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55 Best Thrillers Streaming [August 2022]

Full of murder mysteries, heists gone wrong, home invasions, and conspiracies, the thriller genre has shades of horror, drama, and action. They also come in a variety of different sub-genres. The 1990s were rife with erotic thrillers that pitted flabbergasted male protagonists against wily femme fatales. Psychological thrillers take the term "mental warfare" literally. And political thrillers pit heroic journalists against scheming public servants aiming to make the common man's life a living hell.

All to say, when it comes to thrillers, audiences are spoiled for choice. If you have a high tolerance for violence, the more grisly, horror-adjacent films have got your bloodlust covered. If you're a fan of pulpy murder mysteries, there are more than enough entries in the black-gloved, knife-wielding Italian giallo sub-genre to keep you occupied. But with a glut of films available on an intimidating number of streaming services, it can be hard to suss out how to best utilize a cozy night in.

But fear not, film fans. Below you will find 55 incredible thrillers that are currently available on streaming services. Be sure to keep an eye on which streamers are showcasing each film, and enjoy our look at the best thrillers available on streaming this month.

Updated on August 2, 2022: Streaming services are constantly updating their selection with new, excellent titles that will keep your watchlist well-stacked. So please note that this article is updated monthly to reflect changes to streaming availability.

All the President's Men - DIRECTV, HBO Max, Tubi

Two journalists working at the Washington Post (played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) are investigating the bungled burglary that took place at the Democratic Party Headquarters in 1972. To their shock and excitement, the pair discover a connection between the criminals and a political staff member (thanks, in part, to their anonymous informer, code name Deep Throat). What follows is a taut, involving, and masterfully crafted dramatization of the investigation that ultimately led to the infamous Watergate scandal and the eventual resignation of then-president Richard Nixon. But don't worry, that's not a spoiler. Even if you know the end-result, "All the President's Men" still manages to drum up tension, curiosity, and fear out of one of America's greatest political scandals.

  • Starring: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden
  • Director: Alan J. Pakula
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 138 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Angst - Kanopy, Mubi, Tubi

There are a number of films on this list come with a pretty serious viewer advisory, and "Angst" is one of them. This is a film that comes with a "you must be THIS depraved to ride" admittance requirement. 

Shot in a queasy, thrashing handheld style, "Angst" follows the release of a serial killer into the general populace. No sooner are his cuffs loosened, the killer is itching to kill again (go figure). With stomach-churning intimacy we watch as the killer stumbles and scrambles his way towards satisfying his itch — a desire he hopes to quench after his discovery of a remote estate in the middle of the woods. An incredible viewing experience, however sickening, "Angst" is an incredibly hard film to watch. But those sick puppies amongst you with strong stomachs will be rewarded with one of the most unflinching thrillers ever made.

  • Starring: Erwin Leder, Silvia Rabenreither, Edith Rosset
  • Director: Gerald Kargl
  • Year: 1983
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Assault on Precinct 13 - Kanopy, Showtime, Tubi

If you've ever wondered what it would look like if John Carpenter made "Night of the Living Dead," good news: "Assault on Precinct 13" exists. Taking place in a police station under siege by a violent street gang, "Assault on Precinct 13" also dares to boast hang-out vibes and a shocking number of suspenseful, knee-knocking moments. Effortlessly cool and out of time, "Assault on Precinct 13" is a bona fide masterpiece and one of the greatest "against the odds" films of all time.

  • Starring: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Basic Instinct - DIRECTV, fuboTV, Showtime

A tempestuous detective who looks like he'd be slimy if you touched him, Nick Curran is already having a hard go of things before Catherine Tramell enters his life. Then again, Curran should have known better than to mix business and pleasure. Falling in love with the woman you highly suspect is killing men off with an ice pick is generally considered a "bad move." Blundering his way through a twisting case of murder, affairs, and red herrings, Curran shepherds us through director Paul Verhoeven's satirical portrait of a 1990s Hollywood erotic thriller. Tension-filled and goofy? Sign us up.

The Big Sleep - HBO Max

The daughter of an elder statesman is being blackmailed. And detective Philip Marlowe is on the case. Yeah, the guy he's replacing "disappeared under mysterious circumstances," but Marlowe is a professional! Agreeing to investigate the daughter's case, Marlowe roves the streets of Los Angeles gathering evidence and uncovering colorful characters, murders, and romance along the way. With snappy, music-like dialogue and stark black-and-white photography, "The Big Sleep" is an essential film noir thriller that any lover of murder mysteries owes it to themselves to seek out.

  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Year: 1946
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage - Amazon Prime, Kanpoy, Tubi

A staple of giallo — an Italian murder-mystery genre full of leather-gloved killers, vibrant set design, and prog-rock soundtracks — "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage" follows an American writer named Sam who witnesses a brutal attempted murder. Luckily, Monica — an art gallery owner and the would-be victim — survives. Suspecting that the attack was the latest crime by a serial killer, Sam joins the investigation. Stylish, twisty, and full of more red herrings than a fish market, "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage" is an essential thriller and an incredible introduction to giallo for the uninitiated.

  • Starring: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Eva Renzi
  • Director: Dario Argento
  • Year: 1970
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Black Christmas - Kanopy, Peacock, Tubi

While the rest of the university campus enjoys the impending holiday season, one sorority house is plagued by a cascading laundry list of tragedies. Girls are going missing. And there's clearly a killer on campus ... possibly the creep who keeps cold-calling their landline with lewd and increasingly violent ramblings. The cops seem helpless and constantly one step behind the perpetrator, and the girls are very much on their own as the killer gets closer. A giallo-indebted masterpiece and the pinnacle of Canadian tax-shelter cinema, the original "Black Christmas" is a stupendous seasonal watch that deserves to be watched at least once a year.

  • Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea
  • Director: Bob Clark
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Blood and Black Lace - Fandor, Flix Fling, Tubi

A film that provided the candy-colored blueprint for many a giallo film to come, "Blood and Black Lace" follows a fashion house full of statuesque models who are targeted, stalked, and murdered by a mysterious masked assailant. Briskly paced and visually ravishing, "Blood and Black Lace" is one of the most important entries not only in international horror history but the thriller genre writ large. Go and gawk (respectfully) for yourself.

  • Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner
  • Director: Mario Bava
  • Year: 1964
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Blood Simple - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max

Furious with his assessment that his wife is cheating on him with his employee, a hot-tempered dive bar owner hires a ridiculously sweaty hitman to dispatch the happy couple while he takes an alibi-securing fishing trip. Naturally, given that this is a Coen brothers' movie, the airtight plan quickly springs several leaks. To say more would give too much away, and if you haven't seen this undeniable classic, far be it from us to spoil your fun. Part comedy, part Western, and all neo-noir, "Blood Simple" is an enthralling comedy of errors that will make you come crawling back for more.

  • Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh
  • Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 1984
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Blow Out - HBO Max, Kanopy, The Roku Channel

A talented sound designer burns the midnight oil mixing screams and stabs for low-budget horror films. Then, one night, while recording audio samples in a park, the sound designer hears (and records) an ambiguous noise: It could be a tire blowing out ... or a gunshot. Either way, a car is plummeting into the drink, and several heroics later, the sound designer finds himself up to his earlobes in conspiracy. One of the finest films in Brian De Palma's career, "Blow Out" is a gorgeously photographed and meticulously constructed thriller that borrows notes from the giallo tradition and the paranoid investigative bent of 1970s cinema.

  • Starring: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
  • Director: Brian De Palma
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Blue Velvet - Hoopla, Kanopy, The Roku Channel, Tubi

Returning to his family's white-picketed suburbs after his father suffers a stroke, Jeffrey Beaumont's dark descent down the proverbial rabbit hole kicks off with what else but a severed human ear. The rotting, green piece of discarded cartilage pushes Jeffrey into a viper's nest of sadistic criminals. And after Jeffrey forms a bond with one of their victims, a nightclub singer whose son is being held captive, the young man begins to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse where it's increasingly unclear who is hunting whom. Dreamlike and ferocious, "Blue Velvet" is the film to watch if you want to see what this "Lynchian" business is all about.

  • Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Body Heat - Kanopy

As a heat wave grips a seedy Florida town, lusty lawyer Ned Racine sets his sights on Matty Walker, a married blonde bombshell who would love to see her mobster husband out of the picture before they seal the deal. Thanks to Matty's strict prenup, divorce is out of the question (what are they going to do, walk away from all that money?). And so, Ned sets out to murder Matty's husband, only for just about everything to go wrong. A film with sweet and stank on it in equal measure, "Body Heat" is the pinnacle of sweaty cinema and a top-tier erotic thriller well-deserving of its inclusion on this list.

  • Starring: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna
  • Director: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Bound - Amazon Prime, DIRECTV, Paramount+

The directorial debut of the Wachowski sisters, "Bound" puts a twist in the film noir genre by telling its story from the perspective of its soft-voiced femme fatale, Violet. Discounted and mistreated by the machismo-spewing gangsters in her life, Violet becomes intimate with the ex-convict renovating the next door apartment, and together, the two women get to scheming. A fine slice of exploitation cinema that never crosses the line into feeling exploitative, "Bound" is a stylish spin on the notoriously stylish noir genre.

  • Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
  • Director: The Wachowskis
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Chinatown - HBO Max, Hoopla, Kanopy

Arguably one of the greatest neo-noirs ever made, "Chinatown" takes place in pre-World War II Los Angeles, where private investigator Jack Gittes makes a living unearthing the truth in adultery cases. Then, one day, he accepts a job to investigate whether a high-powered civil engineer is having an affair. And just like that, Jake finds himself knee-deep in a spider's web of mystery, intrigue, corruption, and yes, murder. Unsure of who to trust and determined to uncover the truth, Jake slinks deeper and deeper into the conspiracy putting his own livelihood and life at risk.

Collateral - HBO Max, DIRECTV

Max is watching his life tick away behind the wheel of his cab with only his big dreams of tropical escape to keep him company. Then, on a night like any other, a silver-haired man named Vincent makes an unusual request: He wants to be his only fare for the evening, with five scheduled stops and a final destination at the airport. As they weave through the streets of Los Angeles, Max quickly discovers that Vincent, for all his charms, is a stone-cold contract killer. Pulled between self-preservation and the risk and reward of heroics, Max finds his ho-hum life lurching out of cruise control (Tom Cruise control, as it happens).

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Year: 2004
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

The Conversation - Amazon Prime, DIRECTV, Paramount+

Set in San Francisco, "The Conversation" follows mild-mannered private surveillance technician Harry Caul, who gets more than he bargained for during a routine job. While recording a couple suspected of infidelity, Caul becomes convinced that the man and woman's lives are in danger. Intensely private and aggressively cautious, Caul isn't used to getting involved with his targets. But when he begins to suspect that their fate is a result of one of his prior investigations, his Catholic guilt takes hold, and Caul races against the clock to uncover the truth. 

Meticulous, involving, and strikingly intimate, "The Conversation" is an incredible testament to the narrative power of sound design. Come for Hackman's empathetic lead performance, stay for the wondrous analogue magic of pre-digital audio recording.

Cure - The Criterion Channel

Arguably one of the biggest cinematic bummers of all time, "Cure" follows Detective Takabe, the man at the center of an investigation into a string of vicious murders with grisly similarities but seemingly different perpetrators. Determined to untangle the knotty case, Takabe enters into a soul-shattering psychological stand-off with a man who may well be the personification of evil itself. Pitch black, disorienting, and more tense than a marathon runner's calf muscle, "Cure" is a devastating and disquieting watch, as well as a shocking gauntlet throw of the emerging new wave of Japanese horror thrillers.

  • Starring: Koji Yakusho, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa
  • Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Year: 1997
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Dead Ringers - DIRECTV, Hoopla, Kanopy

There's codependency, and then there's the Mantle twins — identical brothers who also happen to be the accomplished gynecologists. But as their interconnected lives begin to unravel in the wake of demanding lovers and differing opinions about where their careers are going, the twins' grip on reality begins to slip. Starring Jeremy Irons in not one but two of the best performances of his career, "Dead Ringers" may have smatterings of director David Cronenberg's penchant for body horror, but it's a bittersweet thriller through and through. You'll cringe, you'll cry, you'll wince depending on what's between your legs.

Diabolique - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max, The Roku Channel

Two women who you'd think would be at each others' throats form a powerful alliance. A long-suffering wife and a ticked-off mistress resolve to murder the loser who's been making a mockery of the lives of others. Surely, when his sinful corpse runs cold, their worries will be over right? Well, sure. Except that the body is missing. What follows is a disturbing and blood-pumping series of events that reveals one of the two women might harbor a secret agenda (to say which would spoil things — go in blind, if you dare!). Stunning, shocking, and supremely thrilling, "Diabolique" is a classic for a reason.

  • Starring: Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, Paul Meurisse
  • Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Year: 1955
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Dial M for Murder - Kanopy, Tubi

Directed by the great master of the thriller genre Alfred Hitchcock, "Dial M for Murder" lives up to its name, as ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice decides to cash in on the vast fortune of his old-money wife as revenge for her infidelity. Deciding that the perfect way to keep his hands clean is to blackmail an old college pal to strangle her, Wendice makes the fatal mistake of involving unpredictable folks in his dirty work. Constructed like a fine Swiss watch and full of all the style and sophistication we've come to expect from good ol' Hitch, "Dial M for Murder" is a classic for a reason and a must-watch for anyone with a taste for cinematic thrills.

  • Starring: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Year: 1954
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Double Indemnity - The Criterion Channel

Arguably one of the greatest noir films of all time, "Double Indemnity" tells of a fool-hearted insurance salesman who happily allows an alluring housewife to sink her claws deep into his life. She loves him, after all. And if her husband were to have some sort of "accident," they would be able to be together. Right? Masterfully directed by the great jack-of-all-genres Billy Wilder (of "Sunset Boulevard" fame), "Double Indemnity" may be hard to pronounce, but its thrills and red herrings go down real smooth.

  • Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Year: 1944
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Eyes Wide Shut - Netflix, The Roku Channel

There's definitely a debate to be had about what genre "Eyes Wide Shut" fits into, exactly. There are some who claim that it's a horror film, citing its shadowy, murderous secret sex society. Others simply cast the wide net of "mystery" and leave it at that, which is another fair take given the film's overwhelming shadowy atmosphere and unanswered questions. 

Calling the film a thriller also feels appropriate. There's certainly enough overlap between the erotic thrillers of the 1990s, which are as drenched in infidelity and conspiracy as Stanley Kubrick's film to merit the comparison. "Eyes Wide Shut" tells the story about a married couple who flirt with the idea of cheating on each other. While his wife fantasizes about a missed connection in her sleep, Dr. Bill spends sleepless nights wandering the streets of New York City, stumbling headfirst into a mysterious sex cult of 1%-ers. It's tense, hot, and one of Kubrick's finest films (which is saying something).

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 159 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

The Fugitive - HBO Max

Preeminent surgeon and certified wife guy Richard Kimble returns home from a hard day's work to find his beloved spouse bleeding out on the floor. Before the police can arrive, the murderer, a one-armed man, sneaks out the window. Charged with offing his own wife, Kimble finds himself on the run from the law (a "fugitive," if you will), with the impossible task of proving his own innocence. Hot on his tail is the ruthless Samuel Gerard, who Kimble hopes to lure to the actual killer. A delightfully high-energy slice of '90s crime/action/thriller cinema, "The Fugitive" is a top-notch, endlessly re-watchable cinematic ride.

Good Time - fuboTV, Kanopy, Showtime

Over-protective older brother Connie Nikas is horrified when a bank robbery gone wrong lands his disabled sibling in the slammer. Determined to break his brother free, Connie sets out into a labyrinthine and nightmarish vision of New York City to get his brother back. An anxiety-riddled, neon-lit viewing experience, "Good Time" is a heaping taste of the Safdie brothers' talent for twisting terrifying tailspins into cinematic magic. Grimy and kinetic, "Good Time" is exactly that.

Heat - AMC+, DIRECTV, fuboTV

From director Michael Mann, "Heat" tells of a seasoned gang of criminals who incur the wrath of Detective Vincent Hanna after a heist goes belly up. One of the great films about how some cops and robbers are cut from a very similar cloth, "Heat" is a thrill ride par excellence that pits two of Hollywood's greatest leading men — Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino — at each other's throats. A marvelous character study full of edge of your seat set pieces, "Heat" is an essential for those who like their thrillers to come with a healthy serving of action.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer - The Criterion Channel, Peacock, Shudder, Tubi

A loose adaptation of the disastrous friendship of murderers Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole, "Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer" offers a disturbingly intimate look at the psyche of a psychopath. Notoriously hard to watch and gritty with a fantastic lead performance by Michael Rooker, any thriller fan with a penchant for true-crime films that don't pull punches would do well to seek this seedy gem out. Strong stomachs are recommended.

  • Starring: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles
  • Director: John McNaughton
  • Year: 1986
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Hounds of Love - The Roku Channel, Shudder, Tubi

We have a couple of films on this list that should not be watched by the squeamish. No judgment here, we just want to make sure you folks are prepared before you undertake some of the most brutal viewing experiences of the 21st century, that's all. "Hounds of Love" is an Australian film about a young woman who's abducted and tortured by a demented suburban couple. Part survivalist cinema, part firm reminder that you should never accept rides from strangers under any circumstances, "Hounds of Love" is a fantastic (and punishing) film that no one in their right mind would watch twice. If that sounds up your alley, godspeed.

  • Starring: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry
  • Director: Ben Young
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

I Saw the Devil - Kanopy, Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu

Serial killers shouldn't kill anyone. But they really shouldn't kill the fiancés of secret service agents. When the love of Kim Soo-hyeon's life is abducted and dismembered, the unstable lawman goes rogue on a revenge quest to bring the madman to justice. There are plenty of thrillers out there about the hunter becoming the hunted. But few are as brutal, disturbing, and obsessive as "I Saw the Devil." Uncompromising in its vision of predation and eye-for-an-eye vengeance, be warned — this isn't a film for the faint of heart.

  • Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, Jeon Gook-hwan
  • Director: Kim Jee-woon
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 142 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Jaws - AMC+, Tubi

Let's get one thing straight — if you want to go to bat that "Jaws" is a horror film, we're not going to stop you. It is, in bare bones terms, a creature feature. But Steven Spielberg's tale of a rogue great white chowing down on vacationers at a small American beach town also registers as a member of the thriller genre. Is the real villain of "Jaws" the big, hungry shark or the corrupt mayor more interested in leeching profits off the summer season than protecting the lives of his constituents? You tell us! However you spin it (we're firmly in the "why not both?" camp, for those interested), "Jaws" is a tense, character-driven classic that will have you side-eyeing the surf for a couple weeks after your most recent viewing.

  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Year: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Killer Joe - Amazon Prime

Indebted loser Chris Smith owes some bad men a lot of money he doesn't have. Luckily, he's concocted a scheme to drum up the funds — kill his estranged mom for the insurance money. While more and more family members get involved in Chris' "foolproof" plot, a professional killer (and policeman) arrives to fulfill the contract. When the broke family can't pay up, they come to an agreement that the killer can hold onto his sister as a retainer until the insurance money comes through. This, as you'd expect, does not go according to plan. A Southern gothic thriller par excellence with far more laughs than you'd expect, "Killer Joe" sees the re-teaming of writer Tracy Letts and director William Friedkin, who'd collaborated previously on "Bug."

The Killing - Hoopla, Kanopy

Dead set on orchestrating a big score that will set him up for life, career criminal Johnny Clay masterminds the perfect heist. He and his associates are going to rob a race track. And if every tiny detail of the plan goes off without a hitch, they're all going to come away from the ordeal as very rich men. Unfortunately for them, the old joke holds true: The best way to make God laugh is to make a plan. Deliciously procedural and bursting with white-hot tension, Stanley Kubrick's 1956 thriller is a masterwork of cause-and-effect storytelling. Don't blink. You might miss something.

  • Starring: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Year: 1956
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Lady Vengeance - ARROW, Kanopy, Tubi

From "Oldboy" director Park Chan-wook, "Lady Vengeance" follows Lee Geum-ja, a woman who's spent almost 15 years in prison for a horrific murder she didn't commit. When she's finally freed, she jumps at the opportunity to bring her dark fantasies to life. She has a long list of people who need to pay. And yet, despite her innocence, she can't shake the feeling that she is culpable in some way. And so, while she attempts to restore a sense of justice in the world, Lee Geum-ja also attempts to find the inner strength to forgive herself. Gorgeously shot and thematically laser-focused on the question of whether vengeance is ever enough, "Lady Vengeance" is an intense and striking watch for the strong-stomached.

  • Starring: Lee Young-ae, Choi Min-sik, Nam Il-u
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane - AMC+, Amazon Prime, DIRECTV, Hoopla, Kanopy, Tubi, The Roku Channel, Shudder

A criminally under-seen chiller from the 1970s, "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" tells of Rynn (played by a very young Jodie Foster), a 13-year-old girl who's recently moved to a quiet New England beach town with her father. Or at least, that's what she tells everyone. No one has seen her father in the flesh in quite some time. But Rynn seems responsible and independent enough. But when a local lecherous creep starts knocking at Rynn's door, the little girl's dark secrets begin to crawl out of the woodwork. Genuinely unnerving and uncomfortable to watch, "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" is a taught exercise in tension that more than deserves its spot on your watchlist.

M - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max, Kanopy

An early, and incredibly influential entry in the "true crime" arm of the thriller genre, Fritz Lang's "M" tells of a loathsome child killer whose predation terrifies Berlin, stumps law enforcement, and ticks off the criminal underbelly. Grounded by a shocking and despicable performance by Peter Lorre as the murderer, don't let this film's old age put you off. Its detailed, exacting depiction of a city-wide manhunt remains unparalleled to this day.

  • Starring: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
  • Director: Fritz Lang
  • Year: 1931
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

A Man Escaped - The Criterion Channel

Based on a real-life prison escape that took place during World War II, Robert Bresson's 1956 classic tells the story of a French Resistance fighter's efforts to free himself from an infamous Lyon prison. Patient and meticulous, just like its lead character, "A Man Escaped" is a butt-clenching watch that has lost none of its power in the decades since its release. If you've ever wanted to see a film based entirely around narrative power of sound design, look no further.

  • Starring: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock
  • Director: Robert Bresson
  • Year: 1956
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Maniac - Amazon Prime, Shudder, Tubi

One of the sweatiest, and certainly the most disturbing, films ever made, "Maniac" tells of just that — a deranged, violent killer. Forcing us to ride along with a psychotic man plagued with childhood trauma, the streets of New York City are transformed into a hunting ground where no young woman (or her scalp) is safe from the titular maniac's knife. Featuring maxed-out sleaze and a top-shelf command of atmosphere, the late character actor Joe Spinell (of "The Godfather," "Taxi Driver," and "Rocky" fame) carries this infamous thrill ride.

  • Starring: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Gail Lawrence
  • Director: William Lustig
  • Year: 1980
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Memento - DIRECTV, HBO Max, Hoopla, Kanopy

Tracking down the man who murdered his wife is the least of Leonard Shelby's problems. His body etched with tattooed reminders of dead ends and loose threads, Shelby suffers from short-term memory loss that makes his quest for vengeance an uphill battle. While his wife's brutal death is crystal clear, Shelby's mind hard-resets every 15 minutes or so, making hot pursuits and detailed webs of potential perps hard to keep track of. Boasting a creative story structure and an endearingly tragic lead performance by Guy Pearce, "Memento" is one of the greatest "puzzle box" thrillers out there and a must-watch for any fan of the genre.

Memories of Murder - Hulu

Based on the real-life case of South Korea's equivalent to the Zodiac Killer, "Memories of Murder" lays out the frustrating and terrifying conditions of a killer who seemingly can't be caught. As the bodies pile up and the common denominators become muddled and unreliable, the police investigation frays like rotten rope under the public pressure to put an end to the carnage. With incredible lead performances, nerve-wracking ambiguity, and way more drop-kicks than you'd expect, Bong Joon-ho's procedural masterpiece is a must-watch for fans of the genre.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ha
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2003
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Mother - Amazon Prime, fuboTV, Tubi

When her disabled son is arrested for the murder of a young girl, the unnamed "Mother" resolves to prove his innocence. The police don't care, and the lawyers are lazy. Plus, she knows deep in her bones that her sweet boy wouldn't do something this horrific, so she sets off to prove that her son was framed and that his troublesome new friend is a far more likely suspect, but her investigation takes her to some dark and disturbing places. A gripping thriller with an incredible lead performance by Kim Hye-ja, "Mother" is essential viewing for anyone looking to diversify their thriller watchlist with some international offerings.

  • Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Won-bin, Jin Goo
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

The Night of the Hunter - Hoopla, Kanopy, Tubi

The only film directed by the great thespian and acting teacher Charles Laughton, "The Night of the Hunter" is a Southern gothic thrill ride about a malicious preacher who preys upon the family of his old cellmate in an effort to steal their hidden fortune. Told primarily from the perspective of the cellmate's two young children, "The Night of the Hunter" casts long, unnatural shadows through the bayous and cobbled streets of the Deep South as the preacher ingratiates himself into the community. He's fooling everyone. But not the kids. And unfortunately for them, he's well aware that they're on to him. With striking black and white cinematography and a commanding (and spine tingling) performance by Robert Mitchum. "The Night of the Hunter" is a gorgeous and thrill-filled viewing experience.

  • Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
  • Director: Charles Laughton
  • Year: 1955
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Nightcrawler - Netflix

An enterprising journalist named Lou Bloom takes his hungry eyes and indecent taste to the streets of Los Angeles to capture footage of gnarly car wrecks and disastrous crimes. He has a nose for blood, and whoever can deliver footage to news stations first gets to make bank. Ever the boundary-pusher, Lou steadily begins to blur the line between objective observer and active participant. Grounded by a genuinely terrifying lead performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler" is a squirm-inducing psychological thriller and one of the finest directorial debuts out there.

No Country for Old Men - HBO Max, DIRECTV

A blue-collar Texan named Llewelyn Moss happens upon the aftermath of what appears to be a drug deal gone wrong. And amidst the blood-splattered corpses and discarded handguns, there sits a big ol' pile of money — $2 million to be exact. Nabbing the cash for himself instead of reporting the incident to the authorities, Moss' opportunistic crime turns into a nightmare when a hulking contract killer named Anton Chigurh shows up hot on his trail, which also pulls a world-weary lawman into the unfolding bloodshed. A cat-and-mouse hunt par excellence, "No Country for Old Men" is a must-watch neo-Western thriller from the directorial duo who arguably originated the subgenre.

The Parallax View - Kanopy, Pluto TV

One of the essential paranoia-steeped political thrillers of the 1970s, "The Parallax View" follows an ambitious reporter with glorious hair whose interest is piqued by the recent assassination of a senator after he realizes that all the witnesses are turning up dead. Tense, taut, and carried by a charismatic lead performance from Warren Beatty, "The Parallax View" doesn't waste a minute in its twisting tale of nefarious fronts, assassination recruitment, and "accidental" deaths. Bleak, ominous, and the proud owner of one of the most nail-biting finales ever made, "The Parallax View" is essential viewing for fans of the thriller genre.

  • Starring: Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, William Daniels
  • Director: Alan J. Pakula
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Parasite - Hulu, Kanopy

Two families from opposite sides of the socio-economic tracks — the penniless Kims and the affluent Parks — are thrust together in this Oscar-winning thriller. While the Kims slowly ingratiate themselves into the Parks' life, a dark secret threatens to expose their scheme. A biting social commentary with all the tension and humor we've come to expect from director Bong Joon-ho, "Parasite" takes the term "class war" literally with shocking results.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Jo Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 132 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Peeping Tom - The Roku Channel, Tubi

Filmed in glorious Technicolor, "Peeping Tom" puts us in the unenviable, gore-flecked shoes of a serial killer. His name is Mark Lewis, and while he's a mild-mannered focus-puller by day and a photographer of, uh, adult images in his off-hours, by night he murders women with stern and perverted ferocity. Determined to make his magnum opus out of the footage of the terrified, soon-to-be-murdered women, Mark is given a glimpse at a normal life when he falls in love with his bubbly, intelligent tenant, Helen. Gorgeously photographed (ironically enough) and shockingly disturbing for its time, "Peeping Tom" is a masterwork of suspense and lurid thrills sure to unsettle even the strongest of stomachs.

  • Starring: Carl Böhm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey
  • Director: Michael Powell
  • Year: 1960
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Persona - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max

Arguably the psychological thriller to end all other psychological thrillers, "Persona" begins with a striking medical anomaly. An actress, Elisabet, has suddenly become mute. Nearly catatonic, she is brought to a remote island where her caretaker, Alma, speaks to her continuously to provide company and cut the silence of their desolate living situation. As she grows more comfortable with Elisabet and more convinced that she will never spill her secrets, Alma begins to confide more personally with her patient — and as the days tick by, the more Elisabet begins to resemble Alma.

  • Starring: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand
  • Director: Ingmar Bergman
  • Year: 1966
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Prisoners - Hulu

Thanksgiving is ruined when the 6-year-old daughter of a burly carpenter and her best friend vanish without a trace. It's up to the carpenter, Keller, to follow his one lead — a mentally unwell resident squatter named Alex Jones. Also on the case is Detective Loki, the chief investigator rightfully concerned that their lack of evidence will mean that Alex — if he's guilty — can walk free. As Keller's frustrations mount and he resolves to take matters into his own hands, he risks his own freedom in an effort to save the missing girls. Boasting masterful cinematography from the great Roger Deakins, "Prisoners" is a strongly acted thriller that makes for a solid weeknight watch.

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 153 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Se7en - Netflix

A string of disturbing serial killings has descended upon a rain-soaked city. Two detectives are on the case, a hot-headed idealist and a world-weary old timer looking forward to retirement (always a good sign). Soon, a pattern begins to emerge — each new murder incorporates elements of one of the seven deadly sins. A gripping neo-noir with undeniable horror elements, "Se7en" is atmospheric, genuinely unnerving, and features one of the most iconic endings of 1990s genre cinema.

Shutter Island - DIRECTV, Starz

Set in the mid-1950s, "Shutter Island" follows federal marshal Teddy Daniels' investigation of a patient named Rachel, who's vanished without a trace from a remote, sea-set institution for the criminally insane. While staving off his own demons, Teddy and his partner Chuck find that the moldy walls of the Ashecliffe Hospital are full of more uncomfortable truths than they'd anticipated. A psychological thriller from Martin Scorsese? With palpable gothic vibes and a tangible air of mystery? Sign us up!

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

The Silence of the Lambs - AMC+, DIRECTV, fuboTV

Aspiring FBI agent Clarice Starling is tasked with investigating a string of disappearances that all appear to point towards a serial killer. And because it takes one to know one, she marches her way straight to one of the most notorious criminals of all time: Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. One of the scant few genre pictures to win an Oscar for Best Picture (it's somewhere between horror and thriller, depending on who you ask), "The Silence of the Lambs" is sure to get your heart racing with stupendous tension, disturbingly intimate cinematography, and one of the greatest villain performances committed to film.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three - Amazon Prime, Hoopla, Tubi

In this tense tale of a fictional terrorist attack, four incredibly armed men hijack a New York City subway train and demand $1 million. It was the 1970s — that was a lot of money back then! The powers that be are tasked with coughing up the chunk of change in one hour. If they fail, the criminals swear to kill one hostage every minute. A race against time ensues as chaos reigns above and below ground. Astonishingly sweaty, tense, and intelligent, "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" is a bona fide classic that has lost none of its power in the intervening decades. Run, don't walk, and definitely don't take the train.

  • Starring: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam
  • Director: Joseph Sargent
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Thief - Kanopy

Seemingly unaware of the fact that doing "one last job before retiring" is a death sentence, expert safecracker Frank agrees to pull off one final heist to secure his nest egg. This is the big score that's going to set him and his yet-to-be-formed family up for the future. It has to go off without a hitch, and more importantly, Frank needs to make sure the miscreants he's getting in bed with don't screw him over. Luckily criminals are famously reliable, right? Right? A powerful debut feature film from director Michael Mann, "Thief" boasts a captivating lead performance by the late James Caan and a strikingly atmospheric soundtrack from Tangerine Dream.

The Wages of Fear - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max, Kanopy

In a remote South American town, four desperate men drink their days away in hopes of finding the money to get home. Then, disaster strikes — a catastrophic explosion at a nearby American oil field. The company rolls into town with a deadly mission. They need expendable men to drive volatile nitroglycerine to the well fire — a harrowing and precarious journey through jungles, deserts, and mountains that's deadly enough without the explosive cargo. Motivated by money and the promise of escape, the men accept the job knowing full well that they might not survive the ordeal. A sweaty, nerve-wracking experience, "The Wages of Fear" is easily one of the tensest films ever made, an edge-of-your seat viewing experience that concludes with one of the most striking final shots in cinematic history.

  • Starring: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter Van Eyck
  • Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Year: 1953
  • Runtime: 148 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Wild Things - DIRECTV, fuboTV, Showtime

If you like films with more twists than a pretzel then hang tight because "Wild Things" is about to rock your world. One of the more bananas entries in the "erotic thrillers for teens" boom of the 1990s, "Wild Things" tells of an unlikely teen duo and their predatory teacher who take the local law enforcement on the ride of their lives. To say much more would spoil things, though admittedly, spoiling this film is something of a Herculean feat. In any case, if you like your thrillers with a healthy helping of cheese, this is the film for you.

Zodiac - Hoopla

An essential true-crime film and one of the finest thrillers ever made, "Zodiac" tells of the investigation surrounding a string of murders that plagued San Francisco over three decades. While the Zodiac Killer sends cryptic notes and taunting messages to the newspaper, amateur sleuths and the fuzz alike become consumed with cracking the case. A meticulous film about one of the most infamous "unsolved" crimes in American history, "Zodiac" is a haunting portrait of obsession and the thrill of the hunt.

  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 158 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%