A well made thriller movie will change your perspective of life. Some thrillers choose to bring down the safe world you’ve built around yourself by bombarding you with possibilities that you hadn’t seen possible. Hollywood has produced a number of great thrillers over the years.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the must-watch thriller movies of all time –
1. Se7en (1995)
A serial killer is on the loose and he can only be stopped by two detectives who always fall one step short of the murderer.
With one of the most iconic movie endings of all time, Seven (or Se7en), has made a name for itself. The murders around the seven deadly sins take a grim turn as everyone close to the detectives are also exposed to danger. This is a must watch for any cinephile.
2. Psycho (1960)
Bates Motel is the center of everything weird that happens in the movie. This movie has one of the most twisted endings in movie history.
Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the most celebrated movies of all time. It was the first movie to show the functioning of a flush on the big screen. The Freudian message mixed with the brutal murder of an innocent protagonist(?) makes this a really compelling watch.
3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
An FBI agent seeks help from Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a former serial killer, in order to capture another serial killer.
In this game of cat and mouse, Clarice has to trust a former serial killer to solve the case. Phenomenal performances and beautiful background score makes this one of the finest movies of the last 30 years.
4 The Usual Suspects (1995)
Five criminals are brought together for a routine police line-up. These criminals had planned a heist at the end of the day and it’s up to the police to stop this heist.
Kevin Spacey’s iconic role in one of the best made thrillers of all time makes this a compelling watch. This movie keeps you guessing and at the edge of your seats throughout its runtime.
5. Rear Window (1954)
When a photographer stars spying on his neighbours, he comes across something that changes his life forever.
When a seemingly probable situation becomes diabolical, that is when you can actually feel the tension in the air. This movie is a perfect example of that.
6. Rope (1948)
When two criminals decide to test whether their acquaintances are able to figure out their crime, things take a turn for the worse.
The entire movie is shot in two rooms. The close quarter conversations in the movie build the tension in the minds of the viewers. This dialogue-driven movie will have you hooked.
7. Vertigo (1958)
Detective Scottie, who suffers from acrophobia, is hired to investigate the strange activities of an old friend’s wife.
Widely considered as Hitchcock’s best movie, Vertigo is a treat for any cinephile. This movie will hook you from the beginning and as it progresses, you won’t be able to think about anything else but what is to come.
8. Shutter Island (2010)
Two US Marshals are sent to an asylum on a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a patient.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his life in this Martin Scorsese flick. You’ll be engaged in the plot and final reveal is going to catch you off guard.
9. Fight Club (1999)
An ordinary employee meets a soap salesman and they develop a complicated bond after deciding to fight each other.
In one of the most iconic graphical novel adaptations of all time, Fight Club delivers a home run. The character of Tyler Durden is still as relevant as ever. If you haven’t seen this one yet, stop everything you’re doing and go watch this movie.
10. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Rita is left an amnesiac after a car crash. She meets Betty and the duo decide to find out Rita’s true identity.
Witness Los Angeles like never before in this David Lynch movie. The stellar performances perfectly compliment the brilliant plot. The climax will make your jaw drop.
11. The Prestige (2006)
Two fellow magicians, who were once friends, are now competing against each other to prove that they are smarter than the other one.
Christopher Nolan weaves a complex story with emotions, passion and drama in this movie. This layered movie takes on a journey to find out the truth behind the magic. The prestige of this movie will surely be something that you wouldn’t have seen coming.
12. Gone Girl (2014)
When Amy Dunne goes missing, the entire media focuses on the possibility of Nick having killed his wife. Did he really kill her?
This David Fincher movie is one of the best movies to have come out in the last 2 years. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike deliver brilliant performances that will definitely catch you off guard. This movie is not for ones with a weak heart.
13. Zodiac (2007)
When a cartoonist by profession finds himself obsessively thinking about the zodiac killer, he uses his puzzle-solving abilities to get closer to revealing the identity of the killer.
Zodiac is another Fincher movie on the list. This movie is all about the progression of the plot. With a serial killer out there hunting people and challenging the police with his puzzles, you’ll be as invested in the riddles as the characters themselves.
14. Prisoners (2013)
When the police take time to find Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend, he decides to go on a search himself.
This modern thriller gets the tone of a thriller movie absolutely spot on. There’s an undercurrent of tension and the fear for the worse that keeps the plot going. Brilliant performances and a great background score makes this one of the better movies to have come out in the recent past.
15. Cape Fear (1962)
A convicted rapist stalks the family of his lawyer after coming out of jail because he still blames the lawyer for getting caught.
This movie has a predatory feel to it. The knowledge of a convicted rapist is eerie enough to rattle even the bravest people. Martin Scorsese manages to keep you engaged throughout the movie before delivering a punch at the end of it.
16. The Game (1997)
A banker receives a strange birthday gift from his brother. When he actually utilizes the gift, he falls in trouble.
Michael Douglas plays a banker who receives a birthday gift from his brother. The story takes a turn for the worse after the protagonist decides to use the gift. Fincher always gets his thrillers right.
17. LA Confidential (1997)
Three cops with different agendas investigate a murder case with links to corruption in the police force.
The three different cops have their own agendas which they want to get out of their investigations. In this game of cat and mouse, the truth gets lost and then found.
18. Memento (2000)
A man suffering from short-term memory loss uses tattoos and pictures to hunt down the guy who killed his wife.
This thriller revolves around a guy who decides to avenge the death of his wife even when there are massive odds standing in his way. It gets really tricky as he can’t trust anyone without the help of pictures. Nolan’s cinematic brilliance is evident from this movie
19. Strangers on a Train
Two strangers meet on a train and decide to solve each other’s problems by performing the “perfect crime”.
Alfred Hitchcock loved playing with the idea of the perfect crime and Strangers on a Train is the closest he came to perfecting that concept. You start wondering whether this is a good idea to actually execute in real life as well.
20. Night of the Hunter (1955)
A bogus preacher marries an outlaw’s gullible widow in search of the man’s hidden loot. The widow’s children are reluctant to divulge details of their father’s money that he’d stolen in a robbery.
How far will you go to earn money in a quick manner? This movie reflects on the time it came out with religious preachers and evangelists fooling people into giving them money. This thriller will keep you hooked to it as you would want to know yourself about the hidden loot.
21. 8MM (1999)
A private detective is hired to check the authenticity of a snuff film.
Nicholas Cage is one of his kind. 8mm is one of his best movies where he plays the role of a detective. The mystery around snuff films and specially one that borders on child pornography plays on the minds of the viewers as well.