When it comes to choosing the best thriller movies on Netflix, we want those with many twists and turns, conflicts, and unusual incidents that keep us hooked till the last minute.
Some movies are so well made that your popcorn runs out but you fail to bat your eyelids because the scenes are executed to perfection, maintaining mystery and uncertainty.
Many would argue that horror movies are made for brave-hearted individuals with an unlimited appetite for thrills and nuanced cinema. Some movies are crafted so well that they provoke unwanted emotions like anxiety, terror, and uncertainty to the point where you start to question your own reality and philosophy in new life.
Few characters in the last couple of decades were pure evil when you come to think of it but so well performed that they convinced you to root for them — Gone Girl, and Bird Box are the classic examples of this. Rosamund Pike played the character with such conviction that you almost believed in her reality and found an eternal connection with her; something that is questionable to your beliefs.
But that’s the thing, that’s the power of cinema critically acclaimed. It transforms you and forms an emotional connection that is unexpected and beyond comprehension at times.
Netflix has some amazing Movies such as Titular Island, Sandra Bullock, Gerald’s game Shutter Island, and Dark Secrets. These movies are the best movies on Netflix Canada now.
The last few decades, we’ve witnessed some of the best dystopian thriller movies. From the Oscar winning Parasite to the evergreen and forever phenomenal Nightcrawler, breaking bad movie, there are so many movies that are much talked about and deservingly so. However, we’ve decided to create an all-rounded list for you — a list with a selection of movies that is completely unbiased and top-notch with some amazing directors like Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Actors starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Since thriller and action movies go hand in hand, you may also want to check out our list of best action movies on Netflix.
Ready to take a look at our list of best thrillers that will get you hooked till the last minute? Here we go:
The Guilty (2021)
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Nic Pizzolatto and Gustav Möller, and Emil Nygaard Albertsen
Despite being unexpectedly fast-paced, this taut thriller movie has every element of a good thrilling nail-biter. At the forefront is, of course, Jake Gyllenhaal — an actor who has literally never given a poor performance. Never will you find him falter in a scene or not be dark truth at the moment and that’s his mastery.
Anyway, in this movie, you will find Gyllenhaal playing someone who is constantly anxious and furious because of the nature of his job. Originally a police officer, his character has been demoted to a 911 operator. He feels useless and unappreciated and so when a distressed caller gives him a call, he attempts to investigate and send out help.
One of the best thrillers on Netflix.
The Power Of The Dog (2021)
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Director: Jane Campion
Writer: Jane Campion and Thomas Savage
If there’s a movie that is literally made for the Oscars this year, it’s this suspenseful drama. This thriller has elements of western cinema. Benedict Cumberbatch is leading the story as Phil Burbank who gaslights and bullies his brother in law on a constant basis. Kirsten Dunst is essaying the role of his wife Rose.
How does the story unfold? Well, if we begin to provide details, it will spoil the show for you. What we would say is watch the horror movie and experience shivers down your spine. It’s truly a masterpiece!
I See You (2019)
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Director: Adam Randall
Writer: Devon Graye
Are you a Helen Hunt fan? Who are we kidding? Because let’s face it — who isn’t? Well, Helen Hunt has truly outdone herself in this film. There’s a 12-year-old boy who has gone missing and so there’s an investigation ongoing led by Greg Harper; someone who is struggling with his own set of issues. Hunt is seen as Jackie and it’s her son who has gone missing.
How does she join forces with Greg’s family and how do they unravel the strange occurrences that are happening around them — that is something that you must watch out for. We will only ask you to watch the trailer, you will do the rest yourself.
Red Dragon (2002)
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Thomas Harris and Ted Tally
Taking the road down memory lane with this horror thriller 2002 movie. Edward Norton is playing the role of an ex-FBI agent Will Graham who has only just come out of retirement. His story with Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, is also given its due attention. Will is solving a new string of murders only to realize that he is yet to face his own demons and for that he must seek help from his former friend, Dr. Lector.
We simply love this duo; whether in movies or television series. We must admit that we have profound loyalty towards the characters more than the actors sometimes — more so in this case.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Director: David Lynch
Writer: David Lynch
Directed by the father of thriller movies, David Lynch, this movie stars Naomi Watts and Juston Theroux. It’s body horror meets psychological thriller meets occult drama meets classical music. The story picks up when Rita loses her memory and finds herself stumbling and confused in an apartment owned by Betty. Betty is played by Watts and she is the one who will help Rita solve the puzzle of her missing past.
Did you know that this movie is considered to be one of the best movies of the 21st century in the US? This is a huge statement to make but we’re convinced that our statement carries some weight. Watch it now!
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Writer: Chris Sparling
We all know him as the cool guy Deadpool, but did you know that Ryan Reynolds best performance is actually seen in Buried? It’s truly underrated — imagine being buried alive! One of your worst fears is lived by Ryan Reynolds’ character Paul. He is actually a truck driver in Iraq who accidentally gets placed inside a coffin that is now underground.
What does he have? Nothing but a lighter and a mobile phone with very few signals and power, of course. What are his options? Just breathe. Does he make it out alive? How does the story unfold? So many questions and all will be answered should you decide to give this movie a watch.
The Gift (2015)
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Director: Joel Edgerton
Writer: Joel Edgerton
This psychological thriller film is not only acted and directed but also co-produced by Joel Edgerton. Helmed by Jason Bateman, Joel Edgertone, and Rebecca Hall, this story is about a couple that meets Gordo, an important person from Simon’s past. He ends up revealing some shocking truths about Simon after which Robyn the wife starts questioning her man and the very foundation of her relationship.
Deemed as a part-drama, part-thriller, this movie is a must watch. You will see starkling performances and some great cinematography.
Woman In The Window (2021)
IMDb Rating: 5.7/10
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tracy Letts and A.J. Finn
Don’t we just love Amy Adams? She is honestly the epitome of grace. An actress who has constantly strived to redefine her career and expand her artistic talents through fearless navigation and exploration into new genres and characters. This Netflix original movie is unlike others — Adams is an agoraphobic doctor living alone in a large house in Manhattan.
Sudden experiences change her life drastically after which she starts spying on a family who has moved into the neighbourhood. Did she see anything unrealistic, bizarre or strange? Well, you have to watch the movie to discover the truth.
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IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Writer: Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian
This movie is bone-chilling and exactly what you need if you’re craving a good thriller cinematic piece. It explores the bond between a teenager and her overly possessive and fearlessly protective mother. The mother, however, makes some questionable decisions on behalf of her daughter, like keeping her away from the outside world.
This movie is like an onion peel, you keep unraveling new information to discover a large web of dark secrets that will make you question the motives of your own birth mother. It’s an instant classic and a must-watch movie!
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10
Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Ray Wright and Neil Jordan
This 2018 psychological thriller is about a lonely widow who becomes friends with a young women called Frances. You must be wondering what is so strange about this dynamic friendship? Well, soon the widow becomes obsessed with the Maddie young woman and tries her best to initiate a creepy bond and that’s when the girl decides to take matters into her own hands and make peace with what’s coming. You can watch this movie for the delightful Chloe Grace Moretz and the talented Isabelle Huppert.
The Revenant (2015)
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Writer: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith, and Michael Punke
A movie that won Leonardo Dicaprio the long-awaited Oscar is truly an experience that you must have at least once in your life. From the spectacular showcase of talent to the hauntingly beautiful and equally tragic location to the breathtaking and visceral soundtrack, this movie is made to perfection.
By the end of the movie, we bet you will feel your heart in your chest. It’s not an easy watch so we’re giving you a warning beforehand. Tom Hardy has also joined forces with the incomparable Dicaprio which is an added treat.
Panic Room (2002)
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Director: David Fincher
Writer: David Koepp
Before Kristen Stewart got mainstream success from the Twilight Saga, she was amongst the main leads in this utterly fantastic Panic Room. You will find a young Jodie Foster playing her mother as well.
The duo will find refuge in a panic room when three men storm into their house. Joining the cast is Jared Leto who we know as a scene-stealer. Watch this movie for great suspense and memorable performances.
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Christie LeBlanc
If there’s one movie on this phenomenal list that makes us almost breathless, it’s this one. It’s a French thriller that opens to a character waking up in a cryogenic chamber with absolutely no memory of how she got there. Now that she’s a ticking time bomb, she has very little time to panic and figure out a way to escape this strange place.
Melanie Laurent is headlining this film and just like the movie she was incredible and astonishingly magnetic on screen. You want to watch her in the quiet moments because that’s when her performance shines the most.
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Despite being a part of the X-men franchise, it was this movie that kick-started the career of James McAvoy. He had already been in movies like Atonement where he got attention from the crowd and audiences due to his heavy romantic dialogues. But it was actually this movie that got him rave reviews from the critics and audiences alike.
Here, you will find him essaying the role of a person diagnosed with 23 personalities — something her psychiatrist is acutely aware of but undisturbed by the violent nature of some of the personalities. You will witness this character abduct three women who end up escaping from him but how everything unrolls is going to be the hook.
Slender Man (2018)
IMDb Rating: 3.2/10
Director: Sylvain White
Writer: David Birke and Victor Surge
This story is based in a town in Massachusetts. It’s about a group of friends who find strange amusement and fascination with a trending story on the internet about a Slender Man. And they’re not obsessed because they believe in him, but on the contrary, want to prove that he doesn’t exist. Once they start their mission, everybody starts falling in a tragic but thrilling way. Do they succeed in proving their point? You’ve got to watch the film to figure that out.
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Steve McQueen and Lynda La Plante
This is Steve McQueen’s most famous crime heist thriller about three widows who try to finish the heist that their late husbands had planned. The movie has Viola David, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki at the forefront and they are also joined by the massive supporting cast including Colin Ferrel, Daniel Kaluuya and Cynthia Erivo. When we tell you can’t miss this movie, we’re not joking.
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Director: Joe Penna
Writer: Ryan Morrison and Joe Penna
Are you someone who fantasizes about getting lost in space? Confused? This psychological thrillers movie is about a group of astronauts who are heading towards a mission on Mars. However, somewhere along the way, they slip on board and cause damage to their spaceship which is essentially their life support. Of course, such an unexpected turn of events calls for serious and instant decision-making skills. Would they be capable of handling such a challenge?
Funny girl Anna Kendrick is leading the story with support from Daniel Dae Kim and Toni Collette. It’s a fun watch and a thriller you can’t afford to miss.
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Dark Waters (2019)
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Nathaniel Rich and Matthew Michael
How about taking real-world events and turning them into a thrilling movie? Dark Waters is just one example of this. It will take you to post-apocalyptic world. It’s a fascinating story based around a New York article that sheds light on the devastating impacts on a community in West Virginia when the company dumped dangerous and life-threatening chemicals into the ground and water surrounding the circumsphere.
The fact that something of this nature happened and nobody tried to bring it to mainstream attention is shocking. Watch this incredible movie for brilliant and gripping storytelling along with a masterpiece of performances.
The Girl On The Train (2016)
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Director: Tate Taylor
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
Watch it the bestselling novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins Touted as Emily Blunt’s best performance. The Girl On The Train is about an alcoholic divorcee who watches young couples while on her commute daily. This attractive couple, by the way, are the same people who live next to her ex-husband. But that’s not the troubling part. One same day, the woman she watches goes missing and that sparks her inner investigator and stops at nothing.
The screenplay of this film is adapted from a novel with the same title. It’s a gripping tale of a woman struggling to cope with all the loss she has ever experienced in her life.
If you have a secret obsession with hunting then watch this movie and let it be your hunting weekend!
Zero Dark Thirty
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Obviously, it was not possible to make a list about the best thrilling movie of all time and not include a movie inspired by Osama Bin Laden. The plot twists around the chronicles that took place to capture America’s most wanted man after 9/11.
How does the CIA investigate and discover his location? Who was leading the operation? This movie gives detail of everything that happened and in a more gripping manner. Jessica Chastain’s performance is the one that you must look out for.
Blood Diamond (2006)
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: Charles Leavitt
Arguably one of the best performances by Leonardo Dicaprio, this movie is the one that most people often neglect in his filmography. Honestly, this is the one that he should’ve won his first Oscar for — he was completely robbed! It also stars brilliant actors like Jennifer Connolly and Dijamon Hounsou.
You get to see the devastating impact of the mining of diamonds in Africa and how those areas have become so dangerous for the residents as well as the tourists and visitors.
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Hossein Amini
Ryan Gosling is playing the role of a stunt driver who works on movie sets and productions for the world. However, what most people don’t know is that he also works for robbers. Shady much? His character has a softer side as well — he falls for a young mother Irene played by Carey Mulligan, someone who is neglected and emotionally abused by her husband. Oscar Isaac is playing the role of the husband.
There are some major death scenes that you’ve never seen on screen before. Apart from the acting and storyline, the movie is also known for its cinematography and direction.
Uncut Gems (2019)
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Directors: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie
Writer: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
Watch Now Good Time Before the Safdie brothers created Uncut Gems and before Robert Pattinson would star as the new Batman, the three collaborated in Good Time
This movie showed us a different side to the funny actor Adam Sandler stars as Howard Ratner. He is playing the character of Howard Ratner — a smooth-talking jeweler with a couple of bad habits like gambling, an addiction. This problem has left him in a lot of debt and so he tries his best to pay them off as soon as possible.
You will also find Eric Bogosian and Idina Menzel as part of this fast-paced thriller drama. You will honestly be hooked till the very end. Jennifer Aniston praised the performance of Adam Sandler in her winning speech so you have to make sure you watch it.
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Director: David Fincher
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Genre-bending serial killer thriller Jake Gyllenhaal is back on the list with his underrated gem Zodiac killer. In this movie, he is joined by an impeccable cast, including Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. The story is pure genius as it revolves around the investigation of a serial murderer who hunts in the San Francisco Bay Area. The timeline is based in the 60s and 70s.
This psychopath is creepy and leaves eerie and cryptic messages on public property. There are also some creepy calls that will leave shivers down your spine. This movie is something that you must not miss. It received a major snub by the Oscars — something that pissed off many fans. But the good news is that today it has a cult following that keeps on growing.
IMDb Rating: 6.0/10
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Jane Goldman, Joe Shrapnel, and Anna Waterhouse
This is the modern adaptation of the 1938 novel with the same title and stellar cast. The latest version, released on Netflix, includes Lily James, Armie Hammer and Kristin Scott Thomas in the cast. At first glance, the movie is a romantic saga but is it really? Is it a story about a lonely woman who finds no emotional support from her husband? Is it the other way around? Are there secrets that must not be scratched? Precisely what are they hiding from themselves and each other? So much to unravel and so little time. Do watch this film.
IMDb Rating: 6.2/10
Director: James Foley
Writer: Christopher Crowe
Mark Wahlberb makes a debut on this list alongside Reese Witherspoon. It is a movie about Nicole Walker who falls for David McCall. There’s an evident age gap between the two but the one manages to charm the other. Her father is someone who continues to be suspicious of the 23-year-old McCall.
Does he have any ulterior motives? Does he have a dark side to him? It’s not at all what it may seem like from the face. Watch this movie and see a new side to Reese Witherspoon.
House At The End Of The Street (2012)
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Director: Mark Tonderai
Writer: David Loucka
The title of the movie can be a great hint but don’t be fooled. A story about a mother and daughter duo who come to a small town to start over. They are looking for a fresh start — and boy do they get one. The area soon shatters their dreams and reveals its uncanny nature and mysterious past. Guess who is part of the movie? It’s none other than Jennifer Lawrence. A performance you certainly don’t want to miss.
The Invitation (2015)
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay
In a dinner party hosted by an ex-wife. Strange? Wait till you watch the movie entirely, you’ll understand the actual meaning of strange. The ex, by the way, is not so nice either. There are several twists and turns in this film to the point where you lose count and focus on what’s happening every passing minute. We’re only going to say, don’t mention RSVP on your wedding invitation.
The Platform (2019)
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writer: David Desola and Pedro Rivero
This is a Spanish thriller based on a story of two prisoners. It’s also about the vertical prison and how it treats others. What you should know is that there is a center to this hole where food is provided, the higher you go from there, the number of food increases. Are you confused? Well, so are most people who watch this film. If you like brainy and intellectualized cinema, this movie is made for you.
American Psycho (2000)
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Director: Mary Harron
Writer: Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner
Last but not the least, American Psycho is directed by a female individual and is backed by brilliant stars like Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon, and Justin Theroux. It is about the deep secretive interests of Patrick Bateman who is obsessed with his colleague. The young man likes to sleep with prostitutes and eventually murder them brutally. However, his creepy and dark nature starts haunting him and in the end, he loses it entirely. What really happens is for you to find out but we must tell you that it won’t be pretty.
Have you seen any of the movies mentioned on the list? Are there any specific actors who you think do exceptionally well in this particular genre? Let us know in the comment section below as we’d be keen to explore filmographies of popular actors.