September 23, 2023

Whether it’s a classic case of whodunit or a heist gone wrong, mystery films have been a favorite among moviegoers for decades. From authors such as pulp fiction and the rise of detective novels in the 1930s Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler the mystery film genre emerged along with numerous subgenres, including film noir, psychological thrillers, and police procedurals.

The American Film Institute has been honoring the heritage and art of cinema and celebrating monumental films for over fifty years. The American Film Institute is known for its exclusive lists of stars and films from Hollywood’s Golden Age to today’s titles. From there The Usual Suspects to the mystery of psychological murder, vertigoThese are the 10 best mystery movies of all time, he said AFI.



10 ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995)

The cast of 'The Usual Suspects'

After a devastating fire on a ship docked in Los Angeles, petty criminal Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) is the only survivor of the massacre. He cooperates with the police, recalling the events that led him and his partner to the ship and the mysterious crime lord known as Keyser Söze, who Verbal says was the mastermind behind the entire operation.

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The Usual Suspects It’s a slow neo-noir, well-known for its iconic ending and great cast, Benicio del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Gabriel Bryne, Kevin Pollackand Stephen Baldwin. The story and main action of the film unfolds through a series of detailed flashbacks and has been described as a cross between classic film noir. Double Indemnity,and Akira Kurosawa1950 movie Rashomon.

9 ‘Dial M for Murder’ (1954)

Ray Milland and Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. via Pictures

Former tennis pro, Tony Wendice (Ray Milland), his wife, Margot (Grace Kelly), has had an affair, and intends to kill him to receive his inheritance. He blackmails an old acquaintance to do the job. He meticulously orchestrates every detail of the crime, but when Margot survives the attack, Wendice must quickly find a way to cover his tracks and prevent the police from discovering the truth.

Alfred Hitchcock‘s Mark M for murder has an intricate and deep plot and a star-studded cast, making it one of the best mystery films ever. While Milland and Kelly are the protagonists, the actor John WilliamsWhoever plays Chief Inspector Hubbard arguably steals the film as he keeps his cards close, before revealing his winning hand at the last moment in the most fitting way.

8 ‘Blue Velvet’ (1986)

Isabella Rossellini and David Lynch in Blue Velvet
Image via DEG

Jeffrey Beaumont University students (Kyle MacLachlan) finds his ear cut off in a vacant lot, teams up with a detective’s daughter, Sandy (Laura Dern), to solve the mystery. They follow the lead of a lounge singer (Isabella Rossellini) that may be linked to the crime. As Jeffrey becomes more attracted to beautiful women, he is drawn into a dark world where he meets a cunning and impulsive gangster named Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).

Blue Velvet is an eccentric mystery written and directed David Lynch and they also gave him a name one of the best movies of the year by the film critic Gene Siskel. The film earned Lynch his second Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Rossellini and Hopper were lauded for their stunning performances that push the traditional boundaries of their craft in this disturbing but thrilling mystery.

7 “North by Northwest” (1959)

Roger Thornhill escapes from a Northwest flight
Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

New York director Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a US government agent, he is being chased across the country by a group of mysterious strangers. He crosses paths with a young woman (Eva Marie Saint) who joins Thornhill on his journey, and as they try to clear up the misunderstanding, Thornhill realizes that he is just a pawn in another’s game.

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Hitchcock’s classic spy and mystery drama, North North West, is noted for its innovative action sequences and its great influence on the spy genre. It was Hitchcock’s first film with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and the third collaboration between Grant and Hitchcock, who had originally wanted to. James Stewart, but he felt that the humor and charm of Grant’s boys would provide a little comic relief to the intensity of the film.

6 ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941)

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon
Warner Bros.

When a confused young woman (Maria Astor) hires private investigator Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) to find his missing sister, Spade’s investigation leads him to several suspicious characters, all of whom are searching for a priceless statue known as the Maltese Falcon. As Spade dives headfirst into the criminal underworld, he realizes that the only way to save himself is to find the statue before anyone else.

John Huston he made his directorial debut with the classic noir The Maltese FalconFeaturing an extraordinary all-star cast led by Bogart, who American Film Institute also named as the greatest screen legend of his time. Bogart and Huston collaborated on several classic films, among others The treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largoand queen of africastarring the legendary actor Katharine Hepburn.

5 The Third Man (1949)

Joseph Cotten looking at Orson Welles in The Third Man
Selznick release organization

Writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) arrives at the home of his childhood friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles), to discover that Lime is dead in Austria. When Martins learns that an unknown third man was present when his friend died, he believes a conspiracy is afoot. He conducts his own investigation while trying to distance himself from the authorities who treat him as a potential suspect.

The Third Man It is a British mystery and film noir. Cotten and Welles, featuring co-stars and longtime friends who appeared together in Welles’ masterpiece. Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Amberson. The film is notable for its excessive use of Dutch angle shots, the unique musical score it comprises Anton Karas, and expressionist cinematography Robert Krasker, it won the film’s only Academy Award for best black-and-white cinematography.

4 ‘Laura’ (1944)

Dana Andrews looking at a portrait of Gene Tierney in Laura
20th Century Fox

New York detective Mark McPhearson (Dana Andrews) Laura Hunt is assigned to investigate the murder of a young executive (Gene Tierney), was shot in his home. When McPhearson is talking to Laura’s friends, including her fiance (Vincent Price) and his trusted mentor, Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), the detective falls under Laura’s spell and begins to fall in love with her.

Otto Preminger‘s Laura is an exceptional film noir with an arbitrary twist that ultimately sets it apart from other murder mysteries. While Andrews and Tierney are flawless, Webb delivers a complex and unpredictable portrayal of the character, which rightly earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

3 ‘Rear Window’ (1954)

James Stewart looking out the back window balcony
Image via Paramount Pictures

Hitchcock’s classic psychological thriller Rear window Photographer Jeff (James Stewart) was confined to a wheelchair in his apartment during the heat wave. Through the unit overlooking the courtyard he spies on his neighbors to pass the time. He learns about the lives and daily routines of the other tenants, but his harmless hobby turns sinister when he suspects a murder in the building.

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Stewart stars alongside Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr. Compared to other mystery films, Rear window It consists of prismatic shots that transport the audience to Stewart’s apartment as an accomplice to his investigation. The Master of Suspense heightens the film’s intensity with numerous binocular shots that give the audience the same perspective as Stewart, making them feel complicit in his investigation.

2 ‘Chinatown’ (1974)

Chinatown' (1)

Evelyn Mulwray hires Los Angeles private detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) to investigate her husband’s activities. While he expects it to be another case of infidelity, he realizes that the investigation is anything but routine when he meets the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway). When Mr. Mulwray ends up dead, Gittes becomes embroiled in a web of corruption and deceit that exposes the family’s dark secrets.

Nicholson stars Roman Polanskineo-noir film of ChinatownIt received more than ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and won Best Original Screenplay.

1 ‘Vertigo’ (1958)

Vertigo - 1958

Former San Francisco detective John “Scottie” Ferguson (Stewart) is hired by an acquaintance to track down his wife, Madeline.Kim Novak), who has been acting a bit strange lately. As he begins to follow her every move, he wrestles with his own personal demons, including an unplanned retirement and a growing obsession with the mysterious Madeline.

Named a classic Hitchcock film by the American Film Institute, vertigo best mystery movie o the greatest American film ever made. When the film was initially released, it received mixed reviews commenting on the film’s slow pace and sprawling length, but it was still hailed as a film that showcased Hitchcock’s masterful style and vision.

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