The 10 Best Thrillers of All Time, According to Letterboxd

Nothing beats the suspense and excitement audiences get from well-made thriller movies, and there are countless amazing ones to choose from. Fortunately, fans on Letter box – a popular social platform for movie buffs – picked the best thrillers ever made through their ratings.

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Deep film with bold social commentary, Parasiteto the gritty superhero image that revitalized the genre, The black Knight, the top-scoring movies on the platform are almost always critically acclaimed masterpieces. Most of the films touted as the best thrillers on the site are considered classics and should be essential viewing for fans of the genre.

ten Pulp Fiction (1994) – 4.31

• Available for rental on Apple TV

The hallmarks of Quentin Tarantino’s best movies are all in the cult classic, pulp Fiction. Arguably the film that thrust the director into the limelight, it has an eerie, twisting narrative, well-written original dialogue, and a distinctive art style that make it instantly iconic.

How it influenced cinema as a whole is still evident today, as its genre-defining elements are still in use and continue to inspire similar and more recent films. Most would agree that this is the director’s magnum opus, and an equally thrilling film to revisit decades after its initial release.

9 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – 4.31

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs

• Available to stream on Amazon Prime

It’s hard to believe that director Jonathan Demme Thesilenceofthelambs wasn’t immediately a blockbuster when it was first released. The sleeper hit gained momentum over the following years, with critics and audiences finally paying attention to the unique and truly horrifying narrative it portrays.

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A big part of what makes it such an engrossing (and disturbing) film is its legendary villain, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Viewers probably can’t help but support Clarice as she ponders the horrific way her mind works, while working on an urgent case involving another serial killer.


8 The Hole (1960) – 4.32

Four men in prison look at an hourglass at the Hole.

• Available to stream on The Criterion Channel

The hole is director Jacques Becker’s love letter to classic French cinema that still influences the industry today. Becker’s latest crime film is not only inspired by true events, but even features someone who actually took part in the daring prison break.

Although the subject matter has been depicted on the big screen several times before, the director puts his own spin on it by casting mostly non-actors to play the lead roles. The intimate atmosphere and believable friendship between the inmates make this a truly unique film, as it breathes life into the old formula by stripping the genre down to its necessary foundations.

7 Rear window (1954) – 4.32

James Stewart seated in a wheelchair with Grace Kelly lying in front of him in the rear window

• Available for rental on Apple TV

Director Alfred Hitchcock invites the audience to sit and watch the neighbors through his protagonist Jeff’s window. rear window tells the story of what the injured photographer sees during his recovery, which ranges from a talented pianist to an enigmatic man who murders his wife. He soon has his girlfriend Lisa join him as he investigates from his bedroom.

It’s an exhilarating mystery thriller with perfect pacing and visual storytelling, not to mention stellar one-liners from its endearing characters. The engrossing film gives viewers one frustrating clue after another, all of which lead to a satisfying conclusion.

6 Perfect Blue (1997) – 4.35

• Available for rental on Apple TV

The audience won’t be able to take their eyes off the screen when they meet perfect blueThe intriguing protagonist of Mima. Director Satoshi Kon creates a captivating main character, who is a singer-turned-actor surrounded by mysterious circumstances.

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Watching Mima lose his grip on reality is a truly amazing process that will give fans an unforgettable viewing experience. As audiences struggle to tell which gruesome murders are real and which are happening inside Mima’s mind, they’ll find themselves wanting answers almost as badly as she does.

5 The Handmaiden (2016) – 4.36

• Available to stream on Amazon Prime

The servant is a hugely underrated Korean film from acclaimed director Park Chan-wook. Set in 1930s Korea, the erotic psychological thriller revolves around a young woman’s experience when she leaves town to work for an elite family. His ulterior motives and detailed plan quickly transform when unexpected connections emerge in the house.

The disturbing film certainly isn’t for everyone, but those who love a good revenge film will likely fall in love with its dark humor, brutal scenes, and shocking twists.

4 Woman in the Dunes (1964) – 4.36

A man in the dessert in Woman In The Dunes.

• Available for rental on Apple TV

There’s something fascinating about the way the sand seems to constantly move and breathe around director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s characters. woman in the dunes (also known as dune woman). It tells the story of an entomologist taken prisoner by a group he met on his journey.

The artistic and often confusing world of the film makes it an immersive thriller that transports viewers to otherworldly (often unsettling) scenarios. It’s not a film for the faint-hearted, as its deep and disturbing narrative is meant to be a thought-provoking portrayal of the best and worst sides of humanity.

3 The Dark Knight (2008) – 4.43

Joker holding a playing card in Dark Knight.

• Available to stream on HBO Max

Director Christopher Nolan The black Knight is the second (and best) episode of the popular trilogy. More than a series of awe-inspiring action sequences, the film boldly dives into the gray areas between good and evil, exploring themes of identity and morality.

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Its unforgettable special effects like those behind the Chicago explosions and thrilling chase scenes only punctuate the film’s darker, more intimate scenes. Flawless action choreography pushes its characters to their limits in this one-of-a-kind superhero flick that elevates the oversaturated genre.

2 Up and Down (1963) – 4.46

Up and Down 1963

• Available for rental on Apple TV

Yet another masterpiece from director Akira Kurosawa, Up and down centers on a compelling story of kidnapping, extortion and betrayal. It allows viewers to watch the stories unfold from three different angles, each more compelling than the last.

It’s as if the film is separated into three parts, each telling a complete story on its own. When it starts to look like an anthology, however, Kurosawa masterfully weaves together all the storylines to create the one ending that makes sense.

1 Parasite (2019) – 4.59

Parasite poster.

• Available to stream on Hulu

The international sensation, Parasite, is the thrilling film that made director Bong Joon-ho a household name. The film unabashedly tackles heavy themes of class structure and inequality, through the perspective of its wily main characters who infiltrate a wealthy family’s home by posing as skilled workers.

Of course, it’s the shocking twist that changes everything around the middle of the film. It’s a movie that’s best viewed without much information about its truly unique narrative, and it’s a must-watch for any fan of the thriller genre.

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