Top 12 Best Movies About Murders Of All Time
Inthe world of movies, there's a special genre that always grabs our attention: murder mysteries. These murder movieshave been captivating us for a long time. They take us to mysterious and often dark places where detectives, investigators, or regular folks try to solve complicated crimes.
It doesn't matter if these stories happen in gritty city streets or fancy mansions; they always leave a strong impression on us. So, come along as we explore some of the best murder movies ever made.
Long before the worldwide recognition brought by "Parasite," South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho crafted what many still regard as his masterpiece – "Memories Of Murder." Based on the first serial killings in South Korea's history, the film defies genre conventions by immersing itself in the compelling narrative of two young detectives tasked with apprehending the elusive killer, Park Doo-man (played by Song Kang-ho) and Seo Tae-yoon (portrayed by Kim Sang-kyung).
From the very first frame, where a corn leaf hangs eerily beneath a golden sky, "Memories Of Murder" captivates with its hauntingly beautiful cinematography. The film's lens carefully scrutinizes the way in which nothing, and no one, remains untouched by such harrowing events. As Park, prone to quick acts of violence, and Seo, increasingly desperate in their pursuit, resort to drastic measures, Bong Joon-ho fearlessly exposes a flawed judicial system that inadvertently damages lives while seeking justice.
The fact that the Hwaesong killer remained at large when the film was released adds a potent layer to its narrative. Bong Joon-ho confronts the face of evil head-on, culminating in a memorable and impactful ending that resonates deeply with viewers.
Adapting a James Ellroy novel presents a formidable challenge, as even Brian De Palma grappled with "The Black Dahlia." However, with "L.A. Confidential," writer Brian Helgeland and director Curtis Hanson accomplished this feat with Oscar-winning brilliance.
Their success was undoubtedly aided by a stellar cast featuring Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, and Kevin Spacey, in a tale of intricate corruption within the ranks of the 1956 Los Angeles police force. The city depicted in the film is a realm more populated by human demons than benevolent angels.
At its core, "L.A. Confidential" weaves a compelling mystery, punctuated by unexpected twists and shocking revelations, ultimately leaving the audience in suspense regarding the true perpetrator of the Night Owl murders until the movie's climactic, blood-soaked revelation.
In the realm of delightfully meta action comedies, "Game Night," crafted by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the minds behind "Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves," may not fit the traditional murder-mystery mold. However, its narrative is ingeniously kickstarted by a murder-mystery game night, and it consistently keeps the audience guessing about whodunnit and even what the "it" in question truly entails. Thus, we include it on our list.
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams take the lead as the fiercely competitive couple, Annie and Max. Their competitive skills are pushed to the limit when Max's egotistical brother, Brooks (played by Kyle Chandler), becomes the victim of a real kidnapping during one of their game nights gone awry.
Beyond establishing itself as one of the finest comedies of the past decade (with McAdams' iconic "Oh no! He died!" line reading), "Game Night" secures its spot on this list by delivering a remarkable array of unexpected twists and turns. It steadily builds towards a jaw-dropping final revelation that successfully sticks the landing. Unlike some entries in the genre, this film only improves upon rewatching. We can't help but eagerly anticipate a sequel!
Long before Rian Johnson introduced the world to the sophisticated sleuth Benoit Blanc, the filmmaker captivated audiences with the high school neo-noir "Brick," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brendan Frye, a teenage loner who transforms into a private investigator. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Humphrey Bogart, the film masterfully employs a unique brand of noirspeak while casting Brendan in the classic gumshoe detective role.
In this cinematic creation, Johnson's narrative unfurls as Brendan delves into the shadowy underworld of his high school after his ex-girlfriend (played by Emilie de Ravin) is discovered dead in a storm drain. "Brick" stands out not only for its artful cinematography, slickly crafted script, and the remarkable fact that it was edited on a laptop, but also for its ability to function as a perplexing murder mystery while seamlessly capturing the essence and conventions of film noir for a new generation of viewers.
"Oh, murder, murder, murder. Change the bloody tune!" exclaims DS Andy Wainwright, portrayed by Paddy Considine in Edgar Wright's endlessly quotable buddy cop murder mystery, "Hot Fuzz." However, instead of altering the narrative, Wright skillfully remixes the genre's most iconic elements to great effect in this film.
In the story, Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg), a no-nonsense London police officer, teams up with the somewhat dimwitted PC Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) to uncover the unsettling truth behind the high accident rate in the seemingly peaceful town of Sandford. While "Hot Fuzz" is primarily an action-packed homage, with Wright paying homage to directors like Michael Bay, Tony Scott, and Kathryn Bigelow, the director also revels in the murder-mystery realm.
Timothy Dalton's blatantly corrupt character, Simon Skinner, channels the essence of a classic Columbo villain with a British twist. The film's intricate murder plot is cleverly juxtaposed with the cozy, rural atmosphere reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel, a thematic element that Wright masterfully plays with. As Danny would enthusiastically put it, "It's absolutely brilliant!"
After the explosive and divisive "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi," Rian Johnson could have chosen to lower the stakes for his next project. However, he did quite the opposite, raising the bar significantly with the star-studded original murder mystery, "Knives Out." This film introduced us to the new and captivating fictional detective, Benoit Blanc, and we couldn't be happier about it.
Johnson skillfully took the classic Agatha Christie formula - an imposing mansion, a diverse ensemble of recognizable societal archetypes, and the suspenseful climax with a monologue and shocking revelation - and brought it into the modern era, revolutionizing the murder-mystery genre much like he did with "Star Wars." Daniel Craig delivers an exceptional performance as the Southern-drawling sleuth, Benoit Blanc, while Chris Evans pleasantly surprises as Ransom Drysdale, playing against his typical roles.
Ana de Armas truly shines as the complex character Marta, and the entire film, beautifully shot and impeccably scored, keeps the audience engaged as we unravel the mysteries surrounding Christopher Plummer's character, mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey. With "Knives Out," Johnson serves up both the doughnut and the delicious filling all in one delicious package.
David Fincher made a triumphant return after the controversy and disappointment surrounding "Alien 3" with a pitch-black tale of torture and murder inspired by the deadly sins. In this gripping narrative, Brad Pitt's eager Detective Mills is paired with Morgan Freeman's grizzled and world-weary yet insightful Detective Somerset as a series of victims continues to mount. While the central mystery, skillfully crafted by Andrew Kevin Walker's screenplay, takes a backseat to the atmospheric tension of the case, it doesn't hold back when it comes to the climactic revelation of the identity of the perpetrator, John Doe.
Notably, the filmmakers made a clever marketing decision by deliberately omitting Kevin Spacey's name and image from the promotional material and opening credits, preserving the element of surprise and subverting the cliché of the most famous actor invariably being cast as the killer. Ultimately, the film builds to a shocking and unforgettable final scene that leaves a lasting impact.
With its period setting and intricate upstairs-downstairs dynamics, "Gosford Park" presents itself as director Robert Altman's own unique and decidedly more sinister take on "Downton Abbey," and it's a delightful approach. The film is set in the 1930s during a gathering at a hunting resort attended by the wealthy and famous. Altman assembles an impressive ensemble cast, including Dame Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Richard E. Grant, Charles Dance, and numerous others, allowing the sparks of their performances to fly and using sharp wit to satirize the self-centeredness and snobbery of the British elite.
What distinguishes "Gosford Park" is the quality of its writing and character development. The film skillfully draws you in, to the extent that you might forget that the actual murder mystery doesn't unfold until well over halfway through the narrative. When the brilliant but bumbling Inspector Thompson, portrayed by Stephen Fry, finally arrives on the scene, you'll be just as perplexed as he is while attempting to unravel the mystery behind the crime.
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling share fantastic chemistry as an unlikely pair of private investigators thrust together to solve the mysterious death of a famous porn star and the disappearance of a young girl in Shane Black's "The Nice Guys." Set against the backdrop of 1970s Los Angeles, this action-comedy crime caper boasts both style and substance.
Crowe's embittered divorcee, Jackson Healy, and Gosling's comically inept single father, Holland March, stumble upon a sprawling city-wide conspiracy. Their entertaining one-upmanship, alongside their surprisingly effective crime-solving skills, adds humor and depth to the story.
"The Nice Guys" serves as a heartfelt homage to "L.A. Confidential," even featuring a cameo by Kim Basinger, and masterfully hits all the key notes of the murder-mystery genre while reinvigorating the buddy cop movie tradition. The film delivers witty banter, bone-crunching action sequences, and a genuine sense of anticipation about where the plot will lead. It's no surprise that even seven years after its release, fans eagerly anticipate a sequel.
A film noir becomes something entirely different when it transforms into a unique blend of live-action and animation, as demonstrated in Robert Zemeckis' iconic creation, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." In this cinematic gem, Bob Hoskins takes the lead and delivers a standout performance as Eddie Valiant, a detective with a strong aversion to toons. His mission is to clear the name of the hapless Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer), accused of a murder he didn't commit.
Hoskins deserves praise for his portrayal of the no-nonsense, alcoholic private investigator, Eddie, who harbors both a grudge and a knack for uncovering conspiracies. He immerses himself in a world of fantasy, allowing the zany toon characters to unleash their madness. And they certainly do!
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" deftly combines the classic noir archetypes with delightful pairings like Donald and Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. Zemeckis skillfully weaves together two distinct worlds, resulting in a genre-defying masterpiece that respects and celebrates both realms. The outcome is a truly wild adventure with the spirit of "The Big Sleep."
David Fincher takes on one of the most vexing and unsolved real-life crime sprees in this gripping and atmospheric film. Based on the book by former San Francisco Chronicle political cartoonist Robert Graysmith, the story follows a city gripped by fear as a psychopath terrorizes couples. Both the police and the press are drawn into the hunt for this elusive killer.
Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Graysmith, while Robert Downey Jr., who had his share of disagreements with Fincher's meticulous shooting style, plays the role of crime reporter Paul Avery. The film delves into a specific angle of the case, focusing on the killer's taunting messages filled with cryptic ciphers. The film's open-ended conclusion may frustrate those who prefer neatly wrapped-up murder mysteries, but Fincher's portrayal of this enigmatic chapter in the case is so darkly compelling that you can't help but be drawn into the mystery.
Before Kenneth Branagh, sporting his luxurious mustache, took on the role, Sidney Lumet, working with writer Paul Dehn, brought Agatha Christie's train-based mystery to life. Albert Finney delivers a fittingly suave rendition of Hercule Poirot, though more subdued and less ego-driven than Branagh's interpretation. The film's tone is notably more lighthearted than the 2017 version, steering clear of the latter's somber drama.
Similar to Branagh's adaptation, Lumet's version boasts an outstanding supporting cast, often hailed as "the greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder," including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Michael York. While Branagh introduced a more contemporary sensibility to his film, Lumet's offering provides a Poirot who doesn't appear clairvoyant, allowing viewers to savor the characters as the mystery gradually unfolds.
Movies have given us a bunch of amazing murder movies that keep exciting and fascinating people all around the world. These films are not just for fun; they make us think and feel like detectives, trying to solve the mysteries right alongside the characters.
As we say goodbye to our journey through the best murder movies ever, one thing is clear: we'll always be drawn to these thrilling stories. They challenge our minds and help us understand human nature better. So, get ready for more exciting murder mysteries in the years to come!