10 Best Whodunits Of The 21st Century To Watch Before ‘Glass Onion’


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Whodunit or a colloquial elision of “who’s carried out it?” is an advanced, plot-driven kind of detective fiction where the mystery of who dedicated the homicide takes middle stage. This thriller subgenre has been a mainstay since the creation of cinema, giving rise to numerous great films which have had an unbreakable influence on the movie business, including Rear Window, Chinatown, and Vertigo.

RELATED: 10 Best Whodunits To Watch Before ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

As we enter the 21st century, the whodunit genre continues to flourish as filmmakers’ inventiveness soars, experimenting with numerous components to take the movie to a brand new degree and enhance the cinematic expertise of moviegoers. This century additionally produces numerous contemporary whodunits which are shortly poised to turn out to be classics.


‘Knives Out’ (2019)

Rian Johnson‘s mystery-thriller film Knives Out follows grasp investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he was mysteriously employed to investigate the passing of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a famend crime novelist and the patriarch of an prosperous, troubled household. Blanc types by way of a labyrinth of pink herrings and self-serving lies, from Harlan’s dysfunctional household to his devoted workers, to find the truth.

Knives Out is a tremendously fascinating classic whodunit with distinctive, well-drawn characters that collectively weave a picture of contemporary America. The movie provides suspenseful thrills along with humorous, smart dialogue and equally outstanding performances from the ensemble forged. Additionally, because of Johnson’s creative filming, the whodunit subgenre gradually gained more recognition. And because it revives the entire style in 2 hours and 10 minutes, it’s undeniably some of the pleasant and sought-after movies of 2019.

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017)

two women on a train

Murder on the Orient Express, based on Agatha Christie‘s 1934 novel of the same title, follows Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) as he decides to take the Orient Express. But he unintentionally turns into involved in an investigation right into a homicide that occurred on the practice.

Murder on the Orient Express has a beautiful and conventional storytelling type that makes it very pleasant, and it’s an old school whodunit in more ways than one. Despite receiving combined evaluations from critics, the movie nonetheless retains audiences on the sting of their seats and frequently wondering who the wrongdoer is. Moreover, it’s not stunning that Christie’s basic could be delivered to life with such intensity due to an accomplished ensemble solid, every certainly one of whom can shine readily.

‘The Nice Guy’ (2016)

4 people looking at something

The Nice Guy, a neo-noir buddy action comedy thriller movie directed by Shane Black, is about in 1977 Los Angeles and centers on a personal detective (Ryan Gosling) and a fierce enforcer (Russell Crowe). The duo decides to group as a lot as look into the disappearance of a teenage lady (Margaret Qualley).

Black elevates the whodunit subgenre by incorporating simply the right amount of biting comedy and suspense to maintain viewers glued to the display screen the entire time, questioning what is going to happen next. This movie is an entertaining yet still sensible traditional whodunit due to its outlandish settings and incisive conversation, that are delivered by each director Black and his cast.

RELATED: Why Ryan Gosling’s Best Performance Is ‘The Nice Guys’

‘Zodiac’ (2007)

3 guys working in the office

David Fincher‘s Zodiac, which is predicated on the nonfiction books Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked by Robert Graysmith. It recounts the story of the hunt for the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer who tormented the San Francisco Bay Area within the late 1960s and early 1970s whereas tauntingly sent letters, bloodstained clothes, and ciphers mailed to newspapers.

The movie is a satisfying mashup of a police procedural, a journalism story, a serial killer film, and a contemporary “who’s carried out it.” Zodiac has a singular method of defying expectations and slowly dragging the spectators along until all of a sudden a decade has passed and the viewers nonetheless making an attempt to place every thing along with the characters. The film didn’t illustrate how these murders ruined the lives of the victims and their families but showed how the case ended up burdening practically everyone involved while busy catching the culprit.

RELATED: 9 Films and 2 TV Shows to Watch if You Like David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’

‘Hail, Caesar!’ (2016)

people at a movie set

Hail, Caesar! is a fictional tale that centers on real-life fixer Eddie Mannix, performed by Josh Brolin in the film, who was working within the 1950s Hollywood movie industry and attempting to determine out what had happened to a star actor whereas they had been filming a biblical epic.

The film pays lots of respect to basic filmmaking whereas efficiently elevating the story of a lacking particular person into a contemporary mystery with clever black humor. Moreover, underneath its whodunit facade, the movie provides a surprisingly insightful treatment of the identical themes that run via the Coen Brothers‘ more somber works: the meaning of faith, and the concern of attempting to find out the proper course in life.

‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ (2019)

Pikachu with a magnifying glass

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, which is based on the Pokémon sequence, is a free adaptation of the same-named online game from 2016. It follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a former Pokémon trainer, and a Pikachu as they attempt to find what occurred to Tim’s father, Harry (Ryan Reynolds), who mysteriously vanished.

Despite its limitations, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is unquestionably amusing and makes positive to incorporate a ton of fan service that the vast majority of Pokémon followers around the globe will appreciate. Moreover, the movie is one of those movies that is perfect for a household watch and softened the topic, offering the spectators a lighter sense of the mystery, not like traditional whodunits.

‘Brick’ (2005)

two people driving

Brick is a neo-noir thriller thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson in his directorial debut. It follows a juvenile loner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who forces his means into the underbelly of a highschool crime gang to seek out out what happened to his ex-girlfriend (Emilie de Ravin) who was found lifeless at the entrance of a sewage tunnel.

Johnson’s triumph in the 2019 Knives Out was made possible by Brick, which options wonderful references from the 1940s and swish pictures that deepen the dark humor. Additionally, Johnson was clever along with his method to flip the murky alliances and communication of highschool into a nail-biting thriller, especially with Gordon-Levitt’s outstanding efficiency.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Joseph Gordon-Levitt Movies Ranked

‘Shutter Island’ (2010)

Shutter Island (1)

Based on Dennis Lehane‘s 2003 novel of the identical title, Shutter Island is a neo-noir psychological thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese. The movie follows Edward “Teddy” Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), a deputy U.S. Marshal, who’s looking right into a psychological well being facility on Shutter Island with his partner, performed by Mark Ruffalo when one of many patients goes lacking.

Shutter Island is a really well-made film that efficiently captures the whodunit subgenre easily present in episodes of The Twilight Zone and well-known Hitchcock productions. Scorsese is aware of the method to keep audiences on the sting of their seats, frightened of what would possibly occur and still longingly curious to learn the truth in this complex psychological thriller. In addition, due to DiCaprio’s very good portrayal, spectators may find themselves repeatedly doubting actuality.

‘Prisoners’ (2013)

prisoners-1_w600_h600 (1)

Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners revolves around the kidnapping of two young ladies in Pennsylvania and the police’s search for the alleged kidnapper. However, the father of one of many women, played by Hugh Jackman, intervenes after police detain a minor suspect and release him.

When its protagonists are trapped in its devastating narrative maze, Prisoners is a fascinating thriller that is aware of tips on how to harness their emotional force. The movie is a compelling whodunit with deftly placed clues and turns which might be stunning without utterly destroying the movie’s naturalistic realism that’s extraordinarily eerie and intriguing.

‘Mystic River’ (2003)


Clint Eastwood’s neo-noir crime thriller film, Mystic River, is based on the 2001 same-name novel by Dennis Lehane. The film focuses on three males who were childhood associates and the way their lives are devastated by the death of certainly one of their daughters as their tragic past constantly haunts them.

The movie might have been a simple whodunit, however it digs too deep and expresses too much real struggling that’s haunting for viewers afterward. The film is a slow-burning thriller that deceives viewers into considering they’ve uncovered the perpetrator but is ultimately proven to be wrong with a deep aftertaste of disgrace because of the superb solid and Eastwood’s wonderful direction.

NEXT: Brad Pitt’s 10 Best Underrated Movies


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