100 best thrillers of all time

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Thriller movies are hard to define. While other genres like sci-fi, horror movies, and romance movies are fairly easy to quantify, there aren’t any hard or fast rules for what constitutes a thriller. Suspense and a sense of tension, either narratively or between characters, are key, and there are usually recurring themes such as murder, political intrusion, espionage, conspiracy, the criminal activity or psychological manipulation (and sometimes they include all of the above).

Of course, Alfred Hitchcock is the master of the thriller, perfecting the genre with a series of classics that to this day remain unmatched. Nonetheless, there have been some brilliant additions to the genre. Filmmaker David Fincher has an excellent grasp of the genre, films like Seven, Zodiac and Missing girl all imbued with an almost tangible discomfort. Of Taxi driver To Shutter islandMartin Scorsese also knows a thriller, and there have been many James Bond films that have made your heart beat faster. Indeed, every decade gets the thrillers it deserves, from post-war noir films and Nixon-era conspiracies to vulgar (but adorable) ’80s erotic thrillers. It all makes it difficult to choose the top 100. thrillers of all time. But after many interrogations under a bare light bulb, we did it.

Written by Joshua Rothkopf, Phil de Semlyen, Tom Huddleston, Abbey Bender and Tomris Laffly

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