The psychological thriller genre combines the psychological fiction and thriller genres. It has you at the edge of your seat and gives you a whole new perspective on life to take away. A perfect weekend watch for those looking to relax or break their monotonous routine. Here are some of the best psychological thriller movies of all time:
15. The Girl on the Train (2016)
You never know what’s happening around your perfectly normal routine. You see hundreds of different people during your daily commute. Some faces you’re familiar with BUT you never know the story behind the faces.
Racheal Watson (Emily Blunt) witnesses something shocking from her train, in the backyard of a happy couple she sees every day. After learning that the woman is missing she contacts the police. Racheal doesn’t trust her memory and the police suspect her. So, Racheal starts investigating the matter herself.
14. Split (2016)
The diversely talented actor, James McAvoy plays the role of Kevin a patient with a split personality disorder.
Kevin has been diagnosed with 23 separate personalities by his psychiatrist. Under the influence of Casey (his willful and observant personality), Kevin abducts three teenage girls. Kevin fights for survival from his personality and the girls fight for their freedom. The boundaries between his types blur as an undiagnosed submerged type emerges to dominate them all.
13. American Psycho (2000)
The Batman famed Christian Bale starred in the psychological thriller American Psycho in 2000. But he did not fight a psychotic villain like the Joker. In this one, he was the psychopath.
Patrick Bateman is a handsome, young, and wealthy investment banker. But the handsome face hides a dark truth behind it. Patrick is a banker by day and a serial killer by night.
12. The Machinist (2004)
Christian Bale’s dedication to the role in The Machinist is jaw-dropping. He dropped his weight from 173 pounds to a stunningly low 110 pounds.
Trevor has insomnia. To his coworkers, he claims that he hasn’t slept for months. When a strange man starts to follow him everywhere he tells others but no one else seems to believe him. It’s a psychological thriller with a dash of comedy that’ll have you thought provoked and laughing at the same time.
11. The Conversation (1974)
Sometimes small overheard conversations can lead to great mysteries. That’s what happens to Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) who spies on a couple for a mysterious client. He records a conversation between the couple.
Everyone thinks it’s a normal recording but he becomes obsessed with it. He tries to find an encrypted message in the recording. The movie has a great twist at the end to keep you waiting for the plot to unfold.
10. Black Swan (2010)
Too much dedication can lead to madness. This is what happens to Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina when she tries hard to submerge in the Black Swan Character.
The Black Swan Role is the polar opposite of Nina’s personality. Did she become the perfect performer of the Black Swan or did she lose herself in the process? You’ll have to see it over the weekend with your bestie to find out.
9. The Sixth Sense (1999)
Bruce Willis stars as a child psychologist in this supernatural psycho-thriller. One of his patients has a strong sixth sense that enables him to communicate with spirits.
With the help of the boy, the psychologist tries to communicate with the unhappy spirits. The movie has a plot twist that will blow your mind.
8. Gone Girl (2014)
This psychological thriller proves how far someone can go to get back the partner they married.
On the day of their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears. Nick starts looking for him and reports to the authorities. In a twist of events, he becomes the suspect and the media has their eyes on him. What unfolds is something you’d never expect.
7. Joker (2019)
Yes, probably the most commercially successful villain character of all time, The Joker. This movie shows the origin of the Joker. Previously you must’ve seen him in the Batman movies.
He was not a psychopathic lunatic from the beginning. It was his circumstances that led him to become the greatest villain of all time. He suffered from a rare disease, making him an outcast in society.
6. The Shining (1980)
From the beginning of the film, it seems it’s going to be a typical horror movie. But when Jack loses his insanity in the isolated hotel his family is living in, things get interesting.
5. Memento (2000)
This iconic movie in the world of psychological thrillers stars Guy Pearce as an insurance investigator, Leonard Shelby.
The last thing he remembers is that a certain man killed his wife. He tries to hunt down the man but has trouble dealing with his anterograde amnesia. To help him remember, he uses notes and tattoos. It’s a great watch that’ll have you glued to your seat.
4. Shutter Island (2010)
Often referred to as the “Titanic guy”, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a US marshal, Teddy Daniels. He along with another Marshal visits a remote Island asylum to investigate the disappearance of a patient.
But what he finds out about the island and his job shocks him. The movie has an ending you’ll never expect nor did Teddy.
3. Se7en (1995)
The seven deadly sins may kill you literally if not spiritually. That’s what happens in this movie, starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives. John Doe (Kevin Spacey) kills people according to the seven deadly sins.
It’s up to the detectives to stop him before he gets to his next victims. A movie that will have you pondering on the meaning of life.
2. Fight Club (1999)
A cult movie showcasing Edward Norton, a depressed insomniac with a normal white-collar job. When he meets Tyler Durden a mysterious soap salesman things start to become interesting in his life.
Together they form an underground “Fight Club”. Tyler reshapes Edward’s perspective on life. But their little game spirals into chaos.
1. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A film that’ll send shivers down your spine. It stars Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. He’s a former psychiatrist turned psychopathic serial killer.
Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster), an FBI agent investigates the killings of females by another serial. She finds help in the form of Hannibal who knows a lot about serial killers from firsthand experience. You’re missing out if you’re a fan of the genre and haven’t watched this masterpiece.
- Get Out (2017)
- The Invisible Man (2020)
- The Stepfather (2009)
Let us know what you think about our list of the best psychological thriller movies of all time. Feel free to mention any films that you think should have been on the list. Comment down below!