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The Best British Thriller Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated September 23, 2019 2.4k votes 422 voters 37.2k views 51 items

If you're sick of re-watching the same American stuff, here are the best British thriller movies to get your adrenaline pumping. Whether you’re looking for thrills in the Scottish Highlands (A Lonely Place to Die), suburban terror (Cherry Tree Lane), or panic in the big city (London to Brighton), you’ll find it on this list of the greatest English thrillers.
 

You’ll also find some major stars on this list of British thriller movies: Gillian Anderson (Closure), Daniel Craig (Layer Cake), Michael Fassbender (Eden Lake), Ewan McGregor (The Ghost Writer). Of special note is the classic A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s disturbing vision of a futurist and lawless London. 

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Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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2
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Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris

Released: 2002

Directed by: Danny Boyle

28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, ...more

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Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

Released: 2006

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay adapted by him and his brother Jonathan Nolan from Christopher Priest's 1995 World Fantasy ...more

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4
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Sting, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones

Released: 1998

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British comedy thriller film written and directed by Guy Ritchie. The story is a film involving a self-confident young card sharp who loses ...more

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5
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Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro, Vinnie Jones

Released: 2000

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Snatch is a 2000 comedy film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, featuring an ensemble cast. Set in the London underworld, the film contains two intertwined plots: one dealing with the search ...more

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6
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Smitty93k added Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall

Released: 1964

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more

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Casino Royale is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Smitty93k added Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green, Daniel Craig

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the Eon Productions James Bond film series and the first to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Directed by Martin Campbell and ...more

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Sienna Miller, Tom Hardy, Daniel Craig

Released: 2004

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Layer Cake is a 2004 British thriller film directed by Matthew Vaughn, in his directorial debut. The screenplay was adapted by J. J. Connolly from his novel of the same name. The film was ...more

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9
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Smitty93k added Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem

Released: 2012

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more

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Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner

Released: 2007

Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British-Spanish post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film, structured as a sequel to the 2002 critical and commercial success, 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was ...more

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11
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Smitty93k added Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Jack Lord

Released: 1962

Directed by: Terence Young

Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna ...more

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12
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Michael Caine, Britt Ekland, Ian Hendry

Released: 1971

Directed by: Mike Hodges

Get Carter is a 1971 British film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne and Bryan Mosley. The screenplay was adapted by Hodges from Ted ...more

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13
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Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Iain Glen

Released: 2009

Directed by: Daniel Barber

"Harry Brown marks the feature film debut for talented upcoming director Daniel Barber, Academy Award®-nominated in 2008 for his short film The Tonto Woman. The film is an urban western ...more
14
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The Woman in Black
15
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The Descent Gabi Golan, Keren Miedzinski, Shosh Miedzinski

Released: 2009

Directed by: Shai Miedzinski

The Descent is a 2009 short drama film written and directed by Shai Miedzinski.

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16
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Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, 피터 뮬란

Released: 1994

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Shallow Grave is a 1994 British dark comedy film that marked the cinematic directorial debut of Danny Boyle with an original screenplay by John Hodge. The film also provided starring roles for ...more

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17
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Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall

Released: 2010

Directed by: Roman Polanski

The Ghost Writer is 2010 thriller film written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski and directed by Roman Polanski.

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Michael Fassbender, Kelly Reilly, Jack O'Connell

Released: 2008

Directed by: James Watkins

Eden Lake is a 2008 British thriller film written and directed by James Watkins and starring Kelly Reilly, Michael Fassbender and Jack O'Connell.

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19
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Paddy Constantine, Toby Kebbell, Gary Stretch

Released: 2004

Directed by: Shane Meadows

This film is a 2004 British psychological thriller film written and directed by Shane Meadows, and co-written by Paddy Considine, who also starred in the lead role. The film co-stars Toby ...more
20
Blowup is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Jimmy Page, Vanessa Redgrave, Jeff Beck

Released: 1966

Directed by: Michelangelo Antonioni

Blowup, or Blow-Up, is a 1966 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni about a fashion photographer, played by David Hemmings, who believes he has unwittingly captured an incident on film. It was ...more

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21
Eye of the Needle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
slaft added Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Kate Nelligan

Released: 1981

Directed by: Richard Marquand

Eye of the Needle is a 1981 American spy film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan. Based on the novel of the same title by Ken Follett, the film is ...more
22
Spectre is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Thriller Movies
Smitty93k added Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux

Released: 2015

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Spectre is a 2015 spy film directed by Sam Mendes, and the twenty-fourth film in the James Bond film series. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is pitted against the global organization Spectre and their ...more

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23
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Rosario Dawson, James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel

Released: 2013

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Trance is a 2013 British psychological thriller film directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge from a story by Ahearne. The film stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, ...more
24
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Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston

Released: 2009

Directed by: J Blakeson

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a 2009 British thriller film about the kidnapping of a young woman by two ex-convicts. The film is written and directed by J Blakeson and stars Gemma Arterton ...more
25
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Dev Patel, Radhika Apte, Jim Sarbh

Released: 2019

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

The Wedding Guest is a 2018 British action thriller film written and directed by Michael Winterbottom. A mysterious British Muslim man (Dev Patel) goes on a journey across Pakistan and India.