37 user 38 critic

Mystery Team (2009)

A group of former Encyclopedia Brown-style child-detectives struggle to solve an adult mystery.


Dan Eckman


D.C. Pierson (screenplay), Donald Glover (screenplay) | 6 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Glover ... Jason
D.C. Pierson ... Duncan
Dominic Dierkes ... Charlie
Aubrey Plaza ... Kelly
Glenn Kalison ... Robert
Peter Saati Peter Saati ... Leroy
Kay Cannon ... Destiny
Bobby Moynihan ... Jordy
Matt Walsh ... Jim
John Lutz ... Frank
Robbie Sublett ... Ricky Appleman
Tom Shillue ... Alan McGinty
Kevin Dotcom Brown ... Bouncer (as Kevin Brown)
Ellie Kemper ... Jamie
Jon Daly ... Greg


Three clueless high school nerds, best friends for years, call themselves the "Mystery Team" and solve neighborhood crimes - such as who poked a finger in a pie cooling on a window ledge - cute at seven but foolish at 18. Then, one morning, a young girl pays them a dime to find out who murdered her parents the night before and took her grandmother's ring. Using inept methods, the team lucks onto the trail of the bad guys. Can they bumble to success and a renewed reputation? And what about coming of age? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One big case. Zero clue.


Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude sexual content, nudity, language and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


During the strip club scene, in the background you can hear an early version of Childish Gambino's (Donald Glover's) song "Retro [Rough]" from his Kauai EP released in 2014. See more »


After Kelly leaves for the wake, Jason picks up a cell phone and selects a number. But then it calls a different number. See more »


Jason: She's really something, it's just... I'm no good with girls.
Frank: Oh, you're whipped!
[imitates whipping]
Jim: [interrupting] Frank! Sometimes I wish you didn't beat that cancer. I really do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The bear in the man's picture at the end of the movie is credited as "White Bear" - "Himself" See more »


The Stand
Written and Performed by Donald Glover and Chris Ward
See more »

User Reviews

Perfect and laugh-out-loud funny with great performances
8 February 2010 | by johnnymonsarratSee all my reviews

You have to see this movie.

"Mystery Team" is a parody of a phenomenon that was never itself a film: The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and especially Encyclopedia Brown.

They manage to walk the line -- like the first Austin Powers film -- so that it's neither too wacky so you can't believe it and don't care about the characters, but not too boring that it's not full of subtle interplay.

The main gag is the innocence of the boys, who are thrust into adult situations continually. It's all about the acting in this film, and kudos especially to "Donald Glover". Dressing like an outrageous hobo, for example, could come across as really stupid in a film with Jim Carrey or Rob Schneider, who play up their roles too much. Donald manages to do it consistently.

On top of that, there are a several delightful plot twists that you won't see coming. The film tries to balance the boys basically being incompetent with allowing them to succeed in a way that isn't too corny.

It's laugh-out-loud funny throughout, a genuine must-see if you like intelligent edgy comedies. Note, it's not really meant to be a kids film. There's a lot of raunchy humor.

I'll give Mystery Team a well-earned 9 out of 10. It just missed a 10 because the ending was good but not quite a classic.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

17 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mystery Team See more »

Filming Locations:

Manchester, New Hampshire, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,840, 30 August 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs





Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed