Best Thriller Movies That’ll Give You A Dose Of Pure Suspense
Thrilling experiences are what some of us live for - be it some extreme sports or hiking to reach the limits of our ability, such affairs feed our soul and even alter our life. Some of us, though, prefer not to risk our lives for a similar adventure and get our thrills elsewhere, namely from watching thriller movies. So, if you’re looking for a dose of suspense, a dash of mind-bending story, and a bit of chills, you’ve come to the right place, for this is our selection of the best thriller movies to date.
From Alfred Hitchcock’s classics like Vertigo and Rear Window - the movies that shaped half of the modern-day ones - to newer, no less spine-tingling cinematic experiences like Nightcrawler, this list is highly unlikely to disappoint even the most prolific cinema connoisseur. All of these films will shake up your psyche and fuel just the right amount of paranoia in your evening movie-watching session. To sum it up - none of these movies are an easy watch, yet very worthy of the emotional turmoil for their artistic value.
So, grab a snack and scroll on down below to pick the best movie to watch from our thrillers list. They are, just, as usual, a bit further down and once you are there don’t forget to vote for the films you think to be the greatest. Also, it would be very kind of you to share this option of near-endless entertainment with your friends!
1958 | 2 hours 8 minutes | Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Vertigo is a mystery romance thriller following a former San Francisco police detective as he battles his inner demons and slowly falls for a stunningly mysterious woman he has been hired to stalk. It seems, though, that her mystique might be stemming from her being severely disturbed, and here’s where the plot twists fall one after the other. Vertigo has it all - a gripping story, stellar acting, and undeniably superior directing to tie it all up into a movie that’s known as probably the best thriller ever.
2000 | 1 hour 53 minutes | Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Memento, a mystery thriller movie, makes your brain sweat from the very first minute because of its non-linear narrative. You know, while half of the events did happen, others never happened, and some happened, but not at the time you think they did. Another confusing thing is that our protagonist Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) suffers from anterograde amnesia, which doesn’t help at all in his quest to find his wife’s killer. There’s plot twist after plot twist with warped memories guiding Leonard’s way. It is a very entertaining movie that will also give your brain the exercise it deserves.
1995 | 2 hours 7 minutes | Directed by David Fincher
Starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey
Se7en is a neo-noir psychological crime thriller film that tells the story of a rookie detective David Mills, who’s paired with the retiring William Somerset to track down a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as his killing motif. It’s a shocking, unbearably suspenseful movie that is as gothic as the Notre Dame cathedral. Se7en offers a very dark ride from the beginning right until the end, and we wish we’d never seen this movie so we could watch it again without knowing how it ends!
1954 | 1 hour 52 minutes | Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Rear Window is a mystery thriller film with events confined mostly to just one room and the view from its windows. The main protagonist here is a wheelchair-bound professional photographer who, having nothing better to do, spies on his neighbors from his apartment windows. In doing so, he witnesses a murder, and now he’s the only one who can stand for justice. Besides a truly suspenseful story and stellar acting, Rear Window also offers cinematography unlike anything else - the whole movie is an eyegasm of long takes and clever sets.
2014 | 2 hours 29 minutes | Directed by David Fincher
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Gone Girl is a psychological thriller by David Fincher based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. The action in this movie is set in Missouri, which isn’t really a state known for its mystique, but the nonchalant environment actually does make it all just a tiny bit creepier. The story itself follows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), who is the prime suspect in his wife’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. He claims that he loves her and would never hurt her, but all the evidence is pointing directly to him. On the other hand, Amy has some very different ideas about their relationship. It’s a twisty-turny story that will set its claws into you from the very first moment.
2006 | 2 hours 9 minutes | Directed by Spike Lee
Starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Inside Man is a heist thriller film centering on a Wall Street bank heist over a 24-hour period. However, this brilliant heist plan spirals down to a hostage situation, and now it is time for high-stakes negotiations between the robber, a police detective, and an upper-echelon broker. If Inside Man might seem like a polished example of the heist thriller genre, it is not - it is so much more! It’s a movie created with wit and intelligence, minding the value of suspense and the importance of breaking the rules.
The Silence Of The Lambs
1991 | 1h 58m | Directed by Jonathan Demme
Starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Ted Levine
The Silence Of The Lambs is a psychological horror-thriller that continues to be celebrated by movie lovers and critics alike. It remains the only one to have won Academy Awards in all of the top five categories – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. When it was released back in 1991, the critics praised its tense atmosphere, intelligent story, and exceptional performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, who played Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, respectively.
2010 | 1 hour 48 minutes | Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Black Swan is a psychological thriller following the story of a ballet dancer who starts to crumble under the mental and physical load that spurs the downfall of her mental health. The pressure of a new and important career role is the trigger for our dancer’s demise, and the way it is portrayed in Black Swan leaves your jaw hanging open in disbelief and shock. The story here does not shy away from mind-bending details and plot twists you wouldn’t expect in a million years, but that’s exactly what made this movie into one of the best thrillers ever.
2004 | 1 hour 41 minutes | Directed by Brad Anderson
Starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon
The Machinist is a psychological thriller film by Brad Anderson, starring Christian Bale, who underwent a drastic change for the role by losing 62 pounds (28 kg). That, of course, isn’t the sole factor why this movie and Bale’s acting is so impressive, as this movie will give you a dose of sickening unease. Bale here is the titular character, a machinist who hasn’t slept for a year. After spending this much time without proper shut-eye, his mind starts playing nasty tricks on him, causing him endless paranoia and delusions. And you know what, this movie will not leave you doubting the fact that the human mind is truly the scariest matter on Earth.
2014 | 1 hour 57 minutes | Directed by Dan Gilroy
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is a neo-noir psychological thriller marking the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy. The movie follows Louis Bloom - a con man desperate for work and successfully managing to muscle his way into the world of L.A. crime journalism. In the process, Louis either loses his mind a bit or figures out life as the line between an observer and participant starts to fade, and now it is his story that’s the most important. Nightcrawler is a chilling antihero story that’ll leave you spellbound with its sleek visuals and deeper ideas lurking just beneath the surface.