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CHANGELING – 2008 mystery crime drama film directed, produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by J. Michael Straczynski, that explores child endangerment, female disempowerment, political corruption, mistreatment of mental health patients, and the repercussions of violence. The script was based on real-life events, specifically the 1928 Wineville Chicken Coop murders in Mira Loma, California. The film stars Angelina Jolie as a woman united with a boy who she realizes is not her missing son. When she tries to demonstrate this to the police and city authorities, she is vilified as delusional, labeled as an unfit mother, and confined to a psychiatric ward.
CHILD 44 – In 1950s Soviet Russia, secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) loses everything when he refuses to denounce his wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace) as a traitor. Finding themselves exiled to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with Gen. Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to capture a serial killer who preys on young boys. They soon find that their investigation threatens a system-wide cover-up enforced by Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), Leo’s psychopathic rival. 2015 mystery thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, written by Richard Price, and based on Tom Rob Smith’s 2008 novel of the same name. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel.
DARK PLACES – A woman (Charlize Theron) confronts traumatic, childhood memories of the murder of her mother and two sisters when she investigates the possibility that her brother (Corey Stoll) is innocent of the crime. 2015 neo-noir mystery directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. The screenplay, by Paquet-Brenner, is based on Gillian Flynn’s 2009 novel of the same name. It stars Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult, and Chloë Grace Moretz.
THE DA VINCI CODE – A 2006 mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown’s 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. In the film, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. On the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. Langdon escapes with the assistance of police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and they begin a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci’s wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wish to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.
- ANGELS & DEMONS – When Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon discovers the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati, he flies to Rome to warn the Vatican, the Illuminati’s most hated enemy. Joining forces with beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Langdon follows a centuries-old trail of ancient symbols in the hope of preventing the Illuminati’s deadly plot against the Roman Catholic Church from coming to fruition. 2009 mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman and David Koepp, based on Dan Brown’s 2000 novel of the same title. It is the sequel to the 2006 film The Da Vinci Code, also directed by Howard, and the second installment in the Robert Langdon film series.
- INFERNO – Famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population. 2016 action mystery thriller directed by Ron Howard and written by David Koepp, loosely based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown. The film is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009), and is the third and final installment in the Robert Langdon film series. It stars Tom Hanks, reprising his role as Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones as Dr. Sienna Brooks, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, and Irrfan Khan.
KNIVES OUT – a 2019 mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson, and produced by Johnson and Ram Bergman. It follows a master detective investigating the death of the patriarch of a wealthy, dysfunctional family. The film features an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
LOST RIVER– A single mother is swept into a dark underworld while her son discovers an underwater town. 2014 fantasy mystery drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Ryan Gosling, in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Iain De Caestecker, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Barbara Steele, and Eva Mendes in her final film role.
MR. HOLMES – 2015 mystery film directed by Bill Condon, based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, and featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. The film stars Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, Laura Linney as his housekeeper Mrs. Munro and Milo Parker as her son Roger. Set primarily during his retirement in Sussex, the film follows a 93-year-old Holmes who struggles to recall the details of his final case because his mind is slowly deteriorating.
MY COUSIN RACHEL Philip is a young Englishman who finds his cousin Ambrose dead after traveling to Florence, Italy. He vows revenge against Ambrose’s missing wife Rachel, blaming her for his untimely demise. When Philip meets Rachel for the first time, his mood suddenly changes as he finds himself falling for her seductive charm and beauty. As his obsession for her grows, Rachel now hatches a scheme to win back her late husband’s estate from the unsuspecting Philip. A 2017 romantic drama written and directed by Roger Michell, based upon the 1951 novel My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. It stars Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Iain Glen, Holliday Grainger, and Pierfrancesco Favino.
PASSENGERS – Therapist Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) receives an assignment by her mentor to counsel the five survivors of a plane crash. She feels particularly drawn to Eric (Patrick Wilson), the most-secretive of the group. Against her judgment, she becomes romantically involved with him, just as the other survivors mysteriously start to disappear. Believing that Eric knows more than he is telling, she vows to find the truth, no matter the outcome. 2008 romantic mystery thriller directed by Rodrigo García, written by Ronnie Christensen, and starring Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson.
REGRESSION – A detective (Ethan Hawke) and a psychoanalyst (David Thewlis) uncover evidence of a satanic cult while investigating the rape of a traumatized teen (Emma Watson). 2015 psychological thriller horror mystery film directed and written by Alejandro Amenábar. The film stars Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, with David Thewlis, Lothaire Bluteau, Dale Dickey, David Dencik, Peter MacNeill, Devon Bostick, and Aaron Ashmore in supporting roles.
SEARCHING – 2018 mystery thriller film directed by Aneesh Chaganty in his feature debut and written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. Set entirely on computer screens and smartphones, the film follows a father (John Cho) trying to find his missing 16-year-old daughter (Michelle La) with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing).
SHERLOCK HOLMES – 2009 period mystery action film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey, and Dan Lin. The screenplay, by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, and Simon Kinberg, was developed from a story by Wigram and Johnson. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively. In 1890, eccentric detective Holmes and his companion Watson are hired by a secret society to foil a mysticist’s plot to gain control of Britain by seemingly supernatural means. Rachel McAdams stars as their former adversary Irene Adler and Mark Strong portrays villain Lord Henry Blackwood.
- SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS is a 2011 period action mystery directed by Guy Ritchie. It is the sequel to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, and features the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film’s screenplay was written by Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Holmes and Watson, alongside Noomi Rapace as Simza, Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty. Rachel McAdams reprised her role as Irene Adler in a cameo appearance. Although the film follows an original premise, it incorporates elements of Conan Doyle’s short stories “The Final Problem” (1893) and “The Adventure of the Empty House” (1903). In the film, Holmes and Watson travel across Europe with a Romani adventuress to foil an intricate plot by their cunning nemesis, Professor Moriarty, to instigate a war.
SIGNSis a 2002 American science fiction mystery thriller written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and produced by Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam Mercer. A joint collective effort to commit to the film’s production was made by Blinding Edge Pictures and The Kennedy/Marshall Company. It was commercially distributed by Touchstone Pictures theatrically, and by Touchstone Home Entertainment in home media format. Its story focuses on a former Episcopal priest named Graham Hess, played by Mel Gibson, who discovers a series of crop circles in his cornfield. Hess slowly discovers that the phenomenon is a result of extraterrestrial life. It also stars Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin. Signs explores the themes of faith, kinship, and extraterrestrials.
SOLACE – 2015 American mystery thriller film directed by Afonso Poyart and starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Abbie Cornish. The film is about a psychic doctor, John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins), who works with FBI special agent Joe Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in search of serial killer Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell).
THE USUAL SUSPECTS – 1995 neo-noir mystery thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Spacey. The plot follows the interrogation of Roger “Verbal” Kint, a small-time con man, who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. Through flashback and narration, Kint tells an interrogator a convoluted story of events that led him and his criminal companions to the boat, and of a mysterious crime lord—known as Keyser Söze—who controlled them. The film was shot on a $6 million budget and began as a title taken from a column in Spy magazine called The Usual Suspects, after one of Claude Rains’ most memorable lines in the classic film Casablanca, and Singer thought that it would make a good title for a film.
WINTER’S BONE is a 2010 American mystery drama directed by Debra Granik. It was adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini from the 2006 novel of the same name by Daniel Woodrell. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as a teenage girl in the rural Ozarks of Missouri who, to protect her family from eviction, must locate her missing father. The film explores the interrelated themes of close and distant family ties, the power and speed of gossip, self-sufficiency, poverty, and patriarchy as they are influenced by the pervasive underworld of illegal meth labs.
THE WORDS – When shallow wannabe-writer Rory (Bradley Cooper) finds an old manuscript tucked away in a bag, he decides to pass the work off as his own. The book, called “The Window Tears,” brings Rory great acclaim, until the real author (Jeremy Irons) shows up and threatens to destroy Rory’s reputation. Cut to Clayton Hammond (Dennis Quaid), a writer whose popular novel “The Words” seems to mirror Rory’s story, leading to speculation that the tome is Hammond’s thinly veiled autobiography. 2012 American mystery romantic drama film, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal in their directorial debut. It stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, Dennis Quaid, and Nora Arnezeder.