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The Best Detective Fiction Movies 

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Updated October 1, 2019 1.8k votes 206 voters 35.2k views 106 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 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.

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1
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Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor

Released: 1941

Directed by: John Huston

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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2
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
carlybobarly added 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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3
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Basil Rathbone, Ida Lupino, George Zucco

Released: 1939

Directed by: Alfred L. Werker

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
4
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Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey

Released: 1971

Directed by: William Friedkin

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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5
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Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

Released: 2009

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

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. In the film, ...more

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6
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James Stewart, Myrna Loy, William Powell

Released: 1936

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke

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
7
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Basil Rathbone, Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke

Released: 1943

Directed by: Roy William Neill

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
8
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Basil Rathbone, Reginald Denny, Edgar Barrier

Released: 1942

Directed by: John Rawlins

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
9
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
RobertCastellani 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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10
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Noomi Rapace, Marika Lagercrantz, Lena Endre

Released: 2009

Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev

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
11
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William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy

Released: 1983

Directed by: Michael Apted

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

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12
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Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Nigel Bruce

Released: 1946

Directed by: Roy William Neill

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
13
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Thelma Todd, William Dieterle, Bebe Daniels

Released: 1931

Directed by: Roy Del Ruth

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
14
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Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, Nigel Bruce

Released: 1943

Directed by: Roy William Neill

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
15
Backdraft is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detective Fiction Movies
Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ron Howard

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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16
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Basil Rathbone, Marjorie Lord, George Zucco

Released: 1943

Directed by: Roy William Neill

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
17
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Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Cary Grant

Released: 1982

Directed by: Carl Reiner

This film 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 detective movies of ...more

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18
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Myrna Loy, William Powell, Ruth Hussey

Released: 1939

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke

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
19
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Basil Rathbone, Rondo Hatton, Evelyn Ankers

Released: 1944

Directed by: Roy William Neill

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
20
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Ava Gardner, Myrna Loy, Donna Reed

Released: 1941

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke

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
21
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Alfred Hitchcock, Bruce Dern, Karen Black

Released: 1976

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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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22
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Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ben Affleck

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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23
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Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Herbert Lom

Released: 1975

Directed by: Blake Edwards

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24
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Maggie Smith, Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness

Released: 1976

Directed by: Robert Moore

This film 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, Maggie ...more

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25
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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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