×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

15 Best Mystery Movies On Hulu [December 2021]

From Edgar Allan Poe all the way to David Lynch and beyond, mysteries are a permanent fixture in escapist entertainment. It would seem, every once in a while, we prefer to read stories and watch films without advance knowledge of how they're likely to end. 

For the sake of composing this list, we're talking about mystery as though it's a genre, but what we really mean when we say "mystery" is more like an approach to storytelling than an easily definable subset of media. Mysteries need elements of suspense and ambiguity, as well as, perhaps, a smidgen of atmospheric doom to represent our collective fear of the unknowable. As you'll see, the best mysteries on Hulu tend to also fit under the categorical signifiers of drama or horror. On rare occasion, you might even come across a mystery that's also an action movie or a comedy.  

So if you've got a spare evening on your hands and a Hulu login, and you're aiming to kick back and not immediately know what's going on in the movie you're watching, here are your best options. 

Updated on November 24, 2021: If you're in the mood for a mystery, check back here each month to discover new films to watch on Hulu. The streaming site constantly updates its offerings, and we'll keep you current on what intriguing, thrilling films are available.

Black Swan

"Black Swan" is arguably the closest thing Darren Aronofsky has ever made to a mainstream film, and it also ranks among his darkest and most unsettling endeavors. 

In an Oscar-winning performance, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers — a ballerina on the cusp of realizing her lifelong dream by landing the lead role in "Swan Lake." Nina's abusive stage mom has also dreamed of Nina starring in "Swan Lake," yet her daughter's blossoming career does nothing to reduce either of their sky-high anxiety levels. When Nina's director — a #MeToo story waiting to happen — adds to her pre-existing issues, a free spirited new dancer who might not actually exist join's her troupe, and Nina can no longer trust what she sees in the mirror. We mean that last about the mirror figuratively and literally.

  • Starring: Natalie PortmanMila Kunis, Vincent Cassel  
  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Borgman

For those who live in major cities where municipal officials publicly fret about a growing unhoused population, "Borgman" resonates with an inescapable relevancy. 

Chased out of his self-fashioned underground living quarters, the eponymous protagonist asks a wealthy couple to use their bathroom for a desperately needed wash-up. For his audacity — and the questionable choice of claiming to know the presumed homeowner's wife — Borgman is beaten mercilessly. 

Borgman is a victim, no doubt, but the film's conspicuous use of ominous silence and deliberate pacing makes us wonder if there might be more to this particular sob story, especially when Borgman decides to pay a return visit to the aforementioned wealthy couple.

  • Starring: Jan Bijvoet, Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval
  • Director: Alex van Warmerdam
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

The Conversation

Utterly overshadowed by the cinematic towers of the "Godfather" trilogy and "Apocalypse Now," "The Conversation" isn't Francis Ford Coppola's most famous or visually adventurous project. However, it might be his most cerebral movie.

Spy-for-hire Harry Caul will bug any phone for a price, but he obsesses over preventing violations of his own privacy. His life gets even more complicated when he's hired to follow a young couple and starts to think that perhaps these two are in serious danger. "The Conversation" features one of Gene Hackman's best performances, and maybe in this day and age where nobody sees a problem with sharing the intimate details of our lives with the executive boards of Google and Facebook, we could learn a thing or two from Harry Caul!   

Gemini

The promotional materials for 2017's "Gemini" paint a picture of a murder mystery set in Los Angeles that involves two women, one of whom is a movie star, and includes plenty of nighttime footage of the Hollywood highways. There's some strong "Mulholland Drive" energy afoot, which is never a bad thing. 

Zoë Kravitz plays beleaguered nouveau A-lister Heather Anderson, whose violent demise — in the macabre tradition of Laura Palmer — initiates the story. John Cho portrays the detective on the hunt for Heather's killer, and to our not insignificant astonishment, '90s daytime TV personality Ricki Lake is also in this movie.     

  • Starring: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, John Cho
  • Director: Aaron Katz
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The inevitable Hollywood adaptation of the most popular non-YA novel series of the 2000s, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" places Daniel Craig in the boots of the original story's hard-luck newshound, Mikael Blomkvist. And Rooney Mara delivers a breakthrough performance as Lisbeth Salander, the titular inked-up tech wiz.

Together, this unlikely duo works together to crack a 40-year-old cold case — the disappearance of a young girl. Her wealthy grandfather is willing to pay a hefty sum to figure out what happened to her, and as they dig deeper into the mystery, our heroes discover they're working for a very dysfunctional family.

Director David Fincher made this movie between 2010's wildly acclaimed "The Social Network" and 2014's roughly as successful "Gone Girl." That means he got a lot more accomplished between 2009 and 2015 than the vast majority of us did. Good job, David Fincher. 

  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 152 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Gone Girl

Did Nick Dunne murder his wife, Amy? We ask because nobody seems able to find Amy, and Nick definitely gives off the vibe of somebody who would murder his wife. 

With Nick, David Fincher revisits his penchant for externally respectable, internally collapsing protagonists that also brought us the Narrator from "Fight Club" and tormented businessman Nicholas Van Orton from "The Game." If you're a Fincher nerd, that's got to be your favorite movie character archetype. 

"Gone Girl" also marks Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' third collaboration with Fincher on an original soundtrack. There's nothing like warm, sentimental ambiance from the mastermind of Nine Inch Nails to reassure us that Nick Dunne did not kill his wife. How could he have? He looks so happy! And happy people never do murders ... right?      

  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 146 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Inception

Christopher Nolan followed up his superhero standard-setter, "The Dark Knight," with an even more ambitious project — a star-studded heist flick that unfolds inside dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the suave and troubled Dom Cobb, who assembles a ragtag squad to sneak into the subconscious of a business scion and alter the trajectory of the clueless mark's decision-making faculties. 

The film's enigmatic elements come through principally via the ambiguous status of Dom's ostensibly dead wife, Mal, and what exactly happened to her. But ultimately, the film's selling point is its collection of shootouts, fistfights, and car chases crashing through environments where the laws of physics don't apply. 

"Inception" can also proudly count itself among the very first movies parodied by "Rick & Morty," specifically in Season 1, Episode 2 — "Lawnmower Dog."   

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 148 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Jagged Edge

Younger viewers might think of Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close as the Dude and the first live-action Cruella de Vil, respectively, but even they won't be able to resist this sexy murder mystery from "Return of the Jedi" director Richard Marquand. Teddy Barnes (Close), a whip-smart lawyer, has been hired to defend a man accused of killing his wife. Is he guilty? She's not sure — and neither will you be, until this thrilling film reaches its explosive ending.

  • Starring: Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges, Peter Coyote
  • Director: Richard Marquand
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

The Limehouse Golem

This Victorian-era whodunit announces itself as the sort of stern, hushed affair you might expect to see serialized on the public television program formerly known as "Masterpiece Theater." However, don't panic — we promise "The Limehouse Golem" unleashes enough blood and guts to keep it safely beyond the grasp of PBS standards and practices, especially as it's about a detective hunting a serial killer through the dark streets of London.

Noted for supporting roles in "Bates Motel" and "The Sound Of Metal," Olivia Cooke gets a part that actually requires her to do and say things for a change, and she certainly does not squander the opportunity. 

  • Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth
  • Director: Juan Carlos Medina
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

The Manchurian Candidate

A post-9/11 update on the classic Red Scare-era thriller, Jonathan Demme's "The Manchurian Candidate" puts Liev Schreiber in the one-time Frank Sinatra role of secretly brainwashed vice presidential candidate, while Denzel Washington plays the old war buddy on a quest to unravel the conspiracy. Conspiracy theories might be everywhere nowadays, but this thriller is so good, it still feels fresh.

Mother

Roughly 10 years before "Parasite" dominated the 2020 Oscars, director Bong Joon-ho was cranking out high-quality films that didn't necessary break any global records but are entirely worth watching nevertheless. For example, take "Mother."

In this incredible mystery flick, a working-class single mom fights to exonerate her mentally challenged son who's been accused of a murder. Perhaps its critique of capitalism is not as refined as "Parasite," but "Mother" shares that film's ability to pull visual and narrative potency out of seemingly mundane subject matter.      

  • Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Won-bin, Jin Goo
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart is one of the best — and most underrated — actors of her generation. For years, people only associated her with the "Twilight" movies, but she would eventually wow critics with turns in highly acclaimed films like "Clouds of Sils Maria," "Camp X-Ray," and "Spencer." And one of her greatest performances comes from one of our favorite mystery films — the incredibly haunting "Personal Shopper." Here, Stewart plays Maureen Cartwright, a supermodel's assistant who attempts to communicate with the spirit of her recently deceased brother. Maureen's efforts to breach the Great Beyond pan out at even greater cost and with more complexity than you might expect.

Pieta

Every now and again, folks find themselves in a state of mind to watch the most unforgiving, nihilistic piece of media possible. If such an occasion should arise, the South Korean-produced "Pieta" provides a perfectly effective abyss in which to stare. The plot follows a loan shark who, one day, meets a mysterious woman who claims to be his mom. Needless to say, this family reunion isn't exactly cheerful.

While noted for its ruthless violence and absolute lack of any hope for the redemption of humanity; "Pieta" was the darling of multiple 2012 film festivals, particularly the Venice International Film Festival. The film's undeniable creative integrity means we can't dismiss its depravity and misery as merely for shock value ... which makes the whole endeavor that much more disturbing, doesn't it?    

  • Starring: Lee Jung-jin, Jo Min-soo, Woo Gi-hong
  • Director: Kim Ki-duk
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Prisoners

There's certainly no shortage of movies about main characters resorting to vigilante violence as a result of harm inflicted against loved ones. Here, we have a case of the right collection of talents coming together to turn a well-worn premise into a chilling examination of justice and morality. 

Hugh Jackman plays a righteously angry dad looking for answers and payback when his daughter disappears. But as it's directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by "Raised by Wolves" creator Aaron Guzikowski, "Prisoners" explores somewhat more cerebral terrains than your average revenge flick. Without giving too much away, it ain't exactly "Taken."     

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

The Village

After the accolades of "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable," audiences assumed M. Night Shyamalan could do no wrong. Then we saw "The Village" and realized that Shyamalan is entirely capable of imperfection. But now that seven subsequent films have refined our understanding of Shyamalan's oeuvre, "The Village" scans more like a genre shift into haunted forest-oriented horror rather than a misfire. Today, we know what to expect from Shyamalan's campy side — we don't freak out when it shows up. 

But you know who does freak out? Citizens of the isolated town Covington, Pennsylvania, when they see or hear the monsters residing in the woods that surround their close-knit community. As a result, these 19th-century villagers live in fear of the woods surrounding their home ... until a tragic event forces a young blind woman into the woods, looking for help and — possibly — answers about what's really happening in Covington. With gorgeous Roger Deakins cinematography, a fantastic James Newton Howard score, and killer performances from Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix, "The Village" is definitely better than its reputation suggests.