Thrills don’t always have to be scary. Their main purpose is to get the heart pumping, a feeling so intense that it feels like your chest is going to burst — that’s the sign of a great thriller. As it turns out, Hulu has a large selection of them if you’re needing more suspense in your life.
Ready to dive in? We picked out the best thrillers you can watch on Hulu, including recent films and ones that date back as far as 2008.
Sarah Paulson is having a moment — well, she’s always having a moment. The star actress is capping off the year with Run, an intense thriller originally set for a theatrical release on Mother’s Day 2020, instead now coming to Hulu on November 20. Paulson stars as a mother who seems to be harboring a deep secret, as her isolated daughter Chloe is slowly discovering. Kiera Allen, who plays Chloe, matches Paulson scene for scene and advances the conversation about representation in film, as Allen is a wheelchair-bound actress. Run is the highlight of original movies coming to the streaming service in November.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Pat Healy
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Runtime: 90 minutes
Arguably the most talked-about movie of 2019, director Bong Joon-ho hit it out of the park with this black comedy thriller about a poor family in South Korea who, in an attempt to improve their dire straits, hatch a seemingly clever plan. They each recommend one another for a job working for a wealthy family when, in reality, not a single one of them is qualified to fill the position they get. Sweeping the Academy Awards with four Oscars, including two of the most coveted ones, Best Picture and Best Director, the film transcends language and culture and gets right to the heart of issues like social inequality and wealth disparity.
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Runtime: 132 minutes
Jails aren’t the only prisons. Prisoners stars Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover, a man whose child was kidnapped on Thanksgiving, along with one of the daughter’s friends. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is tasked with finding the girls and bringing the kidnapper to justice. Dover eventually takes things into his own hand and both he and Loki deploy less-than-legal techniques to locate the victims. Jackman and Gyllenhaal both give passionate, stripped-down performances that resonate long after the credits roll, while the movie never drops its thrilling element, leaving audiences in suspense until the end.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Runtime: 153 minutes
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
The Mission Impossible films have been hugely successful, and this is just one of two of the films in the franchise that you can stream via Hulu. In this, the fourth installment, Tom Cruise reprises his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt whose latest mission (should he choose to accept it, of course) is to find the bad guy who is about to do something terrible with newly acquired Russian nuclear launch codes. Grab the popcorn as this one will be a bumpy, but thoroughly entertaining ride.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
Director: Brad Bird
Runtime: 128 minutes
The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
When a group of college students set out to a remote cabin to party, they end up getting more than they bargained for. Pivoting more toward the horror genre, this thriller sees the young adults getting unknowingly drugged and used as lab rats by technicians in an underground lab who look on as monsters and zombies attack them, one by one. Co-written by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the film has been praised for managing to be funny, strange, and scary, oddly all at the same time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison
Director: Drew Goddard
Runtime: 95 minutes
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Quantum of Solace is not the most beloved of the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig, but it’s still a fun and thrilling ride from beginning to end. Directly following the events of Casino Royale, Bond goes out in search of revenge for the death of his lover, leaving him on the trail of a wealthy businessman planning a seismic governmental overthrow to seize the water supply. This film is darker in tone than previous installments of the franchise and is also dramatically more violent. Still, it features the classic tropes of any James Bond film, promising action and adventure each step of the way. Leaving Hulu November 30.
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench
Director: Marc Forster
Runtime: 106 minutes
Super 8 (2011)
Produced by Steven Spielberg, this movie is set is 1979, where a group of teenagers decides to film a movie on Super 8. But when a train derails, something strange starts happening in their town. Given the time period, it’s no surprise the movie has been compared to others that were actually made during the ’80s, like E.T., Stand by Me, and The Goonies, but with a darker, more ominous approach. While the concept might not be entirely original, the film is worth watching for the impressive technical and special effects alone, for which it won many awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich
Director: J.J. Abrams
Runtime: 112 minutes
A Simple Favor (2018)
When her new wealthy fashion executive friend (Blake Lively) mysteriously disappears, Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a widowed single mother and small-town vlogger, decides to take it upon herself to solve the mystery. But what she unearths is like nothing she could ever have expected. With two powerful female actors heading up the cast, the film performed well at the box office, and critics called it “twisted” and “fun.”
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells
Director: Paul Feig
Runtime: 117 minutes
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Jason Bourne has the same initials as James Bond, and the film franchise seems to be aiming for the same longevity as the famous spy institution. The Bourne Identity is the movie that started it all in 2002, launching a franchise that has now spanned five films. Matt Damon starred as the titular character suffering from amnesia, launching him into the stratosphere as a bonafide action star. In the movie, Bourne is recovering from a near-death experience and attempting to piece together the truth of his identity amid a dangerous CIA operation. The Bourne Identity is new to Hulu in November, as are the other two movies that make up the franchise’s original trilogy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Brian Cox
Director: Doug Liman
Runtime: 118 minutes
A former undercover cop seeks revenge on the gang she was once embedded in, more than a decade after a bank robbery the gang committed. If the plot doesn’t drive you to watch Destroyer, the tour de force performance of Nicole Kidman should. Even though the film was a box office flop, Kidman gave it her all, turning in a remarkable performance that sheds any previous notions of limitations she has as an actress. Dark, gritty, and unrelenting, Destroyer is a tremendous trip that should go down as one of Kidman’s greatest cinematic roles, one which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Star: Nicole Kidman
Director: Karyn Kusama
Runtime: 121 minutes
Eye in the Sky (2015)
The film marks the late Alan Rickman’s last live-action project and was dedicated to his memory. Exploring the ethics of drone warfare, it is set in Nairobi, Kenya, where an undercover British/Kenyan agent has been murdered by a terrorist group and the hunt begins to take them down. British Army Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) must decide if she should give the go-ahead for a missile attack to take out suicide bombers. But there’s a wrench in the plan; an innocent young girl is on the premises and there’s a high probability she would be killed, too. The film truly makes you examine the question, what is the cost of war?
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen
Director: Gavin Hood
Runtime: 102 minutes
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
In the sixth and most recent installment of this hugely successful franchise (certainly not the last, as two more have been confirmed to be in the works), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has yet another mission. There’s plutonium missing and he and his team must retrieve it. Except when a mission goes awry, the CIA steps in to monitor the hunt. It remains not only the highest-grossing film in the franchise but also Cruise’s highest-grossing film ever. Considered by many to be the best Mission Impossible film to date, it’s worth watching as you await the release of the seventh and eighth films, likely to be released in late 2021 and 2022.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Runtime: 147 minutes
If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller, this one might satisfy your craving. After a comet passes by while friends are enjoying a dinner party, there’s a strange power outage; then, strange things start to happen. The friends discover a box with photos of themselves at a dinner party set for eight in an empty house across the street. It turns out the other house is an alternate, a sort of upside-down, bizarro carbon copy of the world, with identical replicas of each person there, just as confused as they are. It’s like a twisty, mind-bending funhouse come to life, and viewers will enjoy going along for the ride.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Runtime: 88 minutes
Fraud is the starting point for Arbitrage, as Robert Miller (Richard Gere) attempts to sell his company for more than $400 million, despite cooking the books. But that’s just the beginning of Miller’s problems, as the stress of his illegal dealings and an affair results in a car accident that takes the life of his mistress, which he must then cover-up to avoid further scrutiny from the authorities. Miller’s selfish decisions continue to have ramifications on his life, as he loses the respect and trust of everyone around him as he tries to keep himself out of trouble. Gere was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, considered one of the best of his career.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling
Director: Nicholas Jarecki
Runtime: 107 minutes
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
For those who like their thrillers with more scares, The Blair Witch Project specializes in the genre. One of the most legendary horror films of all time, The Blair Witch Project consists of “found-footage,” meant to look nothing like the cinematic blockbusters moviegoers have become accustomed to. The film tracks three student filmmakers searching for a local legend, Blair Witch, in the Maryland woods. But viewers only see the experience through the eyes of the filmmakers and the footage they left behind while searching for the legend. It cost less than $1 million to make the film, which went on to rake in almost $250 million at the box office, a massive success story. The Blair Witch Project also spawned new “found-footage” films, like Cloverfield.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard
Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez
Runtime: 82 minutes
Ronin is not the most well-known film in Robert De Niro’s vast filmography, but it remains underrated to this day. De Niro plays Sam, a mercenary tasked with stealing a mysterious briefcase. Allegiances are flexible throughout the film, but the desire to obtain the briefcase by all parties never wavers, echoing the hallmarks of a heist film. The best attribute of Ronin remains the car chase scenes through Paris and Nice, which remain some of the best in film history, something the Fast and Furious franchise can only aspire to.
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Director: John Frankenheimer
Runtime: 122 minutes
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