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10 Thrilling Whodunit Movies for Murder Mystery Fans

Murder Mystery Whodunit movies

Who doesn’t love the thrill of a protagonist solving crimes with all of its twists, turns, and mind-bending puzzles? We have listed some of the best Whodunit/Murder Mystery movies that you should check out.  

Classic Whodunits have been a staple of cinema, and popular detective fiction novels like the ones by Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been adapted into film countless times. After all, the idea of investigating the complexities of a murder (why someone killed a person and how the protagonist will deal with the questions and challenges that await him) is exciting and offers the viewers a grand escape from the daily stress of life. 

Whodunit plots are carefully structured, and their most important focus is on the question of ‘Who committed the crime?’ While other styles of murder mysteries have changed their tropes and convention, a well-made Whodunit remains the same. The true pleasure of the Whodunit is that the viewers become just as engaged in solving the crime as the investigators themselves. Here’s a list of Whodunit movies that you might like.

List of Whodunit Movies

  1. The Usual Suspects 
  2. Knives Out
  3. Charade 
  4. The Big Sleep
  5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  6. Primal Fear
  7. Clue
  8. Zodiac
  9. Murder On The Orient Express
  10. Sherlock Holmes

1. The Usual Suspects (1995)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Spacey, and Gabriel Byrne 

Director: Bryan Singer

The Usual Suspects may have a high rating, but the movie was not liked by many film critics when it was first released. The Neo-noir movie did, however, receive a host of prestigious awards and was a hit on home video and cable. The fans rewatched and became obsessed with deciphering the hidden details of the movie. 

The story of This Usual Suspects revolves around anti-heroes, 5 criminals are arrested following a truck hijack in New york. However, neither of them claims to be guilty, so they plan an act of revenge against the police. The movie is famous for its iconic dialogues and talented performances; no viewer will forget the haunting killer twist of this movie for a long time. If you like Whodunit movies, then you should watch The Usual Suspects.

2. Knives Out (2022)

IMDB ratings: 7.9/10

Cast: Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, and Daniel Craig

Director: Rian Johnson 

The detective murder mystery Knives Out was a surprise box office hit, rare for an original story. Rian Johnson’s genius storytelling brought an unexpectedly refreshing twist to the classic Whodunit. The movie follows the death of Harlowe Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), the head of the aristocratic family of the Thrombeys. Benoit Blanc ( Daniel Craig) is anonymously hired to investigate the crime. 

The story of Knives out quickly switches its pace when a shocking piece of information is revealed that involves Harlowe’s nurse and kindhearted friend Martha Cabrera (Ana de Armas). The noteworthy and exceptional performances by the actors make Knives Out one of the best murder mystery whodunit movies released in recent years. The highly anticipated sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is set to release by the end of 2022.

3. Charade (1963)

IMDB ratings: 7.9/10

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Casey Grant, and Walter Matthau

Director: Stanley Donen 

You might think of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, and Sabrina. But, if I asked you to name Audrey Hepburn movies, most people wouldn’t be aware of her comedy mystery Charade. The film follows a trio of crooks relentlessly pursuing a widowed young American woman (Audrey Hepburn) in an attempt to recover the fortune her husband stole from them.

Charade is a brilliant murder mystery made by the iconic Singin’ in the Rain (1952) director Stanley Donen. The movie is shot in Paris and features Audrey in gorgeous Givenchy. Charade is known as the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made for its thrilling elements and Hitchcock-esque performance by Casey Grant. I think every aspect of the film is wholly and utterly marvellous. So, if you are looking for outstanding murder mystery whodunit movies to watch, Charade should be perfect for you. 

4. The Big Sleep (1946)

IMDB ratings: 7.9/10

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Martha Vickers

Director: Howard Hawks

The Big Sleep is a film noir based on Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel and is one of the best-known anecdotes of Hollywood for its baffling plot. The movie follows the private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart), hired by a wealthy man General Sternwood. Marlowe has to deal with an author who tries to blackmail Sternwood’s wild daughter Carmen over her gambling debts.

The Big Sleep is a very fast-moving drama; it is often hard to keep track of who was killed by whom and why. The protagonist has to face all kinds of challenges like blackmail, murder, and what he thinks might be love. Lauren Bacall’s femme fatale is irresistibly beautiful, and the definitive pairing of Bogart and Bacall with the evergreen mystery has made it the most iconic noir film. I highly recommend watching The Big Sleep if you are looking for the best whodunit movies. 

Also Read: Movies like Donnie Darko

5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

IMDB ratings: 7.7/10

Cast: Bob Hoskins, Charles Fleischer, and Christopher Lloyd

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is perhaps the most revolutionary film from the 1980s for its hand-drawn 2D animated cartoons mixed with live action. At first, Disney hesitated to back this PG-rated film, but Steven Spielberg’s decision to produce the film created history. Now, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a one-of-a-kind classic in American Cinema. 

The story of Who framed Roger Rabbit is a personal favourite for every kid who grew up watching the film. The murderous plot is funny, suspenseful, emotional and full of love. By no means do I intend to categorise this film with the rest of the dark films in this list, but that does not take away from how entertaining one might find it to be. The acting and voice-over performances are stellar, and if Spielberg loves Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there’s a good chance you will too. 

6. Primal Fear (1996)

IMDB ratings: 7.7/10

Cast: Edward Norton, Richard Gere, and Laura Linney

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Ed Norton made his film debut with this 1996 thriller murder mystery film Primal Fear, and his stellar performance earned him an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe win. Primal Fear is a very well-directed and brilliantly visualised film full of twists and suspense that will surely blow your mind. 

Adapted from a novel by William Diehl, Primal Fear follows the story of a flamboyant Chicago attorney called Martin Vail (Richard Gere). Martin volunteers to defend a young teenager named Aaron Stampler (Ed Norton) for the accused murder of an archbishop. Primal Fear may not be the most accurate depiction of Law, but its strong performance and great storyline make it as relevant today as it was 25 years ago.

7. Clue (1985)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, and Lesley Ann Warren 

Director: Jonathan Lynn 

Have you ever played the board game Clue? This film brings that game to life. The story of Clue follows 6 guests anonymously invited to a mansion for dinner, but when their host is murdered, they have to cooperate with the staff to identify who the killer is. The movie (like the board game would have) released multiple endings; one end was selected and shown in the theatres. The home release featured all three ends for the viewers to choose which they prefer. 

Not only was the entire idea fun, but the movie was absolutely hilarious, and the performances by the actors were stellar. Even though Clue didn’t see much success at the time of release, it later gained a cult following, and rightfully so. Suppose you are searching for entertaining whodunits with brilliant murder mystery twists. In that case, Clue is the movie for you. 

8. Zodiac (2007)

IMDB ratings: 7.7/10

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. and, Anthony Edwards

Director: David Fincher

The thriller/ murder mystery film Zodiac is based on one of the most infamous unsolved murder cases in history. Directed by the genius David Fincher, this movie revolves around 4 characters who obsessively investigate the crimes of a serial killer called the Zodiac. 

In the beginning, an attack occurs shortly after The San Francisco Bay Chronicle receives an encrypted message. Unless his coded message is published, the criminal threatens to kill a dozen people. Following, a cartoonist and a crime reporter at the Chronicle try to decipher the information. Eventually, police inspectors are assigned to the case while the psychotic and smart Zodiac claims one victim after another. The story is highly compelling if you are looking for a great murder mystery to watch. 

Also Read: Movies like Prisoners

9. Murder On The Orient Express (1974)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, and Lauren Bacall 

Director: Sidney Lumet 

Agatha Christie is a renowned Detective fiction writer, and her character Hercule Poirot is probably just as popular as the classic Sherlock Holmes. The 1974 ensemble movie Murder on the Orient Express is an adaptation of her book of the same name. The protagonist and brilliant detective Hercule Poirot closes up a case and settles on what he expects to be a relaxing train journey home. 

When a famous billionaire is murdered on the train, Poirot takes up the case and holds everyone on the train as a suspect. What he discovers at the end challenges everything he believes in. In my opinion, this adaptation is a classic masterpiece. The 2017 version cannot compare. Albert Finney is quite brilliant, and there are a few ensemble whodunit movies that can match up to the greatness of this one.

10. Sherlock Holmes (2010)

IMDB ratings: 7.6/10

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

Director: Guy Ritchie

Any murder mystery/whodunit/detective fiction list is incomplete without the most legendary character of Sherlock Holmes, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock is among the most adapted characters in the history of literature. His high-functioning mind and excellent skills of deduction are undeniably charming. This 2010 Sherlock Holmes is a film series with Robert Downey Jr playing the titular protagonist.

Sherlock and his partner Dr Watson (Jude Law) are shocked to discover that a serial killer they caught (and had died) comes back from death. The story is periodically accurate but true to Conan Doyle’s Novels. However, the mystery is highly riveting, and the actors are highly convincing in their roles. Most critics and fans of the stories loved 2010 Sherlock Holmes. If you want to see great whodunit movies or murder mystery movies, then  Sherlock Holmes, without a doubt, should be on your list. 

Honourable Mentions 

A few great whodunit movies didn’t make this list, but you can still check them out:

  1. The Nice Guys
  2. Gosford Park
  3. The Last of Sheila 
  4.  And there were none 
  5. Murder by Death
  6. A Canterbury Tale 

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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