5 11 of 51
74,505 votes 9,207 voters 1,318,452 views 222 items tags f p @

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 movies 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!

The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time Films
  • 38 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options
B Comments
& Embed
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 3318
    - 494

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2829
    - 430


    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

    ; watch now
  3. 3
    + 1981
    - 547


    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2070
    - 519


    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2173
    - 467


    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1481
    - 349


    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1385
    - 347


    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

    ; watch now
  8. 8
    + 2437
    - 474


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1551
    - 278


    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

    ;
  10. 10
    + 840
    - 293

    often listed
    Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1157
    - 253

    added by wiabux
    Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1108
    - 218


    Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1634
    - 332


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1106
    - 429


    Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  15. 15
    + 697
    - 274


    James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1010
    - 309


    Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Spike Jonze

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1062
    - 357


    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

    ;
  18. 18
    + 872
    - 285


    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1114
    - 473


    Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

    ;
  20. 20
    + 700
    - 283


    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

    ;
  21. 21
    + 775
    - 224

    added by KeshanHareshu
    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

    ;
  22. 22
    + 534
    - 249


    Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Jane Krakowski

    ;
  23. 23
    + 594
    - 217

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 739
    - 280


    Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

    ;
  25. 25
    + 463
    - 140


    Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  26. 26
    + 532
    - 235


    Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon

    ;
  27. 27
    + 348
    - 154


    Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland

    ;
  28. 28
    + 355
    - 156

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  29. 29
    + 465
    - 268


    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

    ;
  30. 30
    + 391
    - 191


    Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld

    ;
  31. 31
    + 554
    - 155

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

    ;
  32. 32
    + 520
    - 231


    Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Oh Dal-su

    ;
  33. 33
    + 312
    - 199

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

    ;
  34. 34
    + 438
    - 148


    Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

    ; watch now
  35. 35
    + 758
    - 217

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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 354
    - 102

    added by ShaundaPetty
    Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

    ;
  37. 37
    + 502
    - 97

    ranked low on reranks & added by ryanmcw
    Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

    ;
  38. 38
    + 228
    - 194

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  39. 39
    + 370
    - 107

    added by april.macaulay
    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

    ;
  40. 40
    + 523
    - 152

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

    ;
  41. 41
    + 411
    - 322

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 492
    - 127

    ranked low on reranks & added by KeshanHareshu
    Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

    ;
  43. 43
    + 270
    - 90


    Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris

    ;
  44. 44
    + 346
    - 89

    added by april.macaulay
    Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

    ;
  45. 45
    + 277
    - 80


    Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello

    ;
  46. 46
    + 170
    - 171

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Harrison Ford, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 202
    - 157

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario

    ;
  48. 48
    + 283
    - 131


    Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

    ;
  49. 49
    + 336
    - 140

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mavsc79
    Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Margo Martindale

    ; watch now
  50. 50
    + 209
    - 154

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills, Jessica Walter

    ; buy at  
223 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >