Along with a bevy of twists and turns within their plots, good thriller movies can keep us on the edge of the seat for the whole cinematic experience.
Thriller films are like speeding vehicles of non-stop tension and peril nipping at your toes! The undeniable terror of being haunted, escaping the clutches of a psychotic killer, or struggling for survival from something dangerous but unknown. A creepy feeling of being the prey of antagonists heightens the overall effect of the film.
Beneath stylized surfaces, thriller films are a one-of-a-kind genre that poses haunting questions about the morality of the arc of the character and the plot.
The sanctity of thrillers lies in its unstoppable nature of keeping our pulses pounding throughout the films! Best thriller movies can portray utter darkness and pervasiveness without compromising the craft’s beauty and introspective nature. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the top thriller movies ever made!
Here is a list of the 15 best thriller movies you must watch before you die:
#1 – Vertigo (1958)
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The James Stewart as Scottie and Kim Novak as Judy and Madeleine starrer Vertigo is a classic hit directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock in the year 1958. The noir psychological thriller revolves around Scottie who suffered from acrophobia and vertigo. The film has its main theme as a psychological obsession of Scottie being obsessed with the women in his life who ultimately die. Also, the film has an undermining and confusing feature of deception.
Available: Prime Video and Netflix.
#2 – A Man Escaped (1956)
A Man Escaped is a French film based on real events and memoirs of André Devigny is a film that revolves around the plan of escape. In the film, it is shown that the protagonist Fontaine tries to escape three times, and finally, the third time he succeeded in his plan and the movie came to an end. The film deals with the cruelty that the prisoners face through the hands of Nazis during World War II.
Available: Amazon Prime (US) and YouTube.
#3 – Shutter Island (2010)
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The $294 million grosser movie Shutter Island released in the year 2010 is a neo-noir psychological thriller and Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels and Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule in the leads. It is based on a novel of the same name. The movie deals with a missing patient and the two protagonists investigating the matter on a distant island. Also, the movie uncovers the horrific truths about the mental asylum and discovers the criminal acts of the place.
#4 – The Day of the Jackal
The Day of the Jackal is a thriller surrounding the theme of politics. It deals with the assassination plotting of French President Charles de Gaulle. The group is keen on murdering when, after failing to kill the President after several attempts, hires a professional killer named Jackal who succeeds in murdering the President. This movie excels all boundaries of spy-film essentials with attending to all the thrilling logistics of risks and witty twists.
Available: Netflix and Amazon Prime.
#5 – Inception (2010)
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Inception is a science fiction action and thriller revolving around the protagonist Cobb played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a thief. Cobb intervened into the subconscious mind of people through their dreams. With his skill, he manipulates a man to save himself from the damnation of his crimes. The movie is packed with extravagant visuals, a mind-blowing storyline, and with every shot of some discoveries, Inception is a complete package with a long star cast. The movie grossed $828 million worldwide.
Available: Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play.
#6 – Blow Out (1981)
The writer and director Brian De Palma curated a neo-noir mystery thriller movie, Blow Out has the lead characters, John Travolta and Nancy Allen who played the protagonist Jack, and Sally respectively. The film received very much fame due to the lead characters and the direction of Brian and deals with the guilt of both the protagonists. The movie uses multiple sound techniques, and events of history are also shown.
Available: Amazon Prime video.
#7 – The Third Man (1949)
The Third Man has a storyline that deals with the murder investigation of a man by his friend who later on is revealed to the cruelty faced by others after World War II in Vienna. The movie is a directorial hit under the direction of Carol Reed and the protagonist Joseph Cotten played by Holly Martins, and Harry Lime played by Orson Wells. Duplicitous, deceptive, and razor-sharp dialogues make this a must-watch.
Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix.
#8 – High and Low (1963)
High and Low is a Japanese movie and the title means Heaven and Hell. The movie is directed by Akira Kurosawa and is considered to be a police procedural crime movie roughly based on the novel King’s Ransom by Ed McBain. The story deals with the kidnapping and will Gondo pay the kidnapper the amount for the chauffeur’s kid or would live his dream of opening the modern shoe store. The concept talked about is different and is a must-watch.
Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix
#9 – The Prestige (2006)
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The Prestige is a film with the storyline of two friends who are magicians and perform stage shows, turn into bitter enemies, indulging in the race of being better from one another. The film is a science fiction fantasy drama starring Hugh Jackman as Angier and Christian Bale as Bordon with Scarlett Johansson as Olivia Winscombe. The film has depicted the theme of losing everything for the sake of prestige with Angier dying and Bordon being hanged at the end.
Available: Amazon Prime
#10 – No Country for Old Men (2007)
The neo-Western crime thriller American movie, No Country for Old Men is a worldwide hit after grossing $171 million. The film has three main characters, a hunter who discovers the huge sum of $2 million, chased by a psychopathic killer, and an investigating officer, around whom the story revolves. The characters are played by Llewelyn Moss, the hunter Brolin, Anton Chigurh, the killer Bardem and Ed Tom Bell, the police officer, Jones.
Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix.
#11 – Usual Suspects (1995)
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The Usual Suspects has a storyline that revolves around five mysterious thieves who met each other in a police station and decided to be involved in the robbery of emeralds worth $3 million when they were released. The film is a classic and is considered to be a neo-noir mystery thriller film and starred Stephen Baldwin and Gabriel Byrne as the protagonists among others. Also, the film deals with everyone being clueless about the identity of Keyser Soze.
Available: Amazon Prime.
#12 – Ugly (2013)
Ugly is a Hindi-language thriller directed and written by Anurag Kahyap. The storyline revolves around a father, a stepdaughter, and a real father. Kali is the daughter of the struggling actor and the stepdaughter of the policeman. By the end of the film, it was revealed who kidnapped Kali and whether she was dead or alive. Well, Kali was kidnapped by the toy seller who was run down by a car and died on the spot. The film is a cold and unsettling film that might rip you apart.
Available: Amazon Prime and Hotstar.
#13 – Mulholland Drive (2001)
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A deceptive and twisting feature-length movie by none other than David Lynch, Mulholland Drive is curated with a story of two girls investigating the accident which lead to the memory loss of one of the protagonists. The film is regarded as one of the greatest works of director Lynch and was ranked number 1 in the BBC Culture of the best films. It is a surrealist neo-noir mystery film and is a half-pilot and half-feature film.
#14 – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs is the fifth highest-grossing movie worldwide in the year 1991, making $272.7 million. The storyline makes the film a psychological horror film and revolves around a young FBI learner who is on a mission of tracking the serial killer who targets women. She seeks advice from a prisoner who was an excellent psychiatrist before becoming a serial killer himself and landing on imprisonment. The film has a unique storyline that leaves you suspicious.
#15 – Seven (1995)
The Brad Pitt starrer Seven is a neo-noir psychological crime thriller of the year 1995. Brad Pitt and Freeman playing the roles of the two detectives investigate the crimes of the serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his pattern of killing the people. It is a mystery thriller that portrays two detectives investigating homicidal murders makes it to the top fifteen of the best thriller movies ever made.
Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix.
All the movies mentioned in the list come with a soul promise of leaving your heart and mind fighting over what will happen next until the end of the film. These best thriller movies will leave you amazed, thrilled, and intrigued as all of them are full of chase, drama, suspense, and thriller. Well, I hope you will enjoy this thrillingly exhaustive list bringing you the best thrillers of all time!