We know you love a good mystery. And with the icy days of winter finally warming into spring, now’s the perfect time to size up the new mystery and thriller movies set to hit theaters in 2019.
From hotly anticipated crime flicks and neo-noir thrillers to silver screen adaptations of your favorite mystery books, it'll be a wonder if you spend your time anywhere else but the theater this year. Mark your calendars: Here are the best mystery and thriller movies we’re dying to see in 2019.
Note: Movie premiere dates were accurate at time of publication.
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
The beloved Nancy Drew book series hits the silver screen in this family-friendly mystery starring It’s Sophia Lillis. Lillis stars as the clever teen detective who investigates the eerie case of the Twin Elms mansion with her friends. Are the strange events surrounding the old estate the result of a high school prank? Or is the ghost of the mansion’s owner back for revenge? The Hidden Staircase is the second book in the Nancy Drew book series, and was a personal favorite of author Mildred Wirt Benson’s (a.k.a. Carolyn Keene). This modern take on the classic tale looks fun for sleuths of all ages.
Jordan Peele returns with his latest nightmare. Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Anna Diop, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss, this psychological horror thriller centers on a family whose search for peace and quiet descends into chaos when their doppelgängers appear. Peele masterfully blended paranoid thrills with shocks of horror in 2017’s Get Out. Us looks just as tense.
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This historical crime drama starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson is scheduled to hit Netflix at the end of March. Set during the Great Depression, The Highwaymen tells the true story of Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, the two Texas lawmen who tracked down notorious American outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Sometimes renting is better. Michael Ealy and Meagan Good star as wealthy city dwellers who move to the Napa Valley after purchasing what they believe to be their dream home. There’s just one problem. The former owner, played by a wild-eyed Dennis Quaid, is very attached to his property—and is dead-set on retaining control. Directed by Deon Taylor, the upcoming psychological thriller is loosely based on Cold Creek Manor from 2003. Dennis Quaid starred in that film as well, albeit in the role of the unsuspecting new arrival versus the obsessed former owner.
John Wick 3: Parabellum
Keanu Reeves returns as super assassin John Wick in the third installment of the stylish neo-noir thriller series—and this time, everyone is out to get him. After killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, Wick is on the run. And with a $14 million price tag hanging over his head, Wick must fight through an army of enemies if he hopes to survive. Packed with dazzling scenes of ultra violence, John Wick 3 also stars Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, and Ian McShane.
Them That Follow
Set in the deep woods of Appalachia, this small-town dramatic thriller stars Alice Englert, Walton Goggins, and 2019 Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman. Englert plays Mara, the daughter of a pastor and member of a sect of Pentecostal snake handlers. The young woman is set to marry a fervent follower to please her dad. But Mara has a secret, one that threatens to tear her religious community apart. Early viewers seem split on Them That Follow. Fair enough. We say the chance to see The Favourite’s Colman transform into a snake-handling zealot—nicknamed Sister Slaughter no less!—is worth the price of admission.
Chadwick Boseman stars in this tense cop thriller set in a locked down Manhattan. Andre Davis (Boseman) is a disgraced NYPD detective in pursuit of a cop killer. Yet, as Davis searches for the suspect, he uncovers a massive conspiracy among his fellow officers—and soon finds himself the target of a manhunt from within. Directed by Brian Kirk (Luther, Game of Thrones), 17 Bridges also stars Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, and J.K Simmons with the Russo Brothers producing.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s hotly anticipated crime flick set against the backdrop of the Manson Family murders will finally see the light of day this year. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Rick Dalton, a western TV actor who, together with his stunt double buddy Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), yearns for success in the movie business. The glitz and glamour of 1960s Hollywood is all around them, including Rick’s next-door neighbor, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). But darkness looms on the horizon. Boasting a star-studded cast, Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is sure to be the controversial crime splash of the summer.
Filmmaker Todd Philips imagines the Joker’s origin story in this grim and gritty entry to comic book cinema. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a failing stand-up comedian in 1980s New York City whose escalating isolation transforms him into a ghastly super criminal. The character-driven flick, which stands apart from the DC Extended Universe, also stars Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Robert DeNiro, and Marc Maron. While the world is in no short supply of super hero movies, Joker looks poised to deliver a different kind of vision. Expect trash-strewn streets, nightmarish giggles, and a committed performance from Phoenix.
The Woman in the Window
Based on the runaway bestseller of the same name by A.J Finn, this upcoming mystery-thriller stars Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and Brian Tyree Henry. Adams plays Dr. Anna Fox, a reclusive child psychologist in New York City who begins spying on her neighbors. But Dr. Fox’s voyeurism takes a twisted turn when she witnesses an act of violence through her window.
Based on Jonathan Lethem’s hard-boiled literary tale, this crime drama set in 1950s New York City stars Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Willem Dafoe, and Leslie Mann. Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a private eye with Tourette syndrome in search of the person who murdered his friend and mentor, Frank Minna (Willis). Rich with period piece detail and genre riffs, Motherless Brooklyn promises a thrilling treat for noir fans.
The Rhythm Section
Based on Mark Burnell’s revenge spy thriller of the same name, The Rhythm Section stars Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown. Stephanie Patrick (Lively) is devastated when a plane crash wipes out her family. Patrick was meant to be on that flight, and she soon learns the crash was no accident. Fueled by revenge, Patrick seeks out all those behind the attack.
Intel is scarce on this upcoming murder mystery—aside from its stellar cast, of course. Directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out stars (big breath), Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, and LaKeith Stanfield as Detective Troy Archer. Keep your eyes peeled, gumshoe.
We’ve been waiting to see this true-life crime drama since the trailer dropped in late 2018. Here’s hoping the 2019 timestamp on IMDB is a sign of its imminent release. Based on Joe Sharkey's true crime narrative of the same name, Above Suspicion follows the real-life downfall of FBI agent Mark Putnam (played by Jack Huston), whose tumultuous affair with his female informant (played by Game of Throne’s Emilia Clarke) ends in murder. Thora Birch and Johnny Knoxville co-star.
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The gang’s all here in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming crime flick set to hit Netflix sometime this year. Based on Charles Brandt’s I Heard You Paint Houses, the movie follows Frank Sheeran, an Irish-American labor union official and alleged mob hitman who claims to have killed Jimmy Hoffa. Al Pacino stars as Hoffa; Robert DeNiro plays the man who allegedly did the deed. Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, and Ray Romano also star.
The Safdie brothers delivered a stunning NYC crime caper with 2017’s Good Time. This year, the filmmaking siblings revisit Gotham’s dark side with Uncut Gems. The plot revolves around a New York City jeweler and dealer to the ultra-wealthy who runs into trouble when his merchandise is stolen. No release date is set but the film reportedly stars Adam Sandler, Pom Klementieff, and LaKeith Stanfield.
Featured still from "The Highwaymen" via Netflix