The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time Films
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The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

List Criteria: Vote up and add any movies that send chills down your spine leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

A list of the best psychological thrillers of all time, ranked by fans who may or may not be trying to mess with your head! Though a variety of definitions for the "psychological thriller" genre have been offered, there is no universally accepted set of guidelines. In general, psychological thrillers integrate personal character elements into mystery and suspense films, essentially toeing the line between a dramatic character study and the sort of plot structure you'd expect from a detective movie.

Many psychological thrillers resemble traditional thrillers or suspense films, only with a personal, internal antagonist rather than a traditional movie villain. (For example, Repulsion or The Conversation, in which the plot is moved forward by the main character's growing paranoia and madness.) In many films of this type, the solution to the main character's conflict comes in the form of altering their perspective or discovering some buried truth about themselves and their past, rather than winning a fight or battling an opponent.

Many psychological thrillers play around with the main character's back story, or make use of an unreliable narrator. Films like Christopher Nolan's Memento present the audience with one perspective on the story, and then generate suspense by showing the ways in which "reality" contrasts to this perspective. (This sometimes, but not always, results in a "twist" or surprise ending based on the difference between the main character's perception and that of outside observers.) Several Alfred Hitchcock films utilize this technique, particularly movies like Spellbound and Marnie, in which the story concerns a character becoming mentally well after years of madness and confusion.

This list contains the top thriller movies of all time. It is open and voteranked, so be sure to vote for your favorites and add any other movies we missed at the bottom of the page. Got an opinion on great thriller movies? We want to hear it! Leave comments below or make your voice heard by voting for your favorite psychological suspense movies ever!
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The List
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

  2. 2
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    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

  3. 3
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    most listed Carrie-Anne Moss, Guy Pearce, Jorja Fox

  4. 4
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    Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Mischa Barton

  5. 5
    Up 794
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    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

  6. 6
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    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

  7. 7
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    Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Jared Leto

  8. 8
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

  9. 9
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    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

  10. 10
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock

  11. 11
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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  12. 12
    Up 603
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    often listed Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Jared Leto

  13. 13
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    James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks & added by wiabux Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

  15. 15
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    ranked low on reranks Misery

  16. 16
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    Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Spike Jonze

  17. 17
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    Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

  18. 18
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    Jodie Foster, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese

  19. 19
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    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

  20. 20
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    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by KeshanHareshu Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

  22. 22
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    Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Jane Krakowski

  23. 23
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    Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon

  24. 24
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    added by AndrewW.Curley Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon

  25. 25
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    Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland

  26. 26
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    Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

  27. 27
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

  28. 28
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    Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

  29. 29
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    Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Tuesday Weld

  30. 30
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine

  31. 31
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    Kang Hye-jung, Choi Min-sik, Oh Dal-su

  32. 32
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    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

  33. 33
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman

  34. 34
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    added by ChangesDownClub Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

  35. 35
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    Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

  36. 36
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    often listed & added by AndrewW.Curley Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Abigail Breslin

  37. 37
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ShaundaPetty Malcolm McDowell, Steven Berkoff, Warren Clarke

  38. 38
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman

  39. 39
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    ranked low on reranks & added by KeshanHareshu Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes

  40. 40
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    Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills, Jessica Walter

  41. 41
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Ray Liotta

  42. 42
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    Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

  43. 43
    Up 134
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    added by ChangesDownClub Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Jodie Foster

  44. 44
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Mary Tyler Moore, Kevin Spacey, Kaya Scodelario

  45. 45
    Up 108
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    Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Dane Cook

  46. 46
    Up 147
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    Ajay Naidu, Mark Margolis, Clint Mansell

  47. 47
    Up 144
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    ranked low on reranks & added by ShaundaPetty Stanley Kubrick, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio

  48. 48
    Up 165
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    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

  49. 49
    Up 148
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    added by Mavsc79 Vera Farmiga, Margo Martindale, Peter Sarsgaard

  50. 50
    Up 24
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    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

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