We're looking at the best mystery movies on Netflix this week.
In the last month or so, we covered the best romantic comedies, sci fi movies, musicals and war movies on Netflix. Last week, we checked out biography movies, aka biopics. Now it's time to look at the great selection of mystery movies on Netflix.
The sub-genre has ended up crossing paths with other movie types, most notably thrillers. You'll notice some mystery movies here that would typically be considered more as dramas or horror; and we've thrown in a comedy or two as well.
Next week, we'll be looking at mystery series as they have a presence all their own on Netflix.
Until then, here are the best mystery movies on Netflix that will really get your noggin ticking.
'Zodiac' is considered to be one of David Fincher's lesser films. However it's an intriguing glimpse into the world of obsession and how it can destroy a life. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, an unassuming cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the hunt for the infamous Zodiac Killer in 1970's San Francisco. Instead of taking the obvious route and turning the cartoonist into an action hero, Gyllenhaal's performance is nuanced and balanced - but with an edge of desperation beneath the surface.
When sixteen year old Margot (newcomer Michelle La) disappears, her father David (John Cho. in a career-best performance, who most audiences will recognise as Sulu from the new 'Star Trek' movies), is left distraught. A local investigation led by Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing from 'Will & Grace') begins. Meanwhile David searches through Margot’s laptop for digital footprints she might have left. Part family drama, part gripping thriller, the mystery at the core of 'Searching' will wholly hook you in.
Based on author Dennis Lehane's original novel of the same name, 'Shutter Island' sees Leonardo DiCaprio play Teddy Daniels, a US Marshal given the arduous task of solving the disappearance of a woman from a mental health facility. He and his partner Chuck Aule, played by Mark Ruffalo, must unravel the mystery of this woman, and what the facility is really hiding. Even if you've seen it once, 'Shutter Island' is well worth another viewing to put all the pieces together.
'Gone Girl' confirmed that yup, years on, David Fincher's still got it in buckets and spades. Based on the Gillian Flynn bestseller (Flynn also adapted the screenplay), it follows the aftermath of Nick Dunne's (Ben Affleck) wife Amy's (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. If you haven't seen this or read the book, that summary will suffice. The twists and turns the plot takes will shock and astound you.
'Prisoners' focusses on the abduction of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent search for the abductor. Dissatisfied with the police's efforts, the father of one of the missing girls takes matters into his own hands. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is directed by the extraordinary Denis Villeneuve. He previously helmed 'Sicario', 'Arrival', and 'Blade Runner 2049', as well as the upcoming 'Dune' remake.
A Simple Favour
When you've got two of the most fabulous actresses working today - Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick - sharing the screen, only good things can happen. They play moms with kids attending school together, who end up making friends in spite their very different backgrounds. When Lively's character, Emily, goes missing, Kendrick's character, Stephanie, investigates. Much smarter and funnier than it appears on the outside, 'A Simple Favour' features some delicious twists.
Edward Norton is one of those actors who really should have an Oscar by now. He stunned us in 'American History X', 'Fight Club', and 'Birdman'. But his first performance that had people paying attention was in 'Primal Fear'. He plays a teenager from Kentucky who served as altar boy to a priest who has been murdered. Richard Gere plays the lawyer who takes on the case pro bono to find out the truth.
This horror-thriller starring Logan Marshall-Green was a hit on the festival circuit before it made its way into the mainstream. It sees a man accept an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, which he brings his new girlfriend to. Of course, he can't help but be suspicious as to why his ex asked him there at all. Moreover, she and her new husband (Michiel Huisman - 'Game of Thrones', 'The Haunting of Hill House') are acting very off.
There are plenty of offerings inspired by the works of Arthur Conan Doyle on Netflix right now. The most notable latest edition is Millie Bobby Brown starrer 'Enola Holmes' while the BBC series 'Sherlock' is also available. 2009 feature film 'Sherlock Holmes' sees Robert Downey Jr. step into the shoes of legendary detective while Jude Law plays the loyal Watson. It's a fun action-adventure-mystery movie, and the sequel 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' is on Netflix too if you feel like a double bill.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie, 'Changeling' is heart rendering in its story and Jolie's performance. She plays a single mother in 1920s Los Angeles whose nine year old son goes missing. After months of searching, the police claim to have found him, but she insists the child is not her son. As she attempts to show the authorities are lying, she gets slandered as hysterical, eventually being incarcerated in a mental institution.
Jennifer Lawrence’s breakthrough role in 'Winter's Bone' earned her numerous awards and widespread acclaim. She plays an Ozark Mountain girl named Ree, who is forced to set out to find her drug-dealing father in order to protect her house and family. She delivers a subtle and compelling turn as the bright, determined and strong-willed teenager. The only time she shows vulnerability is when she is forced to do something unthinkable in the third act.
Spike Lee directs 'Inside Man' which follows various characters involved in an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street. Denzel Washington plays Detective Keith Frazier, the NYPD's hostage negotiator; Clive Owen is Dalton Russell, the mastermind behind the heist; and Jodie Foster plays Madeleine White, a Manhattan power broker who becomes involved at the request of the bank's founder. It's nail-biting in its anticipation and the ending is a satisfactory pay-off.
State of Play
'State Of Play' has the audience playing catch-up from the off. A guy with a briefcase puts a bullet in a junkie before shooting a pizza delivery boy who witnessed the murder. The next morning, the assistant to Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) allegedly commits suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. 'The Washington Globe' reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) smells a rat and starts investigating with the help of Della Frye (Rachel McAdams). Cal is a former buddy of Collins. So is there a conspiracy..?