You’ve seen many movies, but you’re not sure what you should watch next? You may be acquainted with some genres like romance, family drama, and action. There’s one genre that’s popular among all. Any guesses? Well, that’s horror. Horror movies certainly give a chill down our spine, but thriller movies are something that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Thriller movies offer a psychological, mysterious, and gut-wrenching take on horror movies.
Top 20 Amazing Hollywood Thriller Movies To Watch
1. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
The first movie on this list deserves all the honours and acclaims that it has received. Winning Academy Awards in all the top five categories, you definitely can’t miss this. Anthony Hopkins’s performance as the dangerous, smart, and manipulative Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster’s performance as the unnerved Clarice Starling will leave you impressed.
Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, is given the task of hunting down a serial killer, Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill kills and skins his victims. With the help of Hannibal Lecter, Clarice must catch Buffalo Bill before he strikes again.
2. Seven (1995)
Seven includes all the elements of a thriller movie – brutal, scary, and suspenseful. It’s a movie you must watch. Seven is the story of two detectives; Detective David Mills and Detective Lieutenant William Somerset. They are assigned to catch a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a ploy. Legends Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt star in this psychological thriller movie directed by David Fincher.
3. Memento (2000)
A carefully crafted narrative structure makes this thriller movie stand out from the others mentioned in this list. Guy Pearce stars in this film, directed by Christopher Nolan as Leonard Shelby. He plays a man suffering from anterograde amnesia. Leonard is unable to store new memories due to an attack on him by two men.
All he wants is the answers of his wife’s killers and his attackers. But with the ability to retain his memory for approximately fifteen minutes, Leonard devices skillful ways to remember events by making notes, Polaroid photos, and tattoos. With these, he investigates the memories of his attacks that lead him to the target. But there’s much more in store.
4) Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island sets the premises for this thriller movie directed by the acclaimed director, Martin Scorsese, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams in lead roles. Deputy U.S. Marshals Edward “Teddy” Daniels and Chuck Aule set out to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando. With a not so cooperative staff and suspicious behavior of Dr. John Cawley, Teddy must find answers himself. Through his investigation, Teddy realizes that he and Rachel share something in common.
5. Zodiac (2007)
Do you want to watch a cat and mouse chase with elements of thriller in it? Then Zodiac is the one for you. The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is a true-crime story that remains unsolved to date. The film shows how several people try to crack the ciphers and find clues that will lead them to catch the Zodiac, a serial killer. The godfather of thriller movies, David Fincher has directed this thriller movie.
6. Psycho (1960)
They say old is gold, and this 60s film has proved that. Directed by the legendary Sir Alfred Hitchcock, this movie is a must-watch. Due to a severe rainstorm, Marion Crane seeks refuge for the night at Bates Motel. Norman Bates, a shy, reserved man, and his mother run this motel. But as time passes and with no sign of Marion’s return, her sister Lila and her boyfriend Sam are on a search to find her. Their investigation leads them to Bates Motel, where they meet Norman. They believe that Norman is something more than a shy boy. Psycho has inspired several follow-up films and a TV series.
7. Fight Club (1999)
Another David Fincher cult classic. Fight Club tells the story of an unnamed narrator who is unhappy with his job. He is also a chronic insomniac. He meets Tyler Durden, a soap salesman, and together they form Fight Club. What begins as a regular club turns into something more dangerous. Tyler has got some other plans in mind. But there’s something so much more than that. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton star in this dramatic thriller movie.
8. Gone Girl (2014)
After the mysterious disappearance and suspected murder of his wife Amy Dunne on their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect in the case. But when clues start popping up that things might be otherwise, Nick must find out the truth and save himself. Gone Girl is another David Fincher thriller movie. It stars Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, and Neil Patrick Harris in lead roles.
9. Us (2019)
With films like “Get Out” and “Candyman” and shows like “Key & Peele” and “BlacKkKlansman” under his belt, Jordan Peele has earned his credit. Us is one of his best movies. What happens when you come face to face with the other version of yourself?
The Wilsons and Tylers plan to have a good vacation when suddenly, some mysterious people dressed in red break into their homes. They receive another shock when they realize that these intruders are their look-alikes and have come for something more. The cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker.
10. A Quiet Place (2018)
What would you do when the only way to survive is not to make any noise? The Abbot family strives to live in a world where creatures sensitive to sound have taken over most of the human population by killing them. With sign language being their only mode of communication, will they make it through?
11. Prisoners (2013)
When extreme circumstances force you to be your darkest self, you realize that there is no turning back. What would you do when the one you love has disappeared? 2 girls are kidnapped while they are out playing. Now Keller Dover, one of the girls’ father, decides to take matters into his own hands. But with little to no hope of the girls’ return and desperation taking over him, Keller begins to unveil his darker side and will bring back his daughter at any cost.
Wolverine’s Hugh Jackman and Southpaw’s Jake Gyllenhaal star in this crime thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve.
12. The Sixth Sense (1999)
What will you do when help comes crying from the other side? After experiencing unusual supernatural events, Cole Sear’s mother seeks help from Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist. Though hesitant at first due to the strange nature of the case, Malcolm decides to help the boy ward off the spirits. With a growing distance in his marriage and Malcolm’s keen interest in Cole’s case, Malcolm is yet to realize that he has to take care of something.
Directed by the visionary M. Night Shymalan (who unsurprisingly makes it twice on this list), The Sixth Sense stars Bruce Willis in the lead role and Haley Joel Osment in a supporting role. The film has earned six Academy Award nominations.
13. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Rita, a dark-haired woman, meets with an accident. The events that follow lead her to meet Betty Elmes, an aspiring actress. With no memory of who she is or her life before the accident, Rita and Betty set off to find Rita’s identity. As they search for answers, they realize there’s more than what meets the eye.
Considered to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century, Mulholland Drive stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux in prime roles. Uncover the truth by watching this psychological thriller movie directed by David Lynch.
14. Split (2016)
James McAvoy plays Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 distinct personalities. One of his personalities ‘Dennis’ kidnaps three girls and locks them in an isolated underground holding. But if you think 23 is a lot, then take a deep breath. The 24th personality, The Beast, is a psychopath and a cannibal. He plans to rid the world of the “impure” — those who have not suffered.
Be it the quirky fashion designer Barry, the perverse and OCD diagnosed Dennis, the motherly and controlling figure Ms. Patricia or the monstrous Beast, James McAvoy’s performance will leave you speechless. M. Night Shyamalan is the mastermind behind this movie. Don’t forget to check it out!
15. Identity (2003)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if your mind were to trick you? Identity is one such movie that takes us through two situations and how they are connected. Malcolm Rivers is a convict awaiting execution for several murders. On the other hand, ten strangers are stuck at a remote motel due to a torrential rainstorm. Soon they realize that a killer is on the loose.
With the countdown already initiated, Ed must find out who the killer is. Is it the person or his persona that is the culprit? James Mangold has directed this thriller movie that stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet.
16. Fear (1996)
The classic good girl falls in love with the bad boy movie. Sweet and innocent Nicole Walker falls in love with the charming and persuasive David McCall, much at the dismay of her father. What begins as a youthful and passionate romance soon turns to terror as David shows his possessive and violent side and will go to any lengths to keep Nicole to himself. Directed by James Foley, Fear stars Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon in lead roles.
17. Primal Fear (1996)
Following the brutal murder of the beloved Archbishop Rushman, Chicago based defence attorney Martin Vail is on a mission to prove that his seemingly innocent and stuttering 19-year-old client Aaron Stampler is not the murderer. But with media coverage of Aaron’s blood-soaked escape and his dissociative identity disorder, proving his innocence is a difficult task at hand. ‘Is Aaron Stampler innocent or guilty?’.
Primal Fear marks Edward Norton’s film debut alongside the 80s and 90s prominent star Richard Gere in this American legal thriller directed by Grigory Hoblit.
18. Taking Lives (2004)
Illeana Scott is an FBI profiler. She is on a hunt to track down a serial killer who assumes his victim’s identities after killing them. Enter James Costa, an art dealer who is an eyewitness to the most recent killings. James’s naive and innocent persona sweeps Illeana off her feet. With the killer’s newest target being James, Illeana must catch the killer before it’s too late. But is everything as simple as what meets the eye?
Taking Lives includes Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke in lead roles and is directed by D.J. Caruso.
19. Kiss The Girls (1997)
Detective Alex Cross solves the mysterious disappearance of several young women. And Dr. Kate McTiernan, one of the escaped victims, helps him on this mission. Together they must hunt down her captor, the Casanova. The movie will throw you off the hook with the suspense of unmasking the Casanova. Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes costar in this film.
20. The Invisible Man (2020)
A violent relationship is difficult to escape. And when you think you’ve made your escape, you realize that hell has just begun! Directed by Leigh Whannell and starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen in lead roles, The Invisible Man tells the story of Cecilia Kass. She is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Adrian Griffin.
Though she escapes his clutches, Adrian is not one to give up and devices an invisible suite to torment her. Cecilia must race against time to save herself and her loved ones. The Invisible Man is a blend of horror and science fiction that has got some surprises up its sleeves.
The list keeps going on and on. So if you want to watch some more thriller movies, here are some that you can check out.
The Shining is a movie that deserves the top honourable mention. Jack Nicholson’s performance as the lunatic Jack Torrance who descends into insanity will leave you trembling.
Black Swan is undoubtedly the most thrilling psychological film that shows how one descends into madness to achieve what one wants. Robin Williams’s terrifying performance as Seymour Parrish, the obsessive photographer in One Hour Photo, will put you at your wit’s end.
Argo is another mind-blowing movie where an ex-filtration specialist devises an elaborate plan to rescue six Americans trapped in Tehran during the US hostage crisis in Iran. Included in the action-thriller genre is The Fugitive which tells the story of Dr Richard Kimble. He is falsely accused of his wife’s murder and must prove his innocence while being the target of a man-hunt.
Do check out these thriller movies and stay tuned for more!