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.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords





IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































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: 1,251,147 | 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: 324,509 | Gross: $1.08M

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young FBI 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: 1,099,548 | 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: 88,626 | 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: 158,817 | 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: 308,712 | 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: 620,440 | Gross: $28.26M

8. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual 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: 758,767 | Gross: $44.02M

9. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Horror, 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: 55,778

10. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

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

Votes: 635,687 | 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: 292,994 | Gross: $129.13M

12. The Cell (2000)

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

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: 88,429 | Gross: $61.33M

13. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Horror, Mystery

46 Metascore

Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, 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: 346,078 | Gross: $56.00M

14. Cube (1997)

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

61 Metascore

6 complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics 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: 186,928 | 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: 18,946 | Gross: $0.41M

16. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror

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: 205,411 | 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: 249,711 | 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: 48,874 | 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: 1,010,205 | 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

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

Votes: 8,126

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: 2,911 | 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: 70,909 | 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: Wai-Keung Lau | Stars: Richard Gere, Claire Danes, KaDee Strickland, Ray Wise

Votes: 10,521

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: 233,306 | 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: 685,431 | 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: 8,605 | 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: 7,779

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: 77,097 | 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: 72,725

30. Frozen (I) (2010)

R | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Sport

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: 61,258 | 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: 413,759 | Gross: $57.94M

32. Bound (1996)

R | 109 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller

61 Metascore

Corky, a tough female ex con 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: 46,255 | 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: 11,274 | 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: 16,038

35. Hard Candy (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a pedophile.

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

Votes: 145,084 | 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 but doesn't realize the horror it entails.

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

Votes: 15,981 | 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: 108,674 | 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: 63,966

39. Mientras duermes (2011)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Horror, 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: 32,647

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: 214,435 | 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: 33,874

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: 21,400 | Gross: $26.10M

43. Saw III (2006)

R | 108 min | 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: 163,658 | 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: 135,104 | 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: 228,156 | Gross: $93.15M

46. Transsiberian (2008)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

72 Metascore

A Transsiberian train journey from China to Moscow becomes a thrilling chase of deception and murder when an American couple encounters a mysterious pair of fellow travelers.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley, Kate Mara

Votes: 47,094 | Gross: $2.20M

47. Primal Fear (1996)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

47 Metascore

An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney

Votes: 159,559 | Gross: $56.12M

48. Irreversible (2002)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

51 Metascore

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia

Votes: 103,868 | Gross: $0.75M

49. Phone Booth (2002)