15 interesting films about private detectives

Theft of a dog and perfume, murders in closed spaces, missing children, old mysteries – in this collection you will find detective stories with a variety of puzzles. And the colleagues of Sherlock Holmes – detectives on free bread will investigate the crimes. The colorful heroes of films about private detectives act at their own peril and risk, have intuition, often break the law, but solve criminal puzzles, even if the police have abandoned the task.

Memories (2021)

In the near future, part of the land was under water due to global warming and the melting of glaciers, so people are deprived of their usual entertainment and opportunities. Private investigator Nick helps clients relive the best moments from the past using unique technology. Immersion in the memories of one customer develops into a stormy romance, but suddenly the detective’s beloved disappears without a trace.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:  
Reminiscence

Genre:  
Fiction, thriller, melodrama, detective

Actors:  
Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Tandive Newton …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:  
16+


Area 414 (2020)

The action of the film about a private detective takes place in an alternative future, when high-tech colonies with humanoid robots appear instead of megacities . For help, experienced detective David Carmichael is approached by an inventor whose daughter disappeared under mysterious circumstances. To investigate, the man takes innovative artificial intelligence as his assistants , and the search leads to an unexpected discovery.

Original title:
Zone 414

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller

Actors:
Guy Pearce, Matilda Anna Ingrid Luts, Jonathan Aris …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 4.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Wonder (2020)

Arthur Bretnik is not the most successful detective, so a new case becomes a unique chance for him. A man is hired to investigate the brutal murder of a girl in a semi-abandoned village. The town of Wonder keeps secrets so terrible that the human mind is not able to comprehend them. Fixated on a worldwide conspiracy theory, Arthur gradually ceases to distinguish between shocking visions and monstrous reality.

Original title:  
Wander

Genre:
Thriller

Actors:  
Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones, Katherine Winnick …

Country:  
Canada, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.1, IMDb – 4.9

Age restrictions:  
18+


Young Detective (2020)

During his school years, Abe successfully solved simple crimes like stealing a time capsule or a box for charity collections. As an adult, the protagonist of a neo-noir film about a detective agency is catastrophically unlucky. A few failed investigations and the townspeople no longer take Abe seriously. The guy intends to restore his reputation, so he takes on the case of the death of the boyfriend of a local girl.

Original title:  
The Kid Detective

Genre:
Drama, comedy, detective

Actors:  
Caitlin Chalmers-Rizzato, Adam Brody, Caleb Horn …

Country:  
Canada

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:  
16+


Poison Rose (2019)

Carson Philips was destined for a brilliant career in American football , but fate decreed otherwise. The hero of the film leaves the sport , leaves home and works as a private detective in Los Angeles. Years later, he still has to return to his native place. Carson is assigned to visit a woman in a clinic, but a simple case turns into a serious investigation. There are enough ambiguities in the task, and a series of strange deaths in the city raises too many questions from the inhabitants.

Original title:  
The Poison Rose

Genre:  
Thriller

Actors:  
John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Ella Blue Travolta …

Country:  
Italy, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.2, IMDb – 4.7

Age restrictions:  
16+


Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

A movie about private detective Lionel Essrog is an exciting crime drama with unpredictable plot twists. A detective with Tourette syndrome sets out to find out who is behind the murder of his best friend and mentor. Lionell intends to unravel the tangle of lies and starts on the trail, looking everywhere – from the Brooklyn slums to respectable areas of New York. The hero of the film will have a hard time because of corrupt politicians and dangerous gangsters , but the honest name of the deceased is at stake.

Original title:  
Motherless Brooklyn

Genre:  
Drama, crime, detective

Actors:  
Edward Norton, Gugu Embata-Ro, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:  
18+


Knives Out (2019)

The highly rated detective film is a stylish crime comedy with great intrigue. Bestselling author Harlan Thrombey celebrates his birthday with his family, then commits suicide at night. This is the official version of the police, but private detective Benoit Blanc, who arrived at the scene of the crime, has a different opinion. The mysterious customer hired a detective for an independent thorough investigation, since suicide may be hiding a murder for selfish purposes.

Original title:  
Knives Out

Genre:  
Detective, comedy, drama, crime

Actors:  
Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:  
16+


Undercover Playboy (2018)

French funny comedy about the adventures of the incorrigible womanizer Nicky Larson. Scientists have invented a perfume that can bend the will of any person, and the hero of the film is instructed to protect the perfume when dealing with a client. At the time of the transfer of the goods, the criminals are trying to steal a unique fragrance, but Nicky manages to take away the coveted suitcase from the bandits. It soon turns out that at the time of the fight, Larson mixed up the cases – and a passerby has the perfume.

Original title:  
Nicky Larson et le parfum de Cupidon

Genre:
Action, comedy, crime

Actors:  
Philippe Lachot, Elodie Fontan, Tarek Budali …

Country:  
France

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:  
18+


Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

The famous Hercule Poirot, under the patronage of an old friend, gets into a prestigious train carriage , where the antique dealer Edward addresses him with an unusual request. The man admits that he is not very well versed in antiquities, so over the years of work he has made a lot of enemies for himself. Edward asks Poirot for protection, but the detective refuses the swindler . A few hours later, the valet discovers the body of an antique dealer with multiple stab wounds, and all passengers are under suspicion.

Original title:  
Murder on the Orient Express

Genre:
Detective, crime, drama

Actors:  
Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer…

Country:  
Malta, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:  
16 +


Crooked House (2017)

An elderly millionaire, Aristide Leonides, is murdered on the family estate, and his granddaughter Sophie hires a detective to find the killer. Charles Hayward takes on the investigation, looking forward to a quick completion of the job, but the process is complicated by a large number of suspects. The crime was committed indoors , and everyone present had a powerful motive, including Sophie’s caring granddaughter.

Original title:  
Crooked House

Genre:
Drama, crime, detective

Actors:  
Max Irons, Stephanie Martini, Glenn Close …

Country:  
UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


His Dog Business (2016)

Private investigator Steven Ford is having a tough time at work. Financial difficulties force a man to give his beloved dog Buddy to his niece for a while, but the pet ends up in the hands of criminals. Robbers ransacked the girl’s house , and Steven is ready to do anything to free his pet. The leader of the gang offers Ford to work for him – so the operation to rescue Buddy turns into a deadly task.

Original title:  
Once Upon a Time in Venice

Genre:
Action, comedy

Actors:  
Bruce Willis, Jason Momoa, John Goodman…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.3

Age restrictions:  
18+


Birth Defect (2014)

The American film will introduce viewers to Larry Sportello, who works in the field of private investigation. Marijuana becomes a constant companion in investigations for a man, without which he cannot imagine himself. One day, an old friend turns to drug addict Larry for help – and soon the girl disappears under mysterious circumstances along with a wealthy lover. Sportello takes on a mysterious case, trying to see through the grass smoke the details of the crime.

Original title:  
Inherent Vice

Genre:
Drama, romance, comedy

Actors:  
Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:  
16+


City of Vice (2012)

Former police officer Billy Taggart receives a juicy task: to follow the wife of the mayor, whom her husband suspects of treason . The case seems to the detective banal and easy, but behind the external simplicity lies a tangled tangle of lies and political intrigues. Suddenly, Billy finds himself at the center of a scandal that turns into a dangerous crime game with many unknowns.

Original title:
Broken City

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:
Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Goodbye Baby Goodbye (2007)

In the middle of the night in an American suburb, little Amanda disappears from her own room, but the search for the child does not bring results. When the police are powerless, the girl’s aunt turns to private detectives for help. Patrick and Angela consider the case hopeless, but they start looking for the baby using criminal connections. The evidence obtained leads to an unexpected discovery that will force Patrick to make a deal with his own conscience.

Original title:  
Gone Baby Gone

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:  
Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:  
16+


Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

The list of detective films is completed by a comedy thriller in the buddy movie genre. The unlucky thief Harry Lockhart accidentally gets to the casting, fleeing police persecution, and immediately gets the lead role in the film. To improve acting skills, the real private detective Perry is assigned to the criminal. The specialist will keep Harry company, because the final audition awaits Lockhart.

Original title:
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Genre:
Thriller, Comedy, Crime

Actors:
Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age Limits :
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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