15 Best Detective Movies that you cannot afford to miss

best detective movies
© Warner Bros.

Who doesn’t love Sherlock Holmes? A pure amalgam of action, drama, romance and nail-biting suspense. Detective movies have an irresistible charm to them that keep us glued to the chair till the very end. We are careful not to miss even a single shot no matter what.
Movie Geekz compiled a combination of presumably the most enchanting detective movies that will leave you truly centring for answers. In case you like unanticipated startling turns of events and films stacked up with riddles, you have come to the right place.

1. The Maltese Falcon

detective from movie maltese falcon
© Warner Bros.
One of the most sought after detective movies of the iconic noir era, The Maltese Falcon finds its place to the top of the list. The movie has acted as a foundation to many of the private detective movies, be it the wit, the plot or the strong commitment to the morals of the main character played by Humphrey Bogart, possibly the greatest male star of classic American cinema. The Maltese Falcon is a murder mystery centring around detective Sam Spade as he hunts for a group of criminals who were each searching for an exotic treasure. The movie has a plot of so many twists and turns and intricacies that will surely make you glued to your screens. The film received three nominations at the 14th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Sydney Greenstreet for Best Supporting Actor, and John Huston for Best Adapted Screenplay.

2. Memento

memento detective movie
© Newmarket Films
From one of the best directors in Hollywood, Memento is one of the finest works of Christopher Nolan and one of the best detective movies. The movie revolves around an ex-insurance investigator, suffering from a rare form of amnesia. The only thing that he remembers before developing this condition is his wife’s murder. He is now on a quest to find his wife’s murderer. But, he is not able to retain his memory for more than 15 minutes. To cope up with the situation, Leonard uses photographs and tattoos on his body to reach the killer. An unusual movie that keeps viewers on their feet to the very end.

3. The Silence of the Lambs

the silence of the lambs detective movie
© Orion Pictures
A physic criminal is roaming scot-free who by far have killed 5 young women drowning them in water and stripping a large swath of skin from their bodies. While F.B.I is busy hunting down this criminal, a young trainee is assigned with an interview with Hannibal Lecter(played by Anthony Hopkins), a serial killer and cannibal in hopes of understanding psyche and motivations of a killer. Regarded as one of the best detective movies by both critics and film lovers, The Silence of the Lambs encompasses suspense, drama and excellent acting by the characters, so much so that it scored an Academy Award for Hopkins as the Best Actor despite only 16 minutes roleplay.

4. Se7en

moragn freeman brad pitt in se7en movie
© Warner Bros.
Detective William Somerset(Morgan Freeman) is a veteran with over 35 years of experience in the field and is looking forward for retirement after his last case. He is partnered with David Mills (Brad Pitt), a young and na├»ve hot head on a case seeking a sociopath who kills people based on seven deadly sins. As they trail on the footsteps on the criminal, they witness the horrific sequence of the victims one by one. Directed by David Fincher, the detective movie revolves around the two characters who are poles apart in their behaviour and their approach towards the case. The first instance is of the sin of Gluttony involving the murder of an obese man in a terrible manner. The veteran, Somerset try to figure out the killer’s modus operandi researching the Seven deadly sins whereas Mills puts in himself to get inside the killer’s mind.

5. The girl with the dragon tattoo

detectives from the girl with the dragon tattoo movie
© Sony Pictures
Another one from Fincher, The girl with the dragon tattoo revolves around a wealthy industrialist, Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out about his niece who went missing 40 years ago. He hires an investigative journalist, Mikael Blomqvist(played by Daniel Craig), who has just earned a bad name for himself after losing a legal battle against a corrupt business for the article he wrote. Mikael initially rejects the offer despite a hefty financial compensation but Vanger puts up something that Mikael could not refuse, by offering to clean his image by helping him prove the businessman guilty. Mikael is helped by a young woman named Lisbeth Salanger, who conducted the background check on Mikael in preparation to hire him for this job. The duo unfolds the mystery one after other following a path containing a lot of twists and turns in their investigative journey. This is one of the finest detective movies to be ever made.

6. L.A Confidential

still from LA Confidential movie
© Warner Bros.
Three cops, each with own desires and motives curb the corruption around an unsolved murder at a coffeeshop infamously known as Bloody Christmas. All three have a diverse background and follow different paths to uncover the conspiracy. L.A. Confidential is knit in such a manner that it could not be avoided from the list of best detective movies. White watched his dad beat his mom to death at that point disappear, he rebuffs abusers with speedy savagery; Exley's dad was a legend cop murdered bafflingly, he looks for equity by the book; Vicennes, a garments horse, counsels for a Dragnet-like TV appear. Will they get away from debasement and murder, will they locate their own profound quality?

7. Zodiac

zodiac detective movie
© Paramount Pictures
Based on the true story of a serial killer identifying himself as Zodiac. The guy was responsible for over 37 murders in San Francisco from 1960-70. The film follows a sketch artist (Gyllenhaal) and correspondent (Downey Jr.) from a local daily as they unravel the pieces of information abandoned by the psycho. Avery and Graysmith, become inspired by the mysterious letters and choose to help police as they find the path of the killer. But getting him isn't as simple as it appears. The strain in the film is regularly downplayed, particularly when the Zodiac executioner isn't attempting to make his quality known. But when he is seen and heard onscreen, the anticipation fastens up to an unendurable degree. The movie is really a feast to the detective movie lovers.

8. Prisoners

hugh jackman in prisoners movie
© 8:38 Productions
How far would you go for the safety of your loved ones? Keller Dover is confronting each parent's most exceedingly awful bad dream. His six-year-old little girl, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy. The main lead is a rundown RV that had before been parked on their road. Their convictions are reinforced after they meet the inhabitant of the camper, Alex Jones, an intellectually innocent youngster who is upheld in each regard by his overprotective auntie, Holly Jones, and dependent on other resulting proof about Alex that rises. Heading the examination, Detective Loki captures its driver, Alex Jones, however, an absence of proof powers his discharge. As the police seek after different leads and tension builds, Keller blames them for not carrying out the responsibility by following what he thinks about are futile leads. Realizing his kid's life is in danger the distracted Dover decides to take matters into his own hands. Exactly how far will this dad go to ensure the safety of his family?

9. Who framed Roger Rabbit

still from who framed roger rabit movie
© Ambilin
It is 1940's Los Angeles. In a world where Humans and Cartoons exist together. A popular toon known as Roger Rabbit has life simple until he finds that his better half, Jessica Rabbit is messing around with the head of Maroon Cartoons, at that point things get ugly for Roger as he is blamed for killing Mr. Maroon. Roger Rabbit goes to seek help from a detective named Eddie Valiant, who hates toons as one of the toons was responsible for his brother’s murder. He helps Roger (without wanting to), escape from the villain, Judge Doom, and even attempt to demonstrate Roger's innocence, so as to do this, he should travel all over L.A. furthermore, even into Toon town. This is loved by both children and adults alike which made it to the list of the favourite detective movies.

10. Memories of Murder

detectives in Memories of Murder movie
© CJ Entertainment
Based on a true story of South Korea’s first serial killer, memories of murder showcases the nail-biting quest to find a psycho who raped and killed 10 young ladies in the suburbs. This movie is directed by a critically acclaimed director, Bong Joon-ho, whom you may have heard of for his film Parasite. Dealing with the case are detectives Park Doo-man and Cho Yong-koo. Their endeavours are blocked by some messy wrongdoing scene methodology by the police. Their strategies for explaining cases are very basic, beating the life out of the suspects. When this leads to nowhere, the police boss gets an intelligent detective from Seoul, Seo Tae-yoon. With his appearance, the strategies improve but despite everything, they don't have the fanatic killer. Another woman is found murdered and the trail continues.

11. Gone Girl

still from gone girl detective movie
© 20th Century Studios
An established magazine writer, Nick Dunne(Ben Affleck) loses his job due to recession. His wife’s substantial trust fund is what that keeps the family going. With the course of time, laziness sets in Nick’s life which starts affecting his relationship with this wife. On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, he reports that his beautiful wife has gone missing. Under pressure from the investigating authorities and media, Nick’s integrity is targeted and is accused of his wife’s murder. The question is, Did Nick Dunne really kill his wife?

12. Chinatown

best detective movie chinatown
© Paramount Pictures
Chinatown is considered as one of the pioneers of apex detective movies of all times. In 1937 Los Angeles, private detective Jake 'J.J.' Gittes is a specialist in infidelity cases. His target Hollis Mulwray is an engineer with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whose spouse suspects him for disloyalty. In the long run, Gittes sees Mulwray meeting with an obscure young lady who isn't his wife. When updates on the alleged tryst among Mulwray and this lady hits the media, Gittes accept that Mulwray is being surrounded for something and that he himself is setting up. In his examination of the issue behind Mulwray's encircling and his own arrangement, Gittes is helped by Mulwray's significant other Evelyn, however, he figures she isn't in effect straightforward with him. The further he gets into the examination, the more privileged insights he reveals about the Mulwrays' expert and individual dealings, including Mulwray's previous business-association with Evelyn's dad, Noah Cross. The personality of the obscure lady might be the way to revealing the entire story.

13. Vertigo

detective movie vertigo
© Paramount Pictures
Police detective John "Scottie" Ferguson is asked by an old school companion, Gavin Elster, to examine his wife, Madeleine's odd conduct. He has started to believe that she is the resurrection of a lady who died numerous years back and is worried about her rational soundness. Scottie follows her and salvages her from a clear suicide endeavour when she hops into San Francisco sound. He becomes more acquainted with her and falls for her. They go to an old church and he can't prevent her from moving to the highest point of the steeple, attributable to his vertigo, where she bounces to her demise. A resulting request finds that she ended it all, however, blames Scottie for not halting her in any case. A while later, he meets Judy Barton, a lady who is a carbon copy of Madeleine. He attempts to revamp her into Madeleine's picture. He starts to acknowledge anyway that he has been tricked, and was a pawn in an intricate bit of theatre that was intended to end in catastrophe.

14. Gone Baby Gone

still from Gone Baby Gone movie
© Miramax
In his directorial debut, Ben Affleck has totally transformed himself into a rising craftsman and significantly all the more challenging director. Gone Baby Gone may be the most imaginative and good testing film of late years. This is the account of youthful Amanda, a young lady who bafflingly vanishes from her home and the movement and threats that come upon the individuals associated with her finding. The film stars Morgan Freeman as the police chief who heads the missing person unit with personal experience in the loss of a child. This movie earned a lot of laurels to Ben Affleck as a director.

15. Fargo

fargo movie still
© Universal Pictures
What was thought as a harmless prank turns nasty, really nasty. The story revolves around a car salesman working in his father-in-law's car dealership. The man has got himself into huge financial debts and to come out of it, he fabricates a brilliant plan, to kidnap his wife and extort his father-in-law for money. However, things turn nasty when the kidnappers kill a cop and several other witnesses. The story is pushed forward by the dauntless Frances McDormand who plays the role of pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson attempting to solve the murders.

PS: The movies are not arranged in any particular order, no matter which one you watch first, you will end up saying, these are the best detective movies to be ever made.