25 Best Murder Mystery Movies (Whodunit)

We live in a golden age of true crime documentaries, podcasts, and books. While fictional mysteries may not inspire long-running conspiracy-filled Reddit topics, they can satisfy your crime resolution, your search for clues without the sad (and, to be honest, somewhat problematic) real aspect of the real crime. This is why we have decided to make this article full of some great murder mystery movies. Find them below.

Best Murder Mystery Movies

Murder mystery movies on this list are not sorted in any particular order. The reason for that is these are some amazing whodunit movies and there is no way we could give them justice by sorting them. Instead, think of them just as the best mystery murder movies of all time.

1. L.A. Confidential (1997)

l.a. confidential - Murder Mystery Movies

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Curtis Hanson

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

Summary: The murder is investigated by three different police officers, each with their own way and methods of getting to the truth. What they have in common is that they do not hesitate to use everything at their disposal to reach the goal.

2. Vertigo (1958)

Genre: Mystery, romance, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Summary: A former police detective fights his personal demons and becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman.

3. Primal Fear (1996)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton

Summary: The minister is accused of killing a priest, and the truth is buried deep beneath several layers.

4. Rear Window (1954)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

Summary: A photographer in a wheelchair spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced that one of them has committed murder.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer

Summary: Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on an island owned by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, and her uncle is convinced the killer is a member of his connected but dysfunctional family.

He hired journalist Mikael Blomqvist and tattooed, problematic, but clever hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate the case. When they linked the disappearance of Harriet and the numerous grotesque murders some forty years ago, they begin to reveal the family’s dark history. But the Wangers are a strong clan and Blomqvist, and Salander will have to discover how far they are willing to go to protect themselves.

6. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Genre: Mystery

Director: John Huston

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George

Summary: A private detective takes over a case involving three eccentric criminals, a lavish liar and their search for a priceless statue.

7. Memories of Murder (2003)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim

Summary: In a small town in the Korean province, in 1986, three detectives struggle with multiple cases of rape and murder of young girls.

8. Dial M for Murder (1954)

Genre: Crime, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings

Summary: A tennis player sets up a murder for his unfaithful wife, after she inadvertently stopped his plan to kill her.

9. Se7en (1995)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey

Summary: The story follows two detectives, one retiring (Morgan Freeman) and another, his replacements (Brad Pitt), who jointly investigate a series of ritual murders inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins.

10. Clue (1985)

Genre: Comedy, crime, mystery

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Cast: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn

Summary: Six guests are anonymously invited to an unusual mansion for dinner, but once their host is killed, they must work with staff to identify the killer as the bodies pile up.

11. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Summary: FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is inserted to work with cannibal Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to bring down Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) together.

12. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman

Summary: In December 1935, when his train was stopped by deep snow, Detective Hercule Poirot was called to solve a murder that had occurred in his wagon the night before.

13. Oldboy (2003)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Chan-wook Park

Cast: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

Summary: After being abducted and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su was released, only to find out that he must find his captor in five days.

14. Chinatown (1974)

Genre: Drama, mystery, thriller

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Summary: In the late 1930s in Los Angeles, private detective Jake Gittes (J. Nicholson) is hired by Mrs. Mulway (F. Dunaway) to find out if her husband, otherwise a local rich man and businessman, is seeing another woman.

Suddenly, another woman appears who also introduces herself as the alleged Mrs. Mulway, threatening him if he doesn’t leave the case.

Despite the threats, Gittes continues to work on the case, slowly uncovering a complex game involving city water licenses, corruption, and land resale, involving at least one murder.

Namely, he soon discovers that Mrs. Mulway’s husband was brutally, under unexplained circumstances, killed. Also, a group of people starts chasing him, wanting to terminate him.

15. Zodiac (2007)

Genre: Crime, drama, historical

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo

Summary: This is a serial killer who intimidates the San Francisco Bay Area and mocks the police with his codes and letters while four police departments search for the killer. The case becomes an obsession for four men whose lives and careers are continuously first uplifted and then destroyed.

16. The Name of the Rose (1986)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Cast: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger

Summary: An intellectually nonconformist friar explores a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

17. The Chaser (2008)

Genre: Action, crime, thriller

Director: Hong-jin Na

Cast: Yoon-Seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo

Summary: An embarrassed former police officer leading a small circle of prostitution finds himself in a race against the time when one of his wives goes missing.

18. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Norman Jewison

Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

Summary: An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern city.

19. Shutter Island (2010)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams

Summary: A plot set in 1954. Officer Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a convicted murderer who escaped from a mental hospital and is suspected of hiding on the remote island of Shutter. Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams also star in this tense story that will not leave anyone indifferent.

20. Mother (2009)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Cast: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin

Summary: A mother desperately searches for the killer who set her son up for the horrific murder of a girl.

21. Searching (2018)

Genre: Drama, mystery, thriller

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee

Summary: After David Kim’s 16-year-old daughter (John Cho) goes missing, a local police investigation is opened led by Detective Rosemary Vick. But as there are no traces 37 hours later, David decides to search a place that no one has searched yet and where all the secrets are kept today: his daughter’s computer.

David now has to follow his daughter’s digital footprints before he disappears forever. Revealing more and more information about her, David discovers that he doesn’t really know her at all and that before she disappeared she became entangled in a network of secrets and inexplicable situations.

22. Psycho (1960)

Genre: Horror, mystery, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

Summary: A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from a client of her employer, goes on the run, and reports to a remote motel run by a young man dominated by her mother.

23. Mystic River (2003)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon

Summary: The lives of three men, who are childhood friends, are ruined when one of them is hit by a family accident.

24. The Fugitive (1993)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Andrew Davis

Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward

Summary: Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of killing his wife, must find the real killer, while he is the target of a national mission led by an experienced American Marshall.

25. Gone Girl (2014)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

Summary: In a tense story about a wife who doesn’t show up to celebrate her 5th wedding anniversary, we’ll be starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles.

They play the perfect married couple, Nick and Amy, who live peacefully in the province after moving from New York.

Favorite members of the small community will become national news #1 when the search for missing Amy reveals that Nick is the prime suspect, and her diary reveals a completely different side to their flawless marriage.


25 Best Murder Mystery Movies (Whodunit)

We live in a golden age of true crime documentaries, podcasts, and books. While fictional mysteries may not inspire long-running conspiracy-filled Reddit topics, they can satisfy your crime resolution, your search for clues without the sad (and, to be honest, somewhat problematic) real aspect of the real crime. This is why we have decided to make this article full of some great murder mystery movies. Find them below.

Best Murder Mystery Movies

Murder mystery movies on this list are not sorted in any particular order. The reason for that is these are some amazing whodunit movies and there is no way we could give them justice by sorting them. Instead, think of them just as the best mystery murder movies of all time.

1. L.A. Confidential (1997)

l.a. confidential - Murder Mystery Movies

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Curtis Hanson

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

Summary: The murder is investigated by three different police officers, each with their own way and methods of getting to the truth. What they have in common is that they do not hesitate to use everything at their disposal to reach the goal.

2. Vertigo (1958)

Genre: Mystery, romance, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Summary: A former police detective fights his personal demons and becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman.

3. Primal Fear (1996)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton

Summary: The minister is accused of killing a priest, and the truth is buried deep beneath several layers.

4. Rear Window (1954)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

Summary: A photographer in a wheelchair spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced that one of them has committed murder.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer

Summary: Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on an island owned by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, and her uncle is convinced the killer is a member of his connected but dysfunctional family.

He hired journalist Mikael Blomqvist and tattooed, problematic, but clever hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate the case. When they linked the disappearance of Harriet and the numerous grotesque murders some forty years ago, they begin to reveal the family’s dark history. But the Wangers are a strong clan and Blomqvist, and Salander will have to discover how far they are willing to go to protect themselves.

6. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Genre: Mystery

Director: John Huston

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George

Summary: A private detective takes over a case involving three eccentric criminals, a lavish liar and their search for a priceless statue.

7. Memories of Murder (2003)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim

Summary: In a small town in the Korean province, in 1986, three detectives struggle with multiple cases of rape and murder of young girls.

8. Dial M for Murder (1954)

Genre: Crime, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings

Summary: A tennis player sets up a murder for his unfaithful wife, after she inadvertently stopped his plan to kill her.

9. Se7en (1995)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey

Summary: The story follows two detectives, one retiring (Morgan Freeman) and another, his replacements (Brad Pitt), who jointly investigate a series of ritual murders inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins.

10. Clue (1985)

Genre: Comedy, crime, mystery

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Cast: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn

Summary: Six guests are anonymously invited to an unusual mansion for dinner, but once their host is killed, they must work with staff to identify the killer as the bodies pile up.

11. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Summary: FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is inserted to work with cannibal Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to bring down Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine) together.

12. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman

Summary: In December 1935, when his train was stopped by deep snow, Detective Hercule Poirot was called to solve a murder that had occurred in his wagon the night before.

13. Oldboy (2003)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Chan-wook Park

Cast: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

Summary: After being abducted and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su was released, only to find out that he must find his captor in five days.

14. Chinatown (1974)

Genre: Drama, mystery, thriller

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

Summary: In the late 1930s in Los Angeles, private detective Jake Gittes (J. Nicholson) is hired by Mrs. Mulway (F. Dunaway) to find out if her husband, otherwise a local rich man and businessman, is seeing another woman.

Suddenly, another woman appears who also introduces herself as the alleged Mrs. Mulway, threatening him if he doesn’t leave the case.

Despite the threats, Gittes continues to work on the case, slowly uncovering a complex game involving city water licenses, corruption, and land resale, involving at least one murder.

Namely, he soon discovers that Mrs. Mulway’s husband was brutally, under unexplained circumstances, killed. Also, a group of people starts chasing him, wanting to terminate him.

15. Zodiac (2007)

Genre: Crime, drama, historical

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo

Summary: This is a serial killer who intimidates the San Francisco Bay Area and mocks the police with his codes and letters while four police departments search for the killer. The case becomes an obsession for four men whose lives and careers are continuously first uplifted and then destroyed.

16. The Name of the Rose (1986)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Cast: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger

Summary: An intellectually nonconformist friar explores a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

17. The Chaser (2008)

Genre: Action, crime, thriller

Director: Hong-jin Na

Cast: Yoon-Seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo

Summary: An embarrassed former police officer leading a small circle of prostitution finds himself in a race against the time when one of his wives goes missing.

18. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Norman Jewison

Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

Summary: An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern city.

19. Shutter Island (2010)

Genre: Mystery, thriller

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams

Summary: A plot set in 1954. Officer Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a convicted murderer who escaped from a mental hospital and is suspected of hiding on the remote island of Shutter. Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams also star in this tense story that will not leave anyone indifferent.

20. Mother (2009)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Cast: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin

Summary: A mother desperately searches for the killer who set her son up for the horrific murder of a girl.

21. Searching (2018)

Genre: Drama, mystery, thriller

Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee

Summary: After David Kim’s 16-year-old daughter (John Cho) goes missing, a local police investigation is opened led by Detective Rosemary Vick. But as there are no traces 37 hours later, David decides to search a place that no one has searched yet and where all the secrets are kept today: his daughter’s computer.

David now has to follow his daughter’s digital footprints before he disappears forever. Revealing more and more information about her, David discovers that he doesn’t really know her at all and that before she disappeared she became entangled in a network of secrets and inexplicable situations.

22. Psycho (1960)

Genre: Horror, mystery, thriller

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

Summary: A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from a client of her employer, goes on the run, and reports to a remote motel run by a young man dominated by her mother.

23. Mystic River (2003)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon

Summary: The lives of three men, who are childhood friends, are ruined when one of them is hit by a family accident.

24. The Fugitive (1993)

Genre: Action, crime, drama

Director: Andrew Davis

Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward

Summary: Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of killing his wife, must find the real killer, while he is the target of a national mission led by an experienced American Marshall.

25. Gone Girl (2014)

Genre: Crime, drama, mystery

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

Summary: In a tense story about a wife who doesn’t show up to celebrate her 5th wedding anniversary, we’ll be starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles.

They play the perfect married couple, Nick and Amy, who live peacefully in the province after moving from New York.

Favorite members of the small community will become national news #1 when the search for missing Amy reveals that Nick is the prime suspect, and her diary reveals a completely different side to their flawless marriage.

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