Best thrillers of 2015, ranked

One of the most common genres on theater and television screens is the thriller. Between popular Hollywood thrillers and low-budget indie endeavors, the market is awash with thrillers. With so much to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which movies are really worth your time.

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Fortunately, the year 2015 offered audiences a wide variety of quality thriller genre rates. To help you narrow things down a bit more, here are ten of the best thrillers to release in 2015.

ten The Stanford Prison Experience

The Stanford Prison Experience is a docu-fiction that reveals the true story of an experiment conducted in 1971. Conceived by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo, the experiment saw a group of Stanford University students take on the roles of gatekeepers and of prisoners in a mock prison. What followed were six horrific days during which the students were abused and suffered psychological trauma.

This chilling thriller has received critical acclaim for its insightful depiction of these events. Under the direction of Kyle Patrick Alvarez, The Stanford Prison Experience is a psychological thriller that powerfully poses ethical questions with its captivating imagery.

9 One of the most violent years

One of the most violent years is a crime drama about an immigrant who struggles to start a business because his trucks are hijacked during one of the most violent years in New York City history. Faced with great loss, he must find a way to fight to preserve his business and his family.

This slow-burning thriller has been praised for its staging under the direction of JC Chandor and for the performances of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, who play the lead roles. Dark and stimulating, One of the most violent years was a critical darling that should not be overlooked.


8 Bridge of spies

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies follows a lawyer assigned to defend a Soviet spy during the Cold War. Despite the thankless nature of the job, he goes into the case in an effort to ensure his client gets a fair day in court.

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With a solid performance by Tom Hanks as the film’s protagonist, Bridge of Spies marks another success in Spielberg’s career. Its heart and character-driven narrative make it a one-of-a-kind spy thriller.

seven Slow west

Slow west is a western about a young man on a mission to find the woman he loves. His only companion is a mysterious bounty hunter named Silas whom he hires as a bodyguard.

The first and only feature film in the name of writer-director John Maclean, Slow west surprised critics with its tense and fast-paced script. Critics also praised the performances of the film’s cast, which includes such talents as Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn. With such quality behind it, Slow west is a non-stop thrill ride.

6 Sicario

Sicario follows an FBI agent who is assigned to a special task force leading the war on drugs. However, as she becomes more involved in team operations, she begins to question the ethics of her leaders’ tactics.

Critics and audiences alike loved this movie. His perfect blend of character-driven drama and tense action scenes made for a satisfying experience in theaters and cemented director Denis Villeneuve as one of the great directors working in Hollywood today.

5 Ex Machina

Ex Machina tells the story of a computer programmer who gets the opportunity of his life when he is offered the chance to come to a mountain retreat hosted by the CEO of the company he works for. When he does, however, he finds himself caught in the middle of an experiment involving artificial intelligence.

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Clever and straightforward, this sci-fi thriller won over audiences and critics alike in its early days. Its decision to rely more on its story, characters, and ideas than visual spectacle made it stand out from other films in the sci-fi genre while beautifully merging that genre with the thriller genre.

4 Room

Based on a book by Emma Donoghue (who also wrote the screenplay), Room about a woman and her son who are trapped in a small room. As her son grows up, the mother realizes that she must find a way for them to escape their captivity. However, returning to the New World turns out to be a bigger challenge than she thought.

With an Oscar-winning performance by star Brie Larson, Room deals with the psychological trauma that accompanies life in captivity. Critics have described it as a story that is both rewarding and heartbreaking. Room is not only a great thriller because of the tension created by its premise, but also because of the raw emotion that permeates it.

3 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

The fifth film in the franchise starring Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation saw IMF agent Ethan Hunt flee when his pursuit of the criminal organization known as Syndicate resulted in him being disowned by the United States government.

Rogue nation continued the franchise’s success with a thrilling world tour. Featuring more of the series’ signature weird stunts and thriller shoot, this film provided audiences with an action-packed thriller that fans and critics alike have found gratifying.

2 Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road follows the main character as he finds himself caught in the middle of an extended car chase between villainous Immortan Joe and thug Furiosa who tries to help Joe’s “wives” escape their master.

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Directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in the lead roles, Road of fury relaunched the Mad Max franchise with an adventure that wowed audiences with its practical effects and beautiful cinematography. This suspenseful roller coaster of a movie satisfied fans and left them anxious for more.

1 It follows

It follows is a horror thriller about a high school girl who, after having sex with her boyfriend, realizes that a supernatural entity is trying to kill her. She enlists the help of her friends to escape the waking nightmare that her life has become.

It follows was a critical and commercial success. Critics praised him for his originality and chilling execution. Well-written and well-directed, this movie is perfect for fans who like the good scares in their thrillers.

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