Take the mystery out of what to watch with these whodunits
You probably solve a dozen little mysteries a day. Who ate the last Oreo cookie? Who forgot to switch the laundry into the dryer? When was the last time I showered?
Just because you’re living in isolation and practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you should let your mental abilities dull. Instead, test your deductive reasoning with these mysteries, all available on streaming.
After years away in Buenos Aires, Laura (Penélope Cruz) returns to her small Spanish village with her two children for a family wedding. Seen as a rich and successful lady now, Laura has trouble reconnecting with her aging parents and sisters. She does manage to rekindle her friendship with former lover, Paco (Javier Bardem), who is attempting to raise money for a business venture.
When Laura’s daughter is kidnapped at the wedding, the whole town seems to close up around her.
A mystery from acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, this film focuses on the interpersonal drama between characters. This is a movie about how perception and rumor can twist a character’s fate. Laura is welcomed home by all when she first arrives, but as she demands answers about her daughter, she’s immediately seen as an outsider again. Featuring brilliant performances from real-life married couple Cruz and Bardem, Everybody Knows is a thrilling mystery that’ll give you plenty to discuss.
Good Drama * R * 133 mins.
Blow the Man Down
After burying their mother, sisters Mary Beth and Priscilla (Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe) have vastly different plans for their future. Mary Beth dreams of escaping their small Maine town and seeing the world. Priscilla wants only to stay in their family home and the fish shop her mother built.
Both dreams are put into jeopardy when the girls end up with a dead pimp they must hide.
A funny, thrilling small town mystery set in the frigid, salt-swept shores of Maine, Blow the Man Down has a delightful adult fairytale sensibility. The movie literally begins with a chorus—local fishermen sing to you to open the story—and even has fairy godmothers in the form of a female mafia that runs the town. Co-writer/directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy offer a fascinating look at the lives of small-town women, backed by an amazing group of character actresses. This is a must-see for anyone who appreciates brilliant writing and acting—the final reveal should have you talking for hours.
Great Mystery * R * 91 mins.
Six guests are invited to a dinner party. All are given aliases and told not to discuss their identities. All are being blackmailed by the evil Mr. Boddy. When dinner starts, bodies begin to drop. Now the guests must figure out who the killer is, before they find themselves on the wrong end of a wrench.
Based on the killer board game, Clue is an absolutely zany whodunit comedy. Lead by Tim Curry in a brilliant performance as butler Wadsworth, the cast is filled with some of the best character actors of all time. It’s a perfect “grown up” mystery for families, with enough silly slapstick to keep kids entertained and enough sly adult jokes to keep older generations in stitches as well. The movie is utterly hilarious, extremely quotable, and filled with some genuine suspense. It also has three endings, so make sure you get your guesses as to who the killer is early!
Great Comedic Mystery * PG * 94 mins.
A Simple Favor
Mommy vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is obsessed with portraying perfection. Her crafts are always intricate, her son is always perfectly dressed, and she’s prepared for every possible contingency. Unfortunately, her commitment to overachieving has made her a pariah among the other parents. Until she meets Emily.
Emily (Blake Lively) is everything Stephanie secretly wishes she could be. Emily curses like a sailor, dresses in the latest styles, has a hot husband, and does whatever she wants without ever apologizing. Stephanie is immediately enamored with everything Emily represents, and eagerly does her best to become Emily’s friend. So when Emily asks a simple favor—to pick up her son from school—Stephanie thinks nothing of it.
But when Emily never returns to pick up her son, Stephanie is left with a mystery on her hands.
A stylish, witty take on a whodunit, A Simple Favor is an intricately crafted film with a lot to say about the roles women play. Anchored by brilliant performances from Lively and Kendrick, this fresh, funny spin on French 1960s’ noirs is an undiscovered cinematic gem. Directed by Paul Feig, there’s plenty of laughs and even some bananas physical comedy, but none of that will take away from the clever mystery and surprisingly tense twists.
Great Mystery * R * 117 mins.
The Great Mouse Detective
Basil (Barrie Ingham) is the best mouse detective on Baker Street, solving cases for all the rodents in London. When a toymaker goes missing, Basil is tasked by his daughter to discover just what happened.
Teaming up with Dr. Dawson (Val Bettin), Basil sets out to uncover the location of the missing toymaker, even if it runs him afoul of the evil Professor Ratigan (Vincent Price).
Think of this movie as baby’s first Sherlock Holmes. All the classic elements of the Doyle stories and movies are here—including Basil’s name (a reference to Basil Rathbone who played Holmes in the 1930s) and the violin he plays. This movie is a fun and kid-friendly way to introduce mysteries to the family. And the film features an excellent performance by Price as the nefarious rodent at the center of the plot.
Good Animation * G * 74 mins.