45 Best Thriller Movies Of All Time

Hold on to your butts, these are the best thriller movies ever made!

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Best Thriller Movies Of All Time

Best Thriller Movies

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock once said “Mystery is when the spectator knows less than the characters in the movie. Suspense is when the spectator knows more than the characters in the movie.” Films that delve into feelings of suspense have captivated movie-goers since we could make pictures move across a silver screen. Thrillers are defined by the mood they set, giving audiences a heightened feeling of excitement, surprise, anticipation, and anxiety. Some of the best thriller movies of all time master this in their storytelling and can orchestrate our emotions like a symphony.

Directors and writers press their keys to make us sweat, curl back, and leave us wondering what will ever happen next! Thrillers are a powerful genre of filmmaking and they borderline on horrific with the utmost restraint. Today we wanted to recommend some of our favorite thrillers of all time. From elusive serial killers, bank robbers on the verge of being caught, and altruistic citizens just trying to do their part in a crooked world, we’ve got a film for everyone. Please note, that this list is in no particular order. With all that being said, go ahead and sit back, grab the popcorn and enjoy forty-five of the greatest thriller movies of all time!

RELATED: 30 Of The Best Psychological Horror Movies

The Silence of the Lambs

Thriller Movies Silence Of The Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ted Tally, The Silence of the Lambs follows a promising F.B.I. cadet who must accept the help of a conniving cannibal killer in order to catch another killer, a villain who skins his victims. The Silence of the Lambs stars Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, and Lawrence A. Bonney. The film won five Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.

The Silence of the Lambs became a contemporary classic in so many ways. Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Hannibal Lecter has gone down in movie history as one of the greatest villain performances ever. This brilliant thriller needs no further introduction and its legacy speaks for itself.


Best Thriller Movies Psycho
Psycho (1960)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Joseph Stefano, Psycho follows an office secretary who embezzles money from her employer’s client. After leaving town she checks into a secluded motel run by an eccentric young man under the thumb of his mother. Psycho stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles. Adding Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to the list of best thrillers was an easy decision. The film was nominated for four Oscars including Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction.

One of my favorite films of all time, Psycho captures what’s so great about thriller and horror movies. Anthony Perkins is charming, sinister, and meticulous. Janet Leigh is anxiety-inducing and just steals the show instantaneously. It’ll be hard to find anyone who would argue against Psycho as one of the best thrillers ever made.


Best Thriller Movies Jaws
Jaws (1975)

Directed by Stephen Spielberg and written by Peter Benchley as well as Carl Gottlieb, Jaws follows a killer shark unleashing chaos on a small beach community off Cape Cod. It’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down whatever the cost. The film stars Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss. Jaws won three Oscars including Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.

Jaws is one of the very few thrillers with a whimsical and spirited finale. Only Spielberg could make a film about a killer shark leave you wanting to be better to your fellow man. The classic dolly zoom, brilliant score, and fantastic performances have kept Jaws in the hearts of movie-goes everywhere.

North by Northwest

Thriller Movies North By Northwest
North by Northwest (1959)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Ernest Lehman, North by Northwest follows a New York ad executive who goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies and falls for a woman whose loyalties he begins to doubt. The film stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason. North by Northwest was nominated for three Oscars including Best Writing, Best Art Direction, and Best Film Editing.

You’ll find Alfred Hitchcock’s name a lot on this list but not without goos reason. He was truly the master of suspense and helped bring thrillers into the modern era of movies. North by Northwest is one of the best and articulate works from Hitchcock and it continues to hold up to this day.


Best Thriller Movies Collateral
Collateral (2004)

Directed by Michael Mann and written by Stuart Beattie, Collateral follows a cab driver who finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. The film stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Collateral was nominated for the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

Collateral is probably my favorite performance from Tom Cruise, it’s one of the few times we get to see him play a villain and with all his charm he absolutely owns it. It’s a little jarring and almost funny to see Jamie Foxx hold back from being the most charming guy in the room. Michael Mann brings some of the best action stars together (yet again) for a phenomenal crime-thriller.


Best Thriller Movies Prisoners
Prisoners (2013)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Aaron Guzikowski, Prisoners follows the Dover family when their daughter and her best friend go missing. Keller Dover takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, and Terrence Howard. Prisoners was nominated for the Oscar for Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Prisoners is brutal, anxiety-inducing, and thought-provoking to say the least. It’s a masterful work of building suspense while weaving an intricate spiderweb of narratives. Denis Villeneuve has slowly become one of my favorite storytellers and Prisoners was the film that truly helped him earn that spot in my eyes.

Infernal Affairs

Thriller Movies Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs (2002)

Directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak with additional writing by Felix Chong, Infernal Affairs follows the story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop. The film stars Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, and Anthony Chau-Sang Wong.

Taxi Driver

Thriller Movies Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver (1976)

Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver follows a mentally ill veteran who works as a graveyard shift taxi driver in New York, where the perceived luxury and sleaze fuel his urge for violence. The film stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd. Taxi Driver was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and Best Music, Original Score.

Taxi Driver has become the twisted anti-hero so much of current audiences love to hate. Robert De Niro’s performance as Travis is warped, cynical, and absolutely captivating. What happens when the loner doesn’t get the support system he needs and how far will he go till it all collapses?

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Thriller
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Directed by David Fincher and written by Steven Zaillian, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist who is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for 40 years by young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. The film stars Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, and Christopher Plummer. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing.

The French Connection

French Connection Thriller Movie
The French Connection (1971)

Directed by William Friedkin and written by Ernest Tidyman, The French Connection follows a pair of NYPD detectives in the Narcotics Bureau who stop a heroin smuggling ring but capturing its leaders proves an elusive goal. The film stars Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, and Fernando Rey. The French Connection won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Writing, and Best Film Editing.

The French Connection was groundbreaking for thrillers because of its pure intensity. It redefined the genre in a lot of ways and is herald by audiences. It’s focus on realisim, violence, and what life was really like in cities transformed a lot of the cleanliness of common films about crime. It’s sleazey and in a lot of ways transparent about its subject.

Gone Girl

Best Thriller Movies Gone Girl
Gone Girl (2014)

Directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl follows the disappearance of a man’s wife. After news of her disappearance has 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. The film stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris. Gone Girl was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards in 2015.

Gone Girl sets up a lot of genre expectations and subverts every single one in a third act that is absolutely insane. Rosamund Pike nails her role as Amy and plays such a phenomenal character. Without spoiling anything, Gone Girl is one of the best thriller movies ever made and you need to watch it.

Blue Velvet

Best Thriller Movies Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet (1986)

Directed and written by David Lynch, Blue Velvet follows the discovery of a severed human ear found in a field that leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. The film stars Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, and Dennis Hopper. The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Director.

What can we say about Blue Velvet that hasn’t been said already? It’s an eccentric film that snowballs into a very peculiar mystery. The film operates (as most David Lynch films do) on its own sort of internal logic. It’s a movie that requires a couple of viewings to really take it in for what it’s worth.

Dirty Harry

Best Thriller Movies Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry (1971)

Directed by Don Siegel and written by Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink, and Dean Riesner. Dirty Harry follows a madman calling himself “the Scorpio Killer” who menaces a city, tough-as-nails San Francisco Police Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, and Harry Guardino.

With all his all-American scowl, Clint Eastwood powers through Dirty Harry with conviction and speed. It’s an all-time performance that can’t be beaten. Inspired by the Zodiac murders in San Francisco, this is an alternative story where the cops win. The writing is a bit dated and unfortunately timely but the performances from the entire cast throughout, knock it out of the park.

Rear Window

Best Thriller Movies Rear Window
Rear Window (1954)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes, Rear Window follows a wheelchair-bound photographer spying on his neighbors from his apartment window. He becomes convinced one of them has committed murder, despite the skepticism of his fashion-model girlfriend. Rear Window stars Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Wendell Corey. The film was nominated for four Oscars including Best Director, Best Writing, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound.

Rear Window continues to age like a fine mysterious wine. Its messages still hold true and its thrilling story is just as brilliant as it was in 1954. It’s a simple premise with a very complex and entertaining delivery. Jimmy Stewart really hones a familiar type of role that makes you easily settle in with his character. If you’re new to this film, please go in blind!


Best Thriller Movies Tenet
Tenet (2020)

Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, Tenet follows a man armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time. The film stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki. Tenet won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

Tenet came in went but I think it continues to utilize visual effects to tell one of the most compelling thrillers Christopher Nolan has ever orchestrated. It’s not a single man or team of men at risk anymore – but the entire world. It’s a fast-paced, intelligent, and absolutely mind-boggling thriller for the ages.

The Third Man

Best Thriller Movies The Third Man
The Third Man (1949)

Directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene as well as Orson Welles, The Third Man follows a pulp novelist who travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend. The film stars Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, and Alida Valli. The Third Man won the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

The Third Man continues to be one of the most perfectly thrilling films ever made. Its phenomenal cast of characters, beautiful score, and stellar cinematography truly build this film’s legacy. Orson Welles as Harry Lime is just so fun to watch on screen as well. With several bombastic sequences, this is truly one of the best thriller movies ever made.

Blue Ruin

Thriller Movies Blue Ruin
Blue Ruin (2013)

Directed and written by Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider’s quiet life turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. The film stars Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, and Amy Hargreaves.

Green Room is one of my favorite horror/thrillers of all time but I felt Blue Ruin would be more apt for this list. This film is sad and hits home the themes of trauma and grief. What do we do when we can’t forgive? Macon Blair plays an unlikely protagonist with heart, grief, and rage. Blue Ruin is probably one of the lesser-known films on our list of best thrillers but it truly earns its space.

The Maltese Falcon

Thriller Genre The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Directed and written by John Huston, The Maltese Falcon follows San Francisco private detective Sam Spade when he takes on a case that involves three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette, with the stakes rising after his partner is murdered. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Gladys George. The Maltese Falcon was nominated for three Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Best Writing.

It would be hard to argue that The Maltese Falcon was at least partially responsible for kicking off the noir crime genre of movies during the 1940s. Regardless of its somewhat dated dialogue, the picture continues to ensnare viewers with its dazzling story. Humphrey Bogart just absolutely chews the scenery and gives it his all. It’s a phenomenal mystery that continues to thrill.

The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity Thriller
The Bourne Identity (2002)

Directed by Dough Liman and written by Tony Gilroy and W. Blake Herron, The Bourne Identity follows a man who is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory. The film stars Matt Damon, Franka Potente, and Chris Cooper.

The Night of the Hunter

Night Of The Hunter Thriller Movie
The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Directed and written by Charles Laughton as well as additional writing from James Agee, The Night of the Hunter follows a religious fanatic who marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid the $10,000 he’d stolen in a robbery. The film stars Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. In 1992 The Night of the Hunter was added to the National Film Registry.

This film is really an expression of duality in so many ways. The Night of the Hunter is truly a mesmerizing thriller in only it could be. This film carries a type of sentiment that feels so rare these days; from start to finish you won’t be able to look away.


Greatest Thrillers Witness
Witness (1985)

Directed by Peter Weir, Witness follows a young Amish boy who is the sole witness to a murder while visiting Philadelphia with his mother, police detective John Book tries to protect the boy until an attempt on Book’s life forces him into hiding in Amish country. The film stars Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, and Lukas Haas. Witness won two Oscars for Best Writing and Best Film Editing.


Greatest Thrillers Notorious
Notorious (1946)

Directed and written by Alfred Hitchcock as well as Ben Hect, Notorius follows the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy who is asked by American agents to gather information on a ring of Nazi scientists in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? The film stars Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains. Notorious was nominated for two Oscars including Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Writing.

The chemistry in Notorius is unparalleled! This was made in an era of strict censorship but despite that, the romantic tension is palpable. This is somewhat of a subdued picture (in terms of thrills) but you’ll thoroughly enjoy Ben Hect’s writing.

Uncut Gems

Greatest Thriller Films Uncut Gems
Uncut Gems (2019)

Directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie with additional writing by Ron Bronstein. Uncut Gems follows a fast-talking New York City jeweler with his debts mounting and angry collectors closing in, he risks everything in hope of staying alive. The film stars Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, and Idina Menzel.

The Shining

Best Thrillers The Shining
The Shining (1980)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Diane Johnson, The Shining follows a splintered family who travels to an isolated lodge for the Winter. A spiritual presence influences the father into acts of violence, while his psychic son envisions horrors from both the past and future. The Shining stars Jack Nicolson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. In 2018 the film was added National Film Preservation Board for its importance to cinema.

The Shining is surreal, cynical, violent, and absolutely brimming over with tension. In classic Kubrick fashion, all of our characters are almost cutouts of actual people – this makes the viewer feel uneasy in so many ways. Jack Nicholson is a complete monster in this picture, giving a completely unhinged approach. Shelley Duvall encapsulates pure fear in so many ways that put other horror film actors to shame. Its narrative is fairly loose but if a great thriller is what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed.


Thriller Genre Argo
Argo (2012)

Directed by Ben Affleck and written by Chris Terrio, Argo follows a CIA agent who launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979 under the guise of a Hollywood movie producer. The film stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, and John Goodman. Argo won three Oscars including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing, and Best Achievement in Film Editing.


Thriller Genre Films Vertigo
Vertigo (1958)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Alec Coppel as well as Samuel A. Taylor. Vertigo follows a former San Francisco police detective juggling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with the hauntingly beautiful woman he has been hired to trail, who may be deeply disturbed. The film stars Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. Vertigo was nominated for two Oscars which included Best Art Direction and Best Sound.

Vertigo is a Technicolor dream (or nightmare) that demands to be seen! So much of the color in this film really sets the viewer up for its intense atmosphere throughout. It’s perhaps the most lush and saturated Hitchcock film ever made. Vertigo has gone on to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most tantalizing and thrilling movies ever made, it’s easy to see why.


Korean Thrillers Oldboy
Oldboy (2003)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, Oldboy follows Oh Dae-Su follows after being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. The film stars Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, and Kang Hye-jeong.


Greatest Thriller Films Heat
Heat (1995)

Directed and written by Michael Mann, Heat follows a group of professional thieves who start to feel the heat from the LAPD when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist. The film stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer.

Michael Mann orchestrates one of the best crime-thrillers ever put to screen in Heat. This is probably the coldest and most calculated role De Niro has ever been in and going head to head with Pacino makes for a battle of the ages. At three hours in length, Heat will never bore. You’ll be too busy wondering what the hell is going to happen next.

Memories of Murder

Thriller Genre Films Memories Of Murder
Memories of Murder (2003)

Directed by Bong Joon Ho with additional writing by Kwang-rim Kim and Sung-bo Shim, Memories of Murder follows two detectives struggling with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit. The film stars Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, and Roe-ha Kim.

Strangers on a Train

Strangers On A Train Film
Strangers on a Train (1951)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Raymond Chandler as well as Czenzi Ormonde. Strangers on a Train follows a psychopath who forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder. The film stars Farley Granger, Robert Walker, and Ruth Roman. Strangers on a Train was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards in 1952.

Strangers on a Train is yet another exciting exploit from the master of suspense. It’s an interesting premise taken to new heights. Based on the popular novel, Hitchcock picks the best aspects of the stories and expands on the material the only way he knows how… with thrills!

The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate Thriller
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Directed by John Frankenheimer and written by George Axelrod, The Manchurian Candidate follows an American POW in the Korean War who is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. The film stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Janet Leigh. The Manchurian Candidate was nominated for two Oscars; Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Film Editing.


Greatest Thriller Films Zodiac
Zodiac (2007)

Directed by David Fincher and written by James Vanderbilt, Zodiac follows a San Francisco cartoonist who becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo.

Unlike a lot of other thrillers out there, David Fincher’s Zodiac never really concludes. There’s no big reveal, no bad guy caught, and all the evidence is circumstantial. It shows the cyclical nature of crime and that eventually people just move on to something else. It’s a thrilling story that spiderwebs across the California state. It’s a thriller movie unlike any other and definitely one of my all-time favorites.

Knives Out

Knives Out Greatest Thrillers
Knives Out (2019)

Directed and written by Rian Johnson, Knives Out follows a detective investigating the death of the patriarch of an eccentric, combative family. The film stars Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, and Daniel Craig. Knives Out was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 2020.

No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men Thriller
No Country For Old Men (2007)

Directed and written by Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country For Old Men follows a hunter who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande. The film stars Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones. No Country For Old Men won four Oscars including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.

The Coen brothers paint a picture of pure evil and how no one (not even men of the law) can prevent random acts of villainy. On its surface, No Country For Old Men is a paint by numbers Western that completely transforms under the direction of the Coens. Similar to Zodiac, it seems to be pretty nihilistic with its messages.

RELATED: Two Kinds Of Fear: Thriller Vs. Horror

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight Thriller Genre
The Dark Knight (2008)

Directed and written by Christopher Nolan with additional writing by Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer. The Dark Knight follows the Joker who wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice. The film stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Aaron Eckhart. The Dark Knight won two Oscars; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

There Will Be Blood

Thriller Films There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood (2007)

Directed and written by Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood follows the story of family, religion, hatred, oil, and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, and Ciarán Hinds. There Will Be Blood won two Oscars: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Daniel Day-Lewis portrays what I would argue cinema’s greatest villain. As a sociopathic oil barren at the height of his career, Day-Lewis stops at nothing to eliminate his competition. There Will Be Blood, in my opinion, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnum opus. In 2007 There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, and Zodiac all came out – what a year for some of the best thriller movies ever made.

Blow Out

Thriller Films Blow Out
Blow Out (1981)

Directed and written by Brian De Palma with additional writing by Bill Mesce Jr., Blow Out follows a movie sound recordist who accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger. The film stars John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow.

Good Time

Good Time Best Thriller Movies
Good Time (2017)

Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, written by Ronald Bronstein and Josh Safdie, Good Time follows Connie Nikas after a botched bank robbery that lands his younger brother in prison, he must embark on a twisted odyssey through New York’s underworld to get his brother Nick out of jail. The film stars Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

There is nothing quite like a Safdie brothers film. Good Time perpetuates bad character decisions which only leads to the utmost amount of anxiety. It’s a truly pulse-pounding and thrilling piece of cinema. I highly recommend clearing your schedule for the rest of the day to decompress after viewing Good Time.

From Russia With Love

Thriller Films From Russian With Love
From Russia With Love (1963)

Directed by Terrence Young and written by Richard Maibaum, From Russia With Love follows James Bond who willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by S.P.E.C.T.R.E. The film stars Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, and Lotte Lenya. From Russia With Love won the BAFTA award for Best Cinematography.

Peeping Tom

Greatest Thrillers Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom (1960)

Directed by Michael Powell and written by Leo Marks, Peeping Tom follows a young man who murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror. The film stars Karlheinz Böhm, Moira Shearer, and Anna Massey.

Peeping Tom was a prototype of sorts to Psycho, a godfather if you will to the slasher subgenre. While it leans more on its thriller genre roots, it’s still a spectacular piece of filmmaking. From the claustrophobic cinematography to the performances throughout, you will leave thoroughly unnerved.

The 39 Steps

Thriller Genre 39 Steps
The 39 Steps (1935)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Buchan, The 39 Steps follows a man in London who tries to help a counter-espionage agent, but when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring that is trying to steal top-secret information. The film stars Robert Donat, Madeleine Caroll, and Lucie Mannheim.


Se7en Horror Thriller
Se7en (1995)

Directed by David Fincher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker, Se7en follows two detectives, a rookie, and a veteran, hunting a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. The film stars Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. Se7en was nominated for the Oscar for Best Film Editing.

David Fincher’s Se7en is brutal, sick, and thrilling for all the right reasons. It’s an ending you’ll never see coming and will leave you speechless. Se7en truly borderlines on being a horror film, so with those with queasy stomachs, I’d give this film a second thought.


Thriller Movies Chinatown
Chinatown (1974)

Directed by Roman Polanski and Robert Towne, Chinatown follows a private detective hired to expose an adulterer in 1930s Los Angeles who finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder. The film stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. Chinatown won the Oscar for Best Writing.


Best Thrillers Parasite
Parasite (2019)

Directed and written by Bong Joon Ho with additional writing by Han Jin-won, Parasite follows the destitute Kim clan as they form a secret symbiotic relationship with the wealthy Park family. The film stars Song Kang-ho, Sun-kyun Lee, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik, and So-dam Park. Parasite won four Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

Parasite swept the Academy Awards and audiences across the world. The film is a masterful commentary on classism and the overall inequality so many people face. This has to be one of the highest recommended films on our list of the best thrillers of all time.


All Time Best Thrillers M
M (1931)

Directed and written by Fritz Lang with additional writing by Thea von Harbou, M follows the police in a German city who are unable to catch a child murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. The film stars Peter Lorre, Ellen Widman, and Inge Landgut.

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What Do You Think Is The Best Thriller Movie Of All Time?

Maybe we missed your favorite thriller movie on our list? Let us know what you think is the greatest thriller movie of all time on social media!

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