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The Best Detective Fiction Movies

Updated October 1, 2019 2.1k votes 213 voters 35.7k views106 items

List RulesVote for your personal favorite Detective fiction films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of all the best detective fiction movies ever made, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. This detective fiction movie list can be sorted by cast, year, director and more. This list of detective fiction films also contains detective fiction movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. This detective fiction films list can also be copied to start your own. This list, though, contains the best detective fiction movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films This detective fiction movie list can be sorted by alphabetically, by director, by year and more, but is currently ordered from best to worst. Rock the vote by upvoting your favorite movies. If they get enough votes they rise to the top.

List of detective fiction films includes detective fiction movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. You can share this on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and more to see what your social network would vote to the top.

These are the top films in the detective fiction genre, meaning that each and every one of these is a movie with at least a single element of the detective fiction genre in it. Be it the motifs of the detective fiction genre or just some of the most common archetypes.

If you're not a fan of Some Girls Do or Shadow Lake, then vote those down so that the list takes your preferences into account. If we missed any detective fiction movies on this list, please add them to the list yourself, as this is an open list which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the most famous detective fiction movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about detective fiction movie lists.
You can find the release information for any of the films listed below. It's often available in the data set, so you can even find the cast of some of these by clicking on the names of the detective fiction movies. List includes photos and detective fiction movie trailers next to the names of the movies.

Lonely Street and Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery are a great starting point for your to rank your favorites on this list

Whether you're at home and want to watch these detective fiction movies on DVD, streaming Blu-ray or streaming, or if you're seeing them in theatres for the first time, this is a list of good detective fiction movies that can be helpful in either situation to see where they all stack up. So from the latest, to the greatest detective movies, here is the full detective fiction movies list, ordered from best to worst.

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  • 1
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    41
    8

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    Basil Rathbone, Ida Lupino

    Released1939

    Directed byAlfred L. Werker

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a 1939 mystery-adventure film. It is a pastiche featuring... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Maltese Falcon
    49
    17

    The Maltese Falcon

    Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre

    Released1941

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 3
    After the Thin Man
    35
    7

    After the Thin Man

    James Stewart, Myrna Loy

    Released1936

    Directed byW. S. Van Dyke

    After the Thin Man is a 1936 American film, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and James... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Seven
    45
    17

    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 5
    The French Connection
    40
    14

    The French Connection

    Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider

    Released1971

    Directed byWilliam Friedkin

    The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    The Silence of the Lambs
    29
    5

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 7
    Devil in a Blue Dress
    31
    8

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    Denzel Washington, Poppy Montgomery

    Released1995

    Directed byCarl Franklin

    Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1995 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Carl Franklin and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 8
    Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
    32
    9

    Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

    Basil Rathbone, Milburn Stone

    Released1943

    Directed byRoy William Neill

    Sherlock Holmes Faces Death is the sixth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
    30
    9

    Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

    Basil Rathbone, Reginald Denny

    Released1942

    Directed byJohn Rawlins

    Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror is the third film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    The Maltese Falcon
    33
    12

    The Maltese Falcon

    Thelma Todd, William Dieterle

    Released1931

    Directed byRoy Del Ruth

    The Maltese Falcon is an American pre-code crime film, based on the novel of the same name by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    Another Thin Man
    22
    5

    Another Thin Man

    Myrna Loy, William Powell

    Released1939

    Directed byW. S. Van Dyke

    Another Thin Man is a 1939 American film that is the third film in the six-volume series, The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Shadow of the Thin Man
    22
    5

    Shadow of the Thin Man

    Ava Gardner, Myrna Loy

    Released1941

    Directed byW. S. Van Dyke

    Shadow of the Thin Man is the fourth of the six The Thin Man films. It was released in 1941... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Sherlock Holmes in Washington
    23
    6

    Sherlock Holmes in Washington

    Basil Rathbone, Marjorie Lord

    Released1943

    Directed byRoy William Neill

    Sherlock Holmes in Washington is the fifth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Backdraft
    23
    6

    Backdraft

    Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell

    Released1991

    Directed byRon Howard

    Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 15
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
    23
    8

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

    Chevy Chase, Steve Martin

    Released1982

    Directed byCarl Reiner

    This film is a 1982 comedy-mystery film directed by Carl Reiner. Starring Steve Martin and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 16
    The Pearl of Death
    20
    4

    The Pearl of Death

    Basil Rathbone, Rondo Hatton

    Released1944

    Directed byRoy William Neill

    The Pearl of Death is a 1944 Sherlock Holmes film starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Family Plot
    19
    4

    Family Plot

    Alfred Hitchcock, Bruce Dern

    Released1976

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Family Plot is a 1976 American dark comedy/thriller film that was the final film directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Gorky Park
    26
    14

    Gorky Park

    William Hurt, Lee Marvin

    Released1983

    Directed byMichael Apted

    Gorky Park is a 1983 film based on the novel Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith. It was directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Sherlock Holmes
    37
    28

    Sherlock Holmes

    Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

    Released2009

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 period mystery action film directed by Guy Ritchie, based on the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 20
    Terror by Night
    25
    15

    Terror by Night

    Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan

    Released1946

    Directed byRoy William Neill

    Terror by Night is a 1946 Sherlock Holmes film, the thirteenth to star Basil Rathbone and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Carry On Screaming!
    18
    7

    Carry On Screaming!

    Jon Pertwee, Kenneth Williams

    Released1966

    Directed byGerald Thomas

    Carry On Screaming is the twelfth in the series of Carry On films to be made and was released... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    The Name of the Rose
    16
    4

    The Name of the Rose

    Sean Connery, Christian Slater

    Released1986

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

    The Name of the Rose is a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 23
    8 Million Ways to Die
    16
    6

    8 Million Ways to Die

    Jeff Bridges, Andy Garcia

    Released1986

    Directed byHal Ashby

    8 Million Ways to Die is a 1986 American crime film. This was the final film directed by Hal... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    24
    17

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Noomi Rapace, Marika Lagercrantz

    Released2009

    Directed byNiels Arden Oplev

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller film based on the novel of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    The Return of the Pink Panther
    14
    6

    The Return of the Pink Panther

    Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer

    Released1975

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    The Return of the Pink Panther is the fourth film in The Pink Panther series, released in... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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