You’d have to be a slightly odd kind of person to say you don’t like thrillers. Nope! No thrills for me please, just lots of peace and quiet! Ok, peace and quiet is good too, but still. Thrillers.
Netflix is a wonderful haven of all sorts of content so we’ve scanned their offerings and picked out a list of the best thrillers the service has right now. We’ve tried to aim for a bit of a mix, so in this list you’ll find comedy thrillers, psychological thrillers, sci-fi thrillers and horror thrillers – hopefully something for everyone. Everyone who likes thrillers, obviously…
Netflix changes it’s catalogue all the time so we’ll be back here adding new entries as titles land and knocking out the ones that have been removed, so please bookmark and come back for another visit next time your thriller itch needs a scratch.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s celebrated ‘grip-lit’ novel, David Fincher’s film adaptation is a satisfyingly glossy, twisty tale of a missing woman, and her douchebag husband who’s in the frame for her disappearance. Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are perfectly cast as the picture book couple with dark secrets beneath the veneer. Pike’s rendition of the book’s famous ‘cool girl’ monologue is spot on, and the whole film is a rollercoaster until the (slightly problematic) climax.
Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve made this ultra-tense cat-and-mouser back in 2013 and it’s an expert showcase for Hugh Jackman as the distraught father who’s daughter has been taken, and Jake Gyllenhaal as the cop trying to find his kid while preventing him from taking matters into his own hands. Chilling.
Hell is other people in this excruciating dinner party-set thriller where a man (Logan Marshall Green) is invited over by his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) for the most uncomfortable social event ever. His he being paranoid, or are they really out to get him? It’s the journey as much as the resolution that’s the joy of this taut movie from Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama.
Compact Brit thriller which is way better than it looks, and almost too stressful at points to be actually enjoyable, though it’s brilliant nonetheless. Jack Lowden and Martin McCann star as two city boys who go hunting in a remote part of Scotland. After a tragic accident the two find themselves in a spiralling nightmare with the locals as they try to extricate themselves from the situation. Shades of folk horror surround this economical and quickly escalating thriller to great effect. Highly recommended.
You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsay’s intense, stripped back thriller is a character study of a hitman with depression and PTSD tasked with rescuing the daughter of a senator. Joaquin Phoenix gives a quiet, but powerhouse performance (he won best actor in Cannes were the film premiered) and he carries this brutal, but intimate portrait of a troubled man.
This unusual psychological thriller takes place in the world of ‘cam girls’ – girls who make a living posting videos online that get tips and upvotes from viewer. Madeline Brewer plays Alice, a cam girl who goes by the handle of Lola_Lola who discovers that her account seems to have been hacked with videos appearing from what seems to be her doppleganger who is similutating extreme acts of violence against herself. A fascinating, slightly trippy Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass thriller, this is one of the quirkiest titles on offer and well worth a look.
Based on the true story of Billy Hayes, a young man who stupidly attempts to smuggle drugs out of Turkey who is sent to a Turkish prison, this 1978 thriller directed by Alan Parker hasn’t aged well in its portrayal of Turkish people but is a fascinating film nonetheless. The movie’s title is prison slang for an escape attempt, and it’s incredible, if brutal, (mostly) true story.
This period drama from Sofia Coppola takes a turn for the tense when an injured Unionist soldier is taken in by the remaining pupils and teacher of a deserted Virginia girls’ school during the American Civil War. Colin Farrell plays the handsome stranger whose biggest mistake is thinking he holds the power in this haven of femaleness. This is the second adaptation of the novel by Thomas P. Cullinan, after Don Siegel’s 1971 version starring Clint Eastwood. Coppola’s version has a hypnotic, dreamlike mood until things turn nasty…
Yes, there is quite the plot hole in this movie, but if you can overlook that, Limitless is a super-fun thriller which seems to carry the message ‘it’s ok to take drugs, as long as you never STOP taking drugs’. Morally dubious? Perhaps. Fun? Definitely! Bradley Cooper plays a struggling writer who is given a mind enhancing drug which gives him an incredible memory for everything he’s ever seen or read and a better personality to boot. The trouble is, it doesn’t last that long. Oh and there are side effects. Aren’t there always. A break-neck, visually inventive film that’s a bit nonsense but highly enjoyable nonetheless.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou, a freelance cameraman who records gruesome scenes late at night to flog to corrupt local TV channel. Demand for increasing graphic footage leads Lou into moral corruption in this grimy, tense and unusual thriller about the tensions that land when dodgy journalism and a public with a dark, voracious appetite collide. Riz Ahmed and Rene Russo co-star.
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Netflix original starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance where it premiered. It’s a black comedy thriller following Lynskey’s nursing assistant who’s on a mission with her slightly weird neighbour to confront the burglar who broke into her house and stole her laptop. It’s a quest that leads them into a world of violence and crime in a quirky cool take on the ‘one crazy night’ subgenre.
Looking for more Netflix suggestions? Here’s our pick of the best horror on Netflix.
And here are the best action movies Netflix has to offer.