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The Best Detective Fiction Movies

Updated October 1, 2019 2.4k votes 221 voters 35.9k 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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  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes1
    45
    9

    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
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  • The Maltese Falcon2
    51
    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
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    #617 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#8 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • Seven3
    50
    18

    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
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  • After the Thin Man4
    38
    8

    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
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  • The French Connection5
    44
    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
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  • The Silence of the Lambs6
    34
    4

    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
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  • Sherlock Holmes Faces Death7
    34
    10

    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
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  • Sleepy Hollow8
    40
    17

    Sleepy Hollow

    Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci

    Released1999

    Directed byTim Burton

    Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a...  more
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  • Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror9
    33
    10

    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
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  • Devil in a Blue Dress10
    31
    9

    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
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  • Harper11
    23
    5

    Harper

    Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall

    Released1966

    Directed byJack Smight

    Harper, released in the UK as The Moving Target, is a 1966 film based on Ross Macdonald's...  more
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  • Family Plot12
    23
    5

    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
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  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid13
    26
    9

    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
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    #341 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#176 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • Gorky Park14
    29
    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
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  • Terror by Night15
    28
    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
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  • The Mirror Crack'd16
    21
    7

    The Mirror Crack'd

    Elizabeth Taylor, Pierce Brosnan

    Released1980

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    The Mirror Crack'd is a 1980 British mystery film based on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novel...  more
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  • The Girl Who Played with Fire17
    19
    6

    The Girl Who Played with Fire

    Noomi Rapace, Per Oscarsson

    Released2009

    Directed byDaniel Alfredson

    The Girl Who Played with Fire is a 2009 Swedish thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson,...  more
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  • The Name of the Rose18
    17
    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
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  • Sherlock Holmes19
    37
    29

    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
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  • Another Thin Man20
    25
    15

    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
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  • Carry On Screaming!21
    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
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  • Shadow of the Thin Man22
    24
    15

    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
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  • The Pearl of Death23
    21
    13

    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
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  • 8 Million Ways to Die24
    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
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  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo25
    24
    16

    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
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