Best Movie Genres The Best Detective Fiction Movies  

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1.4k votes 173 voters 32.8k views 105 items

List Rules Vote 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 fiction movies, here is the full detective fiction movies list, ordered from best to worst.

Plenty of well-known directors have been associated with Detective fiction films, including John Huston and John Ford.

list ordered by

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Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 British–American action mystery film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by ...more

2
31 12
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
carlybobarly added Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman 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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Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam ...more

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Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, and Roy Scheider. The film was ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Ida Lupino, George Zucco The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a 1939 mystery-adventure film. It is a pastiche featuring the characters of the Sherlock Holmes series of books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke Sherlock Holmes Faces Death is the sixth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films. Made in 1943, it is a loose adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes story ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Reginald Denny, Edgar Barrier Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror is the third film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes movies. Made in 1942, the film combines elements of the Arthur Conan Doyle ...more

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Noomi Rapace, Marika Lagercrantz, Lena Endre The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the trilogy known as ...more

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James Stewart, Myrna Loy, William Powell After the Thin Man is a 1936 American film, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and James Stewart, that is the sequel to the film The Thin Man. The movie presents Powell and Loy as Dashiell ...more

10
11 2
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
RobertCastellani added Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak 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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Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Ron Perlman 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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William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy Gorky Park is a 1983 film based on the novel Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith. It was directed by Michael Apted from a screenplay by Dennis Potter. The main stars of the film are William Hurt as ...more

13
15 7
Backdraft is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh Backdraft is a 1991 action thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. The film stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, ...more

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15 7
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Denzel Washington, Poppy Montgomery, Don Cheadle Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1995 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Carl Franklin and photographed by Tak Fujimoto. The film is based on Walter Mosley's novel of the same name and ...more

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Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Herbert Lom The Return of the Pink Panther is the fourth film in The Pink Panther series, released in 1975. The film stars Peter Sellers in the role of Inspector Clouseau, returning to the part for the ...more

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18 10
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Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon is the fourth in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of 14 Sherlock Holmes films which updated the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the ...more

17
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Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Cary Grant Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is a 1982 comedy-mystery film directed by Carl Reiner. Starring Steve Martin and Rachel Ward, the film is both a parody of, and an homage to, film noir and the pulp ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Nigel Bruce Terror by Night is a 1946 Sherlock Holmes film, the thirteenth to star Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and was directed by Roy William Neill. The story revolves around the theft of a famous ...more

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Maggie Smith, Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness Murder by Death is a 1976 American mystery comedy film with a cast featuring Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Marjorie Lord, George Zucco Sherlock Holmes in Washington is the fifth film in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes movies. The plot is an original story not based on any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ...more

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Basil Rathbone, Rondo Hatton, Evelyn Ankers The Pearl of Death is a 1944 Sherlock Holmes film starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, the ninth of fourteen such films the pair made. The story is loosely based on ...more

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Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel of ...more

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Thelma Todd, William Dieterle, Bebe Daniels The Maltese Falcon is an American pre-code crime film, based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett and directed by Roy Del Ruth. The film stars Ricardo Cortez as private detective ...more

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Myrna Loy, William Powell, Ruth Hussey Another Thin Man is a 1939 American film that is the third film in the six-volume series, The Thin Man. It again stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, and is based on the ...more

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Elizabeth Taylor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Novak The Mirror Crack'd is a 1980 British mystery film based on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novel The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side and directed by Guy Hamilton. It starred Angela Lansbury, Kim ...more

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Christopher Lee, Frank Thornton, Miklós Rózsa The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a 1970 film directed and produced by Billy Wilder; he also shared writing credit with his longtime collaborator I. A. L. Diamond. It starred Robert ...more

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Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington ...more

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Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American crime thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the murders of three civil ...more

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Clint Eastwood, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Daniels Blood Work is a 2002 American mystery thriller film produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood. The film co-stars Jeff Daniels, Wanda De Jesús, and Anjelica Huston. It is based on ...more

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Boris Karloff, Lou Costello, Bud Abbott Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff is a 1949 comedy horror film starring Abbott and Costello and Boris Karloff. The full onscreen title is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the ...more

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Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, William Frawley Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is a 1951 comedy horror film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the team of Abbott and Costello alongside Nancy Guild. The film depicts the ...more

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Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Janet Leigh Harper, released in the UK as The Moving Target, is a 1966 film based on Ross Macdonald's novel The Moving Target and adapted for the screen by novelist William Goldman, who admired MacDonald's ...more

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Robert Morley, Margaret Rutherford, Flora Robson Murder at the Gallop is the second of four Miss Marple films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was based on the novel After the Funeral by Agatha Christie, and starred Margaret Rutherford as Miss ...more

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Ava Gardner, Myrna Loy, Donna Reed Shadow of the Thin Man is the fourth of the six The Thin Man films. It was released in 1941 and was directed by W. S. Van Dyke. It stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. ...more

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Alfred Hitchcock, Bruce Dern, Karen Black Family Plot is a 1976 American dark comedy/thriller film that was the final film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film was based on Victor Canning's novel The Rainbird Pattern, which Ernest ...more

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meagan Good, Emilie de Ravin Brick is a 2005 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was Johnson's directorial debut and won the Special Jury Prize for ...more

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Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Frank Welker The Great Mouse Detective is a 1986 American animated mystery film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, originally released to movie theaters on July 2, 1986 by Walt Disney Pictures. The ...more

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Gene Hackman, James Woods, Melanie Griffith Night Moves is a 1975 mystery thriller film directed by Arthur Penn. It stars Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, and features early career appearances by Melanie Griffith and James ...more

39
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Claire Trevor, Dick Powell, Mike Mazurki Murder, My Sweet is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Anne Shirley. The film is based on Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel Farewell, ...more

40
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Jeff Bridges, Andy Garcia, Rosanna Arquette 8 Million Ways to Die is a 1986 American crime film. This was the final film directed by Hal Ashby, and the first attempt to adapt the popular Matthew Scudder detective stories of Lawrence Block ...more

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Jon Pertwee, Kenneth Williams, Harry H. Corbett Carry On Screaming is the twelfth in the series of Carry On films to be made and was released in 1966. It was the last of the series to be made by Anglo-Amalgamated before the series moved to ...more

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Noomi Rapace, Per Oscarsson, Lena Endre The Girl Who Played with Fire is a 2009 Swedish thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson, and the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same ...more

43
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Carrie Fisher, Lauren Bacall, John Gielgud Appointment with Death is a 1988 mystery film, made by Golan-Globus Productions and produced and directed by Michael Winner. It is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel Appointment with ...more

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Stellan Skarsgård, Naseeruddin Shah, Dalip Tahil The Perfect Murder is a 1988 English language Indian film directed by Zafar Hai and produced by Merchant-Ivory. The film is based on the 1964 novel The Perfect Murder by British crime fiction ...more

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Sylvester Stallone, Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling Farewell, My Lovely is a 1975 American neo noir film, directed by Dick Richards and featuring Robert Mitchum as private detective Phillip Marlowe. The picture is based on Raymond Chandler's ...more

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Donald Sutherland, Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud Murder by Decree is a 1979 British-Canadian mystery thriller film directed by Bob Clark. It features the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who are ...more

47
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Ann-Margret, James Cromwell, Madeline Kahn The Cheap Detective is a 1978 American satirical comedy film written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore as a follow-up to their successful Murder by Death. It stars Peter Falk as Lou ...more

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John Candy, Jeffrey Jones, Shawnee Smith Who's Harry Crumb? is a comedy-mystery film featuring John Candy as the title character. Paul Flaherty directed the film, which co-stars Annie Potts, Jeffrey Jones and Shawnee Smith. An ...more

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Peter Lorre, Dorothy Lamour, Lon Chaney My Favorite Brunette is a 1947 American romantic comedy film directed by Elliott Nugent and starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. Written by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose, the film is about a baby ...more

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Judi Dench, Barbara Windsor, Anthony Quayle A Study in Terror is a 1965 British thriller film directed by James Hill and starring John Neville as Sherlock Holmes and Donald Houston as Dr. Watson. It was filmed at Shepperton Studios, ...more