It is challenging when choosing the ten best mysterious movies, but there are films that have already stood the test of time and a few that have the potential for doing so. Let's look at the mystery films that are the finest examples in their genre.
- "Vertigo," 1958, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Jimmy Stewart. From the master of suspense, this film was ahead of its time. The style was dreamy and taught, punctuated by plot points of sheer terror and confusion. The dream sequence alone is considered a masterpiece of filmmaking.
- "Double Indemnity," 1944, directed by Billy Wilder, starring Barbara Stanwyck. It doesn't get much more classic than this. The story centers around a femme fatale and her gullable partner in crime as they weave a web of murder and deception. This movie has been imitated by directors too young to remember its original impact.
- "Chinatown," 1974, directed by Roman Polanski, starring Jack Nicholson. An unlikely political story over water rights in the Los Angeles basin is the basis for this modern day film noir. Jack Nicholson gives the performance of his life as a PI who gets in over his head while investigating the murder of a VIP in 1940's Las Angeles.
- "Mystic River," 2003, directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn. Based on the best selling novel by Dennis Lehane, this movie deals with the subculture of Irish Catholics living in the working class neighborhoods of South Boston. Three men, friends since childhood, are brought together again over the murder of the daughter of one of the men. Penn's performance is sublime as the brooding, brutal father.
- "Shutter Island," 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This is one of those top ten best mysterious movies that gets better with each viewing. The cinematography is bleak and affecting, as is the performance by DiCaprio who plays a detective investigating the disappearance of a patient from a mental hospital located on an isolated island.
- "The Sixth Sense," 1999, directed by M. Knight Shyamalan, starring Bruce Willis. With its surprise ending and touch of the supernatural, this top ten best mysterious movie is unique amongst its peers. A child, tormented by his ability to see and speak to the dead, seeks refuge with a psychiatrist who has his own issues.
- "Blue Velvet," 1986, directed by David Lynch, starring Dennis Hopper. This film was so cutting edge that it catapulted Lynch to the A list of Hollywood directors. If you can stomach the violence and tolerate the avant garde style, this film will haunt your dreams for years to come.
- "Silence Of The Lambs," 1991, directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Jodi Foster. This film is great because of the unforgettable performance by Anthony Hopkins as the serial killer/cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The juxtaposition of Lecter and young FBI agent Clarice Starling is what propels this movie into the ranks of great mystery films.
- "The Maltese Falcon," 1941 directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart. Based on the novel by mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, this film stands amongst its peers as one of the finest examples of film noir ever made. An impressive debut for director John Huston, who would go on to make several timeless films.
- "Memento," 2000, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce. This is perhaps the most unique of all the ten best mysterious films on this list. Nolan, who would go on to direct such blockbusters as "The Dark Knight" and "Inception," makes an impressive debut with this story told not from beginning to end, but from the end to the beginning, while never actually revealing relevant details until the conclusion. This is another haunting film that is difficult to forget.
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