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15 Great Movies Like Murder Mystery You'll Probably Love

If ever there were two genres that went together surprisingly well, it would be comedy and mystery. One such recent film to employ this unique hybrid genre is the 2019 Netflix release "Murder Mystery." Nick (Adam Sandler) is a New York City policeman, who takes a trip to Europe with his wife Audrey (Jennifer Aniston). Their vacation soon takes a turn when they end up in the crosshairs of a conspiracy and find themselves framed for murder. While far from being the most original film, "Murder Mystery" still benefits from its extremely likable leads and its fun blend of cinematic genres.

The comedy-mystery sub genre can often result in big laughs thanks to its mix of grand comedic set pieces, amazing ensemble casts or unexpected pairings of characters, and genuine intrigue and mystery, which often leads protagonists and viewers into strange and surprising places. So, if you are craving other comedy-mystery hybrids, here are 15 films like "Murder Mystery" that are definitely worth your time. 

The Pink Panther (1963)

From the moment the first few notes of the theme for "The Pink Panther" hit your ears, you know you're in for something iconic. In what would be the first of over a dozen sequels and re-imaginings, the original "Pink Panther" still stands out as a classic. The film follows Inspector Jacques Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers, who is hot on the trail of a jewel thief named "The Phantom." The thief has stolen a jewel called the "Pink Panther," which is the largest diamond in the world that contains a discoloration within it resembling a panther. As Clouseau tries to catch The Phantom, he embarks on a journey that's chock-full of exotic locations, fireworks, car chases, and beautiful women.

In this film filled with hilarious over-the-top comedy, the breakout star of course is Sellers, whose version of Clouseau became so iconic and beloved that the entire franchise would focus on the bumbling inspector (via Britannica). Even today, the film is still recognized as one of the all-time greats and a staple of the comedy-mystery sub-genre that has inspired a long line of films, including "Murder Mystery."

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" is an oddity of a film that utilizes a very specific gimmick to tell its story. The film is best described as a collage of various 1940s pulpy noir detective movies that get re-contextualized as a comedy. "Dead Man Don't Wear Plaid" centers around the murder of scientist John Hay Forrest (George Gaynes) and the subsequent investigation by private investigator Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin). This propels Reardon into a tongue-in-cheek, madcap adventure, which utilizes stock footage from the likes of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "Dark Passage." So, Reardon's investigation incorporates archival cameos from classic movie stars of Hollywood, including Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, and many more.

Despite the film's admittedly cheesy gimmick, the joy of watching it comes from Steve Martin's stellar performance as Rigby Reardon. Martin's comedic timing and improvisational skills really get to shine here, which is impressive give how many of his interactions are one sided. It helps that Martin co-wrote the movie too, along with his frequent collaborator Carl Reiner, who directed this collage-heavy comedy. If you're looking for an underrated and unique combination of murder mystery and comedy, then definitely check out "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid."

Clue (1985)

When most people think of the murder mystery genre, there's a good chance the first film they'll think of is the cult classic whodunit "Clue." The '80s murder mystery comedy, based on the eponymous board game, was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn (who would later go on to direct "My Cousin Vinny"). The plot of "Clue" essentially follows that of the board game. We meet six affluent party guests — Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet. Soon enough the seventh guest, Mr. Boddy, is murdered, and all six guests having a likely motif for doing so.

Where the film shines is through its impeccable cast, featuring the likes of Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Madeline Kahn, and many others. "Clue" is also unique due to the intriguing gimmick it opted to use for its theatrical release. The filmmakers crafted three endings for the film, and released different cuts to various theaters in an attempt to get people to go view "Clue" repeatedly (via Buzzfeed). Unfortunately, it didn't work, and the film bombed at the box office but luckily, now viewers have the chance to see all three endings at once (rather than having to go to the theater three times). This is a dark and hilarious mystery-comedy classic with a stellar cast, so if you've never seen "Clue," then it's about time you got one!

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

While not generally uttered in the same breath as Disney animated films like "The Lion King" or "Aladdin," "The Great Mouse Detective" is most definitely a classic. The film centers around a little mouse named Olivia, who is in search of her kidnapped father, an inventor named Hiram. She enlists the help of another mouse, Dr. David Q. Dawson, who introduces her to the Great Mouse Detective a.k.a. Basil of Baker Street. The trio soon discovers that Olivia's father's kidnapping is part of the sinister machinations of Professor Ratigan (voiced by the iconic Vincent Price).

The film is a mix of "An American Tail" and a classic "Sherlock Holmes" story, right down to Basil even living in Sherlock's house. The joy of any story regarding sentient mice is seeing how their tiny world operates and this film is no exception. The animation is truly a treat and is one of the earliest Disney movies to use CGI for its climax (via /Film).

The highlight of "The Great Mouse Detective" comes from the Holmes-Moriarty style interplay between Basil and Professor Ratigan. From their comedic timing to snappy one-liners, the duo makes for a superb hero-and-villain pairing. "The Great Mouse Detective" is a prime example of an animated film with a little something for everyone and despite its PG-rating, will be sure to intrigue any fans of "Murder Mystery."

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

From its revolutionary integration of animation and live-action to its charming lead performances, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" is an undeniable gem. The film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, showcases a bizarre world, where cartoon characters and humans exist side-by-side. Set in 1940s Hollywood, the film follows grizzled private detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), who finds himself embroiled in a strange case. Marvin Acme, king of gags and owner of Toontown, is murdered, and madcap cartoon star Roger Rabbit is framed for the killing. Now Eddie, with the zany rabbit in tow, must set off to solve the case, all while being pursued by the foreboding Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd).

From its first frame to the last, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" is loaded with a bevy of cameos from famous cartoon characters. What makes it even more spectacular is seeing Disney and Warner Brothers characters side-by-side for the first and (likely) only time. Words cannot do justice to just how surreal it is to see Bugs Bunny share a scene with Mickey Mouse. However, amidst all the cameos is a tight screenplay full of subtle details, clever references and well-timed humor. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" was a game-changer in the late '80s and still stands as a genre classic for kids and adults today. If you love "Murder Mystery" and haven't yet seen this film, do so ASAP and be prepared to never look at a baby in a carriage the same way again.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

For decades, Jim Carrey has brought life to countless quotable characters on both the big and small screens, all imbued with his signature manic energy. But in terms of his most-celebrated roles, very few are quoted with as much frequency as "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." The film follows an eccentric detective named Ace Ventura (Carrey), whose speciality lies in finding people's lost and stolen pets. Seen as a joke by the Miami Police Department, Ventura gets his chance to shine when Snowball — the Miami Dolphins mascot — is kidnapped. With the help of the Dolphins' publicist Melissa (Courteney Cox), Ace chases several leads in search of the beloved aquatic mammal.

Jim Carrey truly goes above and beyond in this film, utilizing every ounce of spastic energy in his mortal form. It helps to elevate what is, in actuality, a fairly standard and clichéd whodunit mystery. It is also worth noting that the film, while still undeniably entertaining, has not aged very well since its 1994 release. It includes a significant plot point that comes at the expense of a trans woman, which is quite problematic. Despite this offensive and hurtful joke, the film still boasts one of Carrey's most memorable and quotable comedic performances.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

In terms of blockbuster movies, few writer-directors have generated the amount of stellar work that Shane Black has. Not only did he scribe the first "Lethal Weapon" film, but he also directed "The Nice Guys" and "Iron Man 3" as well. Although he got his start as a writer, his first outing as a director came in the form of the 2005 black comedy crime film "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang." Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is a small-time crook, who finds himself thrust into a classic film noir scenario. After accidentally nailing an audition, he's flown out to Hollywood, where he reunites with his former sweetheart Harmony (Michelle Monaghan). Harry is taken under the wing of "Gay" Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer), a private investigator meant to help Harry get into character. Soon Harry, Perry and Harmony end up dealing with a real life murder mystery!

The film is simultaneously a lovingly tongue-in-cheek homage to noir films, while also a fresh take on the genre that oozes its own flair, which is aided by Black's direction. With charming leads, a tight script and top-notch pacing, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" is a gem of a murder mystery film and any fans of "Murder Mystery" (or Robert Downey Jr.) will be sure to fall for its charm.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Many view Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's Cornetto Trilogy — "Shaun of the Dead, "Hot Fuzz," and "The World's End" — to be an exemplary series of films. Of course, everyone will have their own opinion, but many feel that the strongest entry of the trilogy is the 2007 release "Hot Fuzz." Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a London policeman, who is very good at his job, but as he quickly learns, he's a bit too good at it. He's been making the rest of the force look bad with his hard work, so Nicholas is shipped off to the small town of Sandford, Gloucestershire in the country. While acclimating to small town life, Nicholas forms a friendship with the police chief's dimwitted son Danny (Nick Frost). Soon enough, a series of gruesome murders begin plaguing the small village, and its now up to Nicholas and Danny to stop them. 

While at first glance, "Hot Fuzz" seems to be a typical buddy-cop movie, its impeccable direction and major twists help make it unique. In fact, where "Hot Fuzz" truly shines is in its expertly crafted comedic dialogue and its incomparably smooth editing style. Edgar Wright's sense of pacing is tremendous, as there is never a moment in the film that feels pointless or superfluous. In terms of modern comedy mystery classics, it's hard to do much better than "Hot Fuzz" and fans of the comedic timing and chemistry of "Murder Mystery" will love this film.

Inherent Vice (2014)

"Inherent Vice" is perhaps one of the stranger additions to this list, but it is also one of the more unique murder mysteries out there. Paul Thomas Anderson directed this 2014 film, which was based on a 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. The movie begins in the 1970s Los Angeles criminal underworld, where we meet Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix). Doc, a stoner hippie, is recruited by his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston) to help save her new lover, Mickey (Eric Roberts). Soon enough though, both Mickey and Shasta end up kidnapped, and Doc traverses the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in order to solve the case.

As Doc gets deeper into the truth of what happened to Shasta and Mickey, the plot gets more convoluted, which is the main flaw of the film. A number of critics noted this issue, with Ethan Adler of Film Journal International calling the movie "confounding, challenging and consistently unique." Paul Thomas Anderson brings his trademark bold visual style to "Inherent Vice," which oozes out of every frame. The performances are stellar as well, with Joaquin Phoenix in particular standing out as a confused stoner, who's just trying to understand what's going on and what is actually real. If you're looking for a unique, stylish mystery, then definitely check out "Inherent Vice."

Zootopia (2016)

Disney's 2016 "Zootopia" is a computer-animated film that puts a surprising new spin on several old tropes, particularly in the buddy cop genre. Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) is an intelligent and goal-oriented rabbit, who embarks on a quest to prove her legitimacy as a police officer, since her boss fails to recognize her talents. She decides to solve a string of animal disappearances, so she can finally get the recognition she deserves, and she employs the help of a sly and fast-talking fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman).

Despite its fuzzy exterior of being a movie with talking animals, "Zootopia" actually has a lot to say about modern culture, as it focuses on abuses of power and issues within the police force. Disney has continuously pushed the boundaries of computer-generated animation, as the legendary studio has produced movies — from "Frozen" to "Encanto" — that go much deeper than their whimsical surfaces might indicate. "Zootopia" not only does this, but also benefits from two stellar lead characters, which makes it a great film for any fans of "Murder Mystery" to enjoy.

Hail, Caesar! (2016)

When it comes to the movies of the Coen Brothers, a key element is how distinct each of their films is from one another. Despite the fact that many of these films share a commonality of pitch black comedy and violence, each Coen production boasts its own unique flair. "Hail, Caesar!" is no exception, as it's clearly crafted by the Coens, but still maintains its own identity, distinct from the rest of their filmography. 

Set in glitzy 1950s Hollywood, the film follows Edward "Eddie" Manix (Josh Brolin), who pulls double duty at Capitol Pictures. Aside from being head of physical production, Eddie also works as the studio's resident "fixer," who's tasked with covering up any potential celebrity scandals. His day-to-day dealings are thrown for a loop when actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped by blacklisted Communist screenwriters. Now, Eddie must get him back, while also dealing with his own personal hangups and various other pitfalls of mid-century Hollywood.

"Hail, Caesar!" is most definitely a dramatized version of Tinseltown, but it is a lovingly created one that's packed with plenty of visual pop. It's a film that understands the era it's playing tribute to and is imbued with a surplus of tongue-in-cheek charm. If you already love the Coen Brothers' work and enjoy watching mysteries unfold, then this is most definitely a film that's worth your time.

The Nice Guys (2016)

Shane Black's 2016 "The Nice Guys" focuses on the duo of Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), who unexpectedly join forces to solve a homicide. When adult film actress Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio) dies, her aunt hires March — a divorced, often times pathetic private eye — to investigate her death. Meanwhile, Healy is a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails enforcer, who's supposed to block March's investigation. Instead, these two opposites wind up working together and make their way through lead after lead, which drags them further into the seedy underworld of '70s Los Angeles.

Gosling and Crowe have superb chemistry with each other, as each brings equal parts heart and humor to his respective roles. Despite this powerhouse pairing of performers, "The Nice Guys" suffers thanks to its mystery that the duo is solving, which is a bit too complicated for its own good. While it's far from perfect, "The Nice Guys" is a unique film filled with enough sincere charm and mad-cap humor to excite any fan of "Murder Mystery."

A Simple Favor (2018)

From "Bridesmaids" to "The Heat," Paul Feig has directed some of the most truly memorable female-led films around. His 2018 film "A Simple Favor" is based off of the Darcey Bell scribed novel of the same name and proves to be another worthy addition to his female-centric filmography. Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a recently widowed mother and vlogger, who forms a friendship with the very successful Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). Emily asks Stephanie to take care of her son while she and her husband are away, but things soon take a turn. After several missed calls, it becomes clear that Emily has vanished and now Stephanie must figure out what happened. This leads her down an ever-expanding rabbit hole that grows more and more complicated with every subsequent revelation.

A noir crime story about a mommy blogger is already an interesting hook on its own, but "A Simple favor" definitely elevates it further to wild and unexpected places. It's bolstered even further by the strength of its two leads, as both Kendrick and Lively bring their A-games to their parts. If you loved the A-list talent and twists and turns of "Murder Mystery," then "A Simple Favor" is definitely worth a watch.

Knives Out (2019)

In terms of having the ability to really keep you guessing, very few recent films have hit the mark quite like Rian Johnson's "Knives Out". Many films have reinterpreted the classic trope of the "whodunnit" mystery, but the direction this film takes is truly unique. We are introduced to the Thrombey family, an egregiously wealthy family filled with a bevy of interpersonal strife. The family's immense wealth comes from its elderly patriarch, Harlan (Christopher Plummer), a widely successful murder mystery writer. However, the morning after his 85th birthday party, Harland is found violently murdered in his study. The entire family suddenly finds themselves being investigated by renowned private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who soon discovers that the secrets of the Thrombey family go far deeper than he ever suspected. 

The true ingenuity of "Knives Out" is that it shows you who committed the murder fairly early on in the film. This structure allows for a greater mystery regarding the circumstances and also leads to several shocking revelations regarding Harlan's unlikable family. The stellar script and direction of "Knives Out" is bolstered even further by its A-list ensemble cast — Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette, to name a few — and all of this comes together perfectly in this modern murder mystery classic.

The Lovebirds (2020)

Sometimes the on-screen chemistry between two actors is enough to carry — and even elevate — a film's admittedly clichéd premise. This is most definitely the case with the 2020 romantic comedy "The Lovebirds," directed by Michael Showalter. Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) are a couple, who is very much on the rocks. However, en route to a dinner party, the bickering couple soon find themselves swept up in a murder-mystery. After a man commanders their car under the guise of being a cop, he proceeds to kill a cyclist with it. The couple become suspects in the murder, and embark on a journey to figure out how to clear their names. 

While the premise is a bit played out, the true strength of the film stems from its two very charming leads. Both Nanjiani and Rae are pitch-perfect as a struggling couple, who must work out their strife amidst an ever intensifying situation. If you enjoyed the chemistry of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in "Murder Mystery," you'll fall for "The Lovebirds."