Please recommend tense investigative movies like Spotlight and Philomena
October 22, 2017 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I keep re-watching Spotlight and Philomena. I find them very compelling. I think it is the mix of mystery, drama, and how understated and real all the characters feel--plus very good acting. I would like to find more movies like these guys. Note: while they both center around the Catholic Church, that's not at all a preference. I consider that a coincidence rather than a particular draw. Does anyone have recommendations?

I also think part of the attraction might be they're more "external" types of dramas. That is, ones that aren't so much navel-gazing about the protagonist's feelings and how they relate to the human condition or centered on exploring the internal workings of a particular character. So no Wes Anderson.

Oh, and if there's documentaries that fit the bill then that works too!
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
"All the President's Men" is a classic in this genre, no?
posted by dismas at 4:17 PM on October 22, 2017 [11 favorites]

Erin Brockovich?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:42 PM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

The recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy would fit the mood, even though it's more of a spy mystery than a mystery mystery.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Secrets & Lies might fit the bill for you.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 5:06 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Friends of Eddie Coyle
posted by Jahaza at 5:29 PM on October 22, 2017

posted by octothorpe at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

A Civil Action

For this but with a left turn into crazytown, The Informant!
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:06 PM on October 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you want to get extra artsy, Caché is pretty great. It's in French.

Dirty Pretty Things is pretty remarkable too, and more accessible, structurally, and as well as being in English.
posted by mzurer at 7:39 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

genre busting minority report
three days of the condor
the odessa file
la confidential
no way out (so. eighties)

the big uneasy
chasing heroin
the good american
how to survive a plague
anthrax files
posted by j_curiouser at 7:42 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Documentary Serials:
The Making of a Murderer (Netflix)
The Jinx: (Robert Durst)

Podcast, in episodes: "Serial"
posted by SLC Mom at 8:29 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jack Lemmon did a couple of these types of films in the 70s - Missing and The China Syndrome. You might also like Klute.

Agree with All the President's Men.
posted by aquamvidam at 9:54 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Lives of Others
posted by shalom at 11:40 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Mortal Thoughts and The Secret in their Eyes (bother versions) may have more personal involvement by the characters than you want? I don't know but they are both good in other respects. Ditto Presumed Innocent, and the obscure but wonderful TV movie A Killing in a Small Town.
posted by BibiRose at 4:37 AM on October 23, 2017

A Few Good Men
posted by Room 641-A at 6:13 AM on October 23, 2017

Mindhunter, the new Netflix crime series is awesome! David Fincher is one of the producers and it reminds me a lot of Zodiac. Which is soooo good.
And seconding All the Presidents Men.
posted by shesbenevolent at 6:19 AM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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