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The 15 Best Thriller Movies You Should Watch in 2024

By Oliver Bennett

Have you ever found yourself on the edge of your seat, heart racing, palms sweaty, unable to look away from the screen as the tension builds with each passing moment? We’ve all been there, captivated by the gripping narratives and intense performances of the best thriller movies. Whether you’re a fan of psychological twists, heart-pounding suspense, or chilling plot twists, the allure of a well-crafted thriller is undeniable.

This article will take you on a thrilling journey through the 15 best thriller movies you should watch in 2024. From modern masterpieces like “The Invisible Man” and “Nightcrawler” to classic gems like “Se7en” and “The Silence of the Lambs,” we’ll explore the top picks that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you craving for more. So buckle up, hold onto your seats, and get ready for a rollercoaster ride of thrills and suspense like never before.

Features of Thriller Movies

Thriller movies are known for keeping audiences on the edge of their seats with heart-pounding suspense, unexpected plot twists, and intense psychological tension. These films often feature complex characters, intricate storylines, and a gripping sense of unease that captivates viewers from start to finish.

Suspenseful Atmosphere: Thriller movies create a tense and suspenseful atmosphere through the use of dim lighting, eerie sound effects, and dramatic music. This helps to build anticipation and keeps the audience guessing about what will happen next.

Intriguing Plot Twists: Thriller movies are famous for their unexpected plot twists that leave viewers shocked and in awe. These twists are often cleverly woven into the storyline, keeping audiences engaged and eager to see how the mystery will unfold.

Complex Characters: Thriller movies often feature complex and multidimensional characters who have hidden motives, mysterious pasts, and conflicting morals. These characters add depth to the story and make it more intriguing for viewers to follow their journey.

Psychological Tension: Thriller movies often delve into the depths of the human psyche, exploring themes of fear, paranoia, and mental instability. This psychological tension adds an extra layer of intensity to the film and keeps audiences emotionally invested in the outcome.

The 15 Best Thriller Movies

Looking for the best thriller movies to keep you on the edge of your seat in 2024? Look no further! Here are the top 15 must-watch thriller films that will leave you captivated and craving for more. From heart-pounding suspense to mind-bending plots, these movies have it all.

#15/20 - Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg
Year: 1993
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Reasons for Ranking: Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” is a groundbreaking spectacle that set a benchmark for special effects in film. The suspenseful plot paired with the memorable characters creates an engaging narrative that carries the thrill of dinosaur encounters. The integration of animatronics with computer-generated images brings these prehistoric creatures to life in the most visually compelling manner. A pioneer in the action-adventure genre, “Jurassic Park” keeps its touchstone status intact.

#14/20 - Logan


Director: James Mangold
Year: 2017
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen

Reasons for Ranking: James Mangold’s “Logan” precisely captures the brutal and raw aspects of the beloved Wolverine character. Hugh Jackman’s performance is wonderfully layered, showing us a weary and cynical Logan wrestling with his past and future. The film’s emotional depth is underscored by impressive performances and its mature and introspective take on superhero genre norms. Providing a poignant send-off to Jackman’s Wolverine, “Logan” earns its high ranking among superhero films.

#13/20 - The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Director: John Sturges
Year: 1963
Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough

Reasons for Ranking: “The Great Escape” paints a driven narrative that pays tribute to daring audacity during World War II. Based on a true story, the film presents an impressive ensemble cast that accurately portrays the relentless spirit of POWs attempting an escape on a grand scale. With John Sturges’ meticulous attention to detail, “The Great Escape” blends historical fact with cinematic flair, securing a top ranking in the list of great war movies.

#12/20 - The Housemaid

The Housemaid

Director: Kim Ki-young
Year: 1960
Cast: Kim Jin-kyu, Ju Jeung-nyeo, Lee Eun-shim, Um Aing-ran

Reasons for Ranking: Kim Ki-young’s exceptional exposition of a domestic thriller in “The Housemaid” continues to captivate audiences even after decades of its release. The film plunges into a psychologically intense and disconcerting narrative, embroidered with infidelity and obsession. The remarkable performances from the cast, particularly the captivating roles of Lee Eun-shim and Kim Jin-kyu, create an unnerving atmosphere that consistently thickens the plot. With its gripping portrayal of a middle-class family tragedy and Kim Ki-young’s keen directorial vision, “The Housemaid” cements its status in the canon of classic Korean cinema.

#11/20 - Blood Simple

Blood Simple

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Year: 1984
Cast: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya

Reasons for Ranking: Joel and Ethan Coen’s inaugural feature, “Blood Simple,” exhibits the Coen brothers’ knack for innovative storytelling and dark humor. With compelling performances and a tense narrative, the film weaves a tale of crime and deceit that engrosses viewers. The suspense escalates with every scene, creating an edge-of-your-seat experience that enthrones “Blood Simple” high in the ranks of excellent crime films.

#10/20 - Deep Red

Deep Red

Director: Dario Argento
Year: 1975
Cast: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia

Reasons for Ranking: Dario Argento’s “Deep Red” masterfully constructs a web of murder and madness with stylish visuals. The intricate slaying sequences, coupled with a chilling score, induce a palpable sense of suspense. Obliging to the Italian giallo style, Argento creates a captivating, puzzle-like narrative. The fluidity of the scenes along with the brilliant cinematography contributes to “Deep Red” marking a high point in horror cinema.

#9/20 - Se7en


Director: David Fincher
Year: 1995
Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow

Reasons for Ranking: David Fincher’s “Seven” introduces audiences to a dark, suspenseful world riddled with sin. By creating an immersive, gloomy atmosphere populated by twisted crimes, the film leaves an unforgettable impression. The gripping plot twist at the climax, along with the stellar performances from Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, enhance the overall viewing experience. “Seven”, with its haunting narrative, stands as a top-ranking film in the crime-thriller genre.

#8/20 - Memento


Director: Christopher Nolan
Year: 2000
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Reasons for Ranking: Christopher Nolan’s thrilling exploration of memory and identity in “Memento” tells a captivating story through innovative non-linear storytelling. The film’s unique structure, paired with Guy Pearce’s compelling lead performance, engrosses audiences in a narrative that constantly keeps them on their toes. “Memento” playfully toys with perception and reality, making it an unforgettable cinematic experience and a top-ranking film in Nolan’s filmography.

#7/20 - Inception


Director: Christopher Nolan
Year: 2010
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy

Reasons for Ranking: “Inception,” under the innovative direction of Christopher Nolan, is a remarkable cinematic masterpiece that blends genres seamlessly. The ingenious premise, involving manipulation of dreams, pushes the boundaries of storytelling with its intricate plot, while the visuals provide an immersive spectacle that leaves viewers awestruck. DiCaprio, along with the stellar ensemble cast, delivers gripping performances, further adding depth to the film. Nolan’s complex narrative structure in “Inception” sets a new high for imagination in modern cinema, supporting its ranking in the top-tier league.

#6/20 - The Prestige

The Prestige

Director: Christopher Nolan
Year: 2006
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson

Reasons for Ranking: Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is a bewitching tale of obsession and rivalry that engages from start to finish. With strong performances from Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, the film delves into the depths of human ambition and the limitless power of true illusion. The remarkably complex narrative infused with cinematic tricks creates a mesmerizing experience, cementing its stature among Nolan’s formidable repertoire.

#5/20 - Psycho


Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Year: 1960
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

Reasons for Ranking: Alfred Hitchcock’s undisputed classic, “Psycho” firmly establishes itself as a timeless standard for psychological thrillers. With its innovative storytelling and iconic scenes, “Psycho” provides a chilling narrative that echoes prevalent societal anxieties flawlessly. Perkins’ haunting portrayal of Norman Bates, complemented by Hitchcock’s signature direction, shapes a thrilling atmosphere that gift “Psycho” its deserved ranking in cinematic history.

#4/20 - The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Director: Jonathan Demme
Year: 1991
Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn

Reasons for Ranking: Jonathan Demme’s “The Silence of the Lambs” is a riveting psychological thriller marked by exceptional performances and a gripping plot. Anthony Hopkins’ chilling portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, matched by Jodie Foster’s compelling performance as Clarice Starling, amplifies the tension, augmenting the intense atmosphere. With its well-structured storyline and empathetic character development, the film achieves an edge-of-your-seat viewing experience that keeps audiences gripped from start to finish. Thus, The Silence of the Lambs continues to be a high-ranking classic in the thriller genre.

#3/20 - Jaws


Director: Steven Spielberg
Year: 1975
Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Reasons for Ranking: Steven Spielberg’s triumph “Jaws” set a new standard for suspenseful storytelling with its unforgettable thriller narrative. The film’s memorable score and Spielberg’s deft direction enhance the spine-chilling experience, crafting moments of sheer terror and suspense as an enormous shark terrorizes Amity Island. With the accomplished performances of Scheider, Shaw, and Dreyfuss, “Jaws” immortalizes itself as the definitive blockbuster, securing a high standing in cinematic history.

#2/20 - Joker


Director: Todd Phillips
Year: 2019
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Reasons for Ranking: Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is a potent character drama that offers an engaging exploration of mental illness and societal indifference. Featuring an exceptional, transformative performance from Joaquin Phoenix, the film succeeds in telling a deeply empathetic backstory of the iconic villain. The dark, gritty storytelling, paired with potent social commentary, creates a hard-hitting narrative that provokes introspection. “Joker,” with Phoenix’s haunting portrayal at its core, highlights the brilliance of character-focused narratives, hence its high ranking in modern cinema.

#1/20 - The Departed

The Departed

Director: Martin Scorsese
Year: 2006
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Reasons for Ranking: Martin Scorsese’s masterful depiction of the Boston criminal underworld in “The Departed” commands the audience’s attention from start to finish. With complex plotting and razor-sharp dialogue, the film delves into a tense game of cat and mouse riddled with deception. Exceptional performances from the star-studded cast, with standout roles from DiCaprio and Nicholson, generate compelling tension that enriches the narrative. With the combined elements of gritty crime drama and Scorsese’s precise direction, “The Departed” secures a prominent spot in the crime-thriller genre.

With this diverse selection of thrillers, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your craving for suspense, mystery, and excitement. Grab the popcorn, dim the lights, and get ready for an unforgettable cinematic experience with the 15 best thriller movies of 2024.

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Final Verdict

In a world filled with countless thriller movies competing for your attention, these top 15 picks for 2024 stand out as must-watch choices. Each film offers a unique blend of suspense, intrigue, and plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

From the mind-bending horror of “The Invisible Man” to the chilling psychological thrillers like “Shutter Island” and “The Sixth Sense,” this list covers a wide range of sub-genres within the thriller category. Whether you prefer crime dramas like “Se7en” or character-driven mysteries like “Prisoners,” there is something for every suspense enthusiast on this curated selection.

With stellar performances, skillful direction, and gripping narratives, these 15 movies have earned their spot as the best thrillers of 2024. So, grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare yourself for a cinematic journey filled with twists, turns, and heart-pounding moments that will leave you wanting more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the thrill of these top-tier films that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your cinematic repertoire.

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