Sherlock Holmes is probably the most popular detective in history. Except for a lot of books around this famous private detective, there were many movie and TV show adaptations. Still, there are other amazing works similar to Sherlock Holmes movies or TV shows, and in this article, we will mention the best ones.
On this list, you can expect to find some other popular fictional detectives, such as Hercules Poirot, some amazing well-known detective movies, as well as some less known ones that will probably surprise you when you watch them, with quality, as well as with its mystery.
So keep reading to find the best movies like Sherlock Holmes, and let us know which ones you haven’t seen.
20 Best Movies Like Sherlock Holmes
A series of incredibly brutal murders has shaken the public, and detectives Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt) seem to be facing an unsolvable riddle. The model by which an unknown criminal chooses and kills his victims is taken from biblical tradition; one by one, people suffer who can be blamed for one of the seven deadly sins, in cruel ways that leave no doubt as to the motives of the manic killer.
The experienced and well-read Sommerset studies the legend of the seven deadly sins in order to better understand the killer’s motives and means, and his younger colleague Mills fears the possibility of understanding a disturbed mind.
The situation for detectives becomes even more complicated when the killer involves them more concretely in the realization of his incredible plan. Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker could not have wished for a better team for his great saga of sin, redemption, punishment and destiny, made up of all the very champions of modern Hollywood.
It was after this film that David Fincher established himself as one of the world’s most interesting directors. The cast is simply great, and Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman make an extremely compelling and harmonious couple, while Kevin Spacey, as a brutal killer, has achieved a truly disturbing role.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Los Angeles in the 1950s. Three completely different cops are searching for the truth, each in their own way. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), the golden boy of the police, is ready to do anything to make progress, except for his own sale. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is ready to circumvent the rules for justice, but rarely manages to control his violent side. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is always on the lookout for celebrities and easy money, until his conscience forces him to join Exley and White in discovering the true face of LA’s dark world.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
In 1539, the Maltese knights intended to present a statuette of a golden falcon decorated with rare jewels to King Charles V of Spain. But the pirates intercepted the galley, and the Maltese Falcon seems to have disappeared forever. San Francisco, four centuries later. Miss Wonderly from New York comes to the Spade & Archer detective agency, run jointly by Sam Spade and Miles Archer, asking them to help her find her missing sister.
Although they both doubt her story, they accept the job satisfied that their new client is paying in cash. When Archer is soon killed, Spade realizes that he is embroiled in a dangerous business and learns that Miss Wonderly’s real name is Brigid O’Shaughnessey. The investigation leads him to two deceived Joel Cair (P. Lorre) and Casper Gutman (S. Greenstreet) who, like Brigid, are looking for a statuette of the Maltese Falcon.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Private detectives, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), are hired to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the little girl. Using their knowledge of the underworld, they soon discover a tangled web of deception and lies in which nothing is as it seems. Ultimately, they have to risk everything – their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives – to find the missing girl.
Knives Out (2019)
Wealthy novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) invites his otherwise dysfunctional family to celebrate his 85th birthday, hoping to reconcile them and bring them closer to each other again. However, the morning after the birthday party, the family finds their host dead. With the help of experienced detective Blanca (Daniel Craig), the police must investigate this case in which everyone is equally suspicious and everyone has a valid motive. So, who is the killer?
After the 16-year-old daughter of David Kim (John Cho) disappears, 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.
Primal Fear (1996)
The main character is Martin Vaile (Richard Gere), a super lawyer who defends mobsters and murderers. In addition to money, fame is an additional incentive in his business, so it is not surprising that he is happy to take over the case of Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton). Namely, the Archbishop of Chicago Rusherman, a great benefactor and one of the most popular and most powerful people in the city, was found butchered in his court.
Police caught his minister, Stampler, covered in the archbishop’s blood, not far from the murder scene. Attorney Vail, seeing that he is an epileptic young man with a completely innocent appearance, starts a fierce fight to acquit his client of charges and threatening death sentences.
District Attorney Shaughnessy (John Mahoney), the leader of a group of city powerful people to whom the late archbishop once squandered a million-dollar investment, is also personally interested in the case. As a rival to Vail, he sends prosecutor Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who was once Vail’s partner at work and in bed.
The link between a series of murders in Northern California, during the 60s and 70s, are letters, which the killer appears to have sent to San Francisco dailies, asking for them to be published or he will kill someone again. The letters are accompanied by numbers and encrypted messages that the killer says contain indications of his identity.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
An unprecedented crime took place in the California city of San Pedro: about thirty people were killed in the port due to murky money transactions. The only two survivors, a Hungarian and the infamous cripple Roger Kint (K. Spacey), who turns out to be working as a weapons smuggler, are the only real witnesses to the event.
During a police investigation led by experienced investigator Kujan (C. Palminteri), Kint begins to recount how the criminal activity took place, what preceded it, and what the real reasons were for it. The trail of the story goes back to another crime that took place two months ago in New York during a major gun robbery.
Kujan believes that the organizers of that robbery could be the key to solving the San Pedro tragedy, especially the main suspect, former police officer Keaton (Mr. Byrne). Kint’s story, as well as the elements of the testimony given by the Hungarian in the hospital, indicating that the pillar of the crime is a certain Kayser Söze, a brilliant criminal about whom nothing is known…
With his unusual story status and ranked at the very top of American accomplishments within the 1990s genre. It was directed by Bryan Singer, an American director who, among other things, directed the acclaimed films Superman Returns, X-Men and Valkyrie.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
The plot of this spy thriller is set during the Cold War, and at its center is a veteran of espionage who is forced to retire to find a Soviet agent, a mole in the British intelligence service MI6.
The film is a film adaptation of John le Carre’s cult novel with a fantastic cast: Gary Oldman, Oscar winner Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong and Toby Jones.
Murder On The Orient Express (2017)
Hercule Poirot travels on the Orient Express, but the pleasant ride is abruptly interrupted when the train gets stuck in the Balkans due to snow, two nights after Istanbul. To make matters worse, one of the passengers was found stabbed in his compartment. There were 13 people on the train with Poirot who at first glance have nothing in common but that won’t stop the legendary detective from discovering the real truth.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
During a business stay in Paris, symbology professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) receives an emergency night phone call: Jacques Saunière, the curator at the Louvre, is killed. Police found a confusing symbol near his body and they need the help of experts. While deciphering this puzzle, Langdon uncovers a series of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Langdon teams up with talented French cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) and learns that the late curator was a member of a secret society that included Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo and Da Vinci. In a race through Paris and London, Sophie and Robert outwit each other with an unknown person who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless the two of them decipher the intricate puzzle in time, the ancient secret and explosive historical truth will be lost forever.
Angels and Demons (2009)
This time, Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon was invited to a Swiss research agency to analyze a mysterious symbol carved into the chest of a murdered physicist. With the help of a beautiful Italian physicist, also the daughter of the murdered, he soon discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the rebirth of an ancient secret society known as the Illuminati, one of the most powerful organizations that have ever existed on Earth.
After waking up in a hospital bed in Florence with no memory of anything that has happened in the last few days, Robert Langdon suddenly finds himself the target of a killer. With the help of Dr. Sienne Brooks and his personal knowledge of symbolism, Langdon will simultaneously try to escape, but also solve the most intriguing puzzle he has ever encountered…
National Treasure (2004)
The brave Benjamin Franklin Gates (N. Cage) is the sixth generation of the family in which the story is about a secret map that hides the exact destination of the buried treasure. According to the story of Benjamin’s grandfather John Adams Gates (C. Plummer), in whom Ben’s rational father Patrick (J. Voight) does not believe at all, it is an invaluable wealth that they collected from their travels in the Middle East and Europe from the 11th to the 14th century the ancient Knights Templar and hid somewhere in America.
Thanks to the financial help of the wealthy Ian Howe (S. Bean), Benjamin and his clumsy assistant Riley Poole (J. Barth) under the Arctic ice manage to discover the remains of the ship Charlotte, wrecked during the American Civil War, from which they realize that the map of buried treasure is on the back the famous American Declaration of Independence. After Howe and his assistant, Shaw (D. Dayan Fisher) try to kill them, Benjamin and Riley decide to steal the Declaration from the National Archives.
Based on a popular book by Kyril Bonfiglioli, the story follows art dealer Charles Mortdecai on his journey around the world in search of a stolen painting containing a secret bank safe full of Nazi gold.
The mission he embarked on will run into misunderstandings from his wife, anger the Russians, upset British secret services, but also confuse a number of international terrorists.
The Raven (2012)
Baltimore, 19th century. The mother and daughter are victims of a brutal murder. Investigating the case, Detective Emmet Fields (Luke Evans) comes to a startling discovery: the crime has already been described in the fictional story of writer Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack). Yet while Edgar is in custody the killer finds new victims and another of his stories gets a real version. Emmet realizes that now only a writer can help him hunt down a deranged killer.
From Hell (2001)
Five friends, prostitutes, try to raise money together for protection, which is demanded of them by members of Nichols’ gang. Their sixth friend, Ann Crook (J. Page) has found a rich lover and has a child with him. One day Ann disappears, and the mysterious killer begins, in a particularly cruel way, to kill the other members of that society. The investigation is led by Inspector Fred Abberline (J. Depp) and Sergeant Peter Godley (R. Coltrane), and since it is obvious that the killer knows human anatomy well, they seek expert advice from a well-known surgeon – Sir William Gull (I. Holm).
Inspector Abberline, a user of opium, absinthe and laudanum, sees in his visions the victims and the manner of the murder, but not the killer. When one of the prostitutes, the beautiful Irishwoman Mary Kelly (H. Graham), starts helping him with the investigation, affection is born among them. Abberline, who knows that Mary should be the fifth, last victim, will do anything to prevent the killer.
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
Benjamín Espósito spent his entire life working in court, and after retiring he decided to write a novel based on a real crime – the rape and murder of a beautiful young woman in 1974, a case in which he himself was involved. It was a turbulent time in Argentine history, and the investigation will leave an indelible mark on Espósit’s life.
Memories of Murder (2003)
October 1986 A young girl’s body is found in a small town not far from Seoul. The investigation is taken over by local police detective Park Doo-man (S. Kang-ho) who is determined to resolve the case quickly. But things get complicated when another murdered woman is soon found, leading police to conclude that the crimes were linked and that the victims dressed in red were killed during the rain.
Thinking that the passer-by was the perpetrator, Park Doo-man beats him up but realizes that it is his colleague from the capital Seu Tae-Yoon (K. Sang-Kyung) who came to help him with the investigation. And while Park is an incorrigibly rude man, Sao tries to find the killer by different methods. However, their first detainee is not the one they are looking for.