Feeling investigative? If you’re not sure which movie to go for, allow us to clue you in. From detective stories and whodunnits to suspenseful dramas, here are the best mystery-themed movies and shows to stream now.
Patriot is about a secret agent meddling with the Iranian elections to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Ok, so like Homeland? Yes, and also very much no. Its protagonist is not a hardened, larger-than-life secret operative but a singer-songwriter stoner with PTSD.
As far as spy dramas go, Patriot certainly takes a lot of risks. Professional assassin John Tavener (played by Michael Dorman), whose dad (played by the amazing Terry O'Quinn from Lost) is the intelligence chief, is on an undercover mission in Iran. But, he's not sure he wants to be. On top of that, he faces an incompetent federal bureaucracy, challenges to maintaining his cover, and bouts of mental illness.
Tavener is no hero. Patriot is more a mix between offbeat spy thriller and workplace comedy with a lot of dark humor in between.
Julia Roberts first small-screen role is that of Heidi Bergman, a woman working as a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a facility that helps war veterans return to civilian life. Her boss Colin Belfast, superbly played by Bobby Cannavale, is a busy and eager man with questionable motives. Four years on, Bergman no longer works for the mysterious facility, when a visitor forces her to confront what she has been telling herself about her past.
Created by Sam Esmail, who also brought you Mr. Robot, this is mysterious sci-fi at its best. A haunting vibe, heart-stopping cinematography, and a slew of stellar supporting actors like Shea Whigham and Stephan Janes make Homecoming a gripping and breathtaking experience. With each episode clocking in at about 30 minutes, you will frequently be left hungry for more.
Fasten your seatbelts because this nasty little chase film will jerk the wheel when you least expect it, featuring balls-to-the-wall action and lots of Norwegian humor – dark humor that is. Based on a novel from the country's most famous crime writer, Jo Nesbø, Headhunters is brutal, insane, and incredibly good. This twisting, turning thriller tells the story of a corporate recruiter (Aksel Hennie), who has a secret side hustle as a nightly art thief. He ends up being pursued by the charismatic Clas Greve, a Dutch businessman played by none other than GoT-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. And this plot summary is as far as you will get without the whole thing swerving into another direction. Headhunters does not slow down unless it wants to destabilise you further with simmering suspense. Like a Lars von Trier on speed, expect all the raw colors, emotion, and slightly off-kilter characters you want from a Norwegian production – and brilliant entertainment!
Part police-procedural and part supernatural thriller, The Devil’s Hour is the perfect show to binge if you love solving complicated puzzles and don’t mind being spooked by the occasional jump scare. It's also co-produced by Steven Moffat, who was the brain behind equally mind-bending thrillers Sherlock (BBC) and Doctor Who.
The six-parter follows social worker Lucy Chambers as she looks after potential victims, a behaviorally challenged son, and a schizophrenic mother—and this is on top of her personal problems, which include bloody hallucinations and waking up every day at exactly 3:33 am, or what she dubs the devil’s hour. There are a lot of moving parts in The Devil’s Hour, but aside from the intricate world-building, it’s the powerful performances from Jessica Raine and Peter Capaldi that truly anchor this ambitious show.
In a very fun thriller format, this show is about three eccentric comic book fans who come across a graphic novel that has information on future world events, like epidemics.
Also looking for this novel are a couple of violent hitmen from an organization called “The Network”. The three youngsters find themselves up against a dark web of conspiracies and violence.
It’s plot-heavy, imaginative, and very enjoyable - everything you’d expect from a good thriller series.
Undone is a rotoscoped, genre-bending fever dream of a show. It’s a mystery in that the lead Alma is tasked to discover the truth about her father’s death, but also a fantasy in that she bends the limitless possibilities of time and space to achieve her goal. It's a surreal adventure bolstered by daring animation, but it remains grounded largely because of its impeccably flawed characters. At the heart of this trippy show is a woman trying and failing (and trying again) to come to terms with herself, and that's something any one of us can get behind.
This crazy heist movie is told in a very original way. Because it's based on a true story, the movie (with actors and a story) is sometimes interrupted by the people it's about. The opening scene even reads: "this movie is not based on a true story, it is a true story". Two friends decide to rob their local library from rare books worth millions. They're driven by money but also by wanting something different than their monotonous everyday lives in Kentucky. The need for a change is a big theme in this movie, but the story and the way it's told never cease to be breathtakingly thrilling. American Animals stars amazing actors like Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Evan Peters (Kick-Ass), and many more; but perhaps equally as notable is the director: Bart Layton, who is fresh from his amazing 2012 sleeper-hit The Imposter.
This visually stunning thriller is about a young man called Raza who is hired by a counter-terrorism officer as his informer. If you liked Netflix’s Bodyguard, you will love this, which in my opinion is has much more substance.
Originally a photographer with no link to the world of crime or terrorism, the color of Raza’s skin and his accent make the authorities believe he would be a valuable asset. And quickly, he falls into a web of crime, giving this show the appeal of the fantastic HBO series The Night Of.
This six-part BBC crime drama is about two detectives who try to solve cold murder cases. In the first season, they try to solve the murder of a young man from the 70s who left a diary full of seemingly unconnected names.
Like most BBC mysteries, it’s grounded, believable, and consistent. Still, the second and third seasons of Unforgotten are better than the first, offering a reward for sticking with the show.
Hanna the movie was the perfect mix between a coming-of-age story and a Bourne-Trilogy-type thriller. It was suspenseful, edgy, and so original.
How to make these attributes stick when the movie is stretched to a TV show? As it turns out, more of the same does the trick.
The majority of events have been imagined especially for the show, and it doesn’t stop there. The series is packed with great new talent who bring their uniqueness to the story. Hanna herself is played masterfully by British actress Esme Creed-Miles. Her father - much more present in the show than the movie - is also amazingly played by Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (you may recognize him from House of Cards or The Killing).
High production value and incredible suspense make Hanna an enjoyable and prolonged thrill ride. It’s even more fun if you’ve never watched the movie, as all plot developments will be new to you.