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The Best Mystery Movies Available On Netflix Instant Stream

Updated on April 19, 2016

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.

Identity (2003)

An underrated, and under-known film, Identity has an ensemble cast including John Cusack, Ray Liotta and John Hawkes as 3 of 10 people who are stranded at a motel in the middle of a massive rainstorm. With no hope of leaving, they are cooped up together with their own stories and secrets. But when they start dying, one after the other, Cusack and the others have to decide who to trust and who not to, which proves difficult considering people keep dying one by one. James Mangold’s thriller is full of twists and surprises and is well worth checking out for mystery fans and in particular, fans of the psychological thriller.

An incredibly skinny Christian Bale
An incredibly skinny Christian Bale

The Machinist (2004)

This psychological mystery thriller from director Brad Anderson is probably most famous for being the film in which Christian Bale literally bordered on anorexia, getting incredibly thin to portray this factory worker who has a string of bad luck, can't sleep at all and begins to doubt his sanity. It's most famous for Bale's appearance, but that's a bit unfair because it is an incredible film in it's own right. It's one of those films that is completely mind boggling at times, and you never really know what's real and what is not, but it's beautifully acted, extremely dark and full of shocking twists. It's got all the pieces that make up effective mystery movies.

Wish You Were Here (2013)

This is another lesser known but fairly recent film which isn't on a lot of people's radar, but deserves to be. Wish You Were Here is a tragic mystery movie that tells the story of a married couple (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price) who take her younger sister and her boyfriend on a vacation that turns tragic. The boyfriend vanishes on the trip, and we don't know why or how, but as the film goes on it reveals details to us about what happened in a non linear and wonderfully written way. The acting is great, the story moves at a good pace, giving us enough information to keep us hooked, but holding back enough to keep us guessing. A very underrated mystery movie on Netflix Instant and one of my personal favorites.

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.

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

One of legendary suspense director Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest efforts, The Lady Vanishes is a genius piece of cinema about a woman who meets an elderly lady on a train before being knocked unconscious by an accident. When she wakes, the elderly lady has disappeared and nobody acknowledges her ever even existing. This leads to a rogue investigation by the young woman and a male companion who believes her story, into exactly what could have happened to old Miss Froy. For fans of classic cinema this is a must see mystery movie.


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    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 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!

    • pmarinov profile image

      Blogger at Best 3 years ago from Detroit MI

      Great Hub! Voted Up!

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 3 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!

    • jmartin1344 profile image

      jmartin1344 3 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks Mr. Marinov.

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