The 100 best Psychological Thriller Movies

by pwheeler90 | created - 17 Feb 2013 | updated - 09 Aug 2014 | Public

This list comprises my top 100 psychological thriller movies.

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1. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,495,202 | Gross: $100.13M

2. The Machinist (2004)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian

Votes: 366,709 | Gross: $1.08M

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,313,910 | Gross: $130.74M

4. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

62 Metascore

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven

Votes: 101,624 | Gross: $26.12M

5. Pi (1998)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

72 Metascore

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart

Votes: 172,846 | Gross: $3.22M

6. The Game (1997)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

After a wealthy banker is given an opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, his life is turned upside down when he becomes unable to distinguish between the game and reality.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn, James Rebhorn

Votes: 362,798 | Gross: $48.32M

7. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 751,194 | Gross: $28.26M

8. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 928,682 | Gross: $44.02M

9. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 66,317

10. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Votes: 716,662 | Gross: $106.95M

11. The Ring (2002)

PG-13 | 115 min | Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman

Votes: 328,979 | Gross: $129.13M

12. The Cell (2000)

R | 107 min | Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi

40 Metascore

An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.

Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, Colton James

Votes: 98,545 | Gross: $61.33M

13. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, and soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung

Votes: 391,910 | Gross: $56.00M

14. Cube (1997)

R | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

Six complete strangers with widely varying personalities are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller

Votes: 218,583 | Gross: $0.50M

15. Sound of My Voice (2011)

R | 85 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future.

Director: Zal Batmanglij | Stars: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Davenia McFadden

Votes: 21,293 | Gross: $0.41M

16. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery

68 Metascore

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong

Votes: 225,292 | Gross: $107.92M

17. Insomnia (2002)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

78 Metascore

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan

Votes: 281,627 | Gross: $67.36M

18. Copycat (1995)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

54 Metascore

An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.

Director: Jon Amiel | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara

Votes: 56,399 | Gross: $32.05M

19. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 1,156,369 | Gross: $25.54M

20. Naboer (2005)

Unrated | 75 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

John has just been left by his girlfriend Ingrid. That day he allows himself to be seduced into a mystical and scary world, where it is impossible to separate truth from the lies

Directors: Pål Sletaune, Tony Spataro | Stars: Kristoffer Joner, Cecilie A. Mosli, Julia Schacht, Anna Bache-Wiig

Votes: 9,440

21. November (I) (2004)

R | 73 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

47 Metascore

Sophie Jacobs is going through the most difficult time of her life. Now, she just has to find out if it's real.

Director: Greg Harrison | Stars: Courteney Cox, James Le Gros, Michael Ealy, Dori Mizrahi

Votes: 3,036 | Gross: $0.19M

22. 88 Minutes (2007)

R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

17 Metascore

On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.

Director: Jon Avnet | Stars: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Ben McKenzie, Leelee Sobieski

Votes: 74,693 | Gross: $16.93M

23. The Flock (2007)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.

Director: Andrew Lau | Stars: Richard Gere, Claire Danes, KaDee Strickland, Ray Wise

Votes: 11,108

24. Panic Room (2002)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

65 Metascore

A divorced woman and her diabetic daughter take refuge in their newly-purchased house's safe room, when three men break-in, searching for a missing fortune.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam

Votes: 266,095 | Gross: $96.40M

25. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 786,946 | Gross: $3.64M

26. Anamorph (2007)

R | 107 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

43 Metascore

A psychological thriller based on the concept of anamorphosis, a painting technique that manipulates the laws of perspective to create two competing images on a single canvas.

Director: Henry Miller | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Don Harvey, James Rebhorn

Votes: 9,149 | Gross: $0.01M

27. The Killing Gene (2007)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A calculating killer coerces a detective to pay for his previous mistakes.

Director: Tom Shankland | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Melissa George, Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy

Votes: 8,455

28. Following (1998)

R | 69 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell, John Nolan

Votes: 89,131 | Gross: $0.05M

29. Martyrs (2008)

R | 99 min | Horror

A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Director: Pascal Laugier | Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin, Robert Toupin

Votes: 86,310

30. Frozen (I) (2010)

R | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

43 Metascore

Three skiers stranded on a chairlift are forced to make life-or-death choices, which prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death.

Director: Adam Green | Stars: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Ed Ackerman

Votes: 69,821 | Gross: $0.24M

31. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

30 Metascore

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.

Directors: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber | Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Melora Walters, Elden Henson

Votes: 462,330 | Gross: $57.94M

32. Bound (1996)

R | 109 min | Crime, Thriller

61 Metascore

Tough ex-con Corky and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan

Votes: 52,172 | Gross: $3.80M

33. Red Road (2006)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

73 Metascore

Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.

Director: Andrea Arnold | Stars: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press

Votes: 12,543 | Gross: $0.15M

34. The Lazarus Project (2008)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A former criminal is drawn into a criminal endeavor and subsequently finds himself living an inexplicable new life working at a psychiatric facility.

Director: John Glenn | Stars: Paul Walker, Piper Perabo, Brooklynn Proulx, Bob Gunton

Votes: 17,370

35. Hard Candy (2005)

R | 104 min | Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

Hayley's a smart, charming teenage girl. Jeff's a handsome, smooth fashion photographer. An Internet chat, a coffee shop meet-up, an impromptu fashion shoot back at Jeff's place. Jeff thinks it's his lucky night. He's in for a surprise.

Director: David Slade | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Elliot Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae

Votes: 156,314 | Gross: $1.01M

36. 13 Tzameti (2005)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

61 Metascore

A man takes over a dead man's task without realizing the horror it entails.

Director: Géla Babluani | Stars: George Babluani, Aurélien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Fred Ulysse

Votes: 17,022 | Gross: $0.12M

37. The Strangers (2008)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

47 Metascore

A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.

Director: Bryan Bertino | Stars: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Alex Fisher

Votes: 121,424 | Gross: $52.60M

38. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

69 Metascore

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 75,605

39. Mientras duermes (2011)

Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

You wake day after day to the comfort and security of your home. But how safe is it really?

Director: Jaume Balagueró | Stars: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, Petra Martínez

Votes: 40,468

40. Saw II (2005)

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery

40 Metascore

A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman | Stars: Donnie Wahlberg, Beverley Mitchell, Franky G, Emmanuelle Vaugier

Votes: 239,265 | Gross: $87.04M

41. Inside (2007)

R | 82 min | Horror

Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury | Stars: Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin, Claude Lulé, Dominique Frot

Votes: 38,497

42. The Exorcist III (1990)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

48 Metascore

A police Lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased Gemini serial killer, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Director: William Peter Blatty | Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller

Votes: 28,624 | Gross: $26.10M

43. Saw III (2006)

R | 108 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

48 Metascore

Jigsaw abducts a doctor in order to keep himself alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen named Jeff through a brutal test.

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman | Stars: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus Macfadyen, Bahar Soomekh

Votes: 183,457 | Gross: $80.24M

44. Mr. Brooks (2007)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

45 Metascore

A well-respected businessman is sometimes controlled by his murder and mayhem-loving alter ego.

Director: Bruce A. Evans | Stars: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, William Hurt, Dane Cook

Votes: 145,721 | Gross: $28.48M

45. Red Dragon (2002)

R | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel

Votes: 259,533 | Gross: $93.15M

46. Transsiberian (2008)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.7