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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  1. 1
    + 1841
    - 267

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1529
    - 241

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1137
    - 291

    most listed Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Mischa Barton

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1132
    - 293

    the people's #1 Carrie-Anne Moss, Guy Pearce, Jorja Fox

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1179
    - 262

    Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Jared Leto

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 793
    - 192

    Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 837
    - 202

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1335
    - 303

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 844
    - 139

    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 509
    - 166

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

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 812
    - 161

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 619
    - 125

    added by wiabux Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 637
    - 261

    Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Jared Leto

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 597
    - 114

    ranked low on reranks Misery

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 448
    - 158

    James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 617
    - 189

    Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Spike Jonze

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 610
    - 274

    Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 418
    - 173

    Jodie Foster, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 419
    - 103

    added by KeshanHareshu Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 520
    - 168

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 624
    - 213

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 324
    - 152

    Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Jane Krakowski

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 317
    - 133

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 326
    - 120

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

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 427
    - 173

    Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 209
    - 89

    Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 371
    - 91

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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 189
    - 127

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 240
    - 115

    Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Tuesday Weld

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 215
    - 63

    Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 320
    - 147

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 284
    - 169

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 138
    - 130

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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 191
    - 77

    added by ChangesDownClub Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 242
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 238
    - 179

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 260
    - 56

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

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 111
    - 118

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 270
    - 55

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

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 140
    - 104

    Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills, Jessica Walter

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 279
    - 77

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

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 157
    - 80

    Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 41
    - 4

    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 119
    - 56

    Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Dane Cook

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 148
    - 72

    added by ChangesDownClub Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, Jodie Foster

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 122
    - 106

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

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 155
    - 41

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

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 157
    - 128

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Ajay Naidu, Mark Margolis, Clint Mansell

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 168
    - 76

    added by Mavsc79 Vera Farmiga, Margo Martindale, Peter Sarsgaard

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 171
    - 111

    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

    ) open
140 +

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