ByDanielle Ghazi, writer at
Sudoku enthusiast with an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Simpsons quotes.
Danielle Ghazi

Are you a movie buff with an encyclopaedia of film knowledge up your sleeve? Do you have a knack for solving cryptic puzzles? Are you a skilled procrastinator? If you tick one or all of these boxes, then prepare to be sucked into the greatest vortex of cryptic film puzzles to ever exist.

From interactive maps to stylised paintings, these games are all designed to put your film knowledge to the test, and maybe bring your ego down a couple of notches.

Warning: you may find yourself losing track of time and falling deeper and deeper into a Gollum-like state as you scour through each puzzle.

M&M's '50 Dark Movies Hidden In A Painting'

One of the first - if not the first - interactive canvas film games, M&M's released their 'Dark Movie' canvas back in 2006 in conjunction with their dark chocolate range of M&M's. Created in the style of Hieronymus Bosch, the game is a treat for lovers of both art and horror films. The game allows you to save your progress and zoom in and out, which is extremely helpful for reaching those smaller images you would otherwise skip over.

The game is no longer available on the official site, but you can play it here instead.

Empire's 'Cryptic Canvas'

Back in 2009, Empire released their 'Cryptic Canvas', an impressive painting consisting of 50 film references from the last 20 years (starting from 2009). With the freedom to save your game and zoom in for those hard to decipher clues, the interactive Cryptic Canvas strikes a good balance between simple and tricky, but should be a breeze for movie buffs (just pay close attention to smaller details on larger objects).

Unfortunately the Canvas is no longer available on Empire's site, but you can still play it on Sporcle, however it is no longer interactive and now features a 20 minute timer.

PopCorn Garage

Created in 2015 as a collaborative effort between Priska and Romain Zitouni, PopCorn Garage features 66 movie titles hidden within a messy garage. Of course, the messier the setting, the harder the game, so prepare to spend a while squinting at the screen and racking your brain for the name of that movie you watched one time a decade ago.

PopCorn Garage is interactive, however unlike the previously listed games, this one has a "three strikes and you're out" rule, so make sure that you're certain before you take a guess. It also doesn't allow you to zoom in, which will likely frustrate you to no end. You can play it here.

Daily Mail's 'Fifty Hidden Movie Titles'

Jumping on the movie canvas bandwagon in 2010, Daily Mail released their own film picture quiz, created by Phil Argent and featuring fifty film references, some of which will leave you stumped. The quiz is only the above image, so don't expect any slick zooms or text boxes for your answers to appear - this requires nothing other than your film knowledge and a pen and paper. For a larger image, check out the Daily Mail website.

Cinebuzz's '50 Hidden Movie Titles'

In 2009, Cinebuzz, a branch of Australian cinema giant, Greater Union Organisation, released a minute-long advertisement created by Yukfoo Animation of 50 hidden movie titles, which played in cinemas before the start of a movie. The clip moves at a relatively fast pace but still gives you enough time to figure each reference out, with more than one film reference often appearing on screen at the same time.

The clues are less cryptic than the other games and are instead literal references to the films. You can watch the clip here on Yukfoo's website.

LoveFilm's '100 Movies'

In 2006, LoveFilm created what they called the "ultimate film desktop", featuring 100 cryptic movie titles (though some are more literal than others). With so much going on in the image, figuring out each reference and keeping track of all the ones you've missed can be a little tricky, but it's worth killing some time on. You can find a larger print of the picture to zoom in on here.

LoveFilm's '100 Movies Part Two'

The follow up to LoveFilm's popular first installment, you can play this one on Sporcle, which means you can type up and enter your answers while the clock counts down from 10 minutes.

If playing against a timer isn't your thing, here's a higher resolution image of the puzzle so you can play stress-free.

Stella Artois: 20 Classic Films

Back in 2005, beer brand Stella Artois, made a move to promote their "Live Film" campaign, which encouraged their drinkers to enter into competitions where they could win DVDs, film premiere tickets, and even a holiday to San Francisco. They released three images as a part of the competition, portraying regular outdoor English scenes disrupted by 20 references to classic films.

The link to the above 'Town' image can be found here, 'Beach' here, and 'Park' here. Unlike the more literal references in some of the other puzzles, the references here are far more cryptic and you may spend slightly longer on all three images than you would like to.


Which game is your favourite?


Latest from our Creators