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Binge-watching TV shows is great fun, but sometimes you just want the concentrated pleasure of watching a story told in roughly 90 to 120 minutes – and sometimes, you want that story to be a British mystery. We've gathered up some of the best British mystery movies of the last 20-25 years, along with all the details on where you can watch. Bring on the dark and stormy nights!
British Mystery Movies for a Dark & Stormy Night
Gosford Park – In 1932, a hunting party gathers for a weekend at a country estate, but as we all know – that's practically asking for a murder. This modern classic British mystery was written by Julian Fellowes (aka Lord Kilwillie of Monarch of the Glen & writer of Downton Abbey). Major British celebrities like Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, and Laurence Fox all make appearances in Gosford Park. Stream it HERE
Bees Make Honey – A country manor, murder, and a killer on the loose – this film has all the classic mystery ingredients with a few modern extras. This film tells the story of a widow who brings her wealthy friends together to help her solve her husband's murder. British TV fans will likely recognize Trevor Eve from A Discovery of Witches, Unforgotten, Death Comes to Pemberley, and perhaps even Shoestring. Stream it HERE
The Little Stranger – Set in 1948 England, this movie focuses on a country doctor as he's drawn into the mystery of what's haunting the inhabitants of a decaying country estate. Luther fans are sure to notice Ruth Wilson as Caroline Ayres. You can stream it HERE
Exteriors were filmed at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire, which you can visit if you're ever in the area on an open day. They have a large dollshouse exhibition, afternoon tea, and river boat trips, among other delights.
Haunted – Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale star in this film about a skeptical professor's investigations into paranormal phenomena on a British country estate. Sadly, this movie is not streaming anywhere and it's quite rare – but you can find copies on eBay HERE.
Much of the filming for this movie was done at Parham Estate in Pulborough, West Sussex.
Genova, aka A Summer in Genoa – After his wife dies, a man moves to Italy with his two daughters. It's not long before the youngest daughter starts seeing the ghost of her mother. Colin Firth stars. DVD HERE
The Falling – In 1969, Abbie and Lydia attend a strict English girls' school. After a tragedy, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out in the school. Stream it HERE
The primary filming location for this movie was the Carmel College abandoned Jewish boarding school in rural Oxfordshire. You can check out some neat exploration photos HERE.
Altar – A family moves into a beautiful Victorian home with the goal of renovating it, but what they don't realize is that the previous owner murdered his wife – and they may not be entirely alone on the property. You can stream it HERE or HERE on Tubi.
This movie was filmed at Brodsworth Hall, an English Heritage property in South Yorkshire.
Agatha and the Truth of Murder – In 1936, Agatha Christie disappeared suddenly and without a trace. This movie proposes an alternate history for what might have happened in the days she was missing. Streaming on Netflix
Widow's Peak – This 1994 British-Irish film is set in the 1920s and focuses on a neighbourhood known as “Widow's Peak” due to the marital status of many of its residents. Line of Duty fans will notice a much younger Adrian Dunbar appearing alongside Mia Farrow, Dame Joan Plowright, and the late Natasha Richardson.
The film was shot on location in the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, and Kilkenney, so its worth a watch for the scenery alone. Stream it HERE
Scoop – Scoop is often described as a romantic crime comedy, and it certainly does include all of those elements. Set in London, the story begins when an American journalism student in London (Scarlett Johansson) scoops a big story and begins an affair with a wealthy aristocrat (Hugh Jackman).
Scoop also includes appearances from Ian McShane (Lovejoy), Julian Glover (Game of Thrones), and Anthony Head (The Split). In spite of the star-studded cast, it received mixed reviews from both audiences and critics. Rent it HERE or watch on Netflix
Simon Magus – This slightly nontraditional mystery was filmed in Wales and England, and it revolves around a Jewish man who wants to acquire some land for a rail station to help revive his community. The portrayed location is Central/Eastern Europe, and the film has elements of magic mixed in with the story and its mystery.
Simon Magus is not quite a story about anti-semitism, and it's not quite a story about a scorned Jew dealing with the devil. There's a lot going on here, and it's definitely a unique film. Available HERE on DVD
Mr. Holmes – Ian McKellen stars in this film about an elderly Sherlock Holmes who hopes to solve one last mystery before he leaves this mortal plane. He quietly slips out of retirement to investigate a case that's haunted him for 50 years. Stream it HERE
Magic in the Moonlight – This film is more rom-com than mystery, but it does have a hint of the mysterious. An English gentleman is brought in to debunk a fake psychic, and things get complicated. Stream it: US | UK
The Reckoning – This British-Spanish murder mystery focuses on a priest on the run and a band of traveling actors who try to solve a murder by acting it out in a play. It's set during medieval times, and it was filmed in Wales, England, and Spain.
The film features a relatively early appearance from Tom Hardy alongside Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe. Stream it HERE
The Prestige – This period thriller set in Edwardian London was written by Christopher Nolan and follows two rival magicians at the end of the 19th century. Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and David Bowie all star.
What's Your Favorite Scary British Movie?
Have you seen any/all of these British mysteries and thrillers? Are you planning to watch any? Did we miss any good ones? Do share in the comments!
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