Who is responsible for this crime? Many stories revolve around this question. If you’ve ever wondered, “Whodunnit?” There are mysteries in which the reader or viewer does not know who committed the crime, generally a murder, and the tale features a character or characters trying to solve it. You may be able to solve the mystery on your own, or you may not. Different from “Columbo,” where you already know who did it, but are interested in seeing how Columbo solves the case on his own. But this isn’t about television. Our topic is film. This list includes 25 of our favorite Whodunit movies. All of them fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction.
1. “Knives Out” (2019)
The best Whodunit film of all time must be the one that sparked the revival of the Whodunit subgenre in the first place. Using an innovative concept, Rian Johnson was able to write a successful murder mystery that won him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. As Benoit Blanc, the last of the male sleuths, we got to watch Daniel Craig perform a Southern accent.
2. “Clue” (1985)
“Clue,” which is based on the popular board game, is a highly debated film. Many consider it one of the best 1980s comedy. Others think it’s exaggerated. Whatever the case may be, the filmmakers took a risk by offering the audience three distinct ways to view the film. In the theaters, you only saw one of the endings, but now you may see them all when you watch it at home.
3. “The Long Goodbye” (1973)
Because detective films are frequently Whodunits, this collection includes a couple of Raymond Chandler stories. Phillip Marlowe is Chandler’s most well-known character, but “The Long Goodbye” reimagines him in a contemporary setting. This film, directed by Robert Altman and starring Elliott Gould as Marlowe, is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows Marlowe as he struggles to maintain his 1940s sensibility despite his new surroundings.
4. “After the Thin Man” (1936)
Is this the second “Thin Man” film in a series about Nick and Nora Charles, a detective couple? Why not go with the first option?? While it may be a little muddled, back in the ’30s film production was improving at an incredible rate. If “After the Thin Man” is better than “The Thin Man,” it’s because it’s a better film.
5. “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974)
The Whodunit queen is none other than Agatha Christie. Many of her stories and novels have been adapted for the big screen, and some have been remade several times. Her favorite story is undoubtedly “Murder on the Orient Express”. Although the 1974 film version drags at times, it features an excellent cast and Ingrid Bergman was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
6. “Scream” (1996)
It’s possible to solve the mystery of whodunit in a horror film. One of the most well-known of these is “Scream.” It’s a slasher film, a horror parody, and a murder mystery all at the same time. Three sequels have already been made, and a fourth is in the works.
7. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988)
Malibu was the destination for “The Long Goodbye,” a noir detective thriller. A hard-boiled investigator (Bob Hoskins) is thrown into a cartoon world in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is clearly a lighter fare than any of the preceding examples. It’s perfect for families. Although it is a noir and a whodunit, it is also a thriller.
8. “Klute” (1971)
“Klute” was Alan J. Pakula’s first picture in the ’70s, and he was known as the master of the ’70s conspiracy story. Ultimately, it is a film about a prostitute aiding a detective in his investigation of a missing person. It’s so much more than that, though. Besides that, Jane Fonda was awarded an Academy Award for her performance in it.
9. “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)
This film noir may be one of the best ever made. Miles Archer, Sam Spade’s colleague, has been shot and killed. Why? A statue of a falcon may have something to do with it, although it’s not clear how. First feature picture for director John Huston, and a breakthrough performance for Humphrey Bogart, who would go on to become a cinematic legend in the genre.
10. “The Nice Guys” (2016)
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is often regarded as the best Shane Black mystery. We don’t see eye-to-eye. “The Nice Guys” is a wonderful ’70s-inspired throwback flick. Both Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are terrific in their roles as bumbling detectives tangled in a web of intrigue while investigating a case of a missing person. However, it’s not a light-hearted film.
11. “Blow Out” (1981)
This list nearly included “The Conversation,” but we couldn’t decide if it was a Whodunit or not. “Blow Out” is a lot easier to argue for. The film stars John Travolta as a sound engineer who believes he has proof that a politician was murdered and not killed in a car accident. Who is to blame? Is there a reason why they did this? Is he capable of protecting himself and the woman who was injured in the accident? Even though John Travolta has become a laughingstock in recent years, this remains an engrossing thriller starring him.
12. “Chinatown” (1974)
The ’70s version of “Maltese Falcon,” “Chinatown” takes place in the heart of Chinatown. As a side note, it’s a bit like the 1970s’ “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Don’t let your kids see this one. This is a great performance by Jack Nicholson, and John Huston has a small part, but it’s a dark film noir you won’t soon forget.
13. “Zodiac” (2007)
A Whodunit, “Zodiac” is also based on real events. As thorough as David Fincher’s filmmaking has always been, this is a unique take on the Zodiac Killer case. Even if it’s based on fact, it’s still a spoiler because we’ll never know for sure who did it.
14. “The Big Sleep” (1946)
Raymond Chandler and Phillip Marlowe make a comeback in our discussion today. Oh, and speaking of Humphrey Bogart, he was once again cast as the lead detective. A notoriously difficult cinematic adaptation, “The Big Sleep” is still a compelling Whodunit. The Coen Brothers’ iconic comedy “The Big Lebowski” was also based on it.
15. “Hail, Caesar!” (2016)
We could have included “The Big Lebowski,” another film by the Coen brothers, as a Whodunit, but that would have been pushing it. Only one of the stories in “Hail, Caesar!” is a Whodunit, but that’s okay. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a Hollywood studio fixer, is on the hunt for the communist operative who kidnapped star Baird Whitlock. We’re glad to have this storyline in the film, despite the fact that it’s a ridiculous mockery of the entertainment industry.
16. “Charade” (1963)
Charade has been dubbed the best Hitchcock film that wasn’t made by Alfred Hitchcock, according to several critics. Among its cast members are Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, both of whom worked with Alfred Hitchcock. Walter Matthau, who has never been in a Hitchcock film, provides an exceptional performance in this film. Grant and Hepburn will keep you focused and entertained throughout the story’s many turns.
17. “Gosford Park” (2001)
Closed room mysteries, or Whodunits, are a type of Whodunit in which all the suspects are brought together in a single area by the detective in order to figure out who is responsible. However, “Gosford Park” takes set in a wealthy English country mansion of the 1930s. The murderer’s identity is unknown. Is this a member of the upper echelons of society? An employee who has been harassed by their employer? If you tune in, you’ll learn the answer.
18. “The Last of Sheila” (1973)
“The Last of Sheila” is one of the films mentioned by Johnson as a source of inspiration for his picture. Because of what happened, “Whodunnit?” was brought back into the consciousness of the general public. Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates in “Psycho,” and famed composer Stephen Sondheim co-wrote the screenplay, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the film’s appeal.
19. “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956)
Some consider “Psycho” a Whodunit, but we don’t think it’s up to snuff. In spite of the twist, there isn’t as much suspense over who committed the crime. As for “Rear Window,” the same holds true.” Despite this, Hitchcock must be included. As a result, we’ve chosen “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” in which his regular collaborator Jimmy Stewart appears with Doris Day.
20. “Zero Effect” (1998)
‘Zero Effect,’ starring Bill Pullman, is an unappreciated masterpiece that should not be missed if you only know him from ‘Independence Day.’ Pullman’s Darryl Zero is significantly less useful than Holmes even at his worst, thus the story has a Sherlock Holmes feel to it. Despite this, he’s one of the world’s greatest mystery solvers. Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Stiller star in a picture that’s both humorous and a mystery in equal measure.
21. “Lady in the Lake” (1947)
I’m sorry, but this is yet another adaptation of a Chandler novel. Despite Christie’s contributions to the genre, we tend to see her books adapted less successfully than Chandler’s. Another intriguing aspect of “Lady in the Lake” is that it is filmed entirely from the perspective of the protagonist, Phillip Marlowe.
22. “Laura” (1944)
In the ’40s, the film noir genre was at its pinnacle, and “Laura” is one of the films from that era that receives the highest acclaim. The reason is clear to us. If you’ve seen the film directed by Otto Preminger, you’ll believe you know what happened, but don’t get too confident. It’s possible that the movie has a few tricks up its sleeve.
23. “Detective Pikachu” (2019)
This list isn’t complete without at least one more ’50s film noir or a 1950s-era locked room mystery. That doesn’t mean “Detective Pikachu” doesn’t have some competition. “Detective Pikachu,” on the other hand, is an excellent film that defies expectations. In the end, this is a story about Pikachu as a detective! Most of all, though, we wanted to include a family-friendly Whodunit.
24. “Sherlock Holmes” (2009)
Sherlock Holmes is the best in the business when it comes to solving mysteries and Whodunits. Sherlock Holmes is the most recognizable figure in the detective fiction genre. Despite the fact that the 2009 “Sherlock Holmes” is more of a “How was it done?” than a “Whodunnit,” we had to include it on this list because there weren’t many decent Sherlock movies following the Basil Rathbone flicks from the early days of film.
25. “Brick” (2005)
A Rian Johnson film was the beginning and the finish of our journey. “Knives Out” is also a Whodunit, and it’s as brilliant as his initial film. A high school setting was inserted into the hardboiled film noir genre by Johnson. Joseph Gordon-performance Levitt’s as a teen attempting to figure out why his ex-girlfriend was murdered is a masterclass in acting. Those who enjoyed “Knives Out” ought to check out “Brick.”