100 Best Thriller Movies to Watch Right Now (2023)

From action to horror to dystopia to romance, a good, hair-raising thriller can overlap with many different genres. It could follow an obsessed detective or an even more obsessed lover, and it could be about the end of the world just as much as it could be about the breakdown of any one person. Whatever its premise, the main thing about a thriller is that it should grip you from start to end, never letting your mind wander until you reach the jaw-dropping conclusion.

In this list, we’ve gathered our favorite thrillers you can stream on your preferred platform right now. These movies span backgrounds, genres, and plot lines, but you can be sure that they are the best of the best: highly rated by critics and viewers alike.

100. Thelma (2017)

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7.2

Country

Denmark, France, Norway

Director

Joachim Trier

Actors

Anders Mossling, Camilla Belsvik, Eili Harboe, Ellen Dorrit Petersen

Moods

Gripping, Intense, Suspenseful

Much like the 1976 horror classic Carrie, Thelma centers on a young telekinetic woman whose religious upbringing and sexual repression give way to unpredictable moments of fury and rage. When she meets the cool, charismatic Anja, she falls in love immediately, but the wave of emotions that overwhelm her threaten to destabilize not just their budding romance, but other relationships and lives as well.

Thelma recalls Carrie in other ways too, most notably in the way it uses supernatural elements to allude to female fury and lust, but it also stands on its own as a singular piece of work; the mesmerizing transitions, the slow-burn pace, and the undercurrent of melancholia are all known trademarks of director Joachim Trier. This layering of old and new makes Thelma an intriguing watch, at once recognizable and wholly original.

99. Rudy (1993)

100 Best Thriller Movies to Watch Right Now (2)

7.2

Country

Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom

Director

David Anspaugh, Neil Jordan

Actors

Amy Pietz, Charles S. Dutton, Chelcie Ross, Christopher Erwin

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Lighthearted

Based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Rettinger, this biographical movie follows young Rudy as he pursues his childhood dream of playing football for Notre Dame, despite significant obstacles and copious discouragement from those around him. The movie works not by hitching the action to any major sequences of ball play, but rather to the most remarkable feature of the story: the sheer determination of the title protagonist. The film’s success also largely comes down to a fantastically consistent and earnest performance by Sean Astin, who outshines a very talented supporting cast to the legendary, crowd-stirring end.

98. Everybody Knows (2018)

Country

Argentina, France, Germany

Director

Asghar Farhadi

Actors

Barbara Lennie, Carla Campra, Eduard Fernandez, Elvira Minguez

Moods

A-list actors, Character-driven, Suspenseful

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem star in this mystery by Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian Oscar-winning director of A Separation and The Salesman. When Laura returns to her small Spanish hometown with her two daughters, she is greeted with the warm welcome worthy of someone who once was a loved member of the community. However, when an event concerning one of her daughters happens at a wedding, secrets come to the surface about her history that threaten the fabric of the whole village. Laura is masterfully played by Penélope Cruz, who seems to shift gears in this Spanish-language movie. Farhadi is outside of his usual territory, but he does what he does best: deliver a rich, thrilling family drama.

97. Detroit (2017)

100 Best Thriller Movies to Watch Right Now (4)

7.3

Country

United States of America

Director

Female director, Kathryn Bigelow

Actors

Alexander Cook, Algee Smith, Andrea Eversley, Anthony Mackie

Moods

Depressing, Intense, Tear-jerker

John Boyega, Algee Smith, and John Krasinski star in this difficult portrayal of the Detroit 1967 riots, the biggest civil unrest in American history before the 92 L.A. protests. A murderous cop, a band on the verge of breaking big, and a hard-working security guard find their fates intertwined by the events that took place that summer. Detroit blends real-life images with its storytelling. It would be a perfect movie if it wasn’t for a scene in which the police brutalize young Black men for finding them in a hotel with two White girls. This scene, while a necessary part of the story, is overstretched and feels almost sadistic, more so because the film was made by a White director, Kathryn Bigelow.

96. The Endless Trench (2019)

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7.3

Country

Canada, France, Spain

Director

Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño

Actors

Aitor Arregi, Antonio de la Torre, Antonio Romero, Belén Cuesta

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven

This historical drama opens with one of the most thrilling chase scenes in recent memory, as Higinio Blanco, the man at the center of the story, escapes government forces during the Spanish Civil War.

He goes into hiding that, without him realizing, would last 33 years. He would only emerge in a government amnesty in 1969, as would many like him across Spain.

Themes of love (Higinio was confined with his newlywed wife), solitude and fear are at the center of a story that remains thrilling even when it goes through the isolation years.

95. In Order of Disappearance (2014)

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7.3

Country

Denmark, Norway, Sweden

Director

Hans Petter Moland

Actors

Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Arben Bala, Arthur Berning, Atle Antonsen

Moods

Action-packed, Dark, Weird

This movie is pretty much in every regard a Norwegian Kill Bill. It’s a dark gory comedy where, naturally, the substitute for Uma Thurman doing damage is an emotionless Stellan Skarsgård.

After his son is killed by a drug gang, Skarsgård’s character, fresh off a win of a “citizen of the year” award, embarks on a ruthless journey to track and kill the murderers. This takes place in one of the most remote areas in Norway, where the main character works as a snowplow driver. You guessed it, some people will get snowplowed.

Seems familiar? That’s because this year it was turned into a horribly sub-par American movie called Cold Pursuit, with, ugh, Liam Neeson.

94. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

100 Best Thriller Movies to Watch Right Now (7)

7.3

Country

Ireland, U, UK

Director

Yorgos Lanthimos

Actors

Alicia Silverstone, Anita Farmer Bergman, Barry G. Bernson, Barry Keoghan

Moods

A-list actors, Weird, Well-acted

This is a really weird movie starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman. They play a wholesome and well-off couple where Farrell is a heart surgeon. The movie starts with him taking care of a teenager called Martin, who’s not related to him or seems to have any real connection with him. It later turns out that Martin shares a special bond with the surgeon, a bond that will threaten his family in unexpected ways. The camera work and direction by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Favourite) offset the weirdness to offer an intriguing experience.

93. Kilo Two Bravo (2014)

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Director

Paul Katis

Actors

Ali Cook, Andy Gibbins, Benjamin O'Mahony, Bryan Parry

Moods

Raw, Suspenseful, Thrilling

Kilo Two Bravo (Originally named Kajaki) is a must-watch for anyone who likeswar dramas. It tells the true story of British soldiers in the Afghanistan war who find themselves trapped in a minefield during a mission, with their rescue team coming in a helicopter that might set off mines if it lands. It’s a slow, dialogue driven film that is interested intaking you to the war zone more than it cares about entertaining you. Ultimately, it becomes an essayonthe horrors of war, and an anti-war war film. Because of this and given the blood and gore, this movie is definitely not for those who would feel nauseated at sight of blood. Great setting, good cinematography, realistic acting and script all do justice to the true story. It’s a film that will grip your senses and keep you at the edge of the seat throughout.

92. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

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7.3

Country

Mexico, Spain

Director

Guillermo del Toro

Actors

Adrian Lamana, Berta Ojea, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi

Moods

Intense

Pan’s Labyrinth is often considered director Guillermo Del Toro’s best film, and rightfully so. But if you’re looking for a straight-up ghost story, this is the film that gets the job done. Everything about this film is sad and beautiful and unnerving, from the setting (an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War) to the atmospheric visuals.

91. The Bank Job (2008)

100 Best Thriller Movies to Watch Right Now (10)

7.3

Country

Australia, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Roger Donaldson

Actors

Alistair Petrie, Alki David, Andrew Brooke, Angus Wright

Moods

Suspenseful, Well-acted

A thrilling and fun film about a British working class bunch who find themselves in confrontation with the rich and powerful. This happens when their once-in -a-lifetime job lands them not on ly the expected money and jewelry, but documents with big secrets. The phrase “the good version of Jason Statham” applies not only to the actor but to the whole film – as it is enjoyable like all similar heist movies but adds that sadly forgotten thing called character. If you liked The Italian Job, The Town, or even films like Argo; you will love The Bank Job.

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