A List Of Best Thriller Movies

Thrillers are some of the most thrilling movies around. Full of suspense, surprise and intrigue, it’s no wonder that people are always looking for new titles to enjoy. To help you out, we’ve gone ahead and curated a list of the best thriller movies of all time. Here are some of the most suspenseful, gripping and thought-provoking films you’ll ever watch.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is widely considered one of the best thrillers ever. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, this supernatural mystery was a box office success and won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. It tells the story of a boy who can ‘see dead people’ and a psychiatrist who helps him come to terms with this. With its intense plot and great performances, this movie is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Silence Of The Lambs

Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs is another classic thriller. Starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in two of their career-defining performances, this film is an intense psychological drama. It follows an FBI trainee who must consult a notorious serial killer in order to track down another murderer. This may be one of the darkest thriller movies, but it is sure to keep you hooked until the end.


What list of best thriller movies would be complete without mentioning Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho? Starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, the movie tells the story of a disturbed motel owner living with his mother’s corpse and a young woman who happens to check into his motel. The movie was groundbreaking at the time for its use of suspense and horror and influenced generations of filmmakers. It is a must-watch for any fan of thrillers.

Rear Window

Another iconic Hitchcock movie, Rear Window is a gripping mystery-thriller starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. When a wheelchair-bound photographer witnesses a murder through his rear window, a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse ensues. This technical masterpiece is full of memorable moments and will keep you guessing right up until the end.


Se7en is one of the most iconic thrillers of the 90s. Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, the movie follows two detectives attempting to catch a madman who is punishing people for their sins with gruesome murders. This dark and brooding masterpiece is full of twists and turns, and it will keep you guessing until the very end.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the best neo-noir thrillers of recent years. Directed by David Fincher, the movie follows a journalist attempting to investigate a decades-old unsolved murder. Along with a brilliant performance from Rooney Mara, the movie features a great script, gripping cinematography and a chilling atmosphere. It is sure to leave you shaken.

The Usual Suspects

One of the all-time classic thrillers, The Usual Suspects is a twisty and suspenseful crime mystery. Starring Kevin Spacey, the movie follows a group of criminals attempting to pull off a daring heist. It was an instant hit with both critics and audiences, and it has earned its place among the best thrillers ever made.

Shutter Island

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island is a psychological thriller featuring Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his most memorable roles. Set on a mysterious island, the movie follows a US Marshal who is trying to solve the disappearance of a patient from an insane asylum. This intense and unsettling movie is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very end.

What Makes These Movies Thrilling?

When it comes to thrillers, any filmmaker must create a world that is full of suspense, surprise and dread. The best thrillers compel their viewers to stay on the edge of their seat, either for fear of what may happen or in anticipation of what comes next. This requires careful pacing, effective use of music, and an intense atmosphere.

The Role Of Suspense

One of the essential elements of a good thriller is suspense. It is the tension that builds in the audience’s minds in anticipation of what may come next. This can be achieved through a slow reveal of information or by creating a sense of dread and impending danger. The best thrillers are those that can build suspense throughout the entire film, keeping the audience guessing until the very end.

The Use Of Music

Music plays a key role in creating an intense atmosphere in a thriller movie. By using music to build suspense and tension, a filmmaker can create a film that will keep its audience on the edge of their seat. A good example of this is John Williams’ iconic score for Jaws, which uses a simple two-note motif to create an atmosphere of dread and tension.

The Importance Of Characters

Another important element of a good thriller movie is its characters. In order for the audience to become fully immersed in the story, it is important for the characters to be relatable and believable. The audience must be able to identify with the characters and root for them as they attempt to solve the mystery. A good thriller movie will feature memorable and well-crafted characters.


From psychological dramas to suspenseful mysteries, the best thriller movies use a combination of suspense, music, and character development to create an intense and unforgettable experience. While there are too many great thrillers to cover in one article, the movies mentioned above are some of the best that the genre has to offer. So if you’re looking for a good thriller movie, any of these should be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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