Get your adrenaline pumping with the best thriller movies on Netflix
Sometimes called suspense films, the thriller genre aims to keep you on the edge of your seat. Thriller movies are widely varied in style & themes, incorporating elements from other genres such as horror & action. Thrillers allow for inventive filmmaking that includes a vast range of on-screen possibilities.
Thriller movies are nearly as old as film itself and have showcased the talents of some of Hollywood’s best. Director Alfred Hitchcock made a name for himself as the “master of suspense” with films like Rear Window, Vertigo, and Psycho. The tradition continues today with contemporary filmmakers trying their hand at making viewers sweat.
For those of us who like to raise our heart rates by watching a film, Netflix is here to help. There are plenty of thriller movies on Netflix that are sure to take you on a wild ride. The streaming service has classics & recent thrillers from an array of directors that will leave you wanting more. Good thing there are a plethora of options to choose from.
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws
Even though there is a whole collection of films from the franchise to watch, there is nothing that compares to the original Jaws. If you have never seen Jaws, you’re missing out on a cinematic landmark. While there is some debate as to whether or not Jaws is a thriller or a horror film, there is no doubt of its influence on modern movies.
Upon its release in 1975, Jaws created the summer blockbuster phenomenon that we still live with today. The film follows ex-New York City cop Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) who relocates to a beachfront community in Massachusetts. While he adjusts to his new law enforcement job, a killer shark begins attacking swimmers near the beaches.
Brody teams up with a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) & a grizzled fisherman (Robert Shaw). The three take a boat out on the open water to hunt down the shark. However, while they are out on the ocean, they find they have bitten off more than they can chew. Jaws is the film that made Steven Spielberg the icon he is today. Jaws and its sequels leave Netflix on Halloween.
The Safdie brothers
A24 Films’ darlings, the Safdie brothers, are some of the most exciting young filmmakers active today. Brothers Benny & Josh create claustrophobic thriller movies that showcase the dark underbelly of their hometown of New York City. The duo has a fast & loose approach to storytelling, pushing their narratives forward at a breakneck pace.
Netflix has their two most recent movies that will leave you breathless. Good Time was released at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The film stars an almost unrecognizable Robert Pattinson as bank robber Constantine “Connie” Nikas.
After a botched robbery sends his developmentally disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie) to Rikers Island jail, Connie must find $10,000 to bail him out. Will he be able to do it, or will his own problems get in the way? Watch the thriller Good Time on Netflix to find out.
Uncut Gems premiered at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival and stars Adam Sandler in perhaps his best dramatic performance.
One of the most anxiety-ridden thriller movies in recent years, Uncut Gems follows gambling-addicted jeweler Howard Rather. Embroiled in a bet involving a rare black opal & Kevin Garnett’s championship ring, will Howard be able to escape his loan shark cousin?
Zodiac & The Game
David Fincher is a meticulous cinematic curator who designs films to ignite your emotions. His thriller movies keep the audience guessing up until the very last minute. The Fight Club & Gone Girl director has created iconic film imagery, and Netflix has some of his masterworks.
Zodiac follows the intertwining stories of a newspaper cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal), a crime reporter (Robert Downey Jr.), and a detective (Mark Ruffalo) as they attempt to solve the notorious Zodiac murders. Not only does Zodiac feature two of the eventual stars of The Avengers, but it has fantastic production design that nails the look of San Francisco in the 60s & 70s.
Based on a true story, Zodiac conveys the paranoia & fear experienced by the public with the Zodiac killer on the loose. While the film doesn’t explicitly offer any answers to the identity of the famous serial killer, it does present some clues as to whom it might be. If you are a fan of true crime thriller movies & expert filmmaking, watch Zodiac on Netflix to get your fix.
Another one of David Fincher’s engrossing thriller movies available on Netflix is The Game. Starring Michael Douglas & Sean Penn as brothers, this 1997 film follows a rich investment banker who plays a game set up by his brother. As the game presents itself in strange ways in his own life, the banker must make the right decisions in order to succeed.
Director of iconic thriller movies like Taxi Driver & Cape Fear, Martin Scorsese is one of the masters of cinema. Unlike some aging directors who will rest on their laurels, Scorsese is constantly pushing his filmography into exciting new directions. A recent film of his that will surprise you with a twist ending is 2010’s Shutter Island, which is available to stream on Netflix.
Shutter Island stars Leonardo DiCaprio & Mark Ruffalo as federal marshals investigating a disappearance at a mental asylum. After troublesome weather & mysterious occurrences at the institution, DiCaprio’s character becomes haunted by visions from his past. The marshals’ investigation leads them to discover that reality at the asylum isn’t what it seems.
While there are plenty of more great thriller movies to watch on Netflix, these are some of the premier films on the platform that will have you gasping. What is your favorite thriller movie of all time? Let us know in the comment section!