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8 Gripping Mystery Movies Like Knives Out

Whether you're laughing or gasping, these films elevate the genre with quirky characters and heart-pounding plots.

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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

What could possibly put a movie on par with the 2019 box office hit Knives Out? Heart-wrenching drama? Sharp and witty humor? Shocking twists? Excellent character work? Some really nice sweaters?

Let's be honest, there's never going to be a movie that captures the same magic as Knives Out—not in quite the same way. However, with Knives Out 2 coming to Netflix later this year, we can only watch its precursor so many times while we wait. Here are eight gripping mystery movies for fans of the genre-revitalizing Knives Out.


If it was the directing of Knives Out that hooked you, then you should definitely check out the 2005 film Brick—Rian Johnson's directorial debut. While this film unravels in a very different setting to the sprawling New England mansion of Knives Out, the mystery is no less captivating. High school loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) receives a strange phone call from his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Emilie de Raven) begging him for help. When he later finds her dead in a sewage tunnel, he's tossed into a dangerous mystery full of baffling clues and shady drug dealers.

Related: 23 Killer Crime Movies of the 21st Century


This 1982 comedy mystery is based on the play of the same name by Ira Levin. Acclaimed playwright Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) is stuck in a string of Broadway flops when he receives a manuscript by one of his students, Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve). Though Sidney considers the play to be a near-perfect masterpiece, Clifford has turned to him for advice. What Sidney devises instead is a plot to murder him and take credit for his incredible work.


Is there a mystery movie in existence more fun than Clue? Based on the classic board game of the same name, this 1985 film follows six guests who have been invited to dinner at a strange mansion, only to have the evening kick off with the death of their host. Starring Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, and Colleen Camp, the film is full of finely honed characters with big motives. And with three potential endings, this raucous mystery has a huge rewatchability factor.

Related: What Mystery To Read Based On Your Favorite Clue Character

Bad Times at the El Royale

This dramatic mystery has yet another star-studded cast, including Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth. In the early 1970s, four wildly different strangers check into a hotel divided by the California-Nevada border—a hotel that was once heavily frequented by the wealthy elite, but now left nearly abandoned. And as a crime from a decade ago collides with a dangerous new threat, the true natures of these peculiar guests begin to unravel.

Crooked House

It's no secret that Knives Out draws from classics of the mystery genre, and who could be more classic than Agatha Christie? Based on her 1949 novel of the same name, Crooked House stars big names like Terence Stamp, Max Irons, Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Christina Hendricks. After the death of her grandfather, Sophia de Haviland (Stefanie Martini) turns to her ex-lover Charles Hayward (Irons) to get to the bottom of what she believes to be murder. A spy-turned-private-investigator, Hayward must sort through the peculiar family to find the suspect before Scotland Yard exposes dark family secrets.

Related: The Queen of Crime: 10 Best Agatha Christie Books

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Trading in the airy New England elite for the elites of edgy Hollywood, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a hilarious mystery that pays homage to hard-boiled detective novels. When petty criminal Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) accidentally lands a role in an upcoming movie, he has to shadow private detective "Gay" Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer) for preparation. But when the pair collides with struggling actress—and Harry's childhood sweetheart—Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), they get tangled up in a dangerous murder case.

Related: 11 Comedy Mystery Movies You Can Stream Tonight

A Simple Favor

If you're looking for that feminine representation Ana de Armas brought to such a male-dominated genre, then A Simple Favor is the flick for you. Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a single mother crushing the game with a parenting vlog. Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) is an upper-class and highly secretive woman whose son goes to the same school as Stephanie's son. The two women become quick unlikely friends. When Emily disappears, Stephanie is determined to find the truth.

Related: 12 Thrilling Mystery Novels with Badass Female Protagonists

The Nice Guys

Los Angeles 1977: porn star Misty Mountains dies a suspicious death. Misty's aunt hires private investigator Holland March (Ryan Gosling) to look into the case, but enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is brought on to scare March away. Trouble soon finds this mismatched pair working together to find the truth at the bottom of a very complicated situation.

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