One of my favorite genre of movies and tv shows are whodunnits, which are also called murder mysteries. I love trying to solve the mystery, and the fact that they are great movies to cozy up to is a plus. I mean, the crime, the intrigue, and of course the important question, “whodunnit ?”, it’s exciting. What makes a film or tv show a whodunnit/murder mystery ? Whodunnits are often about a murder/murders in which the identity of the murderer is not revealed until the end. I also want to state that whodunnits can range from thrillers/suspense movies to horror movies to even comedies. One popular type of whodunnits are closed-room whodunnits, in which a group of suspects are locked in a single location, a murder occurs, and its up to the detective ( and viewer/audience) to figure out which member of the group is guilty. I’ll be sharing a list of my top ten favorite whodunnit/murder mystery movies as well as sharing other great recommendations for whodunnit/murder mystery movies and tv shows. I’ll also provide the streaming service for that movie, or show if one is available. (Also these movies are not in any particular order)
10. Game Night (2018)
Okay so this movie doesn’t start off as a murder mystery, but it turns into a kidnapping whodunnit, which is just as fun and exciting. Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie ( Rachel McAdams) are pros at game night, so when Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler) host a murder mystery game night, and he gets kidnapped, Max, Annie, and their friends have to figure out what’s real and what’s not in their search of finding him. I love this movie and it’s one of the funniest whodunnits you’ll ever see, I definitely recommend watching this.
9. Psycho (1960)
Psycho is on this list because of who the murderer is. No spoilers here, but throughout the movie the audience is to suspect a particular person who we least expect as the killer. Alfred Hitchcock brilliantly tricks the audience, and leaving us shocked and surprised at the murderer’s reveal. Psycho is one of my favorite Hitchcock films and is a must see.
8. Murder On The Orient Express (2017)
This remake of the 1974 film based off of Agatha Christie’s novel features an all star cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, and Judi Dench. When Johnny Depp’s character, Edward Ratchett is murdered on the Orient Express its up to renowned detective Hercule Poirot who is also aboard the train to find out which passenger aboard the train could have committed the murder, since all are possible suspects, making this a closed-room whodunnit. This movie is suspenseful, with a great plot twist, and will leave you surprised after the murderer is revealed.
7. Scream (1996)
Yes Scream is a horror film, but remember this movie also has murders and mystery. In fact all of the Scream films are done this way, all of which I love as well. The town of Woodsboro is being terrorized by a killer wearing a Ghostface mask, just like the characters are trying to piece together who could the mysterious killer be, the audience is thinking the same. Scream is one of my favorites horror movies, and the reveal of the killer at the end is done brilliantly and will surprise you.
6. L.A. Confidential (1997)
Streaming on: IMDb TV
This neo-noir film centers around three LAPD officers ( Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, and Kevin Spacey) in 1950s Los Angeles who’s investigating a series of murders. L.A. Confidential is also about police corruption, which basically sets the murders in motion. With “possible” suspects being pointed at in the film, the true suspect and their cohorts behind the murders and corruption will shock you. L.A. Confidential has the perfect amount of Hollywood glamour, murders, and mystery.
5. Identity (2003)
Here’s another movie on this list inspired by one of Agatha Christie’s novels, And Then There Were None. Identity features an all-star cast including John Cusack, Ray Liotta, and Amanda Peet. Ten strangers are stranded at a hotel and are mysteriously killed off one by one, while the remaining survivors are trying to piece together who the murderer could be. It’s the idea whodunnit movie, where people are being picked off one by one. Also the film’s big twist at the end is unexpected and will surprise you.
4. Zodiac (2007)
Streaming on: Netflix, Prime Video (For free)
Zodiac is based on the real life murders of the Zodiac Killer, and features an all star cast including: Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo (who all gave great performances). Their characters become obsessed with finding out the identity of the Zodiac Killer. This film is lengthy, but is well paced, has you hooked, it’s riveting, and pretty much has you filled with anxiety scene after scene, especially since they could’ve possibly been the Zodiac Killer’s next victim. This movie keeps the audience in suspense on the identity of the Zodiac Killer. What I love about this film is that in real life the Zodiac Killer has never been caught, which is the great mystery of this movie.
3. Memento (2000)
Streaming on: IMDb TV, Tubi TV (Free streaming apps)
Memento is Christopher Nolan’s complex, unique, and genius film about Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce. (Yes he has two movies featured on this list, the guy is underrated, and a great actor). Leonard is tracking down the guy who murdered his wife, he also suffers from a rare untreatable form of memory loss (anterograde amnesia), after being attacked, while trying to save his wife. This movie is shown in two sequences: black and white (which is shown in chronological order) and in color (which is shown in reverse order). The two sequences meet at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative, which is brilliant. The film is one big mystery, it’s thought provoking, and has a clever plot twist. Memento is definitely a must watch and a favorite of mine.
2. Clue (1985)
Streaming for free on: Prime Video
Inspired by the board game, the colorful characters come to life, in this whodunnit. A group of dinner guests are trying to figure out who murdered their dinner host, even after suspecting each other, here’s another closed-room whodunnit. The movie is silly and fun, but I enjoy watching it, and it’s a great whodunnit/murder mystery. What I love about this film is the reveal of the murderer at the end. You’ll get three different versions of the endings which I think is pretty cool. Clue is definitely a murder mystery I recommend to watch.
1. Knives Out (2019)
Streaming for free on: Prime Video
Knives Out is a fantastic murder mystery/whodunnit, with an ensemble cast featuring: Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Chris Evans. Also Ana de Armas is a delight in this movie. After patriarch and famous author, Harlan Thrombey is found dead of suspected suicide, Detective Benoit Blanc (played by Craig) is called in to investigate. While the family members all have possible motives and could benefit from the death of Harlan, Detective Blanc, makes sure to carefully investigate the crime that has taken place. Rian Johnson keeps the audience guessing up until the big reveal of the one behind Harlan’s murder which was well executed. This is a brilliant modern telling of a whodunnit/murder mystery, a masterpiece, a must watch, and one of my favorites.
Whodunnit/Murder Mystery Movie Honorable Mentions:
These films are full of mystery, suspense, and will keep you engaged with a little humor.
A Simple Favor (2018) – Streaming on: Prime Video (for free), Hulu
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Rear Window (1954)
Murder Mystery (2019) – Streaming on: Netflix
Whodunnit/Murder Mystery TV Show Honorable Mentions:
These shows are so good, entertaining, and will keep you guessing.
Whodunnit? (2013) – Streaming on: ABC app
Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence (2018) – Streaming on: Prime Video (free)
Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse (2020) – Streaming on: Prime Video (free)
Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders (2019) – Streaming on: Prime Video (free
Scream Queens (2015)– Streaming on: Hulu
Secret and Lies (2015)
All of the movies I’ve listed I have loved, enjoyed, and definitely recommend, that goes for the tv shows as well. Whodunnits are fun and exciting movies to me. They are also perfect to watch for movie night with family and friends, they’re also great to cozy up to. These movies have gripping storylines, suspicious characters, and shocking plot twists you’ll never see coming. Are you a fan of whodunnits and murder mysteries ? Have you seen any of these movies or tv shows I’ve listed ? If so, let me know in the comments and also if you know of any other great whodunnits/murder mystery movies or tv shows please leave them below, as always thanks for reading !