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The best thrillers on Netflix right now

September is a very good month for thrillers on Netflix. One of this month’s biggest additions, Don’t Worry Darling, was more famous for its behind-the-scenes intrigue, but it’s also one of the most intriguing thrillers in recent memory. And somewhat unexpectedly, Dwayne Johnson’s Snitch,  a thriller that was released a decade ago, has found new life on Netflix.

For a blast from the past, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs still holds up after three decades, while Captain Phillips turns a real-life hostage situation into a very effective thriller. And once you’ve made your way through this month’s new additions, you can explore our full list of the best thrillers on Netflix right now. These are the films that will inject some excitement into your next movie night.

We’ve also rounded up the best thrillers on Amazon Prime Video and the best thrillers on Hulu if Netflix doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

Recently added to Netflix

Don't Worry Darling (2022) new

Don't Worry Darling
48 %
r 123m
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine
Directed by Olivia Wilde

There’s something weird happening in the desert town of Victory, California, in Olivia Wilde’s mind-bending thriller Don’t Worry Darling. Alice (Florence Pugh), Bunny (Wilde), Margaret (KiKi Layne), and the rest of the housewives are expected to stay at home while their husbands spend their days working for the enigmatic Frank (Chris Pine).

For a while, Alice is able to blissfully live with her husband, Jack (Harry Styles). But when Alice witnesses a plane crash in the desert, she is suddenly forced to question the things about her life that don’t make sense. And soon, she’ll learn the truth about Victory.

Snitch (2013) new

51 %
pg-13 112m
Genre Thriller, Drama, Action
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh

How far would you go to keep your son out of jail? In Snitch, John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson) is horrified when his son, Jason (Rafi Gavron), is set up by his friend and quickly sentenced to a decade in jail for drug smuggling Out of desperation, John offers to help District Attorney Joanne Keeghan (Blue Beetle‘s Susan Sarandon) trap a larger target in return for reducing his son’s sentence.

To do so, John will have to betray Daniel James (Jon Bernthal), one of his ex-con employees, by convincing him to be his guide to the criminal underworld. By the time that Daniel realizes that John is using him, it may be too late for both men to escape unscathed.

Reservoir Dogs (1992) new

Reservoir Dogs
81 %
r 99m
Genre Crime, Thriller
Stars Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino made his theatrical directorial debut with Reservoir Dogs, and he even co-stars in a minor role as Mr. Brown. This isn’t as refined as Tarantino’s later films, but Reservoir Dogs’ thrills come from the tension that arises in the aftermath of a botched jewelry heist. Now, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is bleeding out from a gunshot wound while Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) tries to keep him alive, and Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) has hidden the score.

The psychopathic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) is convinced that someone betrayed the crew to the cops. And he’s not wrong. But with the crew at each other’s throats, they may not have to worry about the police if they can’t trust each other. Although it’s over 30 years old, Reservoir Dogs still holds up and remains one of Quentin Tarantino’s best movies.

Captain Phillips (2013) new

Captain Phillips
83 %
pg-13 134m
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller
Stars Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Directed by Paul Greengrass

Captain Phillips is based on the real story of Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), the captain of the cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The film starts its story before that incident, and it includes a previously thwarted attempt to hijack the ship. However, Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) and his men refuse to be deterred before ultimately taking the ship.

Although the crew of the ship manages to elude the pirates by hiding in the engine room, Phillips is held hostage by Muse and held at gunpoint. And even when the hijacking begins to backfire, the pirates refuse to let Phillips go.

River Wild (2023)

River Wild
pg-13 92m
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Adventure
Stars Adam Brody, Leighton Meester, Taran Killam
Directed by Ben Ketai

Nearly three decades ago, Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon headlined a white-water thriller called The River Wild. And while River Wild isn’t quite a remake, it’s not really a sequel either. Leighton Meester stars as Joey, a woman who has trust issues with her brother, Gray (Taran Killam). Much to Joey’s chagrin, Gary invites one of their childhood friends, Trevor (Adam Brody), on a white-water trip with two other people.

When one of their party is attacked, Joey realizes that the only option to save them is by braving the waters to get help. But there may be a killer among the group, and Joey isn’t sure who she can trust.

Collateral (2004)

71 %
r 120m
Genre Drama, Crime, Thriller
Stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Michael Mann

Tom Cruise seems to avoid playing villains for the most part, but he embraced his dark side in Michael Mann’s thriller, Collateral. The film focuses on Taxi driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx), a man who has grand ambitions of launching his own driving service. When Vincent (Cruise) offers Max $600 to drive him all night, it sounds like a good deal.

Unfortunately for Max, it quickly becomes clear that Vincent is a hired killer who is using him to take out his targets. And Max knows that once the last name on Vincent’s list is crossed out then he will be the final victim.

Non-Stop (2014)

56 %
pg-13 106m
Genre Action, Thriller, Mystery
Stars Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

On an overnight trip from New York to London, ex-cop turned Air Marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) faces the longest flight of his life in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s action thriller Non-Stop. Shortly after the flight, Marks gets a text warning him that someone on the plane will be killed in 20 minutes unless a high ransom is paid.

Marks initially suspects the other Air Marshal on the flight, Jack Hammond (Anson Mount). But when the bodies start piling up, Marks realizes that he’s been framed for these crimes and he has no idea who his true enemy is.

In the Line of Fire (1993)

In the Line of Fire
74 %
r 128m
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Stars Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Clint Eastwood plays an aging Secret Service Agent, Frank Horrigan, in the classic thriller, In the Line of Fire. Three decades earlier, Horrigan failed to protect President John F. Kennedy from an assassin’s bullet. Now, a killer calling himself Booth (John Malkovich) sends Horrigan taunting messages about his intent to murder the current President (Jim Curley).

Horrigan manages to get himself back on the President’s security detail, and he finds a potential romance with a much younger agent, Lilly Raines (Rene Russo). However, Booth plans to humiliate and demoralize Horrigan before ultimately pursuing his target.

The Mule (2018)

The Mule
58 %
r 116m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne
Directed by Clint Eastwood

Chances are good that The Mule may be one of Clint Eastwood’s final films, and it doesn’t start out as a thriller. Eastwood’s character, Earl Stone, is facing financial ruin until he receives an unexpected offer to be a drug mule for a cartel. And for a while, Earl’s life is charmed. He’s got all of the money he could ever want, and he’s a legend among the cartel.

The arrival of Gustavo (Clifton Collins Jr.), the new head of the cartel, is a wake-up call for Earl and that’s where the film becomes a thriller. Suddenly, Earl realizes that taking the cartel’s money has left him in an impossible situation, especially since DEA Agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) is closing in on him. Now, there are no easy ways out for Earl and he stands to lose everything that matters to him.

Run Rabbit Run (2023)

Run Rabbit Run
51 %
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Sarah Snook, Greta Scacchi, Damon Herriman
Directed by Daina Reid

Sarah Snook (Succession) headlines Run Rabbit Run, a thriller that takes some horrific turns. Sarah (Snook) is a single mother with a contentious relationship with her ex-husband, Peter (Damon Herriman). But Sarah’s real problem is with her daughter, Mia (Lily LaTorre). Inexplicably, Mia has taken on a new persona and declared that she is someone named Alice.

While Sarah doesn’t believe her daughter at first, the evidence mounts that Mia’s behavior somehow is tied to a dark episode in Sarah’s past. Something unnatural is happening with Mia, and Sarah may pay the price for keeping her secrets for so many years.

God's Crooked Lines (2022)

God's Crooked Lines
Genre Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Bárbara Lennie, Eduard Fernández, Loreto Mauleón
Directed by Oriol Paulo

You might want to watch God’s Crooked Lines with subtitles, otherwise, you may miss some critical details in this Spanish thriller. Bárbara Lennie stars as Alice Gould, a woman who has herself institutionalized by her husband, Heliodoro (David Selvas), in the late ‘70s and she finds herself under the care of Doctor Teodoro Ruipérez (Federico Aguado). However, Alice has her own hidden agenda as she tries to solve a murder while feigning mental illness.

Some of the creeps that Alice encounters, including the Gnome (Luis Sacristán), the Elephant Man (Francisco Javier Pastor), and the twins Romulo and Remo (both played by Samuel Soler). The scary part is that the staff at the institute pick apart Alice’s story and raise questions about whether she is an investigator or if she is simply paranoid and delusional.

Missing (2023)

66 %
pg-13 111m
Genre Thriller, Mystery
Stars Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung
Directed by Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick

Could you solve a mystery from the safety of your computer? That’s the challenge facing Grace Allen (Storm Reid) in Missing when her mother, Grace Allen (Nia Long), and her new boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung), disappear during their vacation to Columbia. While scrambling for answers, Grace finds evidence that Kevin may have hidden some suspicious details about his past.

With Grace stuck in the U.S., she has to turn to a man named Javier (Joaquim de Almeida) to act as her proxy in Columbia. But there’s only so much Grace can do before she has to head into danger herself.

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye
56 %
r 130m
Genre Crime
Stars Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Lucy Boynton
Directed by Scott Cooper

Given its extremely short stay in theaters in late 2022, you probably missed seeing The Pale Blue Eye when it was on the big screen. But the cast is too good for this movie to simply disappear among the other streaming thrillers. Christian Bale headlines the film as Augustus Landor, a former detective who has fallen on hard times following the death of his wife.

When Leroy Fry (Steven Maier), a cadet at West Point, is found ritualistically murdered, Landor is coaxed out of retirement to solve the mystery. But Landor can’t do it alone, which is why he turns to one of Fry’s classmates to act as his partner on the case: Cadet Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling).

The Snowman (2017)

The Snowman
23 %
r 119m
Genre Crime, Thriller
Stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Directed by Tomas Alfredson

It’s very appropriate that Michael Fassbender’s character in The Snowman is a detective named Harry Hole, because his life is in a deep hole when the story opens. Harry has broken up with the woman he loves, Rakel Fauke (Charlotte Gainsbourg), while struggling with his sobriety. Unfortunately for Harry, a serial killer has already started sending him enigmatic messages.

Harry’s new partner, Katrine Bratt (Silo‘s Rebecca Ferguson), is convinced that the killer is somehow linked to a case that was once investigated by Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer), an alcoholic former detective who was very much like Harry himself. But as the mystery intensifies, Harry realizes that Katrine has a personal connection that fuels her obsession with the case.

Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Dragged Across Concrete
60 %
r 159m
Genre Crime, Action, Thriller
Stars Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles
Directed by S. Craig Zahler

Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, Dragged Across Concrete boasts an ensemble cast featuring Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, and many other players. The story focuses on police officers Brett Ridgeman and Anthony Lurasetti (Gibson and Vaughn), partners expelled from the force after video goes viral of them viciously beating a drug dealer.

Over on the other side of town, recent parolee Henry (Tory Kittles) and childhood friend “Biscuit” (Michael Jai White) get into cahoots with a professional thief (played by Thomas Krestchmann), who just so happens to be targeted by the cash-hungry Brett and Anthony. A riveting crime epic from start to finish, Dragged Across Concrete delivers one propulsive thrill after the next.

I See You (2019)

I See You
65 %
r 98m
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Crime
Stars Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Owen Teague
Directed by Adam Randall

I See You is the kind of thriller that presents multiple twists and turns, keeping viewers griveted and guessing throughout its entire runtime. Directed by Adam Randall, this slow-burning tale stars Jon Tenney as Detective Greg Harper. Tasked with investigating a missing person’s case, evidence of the crime starts piling up that points toward a series of abductions that took place nearly 15 years before.

But as Harper’s case continues to unfold, his grip on reality weakens, as strange events begin taking place in his home. You’ll start this film thinking one thing, only to be totally redirected multiple times throughout. And thanks to Randall’s assured direction, this is a film you won’t soon forget about.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

47 Meters Down: Uncaged
pg-13 90m
Genre Horror, Drama, Adventure
Stars Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju
Directed by Johannes Roberts

A sequel to 47 Meters Down (2017), 47 Meters Down: Uncaged brings a whole new cast of characters to the mix, but keeps the threat of shark bite death alive. When four teenagers dive down to the remains of a sunken Mayan city, what begins as a life-changing discovery quickly becomes a harrowing fight for survival when the group discovers that the ancient place is a magnet for man-eating sharks.

While not straying too far from classic “shark movie” tropes, Uncaged instead ups the ante in the shocks department, delivering plenty of bone-chilling sequences that will have us all thinking twice about taking a plunge into any body of water.

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

All Quiet on the Western Front
r 147m
Genre War, Drama, Action
Stars Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Directed by Edward Berger
All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic text that has received its fair share of cinematic attention with both the Oscar-winning 1930 Lewis Milestone adaptation and director Delbert Mann’s 1979 TV movie version. So does Edward Bergers’ 2022 Netflix reimagining have anything worthwhile to say? Yes, actually. The latest retelling stars Felix Kammerer as Paul Bäumer, a young German soldier who enters combat during the last days of World War I. With his hopes high and valor strong, Paul and his comrades are thrust into the terrors of trench warfare — a harsh wake-up call to the enlistees that the battlefield is a forever-unforgiving place. Brilliantly shot and packed with the kind of performances that rip your heart out, All Quiet on the Western Front is just as relevant now as it was almost a century ago.

I Came By (2022)

I Came By
r 110m
Genre Thriller
Stars George MacKay, Percelle Ascott, Kelly Macdonald
Directed by Babak Anvari
I Came By stars George MacKay as Toby Nealey, an underground graffiti artist operating in London, who targets the aristocratic estates of the city’s top movers and shakers. Infamously renowned for the spray-painted “I Came By” moniker that he leaves behind, Nealey’s vigilante artwork lands the youth in troubled waters when he targets a decorated judge (played by Hugh Bonneville) who has some less-than-philanthropic secrets lurking in his manor — mysteries that could threaten Toby’s own life and the lives of those he holds dear. If you’re looking for pure originality, you won’t find it with I Came By, but among the tropes and cookie-cutter templating, there are still plenty of devilish surprises to shock viewers, and Bonneville is simply top-shelf casting as the madman running the show.

Circle (2015)

r 87m
Genre Science Fiction, Mystery, Drama, Thriller, Horror
Stars Julie Benz, Carter Jenkins, Cesar Garcia
Directed by Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione
In Circle, sci-fi dystopia takes center stage. The premise is fairly simple: a collective of 50 individuals is imprisoned in a mysterious compound, each stationed on a single platform. If they attempt to move from their location, a laser-beam of death instantly eradicates them. When it’s discovered that a random captive is executed every two minutes, the group figures out that a gesture-led voting system will allow them to select who among them will get the beam treatment. If you like your thriller flicks dark and disturbed, but filled with gripping plot points, give Circle a whir — you won’t be disappointed.

The Good Nurse (2022)

The Good Nurse
r 121m
Genre Drama, Crime, Mystery
Stars Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Emmerich
Directed by Tobias Lindholm

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.

Lou (2022)

r 107m
Genre Action, Thriller, Drama
Stars Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett, Logan Marshall-Green
Directed by Anna Foerster

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.

The Stranger (2022)

The Stranger
74 %
r 117m
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Jada Alberts
Directed by Thomas M. Wright
Based on Kate Kyriacou’s non-fiction novel, The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer, writer-director Thomas Wright’s cinematic adaptation of the source text, The Stranger, stars Joel Edgerton as an undercover cop tasked with befriending a suspected murderer (Sean Harris), in hopes of electing a confession from the elusive man. But when the guise of friendship starts to falter, it’s only a matter of time before things start to boil over. With a similar plot to Apple TV+’s Black Bird series (which is also based on true events), The Stranger is a pulse-pounding thriller done right.

Inheritance (2020)

31 %
r 110m
Genre Thriller
Stars Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen
Directed by Vaughn Stein
When New York City business magnate Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) passes away, a healthy inheritance is gifted to his surviving family members — his wife (Connie Nielsen), his son (Chace Crawford), and his daughter, Lauren (Lily Collins). But when a posthumous video confession from her father leads Lauren to a secret underground bunker beneath the family estate, what she discovers in the unknown locale spells disaster for her and the rest of her family. Playing like a combination of many different types of thrillers, Inheritance may not win everyone over, but genre diehards will appreciate the film’s many twists and turns.

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

A Walk Among the Tombstones
57 %
r 114m
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour
Directed by Scott Frank
In A Walk Among the Tombstones, Liam Neeson stars as former FBI agent-turned-private detective Matt Scudder, a man-for-hire working the streets of NYC. When a drug kingpin (Dan Stevens) calls upon Scudder to track down the men who brutally murdered his wife, Matt’s investigation turns up a number of jaw-dropping discoveries that force the PI to constantly address and re-address his moral compass. A Walk Among the Tombstones plays a bit like a grim film noir, a narrative leaning that bolsters the strength of the film’s script and further sells the airtight chops of the many onscreen talents.

Munich: The Edge of War (2022)

Munich: The Edge of War
53 %
pg-13 129m
Genre Drama, History
Stars George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner, Sandra Hüller
Directed by Christian Schwochow
Based on the 2017 Robert Harris novel Munich, Munich: The Edge of War stars Jeremy Irons, George MacKay, and Jannis Niewöhner, among other players. Directed by Christian Schwochow, the story follows Hugh Legat and Paul von Hartmann (MacKay and Niewöhner), a British civil servant and a German official tasked with traveling to Munich for an international conference of nations. But on the brink of WWII, the stakes are high for the European powers, with Hitler’s planned takeover of Czechoslovakia an imminent danger. Can negotiations be successfully made, or will the Nazi besiegement come to be? An eloquently stylized espionage thriller, Schwochow draws on the many strengths of his core cast to deliver an elevated historical spy picture, exploring and unpacking the art and risk of top-shelf subterfuge.

The Platform (2019)

The Platform
73 %
r 95m
Genre Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Iván Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Zorion Eguileor
Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Have you ever seen or heard of famed French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve’s short film Next Floor? If not, here’s a quick summary: A baroquely-costumed set of aristocrats gorge on a handsome feast, with their increasingly accrued weight plummeting them (and their table, chairs, and food) through the floor, where they resume said gorging. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform plays with some of the same narrative bits, albeit in the form of a more realized social commentary. The story follows the imprisoned residents of a Vertical Self-Management Center, a dystopian vessel that delivers food to its captives by way of an elevator system. In order of randomized hierarchy, those at the top get the most food, while those at the bottom get the scraps. Inevitably, this leads to an uprising of horrific proportions. The Platform is a satirical production that grapples with Darwinism in some bizarre and all-consuming ways. One thing is for sure: It’s a flick you don’t want to miss.

Spiderhead (2022)

54 %
r 107m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Spiderhead tears down all the bars, gates, and imposing walls of the traditional prison thriller. And it totally flips the sub-genre on its head with a bit of sci-fi thrown in for good measure. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as Steve Abnesti, the tech-warden-savant of a revolutionary new prison, one where inmates are fed mind-altering drugs for their respective sentences as opposed to literal time “behind bars.” But when two new inmates, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), enter the facility, they form a unique bond that calls Abnesti’s experimental practices into question. Based on the George Saunders short story Escape from Spiderhead, the film adaptation aims for a high-brow blending of wit and adrenaline. While it doesn’t completely nail either, screen-stealing performances from its main ensemble, particularly Hemsworth, are enough to keep us here for the long haul.

Interceptor (2022)

54 %
r 98m
Genre Action, Thriller, Adventure
Stars Elsa Pataky, Luke Bracey, Aaron Glenane
Directed by Matthew Reilly

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.

Disappearance at Clifton Hill (2020)

Disappearance at Clifton Hill
61 %
pg-13 100m
Genre Thriller
Stars Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross, David Cronenberg
Directed by Albert Shin
As a child, Abby inadvertently witnessed a harrowing deed: A kidnapping carried out in broad daylight. Now an adult (played by Tuppence Middleton), Abby returns to her hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario, after inheriting a family-run motel in the wake of her mother’s passing. Upon taking up residence at the Clifton Hill resort, Abby’s memories of the childhood kidnapping return full force. She begins reconstructing the crime from her memories, becoming a vigilante detective that follows a trail of loose leads that could reveal what happened to the boy she saw taken away years ago. A grim and stylish thriller with tinges of noir tossed in for good measure, Disappearance at Clifton Hill is an excellent foray into the world of independent genre filmmaking.

Operation Mincemeat (2022)

Operation Mincemeat
65 %
pg-13 128m
Genre War, History, Drama
Stars Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald
Directed by John Madden
Operation Mincemeat stars Colin Firth and Succession‘s Matthew Macfadyen as Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley, two British World War II intelligence officers who are tasked with protecting resistance troops that are planning an all-out siege of Sicily by July of that year. To do so, both men are inspired by the 1939 Trout Memo to send a corpse filled with misleading information and a false identity onto enemy shores. What follows is an act of wartime deception unlike any other. Based on Ben Macintyre’s historical text of the same name, Operation Mincemeat features powerhouse performances from both Firth and Macfadyen, and a plot full of memorable turns and nail-biting subterfuge. 

Triple Frontier (2019)

Triple Frontier
61 %
r 125m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime, Adventure
Stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam
Directed by J.C. Chandor
In Triple Frontier, an ensemble of recognizable talents are given the action-hero treatment for what amounts to a heist thriller that dares to say more about the genre, and succeeds. Our story follows a team of ex-Special Forces comrades as they band together to steal away the fortune of a South American drug lord. But as the group’s collective hubris threatens to deconstruct their mission, their adversaries gain ground, forcing the mercenaries to fight for their lives. 

Lost Bullet (2020)

Lost Bullet
78 %
r 92m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime
Stars Alban Lenoir, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Rod Paradot
Directed by Guillaume Pierret
Lost Bullet is exactly what the world needs right now: A taut action-thriller with adrenaline-fueled everything — cinematography, editing, score, etc. Starring Alban Lenoir as Lino, a talented mechanic, Lino is in over his head when charges for a crime he committed in a horrific past life catch up to him. To escape the clutches of the crooked cops that want him put away, Lino must journey once more into the world of underground ram-driving to find his true freedom. Loud, caustic, and a ton of fun, Lost Bullet does both the familiar and daring with the sub-genre it lives within. 

The Devil All the Time (2020)

The Devil All the Time
55 %
r 138m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough
Directed by Antonio Campos
In writer-director Antonio Campos’ The Devil all the Time (an adaptation of the Donald Ray Pollack novel of the same name), the lives of several small-town post-World War II citizens are changed forever when the fervor of evangelical religion descends upon their rural community. Powered by an ensemble cast (Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland chief amongst the players), the source material may have been a bit too much to pull off for the creative team, but The Devil all the Time manages to serve up plenty of maniacal thrills, regardless of the bumpy nature of its narrative coherence. 

Windfall (2022)

52 %
r 92m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Jason Segel, Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons
Directed by Charlie McDowell
In Windfall, Jason Segel stars as an unnamed home invader. Breaking into the regal estate of a billionaire CEO, the man seeks to make off with whatever he can find, but his plans are thwarted when the owner of the home (Jesse Plemons) and his spouse (Lily Collins) arrive unexpectedly. As the robbery devolves into a hostage situation, the three home inhabitants are forced to contend with both their actions and intentions, all while some long-held secrets boil to the surface. A bare-bones thriller that really gets the job done, thanks in part to the strengths of its core cast, Windfall will have you glued to the edge of your couch for its entire 90 minutes.

The Weekend Away (2022)

The Weekend Away
51 %
r 89m
Genre Thriller, Mystery
Stars Leighton Meester, Christina Wolfe, Ziad Bakri
Directed by Kim Farrant
Based on the 2020 Sarah Alderson novel of the same name, The Weekend Away stars Leighton Meester as Beth, a woman who boards a flight to Croatia to spend time with her best friend, Kate (Christina Wolfe). It turns out that Kate’s marriage isn’t going so well, but after a night on the town, the women agree to make the most of their getaway. But when Beth wakes the next morning, Kate is nowhere to be found. As she begins looking for her lost friend, the plot continues to thicken for Beth as she realizes that their simple trip may have been more than the girl’s retreat it was made out to be.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
52 %
r 111m
Genre Crime
Stars Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario
Directed by Joe Berlinger
An adaptation of the Elizabeth Kendall memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted BundyExtremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile stars Zac Efron as the infamous serial killer and Lily Collins as his longtime girlfriend, Liz. As news of Bundy’s crimes start making headlines, the authorities descend on the murderer, putting him behind bars. At first, Liz is hesitant to believe that Ted could commit such horrific crimes, but as the evidence starts piling up, her steadfast belief in her partner starts to wane. Featuring great lead performances and a captivating story told from the perspective of someone who doesn’t want to believe their lover is a psychopath, Extremely Wicked is unnerving from start to finish.

Stowaway (2021)

63 %
pg-13 117m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller
Stars Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson
Directed by Joe Penna
From Gravity to Passengers, the sci-fi-meets-thriller sub-genre has seen a lot of attention over the last decade. Stowaway, a new entry to the fold, honors the close-quarters iconography of the flicks that came before it while delivering its own unique set of thrills. Our story follows a three-person crew (Toni Collette, Anna Kendrick, and Daniel Dae Kim) on a voyage to Mars. After takeoff, the trifecta discovers a fourth passenger is also onboard, a presence that threatens the lives of the four space-bound humans. Faced with life-or-death decision making, Stowaway leans on the acting gravitas of its main ensemble and tight script to tell a familiar yet gripping story of choices and consequences. 

Fever Dream (2021)

Fever Dream
75 %
r 93m
Genre Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Horror
Stars María Valverde, Guillermo Pfening, Dolores Fonzi
Directed by Claudia Llosa
A hypnotic adaptation of the Samantha Schweblin novel of the same name, Fever Dream centers on the story of two young mothers that are brought together in psychologically mind-bending ways when their children fall victim to a mysterious poisoning. A commentary on some of Argentina’s environmental troubles, the film takes a bold visual approach, building an overbearingly eerie tone as the fates of several characters become unbreakably intertwined.

Extraction (2020)

56 %
r 116m
Genre Drama, Action, Thriller
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda
Directed by Sam Hargrave
Retiring his superhero cape in favor of gritty militant threads, Extraction stars Thor alum Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, a cunning Australian mercenary. Hired to rescue the kidnapped son of a Mumbai crime lord, Tyler’s descent into hostile territory quickly proves to be more than the black-ops soldier ever bargained for. Packed with electric action sequences and a strong performance from Hemsworth, Extraction is an octane-charged foray into the familiar amalgamation of the action-meets-thriller sub-genre.

The Ice Road (2021)

The Ice Road
42 %
pg-13 108m
Genre Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Stars Liam Neeson, Marcus Thomas, Laurence Fishburne
Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh
The Ice Road stars thriller-stalwart Liam Neeson as Mike, a big-rig truck driver. When a crew of diamond miners is trapped inside their working quarters in the wake of a collapse, Mike must drive his eighteen-wheeler across the harsh Canadian tundras, over frozen waters and through a devastating storm, to rescue the miners. But as Mother Nature begins prevailing, Mike and his backup team are in for much more than they bargained for. Playing out much like a number of Liam Neeson’s cinematic escapades, The Ice Road doesn’t seek to reinvent the action-thriller but provides plenty of gravitas in the form of big dialogue, big effects, and big locations.

Synchronic (2020)

64 %
r 101m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Horror
Stars Anthony Mackie, Jamie Dornan, Katie Aselton
Directed by Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson
Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are lifelong best friends and paramedic co-workers operating in New Orleans. When a series of horrific accidents are called into the duo, the pair believes it will be work as usual. That is until Dennis’ daughter disappears, forcing both men to question the true properties of a dangerous drug that has been found amongst all the accident victims. Is the drug capable of actually bending time in some way? Or are Steve and Dennis beginning to lose their minds with all the pressure at work. A mind-bender with tinges of sci-fi-like bits of bread crumbs along the way, Synchronic will make you ever more empathetic to the lives and hardships of first-responders — especially those affected by dimension-breaking narcotics.

Forgotten (2017)

r 108m
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Crime
Stars Kang Ha-neul, Kim Moo-yul, Moon Sung-keun
Directed by Jang Hang-jun
Jin-seok (Kang Ha-neul) has just moved into a new house with his parents and older brother, and it’s quite the unusual place. While there’s seemingly nothing that is blatantly out of the ordinary, Jin-seok just doesn’t feel right under the new roof. This is further compounded when his brother is suddenly kidnapped, returning close to three weeks later. After his sibling’s reemergence, Jin-seok notices that his entire nuclear unit is acting funny. Then they hit him with the news: It’s not actually 1997, but 2017. What in tarnation is going on? A slick entry in the South Korean action-thriller canon, Forgotten is a visual feast set against a compelling and complex narrative.

Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Coming Home in the Dark
64 %
r 93m
Genre Thriller, Horror
Stars Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, Miriama McDowell
Directed by James Ashcroft
The feature debut of James Ashcroft, Coming Home in the Dark stars Daniel Gillies and Matthias Luafutu as Mandrake and Tubs, a pair of hellbent maniacs who attach themselves to the doomed Hoaganraad family, a nuclear unit of four hoping to enjoy a weekend away from it all. As the family gets to know Mandrake more, they soon realize that his surface-level charisma is but a thin wall that holds back a much more sinister plan, a scheme he has been planning for nearly two decades. Powered by a devilish lead performance from Daniel Gillies, Coming Home in the Dark will feel familiar to anyone who was watched movies like Funny Games, but it’s a welcome entry to the constantly rotating sub-genre of domestic invasion thrillers.

Sentinelle (2021)

r 80m
Genre Thriller, Action, Drama
Stars Olga Kurylenko, Marilyn Lima, Michel Nabokoff
Directed by Julien Leclercq
Revenge-thrillers are a dime a dozen, so what makes Sentinelle any different than the rest? Well, for starters, it’s completely unrelenting. The plot follows Klara (Olga Kurylenko), a discharged soldier sent home after a harrowing close call during combat. The woman’s trauma is only compounded when she uncovers a web of crime that could lead to her sister’s death. Taking justice into her own hands, Klara utilizes her weapons training and intellect to hunt down the could-be killers. As mentioned, Sentinelle hits hard and fast, delivering a blazing action-thriller in less than 90 minutes.

Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves
49 %
r 127m
Genre Action, Thriller, Comedy
Stars Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee
Directed by Matthias Schweighöfer
Serving as a prequel to Zack Synder’s adrenaline-pumping Army of the DeadArmy of Thieves was co-written by Matthias Schweighöfer and Synder and directed by Schweighöfer. Our story follows Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), operating as Sebastian, a safecracking expert living in Potsam. When one of Sebastian’s safecracking instructional YouTube videos receives attention from a mysterious viewer, he journeys into the city where he is recruited to join an elite heist-team led by Gwendoline (Natalie Emmanuel). Together, the band of thieves concoct a plan to crack a series of impenetrable safes throughout Europe. A brilliant extension of the Army universe, Thieves stands on its own two legs, thanks to memorable performances and riveting set-pieces. 

The Guilty (2021)

The Guilty
63 %
r 91m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
LAPD officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) is working the night shift for 9-1-1 dispatch. Awaiting a court hearing for an initially-unknown incident that occurred months before, Joe receives a call from a woman claiming to be kidnapped. As Joe does everything in his power to help his abducted caller, it soon becomes clear that this singular call may have more to do with Joe and his past than he’s aware of. A fist-clenching thriller, one led by an extremely captivating lead performance from Gyllenhaal, The Guilty may not be as great as the original 2018 Danish film, but the talent onscreen and close-quarters cinematography is undeniably gripping.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

In the Shadow of the Moon
48 %
r 115m
Genre Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Michael C. Hall
Directed by Jim Mickle
Our story begins in 1988. Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) is faced with a macabre investigation in Philadelphia — one where several victims all hemorrhage to death at the same time, with puncture wounds located on each of their heads. Following leads that inevitably result in an even deeper mystery, Lockhart’s investigation goes dormant until a series of copycat killings resurfaces nine years later. A great blend of mystery-meets-sci-fi, In the Shadow of the Moon may not land with all viewers, but as a made-for-Netflix caper, it’s an arresting genre-dive you won’t want to miss.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals
67 %
r 116m
Genre Drama, Thriller
Stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Directed by Tom Ford
When art curator Susan Morrow receives the manuscript for her ex-husband’s latest novel entitled Nocturnal Animals, she begins reading the book. As Susan unpacks the novel, we watch the prose unfold onscreen. In the text, a teacher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his family have a horrific run-in with a pack of miscreants on a deserted country road, leading the patriarch down a twisted path of revenge. The more Susan reads, the more she realizes how several events of the book echo significant moments from her past with Edward (also played by Gyllenhaal), her writerly ex. A tension-packed modern noir laced with incredible performances, Nocturnal Animals is one you don’t want to scroll past.

Creep (2014)

74 %
r 82m
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice, Katie Aselton
Directed by Patrick Brice
When shoestring videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) accepts a paying gig from a mysterious new client, his visit to the man’s remote mountain residence soon devolves into a bizarre nightmare as Josef (Mark Duplass), the homeowner, claims to be making a video for his unborn child before he dies from a brain tumor. At least that’s what Josef wants Aaron to believe. The truth, as the viewer will come to discover, is far more sinister. Taking the found footage sub-genre to thrilling new places, Creep feels like a very small film, but one packed with suspense and misdirects as Josef’s intentions become increasingly murkier.

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

Gunpowder Milkshake
47 %
r 114m
Genre Action, Thriller, Crime
Stars Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Chloe Coleman
Directed by Navot Papushado
In this rollicking action thriller, Karen Gillan stars as Sam, a high-octane assassin carrying out hits for an underground organization known as The Firm. Abandoned at a young age by her mother (Lena Headey), a fellow hitman, Sam’s estrangement has reinforced her cold-blooded tendencies. In the wake of a hit gone wrong, Sam is forced to re-examine her allegiance to the organization that provides her lifestyle and the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl (Chloe Coleman). An intense film from start to finish, Gunpowder Milkshake gives us an intriguing premise with excellent players and top-notch filmmaking.

The Vault (2021)

The Vault
50 %
r 118m
Genre Crime, Action, Thriller
Stars Freddie Highmore, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Sam Riley
Directed by Jaume Balagueró
In The Vault, Freddie Highmore stars as Thom, a prolific engineer who happens upon some intoxicating intel. Learning of a hidden treasure trove located underneath The Bank of Spain, Thom and his group of allies concoct a master plan to break into the compound and make off with the riches while the rest of the country is distracted by Spain’s World Cup Final. Powered by energetic performances from its main ensemble and buttressed by some incredible set pieces and memorable locations, The Vault hits all the beats that a heist thriller should, making for an excellent watch.

Hold the Dark (2018)

Hold the Dark
63 %
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Cast Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale
In his follow-up to the ultra-violent Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier takes to the great wilds of Alaska for an adaptation of William Giraldi’s Hold the Dark. Starring Jeffrey Wright as wolf-tracker Russell Core, the animal expert is hired by Medora Slone (Riley Keough), a woman convinced that a pack of vicious wolves made off with her young son. As Russell begins his investigation, Medora’s spouse, Vernon (Alexander Skarsgård), arrives home from Iraq. Troubled by the horrors of frontline warfare, Vernon begins an all-out descent into madness as Russell begins to uncover more than he bargained for in the unrelenting tundra. Working with his biggest budget yet, indie stalwart Jeremy Saulnier delivers a grim reimagining of Giraldi’s already-macabre prose, complete with big action sequences and a touch of folkloric horror.

The Call (2020)

The Call
r 112m
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Science Fiction
Stars Park Shin-hye, Jeon Jong-seo, Kim Sung-ryung
Directed by Lee Chung-hyun
In Chung-hyun Lee’s The Call, we follow two different timelines, with a telephone call linking both eras. Seo-Yeon (Shin-hye Park) spends her days in the present while Young-Sook (Jong-seo Jun) lurks in the past. One is a serial killer, the other the victim. A bizarre amalgam of sci-fi-meets-psychological-thriller, The Call scores high with us for its nail-biting narrative, moody tone, dedicated performances, and plenty of originality.

Red Dot (2021)

Red Dot
Genre Thriller
Cast Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Nanna Blondell, Anastasios Soulis
David (Anastasios Soulis) and Nadja (Nanna Blondell), a set of young newlyweds, lead a stressful life of work, school, and poor communication skills. When Nadja learns that she’s pregnant, she decides to save the news for an adventurous ski trip to Sweden’s far north with David. As the couple begins to lose themselves to nature’s bounty, a hidden assailant begins stalking David and Nadja. It’s a nightmarish fight for survival in the merciless winter wilderness, as the infamous red dot of a rifle-sight follows every move the married couple makes. An energy-packed survival thriller, Red Dot is effective in making us feel just as lost and drenched in paranoia as the film’s leading talents.

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Velvet Buzzsaw
61 %
r 113m
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Horror
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton
Directed by Dan Gilroy
The art world is a strange one to live in, particularly when the tortured spirits of dead artists start wreaking havoc on the outside world. These are the cards we’re dealt with Dan Gilroy’s insanely odd Velvet Buzzsaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Morf Vandewalt, an eccentric art critic that comes in contact with the possessed paintings of Vetril Dease (Alan Mandell). Death, dismemberment, and other macabre occurrences soon descend on the principal players, leaving us to wonder where the line is drawn between reality and fiction. Big, odd, and loaded with color, Velvet Buzzsaw is one you won’t forget.

Piercing (2018)

63 %
r 82m
Genre Thriller, Horror, Mystery
Stars Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
Directed by Nicolas Pesce
Reed is a near-homicidal family man who needs an outlet for his inner rage. So, he decides on a prostitute. Not for sex. For murdering. What he didn’t expect was Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), a call girl just as cunning, sadistic, and merciless as Reed himself. When the two get together, Reed’s killer plan disintegrates before his eyes, and a wicked game of cat and mouse begins. Piercing is an adaptation of Ryū Murakami’s novel of the same name, source material that writer-director Nicholas Pesce pays great respect to. This vision is only furthered by the perfectly-cast Abbott and Wasikowska, two versatile actors who flourish as the wretched psychopaths of Piercing.

Calibre (2018)

76 %
Genre Horror, Thriller
Cast Jack Lowden, Martin McCann, Tony Curran
When two lifelong friends, a businessman and his pal from boarding school, head out for a hunting weekend in the Scottish Highlands, things quickly turn ugly. The old friends find themselves unexpectedly panicked and dealing with dire situations they never thought they would face. The British thriller, originally released on Netflix, was described by Variety as an “intensely terrifying twist on Deliverance.”

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
72 %
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action
Cast Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Charles Baker
For fans of the AMC series Breaking Bad, this flick is the epilogue they’ve been waiting for to address the unanswered question of what happened to Jesse Pinkman. For others who might not have seen Breaking Bad, it’s still a fabulous film about a young man on the run from a clearly sordid past. It wraps Pinkman’s story up with a nice little bow and delivers plenty of cameos and throwback references from the original series to make it a worthwhile watch for any fan who has been missing the show.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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