This post was updated on May 16, 2018.
Sometimes it seems like you need a PI license just to find mystery movies on Netflix. And finding the best of the best available mystery movies? Nearly impossible. Not to worry, we’ve done the dirty work—just for Murder & Mayhem readers. Below, you’ll find 14 of the best mystery movies on Netflix, from modern gems to genre classics.
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play newly-partnered detectives who must find a serial killer who has been committing murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. Directed by David Fincher, this film is utterly chilling – and impossible to predict.
Taylor Sheridan, who also brought us Hell or High Water and Sicario, wrote and directed this neo-Western mystery. Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner star as they investigate the death of a Native American woman on a reservation in Wyoming. Between struggles with jurisdiction and their own pasts, the two try to bring Natalie’s killers to justice.
The American Side
A loving homage to North by Northwest, Raymond Chandler, and any number of hardboiled detectives, The American Side follows Detective Charlie Paczynski as he gets way, way over his head. Starring Greg Stuhr, Matthew Broderick, and Camilla Belle, this Buffalo-set noir is a romping good time. If you like your noir dour, this may not be for you. But if you’re looking for a mystery with a sense of humor, this will definitely do the trick.
Released back in 1998, The Interview mostly went unnoticed in the U.S., and remains criminally underrated to this day. Hugo Weaving turns in a star performance as Eddie Fleming, a man who is suddenly dragged into a police station and violently interrogated. The catch? Fleming has no idea what he’s being accused of. And the cops are also being investigated.
This lurid oddity of a movie is worth watching, if only for just how utterly weird it gets. With a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, and John Cusack, this Southern swamp mystery is sexy and sweaty. You may finish the film wondering exactly what it was you just watched, but it’ll have been an exhilarating ride regardless.
Fracture puts Ryan Gosling against Anthony Hopkins in a battle of wits. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, a wealthy man who manipulates the police into being framed for the murder of his wife. Gosling plays the district attorney who will do anything to bring Crawford down.
This 2015 film makes it clear that Bollywood does much, much more than the musicals and comedies Westerners associate with the industry. Vijay Salgaonkar has worked his way up from poor orphan to successful business owner. When his daughter is blackmailed, the family struggles to cover up all of their transgressions.
You may know how the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs is going to end, but getting there is worth the price of admissions - even if admission is just sitting on your couch. Anthony Hopkins returns as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and Edward Norton plays WIll Graham, an FBI profiler whose ability to empathize with killers is sometimes terrifying, even to himself.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The 2011 adaptation of John le Carré’s classic has stands on its own merit in the espionage thriller world. Gary Oldman was nominated for an Oscar for his role as George Smiley. Whether you’re a le Carré fiend or this will be your introduction to the king of spy fiction, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a masterpiece.
The original Oldboy, directed by Park Chan-wook, is a sumptuously filmed discovery of how far the average man will go to get revenge and achieve repentance. A businessman is seemingly randomly kidnapped and held hostage for 15 years. When he is released out of the blue and without explanation, he attempts to hold the people who ruined his life responsible. If you’ve only seen the American version, you should really see Chan-wook’s original vision.
This SXSW gem was snapped up by Netflix thanks to its standout performances and dark humor. Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau stars as Joe Denton, a former cop freshly out of jail for attempted murder. Based on a novel by David Zeltserman, Small Crimes has the taste of classic noir.
This reworking of an Ibsen drama (The Wild Ducks) resulted in a moving and surprising family mystery. When Christian (Paul Schneider) returns home for his father’s (Geoffrey Rush) second marriage, he discovers family secrets that should have likely remained buried.
Yes, this is a comedy. But it’s also a great cop mystery movie, filled with loving references to buddy comedies throughout the years. Simon Pegg is a too-good cop sent out to the country so that he will stop making his fellow cops look bad. There, he’s teamed up with Nick Frost. When they discover that the strange deaths in Sandford are connected, they’ll stop at nothing to find the perpetrators and take them down.
One of Netflix’s newest original releases, Anon is a sci-fi noir from the creator of GATTACA. Clive Owens plays a detective who uses ubiquitous virtual reality technology to find killers. But when one woman, a femme fatale “fixer” played by Amanda Seyfried, discovers that people are manipulating the VR to frame others for their crimes, the two must work together to find out what’s really happening.
This South Korean drama follows a woman who would do anything to protect her son. When Do-jun is accused of murder, Mother knows that he is not responsible. But she must go up against the police and lawyers to find the truth—and she will, no matter the cost.
Featured still from "Small Crimes" via Rooks Nest Entertainment