While all the superhero sagas and A-list dramas are out collecting box-office success and critical acclaim, thrillers of every ilk are released throughout the year, too. And while arguably receiving less fanfare than their star-studded brethren, thrillers are the movies that make us think, make our hearts beat out of our chests, and stick in our minds for days, weeks, and months — sometimes even a lifetime.
Beyond the silver screen, at-home streaming is one of the best ways to experience any cinematic genre, and if you’re a big fan of pulse-pounding twists and turns, look no further than out list of the best thriller movies on Netflix this month.
Adapted from the true-crime novel of the same name, The Good Nurse stars Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren, a single mother and ICU nurse. When a series of untimely patient deaths start cropping up around the hospital, Amy begins to suspect that new hire Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) is the man responsible. Both Chastain and Redmayne are the kind of talents we expect greatness from, and truly, both actors go out of their way to foster a sort of surreal pathos for their characters, especially the latter. It’s a solid thriller and a tragic and haunting reminder that we don’t have to dig into fiction to tell some of the most grueling stories imaginable.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more on the action-heavy side, director Anna Foerster’s Lou will likely satiate. It stars Allison Janney as the titular protagonist, a reclusive woman living on Orcas Island, Washington. When a wicked storm threatens the Pacific Northwest, a single mother named Hannah (Jurnee Smollet) begs Lou for help when her young daughter is kidnapped by a vicious ex-pat (Logan Marshall-Green). But as the two women set off on their rescue mission, Hannah soon learns that there’s far more to Lou than meets the eye. A grim gut-punch of an action-thriller, Lou is a big win for the genre.
We may be through with the past, but the past still wants to antagonize us to death. Disregarding the loose paraphrasing of a Magnolia quote, writer-director Joel Edgerton’s 2015 film The Gift is all about the re-emergence of long-ago individuals we would rather not be seeing. Starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as married couple Simon and Robyn Callem, when the elusive Gordo (Joel Edgerton), a man from Simon’s past, begins making appearances to his old pal, a series of seemingly innocent gestures leads to a haphazard unearthing of Simon’s troubled relationship with the invasive guest. An expertly crafted thriller film with defiant twists and turns, The Gift is an amazing effort on Edgerton’s part and a worthy addition to the genre.
In director Matt Reilly’s Interceptor, Elsa Pataky stars as Captain JJ Collins, the spearhead of an isolated nuclear missile facility smack-dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. When the weapons hub falls under attack from enemy forces led by a former U.S. intelligence operative (Luke Bracey), Collins must use her military background and quick ingenuity to thwart the evildoers before they overrun the base. Interceptor is a decent example of a Netflix-backed action-thriller, driven by a kinetic pace that hits all the beats but misses here and there. A refreshing change of pace is seeing a woman in a role that would normally be helmed by Bruce Willis, and Pataky tackles her heroine character with muscle and grace.
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