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15 Best Thrillers On Amazon Prime

Free two-day shipping is great and all, but for movie lovers, the true allure of an Amazon Prime membership is the content offered by the company's streaming service, Prime Video. Anyone who subscribes to a Prime membership has access to all kinds of movies and TV shows, some of which you can't see anywhere else.

And as far as thrillers are concerned, Prime has a pretty great selection that gets better just about every month. You can stream everything from crime capers to classic tales of psychological suspense, or you can find something new and bizarre that you've never heard of before — stuff that's dark and disconcerting. Whether you're a thriller veteran or just looking to dip your toes into the genre, you just might find your next flick here.

Updated on April 3, 2023: From adrenaline-filled action flicks to Hitchcockian suspense tales, these are the 15 best thrillers on Amazon Prime.

Akilla's Escape

As if the high-stakes, perilous world of the gangland thriller didn't supply enough tension, "Akilla's Escape" ratchets the pressure up a notch by anchoring itself in the stoicism of its core character — a world-weary Akilla (Saul Williams) who knows this dangerous world all too intimately and is trying to prevent a young boy from getting too acquainted with it himself. Everything about this film, from the creative choices to the music (which Williams also helped compose), serves the personal and sociopolitical tension between the past, the present, and the choices that move us between them. 

  • Starring: Saul Williams, Thamela Mpumlwana, Vic Mensa
  • Director: Charles Officer
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Basic Instinct

One of the most infamous erotic thrillers of all time, Paul Verhoeven's "Basic Instinct" remains a tense, sexy, and provocative mystery, even after decades of imitators have tried to replicate its particular magic. The film follows a detective who gets wrapped up in the world of a writer who just might be a suspect in his latest murder investigation. As he soon discovers, she might be irresistible in more ways than one. Though it's largely remembered now for its infamous interrogation scene, "Basic Instinct" remains a master class in thriller filmmaking decades after its release, and still casts a strange spell all its own.

  • Starring: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

The Boondock Saints

"The Boondock Saints" lived up to the original hype of its unique script, but it took a convoluted path to get there. In fact, its success looks unlike what anyone involved might've expected. Critics hated it upon release, possibly in part because that release was rife with controversy and studio politics and was limited to just a few theaters. Nonetheless, the film went on to gross an impressive deal in video sales, and it's a cult favorite among audiences.

The film has earned its place in pop culture due to actors like Norman Reedus and Willem Dafoe. Plus, it has a compelling story that weaves together themes of family and justice as a pair of twin brothers become vigilantes and fight Russian mobsters, all while fleeing the dogged pursuit of an FBI agent.

The Courier

"The Courier" is a bit of a history class, just a lot better at holding its audience's attention. It revolves around an actual infiltration of the Soviet Union's nuclear program that was critical to ending the Cuban Missile Crisis. With a haunting Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role playing a British businessman turned spy, the ominous tones and real-world stakes make the suspense feel all too tangible.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan
  • Director: Dominic Cooke
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Flesh and Bone

Long before he was the go-to screenwriter for the "Harry Potter" franchise, Steve Kloves wrote and directed this intimate thriller. "Flesh and Bone" follows two wayward people who fall for each other without realizing they share a dark secret. One of them — Kay — lost her entire family in a violent robbery. The other — Arlis — has his own complex connection to this crime. Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid are very solid in the leading roles; even if you see the twist coming, they still manage to land the film in solid, chilling territory.

  • Starring: Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, James Caan
  • Director: Steve Kloves
  • Year: 1993
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

The Handmaiden

In terms of unlikely pairings, the team of con man and young pickpocket in "The Handmaiden" is an absurdly satisfying one. This psychological thriller begins with this team's efforts to defraud a naïve heiress named Hideko, as the pickpocket, Sook-hee, convinces her to marry the con man, who goes by the name Count Fujiwara. Of course, this is only the beginning of this South Korean thriller. Betrayal and eroticism intertwine with sharply executed psychological thrills to make "The Handmaiden" not only gripping but genuinely entertaining.

  • Starring: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 145 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Machinist

"The Machinist" has long been associated with the extreme amount of weight star Christian Bale lost to play the role. But look closer, and you'll find much more in Brad Anderson's film than an unnerving physical transformation. Factory worker Trevor Reznik becomes increasingly paranoid and withdrawn in the wake of an on-the-job accident. He can't sleep, he can't eat, and his eternally wakeful life is haunted by bizarre and frightening visions. What is the dark truth at the center of Trevor's fragmenting reality? "The Machinist" plumbs frightening depths of insomnia, fear, and uncertainty as it answers that question.

  • Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian
  • Director: Brad Anderson
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Mission: Impossible

The "Mission: Impossible" franchise has been running strong for nearly three decades, ramping up the death-defying stunts and intrigue with each new installment. But as the series gets bigger and bigger, now is the perfect time to revisit where the saga all began. Directed by thriller master Brian De Palma, the first "Mission: Impossible" film follows IMF Agent Ethan Hunt, who's simultaneously reeling from a mission gone wrong and tasked with tracking down a mole in the agency. Though certainly a smaller film than its sequels, the first "M:I" movie remains a great piece of thriller filmmaking and an essential piece in the formation of who Ethan Hunt is now.

The Protege

The ultra-skilled assassin who goes on a quest for vengeance after losing her mentor is not a new thriller movie trope, but "The Protege" still packs enough fresh thrills to make it worth your time. The story of Maggie Q's trained killer and her hunt for the people who took down the man who trained her, it's got an all-star cast that also features Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the stylish work of director Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale") to really sell the concept.

  • Starring: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Raiders of the Lost Ark

One of the all-time adventure films, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas' first "Indiana Jones" adventure helped make Harrison Ford a megastar, and it still stands as a near-perfect example of pure popcorn movie exuberance. The film follows the title character as he searches for the Ark of the Covenant, racing against time as Nazi explorers search for the same artifact, and while it's packed with great action movie set pieces, it's the sense of pure thriller tension that makes the film linger in your head. Whether you're watching Indy navigate a pit full of snakes or battle a bruiser as a plane's propeller spins around them, it's a near-constant thrill ride that we're still not tired of after 40 years.


In the 1970s, actor Al Pacino and director Sidney Lumet crafted two of the greatest crime films ever made — the heist film "Dog Day Afternoon" and this biopic about legendary NYPD detective Frank Serpico. The film follows Pacino's Serpico as he works to remain committed to justice in a department beset on all sides by corruption and the influence of the drug trade, and it still ranks as one of Lumet's best films and one of Pacino's best performances.


One of the best action-thrillers of the 1990s, "Speed" starts with a very simple, very effective concept: Someone has put a bomb on a city bus, and if the bus goes slower than 55 miles per hour, it will explode and kill everyone on board. Thankfully for everyone involved, an LAPD bomb disposal expert and a bold young passenger named Annie are on board, and they're going to do everything possible to survive the ride. A tremendous exercise in tension driven by set piece after set piece, "Speed" is thriller filmmaking done right over and over again.

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper
  • Director: Jan de Bont
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%


There's a fine line between thrilling and just plain uncomfortable, and "Vivarium" basically plays jump rope with that line. The film takes the innate desire of the restless soul to escape the humdrum suburban life and multiplies the intensity until you feel like you're getting cabin fever just watching it.

As for the plot, young lovers Tom and Gemma are searching for a home, but when they visit a cookie-cutter neighborhood, they suddenly find themselves unable to escape. Things get even creepier when a "kid" shows up on their doorstep, with instructions that if they care for the boy, they'll be released. Watching a couple find themselves trapped in an infinite subdivision of identical houses and forced to raise a humanoid monster as their child ... well, it's not for everyone, but that's part of the unique thrill that both impressed and alienated critics and audiences.

  • Starring: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris
  • Director: Lorcan Finnegan
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Seriously, why don't the parents in this film just do what the title demands? Why don't they just talk about Kevin? Who knows how differently things might have gone if they had — though the story would almost certainly have been less thrilling.

As it stands, this is a slow-burning ride into psychopathy and family dysfunction, told through an idyllic lens of suburban life that's been shattered by an unspeakable event. It's so unspeakable that it — and the sinister dynamics that precipitated it — can only be revealed piece by ominous piece as the film goes on, examined through a mother's complicated relationship with her very disturbed son.

  • Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
  • Director: Lynne Ramsay
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

You Were Never Really Here

If you don't have a strong stomach and mind, you might want to "not really be here" for "You Were Never Really Here," which gives us an uncompromising look at harsh topics like human trafficking and PTSD. The plot follows a guy named Joe, a deeply troubled man who's hired to rescue kidnapped girls by any means necessary. But when Joe is hired to save the abducted daughter of a New York senator, he finds himself drawn into a bloody, tangled conspiracy. Buoyed by Joaquin Phoenix's leading performance, "You Were Never Really Here" is a white-knuckle rescue ride with a gripping psychological twist.