Best mystery movies and shows on Netflix
The best part of watching mystery movies and shows is not knowing what’s going to happen next and hanging onto every plot twist that comes your way.
Luckily, there are more than enough mystery movies and shows on Netflix to whet your appetite for adventure, action, suspense and all things that make up an amazing mystery. Movies like Enola Holmes, Shutter Island, Murder Mystery and Synchronic offer some of the best thrills, chills and laughs, but most importantly, they keep us on our toes.
Likewise, some of the best shows on Netflix feature intense mysteries. Mindhunter, How to Get Away with Murder, Hannibal, Riverdale, Who Killed Sara? and many more spin complicated webs of secrets, lies, murder and everything that pulls us in for each and every episode. But wondering which movies and shows you should watch on Netflix shouldn’t be a mystery.
Best shows on Netflix: The Sinner
Developed By: Derek Simonds
Starring: Jessica Biel, Christopher Abbott, Dohn Norwood, Abby Miller, Bill Pullman, Carrie Coon, Natalie Paul, Hannah Gross, Elisha Henig, Tracy Letts, Jessica Hecht, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Eddie Martinez, Chris Messina, Matt Bomer
There’s nothing better than a good mystery series that keeps you on the edge of your seat, except maybe a good anthology mystery series with plenty of seasons to keep you on the edge of your seat. The USA Network’s crime drama The Sinner first premiered in 2017 with executive producer and star Jessica Biel as an unlikely murderer, leading Detective Ambrose (Bill Pullman) to uncover the motivation behind the killing.
Since landing Golden Globe nominations, as well as an Emmy Award nod for Biel’s performance, The Sinner has continued with two more eight-episode seasons. Each season finds Pullman returning as Detective Ambrose as he dives into another puzzling case, with Carrie Coon starring in season 2 and Matt Bomer leading season 3. The upcoming fourth season will star Ozark’s Michael Mosley, so you now’s your chance to catch up on one of the best mystery shows on Netflix.Next: No. 34
Best movies on Netflix: Hail, Caesar!
Release Year: 2016
Directed By: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Alison Pill
Thankfully, mystery movies and shows come in all different shapes and sizes. They don’t always have to be dark, twisted stories mired in murder, as much as many of us enjoy a good chill from time to time. But sometimes, mysteries can come in the form of a comedy, like the Coen Brothers film Hail, Caesar!, a comical dip back into Old Hollywood for a fictional on-set mystery.
Hail, Caesar! stars Josh Brolin as Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix, who’s tasked with putting out fire for the various stars and filmmakers at Capitol Pictures. However, in the midst of his latest assignment, Mannix finds himself embroiled in a challenging situation when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) gets kidnapped while filming the biblical epic Hail, Caesar!
Through celebratory satire of 1950s Hollywood, Hail, Caesar! and its aces cast hit all the right notes. While it may not be the super-engrossing mystery you’re accustomed to, the humor more than makes up for the gritty twists and turns you might be missing. The film holds an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and landed a sole Academy Award nomination for its production design. Don’t miss out on one of the funniest mystery movies on Netflix.Next: No. 33
Best mystery movies and shows on Netflix: Double Jeopardy
Release Year: 1999
Directed By: Bruce Beresford
Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood, Annabeth Gish, Roma Maffia, Jay Brazeau, Michael Gaston, Daniel Lapaine, Dave Hager
While going along for the ride to find out who will win Jeopardy is one of the greatest game show mysteries, a certain throwback crime thriller shares a title with the game show but goes above and beyond with the mystery. Double Jeopardy will take you all the way back to the pre-millennium days of exciting blockbusters that were in it for the thrill.
Ashley Judd stars in Double Jeopardy as Libby Parsons, a wife and mother who suddenly finds herself framed for the murder of her husband, Nick (Bruce Greenwood). Once she leaves prison, Libby is driven by the desire to reunite with her son and get to the bottom of the mystery that upended her previously perfect life, all while facing off with her parole officer (Tommy Lee Jones).
Double Jeopardy may not be one of the most popular blockbusters of all time, but the film was a box office hit at the time of its release, spending three weeks at No. 1 and bringing in over $177 million worldwide. If you’re looking for a nostalgic mystery film that will keep you on your toes for its entire wild ride, then you should add Double Jeopardy to your Netflix watch list while you can.Next: No. 32
Best shows on Netflix: Dark
Created By: Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese
Starring: Louis Hofmann, Karoline Eichhorn, Lisa Vicari, Maja Schöne, Stephan Kampwirth, Jördis Triebel, Andreas Pietschmann, Paul Lux, Moritz Jahn, Christian Hutcherson, Oliver Masucci, Peter Benedict, Gina Stiebitz and more
What makes a great drama series is an enticing mystery element that keeps us hanging on episode after episode and season after season. Luckily, there’s no shortage in binge-able Netflix original series chock full of mysteries. Although most binge-watchers have surely watched all three seasons of the German sci-fi thriller Dark, those wanting some mystery should dive right in.
Taking place in the fictional German town of Winden, Dark centers on the mysterious circumstances of children suddenly going missing. Four families that have been connected by these disappearances unravel the truth, which leads them to explorations of time and space as dark pasts lead to revelations within the mystery that spans four generations.
Dark first premiered on Netflix in December 2017 and became something of a sleeper hit on the streaming service. As one of the top international titles, Dark spawned two more seasons and received overwhelmingly positive reviews throughout its short but exciting run. With a binge-watch consisting of just 26 episodes, Dark’s mystery is one worth solving.Next: No. 31
Best shows on Netflix: The Stranger
Created By: Harlan Coben
Starring: Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Jennifer Saunders, Shaun Dooley, Paul Kaye, Dervla Kirwan, Kadiff Kirwan, Jacob Dudman, Ella-Rae Smith, Brandon Fellows, Misha Handley, Anthony Head, Hannah John-Kamen, Stephen Rea
Even the biggest fans of mystery movies and shows can manage to miss out on one of the best titles on Netflix. It happens! With so much of our attention trained on the buzzier new releases that everyone’s talking about, some of the smaller titles that are just as good slip through the cracks. That’s all to say that if you missed The Stranger, it’s time to solve this mystery.
Based on the novel of the same name by creator Harlan Coben, The Stranger follows Adam Price (Richard Armitage), a husband and father whose life is turned upside down thanks to a perfect stranger. When The Stranger (Hannah John-Kamen), a woman in her 20s donning a baseball hat, shares a secret with Adam about his wife, his world takes a turn for the dangerous.
The Stranger first debuted on Netflix at the top of 2020, just missing the wave of quarantine binge-watching that turned unlikely hits into viral sensations. Still, the British miniseries earned positive reviews from critics and holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re looking to escape into a tangled mystery for a weekend, make sure to add The Stranger to your binge list.Next: No. 30
Best movies on Netflix: Lost Girls
Release Year: 2020
Directed By: Liz Garbus
Starring: Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Lola Kirke, Oona Laurence, Dean Winters, Miriam Shor, Reed Birney, Kevin Corrigan, Gabriel Byrne, Sarah Wisser
Mystery drama films based on true crime cases can be a tough pill to swallow. Because you know the story has been based on true events, the element of mystery becomes all the more real. Netflix’s original mystery drama film Lost Girls takes the viewer on a haunting ride through an unsolved murder case committed by one of the most notorious serial killers.
Based on the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker, Lost Girls stars Amy Ryan as Mari Gilbert, the mother of 24-year-old Shannan Gilbert (Sarah Wisser), who disappears without a trace. Mari takes it upon herself to push law enforcement to look into her disappearance as well as the dozen unsolved murders of young sex workers that her own investigation uncovers in Long Island.
Lost Girls first made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 before making its worldwide streaming debut on Netflix in March 2020. The film earned mostly positive reception from critics, holding a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re a fan of true crime documentaries, then you will definitely find yourself wrapped up in the mystery of Lost Girls.Next: No. 29
Best shows on Netflix: Hannibal
Created By: Bryan Fuller
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Hettienne Park, Laurence Fishburne, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Gillian Anderson
If there’s one thing we love to do, it’s champion show we feel have been left underrated, undervalued and canceled much too soon. Sometimes, that championing can lend itself to saving the series on a streaming service (hello, Lucifer!), but other times, it just leaves us turning the show into a streaming hit years later, just like NBC’s psychological horror thriller Hannibal.
Based on characters and events from the novels Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris, Hannibal stars Hugh Dancy as FBI profiler Will Graham, who turns to the help of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) while taking on a particularly heavy serial killer investigation. Meanwhile, the secretly cannibalistic Hannibal manipulates Will’s empathy and attempts to push him into becoming a killer himself.
Hannibal ran for three 13-episode seasons on NBC. Each was well-received by critics but struggled in the ratings in spite of its strong but mighty fandom. The series has found new fans since coming to Netflix, and there have been talks of a potential revival, though there’s still no official word yet. But here’s what we do know: It’s one of the best mystery shows you can watch on Netflix right now.Next: No. 28
Best movies on Netflix: The Sleepover
Release Year: 2020
Directed By: Trish Sie
Starring: Sadie Stanley, Maxwell Simkins, Cree Cicchino, Lucas Jaye, Ken Marino, Joe Manganiello, Malin Åkerman
More often than not, mystery movies and shows aren’t fit for the whole family. You can’t really gather the kids around the television for a binge-watch of Hannibal or a movie night with Lost Girls as the main attraction. But that doesn’t mean family-friendly mysteries don’t exist. (We could name a few throwbacks…) In fact, Netflix has a perfect one in 2020’s The Sleepover.
The Sleepover will appeal to the millennials who grew up with Spy Kids, as the Netflix action-comedy centers on the other side of things. Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and her younger brother, Kevin (Maxwell Simkins), happen to learn that their typical stay-at-home mom, Margot (Malin Åkerman), was a one-time high-end thief who’s now in the witness protection program. When both of their parents are kidnapped and pulled into a heist, it’s up to the kids to save the adults.
The family mystery comedy comes from director Trish Sie, who also helmed Pitch Perfect 3 and Step Up: All In. Although not one of the major hits of the year, The Sleepover debuted on Netflix in summer 2020 and was a top title among the family set. If you’re looking to keep the whole family on the edge of their seat on movie night, don’t miss The Sleepover on Netflix.Next: No. 27
Best shows on Netflix: The Irregulars
Created By: Tom Bidwell
Starring: McKell David, Thaddea Graham, Jojo Macari, Harrison Osterfield, Darci Shaw
When you think of mysteries, there’s probably one specific name that comes to mind: Sherlock Holmes. We’ll get to him (and his little sister!) later, but what if the world of Sherlock Holmes intermingled with the mysterious underworld of supernatural elements? Then you would get The Irregulars, the latest Netflix original crime drama you’re sure to love.
Based on works and characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Irregulars follows a group of troubled teenagers living on the streets of Victorian London as they come to work for Dr. Watson (Royce Pierreson). Led by Bea (Thaddea Graham), the group known as The Irregulars solves crimes with increasingly supernatural undertones for Dr. Watson. Meanwhile, they must come together to save London and the world from the emergence of a dangerous dark power.
The Irregulars debuted on Netflix in March 2021 to mostly positive reviews from critics and quickly became one of the most-watched new titles on the platform. It’s no secret why The Irregulars won over viewers, since mixing supernatural elements with the well-known mystery world of Sherlock Holmes is a surefire recipe for success. Check out the new hit and one of the best mystery shows on Netflix!Next: No. 26
Best movies on Netflix: Shutter Island
Release Year: 2010
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Max von Sydow
Back in the 2010s, who didn’t love a good big-screen psychological thriller? Before the tides of pop culture turned back to superheroes, thrillers and mysteries were big-ticket movies that we couldn’t get enough of. Even a decade and some change later, the Leonardo DiCaprio thrill ride Shutter Island remains one of the best mystery movies you could ever watch on Netflix.
Based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island takes place in 1954 and centers on U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) investigating the Ashecliffe Hospital, an asylum, with his partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo). After the escape of patient and murderer Rachel Solando, Teddy and Chuck search for clues regarding her whereabouts on the remote island with a dark and storied past of its own that threatens the life of Teddy.
Shutter Island comes from renowned director Martin Scorsese and marked his then-biggest opening weekend. While the film missed the awards season circuit due to its mixed reviews and February opening, it was no less a blockbuster fueled by movie star performances. You can’t go wrong with a watch of Shutter Island on Netflix, this is if you’re on board for some chilling mystery.Next: No. 25
Best movies on Netflix: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Release Year: 2011
Directed By: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joley Richardson
Be honest: There’s the one popular movie that you heard about too much but never watched because all of that chatter was just a lot. Don’t feel bad if one of those movies was the 2011 psychological thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Of course, plenty of moviegoers caught the blockbuster on the big screen, but for those who sat the mystery out for 10 years, it’s on Netflix.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stars Daniel Craig as disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist, who attempts to make a comeback by solving the 40-year-old murder of Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger’s (Christopher Plummer) niece. Blomkvist is joined in his investigation for the truth by the eccentric but expert investigator Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes from Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher and received positive reviews from critics as well as a successful run at the box office. The film picked up five Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Rooney Mara, though ultimately took home one for editing. Even though the franchise has since been rebooted, the 2011 hit film remains one of the best mystery movies you can add to your Netflix watch list.Next: No. 24
Best shows on Netflix: NCIS
Created By: Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill
Starring: Mark Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Core de Pablo, Lauren Holly, Rocky Carroll, Brian Dietzen, Emily Wickersham, Wilmer Valderrama, Jennifer Esposito, Duane Henry, Maria Bello, Diona Reasonover
Sometimes, there’s nothing quite like the consistent and reliable comfort of a procedural drama series. Right? You always know what you’re going to get and the episode will always keep you on your toes. And if you’re the kind of Netflix binge-watcher who’s looking for shows with multiple seasons and plenty of episodes, look no further than the CBS smash-hit NCIS.
Mark Harmon leads the cast of NCIS as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a special agent who in turn leads the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team at the Washington Navy Yard. The series combines the genres of military dramas and police procedurals with mystery elements to make for a compelling hour of television that’s kept it on air for nearly two decades.
Yes, you read that right: TWO decades. The CBS procedural has been renewed for a nineteenth season, which will further increase its episode count past the mid-400s. See, if you’re in search of a series with multiple seasons and lots of episodes, doesn’t 18 seasons and 400 episodes sound like something that will keep you busy for at least half a year? NCIS is well worth the watch for easy viewing with a little heft.Next: No. 23
Best movies on Netflix: Enola Holmes
Release Year: 2020
Directed By: Harry Bradbeer
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Burn Gorman, Adeel Akhtar, Susie Wokoma, Hattie Morahan, David Bamber, Frances de la Tour, Claire Rushbrook, Fiona Shaw, Ellie Haddington
If you haven’t already heard us wax poetic about Enola Holmes as one of the must-watch Netflix movies, and even one of the movies we’d like to see turned into a Netflix show, then get ready for us to continue talking up the excellent coming-of-age mystery film. No one quite epitomizes the mystery genre as much as Sherlock Holmes, which brings us to his daring little sister Enola.
Based on the novel The Enola Holmes Mysteries: The Case of the Missing Marquess in the young adult book series by Nancy Springer, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown plays the titular Enola Holmes, the teenage sister of the famous sleuth Sherlock (Henry Cavill). When their mother goes missing, Enola tries her hand at her own mystery-solving skills in order to outsmart her brother.
Although intended for a big-screen bow, Enola Holmes found a home at Netflix in the wake of the pandemic, which wound up a perfect fit for the teen mystery. The movie dominated in viewership upon its September 2020 release, and it earned positive reception from critics. Naturally, a sequel has already been placed in development, which makes total sense since Enola Holmes is without question one of the best mystery movies on Netflix.Next: No. 22
Best shows on Netflix: Twin Peaks
Created By: Mark Frost and David Lynch
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Warren Frost, Peggy Lipton, James Marshall, Everett McGill, Jack Nance, Ray Wise, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Kimmy Robertson, Eric Da Re, Harry Goaz, Michael Horse, Sheryl Lee, Russ Tamblyn, Kenneth Welsh
Are you a fan of Riverdale? Obviously, we’re going to recommend The CW’s chaotic teen drama series further down this list. But if you’re a long-suffering (you know it’s true, no matter how much you love it) viewer of the hit thriller, you should know the influences that helped build the campy Archie reboot we know and love. Without a doubt, Twin Peaks is one of the best mystery shows on Netflix.
From co-creator and legendary film director David Lynch, Twin Peaks takes place in the titular fiction town in Washington, where FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) teams up with local sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). While an enthralling mystery drama, the series also leans into surrealism, camp and melodrama, not unlike the aforementioned modern hit.
Twin Peaks ran for two seasons on ABC from 1990 to 1991 before hitting theaters with the film Fire Walk with Me in 1992. Since becoming a cult classic years later, the series returned third season revival of 18 episodes on Showtime in 2017. Even though the limited series revival of Twin Peaks isn’t available to stream on Netflix, the first two season are there for new fans to discover and old ones to rediscover,Next: No. 21
Best movies on Netflix: The Fourth Kind
Release Year: 2009
Directed By: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Corey Johnson, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Enzo Cilenti, Eric Loren, Raphaël Coleman, Mia Mckenna-Bruce, Yulian Vergov, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Daphne Alexander, Charlotte Milchard
No matter what, we will always be fascinated by the potential existence of aliens from another galaxy, planet, whatever. Whether it’s Roswell or a documentary that doesn’t really provide us with any new information, those of us who like to entertain the possibility of another life form out there eat it up. That leads us to the sci-fi mystery film The Fourth Kind.
Milla Jovovich stars in The Fourth Kind as Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist who takes it upon herself to look into the mysterious depletion of the population of Nome, Alaska. From the 1960s on, residents from around the town have gone missing and FBI investigations haven’t been able to figure out the cause. While treating her patients, Dr. Tyler gets closer to breaking open the unsolved case when she discovers evidence of alien abductions.
The Fourth Kind wasn’t either a critical or commercial hit, holding a meager 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and bringing in a mere $47.7 million worldwide. The film received criticism for using true tragedies from Nome, Alaska with fictionalized elements of alien abductions. While that’s not a good look for any movie, fans of throwback sci-fi thrillers might have an out-of-this-world time untangling this mystery on Netflix.Next: No. 20
Best shows on Netflix: Broadchurch
Created By: Chris Chibnall
Starring: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Arthur Darvill, Carolyn Pickles, Matthew Gravelle, Charlotte Beaumont
Maybe a procedural series with tinges of mystery like NCIS isn’t quite your cup of tea. For the less eager viewer, quantity over quality can wear thin. (Don’t worry, we’re not dragging NCIS, just 22+ episode counts.) But there are plenty of other crime dramas full of mystery that are quicker and more serialized, like the award-winning British hit Broadchurch.
Broadchurch takes place in the fictional English town and centers on detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) as they investigate the death of a local 11-year-old boy. The family of the young boy deals with the grief and media attention surrounding the case, while the following two seasons continue to track their lives while Hardy and Miller tackle new cases.
Honestly, there’s not much to not love here for loyal fans of crime and mystery genres. First of all, Broadchurch boasts once of the most incredible casts you will ever find, led by Doctor Who alum David Tennant and Academy Award winner and star of The Crown Olivia Colman. For a mystery series that will keep you on edge and enthralled for its entire 24-episode run, make sure to add Broadchurch to your watch list.Next: No. 19
Best shows on Netflix: Elite
Created By: Carlos Montero and Darío Montero
Starring: María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Ester Expósito, Danna Paola, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Omar Ayuso, Jorge López, Claudia Salas, Georgina Amorós, Sergio Momo, Leïti Sène, Manu Ríos, Carla Díaz, Pol Granch, Martina Cariddi, Valentina Zenere, André Lamoglia, Adam Nourou
There’s a reason so many Netflix binge-watchers around the world are completely obsessed with Elite. The teen thriller series has all of the best qualities of shows like Gossip Girl and Riverdale with its own flair for mystery and melodrama that we still can’t get enough of going into the fourth and fifth seasons. Your watch list will thank you for adding Elite.
The basis for the series begins at Las Encinas, an elite secondary school in Spain where wealthy privileged students are suddenly rubbing elbows with working-class kids enrolling on scholarships. Elite follows the usual ups and downs of adolescent angst while peppering in some darker and more dramatic twists and representing diverse sexualities.
Elite has been a fan-favorite since premiering on Netflix in 2018 and has also garnered overwhelmingly positive reception from critics. The GLAAD Media Award winner earned a two-season pickup following its third season, a rare show of support from the streaming giant. While it remains to be seen whether those seasons will wrap up the series, there’s no better time to catch up on all the mysteries of Elite ahead of seasons 4 and 5.Next: No. 18
Best movies on Netflix: Angels & Demons
Release Year: 2009
Directed By: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Muelle-Stahl
Who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? The movie star and all-around American sweetheart has starred in some of our collective favorite movies of all time, whether it’s a war epic or an endearing drama about a lovable guy. Back in 2009, Hanks continued the fan-favorite Robert Langdon film series with the mystery thriller sequel Angels & Demons, and it’s a Netflix must-watch.
Based on the novel of the same name by Dan Brown, Tom Hanks stars in Angels & Demons as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he realizes the ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati has made a comeback. As he ventures to Rome to warn the group’s enemy, the Vatican, Langdon follows an ancient trail of symbols to thwart the Illuminati’s planned deadly plot.
Angels & Demons comes from director Ron Howard, who needs no introduction, and follows the hit 2006 mystery film The Da Vinci Code, which is also featured on this list. The sequel was a box office success but a miss with critics and was later followed by the 2016 franchise capper Inferno. If you’re both a Tom Hanks fan and a mystery buff, here’s a movie night headliner for you!Next: No. 17
Best shows on Netflix: Criminal Minds
Created By: Jeff Davis
Starring: Mandy Patinkin, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Rachel Nichols, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Damon Gupton, Daniel Henney
We’ve already recommended one of the most successful primetime procedural dramas on television, that’s still churning highly-rated episodes nearly 20 seasons later. But one of its fellow hits also boasts a hearty episode count and a healthy dose of mystery in the midst of its procedural crime drama. You already know we’re talking about Criminal Minds.
Centered in the world of criminal profilers in the FBI, Criminal Minds follows the Behavioral Analysis Unit as they dig deeper into the minds of criminals to solve crimes. Over the course of the series, a revolving door of stars joined the cast in leading roles and brought a touch of personality and heart to the characters they portrayed against the darker subject matter.
Criminal Minds lasted for 15 seasons and 324 episodes and was one of the highest-rated shows on CBS in its heyday. Although two spin-off series couldn’t get off the ground in the same way CSI and NCIS was able to, a revival has been greenlit to stream on Paramount+, with most of the final season’s cast expected to reprise their roles. That’s reason enough to get hooked on the mysteries of Criminal Minds on Netflix right now.Next: No. 16
Best movies on Netflix: Unknown
Release Year: 2011
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Frank Langella, Bruno Ganz, Sebastian Koch, Stipe Erceg, Olivier Schneider, Rainer Bock, Mido Hamada, Karl Markovics, Eva Löbau, Clint Dyer
Let’s give credit where credit is due here: Liam Neeson is kind of the king of action-thriller mystery movies. You know you spent a lot of your time in movie theaters watching the Taken film series, among Neeson’s many other blockbusters. Luckily, fans of a good mystery can check out Unknown, one of the movie star’s more underrated movies, on Netflix.
Based on the French novel Out of My Head (as it’s titled in English) by Didier Van Cauwelaert, Unknown stars Liam Neeson as Dr. Martin Harris, who awakens from a coma to his world in total disarray. When he discovers his wife (January Jones) doesn’t recognize him and he finds another person is using his identity, it’s only one piece of the strange puzzle as he’s hunted by assassins. Harris leans on ally Gina (Diane Kruger) to do whatever it takes to learn the truth.
Unknown earned middling reception from critics and picked up a modest box office return of over $136 million worldwide. Even though pop culture has tricked us into writing off movies that aren’t hits in some way, there’s still value in an exciting mystery movie that drops us into a world completely unlike our own. And with Liam Neeson in the lead? Forget about it! (But not like his character in the movie).Next: No. 15
Best shows on Netflix: The Haunting anthology series
Created By: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Timothy Hutton, Amelia Eve, T’Nis Miller, Rahul Kohli, Tahriah Sharif, Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth
If you’re a horror buff, there’s no way that you haven’t already watched both The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. They are two of the most popular Netflix original series that make up The Haunting anthology series and are undoubtedly some of the best mysteries to dive into on the streamer. Whether you’re watching again or for the first time, make The Haunting your latest haunt on Netflix.
Based on the novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House takes place across two timelines as the five adult siblings who fled the creepy mansion in 1992 still face the consequences of their paranormal experiences. In The Haunting of Bly Manor, a young American au pair arrives at the titular manor in the English countryside to discover it’s haunted.
The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor were each well-received by critics and audiences alike and were both top titles in the respective years they were released. Although it seems as though The Haunting anthology series is primed for many more installations, there’s currently no plans for another season of chills and thrills. But that doesn’t mean fans new and old can’t dig into the haunting mysteries of both standalone seasons.Next: No. 14
Best movies on Netflix: Synchronic
Release Year: 2019
Directed By: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Ally Ioannides, Katie Aselton, Bill Oberst Jr., Natasha Tina Liu, Martin Bats Bradford, Adam J. Yeend, Devyn A. Tyler, Betsy Holt, Shane Brady
The stars of the science fiction thriller Synchronic just so happened to star in two of the best mystery titles of the past year. Obviously, Anthony Mackie co-headlined the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+ and Jamie Dornan co-starred in the underrated camp comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. But together, they star in a top new release on Netflix.
Synchronic stars Anthony Mackie as Steven and Jamie Dornan as Dennis, paramedics and longtime best friends who find themselves called the scene of increasingly strange and horrifying accidents. They link the accidents back to a new designer drug called Synchronic, but when Dennis’s oldest daughter goes missing, their investigation leads to a confounding sense of reality and time.
Although the release of Synchronic wound up less streamlined due to the circumstances of 2020, the film still managed to premiere in theaters and net positive reviews from critics. Upon its release on Netflix in April 2021, the sci-fi mystery hit the top 10 and reached a wider audience. For a thrilling movie night with a likable duo in the lead (though Dornan doesn’t have a song and dance number in this one), add Synchronic to your mystery movie night lineup.Next: No. 13
Best shows on Netflix: Lupin
Created By: George Kay and François Uzan
Starring: Omar Sy, Ludvine Sagnier, Etan Simon, Fargass Assandé, Antoine Gouy, Hervé Pierre, Nicole Garcia, Clotilde Hesme, Vincent Garanger, Vincent Londez, Shirine Boutella, Soufiane Guerrab
When it feels like you have watched everything on Netflix, every buzzy new release that’s trending, just know that there are plenty more stones left to turn. In the past year, the French mystery thriller series Lupin has found success on Netflix as an original series. If you haven’t yet checked out the new hit, it’s a mystery worth solving.
Based on the character Arsène Lupin created by Maurice Leblanc, Lupin stars Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a gentleman thief inspired by the titular character from the books his father gave him. Twenty-five years after the death of his father, Assane seeks revenge on the infamous Pellegrini family, using all of the tricks of his trade to help expose the crimes swept under the rug.
Lupin first premiered on Netflix in January 2021, kicking off the new year with a little mystery. The series holds a near-perfect 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned the rarified air of being the most-watched title on Netflix in the first quarter of 2021. With five episodes currently streaming, the second half of the thrilling first season of Lupin drop later this year, but it’s never too late to start bingeing.Next: No. 12
Best shows on Netflix: How to Get Away with Murder
Created By: Peter Nowalk
Starring: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber, Liza Weil, Conrad Ricamora, Rome Flynn, Amirah Vann, Timothy Hutton
Although TGIT might largely be a thing of the past, its shows can still bring us the same amount of joy it once did on the small screen. But if you have a particular craving for mystery, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal might not hit the spot in the same way How to Get Away with Murder can. For six exciting seasons, Annalise Keating and her loyal team dodged all kinds of trouble in the addictive legal thriller.
How to Get Away with Murder stars Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Viola Davis as criminal defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating, a no-nonsense force in the courtroom and classroom. When Annalise chooses her five interns, little did she — and they — know they would soon be wrapped up in the middle of a murder investigation and covering their tracks for years to come.
Upon debuting on ABC in 2014, How to Get Away with Murder became an instant sensation for seemingly reviving watercooler television. Through flashforward and flashback sequences, the series had us hanging on every detail and trying to piece together the mystery before the clock ran out on Annalise and her students. The six 15-episode seasons of How to Get Away with Murder are some of the most captivating mysteries you’ll ever binge-watch on Netflix.Next: No. 11
Best movies on Netflix: Midnight Special
Release Year: 2016
Directed By: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Sam Shepard, Bill Camp, Scott Haze, Paul Sparks, David Jensen
Netflix can be a great place to discover underrated movies that weren’t widely available at the time of their original release or just the ones you missed out on the first time around. Since we’re talking mystery movies and shows, one of the best titles on Netflix right now with a bit of suspense and sci-fi is the 2016 cult favorite in the making Midnight Special.
Michael Shannon stars in Midnight Special as Roy Tomlin, a father who hides his young son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) from both the government and a cult when they each learn of the boy’s special powers. The film tracks the thrilling chase to keep Alton safe amid threatening circumstances from those who want to take advantage of his power, all the while searching for the truth.
Midnight Special comes from director Jeff Nichols, who also directed such critically acclaimed films as Take Shelter, Mud and Loving. Although the movie wasn’t able to breakout at the box office, the sci-fi thriller attracted mostly positive reception from critics, with some comparing it to the work of legendary director Steven Spielberg. You sure don’t want to miss out on the mystery of Midnight Special while it’s streaming on Netflix.Next: No. 10
Best movies on Netflix: Spenser Confidential
Release Year: 2020
Directed By: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, James DuMont, Bokeem Woodbine, Marc Maron, Post Malone, Michael Gaston, Colleen Camp, Hope Olaide Wilson, Kip Weeks, Rebecca Gibel, Big Shug, Donald Cerrone, Brandon Scales
Wherever there’s an action movie, you will probably find Mark Wahlberg. The action star has fought crime with Will Ferrell, The Rock, Denzel Washington and even some Transformers. But whether it’s a comedy or a straightforward shout ’em up drama, Wahlberg’s a fan-favorite action star with the blockbuster set. Netflix’s Spenser Confidential gives the action star his latest hit.
Based on the novel Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland by Ace Atkins, Spenser Confidential stars Mark Wahlberg as the titular disgraced former police detective who returns to Boston for one more investigation. Spenser teams up with Hawk (Winston Duke) and Henry Cimoli (Alan Arkin) to untangle the mystery of a twisted murder conspiracy that links back to Spenser’s past.
Spenser Confidential comes from director Peter Berg, who has also directed four other action films starring Mark Wahlberg: Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day and Mile 22. The film debuted on Netflix in March 2020, and even though it wasn’t a critical hit, the action-comedy became one of the streamer’s most-watched titles of the year. Inevitably, there will eventually be some sort of sequel, but for now, enjoy the original mystery on Netflix right now.Next: No. 9
Best shows on Netflix: Behind Her Eyes
Created By: Steve Lightfoot
Starring: Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman, Simona Brown, Robert Aramayo, Tyler Howitt, Georgie Glen, Nichola Burley, Roshan Seth, Nila Aalia, Eva Birthistle
We really have to give it up for the streaming services and cable networks keeping us rich in limited series based on intriguing beach reads. Never more of a trend than after Big Little Lies struck gold, we’re now spoiled rotten with relatively bite-sized miniseries filled to the brim with mystery and suspense, like Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes, a six-hour treat to devour in one sitting.
Based on the book of the same name by Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes stars Simona Brown as single mother Louise, who finds her life thrown into chaos when she begins an affair with her boss, Dr. David Ferguson (Tom Bateman). However, things get even messier for Louise when she befriends his wife, Adele (Eve Hewson). Soon, the love triangle turns dark as secrets bubble to the surface.
Behind Her Eyes premiered on Netflix in February 2021 and arrived as the perfect slow-burning limited series for viewers eager to sit exclusively on the edge of their seats. Critics met the British limited series with mixed reception, but the mystery of the psychological thriller proved a minor viral hit and online conversation piece. If you’re looking for your next limited series to binge-watch, definitely add the mysterious Behind Her Eyes to your watch list.Next: No. 8
Best shows on Netflix: Stranger Things
Created By: The Duffer Brothers
Starring: Winona Ryder, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Brett Gelman, Jamie Campbell Bower, Eduardo Franco, Joseph Quinn
We’re all well aware that Stranger Things is one of the — if not the — top original series on Netflix, but who would ever miss out on an opportunity to hype up the pop culture phenomenon? With the highly anticipated (and that’s putting it lightly) fourth season on the horizon, it’s the right time for non-fans to hop on board and seasoned viewers to brush up on their strange things.
The 1980s-set science-fiction horror series seemingly took over the world with its breakneck storytelling and zeitgeist-defining iconography, and it’s set to continue doing so with the upcoming fourth season. While it’s sure to rank among the year’s top new releases on Netflix, there’s still nothing quite like the gripping mysteries and moments from the first three.
Stranger Things might chiefly be a sci-fi horror spectacle, but it’s those throughline mysteries that keep us hooked from start to finish. We don’t know when the series might end, which should make fans want to savor every unforgettable twist all the more. Who else can’t wait for Stranger Things to turn our expectations upside down once again?
Season 4 is currently in the works!Next: No. 7
Best movies on Netflix: Case 39
Release Year: 2009
Directed By: Christian Alvart
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper, Callum Keith Rennie, Kerry O’Malley, Adrian Lester, Georgia Craig, Cynthia Stevenson, Alexander Conti
Contrary to what you might have heard, there’s a time and place for throwback supernatural horror movies that completely missed the mainstream mark. If that’s your kind of thing, then you will find yourself inclined to watch the Renée Zellweger horror vehicle Case 39 one night when you’re scrolling through Netflix. What could go wrong with Zellweger and some mystery?
The two-time Academy Award winner and erstwhile Bridget Jones stars in Case 39 as social worker Emily Jenkins, who assumes she’s seen the worst her career has to offer until she meets Lilith (Jodelle Ferland) and her awful parents. The 10-year-old comes into the custody of Emily while she searches for a foster home, but mysterious dark forces around the child consume Emily’s life.
Case 39 was neither a box office hit nor a win with critics, but you know what, that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes, well-received horror movies can be overrated and the corny ones are where it’s at for a suspenseful movie night. Should that be your kind of preference for your watch list, don’t miss Renée Zellweger getting to the bottom of a harrowing mystery in Case 39 on Netflix.Next: No. 6
Best shows on Netflix: Mindhunter
Created By: Joe Penhall
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Cotter Smith, Anna Torv, Stacey Roca, Cameron Britton, Michael Cerveris, Joe Tuttle, Lauren Glazier, Albert Jones, Sierra McClain, June Carryl
As unfortunate as it may be, we all have running list in our minds of the shows we wish had been renewed instead of canceled far too soon. Netflix is no stranger to prematurely dropping the axe on beloved shows and not hearing the end of it for what feels like the end of time. Being so, many people have the psychological crime thriller Mindhunter right at the top of their wish lists.
Based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Mindhunter stars Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany as FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench. Together with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), the Behavioral Science Unit puts together a project to interview imprisoned serial killers with the intention of understanding and applying their psychology to ongoing cases.
Although Mindhunter hasn’t been officially canceled, we should hold our breath for a new season any time soon. Both the first and second seasons, which streamed nearly a full two years apart, earned rave reviews from critics and were fan-favorite binge-watches. Even though the highly anticipated but far, far off third season is a question mark, Mindhunter remains among the best mystery shows to watch on Netflix.Next: No. 5
Best movies on Netflix: The Da Vinci Code
Release Year: 2006
Directed By: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellan, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany, Jean Reno, Étienne Chicot, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Charlotte Graham, Hugh Mitchell, Seth Gabel, Marie-Françoise Audollent, Francesco Carnelutti
It’s hard to explain the hold the book The Da Vinci Code had over popular culture in the mid-aughts to people who didn’t live it, but it was everywhere. The film adaptation starring Tom Hanks only made that hold tighter because, well, it’s Tom Hanks bringing the biggest book of the moment to the big screen. But right now, it’s one of the best mystery movies streaming on Netflix.
Based on the massive best-selling novel of the same name by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, an American symbologist at the center of a new mystery at the Louvre Museum. When a murder and hidden clues in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous works uncover a long-held religious mystery, a secret society retains information that could rattle Christianity.
Of course, The Da Vinci Code bowed to polarizing responses due to its subject matter, but the film was a box office hit in spite of failing to wow critics. Because of that success, the film spawned two sequels, Angels & Demons and Inferno. If you’re in the mood for a little mystery care of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, a Da Vinci Code double feature awaits you on Netflix right now.Next: No. 4
Best shows on Netflix: Who Killed Sara?
Created By: José Ignacio Valenzuela
Starring: Manolo Cardona, Alejandro Nones, Ximena Lamadrid, Carolina Miranda, Eugenio Siller, Fátima Molina, Ginés García Millán, Claudia Ramírez, Juan Carlos Remolina, Héctor Jiménez, Litzy, Luis Roberto Guzmán, Ana Lucía Guzmán, Iñaki Godoy
Who killed Sara? Oh, wouldn’t you like to know! Never underestimate the power of a good murder mystery. Just ask Riverdale. (And we will shortly…) This year, Netflix binge-watchers received a surprise treat in the form of the Mexican mystery thriller Who Killed Sara?, a new series that captivated a world in need of escapist entertainment and provided exactly that.
Who Killed Sara? centers on Alex Guzman, who emerges from an 18-year prison sentence for a crime he did not commit with revenge on the mind. Alex wants to get back at Rodolfo Lazcano (Alejandro Nones), the man responsible for the crime that put him behind bars, while also looking for the person who killed his sister, Sara (Ximena Lamadrid).
Of course, like any great series with mysteries aplenty, Who Killed Sara? keeps the viewer guessing through plot twists you just might not see coming. The first season’s 10 episode became an instant hit on Netflix, ranking in the top 10 long after its debut weekend. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long for new episodes. The second season of Who Killed Sara? premieres in May for more murder, mysteries and melodrama.Next: No. 3
Best movies on Netflix: Murder Mystery
Release Year: 2019
Directed By: Kyle Newacheck
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans, Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, David Williams, Dany Boon, John Kai, Adeel Akhtar, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Shiori Kutsuna, Erik Griffin, Sufe Bradshaw
What would a list of mystery movies and shows be without the hit Netflix original movie with the word “mystery” literally in its title? Back in 2019, Just Go with It co-stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston reunited for the comedy film Murder Mystery, a take on that famous title that’s exactly as it sounds. Obviously, it’s one of the best mystery movies to watch on Netflix.
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston star in Murder Mystery as married couple Nick and Audrey Spitz, who had always planned to visit Europe per a wedding promise but never had the opportunity to travel overseas. For their 15th anniversary, the couple finally makes the trip to Europe, where they’re suddenly swept up as suspects in the murder of a billionaire.
Murder Mystery arrived with intrigue simply due to its star, but the mystery-comedy earned middling reception from critics. Still, the film managed to become a huge hit for Netflix, racking up the streamer’s biggest opening weekend for an original film and ranking in the top five of the most-watched original films. Naturally, a sequel is on the way with more murder, more mystery and more laughs.Next: No. 2
Best shows on Netflix: Riverdale
Developed By: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Starring: KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mädchen Amick, Luke Perry, Mark Consuelos, Casey Cott, Skeet Ulrich, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan, Drew Ray Tanner, Erinn Westbrook
Even five seasons in, we’re still as hooked on Riverdale as the day it premiered. Well, most of us are still hooked. Others jumped shipped somewhere between the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King. But those of us sticking around know The CW’s gritty teen drama can still churn out a mystery like no one’s business. From murder to alien abductions (we’ll see!), they’ve done it all.
Riverdale began its run in 2017 as a modernized and dramatized reboot of the Archie Comics characters with a dark spin. Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) come together with their friends and enemies to crack the case on their small town’s latest mysteries, no matter if it’s a serial killer or an illegal Fizzle Rocks ring.
Currently, four seasons of Riverdale are available to stream on Netflix, and it’s not a bad time to start catching up on one of the most popular shows on television. The fifth season debuted on The CW in 2021 and finished the gang’s high school run before leaping ahead in time seven years. Although the season won’t resume new episodes until August, effectively pushing its Netflix bow a month or two, there’s no time like the present to relive the glory days of Riverdale’s mysteries.Next: No. 1
Best movies on Netflix: Sherlock Holmes
Release Year: 2009
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, Hans Matheson, Geraldine James, James Fox, William Hope, Robert Maillet, William Houston
Who’s the ultimate man of mystery? Well, okay, some would say Austin Powers, but it’s obviously Sherlock Holmes. Since the 2009 film that’s now streaming on Netflix, the famous detective has appeared onscreen in various forms, whether it’s Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series or Henry Cavill in Enola Holmes. But nothing beats the erstwhile Iron Man as the cleve sleuth.
Robert Downey Jr. stars in Sherlock Holmes as the titular legendary detective, who investigates a string of murders in London with his partner, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law). The pair tracks down the killer, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), an enthusiast of the dark arts and the mastermind of a larger plan within the occult than even Sherlock can fathom.
Sherlock Holmes debuted on Christmas Day in 2009 to mostly positive reviews and a strong box office performances, which led to the 2011 sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Since then, a third film has been in the fits and starts of development, but even if Sherlock and Watson don’t return anytime soon, we’ll always have the great original mystery to watch on Netflix.
Which mystery movies and shows will you be watching on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!Next: 30 movies we want to see turned into Netflix shows