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The Best British Thriller Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 2.6k votes 443 voters 39.2k views51 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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  • A Clockwork Orange1
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    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

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  • 28 Days Later...2
    81
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    28 Days Later...

    Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2002

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The...  more

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  • Goldfinger3
    62
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    Goldfinger

    Sean Connery, Honor Blackman

    Released1964

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as...  more

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  • The Prestige4
    76
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    The Prestige

    Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie

    Released2006

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay...  more

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  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels5
    65
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    Released1998

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British comedy thriller film written and...  more

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  • Layer Cake6
    54
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    Layer Cake

    Sienna Miller, Tom Hardy

    Released2005

    Directed byMatthew Vaughn

    Layer Cake is a 2005 British thriller film directed by Matthew Vaughn, in his directorial...  more
  • Casino Royale7
    57
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    Casino Royale

    Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Campbell

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  • Snatch8
    69
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    Snatch

    Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro

    Released2000

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Snatch is a 2000 comedy film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, featuring an ensemble cast....  more

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  • Trance9
    52
    28

    Trance

    Rosario Dawson, James McAvoy

    Released2013

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    Trance is a 2013 British psychological thriller film directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay...  more
  • Dr. No10
    48
    25

    Dr. No

    Sean Connery, Ursula Andress

    Released1962

    Directed byTerence Young

    Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film....  more

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  • Skyfall11
    55
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    Skyfall

    Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes

    Released2012

    Directed bySam Mendes

    Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel...  more

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  • Get Carter12
    41
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    Get Carter

    Michael Caine, Britt Ekland

    Released1971

    Directed byMike Hodges

    Get Carter is a 1971 British film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine, Ian...  more

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  • 28 Weeks Later13
    45
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    28 Weeks Later

    Rose Byrne, Idris Elba

    Released2007

    Directed byJuan Carlos Fresnadillo

    28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British-Spanish post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film,...  more

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  • The Descent14
    36
    27

    The Descent

    Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza

    Released2005

    Directed byNeil Marshall

    The Descent is a 2005 British adventure horror film directed by Neil Marshall. Six women enter...  more

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  • The Woman in Black15
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    The Woman in Black

    Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds

    Released2012

    Directed byJames Watkins

    The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane...  more

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  • Harry Brown16
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    Harry Brown

    Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer

    Released2009

    Directed byDaniel Barber

    "Harry Brown marks the feature film debut for talented upcoming director Daniel Barber,...  more
  • Eden Lake17
    32
    27

    Eden Lake

    Michael Fassbender, Kelly Reilly

    Released2008

    Directed byJames Watkins

    Eden Lake is a 2008 British thriller film written and directed by James Watkins and starring...  more

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  • Shallow Grave18
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    Shallow Grave

    Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston

    Released1994

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    Shallow Grave is a 1994 British dark comedy film that marked the cinematic directorial debut...  more

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  • Donkey Punch19
    22
    22

    Donkey Punch

    Jaime Winstone, Julian Morris

    Released2008

    Directed byOlly Blackburn

    Donkey Punch is a 2008 British horror thriller film about a group of English people on holiday...  more
  • Spectre20
    31
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    Spectre

    Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz

    Released2015

    Directed bySam Mendes

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  • Blowup21
    15
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    Blowup

    Jimmy Page, Vanessa Redgrave

    Released1966

    Directed byMichelangelo Antonioni

    Blowup, or Blow-Up, is a 1966 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni about a fashion...  more

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  • A Lonely Place to Die22
    18
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    A Lonely Place to Die

    Melissa George, Eamonn Walker

    Released2011

    Directed byJulian Gilbey

    A Lonely Place to Die is a 2011 British thriller film directed by Julian Gilbey and based on a...  more

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  • Eye of the Needle23
    24
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    Eye of the Needle

    Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Marquand

    Eye of the Needle is a 1981 American spy film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Donald...  more
  • The Ghost Writer24
    26
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    The Ghost Writer

    Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor

    Released2010

    Directed byRoman Polanski

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

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  • Dog Soldiers25
    16
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    Dog Soldiers

    Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham

    Released2002

    Directed byNeil Marshall

    Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall, and starring...  more

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