The best thrillers ever made


There really is something special about the thrilling classic thriller that no matter how many times you watch it will always put your heart in your throat and your jaw will hit the ground. Many have tried to tick these boxes but only a few have completed the set. Except for this lot, of course.

For those with a nervous temper who love their own fingernails, look away now. The following is a collection of cinematic goodies that will ensure a high volume of audible gasps, feelings of fear and icy terror for the benefit of your entertainment. We’ve shredded our nerves watching countless thrillers in an effort to put together this thriller list, but it was worth it for you, dear reader.

These are the best thrillers of all time according to Digital Fix, made up of cat and mouse moments for the ages and monumental mind games where the real winner was us. Take a look at them and see what cinematic thrill is waiting to be felt.

What are the best thrillers?

  • Duel
  • psychopath
  • Projector
  • Zodiac
  • Seven
  • Dead man’s shoes
  • Male marathon runner
  • Prisoners
  • Heat
  • Thesilenceofthelambs
  • Vertigo

Duel (1971)

Before making us fear what was under the waves, Spielberg had scared us of what was happening on the road in Duel. Dennis Weaver was the worn out driver who makes the mistake of passing a truck that is hell on wheels.

From there, a road rage fueled chase ensues that sees Weaver run into what looks like The Terminator on the tarmac, an enemy that absolutely won’t stop until one of them is will not have left the road. It’s a great testament from the director who raised the tension and established Spielberg as a name to watch. I wonder what happened to him?

Psychosis (1960)

It wouldn’t be a list of thrillers without mentioning the master of suspense. There are many in Hitchcock’s catalog that fit the bill, but all of them lag behind what is undeniably his most iconic work. Kicking things off with Janet Leigh’s road trip from a flight, Hitchcock’s descent into a completely different story still brings chills the second the shower is turned on.

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While that iconic stab of terror has been emulated a dozen times, seeing the mystery surrounding Norman Bates’ troubling relationship with his beloved mother unfold is a shock that still lands 61 years later.

Spotlight (2016)

Spotlight sits at the top of the pile, not just as a great journalist-focused film, but as a thriller in its own right. The incredible cast that makes up Keaton’s team of truth-hungry writers pulling the curtain on the Catholic Church grabs you from the start, sharing the same energy and urgency as All the President’s Men.

It’s the humanity here that makes this thriller rawer than most, with the highlight being when the Spotlight team searches a repertoire and finds out just how far their research will send them. Cooling but viewing absolutely necessary.

Zodiac (2007)

Some of David Fincher’s greatest works have been those focused on obsession. The social network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Steve Jobs, but none have a deeper, darker edge than their take on one of America’s most prolific killers.

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Zodiac is a haunting examination of not only the actions of the San Francisco-based bogeyman, but also the men who burned themselves out in hopes of catching it. Testing their wits against a monster who, as far as police have seen, have never been found, Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo deliver. Still, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who excels as a cartoonist playing a most dangerous game that brings the best, most unnerving encounters.

Seven (1996)

Brad Pitt, mega hit, cardboard box. If we were to mention the last great mystery of Fincher’s murder, it would be impossible to ignore the first. Seven was a dark, borderline horror film that saw us resting on the shoulders of Morgan Freeman’s exhausted cop, and Brad Pitt as a brilliant new partner ready to blow his world up.

The chase to catch John Doe still leads the palms to sweat and blood to grow cold with each passing day, with this Somerset finale opening a package neither he nor we expected. Jokingly applied in the cinematic lexicon for years, finding out what’s in the box is a moment few thrillers have yet to match.

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

Much like the “hero” of the film, Dead Man’s Shoes is an underrated entry that may not have the Hollywood brilliance of the rest of this list, but still delivers an equally nerve-racking story. . Playing like a modern day western where a man on the hunt for blood trades a hat for a gas mask, Paddy Considine’s Richard is a force to be reckoned with.

He is appeased only by Toby Kebbell as a conscience and brother, Anthony, whose wrong is brutally righted. You’ll be lucky to find a more ferocious threat than Richard poses to his targets who quickly realize what they’re up against. It’s beyond fucking words.

The Marathon Man (1976)

The 1970s were a time filled with iconic thrillers, but none of them reached such a high point because of the discomfort of a dentist’s chair. John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man is a tangled tale of a student propelled into a world of shady men and elusive Nazi war criminals at times played like a nightmare.

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Whether it’s that iconic interrogation by Sir Lawrence Olivier, or Hoffman’s panic as he tries to escape from his own bathroom, catching your breath will seem impossible to you. Is it safe to say that you will feel like you’ve run a marathon after this? Absoutely.

Prisoners (2016)

Denis Villeneuve was not mistaken in his filmography, and Prisonniers was one of his first steps in the general public with a film which received a lot of attention.

Hugh Jackman gives what could be his career performance as the father of a missing girl, taking justice into his own hands, with Jake Gyllenhaal reaching similar heights as Detective battling a case he can’t to resolve. The further the two move away, the darker Villeneuve’s obscenity becomes, until his last moments and his last glimmer of hope.

Heat (1995)

Michael Mann’s LA crime saga harnesses a collection of stunning performances scattered across the City of Angels, but who are we kidding? The thrill of the chase between Pacino’s flawed lawyer and De Niro’s bank robber is when the film hits its boiling point.

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Dinner dream conversation aside, Mann’s best is loaded with an array of intense impulse-boosting instances, as these two opposing forces slowly come together, exploding in one of the greatest fights ever. Modern firearms that do not contain Keanu Reeves.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Michael Mann’s Manhunter might be great, but Jonathan Demme’s encounter between Clarice Starling and Dr. Lecter is the main course, thanks to its key ingredients. Jodie Foster’s fresh-faced FBI agent looking for Buffalo Bill is enough to keep you hooked, but it’s the back-and-forth between Clarice Starling and her contradictory advisor that makes the movie the hardest part.

Her conversations with Sir Anthony Hopkins’ iconic antihero aren’t just about catching a killer – she’s making a deal with a devil in overalls. Those with taste should know that Silence of the Lambs isn’t just the best movie on this list – it might just be one of the best movies ever made.

Vertigo (1958)

Best Thrillers: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

The psychological thriller of all thrillers, you just can’t beat Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo. The film replaced Citizen Kane as the greatest film ever made in the British Film’s Sight and Sound critics list. Institute in 2012 because, yes, it’s just that good. Vertigo will let you question reality, put you in a state of perpetual tension and, of course, make you dizzy as you unwrap its brilliant story.

A relationship-centric thriller, we see a dizzy detective being hired to follow the wife of an acquaintance who acts strangely. With adventures, murder cover-up and obsessive delusions leading to insanity, Vertigo ticks all the boxes of the thriller and is a staple, period.

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