The best mysteries on Netflix right now

You don’t have to have great detective skills to appreciate a good mystery. But if you watch enough mysteries, then you tend to pick up on clues that other viewers might miss. That’s part of the fun of the genre. It’s a challenge to unravel the puzzle before the on-screen detective or leading characters put it together. The movies always do their best to subvert audience expectations, and the swerves are a welcome experience. Netflix has embraced the mystery genre by making several original films of its own, in addition to a selection of flicks from other studios. If you’ve got an itch to solve a crime, then check out the best mysteries on Netflix.

Need more Netflix in your life? Check out our roundups of the best movies on Netflix and the best shows on Netflix as well.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

In the Shadow of the Moon
48 %
Genre Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Michael C. Hall
Directed by Jim Mickle
There’s a female serial killer on the loose in the film, In the Shadow of the Moon. But Detective Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) can’t wrap his head around how the killer, Rya (Cleopatra Coleman), survived her own death only to reappear seemingly the same nearly a decade later. Naveen Rao (Rudi Dharmalingam) has a wild theory about Rya’s murders and the true agenda behind her actions. But it will cost Thomas everything he holds dear to get to the bottom of this case. And he won’t like what he finds when he uncovers the truth.

Forgotten (2017)

Genre Thriller, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Crime
Stars Kang Ha-neul, Kim Moo-yul, Moon Sung-keun
Directed by Jang Hang-jun
In the Korean thriller, Forgotten, Kang Ha-neul stars as Jin-seok, a young man living with his family in 1997. After moving into a new home, Jin witnesses the abduction of his brother, Yoo-seok (Kim Mu-yeol). Nineteen days later, Yoo is seemingly returned unharmed. And yet Jin becomes convinced that not only is his brother an impersonator, but so are their parents. Jin’s attempt to go for help leads to another shocking twist that completely destroys his world. There’s been a crime committed, but who is responsible and how is Jin connected to it?

The Invisible Guest (2017)

The Invisible Guest
Genre Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Mario Casas, Ana Wagener, Jose Coronado
Directed by Oriol Paulo
Adrián Doria (Mario Casas) doesn’t know who he can trust in The Invisible Guest, a Spanish thriller that may require you to use subtitles. Somehow, Adrian has been framed for the murder of his former lover, Laura Vidal (Bárbara Lennie). While speaking to his new attorney, Virginia Goodman (Blanca Martínez), Adrian reveals the twisting tale of murder and lies that he and Laura tried to sweep under the table, as well as the way that it drove them apart. Laura’s killer went through a lot of trouble to frame Adrian, and his trials are far from over.

Your Son (2018)

Your Son
Genre Drama, Thriller
Stars Jose Coronado, Pol Monen, Ana Wagener
Directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas
Within the film Your Son, Jaime Jimenez (Jose Coronado) is a doctor whose gifts make him a marvelous surgeon. But those wondrous abilities fail Jaime when his own son, Marcos (Pol Monen), is brought into the operating room after suffering nearly life-threatening injuries. Jaime soon learns that Marcos was brutally beaten outside of a nightclub, and he turns vigilante in his quest to find the perpetrators and to get his revenge. Along the way, Jaime alienates his wife, Carmen (Ana Wagener), and their daughter, Sara (Asia Ortega), while slowly losing his moral compass and the qualities that made him a good man.

Wind River (2017)

Wind River
73 %
r 107m
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham
Directed by Taylor Sheridan
In Wind River, Natalie Hanson (Kelsey Chow) is found dead on a Native American reservation under very suspicious circumstances. FBI Special Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate the murder, and she finds an unexpected ally in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner). Cory has a personal connection to Natalie through his own deceased daughter. However, the suspects behind Natalie’s death throw up roadblocks at every turn to keep Cory and Jane from getting to the truth. And they’re willing to kill to protect their secrets.

Fractured (2019)

36 %
r 99m
Genre Thriller
Stars Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe, Stephen Tobolowsky
Directed by Brad Anderson
In Fractured, Sam Worthington stars as Ray Monroe with Lily Rabe as his wife, Joanne Monroe. While traveling with their daughter, Peri (Lucy Capri), Ray and Lily’s relationship problems lead to an argument and a potentially dangerous accident. At the hospital, Ray becomes suspicious when the staff seems eager to sign Peri up as an organ donor. And his suspicions seem well founded when both Peri and Joanne disappear at the hospital without a trace. The answers lie somewhere within, but even Ray’s not sure of what he saw or what he should do next.

The Game (1997) new

The Game
61 %
r 129m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger
Directed by David Fincher
Where does The Game end and reality begin? Michael Douglas’s Nicholas van Orton is forced to ponder that question in this film as his 48th birthday approaches. Nicholas’ brother, Conrad van Orton (Sean Penn), signs him up for CRS, an interactive game that he says will change Nicholas’ life. However, CRS appears to be an elaborate scam that is designed to drain Nicholas of his savings and send him to an early grave. An encounter with Christine (Deborah Kara Unger), another victim of CRS, has Nicholas convinced that he’s on to their endgame. But CRS is only just beginning to play with Nicholas and his life.

Shimmer Lake (2017)

Shimmer Lake
6 %
Genre Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stars Rainn Wilson, Benjamin Walker, John Michael Higgins
Directed by Oren Uziel
Events are not necessarily what they appear to be in Shimmer Lake, a rare mystery that unfolds in reverse. That means we see the ending of the story before we understand how it relates to the main characters, and who is pulling the strings. Andy Sikes (Rainn Wilson) and his friends, Chris Morrow (Mark Rendall) and Ed Burton (Wyatt Russell), plot a bank robbery and blackmail Judge Brad Dawkins (John Michael Higgins) to get access to the money. This puts the trio in direct opposition to Andy’s brother, Zeke Sikes (Benjamin Walker), and nearly everyone involved in the crime is dying under very suspicious circumstances.

Buster's Mal Heart (2017)

Buster's Mal Heart
63 %
Genre Mystery, Drama
Stars Rami Malek, DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith
Mr. Robot fans will probably want to check out Rami Malek’s indie mystery Buster’s Mal Heart. Malek plays the title role, Buster, a weird loner who eludes police in the mountains by breaking into homes and looting the kitchens for food. But rather than simply explain how an unassuming man named Jonah became the eccentric Buster, the film offers up surreal glimpses of his life that may or may not be true. A conspiracy nut named Brown (DJ Qualls) may have fed Buster’s delusions, but he’s taken that way of life and literally ran with it.

Mystic River (2003)

Mystic River
84 %
Genre Thriller, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Do you know those lighthearted mysteries with low stakes that leave you with a good feeling at the end of the movie? Mystic River isn’t one of those. It’s a harrowing tale of three men: James “Jimmy” Markum (Sean Penn), Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), and Detective Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon). They were inseparable friends as children, until Dave was kidnapped and sexually assaulted for days. In the present, Jimmy’s daughter, Katie (Emmy Rossum), is brutally murdered, and Dave is at the top of his suspect list. As Sean attempts to definitively solve Katie’s murder, Jimmy prepares to hunt down the killer himself and deliver his own brand of justice.

The Legacy of the Bones (2019)

The Legacy of the Bones
Genre Thriller, Crime
Stars Marta Etura, Elvira Mínguez, Francesc Orella, Miren Gaztanaga, Marta Larralde
Directed by Fernando González Molina
The Legacy of the Bones is the middle chapter of the Spanish-language Baztán Trilogy, which started with The Invisible Guardian and ended with Offering to the Storm (both of which are also on Netflix). But if you’re willing to read subtitles, then you don’t have any reason to be intimidated by this largely stand-alone movie. All you really need to know is that Amaia Salazar (Marta Etura) is a detective who is married to James (Benn Northover), and she’s just given birth to their son, Ibai. Upon returning to active duty, Amaia is assigned to investigate a series of shocking suicides that are somehow connected. Unfortunately for Amaia, this mystery hits very close to home for her, as she discovers that her mother, Rosario (Miren Gaztanaga), is involved in a way that she could never have predicted.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
68 %
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban
Directed by Oz Perkins
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a ghost story … or perhaps Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson) is just losing her mind. After being hired as a live-in nurse, Lily finds herself taking care of Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a world-famous horror novelist whose mind has largely been lost to dementia. Almost immediately, Lily begins noticing strange and unusual things happening in the house. She also suspects that the protagonist of Iris’ most popular novel, Polly Parsons (Lucy Boynton), may have been a real person — and a very real ghost. But who killed Polly? And why does her spirit linger?

State of Play (2009)

State of Play
64 %
pg-13 127m
Genre Thriller, Drama
Stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
In State of Play, Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is devastated to learn that one of his staff members, Sonia Baker (Maria Thayer), has died from an apparent suicide. The thing is that Stephen knows that Sonia wasn’t suicidal because he was having an affair with her. To get answers, Stephen enlists his old friend, Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), who is now an investigative reporter. Another reporter, Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), also looks into Sonia’s death and a few seemingly unrelated murders. But as the mystery deepens, neither Della nor Cal know who they can trust.

The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

The Clovehitch Killer
59 %
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Drama, Horror
Stars Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Samantha Mathis
Directed by Duncan Skiles
Who is The Clovehitch Killer? That question hangs over the small town of Clarksville, Kentucky, a decade after the killer murdered 10 women. A teenager named Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer) inadvertently starts his own investigation when he comes across a previously undiscovered piece of evidence. After Tyler joins forces with another teen investigator, Kassi (Madisen Beaty), he comes to suspect that his own father, Don Burnside (Dylan McDermott), may be the killer. And even if Don is innocent, the evidence leading back to the Burnside family suggests that one of their own is directly to blame for the murders. Before Tyler and Kassi can put the pieces together, they have to decide if they can trust Don.

Mindhorn (2016)

70 %
Genre Comedy
Stars Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis
Directed by Sean Foley
Although Mindhorn is admittedly a comedy first and foremost, there is a mystery at the heart of this film. Julian Barratt stars as Richard Thorncroft, a washed-up actor who once starred in a TV series as Detective Bruce Mindhorn, the man with an optical lie detector. Over two decades after Julian’s heyday, an escaped maniac, Paul Melly (Russell Tovey), demands a meeting with Detective Mindhorn. Julian seizes on the chance to be relevant again, and he quickly alienates the local police. However, not even Julian could predict that Paul has evidence of an actual crime that goes much higher than anyone believed. But can Julian really live up to his Mindhorn character and solve the mystery?

Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes
68 %
pg-13 123m
Genre Mystery, Crime, Adventure
Stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin
Directed by Harry Bradbeer
Teenager Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) is the exceptional younger sister of world-renowned detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill). When her mother disappears on Enola’s 16th birthday, the intelligent youth uses all of her mystery-solving abilities to track down the Holmes matriarch, all while unearthing a deeper conspiracy at play in Victorian-era London. Featuring a stellar lead performance from Brown as the titular character, Enola Holmes is a quick-on-its-feet adaptation of the first book in author Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries series. And, like any major film success, there’s already a sequel in the works.

Unknown (2011)

56 %
pg-13 113m
Genre Action, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
After a car crash that sends him into a four-day coma, Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) can’t convince anyone of his identity. Worse is that there’s an army of assassins hellbent on taking the bio-technician down. Desperate to uncover the truth behind the price on his head, Martin finds himself at the center of a high-stakes conspiracy, orchestrated by a ruthless terrorist organization. Action-laced and packed with plenty of questions we need answers to, Unknown is perhaps best recognized as another Liam Neeson action-star vehicle, but there’s more than meets the eye here. It’s atmospheric and engaging — we highly recommend.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island
63 %
r 138m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island stars Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels. Dispatched to the island facility Ashecliffe Hospital with his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), the two investigators are tasked with finding an escaped murderess from the maze-like asylum. As their case deepens, Teddy and Chuck unearth a trail of clues that points to a series of disturbing events that occurred on the hospital grounds. As Teddy begins experiencing horrid flashbacks to his time at war and visions of his wife’s demise, the plot begins to thicken in ways the determined U.S. Marshal could never imagine. A tense and visceral thriller from start to finish, Shutter Island is just as engrossing more than a decade after its initial release.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
73 %
r 121m
Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) and a teenager named Martin (Barry Keoghan) are not friends or family, but “uncomfortably close” is a phrase one might use to describe their dynamic. As their strained relationship begins intruding more and more on the socialite doctor’s livelihood, Steven advises Martin to stop visiting him. Well, it turns out you should keep your enemies close, as Martin has a horrific plan for the doctor’s well-to-do family, a malicious act centered on Steven’s children. If Steven doesn’t do as Martin says, the consequences will be dire. The Killing of a Sacred Deer offers no concrete answers to the blasphemous and bizarre mystery that unfolds over two hours, but it’s one that’ll stay in your brain for weeks and months afterward.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2019)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
63 %
Genre Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Crispin Glover
Directed by Stacie Passon
Based on Shirley Jackson’s 1962 novel of the same name, We Have Always Lived in the Castle follows Merricat (Taissa Farmiga) and Constance Blackwood (Alexandra Daddario), two sisters living in the titular family chateau with their dear Uncle Julian (Crispin Glover). When their cousin Charles (Sebastian Stan) arrives at the estate, the charismatic swindler isn’t subtle in revealing his intentions to claim the family fortune. But as Merricat begins retaliating against her malicious relative, the castle becomes less of an empowering stronghold for the Blackwood sisters and more of an imposing prison. Director Stacie Passon delivers a fitting homage to Shirley Jackson’s novel, complete with a quiet narrative and towering visuals that make us feel trapped in this dark fable world.

Earthquake Bird (2019)

Earthquake Bird
51 %
r 107m
Genre Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Stars Alicia Vikander, Riley Keough, Naoki Kobayashi
Directed by Wash Westmoreland
Lucy Fly (Alicia Vikander) is an American translator working at a Japanese manufacturing company. Suspected of foul play when her expat friend Lily (Riley Keough) goes missing, Lucy is questioned by authorities. But as the third person in a love triangle with Lily and a local photographer, Teiji Matsuda (Naoki Kobayashi), Lucy believes the latter to be at fault for Lily’s disappearance, a theory she’ll have a more-than-difficult time selling to Japanese law enforcement. A fine blend of mystery, melodrama, and thriller elements, Earthquake Bird is a Netflix exclusive, and a polished one at that. Slightly formulaic, its lack of groundbreaking originality is made up for by the acting chops of both Vikander and Keough.

Lost Girls (2020)

Lost Girls
67 %
r 95m
Genre Drama, Mystery, Thriller, History
Stars Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Lola Kirke
Directed by Liz Garbus
Based on a true and long-spanning unsolved crime, Lost Girls stars Amy Ryan as Mari Gilbert, the mother of teenager Shannan Gilbert (Sarah Wisser). When her child goes missing, Mari urges Long Island authorities to track down the girl. Taking matters into her own hands, Mari discovers that her daughter’s whereabouts may be linked to a series of unsolved cases involving a number of murdered sex workers. A moody narrative that negates over-sensationalizing the crime that inspired it in favor of authentic character work, Lost Girls leans on the strength of its small ensemble cast and Liz Garbus’ minimalist directing style to ensnare, enrage, and devastate us.

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