The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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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!
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  1. 1
    + 4,398
    - 632
    The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    the people's #1
    The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

  2. 2
    + 3,822
    - 537
    Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Seven Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

  3. 3
    + 2,519
    - 739
    Memento is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    most listed
    Memento Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

  4. 4
    + 2,767
    - 691
    The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

  5. 5
    + 2,882
    - 657
    Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

  6. 6
    + 1,902
    - 442
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

  7. 7
    + 1,916
    - 472
    The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

  8. 8
    + 3,226
    - 639
    Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

  9. 9
    + 2,162
    - 414
    The Shining is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

  10. 10
    + 2,191
    - 509
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

  11. 11
    + 1,117
    - 408
    Rear Window is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    often listed
    Rear Window Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock

  12. 12
    + 1,545
    - 393
    The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by wiabux
    The Prestige Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

  13. 13
    + 1,486
    - 572
    American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    American Psycho Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

  14. 14
    + 1,565
    - 314
    Misery is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

  15. 15
    + 927
    - 376
    Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Vertigo James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

  16. 16
    + 1,302
    - 427
    The Game is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Game Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Spike Jonze

  17. 17
    + 1,459
    - 487
    Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

  18. 18
    + 945
    - 397
    Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Taxi Driver Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

  19. 19
    + 1,472
    - 634
    Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Black Swan Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

  20. 20
    + 1,107
    - 383
    The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Machinist Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

  21. 21
    + 1,033
    - 329

    added by KeshanHareshu
    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,027
    - 384
    Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Zodiac Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

  23. 23
    + 730
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    Fatal Attraction is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Fatal Attraction Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Jane Krakowski

  24. 24
    + 808
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    Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  25. 25
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    - 210
    Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Primal Fear Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

  26. 26
    + 1,072
    - 324
    The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by ChangesDownClub
    The Butterfly Effect Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman

  27. 27
    + 885
    - 196
    Gone Girl is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  28. 28
    + 687
    - 317
    Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


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

  29. 29
    + 687
    - 337
    The Talented Mr. Ripley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Talented Mr. Ripley Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon

  30. 30
    + 466
    - 222
    Dial M for Murder is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Dial M for Murder Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland

  31. 31
    + 797
    - 252
    A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  32. 32
    + 503
    - 236
    Insomnia is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Insomnia Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

  33. 33
    + 416
    - 267
    The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

  34. 34
    + 637
    - 206
    Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  35. 35
    + 516
    - 259
    Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Falling Down Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld

  36. 36
    + 596
    - 357
    Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mulholland Drive Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

  37. 37
    + 735
    - 219
    Identity is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub
    Identity Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

  38. 38
    + 547
    - 168
    Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by ShaundaPetty
    Full Metal Jacket Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey

  39. 39
    + 308
    - 262
    Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  40. 40
    + 675
    - 186
    Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by KeshanHareshu
    Red Dragon Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton

  41. 41
    + 418
    - 85
    The Others is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by drkaramaniac
    The Others Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

  42. 42
    + 582
    - 185
    No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by april.macaulay
    No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

  43. 43
    + 453
    - 132
    Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Prisoners Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello

  44. 44
    + 583
    - 423
    Signs is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

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

  45. 45
    + 415
    - 178
    Stir of Echoes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    Stir of Echoes Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

  46. 46
    + 278
    - 209
    Play Misty for Me is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Play Misty for Me Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills, Jessica Walter

  47. 47
    + 457
    - 183
    The Truman Show is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time


    The Truman Show Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris

  48. 48
    + 494
    - 208
    Orphan is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by Mavsc79
    Orphan Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Margo Martindale

  49. 49
    + 448
    - 147


    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

    ;
  50. 50
    + 519
    - 152
    Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

    added by april.macaulay
    Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

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