Movies Reviews

Crime Murder Movie Mysteries You Can Solve With the Detective

Crime mystery movies are a great way to engage an audience with the story that it is trying to tell. Bringing viewers to the edge of their seats, having them pay attention to every little detail, and trying to pick up any clue to figure out who the criminal is, is an effective way to keep watchers invested. Whether it is a dark, grimy story about the criminal underworld or a less serious, more wacky film that takes advantage of the mystery genre, there is a kind of mystery movie that anyone can enjoy.

While there are many different kinds of mystery movies, many of them keep viewers in the dark until the big reveal in the final act of the movie. Here are 10 of those crime movie mysteries that any viewer can solve along with the detective.

Updated on September 15th, 2023 by Yosra Ben lagha: If you are not immune to the irresistible pull of great crime mystery movies and love to play detective, you’ll be happy to know this article has been updated with fresh new entries.

10 Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Walt Disney Pictures

Seen as one of the first as well as one of the most iconic movies to have both 2D animation and live-action acting, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is also an engaging mystery movie as private detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) tries to figure out who murdered the mayor of Toontown.

One of the main draws to this film is the list of iconic animated characters to make appearances, with this film being the only time that animated characters from both Disney and Warner Bros. appear on-screen together. Characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Betty Boop, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and more all make appearances in the film. However, while the audience comes for the characters, they stay to find out who murdered the mayor of Toontown and who framed Roger Rabbit.

9 Knives Out (2019)

Daniel Craig Surrounded by Knives in Knives Out

Knives Out brings together a star-studded cast and thrusts viewers into a murder case of epic proportions. Greedy family members fight for a massive inheritance after a mysterious death, all while a young housekeeper (played by Ana De Armas) is forced into the middle of it. Knives Out is filled with twists and turns that are guaranteed to keep viewers on their toes as they navigate the Thrombey family and their secret intentions.

The audience follows along with Ana De Armas’s character as well as Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as the mystery of who killed famed author Harlan Thrombey (Cristopher Plummer) unravels before their very eyes. Knives Out is a perfect crime mystery film for anyone who is trying to get into the mystery genre, with fascinating twists and a fantastic cast to support the narrative that director Rian Johnson wrote.

8 The Nice Guys (2016)

Nice Guys Gosling Crowe Investigating a Porn Murder
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Nice Guys takes viewers to 1977 Los Angeles, where we find Ryan Gosling as a private eye and Russell Crowe as hired muscle working together in an unlikely partnership. When a young woman named Amelia goes missing, the two must work together to find out what happened to her.

Along the way, they get mixed up with some dangerous people who are also searching for the missing Amelia. The Nice Guys brings the audience back in time along with the unlikely duo as they reveal the shocking truth behind the missing woman and other people who start turning up dead.

7 Zodiac (2007)

Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac (2007)
Paramount Pictures

Zodiac is based upon the true story of the Zodiac killer, a brutal murderer who both terrorized and taunted the city of San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s. The story follows the real detectives and reporters who chased after the Zodiac killer, trying to solve the ciphers that the killer left as well as trying to determine the motive of all the killings that took place.

Zodiac immerses viewers into the lives of the detectives and reporters who chased after the killer and brings the audience deeper and deeper into the obsession that took hold of them for over a decade as they tried everything to solve the unsolvable case.

6 Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Robert Downey and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes from Guy Ritchie
Warner Bros.

When a person thinks of the most famous detective in pop culture, the name Sherlock Holmes immediately comes to mind. There are quite a few different versions and adaptations of the classic literary character, though 2009’s Sherlock Holmes is a perfect addition to this list.

When a series of murders in London catches the eye of the famed Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.), he and his right-hand man Dr. Watson (Jude Law) spring into action. A battle of wits unfolds with an intimidating enemy as Holmes and Watson fight to protect the rest of London from the danger that looms.

RELATED: Why Murder Mystery Movies Have Become So Popular

5 Shutter Island (2010)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Shutter Island
Paramount Pictures

Shutter Island is a movie that only gets better with every watch, as new details are recognized and revealed with each viewing. However, a first-time viewing takes the audience along with U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) as they investigate the Ashecliffe Hospital and the horrible things that take place on Shutter Island.

Viewers pick up bits and pieces of what is going on behind the scenes before it all quickly unravels and reveals what Teddy Daniels is doing on the island. Shutter Island is a perfect example of a mystery movie done right, and its mystery is fascinating to solve along with the main characters.

4 Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Daniel Craig in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Knives Out‘s sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is another thrilling murder mystery that pushes viewers to the edge of their seats. Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is invited by one of his clients to travel to Greece, to attend a retreat prepared by billionaire Miles Bron, and solve a murder. However, another murder occurs during the retreat making it even more complicated for the detective to put the clues together.

Director Rian Johnson forms exactly the right scenes to give the viewer room to uncover the true criminal among the suspects. The movie brilliantly studies the characters, one by one, going into their past grudges, their plans, and their motives The sequel’s slow unfolding of the truth allows the viewer the pleasure of taking a wild guess at the murderer and playing detective.

3 Murder Mystery (2019)

Sandler and Aniston in Murder Mystery

Onscreen comedy power couple Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston reunite in a beautiful mystery comedy called, Murder Mystery. The twists and turns of its plot challenge the audience to dive into the world of crime-solving. Audrey and Nick Spitz, are invited on a billionaire’s yacht where the most dreadfully interesting crime takes place. Dreadful, because of its bloodiness, and interesting, because it happens in the blink of an eye and in front of everyone. The victim is the elderly billionaire who antagonized his whole family with his marriage to a young gold-digger.

The Spitzs are the first to be accused but as one of them is a cop, they go through a wild journey of putting two and two together to save themselves. Through an eliminatory process, the viewer can have a close idea of who the person behind the crime might be. There is no greater pleasure than watching a movie that leads you to the right conclusion even after a few wrong turns; as the path to the truth is not always straight.

2 Luckiest Girl Alive (2022)

TifAni “Ani” Fanelli looks at herself in makeup mirror.

Luckiest Girl Alive is the kind of drama mystery that chews you up and spits you out a changed person. Based on Jessica Knoll’s 2015 bestseller of the same name, the movie tells the thrilling story of a young writer called Ani (Mila Kunis) who seems to have her whole life perfectly planned out, but as her past resurfaces, a few mysteries about a long forgotten school shooting slowly start to threaten her.

The movie’s unfolding of events is slowed down by her reluctance to face an emotionally disturbing past, which drives the audience to sit tight in their detective chairs and trace the footsteps of the truth. Like an unwelcome memory, the past ends up making an entrance and changing the course of Ani’s life. Unlike other mysteries that are fueled by a murder, Luckiest Girl Alive speaks to the personal side of mystery and is driven mainly by the audience’s desire to know the main character on a more profound level.

1 Se7en (1995)

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in Se7en
New Line Cinema

1995 crime mystery classic Se7en is a David Fincher masterpiece worth its place on the list. Morgan Freeman plays detective William Somerset whose reality is plagued by the obsession of catching a serial killer and putting an end to the continuous murders. Along with his assistant David Mills (Brad Pitt), William tries to understand the mental landscape of the killer and uncover the chain of thoughts that govern his actions. After a few nights at the library and a few hours probing the crime scenes, they are finally able to understand the killer’s motives.

The movie is special because of its generosity in providing clues and allowing the viewer to reach their conclusions. Fincher made it rather easy to link the crimes to the seven deadly sins, starting with the movie’s revealing title, but he did not stop there. The mystery continues long after the killer is caught, leading the audience to a very shocking and unexpected ending. This is the movie where even the smartest detective viewer is humbled by Fincher’s brilliant genius.

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