Best 50 thriller movies of all time to watch now

Looking for some stress buster movies? Here are the best thriller movies from grim, grinning ghosts, to serial killers, to brainwashed pawns.

Updated on Aug 02, 2022 02:19 PM IST  |  228.7K
Best 50 thriller movies of all time to watch now
Best 50 thriller movies of all time to watch now

The most fearless of movie fans should only watch thrillers. Thriller movies are filled with conflict, surprise turns, and tension that keep you on the edge of your seat rather than the blood and gore of many horror movies. Better yet, watching psychological thriller films can make a spectator question their reality while inflicting them with worry, terror, and uncertainty. For this reason, we've put up a list of the top 50 thriller movies you should watch, all of which will have you biting your nails.

Best thriller movies that will make you question everything are:

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman is forced to watch one of the best Netflix psychological thriller films as the Joker terrorizes Gotham and puts his capacity for justice-fighting to the test physically.

IMDb Rating: 9.0/10

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

2. Inception (2010)

In this thriller movie, a burglar who uses dream-sharing technology to steal company secrets is assigned the opposite assignment of planting an idea in the mind of a C.E.O., but his sad history could doom the project and his team to failure.

IMDb Rating: 8.8/10

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

3. Seven (1995)

A novice and an experienced detective are on the prowl for a serial killer who is motivated by the seven deadly sins.

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Directed by: David Fincher

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

In this psychological thriller film, a young F.B.I. cadet must enlist the assistance of a manipulative and imprisoned cannibal killer in order to help find another serial killer who skins his victims.

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

5. Parasite (2019)

The newly established symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the impoverished Kim clan is threatened by greed and class prejudice.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Song Kang-ho, Sun-kyun Lee, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik

Directed by: Bong Joon Ho

6. The Prestige (2006)

Following a tragic catastrophe, two stage magicians in 1890s London participated in a competition to conjure the greatest deception while giving up everything to deceive one another.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

7. The Departed (2006)

While joining an Irish gang in South Boston, an undercover police officer and a police mole make an effort to identify one another in one of the thriller movies on Netflix.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

8. The Usual Suspects (1995)

A lone survivor recounts the twisting sequence of events in this suspense thriller that started when five criminals met at an apparently chance police lineup and culminated in a terrible gun battle on a boat.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Directed by: Bryan Singer

9. Leon (1994)

After her family is killed, 12-year-old Mathilda is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a hired killer. As she becomes his protege and learns the assassin's trade, an unexpected bond develops.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Directed by: Luc Besson

10. Psycho (1960)

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from the client of her work, flees, and checks into a rural hotel run by a young man who is under the mother's control.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

11. Rear Window (1954)

Despite his fashion-model girlfriend's doubts, a wheelchair-bound photographer observes his neighbors from the window of his courtyard apartment in Greenwich Village and becomes sure that one of them has committed murder.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

12. Joker (I) (2019)

A mentally unstable stand-up comedian starts a downward trajectory that produces a famous villain.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

Directed by: Todd Phillips

13. The Lives of Others (2006)

An East Berlin secret police agent who was watching a writer and his sweetheart in 1984 finds himself becoming more and more engrossed in their life.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

14. Oldboy (2003)

Oh Dae-Su is liberated after spending fifteen years in captivity, only to learn that he has five days to track out his kidnapper.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Kim Byeong-Ok

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

15. Memento (2000)

A guy with short-term memory loss tries to find the person who killed his wife.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

16. Come and See (1985)

A little child joins the Soviet resistance organization against merciless German forces after discovering an old firearm, and he endures the horrors of World War II.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Directed by: Elem Klimov

17. Aliens (1986)

Officer Ripley awakens from hypersleep fifty-seven years after surviving a catastrophic attack by ruthless space animals aboard her space craft and tries to warn everyone who will listen about the predators.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Directed by: James Cameron

18. High and Low (1963)   

The son of the executive of a Yokohama shoe firm is unintentionally abducted and held for ransom, turning him into a victim of extortion.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa

19. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)  

In a murder trial that is full of unexpected twists and turns, a seasoned British attorney must defend his client.

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester

Directed by: Billy Wilder

20. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

When a simple jewelry heist goes wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant in the psychological thriller movies.

IMDb Rating: 8./310

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

21. North by Northwest (1959)

After a bunch of foreign spies mistake him for a government agent, a New York City advertising executive flees and falls in love with a woman whose loyalty he starts to suspect.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

22. Vertigo (1958)

An ex-SFPD detective struggles with his troubles while also becoming fixated on the mesmerizingly attractive woman he has been hired to track down—a woman who may be really deranged.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

23. Double Indemnity (1944)

An appealing housewife manages to lure a Los Angeles insurance agent into a murderous insurance fraud plot, raising the suspicion of his coworker, an insurance investigator.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Directed by: Billy Wilder

24. M (1931)

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Starring: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Directed by: Fritz Lang

25. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

A retired lawyer publishes a book in an effort to put one of his old unresolved murder cases and his unrequited love for his superior, both of which still bother him decades later, to rest.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Carla Quevedo

Directed by: Juan José Campanella

26. Shutter Island (2010)

For the criminally insane thriller movies on Netflix, a U.S. Marshal looks into the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital in 1954.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

27. No Country for Old Men (2007)

The hunter finds a botched drug deal and more over $2 million in cash close to the Rio Grande, which leads to chaos and violence.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

28. V for Vendetta (2006)

In a dismal future civilization in Britain, a mysterious freedom fighter going by the alias "V" plans to topple the oppressive regime with the aid of a young woman.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Directed by: James McTeigue

29. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) 8.2 

A former assassin exacts revenge on the group of assassins who betrayed her after emerging from a four-year coma.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

30. The Sixth Sense (1999)

A dejected child psychologist accepts the aid of a scared, reclusive boy from Philadelphia who speaks with spirits.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

31. L.A. Confidential (1997)

Three policemen—one strict, one violent, and one sleazy—investigate a string of killings with their particular brand of justice as corruption increases in 1950s Los Angeles.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

32. Jurassic Park (1993)

A pragmatic paleontologist touring an almost complete theme park on an island in Central America is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose in this best thriller movies.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

33. Die Hard (1988) 

During a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles, German terrorists kidnap an NYPD officer's wife and numerous other people.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Directed by: John McTiernan

34. Chinatown (1974) 

In Los Angeles in the 1930s, a private investigator hired to catch an adulterer gets entangled in a web of lies, corruption, and murder.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Directed by: Roman Polanski

35. The Great Escape (1963)

During World War II, Allied prisoners of war plotted the escape of several hundred of their fellow captives from a German camp.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Directed by: John Sturges

36. Yojimbo (1961)

In order to unite the two criminal groups that have divided the town, a cunning ronin decides to play them off one another.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa

37. Dial M for Murder (1954)

An ex-tennis player plans his adulterous wife's murder.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

38. The Wages of Fear (1953) 

Four guys are recruited to convey an urgent supply of nitroglycerine through a run-down South American community without the necessary safety equipment.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli

Directed by: Henri-Georges Clouzot

39. The Handmaiden (2016)

A lady is hired to serve as a handmaiden for a Japanese heiress, but she is actually complicit in a scheme to scam the woman.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong, Moon So-ri

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

40. Logan (2017)

An old and weary Logan lives a quiet existence in a time when mutants are all but extinct. But he has to rescue Laura when she asks for assistance. Laura is a mutant youngster being sought by scientists.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook

Directed by: James Mangold

41. Room (I)

Held captive for 7 years in an enclosed space, a woman and her young son finally gain their freedom in this psychological thriller movies, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

42. Wild Tales (2014)

Six short stories that examine the extremes of human nature in relation to helpless individuals.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Darío Grandinetti, María Marull, Mónica Villa, Diego Starosta

Directed by: Damián Szifron

43. Gone Girl (2014)

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent in this thriller movies on Netflix.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

Directed by: David Fincher

44. Prisoners (2013)

As the authorities follow numerous leads and the pressure rises, Keller Dover intervenes when his daughter and her friend go missing.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

45. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 

A group of female convicts, a lunatic worshiper, and a vagrant named Max help a man rebel against a despotic king in quest of her country in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz

Directed by: George Miller

46. Memories of Murder (2003) 

Two investigators battle with the case of numerous young ladies who were found killed and raped in a small Korean province in 1986.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Directed by: Bong Joon Ho

47. Amores Perros (2000) 

Three stories are interconnected by a terrible vehicle accident, each featuring characters who struggle with loss, remorse, and the harsh reality of life while acting out of love.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

Directed by: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

48. Fargo (1996)

In this top thriller movies, Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard's clumsy crime breaks apart as a result of the mistakes made by him and his associates and the diligent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

49. Blade Runner (1982)

Four replicants who hijacked a ship in space and came back to Earth to discover their creator must be hunted down and destroyed by a blade runner.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Directed by: Ridley Scott

50. Jaws (1975)

A local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an experienced sailor are called upon to track down the beast as it causes havoc in a beach village off Cape Cod.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Terrorist movies fall under a fairly broad genre in the realm of cinema. As you can see from our compilation of the 50 finest lists, it spans decades and dabbles in a variety of genres, including horror, film noir, espionage, and more. There has never been a better time to push the boundaries of your entertainment consumption than now, with people continuing to socially isolate themselves throughout the globe. The most thrilling thriller films should be used to crank up the suspense to its highest level for the most daring among us.

ALSO READ: 60 Best action movies you need to watch in 2022

FAQs

What do all thriller movies have in common?
"Thrillers generally keep the audience on the ""edge of their seats"" as the plot builds towards a climax. The cover-up of important information is a common element. Literary devices such as red herrings, plot twists, unreliable narrators, and cliffhangers a"

Why we should watch thriller movies?
"Thrillers keep the audience on the edge of their seats and builds suspense, tension and thrilled. Therefore it entertains the audience and engages them through out the film which makes them enjoy the Thriller movies."

What defines the thriller movies genre?
"Thriller is a genre of literature. Thrillers are dark, engrossing, and suspenseful plot-driven stories. They very seldom include comedic elements."

How has the thriller movies genre changed?
"Thrillers have evolved from some suspense in a film (watching to see if someone will fall) to violent, gory films with many themes of horror films. The difference is the huge plot twist that is a hallmark of thrillers - from Psycho to Silence of the Lambs"

What was the first thriller?
The first thriller film ever made was Safety Last! and it was directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor.

Is thriller and horror the same?
"Horror is the seemingly inevitable but predictable doom, where the climax of the movie is either getting away or stopping the evil, whereas thrillers are all about a tension-filled story that's not predictable."

Are thrillers scary?
"A horror film wants to �horrify� audiences whereas a thriller film only seeks to �thrill.� With horror, the focus is on scaring people. They generally know there is a big evil present and the audience act as voyeurs to how these big evil haunts, destroys,"

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