Thrillers offer the whole package: they have drama, action, and in some cases, even comedy. If you have the taste for spending two hours in suspense, then you deserve an ending that does not completely disappoint you. Which is why we have curated a list of 25 Hollywood thriller movies that will not only keep you at the edge of your seat but will also give you the satisfaction of great endings.
1. A Quiet Place
In a post-apocalyptic world, noise-sensitive creatures have destroyed most of humanity, attacking anyone who makes noise. A Quiet Place follows the Abbott family struggling in this horrifying reality. The movie received critical acclaim as well as the favour of general audiences. It was particularly praised for its clever writing, direction and sound design. It is one of the best Hollywood thriller movies of the last decade.
2. A Simple Favour
A Simple Favour is not only a great thriller, but also a surprisingly witty black comedy. The movie follows the disappearance of a woman named Emily, and her friend Stephanie investigating her disappearance by herself. The writers are able to merge the two disparate genres of thriller and comedy with skill, and the movie shines through as a uniquely narrated story.
3. Bird Box
Think about the covid-19 pandemic, but only way more sinister. Now you have got yourself a Bird Box at hand. The story of Bird Box takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by demonic creatures. When humans look at these creatures, they convince them to commit suicide. The movie follows the journey of a woman and her two children as they struggle through their way blindfolded travelling to safety. If you have a taste for the gory, this movie is just for you.
4. Don’t Breathe
When a group of people decide to rob a seemingly harmless blind war veteran by trespassing his house, they are shocked to discover that Norman, the house-owner, presents a way stronger defense than they thought. The movie received rave reviews from audiences as well as critics. The movie was especially appreciated for its relentless suspense and tapping into the anxieties of the viewer.
5. Fight Club
Not only one of the best Hollywood Thriller movies, Fight Club is also one of the best Hollywood movies of all time. Based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club follows the story of a man with a white-collar job who has seemingly become disillusioned with his capitalist existence. He begins an underground fight club with a soap salesman he meets on a flight. Even though the movies received polarizing reviews upon its release and didn’t perform as well as the producers expect, it became a cult classic once it was released on DVD.
6. Gone Girl
Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn of the same name, Gone Girl follows the story of Nick Dunne, who finds himself under the spotlight when his wife, a media sweetheart, disappears and the suspicion falls on him. The movie boasts of a well paced screenplay, the narration going back and forth between the past and the present, giving the viewer just enough to make them scratch their heads, but not enough to guess who’s the actual culprit. The novel itself was a pretty great piece of work to begin with, and Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike do an excellent job playing the dysfunctional couple. Gone Girl is easily one of the best Hollywood thriller movies you will ever watch.
An experimental one-man show, Locke follows the story of a successful construction foreman who discovers that the woman he had a one-night stand with is in active labour. Tom Hardy playing Locke is the only actor to appear on screen, while he talks with the rest of the characters through a speaker phone. The movie was praised especially for Tom Hardy’s performance, and despite a limited release, became a hit.
Memento follows the story of a man who is looking for his wife’s murderer. However, what makes his job difficult is that he suffers from anterograde amnesia, meaning his memory resets itself every 15 minutes. The movie was praised for its non-linear narrative, and accurate portrayal of anterograde amnesia. The movie also inspired the superhit Amir Khan starrer Ghajini.
9. Mulholland Drive
When an aspiring actress moves to Los Angeles, she befriends a woman suffering from Amnesia after a car accident. They both team up to find out the details of her past, and her real identity. That makes up the general plot of the neo-noir surrealist movie Mulholland Drive. Upon its release, Mulholland Drive received universal acclaim with audiences and critics both liking the movie. The movie was especially praised for its direction, earning an academy award nomination for director David Lynch.
This neo-noir thriller follows the story of a freelance journalist who discovers that he can make good money of off selling violent photos of crime scenes. The movie explores themes like unethical journalism and its supply-demand relationship with audience reaction, capitalism and the resulting desperation in job-seekers. The movie was praised for its direction and writing, and it earned an academy award nomination for best screenplay. The movie cemented Jake Gyllenhaal’s position in Hollywood as a skilled actor.
11. No Country For Old Men
While hunting for pronghorns in the deser, a hunter, Llewelyn, comes across the aftermath of what looks like a drug deal ending in violence. He discovers a brief case with two million dollars, and takes it home. However, when a psychopathic murderer is hired to find the money, Llewelyn’s life becomes a nightmare. After its release, the movie received universal acclaim and won several Academy Awards including best picture. No Country For Old Men is one of the best Hollywood thriller movies of all time.
12. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo follows the story of a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist who hires a computer hacker to unravel the mystery behind a woman who has been missing for forty years. However, when they find out the truth, it’s worse than they’d have ever dreamt of. The movie was praised for its somber setting, and the performances of its lead actors, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.
13. The Manchurian Candidate
After the war, Sargeant Raymond Shaw’s bosses are all praises for him for doing his best during the war, however, his troupe knows the truth is otherwise. The movie touches upon the themes of communism, sleeper agents and the cold war. The movie was critically acclaimed upon its release and earned academy award nominations in two categories.
14. The Silence of The Lambs
The movie follows the story of a cop who approaches a psychopathic serial murderer, Hannibal Lecter, go help her find another serial killer who targets young women. The Silence of the Lambs taps into our most primal fears by introducing a villain that bears a stark resemblance to people who have actually existed in the world. Although it was criticised for its depiction of LBGT problems, viewers as well as critics generally liked the movie. After almost 30 years of its release, it’s considered a cult classic today. The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most brilliant Hollywood thriller movies, and you must watch it if you haven’t already.
15. The Sixth Sense
When a child psychologist starts treating a patient, he discovers that he can talk to the dead. Henceforth, the child becomes a medium between the psychologist and a number of seemingly upset spirits. The movie was an extremely successful commercial venture, and was liked by both critics and audiences. Its line, “I see dead people” is remembered as a catchphrase even today.
When a married woman bumps into a younger guy, she feels extremely attracted to him and starts an extra marital affair with him. However, her husband soon becomes suspicious. The movie was a commerical hit, even though it received mixed reviews from critics. Diane Lane was especially praised for her portrayal of an unfaithful wife.
A cartoonist named Robert Graysmith who has a knack for solving puzzles becomes obsessed with the Zodiac killer. He uses his skill set to track down the Zodiac killer. The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who was active in the 60s and 70s in the US, and cops failed to find him. Upon its release, Zodiac recieved mostly positive reviews and was praised for its screenplay, acting and historical accuracy. It was voted one of the greatest films of 21st century in a poll conducted by BBC.
18. Shutter Island
When two US marshals are sent to a remote island to track a patient who has disappeared from the asylum there, they discover a sinister truth about the island. The movie opened to mostly positive reviews. It was a commercial success, and was praised especially for its music.
19. The Prestige
After an unfortunate tragedy, two magician friends turn into enemies, and compete as rivals. The film stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in central roles. Upon its release, the movie did moderately well at the box office, but was generally praised by the critics.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo follows the story of a man named Scottie who is tasked with investigating the odd behaviour of a friend’s wife. Scottie however falls in love with her, and when she commits suicide, he becomes clinically depressed. Even though the movie was initially met with mixed reviews, it has gained popularity over the years and is now considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
21. Taxi Driver
A war veteran in New York becomes increasingly depressed on seeing the depravity that is eating away at the city. He wants to bring a change to the ways of people. He soon begins having violent thoughts and eventually acts on them. Taxi Driver was a commercially successful movie, and received generally great reviews from critics. It was nominated for four Academy Awards.
22. The Usual Suspects
A group of criminals meets during a police line-up. Once out, they decide to attempt doing a dangerous heist. Even though the movie received a limited release at first, after favourable reviews, it was released on a wider scale. It went on to win an Academy Award in Best Original Screenplay.
23. Rear Window
When a professional photographer is asked to stay home to rest because of a broken leg, out of boredom, he begins to spy on his neighbours. He is shocked by what he finds out. This movie is considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best movies, and one of the greatest movies of all time.
24. The Machinist
Trevor is an insomniac who operates Lathe for a living. He experiences various odd instances at his workplace and discovers that he’s being followed by a man, even though nobody else can see him. Upon its release, the movie was well-received by critics and Christian Bale’s performance was highly praised. He lose twenty eight kilograms for the role.
During the US hostage crisis in Tehran, an extraction specialist pretends to be a Hollywood producer to rescue six American hostages in Tehran. The film received great reviews from audiences as well as critics, and was especially praised for the performances by the cast, the direction, and the screenplay. The movie was nominated for seven academy awards and it went on to win three, including Best Picture.
Did you like our list of best Hollywood thriller moveis? Let us know in the comments below.