Unless you have lived under a rock for the last two years, you’ve no doubt at least heard of Knives Out. The 2019 murder mystery movie had all the right pieces: a funny script, absurd plot, razor-sharp dialogue, and brilliant casting. Among the powerhouse lineup of talent? Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Christopher Plummer. In a true murder mystery trope, the family of wealthy novelist Harlan Trombey (Plummer) shows up at his mansion for a well-attended and lavish 85th birthday. The following morning, the family finds Harlan dead — his throat slit. What ensues is a look at his volatile familial relationships, leaving each family member a strong suspect. And while all of that sounds heavy, it’s really pretty damn fun. After watching it, you’re going to want to binge all the movies like Knives Out that you can find. That’s where we come into the picture.
When searching for similar content, you must first consider what makes Knives Out so compelling. Like, for instance, the fact that it has all of the key components of a classic murder mystery. There are complicated connections. And, of course, a ton of money. But you also can’t have a true murder mystery without a mansion (or a train) and a group of quirky characters. Knives Out gave us a palatial estate and some of the quirkiest characters we could ever want. It’s not the first murder mystery, just as it won’t be the last. Many came before it, and some may even argue that other films did it better than this modern take.
We’ll let you be the judge! The following murder mysteries all key up the drama, and some are downright hysterical — just like Knives Out.
Movies Like Knives Out to Add to Your Queue
1. Clue (1985)
Is there a better murder mystery out there? Honestly, probably not. While Clue certainly wasn’t the first comedic murder mystery, it might just set the standard. Yes, it’s based on the board game of the same name. That alone might have made movie-goers leery of watching. But it actually worked perfectly. Interesting fact: When Clue originally came out in theaters, it was released randomly with three different endings. Meaning, you could see the movie in Cincinnati while your best friend saw the film in Chicago, and you would walk out “knowing” very different murderers. When the film was later released for home viewing, the video played all three endings in a row. The results of which were, honestly, hilarious.
2. Poirot Films — Really Any of Them (1989 – 2013)
There are no fewer than 18 films based on Agatha Christie’s ridiculous and somewhat loathsome Detective Poirot. Christie wrote 33 novels and dozens of short stories centered on the character, despite admitting on many occasions to absolutely hating him. In her defense (for keeping him around), he was wildly popular — maybe even more of a draw for mystery lovers than Sherlock Holmes. While any movie about Poirot is entertaining, we particularly like the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express. Another solid option? Murder Under the Sun, which stars Dame Maggie Smith.
3. Gosford Park (2001)
Gosford Park is not only a solid murder mystery, but it also boasts truly gorgeous cinematography. Bonus: It stars, among other people, Ryan Phillippe. One of the more remarkable parts of Gosford Park is how much more focus is on “the help” who work in the giant mansion. While the other movies on the list sort of use servants more as background props than actual characters, Gosford Park does an excellent job of giving you a look into the servants’ lives, in the vein of Upstairs, Downstairs, or Downton Abbey. In the end, the servants seem just as likely as the other more “well-to-do” mansion guests to commit murder.
4. Miss Marple Movies (1932 – 1976)
You’re probably somewhat familiar with Miss Marple, as she played twice by the inimitable Angela Lansbury. (Yes, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast.) Marple is another fantastic detective character written by the late Agatha Christie. Many Marple fans are especially fond of the movies in which Margaret Rutherford plays her. We agree. To up the tension and suspense from Knives Out, try Murder Most Foul and Murder, She Said.
5. Deathtrap (1982)
While a million characters bog down some of the movies on our list, Deathtrap is relatively sparse by way of characters. Originally written for the stage, it doesn’t contain many scene changes either. Admittedly, it’s one of the goofier murder mysteries out there. However, it stars top-notch actors Christopher Reeve (AKA Superman) and Michael Caine (AKA Alfred in The Dark Knight trilogy). The movie follows a washed-up playwright (Caine) who, after reading a mentee’s (Reeve) script, plots a murder so that he can steal the mentee’s brilliant idea. For shame!
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist, (played by the gorgeous Daniel Craig) tries to salvage his career by solving a 40-year-old mystery. He partners up with Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker, to find the murderer of a wealthy Swedish industrialist’s niece. Salander is strange and brilliant, and together they crack this dangerous cold case wide open.
7. The Nice Guys (2016)
If Ryan Gosling isn’t enough to watch this movie, it also has a very groovy plot. It takes place in 1970s Los Angeles. Gosling and Russell Crowe play private eyes who are looking for a missing girl and investigating the death of a porn star. These two actors play an unlikely pair and during their investigation embark on a journey of mishaps and hilarity. Crowe and Gosling are a bumbling and beautiful pair who manage to unravel a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.
More Movies Like Knives Out to Add to Your Queue
- A Simple Favor (2018)
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
- Ready or Not (2019)
- The Brothers Bloom (2008)
- Identity (2003)
- The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
- Sleuth (2007)
- Death on the Nile (1978)
- Silver Streak (1976)
- Brick (2005)
- Greedy (1994)
- Game Night (2018)
- Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
- Mystery Team (2009)
- Green for Danger (1946)
- Snatch (2000)
- Murder Mystery (2019)
- Crooked House (2017)
- Murder By Death (1976)
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