100 Best Hollywood Thriller Movies

100 Best Thriller Movies of Hollywood

100 Best Hollywood Thriller Movies
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Thriller is a broad genre that embodies varied elements of surprise, suspense and mystery. Audiences are often left playing the guessing game as events unfold in a thriller. This article showcases a list of the best Thriller Movies from Hollywood.

The buildup towards the climax is what keeps audiences at the edge of their seats as they watch a thriller. Typically a thriller keeps audiences glued to the screen with literary devices such as plot twists, red herrings, and cliffhanger moments. The scenes in a thriller are fast paced or build up gradually towards a gripping climax. It’s the cover-up of information that slowly unfolds through the length of the film that forms the crux of a thriller. Over the years Hollywood has mesmerized audiences with its diverse range of thrillers. The narrative in a thriller is an important aspect that resurrects excitement, surprise, anticipation, anxiety and suspense to a new level.

It’s the protagonist in thriller movies that has to overcome obstacles the villain puts forth.   

Different Plots in Thriller Movies

A number of Hollywood thriller movies have earned a cult status due to the presence of the well-defined characters. The characters involved in a thriller plot have certain mannerisms and traits that bring in an element of empathy for audiences. Thrillers bring in an intensity of emotion in the form of apprehension, excitement and exhilaration. The nail biting moments in this genre brings a feeling of tension and impending doom. It’s the mysterious and rousing events of the past that links the plot methodically in thriller movies. It’s the outcome of certain actions that drive villain based plots in this genre. The unpredictable moments and events that build up towards a riveting climax excite and surprise audiences. The element of suspense and mystery in thriller movies keep audiences curious, guessing and surprised.     

The themes in different types of thrillers vary. However, some of the common themes and elements showcased in crime thrillers, suspense thrillers, action thrillers, mystery thrillers, horror thrillers, and psychological thrillers are         

  • Kidnapping
  • Ransom
  • Captivity
  • Revenge
  • Heist
  • Psychology
  • Romantic Triangles
  • Mind Games
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Psychotic Friends
  • Obsession
  • Political Conspiracy
  • Stalking
  • Paranoia
  • False Accusations
  • Deathtraps
  • Serial Killers

Characters that are commonly showcased in thrillers are

  • Criminals
  • Stalkers
  • Assassins
  • Innocent Victims
  • Psychotic Individuals
  • Spree Killers
  • Agents
  • Sociopaths
  • Cops
  • Escaped Convicts
  • Investigators

It’s the protagonist in thriller movies that has to face the obstacles that arise from the root of the problem. Regardless of the thriller subgenre, the emphasis in a thriller is on danger and consequences the protagonist and ordinary people face. The acts of deception, plot twists, and mind games are often showcased aesthetically in thrillers.

The different types of thrillers are

  • Action Thrillers
  • Legal Thrillers
  • Psychological Thrillers
  • Suspense Thrillers
  • Mystery Thrillers
  • Political Thrillers
  • Heist Thrillers
  • Sci-Fi Thrillers
  • Erotic Thrillers
  • Financial Thrillers
  • Spy Thrillers
  • Comedy Thrillers
  • Hi-Tech Thrillers
  • Paranoid Thrillers
  • Medical Thrillers
  • Techno-Thrillers
  • Romantic Thrillers
  • Adventure Thrillers
  • Historical Thrillers
  • Religious Thrillers
  • Conspiracy Thrillers

Alfred Hitchcock movies are known for their distinctive style. The elements of mystery and suspense in Alfred Hitchcock thriller movies are in every sense epic and have influenced and inspired a new wave of filmmakers to come up with edge-of-the-seat thrillers. The emotion of hope is interspersed with elements such as anxiety, fear and anticipation in different types of thriller movies. The conflicts and somber moods are theatrically brought to life by certain filmmakers in this genre. It’s the least likely character in a thriller that bridges the plot towards a climax.  

The lines below showcase an epic list of thrillers from different subgenres

100 Best Hollywood Thriller Movies

  1. The Usual Suspects (1995)
  2. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  3. Psycho (1960)
  4. Memento (2000)
  5. Taxi Driver (1976)
  6. The Sixth Sense (1993)
  7. Rear Window (1961)
  8. Shutter Island (2010)
  9. The French Connection (1971)
  10. The Third Man (1949)
  11. Vertigo (1958)
  12. Zodiac (2007)
  13. Rope (1948)
  14. Fight Club (1999)
  15. The Machinist (2004)
  16. North by Northwest (1959)
  17. Inception (2010)
  18. Misery (1990)
  19. The Prestige (2006)
  20. Seven (1995)  
  21. Heat (1995)
  22. Taken (2008)
  23. Oldboy (2003)
  24. Gone Girl (2014)
  25. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  26. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  27. Nightcrawler (2014)
  28. 12 Monkeys (1995)
  29. Cape Fear (1991)
  30. Bridge of Spies (2015)
  31. Identity (2003)
  32. Wild Tales (2014)
  33. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
  34. The Departed (2006)
  35. Ex Machina (2015)
  36. Insomnia (2002)
  37. The Shining (1980)
  38. Children of Men (2006)
  39. Rebecca (1940)
  40. Looper (2012)
  41. The Fugitive (1993)
  42. Mulholland Drive (2001)
  43. Black Swan (2010)
  44. Chinatown (1974)
  45. The Imitation Game (2014)
  46. Agro (2012)
  47. The Others (2001)
  48. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  49. Mystic River (2003)
  50. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
  51. Repulsion (1965)
  52. The Conversation (1974)
  53. No Country For Old Men (2007)
  54. Falling Down (1993)
  55. The Game (1997)
  56. Pi (1988)
  57. Arrival (2016)
  58. It Follows (2014)
  59. Disturbia (2007)
  60. L.A Confidential (1997)
  61. Prisoners (2013)
  62. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  63. Secret Window (2004)
  64. Laura (1944)
  65. Hostage (2005)
  66. Drive (2011)
  67. Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (2009)
  68. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
  69. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
  70. Frailty (2001)
  71. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  72. Night of the Hunter (1955)
  73. Hell of High Water (2016)
  74. Fargo (1996)
  75. American Psycho (2000)
  76. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
  77. M (1931)
  78. Get Out (2017)
  79. Following (1998)
  80. Eye in the Sky (2015)
  81. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
  82. Orphan (2009)
  83. Blue Velvet (1986)
  84. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
  85. The Butterfly Effect (2004)  
  86. Limitless (2011)
  87. Unbreakable (2000)
  88. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
  89. Fatal Attraction (1987)
  90. Blue Ruin (2013)
  91. Play Misty for Me (1971)
  92. Hard Candy (2005)
  93. Manhunter (1986)
  94. Jaws (1975)
  95. The Gift (2015)
  96. Straw Dogs (1971)
  97. Phone Booth (2002)
  98. 8mm (1999)
  99. Mr. Brooks (2007)
  100. Panic Room (2002)

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Post Your Comment

Nice list! I've seen few of them and The Sixth Sense, Prestige, Taxi driver are my favorites. Thanks for sharing...


Thank you. I found Taxi Driver incredible in every sense.


That was some list, I saw a few of them but I am not into thriller movies that much. I prefer action and comedy, thrillers are all right until it starts to get like a horror movie. This was well researched and written, I can imagine how much research you had to do to get to a hundred movies. Great job. I would like to see one hundred action movies.


Thank you. Some of the plots in thriller movies are superlative. I used to watch a lot of thrillers in the past, I yet do, but not as many as I used to. I like thrillers because of the varied perspectives of mind. I'm working on a list of action movies.


This is really interesting to see - for two reasons. Nowhere there is a single instance of the word "ghost", in these thriller movies or description. And secondly, these are some really interesting films to watch as I have seen 4-5 of them.


Thank you. The word 'ghost' can be associated with thrillers that showcase elements of horror. Some of the movies post 2000 have a great deal of that.