Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express is one of the most iconic mysteries ever written with more twists and turns than the titular train’s tracks. And it's getting another film adaptation arriving in Cineworld on 3rd November.
Written, directed by and starring film veteran Kenneth Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot, the film contains a staggering supporting cast of Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, William Dafoe, Sergei Polunin, Penelope Cruz, Olivia Coleman and Judi Dench.
It’s still quite a wait until Orient Express pulls into Cineworld so, until then, why not get some detective practice by watching these five iconic movie mysteries.
Don’t worry, this blog is completely spoiler free. We wouldn’t want to spoil your fun.
5. Se7en (1995)
In this horrifying and gruesome mystery, David Fincher gave the term 'seven deadly sins' a whole new meaning.
Se7en sees Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman star as two detectives on the hunt for a serial killer known only as John Doe. This isn’t just your typical psycho, however, as John Doe murders – or rather mutilates – his victims in sickeningly creative ways with each murder connected to one of the seven deadly sins.
Who is the maniac behind these murders, and what could his motivation be?
Se7en is extremely tense and can be deeply unsettling at times so, as much as we encourage you see it, we also recommend you bring your blankets and teddies for emotional support whilst watching.
And whatever you do, don't look inside the box.
4. Memento (2000)
For those who’ve seen Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, it should be obvious that he's someone who likes to play with the concept of time. Many of his other classics like Interstellar and Inception do the same.
None of Nolan’s films, however, have utilised time like his 2000 murder mystery Memento. Memento sees Guy Pearce star as Leonard, a man with short-term memory loss on the hunt for his wife’s murderer using photographs and notes to help him remember key details.
The kicker is it plays out across two different time frames running forwards and backwards in perfect sync.
However, if we were to divulge any more information about Memento, we risk spoiling it. Just bring some aspirin because this will blow your mind.
3. Shutter Island (2010)
With this brooding psychological horror, director Martin Scorsese once again cemented himself as a master of contemporary filmmaking and storytelling.
It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S Marshall Teddy Daniels who’s sent to a mental institution to find a missing patient. Teddy isn’t just here to find the patient, however – he’s also hunting for the man he believes killed his wife but as both parts of this investigation become intertwined, the more sinister the truth is revealed to be.
What happened to the escaped patient? Who is the mysterious inmate nobody wants Teddy to meet? And what secrets are hidden in the island’s lighthouse?
There are many mysteries in Shutter Island but, as each answer is revealed, we promise that you won’t be disappointed. Once you’ve discovered the truth, it only makes a re-watch that more interesting to see how the answers were right there all along.
2. Rear Window (1954)
Is it even possible to write about movie mysteries without mentioning Alfred Hitchcock? We could’ve easily put Psycho, Vertigo, Rope or Marnie in this list but in the end Rear Window wins out.
The set-up is simple enough: Jeff (James Stewart) is a photographer confined to a wheelchair in his apartment after breaking his legs and passes the time looking out his window. But after he spots some unusual activity from his neighbour, Jeff becomes convinced that he’s been witness to a murder.
It’s now up to him and his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) to uncover the truth about what happened in the neighbour’s house but could Jeff have imagined the whole thing?
What makes Rear Window so successful is that we’re stuck with Jeff in his apartment for the duration, and discover information at the same time he does, which makes every new morsel of information that much more enticing.
If it’s a timeless mystery you want, Rear Window is the one you’ve been looking out for (pun definitely intended).
1. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Directed by master of the surreal David Lynch, mystery thriller Mullholland Drive is simply a must watch for every cinephile.
After a car crash on the titular Hollywood road leaves Rita (Laura Harring) with amnesia, she befriends aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) who has just arrived in Hollywood. Together they decide to find out what Rita was doing that night, a journey that leads them down a darker road than they expected.
Mullholland Drive will leave you scratching your head for months, and will force you to re-watch it to pay attention to every detail. It will leave you asking so many questions like who is the mysterious cowboy? Who is the monstrous man behind the wall? And what’s inside the blue box?
Being a Lynch film Mullholland Drive is at once beautiful and strange, and occupies a menacing hinterland between fantasy and reality. There's more than one way to read the cryptic resolution – but that's all part of the fun.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.