The Best Mystery Movies Available on Netflix Instant Stream

Updated on July 3, 2017

There is nothing quite like a great mystery movie. When watching a movie, there is nothing better than not quite knowing who the killer is, or wondering where the package is hidden. Where did the missing person go, or who was responsible for stealing the jewelry. A good mystery movie should keep you guessing, but give you just enough to keep you intrigued until it finally reveals its secrets. The list below is full of films that do just this. Here is a list of the best mystery movies available on Netflix.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

The opening movie on this list is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which is a British spy mystery thriller based on the incredible novel by legendary writer John Le Carre. It tells the story of a high stakes hunt for a double agent who has infiltrated the British Secret Service and is posing a serious threat. Gary Oldman is placed in charge of the investigation, and it is one in which nobody can be trusted. The film adaptation spares no expense bringing the slow burning suspense and mystery to life, with a truly masterful all star cast which also includes the links of Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, John Hurt and of course Ciaran Hinds. That may well be the greatest British cast ever assembled, and they all deliver powerful performances. The film was a huge success, and for good reason. It's not full of action but it has some incredibly suspenseful moments, tense dialogue and a lot of twists and turns. A must see.

Oldboy (2004)

One of the best foreign films I’ve seen, Oldboy is a dark and twisted mystery film that has actually inspited an America remake starring Josh Brolin which is slated for a near-future release. A part of legendary director Chan-wook Park’s acclaimed ‘Vengeance Trilogy,’ the film tells the tale of a man who was randomly and inexplicably imprisoned for 15 years, and is then released in an equally inexplicable manner. What follows is a bizarre, twisted and shocking quest to uncover the mysteries behind his imprisonment. Don’t judge this one by its cover. If you give it a chance, you will not be disappointed.

Following (1998)

Here's a movie that most people probably haven't heard of, but definitely belongs on this list. Following is the debut feature from the masterful Christopher Nolan, and I think we all know what that guy went on to do. The film is about a young out of fortune writer who has made a strange hobby of following random strangers around with strict rules and guidelines about how to do it. However, when he breaks his own rules and meets one of his subjects, he gets invited to join in a spree of burglaries. However, all is not as it seems with his new friend. The film is remarkable in that it is made for practically nothing, with minimal expense. It's black and white and extremely low budget, but it is the epitome of a good mystery movie. It's got twists, turns, unknowns and plenty of suspense. Watch Following to see where Nolan's incredible career began, and then go tell your friends about it.

Zodiac (2007)

The Zodiac murders are one of the most famous true crime cases in the history of the United States. Currently unsolved, it was a collection of serial murders by a killer known as Zodiac, stalking the streets of San Francisco. The movie follows a group of investigators and reporters who become overly invested in the case, while constantly unable to piece together the clues. The cast is stellar, with Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. all playing key roles, and while long and slowly paced, the film has some incredible moments of tension and actually sparked a new interest in the case among the general public.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

As with most David Lynch films, Mulholland Drive is a polarizing film. Those who hate it, really hate it. But the majority recognize it as the crafty, modern noir thriller that it is. The films’ blurb will describe a relatively straightforward plot, involving two women, one with memory loss, trying to determine the latter’s identity. However, the truth is, the film is much more complex than that. It has a broken narrative, full of strange scenes and hard to comprehend moments. Things come together at times, and sometimes they don’t. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. While not for everyone, it is certainly an experience and the performances from Naomi Watts and Laura Harring are excellent. It’s worth noting that Lynch received a Best Director nomination from the Academy too!

Memento (2000)

The only director to place two films on the list is Christopher Nolan, and while the already described ‘Following’ was his actual debut, ‘Memento’ is the film that put him on the map. It stars Guy Pearce as a man is on the hunt for his wife’s killer. However, the kicker is, due to a rare form of Amnesia, the man cannot remember what happened 5 minutes ago. This incredibly creative dynamic plays out with two narratives, one chronological and one in reverse. This allows us to see things in the same way as our ‘hero’, who uses a unique system of Polaroid pictures and notes to recall and function. One of the most unique and creative movie experiences ever crafted, it’s a must see, but be prepared to pay attention.

The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2009)

Based on one of the most successful novels in recent years, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (and it’s two sequels) this Swedish language film stars Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Slander. Lisbeth is a socially awkward, but extremely intelligent investigator who aids a tarnished journalist named Mikael Blomkvist solve the mystery of a girl’s disappearance. The mystery ends up uncovering a much bigger story than expected, one that is dark, shocking and much more dangerous than they ever expected. The trilogy then continues onto bigger and better things, and the Swedish language films do a fantastic job of bringing them to life, perhaps even better than the American big budget adaptation with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.

Laura (1944)

It’s important to me to throw an old classic into this list! The 1944 thriller from director Otto Preminger is one of the all-time greats in the genre, and definitely fits the bill. It works in the film noir style, much beloved at the time, and follows a New York detective who is investigating the murder of the title character, a young woman named Laura. As he begins to question her friends and family, he becomes obsessed with the case, and more sinisterly, he begins to fall in love with the woman whose murder he’s investigating. One of the great pioneers of the noir genre, this is a must see for classic movie fans.

Pick your favorite:

Which of the above is your favorite Mystery Movie?

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    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks Mr. Marinov.

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks Thief12 - I agree that Identity is the weakest on the list, but I did like it. I actually liked the film itself more than the ending.

      I would definitely recommend seeing Brick as soon as possible!

      Thanks for reading!

    • pmarinov profile image

      Blogger at Best 

      6 years ago from Detroit MI

      Great Hub! Voted Up!

    • Thief12 profile image

      Carlo Giovannetti 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Some great films there. I haven't seen Brick, The Lady Vanishes, or the Dragon Girl trilogy, though.

      As for the others, Zodiac is great. One of my favorite films. And I love how the film is more about the obsession around the Zodiac killer than the killer himself. A masterpiece, IMO. Memento and Oldboy are great as well. I'm a huge fan of Memento. Nolan does a perfect job of setting everything up with the messed up chronology and the broken narrative. That puts you in Leonard's shoes for the whole film.

      I remember liking Gosford Park a lot, but I haven't seen it in a while.

      Identity is the only one in the bunch that I have seen, that I wasn't crazy about. I thought the twist wasn't well thought.

      Anyway, good hub. Voted up!


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