There’s nothing quite like a sitting down to a good mystery movie to get the blood pumping. Nothing beats a top mystery movie that has all the key ingredients of a nail-biting thriller: intense psychological suspense, an unexpected plot twist, and, of course, the perpetually flawed main character. Here we round up the top 10 best mystery movies for your viewing pleasure.
10. Get Out
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, Lil Rel Howery.
Release Date: USA release date 23 January 2017
Director: Jordan Peele
Box Office: According to Box Office Mojo, Get Out grossed a whopping US$252,434,250 worldwide, despite having a budget of just US$4.5 million to make.
Synopsis: Get Out follows the storyline of a young bi-racial couple played by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. African-American photographer Chris (Kaluuya) goes to his white girlfriend Rose’s (Williams) parents’ house for the weekend but after meeting their staff, he gets a sinister feeling something is wrong with Rose's family...
Memorable Moment: (Spoiler alert) The first moment Chris is hypnotised by Rose’s mum and sinks into a disturbing slumber is a scene that will send shivers down your spine.
Why it made the list: Get Out scored a huge 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was universally praised by critics and viewers alike for its clever plot, hilariously dark dialogue and ingenious exploration of racial themes in society.
9. Shutter Island
Cast: Leonardo Dicaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson.
Release Date: 17 February 2010, USA
Director: Martin Scorsese
Box Office: According to Box Office Mojo, Shutter Island grossed US$294, 804, 195 worldwide.
Memorable Moment: The scene where Teddy breaks into the restricted Ward C and is confronted by inpatients will have you on the edge of your seat.
Synopsis: US Marshal Teddy, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, goes with his partner (Mark Ruffalo) to Ashecliffe Hospital, an insane asylum, to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients at the facility. During his time there, Teddy slowly begins to lose his grasp of reality as snippets of his fractured past begin to creep back into his world.
Why it made the list: The winning combination of Martin Scorsese as director and Leonardo Dicaprio as lead actor makes for a riveting watch. It was named as one of the top ten films of 2010 by the National Board of Review.
8. The Others
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Alakina Mann, James Bentley, Eric Sykes, Elaine Cassidy.
Release Date: 10 August 2001, USA
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Box Office: The Others made US$209, 947, 037 at the Box Office, according to Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Set in 1945, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is raising her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley) in a mansion they are convinced is haunted. She awaits her husband to return from World War 2 while she cares for Anne and Nicholas, who both suffer from photosensitivity.
Memorable Moment: When Grace comes across the creepy 'book of the dead' (an album full of deceased people) - truly terrifying.
Why it made the list: Arguably one of Nicole Kidman's best movies, the twist at the end of the film had audiences blindsided. With a Rotten Tomato score of 84% and IMDB rating of 7.6, it's well worth a watch for mystery film buffs.
7. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright
Release Date: 21 December 2011 (USA)
Director: David Fincher
Box Office: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has made US$232,617,430 worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling Swedish Millenium book series by Stieg Larsson, the storyline follows disgraced journalist Michael Blomkvist (Craig) who is hired by rich businessman Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance (and suspected murder) of his niece, Harriet. He teams up with social outcast computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara) to solve the 40-year-old case.
Memorable Moment: Warning: spoilers! When Blomkvist goes to confront Harriet's brother, Martin, and finds out he was responsible for the death of dozens of women and it begins to dawn on him that his life is in danger too.
Why it made the list: The Millenium series has a huge cult following worldwide - both Swedish and Ameican versions of the franchise were released. The American version received praise from critics, including the New York Times, who said Fincher manages to retain the "vivid and passionate essence of the book". The Guardian, wrote: "No-one could fail to enjoy this movie".
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega
Release Date: 25 May 2001 (USA)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Box Office: Memento made US$39,723,09 worldwide, reports Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Guy Pearce plays Leonard, a man who suffers from short-term memory loss who is determined to find out who murdered his wife through tracking Polaroid photos and tattoos.
Memorable Moment: When we learn that Leonard is lying to himself and that some of the notes he leaves for himself are fake. WHAT IS REAL?
Why it made the list: Christopher Nolan's break-out film was praised by critics for its non-linear storyline and was ranked one of the best films of the noughties by Metacritic. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards.
5. The Sixth Sense
Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Trevor Morgan, Donnie Wahlberg, Mischa Barton
Release Date: 6 August 1999 (USA)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Box Office: The Sixth Sense raked in a whopping $672,806,292 worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Bruce Willis plays a broody psychologist who counsels a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who claims he can talk to spirits.
Memorable Moment: Who could go past Haley Joel Osment's iconic line "I see dead people", which instantly became a pop culture reference.
Why it made the list: Can someone say PLOT TWIST? The film contained a surprise ending nobody saw coming and it was listed as the highest-grossing horror film until it was surpassed by It in 2017. The Sixth Sense was nominated for SIX Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Osment), and Best Supporting Actress (Collette).
4. The Silence of the Lambs
Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemons, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald
Release Date: 14 February 1991 (USA)
Director: Jonathan Demme
Box Office: Box Office Mojo lists The Silence of the Lambs as having grossed US$272,742,922 worldwide.
Synopsis: Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, an FBI cadet who must work alongside notorious cannibal killer Dr Hannibal Lecter to capture serial killer 'Buffalo Bill''.
Memorable Moment: In a scene that is unforgettable for all the wrong reasons, Lecter's fellow inmate flings his, er, bodily fluid at Starling. Ugh.
Why it made the list: Hopkins' performance in this film is bone chilling. It is regularly referred to as one of the most influential horror films of all time, ranking 48th on Empire's list of 500 greatest movies of all time. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
3. Gone Girl
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Emily Ratajkowski
Release Date: 3 October 2014 (USA)
Director: David Fincher
Box Office: Gone Girl grossed US$369, 330, 363 worldwide.
Synopsis: Based on Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel, Nick Dunne's (Ben Affleck) life turns into a media circus after his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) disappears. As police investigate the case, they realise their picture-perfect marriage was not all it was cracked up to be.
Memorable Moment: When Amy seduces her ex-boyfriend (Neil Patrick Harris) and her sexy moves soon turn deadly. Truly disturbing.
Why it made the list: Lead actress Rosamund Pike was praised for her incredible performance. She received nominations for the Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Award.
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Brian Cox, Anthony Edwards
Release Date: 2 March 2007 (USA)
Director: David Fincher
Box Office: Zodiac grossed US$84, 785, 914 worldwide at the Box Office, according to Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with the Zodiac killer and teams up with inspectors Toshci and Armstrong to try and solve the cryptic clues left behind the suspect. The film is based on the killing spree that took place in San Francisco in the 60/70s - the murderer was nicknamed the 'Zodiac' killer and remains unsolved to this day.
Memorable Moment: The opening scene where the Zodiac killer opens fire on a young couple at Lovers Lane - it'll haunt your nightmares.
Why it made the list: The director, screenwriter and producer spent 18 months researching the story behind the Zodiac killer - a true passion project that shines through in the film.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey
Release Date: 22 September 1995 (USA)
Director: David Fincher
Box Office: Se7en has grossed US$327, 311, 859 worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
Synopsis: Two detectives, played by Freeman and Pitt, pair up to solve the murders of a serial killer who punishes people for committing the seven deadly sins.
Memorable Moment: So many traumatic visuals but the Gluttony death scene is one you won't be able to forget for a while.
Why it made the list: The film's overwhelmingly dark themes struck a chord with critics who praised the thriller. With an IMDB rating of 8.6 and an audience score of 95% on Rotten Tomato, the movie is definitely one to watch for crime fans.