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.
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.
When a girls soccer team is left stranded in the wilderness, things quickly descend from worrisome to outright, delightful, and sometimes unbearably weird. It’s a classic tale of survival injected with fresh mystery and drama, and as you watch these girls navigate humanity in all its extremes—from the primal urge to live to the existential need to bond—you’re left feeling both wildly entertained and deeply disturbed all at once.
Though Yellowjackets has drawn comparisons to beloved stories like Lost and Lord of the Flies, its unique pulse on the female experience is arguably its own thing: a sure and instant classic in the making.
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.
Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm are among the many recognizable faces of this star-packed political drama.
Driver, pictured above in his ‘I’m goofy but I will save the world’ signature stare 😍, plays Daniel J. Jones, an investigator working with the Senate. He is assigned to write a report (“the” report) about the CIA torture program post 9/11.
If you so much as liked Vice, the hit movie from earlier this year, you will love The Report. It covers similar grounds: incompetency, unclear intentions, confusion, etc; but in a way that is more to-the-point (which might make it feel dry to some). It also helps in understanding or getting a refresher on, how the Senate works and how organizations like the CIA interact with (bully) other branches of government.
I would almost go as far as to say that if you are a U.S. citizen, watching this movie, with its many goofy Adam Driver moments, is your civic duty.
Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie (House) star in this espionage mini-series based on a John le Carré novel.
A quick mini-series that spans six episodes, it’s about a former soldier (Tom Hiddleston) who, while working as a night manager for a hotel in Cairo, Egypt, ends up getting hold of very sensitive information. He is then recruited by an intelligence officer (Olivia Colman) to bring down a corrupt businessman (Hugh Laurie.)
A highly-acclaimed TV show not to be missed by lovers of spy stories, John Le Carré films (A Most Wanted Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), or just anyone who appreciates excellent acting.
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 satire takes place in the year 2033 when it’s possible to “upload” oneself to a specific software-powered afterlife. In the variety of afterlives possible, there is no heaven or hell. Instead, class struggles persist: ads are everywhere, you have to pay for data, and there are many levels of luxury available.
Created by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Upload is an easy and funny show with an interesting and relevant premise. If you liked The Good Place, Silicon Valley, or Black Mirror, you will surely love this.
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.