The 10 Best Thrillers of the 2010s, According to Letterboxd
The 2010s turned out to be a terrific time for the thriller genre. Some of the best and most beloved films of the decade in general were actually those in this genre. Users on Letter box certainly ranked them among the most impressive released during the 2010s.
The collection of top ten rated thrillers on the website includes groundbreaking films. One has won Best Picture, others have produced Oscar winners in the acting categories, and a few are indie hits that have blown audiences away. Add international dishes and there are modern classics everywhere.
ten Uncut Gems (2019) – 3.95
Stream on Netflix
The idea of Adam Sandler being nominated for an Academy Award seemed absurd a few years ago. The man is clearly talented, but most of his recent films have been met with critical disdain despite their popularity with mainstream audiences. However, Uncut Gems reminded the world that he is a great actor.
The film follows Howard Ratner (Sandler), a jeweler with a gambling problem who makes a series of high-stakes bets during a Celtics playoff game that has disastrous consequences. Uncut Gems is arguably the most tense movie of the decade because your palms will be sweaty and you’ll be queasy but captivated throughout.
9 Training (2011) – 3.97
Stream on Tubi
There was a period in the early 2010s when it seemed like everything Ryan Gosling touched turned to gold. Comedies like Crazy, Stupid, Love to heartbreaking dramas like blue valentine, the man produced blow after blow. He added the thriller to the list with Conduct.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn in one of his best films and based on a 2005 novel of the same name, Conduct has a simple premise. It’s about a moonlit stuntman working as a getaway driver and when a job goes wrong alongside his neighbor’s husband (Carey Mulligan), the protagonist (Gosling) does what he can to protect her and her child. This simple setup is part of why it works so well.
8 Good Time (2017) – 3.98
Stream on Netflix and Kanopy
As Uncut Gems, Good time is directed by the Safdie Brothers, who apparently have a knack for heart-pounding movies. Benny Safdie also plays one of the key roles in this film, alongside Robert Pattinson in arguably his best film.
The plot centers around Connie (Pattinson) and her brother Nick (Safdie) as a failed robbery lands the latter in jail. The former spends the film trying to get to safety and figuring out how to save his brother and every scene is jam-packed with intensity, which is a hallmark of Safdie Brothers.
seven Burn (2018) – 4.00
Stream on Prime, Hoopla, Tubi and Vudu
Some of the best films in recent memory have come out of South Korea and Burning ranks near the top. The film stars Steven Yeun, Yoo Ah-in, and Jeon Jong-seo and tells one of the most unique stories seen on the big screen.
Jong-su (Yoo) lodges for her old friend Hae-mi (Jeon) while she’s on a trip, only for her to return with a stranger she met named Ben (Yeun). It all seems a little off, especially when Ben admits to a hobby of burning down abandoned greenhouses every few months. The atmosphere is tense and seeing the story unfold is truly captivating.
6 Bedroom (2015) – 4.01
Stream on Showtime and Kanopy
Long before she was known as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, Brie Larson was actually an Oscar winner (and a Golden Globe and a BAFTA). She won the coveted statue for her incredible performance as Joy Newsome, a woman detained for seven years with her son, in Bedroom.
In many ways, it merges two types of thrillers. The first half of the film sees the mother and son trying to escape their terrible situation, while the second half becomes more of a psychological thriller as they have to adjust to the changes taking place in their lives. With Larson’s win, the film was up for Best Picture.
5 Diablo (2014) – 4.03
Stream on IMDb TV
Speaking of actors who shone in thrillers before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s Jake Gyllenhaal. Although he was certainly a household name back then Somnambulist came out, it was the kind of performance no one had seen from Gyllenhaal before.
Even his work in Donnie Darko wasn’t that bothered. Somnambulist centers on Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a man who records violent events to sell to local TV stations, to begin altering scenes to get the kind of setup he wants. It’s twisted and the kind of thing you probably only watch once.
4 Bacurau (2019) – 4.08
Stream on Showtime, The Criterion Channel and Kanopy
Co-produced by France and Brazil, Bacura is a film that kind of took the world by storm once it was created. Indeed, it won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and competed for the Palme d’Or before gaining even more acclaim when shown to wider audiences.
Bacura tells the story of a small town mourning the loss of its matriarch followed by strange events happening all over the place. Among them, the fact that their city suddenly disappeared from the maps. The narrative pulls you in and never lets you go as you’re on the edge of your seat until the credits roll.
3 Prisoners (2013) – 4.18
Stream on Hulu
There is no doubt that Denis Villeneuve is one of the most impressive directors in recent memory. These days, he’s best known for the science fiction genre, including Arrival, Blade Runner 2049and Dunes but his real escape movie has arrived Prisonersa 2013 thriller.
The film centers on a father (Hugh Jackman) who goes to great lengths after his daughter (and a friend’s daughter) are kidnapped and the suspect released by the police. A detective (Gyllenhaal) investigates meanwhile in one of the most intense films you’ll likely ever see.
2 The Handmaiden (2016) – 4.36
Rent on Vudu
Again, this is another fantastic thriller from South Korea. The servant flew under the radar in some ways, but those who have seen it fully understand how special this film is as it racked up awards and competed for the aforementioned Palme d’Or.
Set in the 1930s, The servant is about a pickpocket hired to work for a wealthy heiress while secretly being part of a plot to defraud the wealthy woman. Based on a 2002 novel, the film uses the setting, era and more to create a thrilling atmosphere.
1 Parasite (2019) – 4.59
Stream on Hulu and Kanopy
South Korea strikes again in what is arguably their best-known film globally. Parasite made history by winning Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best International Feature at the Oscars, as well as wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Palme d’Or.
The story follows a poor family who one by one infiltrate the lives of a wealthy family and all of them become employed by them, doing everything possible to keep their positions. It’s an interesting thriller as there are also major comedy elements to the plot, combining for a unique experience.
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