34 most suspenseful psychological thriller films in 2018 & 2017 (Netflix & Cinema List)


The Vore's Film staff selects the top best thriller movies of 2018 in cinema, DVD and Netflix. Are Ben Affleck, Martin Scorsese & Ron Howard our new thriller genre directors? The main focus is on international art house & American and British indie cinema.

Unfortunately, too often, thrillers aren’t really that ‘thrilling’. Like horror, it is hard to avoid cliches when it comes to writing and directing thriller movies. We managed to put together a list of thrillers that will get you at the edge of your seat.


Filmmakers in the field of suspense never had to worry as much about their reputation as their action flick counterparts. Especially with psychological thriller films. A solid conventional thriller, however cliché or unsurprising, never has to face as much contempt from critics as a run of the mill action film. Apparently, aspiring to become a Hitchockian master of suspense is a goal worth striving for. And I am glad this is the case, because this has pushed many talented art house directors into the thriller genre. Whether it is a home invasion film, an erotic thriller, a psychological thriller or a conventional detective story, it can be done tastefully and without losing its main appeal – to thrill. Read here about this decade’s (2010 -) best psychological thriller films up to 2017.

New thriller movies in 2018

Top movies up for release in 2018

  • In Darkness

    DIRECTOR: Anthony Byrne
    CAST: Natalie Dormer, Emily Ratajkowski, Ed Skrein, Joely Richardson


    Sofia is a successful, blind pianist. One night, a young woman is murdered in the apartment above hers. Before she knows it, Sofia get drawn into a dark mystery. Read more

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  • A Simple Favor

    DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
    CAST: Blake Lively, Linda Cardellini, Anna Kendrick, Rupert Friend


    When her friend/neighbor disappears suddenly, a vlogger is determined to find out what happened. Read more

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  • The Widow

    DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan
    CAST: Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Isabelle Huppert

    Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan ('The Crying Game', 'Interview with the Vampire') returns with a psychological thriller about the destructive friendship between a widow (Isabelle Huppert) and a young woman (Chloë Grace Moretz). Read more

    RATING: 86/100

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  • Domino

    DIRECTOR: Brian De Palma
    CAST: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Carice van Houten, Guy Pearce

    When his partner dies, a Copenhagen police inspector is determined to find out what happened. Read more

    RATING: 83/100

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  • Beirut



    Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike team up in this entertaining politcal thriller about a US diplomat (Hamm) charged with the close to impossible task to negotiate the release of a kidnapped compatriot in Beirut, 1982. Read more

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  • Ocean’s 8

    DIRECTOR: Gary Ross
    CAST: Samantha Cocozza Olivia Munn Cate Blanchett


    Starring an all-female cast including Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna and Sandra Bullock (among others), Ocean's 8 is the much anticipated reboot of the original series by Steven Soderbergh. Read more

    RATING: 85/100

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  • Thoroughbreds

    DIRECTOR: Cory Finley
    CAST: Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin


    Two upper class girls who once used to be best friends reunite. They forge a demonic plan to solve their problems. Read more

    RATING: 81/100

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  • Red Sparrow

    DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
    CAST: Jennifer Lawrence Joel Edgerton Joely Richardson


    A sexy Russian spy falls for a CIA officer and considers becoming a double agent. Read more

    RATING: 83/100

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Best thriller movies of 2017

Top rated 2017 thriller movies

  • The Snowman

    DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson
    CAST: Rebecca Ferguson Michael Fassbender Chloë Sevigny


    Finally, a new project by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson. After his stylish adaptation of John le Carre's spy novel 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy', 'The Snowman' is yet another crime thriller. With Michael Fassbender aboard, this snowy Nordic Noir about the investigation of a young girl's death is bound to be a killer movie. Read more

    RATING: 82/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 19th, 2017

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  • The Circle

    DIRECTOR: James Ponsoldt
    CAST: Karen Gillan Emma Watson Tom Hanks


    The incredibly popular bestseller The Circle by Dave Eggers adapted to film. A very modern tale with the all the dark secrets we hope are not taking place at tech companies. In this technology thriller Emma Watson climbs the ranks of a social media company, and there she gets involved with a mysterious man. What first is a great experience, slowly turns grim.Update: Don't go see it. It's horrible. There is no suspense, no drama, and no real story. It tries to be an investigation into the dangers of modern technology and social media, but even intellectually it is hollow and boring. Read more

    RATING: 82/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 28th, 2017

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  • Wind River

    DIRECTOR: Taylor Sheridan
    CAST: Jeremy Renner Elizabeth Olsen Jon Bernthal


    Taylor Sheridan, the writer of 2016's hit 'Hell or High Water', comes with a story about a killing that has taking place at Native American Reservation. An FBI agent teams (Elizabeth Olsen) up with a local tracker (Jeremy Renner). 'Wind River', taking place in snowy Wyoming, is an atmospheric slow-burner. Read more

    RATING: 84/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 21st, 2017

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  • Split

    DIRECTOR: M. Night Shyamalan
    CAST: James Mcavoy Anya Taylor-Joy Haley Lu Richardson


    James McAvoy goes truly insane in Split, a movie about three girls who get kidnapped by a mad man with 23 different personalities. Naturally, they are trying to escape, and it's quite thrilling. Read more

    RATING: 85/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 20th, 2017

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  • The Fury of a Patient Man

    DIRECTOR: Raúl Arévalo
    CAST: Antonio de la Torre Luis Callejo Ruth Díaz


    A man who has been imprisoned after a failed robbery, plots a revenge on the men who got away. Read more

    RATING: 80/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 20th, 2017

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  • Good Time

    DIRECTOR: Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
    CAST: Robert Pattinson Benny Safdie Jennifer Jason Leigh


    After a failed bank robbery, a young criminal tries to stay away from the police during a chaotic night in New York City. Read more

    RATING: 83/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 20th, 2017

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Best thriller movies on Netflix or DVD in 2018

2010's best rated thriller movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).

  • Prisoners

    DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve
    CAST: Hugh Jackman Jake Gyllenhaal Viola Davis


    Prisoners is topping this round-up because it stays within genre conventions (over-all at least) without ever becoming cliche or predictable. More than that, Denis Villeneuve shows how making a thriller should be done. Next to having a great plot with clever unexpected twists and turns, Prisoners gets you emotionally invested in the characters – the ones you are expected to be rooting for, but also the ones you might not expect yourself to care for. In other words, Villeneuve has managed to create real flesh and blood characters who, when inserted into extreme situations, act ambiguously, and consequently make you as a viewer question and investigate everything. His next feature, Enemy, a doppelgänger film also starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is way less straightforward, and almost feels like Villeneuve proving he is not just doing genre films now. Enemy is also great, but I wouldn’t mind Villeneuve sticking to excellent genre films like Prisoners. Read more

    RATING: 93/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 20th, 2013

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  • Drive

    DIRECTOR: Nicolas Winding Refn
    CAST: Ryan Gosling Carey Mulligan Bryan Cranston


    Few films have managed to become instant mainstream cult films. Drive is the sublimation of Refn’s experimenting with the concept of violence. As Refn says: violence is just like sex, it’s all about the build-up. And he builds it up alright. Ryan Gosling’s character is quiet and mysterious, but you sense something boiling underneath. When it finally comes out the explosion is shocking, disturbing and yes, satisfying. This combined with an incredibly cool soundtrack by Kavinsky, and shots of L.A. at night, make for a cult classic. He got everything right. Refn’s next feature, Only God Forgives, proves that he can also get it wrong. His wife made an interesting documentary about him failing after the huge success of Drive. Read more

    RATING: 90/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 16th, 2011

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  • Blue Ruin

    DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
    CAST: Macon Blair Devin Ratray Amy Hargreaves


    Without a doubt my favorite American indie thriller of 2014. The main character is clearly a bit of a nutter, and as a viewer you slowly and surely get more information, but the modus operandi of the suspense mainly is founded on the what the hell is next? principle. It is a bloody yet arty revenge film that ranks among 2014’s most noteworthy indies. Director Jeremy Saulnier basically bet his house on this project, and I am glad he was willing to take such risks. Not just financially, but also with regard to artistic and narrative decisions made for the film – truly original. Read more

    RATING: 88/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 17th, 2013

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  • Gone Girl

    DIRECTOR: David Fincher
    CAST: Ben Affleck Rosamund Pike Neil Patrick Harris


    The film is centered around a mediahype, but Gone Girl received more than enough attention itself. Marketeers must have known that with David Fincher as the intelligent director and Ben Affleck in a potentially dark role as the suspected husband, they had gold in their hands. And it actually really did deliver. Sure the story takes on high unlikely turns of events, but boy is it juicy stuff. Fincher is a talented writer/director, but he sometimes has the tendency to go so far in terms of making a plot waterproof, that it actually becomes dry and rather boring (A good example is the way too long and tedious Zodiac). Gone Girl is the opposite – it is constantly tickling the viewer’s curiosity and hunger for sensation, and gives the thriller enthusiast more than he/she could wish for. One of the few big budget productions that actually took me by surprise story-wise. Gone girl was based on the book by Gillian Flynn. Read more

    RATING: 88/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 3rd, 2014

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  • Captain Philips

    DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
    CAST: Tom Hanks Barkhad Abdi Barkhad Abdirahman


    I was in doubt about whether I should instead of Captain Phillips suggest the Danish film Kapringen which deals with the exact same topic. The Danish film was also released in 2013, and is also about Somalian pirates hijacking a cargo ship, but it is a much more genuine, understated and realistic film than Captain Films. However, it is more a drama than a thriller. And Captain Phillips really thrills – it is a jittery, breathtaking film that reaches extreme levels of intensity. In other words, it is an incredibly tense thriller. Tom Hanks does a great job at making you care for his poor soul. Should really be seen in a cinema-worthy setting. Read more

    RATING: 88/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 11th, 2013

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  • Shutter Island

    DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
    CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio Emily Mortimer Mark Ruffalo


    This year Scorsese and DiCaprio once again proved to be a golden duo. Wolf of Wall Street was a huge hit. And in 2016 Leonardo finally won an Oscar for The Revenant .Shutter Island is in comparison a way more modest film. In execution at least. Story-wise it definitely is a mind-fuck, but perhaps one you could see coming. Nonetheless, I do think it’s a great thriller, one that has a nostalgic feel about it. Anything taking place at an isolated Island is awesome psychological thriller material, and DiCaprio and Marc Ruffalo are bringing their a-game to making it happen. Read more

    RATING: 88/100

    RELEASE DATE: February 17th, 2010

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  • Green Room

    DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
    CAST: Anton Yelchin Imogen Poots Alia Shawkat


    After 2014's above mentioned Blue Ruin, we did not expect to Saulnier to pull it off again and earn himself his second place on the list. Green Room is perhaps slightly less arty, and in that sense less visually spectacular, but in terms of suspense it's stronger. In Blue Ruin the thrill mainly came from having no clue what the protagonist was going to do next. Green Room is more claustrophobic, and plays with anxiety over not knowing what happens to the protagonists. Anton Yelchin (who recently died in a tragic car accident) and his band get locked up in a room after they have witnessed a murder. Not just any murder, a murder committed by a crazy neo-nazi at a nazi hangout. The charismatic leader, played by a terrifying Patrick Stewart, is ice-cold and relentless, and immediately starts scheming to get rid of the band. Read more

    RATING: 85/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 13th, 2016

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  • Borgman

    DIRECTOR: Alex van Warmerdam
    CAST: Jan Bijvoet Hadewych Minis Jeroen Perceval


    This was the film that broke the Dutch 38-years silence at Cannes. Cult director Alex van Warmerdam brings the home invasion thriller genre to the next level. Comparisons may be made to Haneke’s Funny Games, but this European thriller is much weirder, creepier and more disturbing. That is because it is less ironic than a Haneke film, but waymore twisted. Some may find it tedious after a while because, like Les Salauds and Killer Joe, the suspense is mainly developed by setting up a disquieting atmosphere. Van Warmerdam certainly succeeds there Read more

    RATING: 85/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 19th, 2013

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  • Argo

    DIRECTOR: Ben Affleck
    CAST: Ben Affleck Bryan Cranston John Goodman


    I happened to be working at an embassy when I was watching Argo, and I can’t deny this made the film extra interesting. Perhaps in such measure that it tipped the scales in favor of it becoming more than just a solid conventional international thriller. Because that it certainly is, a well-acted period film that narrates, with poise and accuracy, a historical happening that was huge in the world of international diplomacy. The suspense was crafted quite cleverly. Argo did not need to rely on action scenes, but knew perfectly well that what it needed to rely on was the psychological feeling of being shallowed up by a foreign country in which you can trust no-one, and you just hope to make it out alive amidst the chaos. If you are an Affleck fan, you might want to check out his Boston crime film The Town (2010) Read more

    RATING: 85/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 12th, 2012

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  • Nocturnal Animals

    DIRECTOR: Tom Ford
    CAST: Amy Adams Jake Gyllenhaal Michael Shannon


    When it comes to revenge stories, this one is not satisfying in term of bloody payback, but is much more sophisticated. Tom Ford, the mind behind the iconically stylish 'A Single' returns with a much darker movie. A gripping revenge thriller with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal in the leads. Tom Ford, the famous fashion designer-turned director, combines the luxurious high-end art scene of New York with the gritty The Killer Inside me type atmosphere of desolate Texas. The pitch-black story is about a successful gallery owner, played by Amy Adams, who during marriage troubles of her own, receives a manuscript of her ex-husband's new novel. The highly disturbing and violent thriller book quickly becomes intensely personal. Read more

    RATING: 84/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 2nd, 2016

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  • Out of the Furnace

    DIRECTOR: Scott Cooper
    CAST: Christian Bale Casey Affleck Zoe Saldana


    As a bit of a old fashioned masculine film, Out of the Furnace with its gritty art-house look, was actually more enjoyable than I initially expected. I was afraid it would be some sort or forced realistic tough guy film revenge film, and it obviously was, but much better executed than I thought. Nothing groundbreaking in terms of acting as most actors were playing their typical characters, but the hill billy bad guy role by Woody Harrelson is more than noteworthy. Read more

    RATING: 84/100

    RELEASE DATE: November 9th, 2013

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  • Tom at the Farm

    DIRECTOR: Xavier Dolan
    CAST: Xavier Dolan Pierre-Yves Cardinal Lise Roy


    Critics can’t stop talking about Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (2014). That Nolan knows what he is doing in terms of producing excellent and moving drama is nothing new to us. That he also knows his stuff when it comes to thrillers was a pleasant (but not too big) surprise. He proved this with Tom at the Farm (Tom a la ferme), a ‘gay yet Hitchcockian suspense film’. Read more

    RATING: 83/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 2nd, 2013

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  • Killer Joe

    DIRECTOR: William Friedkin
    CAST: Matthew McConaughey Emile Hirsch Juno Temple


    This is not for the faint of heart. And I mean that. I was surprised about how exceptionally explicit the film is when it comes to violence. It is the perfect example of what happens when you get involved with the wrong people. Some people you simply should not associate with – not even in times of distress. In this case that person was Mister rom com McConaughey on the start of his mcconaissance. It was the first film that allowed him to show more than we have seen of him before. Here you can see the darkest side of his character in True Detective. Perhaps this would have been better suited for our Best new horror movies of 2017 list Read more

    RATING: 83/100

    RELEASE DATE: July 27th, 2012

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  • Les Salauds

    DIRECTOR: Claire Denis
    CAST: Vincent Lindon Chiara Mastroianni Julie Bataille


    Claire Denis is not for everyone. She has proven that over and over again, and with Salauds it’s no different. However, if you want dark, twisted, and disorienting poetry, than Les Salauds is for you. It is a noir-ish revenge film without you first realizing it. There is a narrative (don’t worry), but it’s being approached in such a complex and poetic manner that you might as well be without. You see images, you see people, but you feel the emotions and atmosphere. The suspense does not work in a logical way, but creeps up on you and gets under your skin. It disturbs you and stays with you, and for that reason is one of the new best psychological thrillers of the 2010’s. It also has a prominent spot on our Best new French movies list Read more

    RATING: 81/100

    RELEASE DATE: August 7th, 2013

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  • Kill List

    DIRECTOR: Ben Wheatley
    CAST: Neil Maskell MyAnna Buring Harry Simpson


    When people in 2017 talk about British horror, absurdist horror, there is only one real name in the game. Ben Wheatley. With Kill List he properly introduced himself, and his dark and absurdist style seems here to stay. Kill List is an unsettling thriller that already shows Wheatley’s love for horror elements. Shot intimately and slightly experimentally, the film is deeply invading and is more an investigation into the human psychology than a narratively nicely tidied up film. His recent High-Rise and the 2017 Free Fire also come recommended. He has currently three other movies listed on our Best new British movies of 2017 Read more

    RATING: 80/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 2nd, 2011

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  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    DIRECTOR: Niels Arden Oplev
    CAST: Michael Nyqvist Noomi Rapace Ewa Fröling


    In Stieg Larsson's Swedish crime novel a journalist is aided by a young female hacker in his search for the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years. The... Read more

    RATING: 80/100

    RELEASE DATE: August 6th, 2009

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  • L’inconnu du Lac

    DIRECTOR: Alain Guiraudie
    CAST: Pierre Deladonchamps Christophe Paou Patrick d'Assumçao


    Best described as a psychological erotic thriller located in an Eric Rohmer kind of setting, The Stranger by the Lake caused the very first conflict among our editors in 2014. Where some found it intelligent, mysterious and ultimately suspenseful, others could not help feel it was a forced arty production that ultimately committed the sin of being boring. And I guess that both parties are kind of right. It is a summery film that in the first place is simply after giving you a naturalistic yet dreamy impression of a meeting spot for gays. Not much happens and the tension build-up is dreadfully slow and rather dispersed. For some it peaks too late, but for me it was right on time, and when it peaks, it really peaks. Read more

    RATING: 77/100

    RELEASE DATE: May 17th, 2013

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