Detective movies have long been a staple of the film industry, offering audiences a chance to get swept up in the intrigue and suspense of solving a mystery. From classic film noir to modern crime thrillers, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the genre of detective movies.
Here are some of the top detective movies, based on their IMDb ratings, that you won’t want to miss:
- The Godfather (1972) – IMDb rating: 9.2 While not solely a detective movie, The Godfather follows the Corleone family and their connections to organized crime. The film is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, with its complex characters, sharp dialogue, and stunning cinematography.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – IMDb rating: 9.2 Another film that is not strictly a detective movie, The Shawshank Redemption is a powerful drama about the friendship between two inmates in a maximum-security prison. Despite its bleak setting, the film is uplifting and inspiring, earning it a spot as one of the highest-rated movies of all time.
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – IMDb rating: 8.6 A psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, The Silence of the Lambs stars Jodie Foster as a young FBI trainee who seeks the help of a cannibalistic serial killer (Anthony Hopkins) to catch another murderer. The film is a masterclass in tension-building, with unforgettable performances from its leads.
- Se7en (1995) – IMDb rating: 8.6 Starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, Se7en is a dark and gritty detective movie about two homicide detectives on the hunt for a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his murders. The film’s twist ending is one of the most shocking in cinematic history.
- Memento (2000) – IMDb rating: 8.4 Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento tells the story of a man (Guy Pearce) with short-term memory loss who is trying to track down his wife’s killer. The film is told in reverse chronological order, making for a unique and mind-bending viewing experience.
- L.A. Confidential (1997) – IMDb rating: 8.2 Set in 1950s Los Angeles, L.A. Confidential follows three detectives (Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacey) as they investigate a series of murders and corruption in the LAPD. The film’s stellar cast, intricate plot, and gorgeous production design make it a standout in the detective movie genre.
- The Usual Suspects (1995) – IMDb rating: 8.5 The Usual Suspects is a neo-noir crime thriller that follows a group of criminals who are brought together for a heist. The film is famous for its plot twist, which has become one of the most iconic in movie history. With an all-star cast and sharp dialogue, The Usual Suspects is a must-see for fans of the genre.
- Zodiac (2007) – IMDb rating: 7.7 Based on the true story of the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s, Zodiac is a tense and atmospheric detective movie. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo, the film is a haunting exploration of obsession and the quest for justice.
- Chinatown (1974) – IMDb rating: 8.2 A classic film noir starring Jack Nicholson, Chinatown tells the story of a private detective who gets caught up in a web of corruption and