There are a few great things about winter: coffee, blankets and murder mysteries. No, not the gruesome type where people kill each other as if we are living in some dystopian world where everyone has become food for each other. I am talking about cozy, intelligent mysteries that push you to use the little, grey cells of your brain. Here is a list of some of my favorite mystery thrillers that didn't get as much attention as they deserved. However, you can enjoy them while sipping coffee at night and can still go to sleep without fearing of nightmares.
Starring Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, this 2015 mystery #thriller tells the story of a retired FBI agent Clancy (Hopkins), who uses his psychic abilities to catch killers. Jeffery Dean Morgan, a field agent and a father (not a zombie slayer in this movie) wants to bring Clancy back to catch a serial killer. Living as a recluse after a tragic demise of his young daughter, Hopkins was hesitant to return to his field work until he met Morgan's partner and foresaw something he didn't wish to see.
2. 'The Name Of The Rose'
As a big fan of period dramas, I was unable to resist including a historical mystery thriller in the list for two reasons: One, it has Sean Connery as the protagonist; second, it is a costume drama. Set in 14th century Italy, this movie revolves around mysterious deaths in an abbey, where people of that era believe to be caused by demonic events. As a non-conformist Catholic friar, Connery investigated the deaths — fully convinced they were suicides — only to find out that some holy man was getting away with murders.
3. 'The Box'
Imagine you get up in the morning and find a box on your doorstep with a big red button on it. If you push the button, you will get $1 million cash. However, there is a catch: If you push the button, someone will die. This is the plot of this 2009 mystery thriller, The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, The story is about typical moral dilemmas, questioning how far normal people will go to get rich and how immoral they can become for their personal benefit. As we all want to believe in having some divine justice in the world, this movie also teaches the lesson: You reap what you sow.
4. 'Inland Empire'
This 2006 movie is a fascinating tale of reality, fiction and fantasy all infused together. The story follows a talented, young, Hollywood actress named Nikki who lands a role in a movie that is a remake of a rumored to be cursed film. Although the movie was never finished (as both the lead actor and actresses were murdered), Nikki finds herself hallucinating about events that never happened and soon loses a sense of what is real and what is not.
In this 2009 movie, eight candidates apply for a highly prestigious job and are locked in a room for an "exam" where only one can get the job. There are three very simple rules: You cannot talk to the invigilator, you cannot spoil the paper and you cannot leave the room or you will be disqualified. However, there is one problem: The question paper is blank. To get the job, the candidates have to make sure that others are disqualified before the time runs out.
6. 'Gosford Park'
One old mansion, one rich host, party guests, and money is on everyone's mind.
In an on old English mansion, friends and relatives assemble to have a shooting party organized by a wealthy industrialist Mr. William McCordle. Mr. McCordle was financially supporting many of his friends, only to find out that one of them has murderous intent. What will police detectives do when the guests find Mr. McCordle in his library with a dagger in his chest and everyone — from guests to servants — has a motive?
7. 'The Raven'
This movie is a treat for the fans of Edgar Allan Poe. In 19th century Baltimore, an obsessive fan of Poe's literary work starts to kill people in the same way as described in his stories. The police have no other option except to call the writer himself to help them in solving the crime and catching the killer. The only thing Poe is not able to see is that solving murders might become affect his own fate as well.
This 2012 movie put great effort in gluing Poe's works together into a fine story with a satisfying explanation about the writer's own death, which has been a #mystery for last two centuries.
8. 'Tell No One'
This 2006 movie, based on a novel of the same name, was one of the best mystery thrillers of the year. The story tells of a pediatrician who is trying to recover from the tragedy of his wife's murder. Eight years later, more bodies are found in the same murder location and the doctor becomes the prime suspect in the ongoing investigation. He soon discovers that his wife is not entirely dead.
Starring Robin Williams, Al Pacino, and directed by Christopher Nolan — need I say more?
Al Pacino is a detective hunting for a pedophile and killer. His partner told him that he accepted an immunity deal in exchange of confession against Pacino. Soon after, Pacino "mistakenly" fires at his partner and kills him. The killer, Robin Williams, witnessed the shooting and offered Pacino a deal to pin the crime on someone else so they both can go free. Does Pacino accept the deal? Will he be able to free himself from the burden on his conscience?
10. 'Fermat's Room'
Four strangers, are invited by an unknown host into a room that is shrinking. The rules of the game are quite simple: Solve the puzzle and stay alive; cross the deadline and the walls will crush the inhabitants to death. The situation becomes intriguing when it turns out that the invitees are not strangers after all. Now, they must find the thread that connects them to each other and holds the clue to the identity of their host. This 2007 Spanish mystery thriller takes "think inside the box" to a whole new level.
Share your favorite mystery thrillers in the comment box below, but here is a condition: They have to be not so famous.