Nothing quite gets your adrenaline pumping as much as a story-line involving a bit of action, suspense and the thrill involved in a criminal investigation. Whilst the story-lines might have a predictable ending, some actors seem to be built specifically for this genre, bring life to plots that would have been otherwise basic. Some of the best detective movies of all time such as as the 1950’s movie Vertigo capture everything great about thrillers. In the last couple of years, there has been a dearth of top-quality detective movies which will make this list handy if you are looking for the best on offer.
10 Best Detective Movies To Watch Right Now
By all standards, Tripple Frontier is a star-studded production, the cast, and crew are some of the finest minds in the game. The project has been in the offing since 2010 with many a hurdle along the way. When the likes of Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Tom Hardy, Will Smith, and Mark Wahlberg have all been linked with the casting of a movie, you know the producers are planning to go big.
A bunch of retired Special forces operatives played by Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal are convinced to come out of retirement for one last job, this time not in defense of country but for private gain. The price? – stealing $75 million from a South American drug lord in very unconventional circumstances. During the operation, things don’t all go according to plan and it soon morphs into a battle for survival.
Directed by J. C. Chandor, Tripple Frontier was shot on a budget of $115 million and released by Netflix in March 2019. It has been well received by movie critics across board and is sure to be a staple at future awards.
2. Murder on the Orient Express
Starring Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer among others, Murder on the Orient Express is a riveting tale about thirteen passengers who are stranded on a train. After one of the passengers is murdered in cold blood, one of the passengers – the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is in a race against time to apprehend the killer before he attacks another passenger.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the movie is based on Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express where Agatha continues to spin one of the longest-running fictional characters – Hercule Poirot.
The film has received impressive critical reviews across many platforms. It was nominated for Best Mystery or Thriller Film at the Phoenix Critics Circle in 2017 Murder. Shot on a budget of $55 million, the movie made $352.8 million at the box office.
3. Night Hunter (Nomis)
Written and directed by David Raymond, Night Hunter is an edge-of-the-seat thriller that is awash with twists and turns along the way. The movie stars Henry Cavill, Brendan Fletcher, Alexandra Daddario, Stanley Tucci, Minka Kelly, and Nathan Fillion.
The plot is centered around a police detective Aaron Marshall (Henry Cavill) who with the help of a local vigilante Micheal Cooper (Ben Kingsley) track down a serial killer who has been on the leash killing women. They soon discover that he is just getting started and has an astounding history.
Some of the criticism has been that the plot lacks depth, but then again there is rarely detective thrillers that are famous for depth, the biggest selling point for this genre is usually suspense and twists both of which abounds in Night Hunter.
4. A Walk Among the Tombstones
Based on Lawrence Block’s 1992 novel of the same title, this film is a must-watch if you are a Liam Neeson fan. He delivers one of his best performances in a classic crime thriller plot that sees him star as Matt Scudder – a recovering alcoholic and ex-cop who is now making a living as an unlicensed private investigator.
When the wife of a notorious heroin trafficker is murdered, the crime boss turns to Scudder to track down the killers and mete out justice. He reluctantly takes the job only to discover it isn’t such a straight forward case after all. He must scamper through the backstreets of New York to stop them before they eliminate someone else.
One of the Best Detective Movies out there, A Walk Among the Tombstones grossed $62.1 million at the box office on a budget of $25 million.
5. The Informer
Directed by Andrea Di Stefano and written by Matt Cook, The Informer is based on Roslund and Hellström’s novel Three Seconds. The cast includes; Clive Owen, Alex Ziwak, Ana de Armas, Arturo Castro, Aylam Orian, Common, Dilyana Bouklieva, Eugene Lipinski, Jenna Willis, Joel Kinnaman, Jorge Leon Martinez, and Joss Carter.
This is definitely one of the Best Detective Movies out there. The story is about a Special Ops soldier Pete Koslow’s (Joel Kinnaman) who is at a crossroads when he is jailed after he got involved in an altercation in a bid to defend his wife (Ana de Armas). To get an early exit, he is told to become the FBI’s informant in their case to crackdown a mob-run by the most powerful crime boss in New York. Things get a lot messier when an NYPD Cop dies.
To extricate himself from this web, Pete has to hatch a plan to evade the mob, the NYPD and the FBI all at the same time.
6. Wind River
This is the third of director Taylor Sheridan’s trilogy of “The Modern-day American Frontier. So to get a full picture it’d be a great idea to grab Sicario which was released in 2015 and Hell or High Water which was the follow up on Sicario.
Wind River is a tale of a rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) who is called in to unravel the murder of an 18-year-old Natalie Hanson whose corpse was found in Wind River Indian Reservation is definitely one of the Best Detective movies to be made. Agent Jane teams up with an agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cory Lambert who was the one who discovered the frozen body of the victim in the first place.
With an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and solid ratings across other platforms, it is safe to say Wind River has had a very solid reception among critics. Wind River made it to the Top Ten Independent Films on National Board of Review and was also nominated in the category of Best Thriller films at the Saturn wards. Shot on a budget of $11 million budget, the movie grossed $45 million at the Box office.
7. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
When crime thriller is dished with a splash of comedy, you know are in for a lot of fun. In Macon Blair’s directorial debut, credit must be given for his end product and his delivery. Starring David Yow, Melanie Lynskey, Devon Graye, Elijah Wood, and Jane Levy. The plot centers around Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) returns home from work to find that her apartment has been burgled.
After getting frustrated at law enforcement’s indifference towards her plight, she and her equally exasperated neighbor decide to take the bull by the horn and hunt down the criminals. Their enthusiasm wanes as they get deeper into tracking the thieves when they realize that the world of crime and criminals was a whole lot messier than they thought.
8. City of Lies
Whatever your persuasions are of the late rapper Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G, one thing everyone agrees on is that the events leading to their death is shrouded in mystery. Any attempt to put their murders and subsequent investigation into a film is surely going to attract worldwide attention, and that is exactly what City Of Lies has done.
Written by Christian Contreras and directed by Brad Furman, City of Lies is based on Randall Sullivan’s book Labyrinth. It chronicles the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The cast includes Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Rockmond Dunbar, Neil Brown Jr., Xander Berkeley, Shea Whigham, and Wynn Everett
9. Angel Has Fallen
The third in the line of the Fallen film series, Angel Has Fallen follows hot on the heels of Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016). Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, The movie boasts some of the biggest names in Hollywood, a cast that would surely boost viewership and impact positively on box office earnings. It stars the iconic Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tim Blake Nelson, Lance Reddick, Piper Perabo, and Nick Nolte.
The plot of the movie is centered around a secret service agent who is on the run after been accused of masterminding a plot to assassinate the President of the United States whom he sought to protect in the first place. Now on the run, he must set out to clear his name before he is caught, while protecting his family.
Angel Has Fallen was released in the US on the 23rd of August, 2019. Though the general consensus has been that it hasn’t been an upgrade on the previous two installments, the reviews have been mixed so far, maybe in part due to the very high expectations. Though it might not be top on the list of the very Best Detective Movies of all time, it still makes for an interesting watch. The budget for the movie was $40 million and so far at the Box office, it has generated $74.6 million, a figure that is sure to rise.
10. The Poison Rose
Directed by George Gallo and written by Richard Salvatore, Francesco Cinquemani and Luca Giliberto. The Poison Rose is based on a novel with the same title written by Richard Salvatore.
The plot of the film is centered around a former football player who is now a private investigator and has been contracted to investigate a case. In an intricate plot twist, the murder points him in the direction of a long lost daughter. Most critics have been of the view that this story ought to have been expanded further into a more lengthy soap opera perhaps to give room for the many twists and turns that seem to be compressed into a 98-minute movie.
The cast includes Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Brendan Fraser, Robert Patrick, Peter Stormare, amongst others.