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11 Top Mystery Movies That Will Keep You Guessing

Written by Gerryaldo

Mystery movies are all about puzzles and questions. They take us on a wild ride of guessing, often leading to unexpected conclusions. These films aren't always scary in a ghostly way, but they sure can be thrilling.

What you'll usually find in these movies are soundtracks that jump out at you during big reveals, camera angles that add to the suspense, shadowy scenes, and twist endings that leave you thinking long after the movie's over.

These twists often mean everyone ends up with their own idea of what really happened. So, we've put together a list of the best mystery movies out there, and most of them aren't horror films. But watch out for spoilers!

Imagine being new at a job and suddenly getting a really tough task that involves saving lives. Sounds overwhelming, right? But for the main character in "The Silence of the Lambs," it's a challenge she rises to. This thrilling film stars Jodie Foster.

Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is training to be an FBI agent. During her training, she learns about all kinds of cases, from simple ones to really serious crimes. One particular case is about a string of cruel murders by someone called Buffalo Bill.

Clarice's boss at the training center, Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), notices her quick thinking and good work. He assigns her to interview a prisoner, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Hannibal is a smart guy, and Jack thinks he can help find Buffalo Bill. Can Clarice succeed in her mission?

Discussing Stephen King's stories always leads to fascinating topics. His tales have inspired many filmmakers to create brilliant movies. One notable adaptation is "The Green Mile" by director Frank Darabont, featuring famous actors like Tom Hanks.

The film focuses on Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), a prison officer on death row. He's a disciplined and respected officer during the Great Depression.

Paul's routine changes when he meets a new inmate, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan). John's towering size intimidates many, and people assume he must have committed a terrible crime.

However, it turns out John is innocent. He's a gentle giant, sensitive and compassionate. Despite this, Paul is tasked with carrying out John's execution. This duty weighs heavily on Paul, leaving him with a lifetime of guilt and remorse.

Murderers can get crazier over time, and they have all sorts of reasons for their crimes - revenge, hatred, or even because they think their victims have done something wrong. That's the chilling theme of David Fincher's movie "Se7en"!

The movie stars Morgan Freeman as William Somerset, a seasoned detective who's just a week away from retirement. But before he can hang up his hat, he's pulled into one last case: a series of murders based on the '7 deadly sins' - pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and laziness.

William works on this bizarre case with his new partner, the young and overly confident detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). William carefully studies the killer's methods, while David tries to get inside the killer's head to catch him.

A heads-up: if you're not okay with seeing torture scenes, you might want to skip those parts!

Have you ever thought that being nosy could actually lead to something exciting? "Rear Window," one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, shows just that. It's about a photographer who starts watching his neighbor and ends up uncovering a huge secret.

The photographer, Jefferies (James Stewart) is stuck at home with an injury. He can't move much, and he's really bored. To pass the time, Jeff starts taking photos from his window.

While snapping pictures of his apartment complex, Jeff notices something strange with the neighbor across from him. He starts to think the neighbor might have killed his wife.

Jeff can't check it out by himself, so he asks for help from his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), who knows all about high fashion, and his visiting nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter). Together, they start to dig into what the neighbor is up to.

Nominated for an Oscar, "The Prestige" is a well-known psychological thriller in the movie world. It's based on a 1995 novel by Christopher Priest and tells the story of two London magicians who go to great lengths to create the ultimate magic trick.

Set in the 1800s in London, the film follows two magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). They're both trying to make their magic shows the best. But soon, their friendly competition turns into an obsession to outdo each other with the most impressive tricks.

The rivalry heats up when Robert uses a machine made by Nikola Tesla to clone himself. His risky magic acts amaze the audience. However, a closer look reveals a shocking truth: Robert uses his clone for the finale of his deadly tricks, leaving everyone stunned and horrified.

6. L.A. Confidential

Year 1997
Genre , ,
Cast Kevin Spacey Russell Crowe Guy Pearce James Cromwell
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"L.A. Confidential," released in 1997, was acclaimed as one of the best crime films of its era. Directed by Curtis Hanson and starring top actors such as Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, the movie tells the story of a police unit that gets caught up in corruption amidst the glamour of Hollywood.

Throughout 1953, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been tarnished by many dirty cops. So, the LAPD tries to reform their image. It starts with Sergeant Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce) who seeks justice for his father's murder; because until now the culprit has never been caught.

On the other hand, there is Sergeant Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) who collaborates with tabloid journalist Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) to catch famous celebrities; as well as several other members. Will the LAPD be able to regain the public's trust once their internal clean-up is complete?

Who doesn't love a good detective story, where the truth unravels bit by bit? It's always a thrill to guess the villain, right? Let's talk about "Chinatown," directed by Roman Polanski, a classic in this genre!

Set in 1937, the film follows Jake 'J.J.' Gittes (Jack Nicholson), a private detective. He gets a job to look into a possible affair involving Hollis Mulwray (Darrell Zwerling), a big-shot at the Los Angeles Water and Power Company. Hollis's wife thinks he's up to something.

J.J. starts tailing Hollis, collecting clues along the way. As he digs deeper, he gets tangled up in a much bigger story involving Hollis. Secrets start to unravel, even pulling in Hollis's wife, Evelyn (Faye Dunaway). Want to know what's really going on? You'll have to watch "Chinatown" to find out!

In 2019, the mystery movie "Knives Out" hit the screens, featuring the dashing Daniel Craig in the lead role. The entire storyline was created by Rian Johnson, who also directed the movie. The plot centres on a detective who investigates the death of a famous person.

The detective is Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). He's called to look into the death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a very rich mystery writer who died at his 85th birthday party. Benoit starts digging to find the killer.

He discovers that Harlan's nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), accidentally gave him too much morphine. What's surprising is that even though Marta caused the death, she ends up getting all of Harlan's money. This makes Harlan's family really angry. But what's the whole story?

9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Year 2011
Genre , ,
Cast Daniel Craig Rooney Mara
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"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a gripping thriller film from 2011, based on Stieg Larsson's novel. The film follows a man's search for answers about a girl who disappeared 40 years ago, with the help of a computer hacker.

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is asked by wealthy businessman Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the disappearance of his granddaughter, Harriet (Joely Richardson), who is suspected of being murdered.

Unable to do it all by himself, Mikael asks a computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), to help him. Lisbeth and Mikael work together to find clues about Harriet, which leads to the revelation of a big secret.

"Zodiac" is a gripping crime thriller directed by David Fincher. It's based on the real hunt for a serial killer in San Francisco during the 1970s. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. in leading roles.

San Francisco is in a crisis as murder cases pile up, all pointing to the same killer. The police are working hard to catch this criminal who keeps sending secret letters and messages, mocking them.

The story focuses on three men: investigator Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), Inspector Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), and reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.). They become deeply obsessed with uncovering the killer's identity and making sure he faces justice. Will they be able to crack this case?

If you love a good mystery, you've probably heard of Sherlock Holmes, the most famous detective character around. There are lots of movies about him, and one we're diving into today is "Sherlock Holmes." This film is all about the detective's battle against his arch-enemy.

In the movie, Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are on the case of a serial killer named Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). This isn't just any murder case; it's tangled up with black magic used by Blackwood's 'witch'.

Blackwood warns Detective Sherlock that more deaths are coming. Sherlock's big investigation reveals that Blackwood aims to take over the British Empire and even retake the United States.

Now, it's up to Sherlock and Dr. Watson to stop Blackwood's sinister plan.

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