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Thursday Movie Picks: Private Eye

Thursday Movie Picks

Does anyone else find that the Thursday Movie Picks weeks they think are going to be the easiest, turn out to be the hardest? This week’s theme is Private Eye, and I love a good detective thriller, but as I scrolled and scrolled through my film diary it turns out most of the ones I’ve seen are to do with police departments rather than private detectives.

That said, I still found 3 good picks for this week – but I’m really excited to see everyone else’s as I know I’ll be adding a lot to my watch list! As always, let me remind you that Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Check out the schedule and join us if you don’t already!

Without further ado, here are my 3 favourite movies featuring private detectives…


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

When a family member disappears without a trace 40 years ago, her uncle suspects murder and hires a journalist and hacker to act as private detectives. It’s based on a book which is an excellent read and although the 2011 remake by David Fincher is still a very good movie, the 2009 original is far better. It’s darker, grittier, and stays truer to its source material. I haven’t seen the very latest one yet but I know it can’t be as good.


Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Based on the classic Agatha Christie novel, Murder on the Orient Express is arguably a bit style over substance, but it’s a fun watch regardless! When a murder occurs on the train he’s a passenger on, detective Hercule Poirot is hired to solve the case. I haven’t read the book to know how accurate the adaptation is, and although I wouldn’t say its a very in-depth mystery, it makes a good Saturday night with a takeout movie.


Gone Baby Gone (2007)

If you’re looking for a detective story that’s darker and packs an emotional punch, look no further than Gone Baby Gone. Directed by Ben Affleck, it’s the story of how a 4-year-old girl goes missing, how the local cops are helpless in trying to solve the case, and how the girl’s aunt hires 2 private detectives as her last resort. The movie’s tagline is “Everyone wants the truth…until they find it”, which I think is perfect.

14 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Private Eye

  1. great picks Allie! LOVE GBG, it’s great. too bad they never made more films from those stories cause Affleck and Monaghan are superb as the detective partners


  2. All great choices IMO! Murder on the Orient Express was entertaining enough. I think I enjoyed it because of the overall cast more than anything else.


  3. I picked Gone Baby Gone too. I wasn’t aware of the tagline but yeah it is perfect.

    I have read Murder on the Orient Express and did not like it. I am not a fan of the type of detective stories where at the end the detective present all his findings and reveal who the guilty person is in front of ALL the characters/suspects, which I’m guessing is how all the Hercule Poirot novels go and this is probably just the old fashion way of telling a detective story. Anyway, still I am curious how the adaptation turn out.


  4. Yay, I know two of the movies you picked today! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so interesting, I enjoyed the book and both adaptations. The Murder on the Orient Express movie is also really cool, I liked it even more than the novel.


  5. I haven’t seen this version of Dragon Tattoo just the American remake which I found entertaining.

    I was woefully disappointed in this dour version of Murder on the Orient Express but absolutely adore the 70’s one with Albert Finney as Poirot and a cast full of legends in the other roles including Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall and Sean Connery. It’s not only entertaining but a stylistic dream.

    I’ve only seen it the once but did like Gone, Baby Gone.

    I also love a good PI movie and turned to where I knew there would be a treasure trove of them, film noir and its descendants. I could have done 20 just from that genre but manage to whittle down to a top 4.

    The Maltese Falcon (1941)-Private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) takes on the case of the beautiful, secretive Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor). When Miss Wonderly is revealed to be Brigid O’Shaughnessy trouble begins. Sam’s partner is murdered and he is accosted by Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) who demands he locate a valuable statuette which is being pursued by others including the Fat Man (Sydney Greenstreet). Entangled in a dangerous web of crime and intrigue Sam soon realizes he must find the one thing they all seem to want: the bejeweled Maltese falcon. This fourth version of the story is proof that remakes aren’t necessarily bad things but you should stop once you get it right.

    Murder, My Sweet (1944)-P.I. Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is working what he thinks are two minor cases but suddenly someone is dead and he discovers they are dangerously connected. As he is drawn deeper into a complex web of machinations by the mysterious Helen Grayle (Claire Trevor), Marlowe finds his own life in increasing jeopardy.

    Harper (1966)-Struggling private eye Lew Harper (Paul Newman) takes a simple missing-person case that quickly spirals into something much more convoluted. Elaine Sampson (Lauren Bacall), recently paralyzed in a horse-riding accident, wants Harper to find her missing oil baron husband, but her stormy teenage stepdaughter Miranda (Pamela Tiffin) thinks Mrs. Sampson knows more than she’s letting on. Fun detective film with Newman at his coolest and a loaded supporting cast-beside Bacall it includes Julie Harris, Shelley Winters, Janet Leigh and Robert Wagner.

    Chinatown (1974)-When Los Angeles private eye J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband’s activities he believes it’s a routine infidelity case. Jake’s investigation soon becomes anything but routine when he meets the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and realizes he was hired by an imposter. Mr. Mulwray’s sudden death sets Gittes on a tangled trail of corruption, deceit and sinister family secrets as Evelyn’s father (John Huston) becomes a suspect in the case. Dark, complex and twisted with amazing performances and flawless direction by Roman Polanski this is a great film.


  6. Nice picks!

    I need to watch the original Swedish Lisbeth Salander movies. I did not like the Fincher one (strayed too far from the books), but the books I loved. Gone Baby Gone also comes from a fantastic PI series that is well worth checking out to read if ever you want it. I quite enjoyed that too.

    Solid choices all round!


      1. It is! It’s a series by Dennis Lehane – his work is good. That book is more intense than what the movie delivered (though that doesn’t necessarily make the movie bad). Enjoy!


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