The 50 Best Thriller Movies to Watch on Max, Netflix, Hulu & More

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If you spend most of your nights binge-watching the best thriller movies while tucked under the covers—and perhaps with all the lights on—you're not the only one.

Here at PureWow, we can't resist a good thriller that fuels our adrenaline, or better yet, keeps us reeling long after the credits roll. Perhaps it's the slow buildup of tension and suspense before the jaw-dropping plot twist. Or maybe it's the eerie, unsettling tone that heightens our anticipation. From compelling mysteries like Zodiac to mind-bending psychological thrillers like Gone Girl, these edge-of-your-seat movies have a way of getting under our skin.

So, if you're prepared to dive into another scary flick, we've compiled a list of the best thriller movies to watch on streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more.

1. Promising Young Woman (2020)

  • Who's in it: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R

Mulligan stars as Cassie, a former medical student who seeks vengeance after her best friend gets raped by her classmates. Not only is there suspense, but the movie also tackles themes like rape culture, toxic masculinity and trauma.

In his rave review, Philip Mutz, VP of News and Entertainment at PureWow, called it one of the "best movies of the year." He wrote, "It is Cassie's devotion to changing the system one man (and in several cases, woman) at a time that lays bare just how helpless and unprotected our flawed system has left rape victims. The subject matter is truly what makes this film a must-watch."

2. Panic Room (2002)

  • Who's in it: Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam
  • Run time: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R

From the director of Fight Club comes this intense, edge-of-your-seat flick where a mother and her daughter are trapped in their house's panic room after criminals break into their new home. You'll be watching with bated breath as the three intruders go above and beyond to smoke them out.

3. Bacurau (2019)

  • Who’s in it: Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino
  • Run time: 132 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

Fans of Seven Samurai will appreciate this weird Western, which blends nail-biting suspense with action, drama and fantasy elements. When Carmelita, the matriarch of a tight-knit community in Brazil, passes away, strange occurrences start to take place shortly after her granddaughter arrives for the funeral. The film includes bold commentary on racism and colonialism.

4. A Simple Favor (2018)

  • Who's in it: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells
  • Run time: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R

Based on Darcey Bell's 2017 novel, the movie follows two women—Emily and Stephanie—who become good friends, despite being polar opposites. But when Emily mysteriously goes missing, Stephanie starts to investigate and discovers some terrifying secrets along the way.

5. The Son (2019)

  • Who's in it: Joaquín Furriel, Martina Gusmán, Luciano Cáceres
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

When Lorenzo and his wife, Julieta, welcome their newborn child, Lorenzo starts to question his wife's behavior and suspects that she's trying to isolate him from the child. As a result, their marriage begins to take a downward spiral. Expect plenty of twists and time jumps.

6. Gone Girl (2014)

  • Who's in it: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
  • Run time: 149 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

When his wife, Amy, suddenly disappears on their wedding anniversary, writer Nick Dunne becomes a prime suspect in the investigation. Naturally, a media circus ensues as Nick tries to prove his innocence. But it turns out to be a challenge, thanks to his questionable behavior and problematic history with Amy.

7. Old (2021)

  • Who's in it: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

Imagine visiting a beach that ages you at lightning speed. This is what happens to Guy Cappa and his family when they're invited to a secluded beach during their getaway. With its stunning cinematography, unique premise and major twist ending, Old will keep you guessing from start to finish.

8. Léon: The Professional (1994)

  • Who's in it: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman
  • Run time: 110 minutes
  • Rating: R

When 12-year-old Mathilda loses her family to murder, a hitman named Léon takes her under his wing and teaches her the trade. This gritty thriller includes plenty of violence, a touch of humor and top-notch performances from both Reno and Portman.

9. Don't Worry Darling (2022)

  • Who’s in it: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Gemma Chan
  • Run time: 123 minutes
  • Rating: R

In Don't Worry Darling, Alice begins to notice something odd about her seemingly perfect life with Jack. And over time, a disturbing revelation comes to light. Joel Calfee, Associate Editor of News and Entertainment, wrote in his review, "Florence Pugh was, unsurprisingly, magnetic on screen, and she brought an emotional performance that carried much of the film...The twist that arrives about 80 percent through the film is a good one."

10. Decision to Leave (2022)

  • Who’s in it: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il
  • Run time: 139 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

While investigating a man's death in the mountains, a married detective meets the victim's widowed wife—who's also a suspect in the case—and starts to fall for her. It's a slow-burn thriller that'll appeal to fans of the romance genre, and it delivers surprises and major plot twists.

11. The Girl on the Train (2016)

  • Who’s in it: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux
  • Run time: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R

Based on Paula Hawkins’s book of the same name, the movie follows Rachel, a divorcee who becomes obsessed with a couple and observes them from the window of a train during her daily commute. However, she soon becomes involved in a murder mystery that causes her to question everything.

12. The Call (2020)

  • Who’s in it: Park Shin-hye, Jun Jong-seo, Kim Sung-ryoung
  • Run time: 112 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

This South Korean thriller revolves around Seo-yeon, a woman who lives in the present, and Young-sook, who lives in the past. Both women get to connect through a single phone call, which winds up twisting their fates.

13. Circle (2015)

  • Who’s in it: Julie Benz, Mercy Malick, Carter Jenkins
  • Run time: 86 minutes
  • Rating: R

Squid Game fans, meet your new obsession. In this nail-biting thriller, 50 strangers wake up one day and find themselves trapped in a dark room. They have no memory of how they got there…but they’re all forced to choose the one person among them who should survive. What could go wrong?

14. Untraceable (2008)

  • Who's in it: Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, Billy Burke, Joseph Cross
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R

A vicious serial killer launches an untraceable website where he broadcasts each of his brutal murders live. But when FBI agent Jennifer Marsh decides to go after him, she gets caught up in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game that could risk her life.

15. The Occupant (2020)

  • Who's in it: Javier Gutiérrez, Mario Casas, Bruna Cusí
  • Run time: 103 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

After he loses his job, a former advertising executive named Javier Muñoz is forced to sell his apartment to a new family. But when they finally move in, he spends his free time stalking the newcomers. Not surprisingly, several fans have compared this thriller to Parasite, since both films center on outcasts who are striving for a better lifestyle.

16. Memento (2000)

  • Who’s in it: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R

Arguably one of Christopher Nolan's best works, this psychological thriller follows Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator with anterograde amnesia. While struggling with his short-term memory loss, Leonard is determined to investigate his wife's murder through a series of Polaroid photos.

17. The Departed (2006)

  • Who's in it: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
  • Run time: 151 minutes
  • Rating: R

Based on the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang, this Oscar-winning gangster thriller follows Frank Costello, an Irish mob boss who sends Colin Sullivan to work undercover as a spy with the Massachusetts State Police. Meanwhile, Billy Costigan, an officer from the police force, gets hired to infiltrate the mob.

18. Parasite (2019)

  • Who's in it: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
  • Run time: 132 minutes
  • Rating: R

With its thought-provoking themes and strong performances, it's no wonder this dark comedy thriller took the world by storm. In Parasite, a poor family—the Kims—con their way into working for the super-wealthy Park family. When the Parks leave for a vacation, the Kims decide to make themselves at home, but it's only a matter of time before their scheme starts to spiral out of control.

19. Blow Out (1981)

  • Who's in it: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
  • Run time: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R

Set in Philadelphia, Blow Out revolves around Jack Terry, a sound effects technician who comes across audio evidence of a political assassination while working on a teen slasher flick. With the help of Sally, who witnessed the crime, Jack races against time to investigate the murder before the killers can get to Sally. It's a raw, suspense-filled thriller that'll appeal to any movie buff, thanks to all the film references.

20. Run (2020)

  • Who's in it: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Pat Healy
  • Run time: 89 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

Allen stars as Chloe, a homeschooled teenager with partial paralysis. After stumbling upon some questionable pills and a change of name certificate under her mother's name, Chloe becomes suspicious of her mother's actions. Before long, she becomes certain that her mom is hiding a dark secret and decides to go on the run.

21. Bird Box (2018)

  • Director: Susanne Bier Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich
  • Run time: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R

Bullock shines as Malorie, a woman who tries to protect two children from a deadly, mysterious force. But for Editor Lex Goodman, BD Wong's character, Greg, shines the most. She wrote, "Wong’s character is a foil rarely seen in the standard thriller—a gentle and good person who doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of characters who are killed off early—and he plays him with aplomb."

22. Psycho (1960)

  • Who's in it: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Alfred Hitchcock classic follows a young secretary whose stay at a remote hotel becomes a nightmare. According to Calfee, the movie still holds up even though it was released over six decades ago. He wrote, "Just like how chiaroscuro was used to show dramatic effects in studio art, the stark contrast in the lighting of the film makes the setting even more eerie. It works perfectly in moments like the shower scene."

23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

  • Who’s in it: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
  • Run time: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R

In this chilling, star-studded classic, FBI student Jodie Foster enlists the help of a brilliant psychiatrist-turned-psychopath to track down a serial killer who skins his female victims. Fair warning: It's the kind of thriller that'll make your skin crawl.

24. Rear Window (1954)

  • Who’s in it: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
  • Run time: 111 minutes
  • Rating: PG

The classic mystery thriller centers on a wheelchair-bound photojournalist who believes he witnessed a murder while spying on his neighbors. PureWow Editor-in-Chief Jillian Quint describes it as "the ultimate Hitchcock and the most terrifying movie ever to take place (almost) entirely in one apartment." And of course, we can't forget about Grace Kelly's iconic dress.

25. The Paramedic (2020)

  • Who’s in it: Mario Casas, Déborah François, Guillermo Pfening
  • Run time: 94 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

Ángel Hernández, a former paramedic, is paralyzed from the waist down after getting into a horrible accident. This takes a huge toll on his personal life, and he even starts to suspect that his girlfriend is cheating on him. His behavior eventually pushes her away for good—except it only increases his obsession.

26. Vertigo (1958)

  • Who’s in it: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore
  • Run time: 128 minutes
  • Rating: PG

Best enjoyed without knowing too many details about the plot, this unforgettable Hitchcock thriller follows Scottie, a former police detective who's hired to trail the wife of his college friend, due to her strange behavior. Things get complicated when he falls in love and becomes obsessed with her.

27. Se7en (1995)

  • Who’s in it: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Run time: 127 minutes
  • Rating: R

In this haunting crime thriller, a seasoned detective and his rookie partner team up for a new case that involves a string of mysterious murders. During the investigation, they discover that the killer's crimes are all connected to the seven deadly sins. As much as we love a star-studded cast, Freeman and Spacey are the clear standouts in this film.

28. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

  • Who's in it: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
  • Run time: 99 minutes
  • Rating: R

Quentin Tarantino's feature debut is all about an attempted heist that goes south. While the actual crime isn't shown, the film focuses on a group of diamond thieves as they try to figure out who among them is an undercover cop. As Tarantino fans can expect, there's no shortage of violence and pop culture references.

29. The Lives of Others (2006)

  • Who's in it: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
  • Run time: 137 minutes
  • Rating: R

Set during the '80s in East Berlin, an officer is tasked with spying on a playwright and his partner, due to doubts of his loyalty to the Communist Party. His job gets complicated when he develops an interest in their private lives and, worse yet, his loyalty is tested when his boss orders him to get rid of the playwright.

30. No Exit (2022)

  • Who's in it: Danny Ramirez, David Rysdahl, Dale Dickey
  • Run time: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R

Darby, a college student, gets trapped at a mountain rest stop while driving back home in a blizzard. While there, she meets four strangers, but she's shocked to discover that one of them kidnapped a child. She must rescue the victim and escape while figuring out who the real kidnapper is.

31. The Mother (2023)

  • Who's in it: Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Lucy Paez, Omari Hardwick
  • Run time: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R

After getting involved with some dangerous people who want her dead, an FBI agent gives up her daughter and stays out of her life to protect her. Unfortunately, just 12 years later, her daughter is discovered and kidnapped by her enemies. When she comes out of hiding to rescue her child, things don't go according to plan.

32. Plane (2023)

  • Who's in it: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An
  • Run time: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R

After being forced to make an emergency landing on a war-torn island, a pilot teams up with an accused murderer to rescue his passengers when they're taken hostage by ruthless rebels. This white-knuckler is packed with intense action scenes that are sure to keep you entertained.

33. Lou (2022)

  • Who's in it: Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett, Logan Marshall-Green
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • Rating: R

When her daughter gets kidnapped, a desperate mother named Hannah enlists the help of her neighbor, Lou, to rescue her child. As the pair travel in stormy weather and risk their lives on this mission, dark secrets from their past come to light. The gritty survival film includes plenty of suspense, great action scenes and two very compelling leads.

34. Memories of Murder (2003)

  • Who's in it: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung
  • Run time: 131 minutes
  • Rating: NR

From the director of Parasite comes this phenomenal crime thriller about two detectives trying to catch an elusive criminal who rapes and murders his victims. Great character development, haunting cinematography and major twists are just a few things you can expect from this captivating film.

35. Breaking (2022)

  • Who's in it: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva
  • Run time: 103 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

Nothing makes your heart race quite like an intense hostage situation, which is why we just had to add Breaking to the list. Boyega stars as Brian, a Marine veteran who becomes so desperate for funds that he holds a group of people hostage inside a bank, spawning a major confrontation with the authorities.

36. Fatale (2020)

  • Who's in it: Michael Ealy, Hilary Swank
  • Run time: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R

After having a one-night stand with a police detective, a sports agent gets caught up in her latest investigation, risking his own life in the process. PureWow's Senior Commerce Editor, Stephanie Maida, says, "It supplies everything a good thriller should: murder, betrayal and a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Along with, of course, plenty of steamy sex scenes."

37. Heat (1995)

  • Who's in it: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
  • Run time: 170 minutes
  • Rating: R

Although this classic is nearly three hours long, every minute will have you gripping your seat. Neil McCauley, a notorious criminal, and Lieutenant Hanna play an intense game of cat and mouse as the latter tries to track Neil down. Pacino and De Niro deliver powerful performances in this brilliant, well-paced crime thriller.

38. Clinical (2017)

  • Who's in it: Vinessa Shaw, Kevin Rahm, William Atherton
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

Despite her doctor's orders, Dr. Jane Mathis, a psychiatrist who suffers from PTSD, accepts a new patient whose face is disfigured from a terrible car accident. Unfortunately, when she starts meeting with this patient, strange things start to occur in her home.

39. Intrusion (2021)

  • Who's in it: Freida Pinto, Logan Marshall-Green, Robert John Burke
  • Run time: 94 minutes
  • Rating: TV-14

Determined to get a new start, therapist Meera Parsons and her husband, Henry, move from Boston to an isolated home in New Mexico. However, when an intruder breaks into their home, it leaves Meera traumatized. While struggling to recover from the deadly incident, Meera begins to suspect that can’t trust the people around her.

40. To Catch a Killer (2023)

  • Who's in it: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo
  • Run time: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R

After 17 victims are killed on New Year's Eve, a Baltimore cop is recruited by the FBI to investigate the murders. What ensues is a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase with plenty of twists and turns. And Woodley also doesn't disappoint.

41. Heart of Stone (2023)

  • Who's in it: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo
  • Run time: 122 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

Wonder Woman Gadot is Rachel Stone, a member of the tech support team at MI6. She embarks on a high-stakes mission to protect a valuable weapon, known as the Heart, from falling into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, Rachel's role in the peacekeeping operation, Charter, conflicts with her job in MI6, making it difficult to balance her two lives.

42. Don't Breathe (2016)

  • Who's in it: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto
  • Run time: 88 minutes
  • Rating: R

In this pee-your-pants scary flick, three delinquents break into the home of a wealthy man who's blind. At first, they're confident that they'll get away with the heist. But their attempted robbery turns into a terrifying manhunt, with the intruders fighting to escape with their lives.

43. Get Out (2017)

  • Who's in it: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R

A young Black photographer named Chris joins his white girlfriend for a weekend getaway to meet her family for the first time. To his dismay, however, he discovers that the family is hiding something sinister. (Mark our words, you'll never look at a teacup the same way again.)

44. Last Seen Alive (2022)

  • Who's in it: Gerard Butler, Jaimie Alexander, Russell Hornsby
  • Run time: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R

If you're drawn to thrillers that give major Gone Girl vibes, Last Seen Alive is right up your alley. In the movie, Will Spann agrees to drive his wife to her parents’ house, but when he stops at a gas station, she mysteriously disappears. Naturally, he alerts the authorities—but then he becomes one of the top suspects.

45. Red Dragon (2002)

  • Who's in it: Ed Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes
  • Run time: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R

In this prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, FBI agent Will Graham seeks the help of the notorious Hannibal Lecter to catch a murderer named Francis Dolarhyde, who kills under his alternate personality, the Great Red Dragon. Fiennes is terrifying as Francis, and Hopkins delivers a chilling performance as Hannibal, thanks in part to his intimidating expressions.

46. How It Ends (2018)

  • Who's in it: Theo James, Kat Graham
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA

In How It Ends, a young attorney named Will Younger embarks on a dangerous road trip to reunite with his pregnant girlfriend when a mysterious apocalypse occurs. However, the journey get even more intense when he's joined by his future father-in-law.

47. The Strays (2023)

  • Who's in it: Ashley Madekwe, Bukky Bakray, Jorden Myrie, Samuel Small
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • Rating: R

If you love movies like Hush and The Strangers, then you'll enjoy this riveting thriller. It revolves around a rich woman named Neve, who appears to have it all, including the perfect home and a successful career. But everything starts to fall apart when two strangers show up at her house uninvited.

48. Reptile (2023)

  • Who's in it: Justin Timberlake, Alicia Silverstone, Eric Bogosian
  • Run time: 136 minutes
  • Rating: R

When a real estate agent gets brutally murdered, Detective Tom Nichols is put on the case. Right off the bat, he believes that the victim's boyfriend, Will, is the prime suspect. But when he investigates, he discovers a web of lies that only makes things more complicated.

49. Without Remorse (2021)

  • Who's in it: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith
  • Run time: 109 minutes
  • Rating: R

When his pregnant wife gets murdered by Russian hitmen, U.S. Navy SEAL John Clark is out for revenge. Jordan delivers a powerful performance as the grieving action hero. And if you're a fan of sleek spy thrillers with charismatic leads (or if you're an avid reader of Tom Clancy's novels), this one's a must-watch.

50. Kimi (2022)

  • Who's in it: Zoë Kravitz, Rita Wilson, Jaime Camil, India de Beaufort
  • Run time: 89 minutes
  • Rating: R

In this cross between Black Mirror and The Woman in the Window, Kravitz plays Angela, a voice-streaming interpreter with agoraphobia. Her job is quite simple: to spot and fix communication errors on a virtual assistant called "Kimi." But one day, when she gets the recording of a crime, she's forced to confront her biggest fear. This action-packed thriller will have your heart racing.

nakeisha campbell bio
Nakeisha Campbell

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...
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