19 Must-Watch Movies Like M: Crime, Mystery, and Thrills!

M is a gripping crime, mystery, and thriller that has captivated audiences with its intense storyline. If you're a fan of this German masterpiece, we've got you covered with a list of 20 must-watch movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From dark crime dramas to mind-bending mysteries, these films will leave you craving for more suspense and thrills. Get ready to dive into a world of intrigue and join the hunt for justice with these captivating cinematic gems.

1) The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

"The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog" takes us back to the silent era of filmmaking with its atmospheric storytelling. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this early work showcases his talent for creating suspense and building tension. The film revolves around a landlady who suspects that her new lodger may be the serial killer terrorizing London. As the story unfolds, we are drawn into a web of suspicion and fear, unsure of the lodger's true intentions. The film's quality has stood the test of time, despite a few scratches here and there. The addition of music, although at times overdone, adds a dramatic effect and fills the silence that was once filled by a pianist playing below the screen. Hitchcock's signature style is evident in the lodger's shifty eyes, his pacing, and his silent nighttime excursions. The atmosphere created in the film is exceptional, with its theatrical elements and compelling performances.

Release date: February, 1927
IMDB Rating: 7.3

2) Smiley

Smiley, reminiscent of M, takes the audience on a journey into the mind of a disturbed individual. While M focuses on the manhunt for a child murderer, Smiley delves into the urban legend of a demented serial killer. Both movies explore the themes of paranoia and the fear of becoming the next victim. However, the similarities end there. M, a cinematic masterpiece from 1931, captivates with its stunning performances and impressive cinematography. The black and white visuals, along with the absence of direct murder scenes, create a chilling ambiance and heighten the suspense. On the other hand, Smiley, released in 2012, fails to live up to its potential. The concept of a "viral killer" is poorly executed, and the acting leaves much to be desired. Unlike M, which is an unforgettable and challenging experience, Smiley falls short in delivering a captivating storyline and memorable characters.

Release date: October, 2012
IMDB Rating: 3.4

3) The Lost Man

The Lost Man: After years of dreary labor in Hollywood as a professional "evil foreigner," Lorre went home to Germany to write, direct and star in this dark, dreamlike narrative in which he plays the ultimate Peter Lorre character: a Nazi mad doctor sex murderer. The film is an ironic commentary by Lorre, the reluctant impersonator of psychopaths, on the nature of true psychopathology as embodied in the amoral Nazi regime. It's also an ingenious melding of the sort of B-film noir that Lorre had specialized in for years as an actor (Maltese Falcon, Stranger on the Third Floor, Quicksand) and the impressionistic Nouvelle Roman/Nouvelle Vague influenced art film just picking up steam on the continent (shades of Orpheus, Wild Strawberries, and Last Year at Marienbad can be seen in its shadowy enfolding of past/present and dream/reality.

Release date: September, 1951
IMDB Rating: 7

4) Mindcage

Mindcage: When a copycat strikes, two detectives ask a top serial killer for help. This movie is like a homage to "M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder." While "M" is a cinematic masterpiece that delves into the mind of a psychotic child murderer, "Mindcage" explores the gripping world of copycat killers. Both films revolve around the cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and criminals. However, "Mindcage" takes a different approach by introducing a top serial killer as an ally to the detectives. This twist adds an intriguing dynamic to the story, raising questions about trust and collaboration. Despite its similarities to "M," "Mindcage" stands on its own as a thrilling crime drama with its own unique twists and turns. If you enjoyed the psychological intensity of "M," you'll be captivated by the suspenseful world of "Mindcage.

Release date: December, 2022
IMDB Rating: 4.5

5) The Murderer Lives at Number 21

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 is a delightful comedy/mystery/thriller that takes place in a Paris boarding house, making it reminiscent of the German classic M. While M explores the dark and terrifying world of a child murderer, The Murderer Lives at Number 21 takes a lighter approach with a cool detective, Inspector Wens, moving into the boarding house to catch a serial killer. Both films deal with the theme of serial killers, but in different tones. M is a serious and intense film, focusing on the paranoia and manhunt surrounding the murderer, while The Murderer Lives at Number 21 brings fresh air to the claustrophobic space of Vichy cinema with its light-hearted and comedic elements. Despite their differences, both films captivate audiences with their unique takes on the genre, making The Murderer Lives at Number 21 a must-watch for fans of M who are looking for a more lighthearted and charming approach to the subject matter.

Release date: October, 1943
IMDB Rating: 7.3

6) Fashion Model

Fashion Model is reminiscent of M because both movies fall under the genres of Crime, Mystery, and Thriller. However, while M is hailed as a cinematic masterpiece, Fashion Model is a more lighthearted and cheap murder-mystery film. M dives deep into the mind of a psychotic child murderer, capturing the terror and complexity of the situation. On the other hand, Fashion Model follows the story of a stockboy who is wrongly accused of killing a fashion model, and he teams up with another model to find the real killer. Despite its shortcomings, Fashion Model can still provide some entertainment for fans of "B" movies, with its over-the-top comic relief and a decent mystery plot. So, if you're in the mood for a lighter crime film with a touch of comedy, Fashion Model might be worth a watch.

Release date: March, 1945
IMDB Rating: 5.2

7) She-Wolf of London

She-Wolf of London is reminiscent of M, the German masterpiece from 1931. Both movies fall under the genres of Crime, Mystery, and Thriller, and share key topics such as serial killers and paranoia. However, while M delves into the mind of a psychotic child murderer, She-Wolf of London explores the curse and ghastly murders committed by a young heiress under the influence of a family curse. M is known for its exceptional performances, particularly Peter Lorre's chilling portrayal of the disturbed murderer. On the other hand, She-Wolf of London features June Lockhart in an early role and Martin Kosleck in an ambivalent rather than an evil role. The plot of M is complex and suspenseful, while She-Wolf of London is relatively easy to figure out after about fifteen minutes. Despite their differences, both movies captivate the viewer with their unique takes on crime and mystery, making She-Wolf of London a worthwhile watch for fans of M.

Release date: May, 1946
IMDB Rating: 5.2

8) Haunted

Haunted is a series that will remind you of M. Both involve a protagonist dealing with the aftermath of a serial killer's deeds. However, while M takes place in a German city during the 1930s, Haunted is set in the present day United States. M focuses on the manhunt for a child murderer, while Haunted follows an ex-cop who gains the ability to see and communicate with the ghosts of murdered people. Both movies explore the psychological toll of these events on their protagonists, but Haunted adds a supernatural twist. While M is a cinematic masterpiece, Haunted offers a captivating and creepy drama that will keep you engaged throughout its season. So if you enjoyed the intensity and suspense of M, Haunted is definitely worth watching for its unique blend of crime, horror, and drama.

Release date: September, 2002
IMDB Rating: 7.1

9) Wire in the Blood

Wire in the Blood, first of all, showcases the excellent acting skills of the charismatic Robson Green. For a mystery/suspense thriller, this series easily surpasses virtually all shows in the genre. The plots are taut and well-written, with each episode involving murder, providing a focus that keeps you hooked. The British setting and actors add a faintly exotic and alluring touch, drawing viewers into the action. The standout performance of Green makes his fellow actors elevate their performances. His character, a psychologist who teaches at a university, solves the murders using his intelligence, training, and experience, which adds an interesting dimension to the show. Wire in the Blood offers an unusually high level of tension and suspense, often only seen in movies. While the violent and gruesome scenes are few, they are minimally sanitized and contextually justified. The show reflects the reality of violence and destructive sexuality, accurately portraying what homicide detectives see in the real world.

Release date: May, 2020
IMDB Rating: 8.3

10) ¿Es usted el asesino?

¿Es usted el asesino? is a thrilling crime series that bears a striking resemblance to M, the classic German film from 1931. Both movies explore the theme of a serial killer terrorizing a city, and the subsequent manhunt to catch the perpetrator. While M delves into the psychological aspects of the murderer and the paranoia that grips the community, ¿Es usted el asesino? takes a different approach by focusing on the investigation and the mysterious killings. Despite the time difference between the two films, they both manage to create a tense and suspenseful atmosphere that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. ¿Es usted el asesino? is a must-watch for fans of crime and thriller genres, as it offers a fresh take on the familiar subject matter introduced by M.

Release date: August, 1967
IMDB Rating: 8.3

11) Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer

Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer: A killer who uses a knife is knocking off guests at a hotel in London's Soho district. A police detective is sent to investigate. While the main_movie "M" takes place in a German city and focuses on the manhunt for a child-murderer, Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer brings a similar crime element by featuring a serial killer who uses a knife to kill hotel guests. Both movies fall under the Crime, Mystery, and Thriller genres, creating suspense and intrigue. However, the similarities end there. "M" is a cinematic masterpiece with deep characters, exceptional performances, and a focus on the psychological aspects of the killer. On the other hand, Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer is a more old-fashioned and routine film that provides good entertainment without delving into the depth and complexity of "M".

Release date: February, 1962
IMDB Rating: 5.7

12) Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds is reminiscent of M in its exploration of crime and the pursuit of a killer. Both works delve into the dark and twisted minds of criminals, providing an intriguing and suspenseful narrative. While M focuses on a child murderer and the manhunt for him, Criminal Minds follows a group of criminal profilers who use behavioral analysis to investigate crimes and catch the unsub (unknown subject). The similarities lie in their shared themes of murder, serial killers, and the psychological aspects of crime. However, the differences between the two are also notable. M is a cinematic masterpiece that takes place in 1930s Germany, while Criminal Minds is a contemporary American TV series. M is a feature film with a runtime of 7020 seconds, whereas Criminal Minds is a series with episodes averaging 2520 seconds.

Release date: September, 2005
IMDB Rating: 8.1

13) The Zombie Walks

The Zombie Walks is reminiscent of M, as both movies fall under the crime, mystery, and thriller genres. However, their execution and impact differ greatly. Released in 1931, M is a cinematic masterpiece that delves into the mind of a psychotic child murderer. The film's stunning performances, led by Peter Lorre, and the depth given to its characters make it an intriguing journey. M captures the chaos and terror of a German city, where the police and criminals join forces in a manhunt. The movie's black and white cinematography, along with its suspenseful atmosphere, creates a moody ambiance that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. In contrast, The Zombie Walks, released in 1968, is a hilarious gem in the realm of bad movies. From the killer's skull mask to the cheesy melodrama effects, everything about it is extremely funny.

Release date: April, 1968
IMDB Rating: 5.9

14) The College Girl Murders

The College Girl Murders is reminiscent of M in its thrilling and suspenseful plot. Both movies revolve around the hunt for a serial killer, but they take different approaches to the subject matter. While M delves deep into the mind of a psychotic child murderer and focuses on the manhunt, The College Girl Murders takes a more action-packed and fast-paced approach. It is a cross between the Dr. Mabuse films and 60's pop thrillers like Batman and the Man from UNCLE, with an outrageous villain who dons a stylish monk's habit and uses a deadly whip to break the necks of his victims. The College Girl Murders also adds a touch of political incorrectness, with lecherous middle-aged professors and cops fondling their hot-to-trot secretaries. The visual flamboyance of Alfred Vohrer's direction and the lurid color cinematography make the movie visually striking.

Release date: August, 1967
IMDB Rating: 6.2

15) The Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler is reminiscent of M, but with some notable differences. Both movies fall within the crime, mystery, and thriller genres, and revolve around a series of brutal murders that spark a manhunt. However, while M is set in 1930s Germany and focuses on a child murderer, The Boston Strangler takes place in 1960s Boston and centers around a serial killer with a split personality.
In terms of style, M is a black and white cinematic masterpiece that uses stunning performances and distinct cinematography to create a moody and suspenseful atmosphere. On the other hand, The Boston Strangler utilizes the technique of double screen, particularly in the scene where Albert De Salvo is being chased through the streets of Boston, to heighten the tension and add a unique visual element to the film.
In terms of cast, both movies feature exceptional actors.

Release date: October, 1968
IMDB Rating: 7.1

16) Shivaji Surathkal 2

Shivaji Surathkal 2: Five years have passed since Shivaji Surathkal cracked the infamous Ranagiri case. Haunted by the death of his wife, Shivaji investigates a new murder case and discovers a connection between the victim, the murderer and himself. This movie has all the potential to go Pan India as it connects everyone. Apart from crime thrill it also has emotional part of it. It can be compared to Chup movie but love the way of making it. Direction, Acting, Editing, Music are top notch, rest all the goes well for the movie. Very subtle humor at times gives a good feel, Song was not needed for the movie but it relaxes ur brain by giving some gap. Very good package movie. Can't say it is better than the part 1 but definately you can see improvements in Protogonist mannerisms and twists.

Release date: April, 2023
IMDB Rating: 8.7

17) No Way to Treat a Lady

No Way to Treat a Lady takes us on a thrilling ride as a crafty serial killer, Christopher Gill, plays a game of cat-and-mouse with a harried police detective trying to track him down. Just like in M, where the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, both movies explore the theme of a relentless manhunt for a killer. However, while M delves into the dark and sinister mind of a psychotic child murderer, No Way to Treat a Lady takes a more comedic approach, with Gill changing disguises and targeting middle-aged women. The film offers a fascinating character study of a fictional psychopath, consistent with expert profiling of real-life serial killers. Apart from its intriguing storyline, No Way to Treat a Lady boasts well-written dialogue, good cinematography, and attention to detail in costumes and production design. Rod Steiger's outstanding performance as the serial killer is a standout, making the film worth watching.

Release date: March, 1968
IMDB Rating: 7

18) Poe

Imagine if the classic film "M" took a trip to Los Angeles and got a taste for slasher horror. Well, that's exactly what you get with "Poe." While "M" delves into the mind of a psychotic child murderer, "Poe" introduces us to Dr. Andrew Casey, a serial killer known as "The Chef." Both films explore the dark and twisted world of serial killers, but where "M" focuses on the manhunt and the paranoia that ensues, "Poe" takes us on a journey with a rehabilitated killer as he resumes his spree of killings and cannibalism. While "M" is a masterpiece of visual drama, "Poe" embraces its low-budget indie roots, with some scenes being amateurishly out of focus. But don't let that deter you, because "Poe" still manages to keep your attention with its intriguing characters and the cool-looking house of "The Chef.

Release date: June, 2012
IMDB Rating: 2.7

19) Durham County

Durham County is reminiscent of M because both movies revolve around a serial killer. However, while M takes place in a German city and focuses on the manhunt for the child murderer, Durham County is set in a suburban neighborhood and follows Detective Mike Sweeney as he hunts a serial killer who he believes is his neighbor. The two movies differ in their time periods, with M being released in 1931 and Durham County in 2007. M is a cinematic masterpiece from the early days of cinema, while Durham County is a gripping TV series that combines action, crime, drama, mystery, and thriller genres. Despite their differences, both movies provide a deep exploration of the psychological effects of living in fear and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones. If you enjoyed M, you should definitely watch Durham County for a modern twist on the serial killer genre.

Release date: May, 2007
IMDB Rating: 7.3

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