30 Best Thrillers On Netflix

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Summary

  • The best thriller movies on Netflix offer suspense and chills, with dark and twisty stories and surprises around every corner.
  • These thrillers feature some of the biggest names in Hollywood and are directed by renowned filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino.
  • The extensive collection of thriller movies on Netflix includes a range of options, from classic films to newer titles, from bleak and disturbing stories to thrillers with a sense of humor.

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While the streaming service caters to all kinds of genres, the best thriller movies on Netflix are perfect for those looking for some suspense and chills. In the age of streaming, Netflix remains one of the biggest platforms with a wide array of selections in movies and television. Among their best titles are some standout titles from the thriller genre that put people on the edge of their seats with dark and twisty stories with surprises around every corner and danger always lurking in the shadows.

These thrillers now available on Netflix come from some of the biggest filmmakers of all time, like Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino. They also star the biggest names in Hollywood with the likes of Tom Cruise, Florence Pugh, and Tom Hanks in the mix. They can range from classics like Heat to newer titles like The Killer, from bleak and disturbing stories to thrillers with a sense of humor. All these impressive options show just how extensive the collection of thriller movies on Netflix is.

RELATED: The 50 Best Movies Of All Time

30 The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye

Release Date
January 6, 2023

Director
Scott Cooper

Cast
Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney

Runtime
128 minutes

A period thriller is a rarer thing to see in the genre, but it can be very appealing when pulled off well. Christian Bale reteamed with director Scott Cooper for the 1800s murder mystery The Pale Blue Eye. Bale stars as a reclusive detective who is called back into the profession to help solve a murder at the military academy in West Point, where he is aided by a young cadet, Edgar Allan Poe. The movie takes that interesting bit of history about the famed author to develop this dark gothic tale. Indeed, the interactions between Bale’s detective and Harry Melling’s Poe are the best aspect of the movie, leading to a clever twist ending.

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29 Gerald’s Game (2017)

Gerald taps Jessie's head in Gerald's Game

Gerald’s Game

Based on the Stephen King novel, Gerald’s Game is directed by Mike Flanagan and stars Carla Gugino as Jessie Burlingame, a woman whose romantic retreat with her husband Gerald turns into a horrible nightmare when Gerald dies of a heart attack in the middle of an intimate moment, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed and completely alone with no way to call for help. Bruce Greenwood and Carel Struycken also star, with Flanagan regular players Henry Thomas and Kate Siegel as part of the supporting cast. 

Release Date
September 29, 2017

Director
Mike Flanagan

Cast
Chiara Aurelia, Henry Thomas, Carel Struycken, Bruce Greenwood, Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel

Runtime
103minutes

Before Mike Flanagan adapted Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, he brought the author’s 1992 novel Gerald’s Game to the small screen. Like the 2019 sequel to The Shining, Gerald’s Game stands as one of the better King adaptations from Hollywood’s newest glut of them. The plot follows Carla Gugino’s Jessie Burlingame, whose husband dies from a heart attack while the two are arguing. Unfortunately for Jessie, she’s handcuffed to their bed’s headboard, and now she’s seeing the dead. It is a simple premise that mixes relatable horror with supernatural fear in an effective way. It also features a climax that is wild but not for the faint of heart.

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28 Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Florence Pugh driving a car in Don't Worry Darling

Don’t Worry Darling

Release Date
September 23, 2022

Director
Olivia Wilde

Cast
Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne, Olivia Wilde, Nick Kroll, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Florence Pugh

Runtime
2h 2m

Don’t Worry Darling was the subject of a lot of unwanted press leading up to its release, but all that distracted from what is an intriguing and exciting thriller from director Olivia Wilde. Florence Pugh stars as a happy housewife in an idyllic 1950s suburb with her husband (played by Harry Styles). However, she soon begins to suspect there is something more sinister beneath the seemingly perfect surface and begins to question her reality. Pugh delivers a stunning performance in the lead role while the movie’s reveals are shocking and disturbing, building a fascinating mythology.

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27 Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023)

luther the fallen sun

Luther: The Fallen Sun

Luther: The Fallen Sun brings back Idris Elba’s gifted detective after the events of BBC’s five-season crime show Luther, created by Neil Cross. With Andy Serkis playing the manipulative villain David Robey and Cynthia Erivo as DCI Odette Raine, the 2023 movie wraps up Luther’s story with his attempt to stop a streak of murders and clean his name in the process.

Release Date
February 24, 2023

Director
Jamie Payne

Cast
Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Serkis, Dermot Crowley

Runtime
129 minutes

After five seasons of playing the brilliant but troubled detective, Idris Elba returns as John Luther in the first movie of the series, Luther: The Fallen Sun. Beginning with Luther in prison, he is broken out to help hunt down a killer who blackmails people using their darkest secrets against them. While the movie doesn’t break a lot of new ground for the character of Luther, it is a dark and gripping crime thriller that fans of the show will love. Elba continues to excel in the role while Andy Serkis is terrifying as the villain. The ending of Luther: The Fallen Sun sets off the future of the character in an exciting way, but this would still serve as a fitting farewell.

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26 I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017)

 I Dont Feel At Home in this World Anymore Netflix

It is always impressive when a thriller can shock and disturb audiences with its storytelling while still having a sense of humor. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a pitch-black comedy starring Melanie Lynskey as a woman growing more disillusioned by an uncaring world. After her house is burglarized, she decides to take matters into her own hands only to find herself in a more dangerous situation than she expected. The movie feels like a fitting tribute to the Coen Brothers’ stories of ordinary people suddenly over their heads in violence. It has some great laughs but never at the expense of the thrills.

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25 The Devil All The Time (2020)

The Devil All The Time

The Devil All The Time is a thriller set in the 1950s and 1960s in rural Ohio. It follows several interconnected storylines that involve corrupt law enforcement, religious fanaticism, and serial killers. The ensemble cast includes Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgård, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, and Harry Melling,

Release Date
September 16, 2020

Director
Antonio Campos

Cast
Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke, Tom Holland, Riley Keough, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson

Runtime
138 minutes

The Devil All the Time is a Netflix original movie that assembles a star-studded cast for a dark Southern Gothic thriller. Set in a small backwoods community, Tom Holland stars as a young man who will do anything to protect his loved ones as a variety of dark characters converge on him, including Sebastian Stan as a corrupt sheriff and Robert Pattinson as an abusive preacher. The grim nature of the movie may be too much for some people but it is a compelling story about the darkness of humanity and Holland’s hero attempting to escape it.

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24 Emily The Criminal (2022)

Aubrey Plaza as Emily the Criminal

Emily the Criminal

Release Date
August 12, 2022

Director
John Patton Ford

Cast
Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Bernardo Badillo, John Billingsley

Runtime
1h 37m

Aubrey Plaza gives her best movie performance to date in the underrated thriller Emily the Criminal. She plays a young woman struggling to find a job with her criminal background who finds an opportunity with a small and illegal scam operation. The movie is a fairly simple story that acts more as a character study of Emily than a crime story, yet still leaves the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie does a great job exploring the complexity of Emily from the unfair aspects of her struggles to the mistakes she makes.

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23 Missing (2023)

Missing Storm Reid
Storm Reid in Missing

Missing

Release Date
January 20, 2023

Director
Nick Johnson, Will Merrick

Cast
Storm Reid, Joaquim De Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, Nia Long, Ava Zaria Lee

Runtime
111 minutes

Following the surprise success of Searching, Missing was developed as a sequel that wisely approached the unique format with a totally new story. Once again told entirely on the screens of computers and phones, Missing stars Storm Reid as a young girl who begins a desperate search for her mother who went missing while on vacation with her boyfriend. Just as Searching did, Missing uses the unique storytelling approach to create a fully immersive mystery that is gripping from beginning to end. It is the kind of fast-paced thriller that is a perfect entry point for fans who are not typically thriller movie watchers.

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22 The Mauritanian (2021)

the mauritanian movie review

The Mauritanian

Release Date
February 12, 2021

Director
Kevin Macdonald

Cast
Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Saamer Usmani, Zachary Levi

Runtime
129 minutes

Yet another subgenre to the thriller movie is the classic courtroom thriller. It is a riveting type of movie when done well and The Mauritanian is a recent example of how it is still going strong with interesting stories. Based on a true story, it follows the efforts of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s fight for freedom after he was imprisoned by the U.S. government for years without any charges. It is a harrowing story of determination and courage featuring a powerful lead performance from Tahar Rahim and a supporting cast that includes Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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21 The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)

Steven talking to Martin in The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Release Date
October 27, 2017

Director
Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast
Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone, Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman, Raffey Cassidy

Runtime
121minutes

Yorgos Lanthimos has developed a unique style and sense of humor that has led to highly acclaimed projects like the Best Picture nominee, The Favourite, and the upcoming Poor Things. The Killing of a Sacred Deer sees the filmmaker use his unique sensibilities for a modern thriller. The result is a disturbing and darkly comedic experience unlike any other. Colin Farrell plays a surgeon who befriends a young man (Barry Keoghan) with a connection to his past and introduces him to his family only for a strange illness soon to befall them all. The dour tone is mixed with a dry sense of humor that keeps the audience off-balance until the shocking end. The performances are all excellent, with Keoghan as a true standout.

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20 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story (2019)

Jesse looking at someone in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino wraps up Jesse Pinkman’s story after he escapes from a group of Neo-Nazis at the end of Breaking Bad. Written, directed, and produced by Vince Gilligan and starring Aaron Paul, the 2019 movie revolves around Jesse’s attempt to flee to Alaska and start a new life, leaving behind his past with meth kingpin Walter White.

Release Date
October 11, 2019

Director
Vince Gilligan

Cast
Krysten Ritter, Jonathan Banks, Matt Jones, Aaron Paul, Robert Forster, Bryan Cranston, Jesse Plemons, Charles Baker

Runtime
122 minutes

The Breaking Bad timeline continued with this Netflix Original movie that showed what happened to Jesse Pinkman after the show’s finale. While it could have been a mistake to return to this world after a well-received ending, El Camino makes it worthwhile by telling a story that fits within the feel and vibe of the show while feeling like its own story. Seeing Aaron Paul back in the role of Jesse is a thrill and he is not the only returning character. It is a thrilling footnote to the show that wraps up one of its most beloved characters.

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19 Triple Frontier (2019)

Triple Frontier

Triple Frontier is an action movie that sees five former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers, these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for themselves instead of the country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, loyalties, and morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.
 

Release Date
March 13, 2019

Director
J.C. Chandor

Cast
Adria Arjona, Christine Horn, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Reynaldo Gallegos, Ben Affleck, Sheila Vand, Juan Camilo Castillo, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund

Runtime
125 minutes

An all-star cast assembles for the high-octane thriller Triple Frontier. Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Ben Affleck and more star in the movie as ex-special forces operatives who decide to take on an off-the-books mission to rob a drug lord. What is meant to be the perfect crime turns wrong as greed sets in. The entire cast of the movie elevates the modern-day treasure hunt story with Affleck as the ensemble’s standout as a desperate man whose reluctance turns to blind desire. It is a grounded and gritty ride with a cast of great actors.

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18 The Good Nurse (2022)

Eddie Redmayne as Charles Cullen and Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren in The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse

In The Good Nurse, Jessica Chastain stars as Amy Loughren, a caring nurse and single mother with a critical heart condition that threatens her life. Working in the intensive care unit during the night shifts, Amy is pushed to the breaking point until a new nurse named Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) starts working there. The equally compassionate Charlie builds rapport with her, and her burden is lifted- along with making a dear friend. As time passes, however, several patient deaths set off a police investigation that implicates Charlie as the culprit, with Amy now thrust in the middle of it all. Amy will have to dig deeper and determine the truth – and decide what to do if the truth is uglier than she had hoped. Based on the book by Charles Graeber and based on a true story, The Good Nurse is a true-crime story with thriller elements that will release stateside on October 26 2022.

Release Date
October 26, 2022

Director
Tobias Lindholm

Cast
Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens, Noah Emmerich

Runtime
121 minutes

Oscar winners Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne teamed to tell the chilling true-crime story of The Good Nurse. Chastain plays a caring and compassionate nurse who is pulled into an investigation that implicates her friend and colleague (Redmayne) in the deaths of hundreds of hospital patients. The movie is a great two-handed story, focusing on the disturbing nature of Redmayne’s character and his crimes as well as Chastain’s character as a selfless hero hoping to save lives. The facts behind the movie only make it a more intriguing story to explore.

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17 Burning (2018)

2018 thriller

Some of the best thrillers on Netflix will also open people up to the genre’s great offerings from other countries. Burning is a South Korean movie with an expert slow-burn approach to a haunting story. It follows a young man named Jong-su who reconnects with a girl from his youth only for her to bring her new wealthy boyfriend (Steven Yeun) into the fold, making Jong-su uneasy. At nearly three hours, the movie takes a very deliberate pace, not even revealing the thriller aspect until the second half of the movie. However, it wraps the audience in the story so thoroughly that the final half is a pulse-pounding experience with Yeun delivering a brilliant and chilling performance.

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16 Donnie Brasco (1997)

Johnny and Lefty talking in Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco

Release Date
February 28, 1997

Director
Mike Newell

Cast
Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo

Runtime
2h 7m

Johnny Depp stars in this undercover cop movie based on a true story. Donnie Brasco follows Depp’s dedicated police officer who poses as a low-level member of an organized crime crew where he befriends a lifelong mobster (Al Pacino) who is looking to rise up in the business. The movie does a great job of showing the anxiety and relentless danger Donnie faces in going undercover with the truth at risk of being exposed at any moment. Pacino is also excellent and heartbreaking as the sympathetic gangster who will be taken down as part of Donnie’s bust.

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15 The Firm (1993)

Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere in The Firm

The Firm

Release Date
June 30, 1993

Director
Sydney Pollack

Cast
Jeanne Tripplehorn, Hal Holbrook, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Gary Busey, Gene Hackman, Tom Cruise, Wilford Brimley

Runtime
154 minutes

John Grisham novels have been popular adaptations for the thriller genre and The Firm is one of the best, as well as the highest-grossing. Tom Cruise stars as a young lawyer whose life is changed when he is accepted to a prestigious law firm only to discover a sinister truth that puts him in danger. Director Sydney Pollack is a brilliant thriller storyteller, and he handles the tension and action wonderfully. Cruise is in full movie star mode and is backed by a superb supporting cast that includes Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, and Holly Hunter in an Oscar-nominated role.

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14 Fair Play (2023)

Fair Play

Release Date
October 6, 2023

Director
Chloe Domont

Cast
Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, Sebastian de Souza

Runtime
113 minutes

One of the latest thrillers on Netflix, Fair Play is a gripping and expertly acted relationship drama that spirals into something darker. Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich star as a couple working together at a high-pressure hedge fund firm while keeping their relationship a secret. However, things begin to unravel when she gets the promotion he was hoping for. The movie sees the seemingly loving relationship fall apart in realistic and powerful ways. There is a tension simmering underneath it all that explodes in the final act. Dynevor and Ehrenreich each give performances that should solidify them as two of the most exciting young actors in Hollywood.

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13 Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips facing the pirates.

Captain Phillips

Starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips tells the story of the titular captain whose cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. A fictionalized version of real-life events, the film follows Captain Phillips and his crew as they fight for their lives against a group of Somali pirates led by Abduwali Muse. Besides Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Catherine Keener also star. 

Release Date
October 11, 2013

Director
Paul Greengrass

Cast
Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener

Runtime
134minutes

One of the many movies in which Tom Hanks plays a real person, Captain Phillips follows Hanks as the captain of a cargo ship that is taken over by pirates. In order to keep his crew safe, Phillips agrees to go with the pirates, finding himself in the middle of a tense and dangerous hostage situation. Hanks is terrific as the grounded hero with the movie not afraid to show how overcome with terror he is. Barkhad Abdi earned an Oscar nomination for his role as the sympathetic yet dangerous leader of the pirates.

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12 In The Line Of Fire (1993)

Clint Eastwood walking alongside a motorcade in In the Line of Fire

In the Line of Fire

Release Date
July 8, 1993

Director
Wolfgang Petersen

Cast
Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott

Runtime
2h 8m

Clint Eastwood has often found a way to use his age and iconic stature in effective ways later in his career. In the Line of Fire sees Eastwood playing a Secret Service agent who is brought back to serve on the presidential detail when there is a threat on the life of the commander in chief. John Malkovich is wonderfully eerie as the man planning the perfect assassination. The movie is a gripping game of cat and mouse as Eastwood tracks down the would-be killer who taunts him from the shadows.

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11 They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

Fontaine, Yo-yo, and Slick sit in a retro-looking diner.

They Cloned Tyrone

Release Date
July 21, 2023

Director
Juel Taylor

Cast
John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx, Kiefer Sutherland, David Alan Grier, J. Alphonse Nicholson

Runtime
119 Minutes

One of the latest Netflix Original movies already cements itself as one of its best thrillers. They Cloned Tyrone is a genre-bending movie that stars John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx as three unlikely allies who team up to investigate some strange occurrences that point to a sinister government conspiracy. The movie is attempting to do a lot with a mix of Blaxploitation and pulpy mystery while also maintaining a quirky sense of humor. The result is a totally original and exciting movie that has an energetic feel from beginning to end.

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