourself, you're going to want to start the movie all over again.

  • Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro
  • Director: Bryan Singer
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

The Fugitive

"The Fugitive" skillfully draws you into Richard Kimble's (Harrison Ford) Kafkaesque conundrum. He's been wrongfully accused of killing his wife, so he flees from the law and attempts to find the real killer. The only problem is, Senior Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is hot on his trail and wholeheartedly believes he's responsible. It all leads to one of the most iconic climaxes of all time. This thoroughly suspenseful tale functions as a master class in pacing.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes might be over 100 years old, but he continues to impress 21st century audiences: Actors ranging from Henry Cavill to Benedict Cumberbatch have portrayed the famous sleuth in recent years. In the minds of many, however, Robert Downey Jr. pulls off the best modern incarnation in 2009's "Sherlock Holmes." This flick has everything audiences expect out of the detective, plus a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The use of slow-motion to portray Holmes' thought process remains an innovative way of showcasing his sheer intellect.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
  • Director: Guy Ritchie
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

Laura

Film noir operates according to certain tenets. Complex plots are a given, as are mysterious dames and conniving suitors. All of these ideas work splendidly in "Laura," which follows a Manhattan detective as he searches for a Madison Avenue executive's killer. The set-up's straightforward enough, but this movie takes you around one curve after the next. "Laura" isn't everything it seems to be — just like Laura herself.

  • Starring: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Vincent Price
  • Director: Otto Preminger
  • Year: 1944
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Murder on the Orient Express

A man winds up dead on the Orient Express, and pretty much every passenger on board has a reason they might have killed him. This looks like a job for Hercule Poirot! With expert precision, this adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel of the same name leaves you guessing until its shocking finale. This film set the bar for every mystery film to come, and it's no secret as to why. When you take a bunch of A-list actors, throw them into a room together, and have them play characters desperate to convince a detective (and the audience) of their innocence, you're going to end up with movie magic.

The Third Man

Most people probably know Orson Welles best from "Citizen Kane," considered by many to be the greatest film of all time. It deserves that designation, but audiences would do well to check out other works in his filmography, like "The Third Man." This film noir revolves around two childhood friends who rekindle their partnership, only for one of them to end up dead. A conspiracy theory develops regarding a "third man" present during the death, but who was it? What ensues is so fascinating, the British Film Institute considers "The Third Man" to be the best British film ever made.

  • Starring: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli
  • Director: Carol Reed
  • Year: 1949
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Mystic River

This hard-bitten film centers around three lifelong friends, who are all connected to a young woman's murder. One of them is the girl's father, another is the last person to see her alive, and the last is the homicide detective leading the case. The police may have a protocol for this kind of thing, but that doesn't stop her father from taking the law into his own hands. "Mystic River" is a heart-wrenching watch, and one of Clint Eastwood's best films. The mystery is engaging, but what truly makes this movie special is the emotion underlying it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was a natural next step for director David Fincher. It's a gritty noir film, much like "Seven." It's an adaptation of a popular book, like "Fight Club." Yet it also stands on its own as a brilliant, twist-packed mystery. A girl's been missing for 40 years, and one dogged journalist is still on the case. To finally crack it, he needs Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an antisocial computer hacker, to help him as only  she can. The closer they get to solving it, however, the closer they get to one another.

  • Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 158 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

The Maltese Falcon

"The Maltese Falcon" is the film noir. Many genre tropes were first codified by this film: Smoke permeates the air, the shadows are dark and deep, and the hard-boiled P.I. doesn't mind bending the rules to find the truth. Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) take on a case offered by a beautiful woman. However, when Miles goes searching for clues, he winds up dead. Not only does this film paint a fantastic portrait of a classic detective, it also has one of the best MacGuffins ever utilized in film.

  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Jerome Cowan, Mary Astor
  • Director: John Huston
  • Year: 1941
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Primal Fear

Edward Norton is a household name at this point. However, back in 1996, most people didn't know what to expect out of him when they walked into a movie theater to see "Primal Fear." Norton stars as an altar boy on trial for the murder of an influential archbishop. Did he do it, or is he innocent? That's the central question in this legal thriller, which will have you questioning your own beliefs throughout its runtime. While Norton steals the show, Richard Gere's portrayal of his defense attorney is also deeply compelling. He's trying to do the right thing, but he — like the audience — isn't sure what that is anymore.

  • Starring: Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Alfre Woodard
  • Director: Gregory Hoblit
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Shutter Island

Many people didn't know what to make of "Shutter Island" when they first saw the trailer. Was it a straightforward mystery? Did it possess elements of horror? In true Martin Scorsese fashion, it transcends those traditional labels to offer something entirely new. The movie picks up with U.S. Marshal Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he first steps foot onto the eponymous island, which houses a psychiatric facility. One of the patients has gone missing, and it's up to him and his partner to figure out where they went. Forget everything you think you know about mysteries from this point forward — the twist in this film will leave your jaw on the floor.

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

There have been plenty of attempts over the years to merge live-action footage with animation. Some have been successful, while others have painfully missed the mark. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" towers over all of them. It's a landmark of animation set within the confines of a good old-fashioned mystery, in which a grizzled human has to team up with a wacky cartoon rabbit. As if that wasn't enough, it has a cavalcade of cameos from all your favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Betty Boop.

  • Starring: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Year: 1988
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Gone Girl

"Gone Girl" doesn't save its final twist until the very end. In fact, it gives up the game about halfway through, revealing the strange truth behind the disappearance of Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). From there on out, it's all about unraveling its twisted web of lies — and every moment is pulse-pounding. At its core, this is a movie about two people who hate each other ... and also happen to be married. Whatever you do, don't watch this one with your significant other.

  • Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 149 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Searching

With the internet at our disposal, it often feels as though anyone can be a detective. Any time you go on a Tinder date, you accumulate a ton of information on the other person before ever meeting them, right? This paradigm shift underlies "Searching," one of the best thrillers of the 21st century so far. John Cho stars as David, a man whose daughter has gone missing. He proceeds to comb through her computer and internet search history to determine where she could've gone. This enthralling film unfolds entirely on computer and smartphone screens. Every account, page, and site could contain a clue, which means you'll often find yourself pausing to scan each frame, just like David does.

  • Starring: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La
  • Director: Aneesh Chaganty
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

In the Heat of the Night

"In the Heat of the Night" is a thrilling detective story with a lot on its mind. Principally, it looks at the way race, wealth, and crime intersect in the United States, which makes it just as timely today as it was when it debuted in 1965. The film follows Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), an elite detective who's arrested in a small Mississippi town on suspicion of murder. He manages to prove his own innocence, but he has to team up with the town's police chief to figure out what's really going on. A searing exploration of small-town secrets ensues.

  • Starring: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
  • Director: Norman Jewison
  • Year: 1967
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

The Pelican Brief

When you want a thrilling legal novel, you turn to John Grisham. "The Pelican Brief" adapts his 1992 novel of the same name with great success. Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington play a law student and a reporter respectively, who become wrapped up in a massive conspiracy centered around the murder of two Supreme Court justices. Soon enough, people are out to kill them, too. To make it out alive, they need to be crafty — good thing that's just what they are.

A Simple Favor

Who says you need a dark office and a lot of cigarette smoke to become a detective? Sometimes, you just need the drive and a smartphone. That describes Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) from "A Simple Favor" to a T. She's a single mother and a vlogger who becomes friends with, Emily (Blake Lively), who appears to have it all. But one day, Emily goes missing. The police try their best, but Stephanie still decides to launch her own investigation. As it turns out, she may have not known the real Emily in the first place.

The Sixth Sense

Even if you've never seen "The Sixth Sense," you already know the twist. It's become cinematic short-hand for something that seemingly comes out of left field, only for audiences to realize it was right there in front of them the whole time. M. Night Shyamalan's magnum opus also established what audiences should expect out of his movies: a big twist at the end. Virtually all of his films, from "Unbreakable" to "Old," carry on that tradition, "The Sixth Sense" does it best with its tale of psychic children and frustrated psychologists.

Enola Holmes

Millie Bobby Brown rose to stardom thanks to her role on Netflix's "Stranger Things." She soon proved to be the streaming platform's golden girl by starring in one of Netflix's best-reviewed original films, "Enola Holmes." Everyone's familiar with Enola's older brother Sherlock, but this movie proves that deductive reasoning skills run in the family. When her brilliant mother Eudoria goes missing, she's hot on the case. While Sherlock and Mycroft lend a helping hand, Enola is the center of this riveting story, which combines mystery with irrepressible charm.

What Lies Beneath

Though this movie features a mysterious murder and supernatural phenomena, you'll become even more enraptured with the small, intimate moments between Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, who play a married couple on the brink. Even when they don't yell at each other, you can sense a palpable tension between them. "What Lies Beneath" feels like a prototype for "Gone Girl," and will forever change the way you look at the letters "MEF."

  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Miranda Otto
  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

Gone Baby Gone

People already knew Ben Affleck as an actor and writer, but with "Gone Baby Gone," he proved himself to be a masterful director as well. In his feature-length debut, Affleck tells a story set in his native Boston, where P.I. Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) is hired to find a missing girl. Everyone thinks he's wasting his time, as the girl's already been missing for 76 hours. But Kenzie knows the city's streets better than most — a fact he might come to regret, as the movie marches to its devastating conclusion.

  • Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman
  • Director: Ben Affleck
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

The Name of the Rose

"The Name of the Rose" follows a Franciscan friar of the 1300s who's been confronted with a bizarre state of affairs: A young monk has been found dead, in a manner that makes no sense. This one-of-a-kind film explores medieval cosmology, ponders the nature of sin, and delivers a gripping story, performed by an all-star cast including Sean Connery, Christian Slater, and Ron Perlman. You've never seen mystery like this before.

  • Starring: Sean Connery, F. Murray Abraham, Christian Slater
  • Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

The Thin Man

When an inventor goes missing, retired detective Nick Charles is pressed back into service. He's joined in sleuthing by his wife Nora, who's developed a real taste for deduction. Together, they go on a journey through deception, cruelty, and murder. But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom: "The Thin Man" is also a comedy, offering plenty of laughs. This genre alchemy proved to be so successful, it spawned several sequels.

  • Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Director: W. S. Van Dyke
  • Year: 1934
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Sleuth

"Sleuth" is the last movie the legendary Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed, which shows he was at the top of his game until the very end. This fantastic film follows a mystery novelist who goes toe-to-toe in a battle of wits with his wife's lover. People are framed for crimes in elaborate ways, inspectors are called in to investigate, and enigmatic clues are planted. The stakes grow ever higher as these two men play their deadly game — until finally, it all comes crashing down.

  • Starring: Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Eve Channing
  • Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Year: 1972
  • Runtime: 138 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Prisoners

In "Prisoners," Denis Villeneuve proves his impressive skills extend into the thriller genre. This taut film focuses on the kidnapping of two young girls, who are snatched away from their families on Thanksgiving. Unsatisfied with how the police have handled the matter, one of the girl's fathers decides to strike out on his own. It's easy to see why Villeneuve was selected to film "Blade Runner 2049" after seeing "Prisoners" — he clearly understands the allure of a crafty mystery. 

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 153 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Rashomon

Have you ever remembered an event differently from someone else who was also present? This is known as the "Rashomon effect," which is named after this enthralling mystery. Widely considered to be one of the best films ever made, "Rashomon" explores a murder from multiple perspectives. Every witness has ulterior motives, so they lie and bend the truth to their benefit. This penetrative examination of the subjective nature of truth remains one of the most fascinating mysteries ever put to film.

  • Starring: Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Toshiro Mifune
  • Director: Akira Kurosawa
  • Year: 1950
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Vertigo

"Vertigo" is widely considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, and indeed, one of the greatest film ever made (via BBC). It tells the story of Scottie Ferguson, a retired detective who left the force due to his intense acrophobia and vertigo. These fears come to the fore when an old acquaintance hires Scottie to follow his wife, who's been acting strangely. Nothing is as it seems, however, as Scottie and the audience unforgettably discover.

  • Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1958
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Witness for the Prosecution

There's truly something special about courtroom dramas. Few movies do more with this inherently interesting genre than "Witness for the Prosecution." This film unfolds like a searing play, as the viewers witness a man put on trial for the murder of a wealthy socialite. The only person who can save him is his detestable wife, who doesn't legally have to take the stand ... but chooses to anyway. What results is mesmerizing.

  • Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Year: 1957
  • Runtime: 116 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Oldboy

"Oldboy" contains one of the greatest fight sequences ever put to film, inspiring legions of movies and TV shows to come. As for the story that makes the fight scene possible? Well, that's not too shabby either. "Oldboy" follows an obnoxious man who's imprisoned for 15 years by unknown captors. When he's finally let out into society once again, he's given the opportunity to track down the individual responsible for his confinement. But as he soon discovers, the forces that held him captive are more complex and strange than he ever could have imagined.

  • Starring: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Year: 2003
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Double Indemnity

You've watched movies about private investigators taking on dastardly cases, but what about insurance adjusters? That's the clever twist that runs through this noir classic. It all starts with an insurance salesman who falls for a classic femme fatale, who has a wicked plan to kill her husband and make a fortune off his life insurance. Naturally, things get complicated, and insurance investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) is called to look into the mysterious circumstances of the death. "Double Indemnity" set a new standard for film noir which few films have managed to surpass.

  • Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Porter Hall
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Year: 1944
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Double Jeopardy

A woman is falsely convicted and imprisoned for the murder of her husband. While in the slammer, she realizes her husband is still alive, and that he framed her for his "death." She further realizes that once she's out of prison, she can kill her husband for real without going back to jail, thanks to the Constitution's double jeopardy clause. Here's the thing: This is not how double jeopardy works. But this movie is so entertaining and well-paced, you won't get bogged down in logistics. It's '90s fun at its absolute wackiest.

  • Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
  • Director: Bruce Beresford
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%

The Clovehitch Killer

"The Clovehitch Killer" brings viewers into seemingly innocent suburbia, where nice Christian parents raise their kids. But one day, a placid family's teenage son discovers disturbing images in the dad's possession. He starts to suspect his father is the man responsible for 13 murders in their area, and begins investigating. Soon enough, he learns his father is not exactly who he seems to be. If this movie sounds eerily plausible to you, that's because it draws inspiration from real-life serial killer Dennis Rader, aka the BTK Killer.

  • Starring: Charlie Plummer, Dylan McDermott, Samantha Mathis
  • Director: Duncan Skiles
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%

Tell No One

There's something about serial killers audiences find captivating. "Tell No One" plumbs the subgenre for all its worth by focusing on a man who lost his wife to a serial killer many years ago. He's soon implicated in the killing of two other people, and discovers his wife is still alive. He receives a message that appears to be from her: "Tell no one." Surveillance, deception, and police cover-ups collide in this pulse-pounding mystery.

  • Starring: François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussollier
  • Director: Guillaume Canet
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Suspicion

In "Suspicion," yet another Hitchcock classic, a naive woman marries a man she believes to be a dashing, wealthy playboy. However, after the ink dries on their marriage license, she learns he's a gambler and a liar who's after her family's money. Soon enough, she also grows suspicions that he's a murderer — and that she could be his next victim. Joan Fontaine won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in this movie, which indeed serves as a tremendously powerful showcase of her talents.

  • Starring: Joan Fontaine, Cary Grant, Nigel Bruce
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1941
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

L'Avventura

"L'Avventura" is milestone in Italian cinema, and it's not hard to see why. Two young women join one of their lovers on a boating trip. Things take a turn for the worse when one of the women goes missing. A search proceeds, and in the interim, the two survivors grow closer. The mystery remains front and center throughout the film, but much of its runtime explores the characters' guilt and anguish for succumbing to their urges. Watching these lost souls navigate such an impossible situation is as moving as it is thrilling.

  • Starring: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
  • Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 143 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Paprika

"Paprika" follows Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a trailblazing scientist and dream detective who is able to enter other people's dreams through the cutting-edge DC Mini device. Though she uses it to assist patients, the DC Mini also has the potential to cause irreparable harm. A prototype winds up being stolen, forcing her to spring into action to retrieve it. What follows is a trippily psychological excursion that will have you second-guessing everything you think you know about your own mind.

  • Starring: Megumi Hayashibara, Tōru Furuya, Tōru Emori
  • Director: Satoshi Kon
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

The Postman Always Rings Twice

When you first watch "The Postman Always Rings Twice," you might think the beginning's a little slow. Once you get into the second half, however, you'll realize how essential every scene is to setting the stage for total chaos. Things kick off when a diner owner hires a drifter to work for him. This drifter soon begins an affair with the diner owner's wife, and the two conspire to kill him. Things quickly get complicated after they attempt their murder, however, and eventually spiral into outright havoc. Justice is complex in this movie, and entertaining as all get-out.

  • Starring: Lana Turner, Cecil Kellaway, John Garfield
  • Director: Tay Garnett
  • Year: 1946
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Gosford Park

Do you wish "Downton Abbey" had a bit more murder and suspense? If so, "Gosford Park" is extremely up your alley — it's even written by Julian Fellowes, mastermind behind the smash-hit TV series. A group of wealthy, famous individuals gather at a prestigious hunting resort in the 1930s, looking for some rest and relaxation. But when a murder transpires, they're all considered a suspect. This is a brilliant examination of class and crime, packed with incredible performances and cutting wit.

Memories of Murder

Before Bong Joon-ho unleashed "Parasite" upon the world, he offered up a very different kind of film with "Memories of Murder." These films may vary significantly, but one thing's clear: Bong Joon-ho has always had an interest in the macabre and violent. This film takes place in 1986, where two detectives are assigned a double murder. They soon start to notice other murders featuring the same patterns are transpiring. It's at this point that they realize they're on the hunt for the country's first confirmed serial killer. To make this movie even more haunting, it's based on true events.

Anatomy of a Murder

They say the truth is stranger than fiction. That's certainly the case with "Anatomy of a Murder," which adapts a novel that is itself based on a 1952 case. The film follows a semi-retired lawyer who agrees to take on a case involving a man accused of murder. There are many moving parts to the story, and they all center around the accused's business partner, who has a dark secret that threatens to upend everything. This is one of the finest courtroom dramas ever made, and one of cinema's greatest-ever mysteries.

  • Starring: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Kathryn Grant
  • Director: Otto Preminger
  • Year: 1959
  • Runtime: 160 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%