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The Best Whodunit Movies 

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Updated April 9, 2020 60.2k votes 6.2k voters 633.2k views 280 items

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List of the best whodunit movies, as ranked by mystery movie fans and film critics from all over the world. There’s something thrilling about watching a fictional mystery unfold in front of your very eyes on the big screen. Unlike real life mysteries, you get to experience the beginning, middle, and end of the entire whodunit mystery. These movies include the moment the crime takes place to the second the (sometimes bumbling) detective or intelligent protagonist reveals the real culprit in a parlor room-type scene. Many of these whodunit film are gruesome mysteries where a murder has taken place, such as Primal Fear and Identity, while some are more humorous adventures, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Clue.

Not all of the mysteries in these films are about death. Like in the case of The Prestige and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the mystery is about the real motivation and actions of puzzling characters. However, most of these films are defined by their incredible detective characters, like Poirot in the Agatha Christie mysteries, who sift through clues and solve crimes like it was solving a crossword puzzle.

What are the best whodunit movies of all time? This list features the top movies that have whodunit mysteries as the center of the film.

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1
Clue is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn

Released: 1985

Directed by: Jonathan Lynn

Clue is a 1985 American ensemble mystery comedy film based on the board game of the same name. The film was directed by Jonathan Lynn, who collaborated on the script with John Landis, and stars ...more

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2
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
wiabux added Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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3
Rear Window is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock

Released: 1954

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Rear Window is a 1954 American mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story. Originally released by Paramount ...more

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4
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

Released: 1994

Directed by: Bryan Singer

The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del ...more

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#10 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #167 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Murder on the Orient Exp... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall

Released: 1974

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

This film is a 1974 British Technicolor mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie.

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6
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

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7
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Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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8
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

Released: 1958

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was ...more

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#34 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #49 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #554 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

9
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more

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10
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Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Barry Fitzgerald

Released: 1945

Directed by: René Clair

And Then There Were None is a 1945 film adaptation of Agatha Christie's best-selling mystery novel of the same name and is directed by René Clair. In the UK it had the title "Ten ...more

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11
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StacyWolfe added Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb

Released: 1957

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells ...more

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12
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Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Released: 2000

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

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13
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Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

Released: 1996

Directed by: Gregory Hoblit

Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense attorney ...more

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14
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StacyWolfe added Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Frank Darabont

The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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15
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2010

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more

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16
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Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

Released: 2006

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay adapted by him and his brother Jonathan Nolan from Christopher Priest's 1995 World Fantasy ...more

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17
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madamsundin added Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

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18
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wiabux added Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2007

Directed by: David Fincher

Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, based on the 1986 non-fiction book by Robert Graysmith. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist (Jake ...more

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19
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jmmikkola added Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah

Released: 1999

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

The Bone Collector is a 1999 psychological thriller film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, directed by Phillip Noyce and produced by Martin Bregman. The movie was based on the novel ...more

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20
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Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll

Released: 1951

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. It was ...more

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21
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wiabux added Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon

Released: 2003

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more

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22
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oldrocker added Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

Released: 2002

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Insomnia is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives ...more

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23
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Whodunit Movies
jmmikkola added Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette

Released: 1963

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more

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24
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CraigAlarm added Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Ron Perlman

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

The Name of the Rose is a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Sean Connery is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Christian ...more

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25
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CraigAlarm added Christopher Lee, Shirley Eaton, Dennis Price

Released: 1965

Directed by: George Pollock

Ten Little Indians is the second film version of Agatha Christie's detective novel of the same name. Although its background story is the same as the 1945 adaptation with ten people invited to a ...more