Thrillers The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
978 votes 145 voters 8.3k views 42 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite thriller movies released by independent studios.

This list contains information on the best indie thriller movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best indie thriller films come in many forms. Some indie suspense movies involve life and death situations while other good indie thriller films are about revenge. A few of the best indie thrillers even took home Academy Awards.

What films will you find on this top independent thriller movies list? Memento has to be at the top. This 2000 movie followed a man – with a severe memory disorder – investigate and punish the killer who murdered his wife. The film's writer/director, Christopher Nolan, later went on to direct such big budget films as the Dark Knight franchise. Donnie Darko is another good indie thriller full of suspense.

Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn's 2013 film about an American ex-pat navigating the criminal underworld in Bangkok, is a true white-knuckle viewing experience. Other good independent thrillers featured on this list include The Usual Suspects, Drive, and American Psycho.

Do you have a favorite independent suspense film? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any good thrillers we may have missed.

list ordered by

1
40 5
Seven is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

2
42 12
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic ...more

3
34 11
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

4
31 11
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

5
34 14
Memento is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

6
27 9
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston It Follows is a 2014 Horror film written by David Robert Mitchell and directed by David Robert Mitchell.

7
29 11
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del ...more

8
30 12
Get Out is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams Get Out is a 2017 satirical horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. A young African American man visits his white girlfriend's family estate where he learns that many of its residents, ...more

9
29 12
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more

10
26 10
Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello Prisoners is a 2013 crime drama thriller film written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve.

11
22 9
Drive is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more

12
23 10
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a thief who starts shooting footage of ...more

13
20 8
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

14
23 13
The Boondock Saints is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American crime film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as fraternal twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, who ...more

15
16 7
Cube is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Nicole de Boer, Julian Richings, David Hewlett Cube is a 1997 Canadian science fiction psychological horror film, directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali. The film was a successful product of the Canadian Film Centre's First Feature

16
16 8
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more

17
17 10
The Strangers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Scott Speedman The Strangers is a 2008 American horror film written and directed by Bryan Bertino and starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a young couple who are terrorized by three masked assailants, who ...more

18
11 5
Blue Ruin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Eve Plumb, Bonnie Johnson, Devin Ratray Blue Ruin is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Jeremy Saulnier. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Directors' Fortnight section on May 17, 2013, ...more

19
12 6
One Hour Photo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Clark Gregg One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Mark Romanek and starring Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole, and Eriq La Salle. ...more

20
13 7
You're Next is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Sharni Vinson, Barbara Crampton, Amy Seimetz You're Next is a 2011 American independent action-horror slasher film directed by Adam Wingard, written by Simon Barrett, and starring Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, ...more

21
10 5
Nocturnal Animals is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Tom Ford, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. A divorced art gallery owner (Amy Adams) ...more

22
13 8
The Neon Demon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone The Neon Demon is a 2016 psychological horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. An aspiring model (Elle Fanning) in Los Angeles generates intense fascination and jealousy within the

23
15 10
Saw is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

24
16 12
Hard Candy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Patrick Wilson Hard Candy is a 2005 vigilante thriller film focusing on the torture of a suspected sexual predator by a 14-year-old female vigilante. The film was directed by David Slade, written by Brian ...more

25
8 5
The Crying Game is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Forest Whitaker, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson The Crying Game is a 1992 British psychological thriller drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film explores themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality against the backdrop ...more

26
11 9
Primer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who ...more

27
10 8
Blood Simple is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh Blood Simple is a 1984 neo-noir crime film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was the directorial debut of the Coens and the first major film of cinematographer Barry ...more

28
7 5
Funny Games is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Wolfgang Glück Written and directed by German-born Michael Haneke, FUNNY GAMES combines thriller conventions "with a number of Brechtian devices that catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance" (Stephen ...more

29
7 5
Unknown is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Victoria Justice, Jim Caviezel, Bridget Moynahan Unknown is a 2006 American crime-thriller film directed by Colombian filmmaker Simon Brand and starring Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Bridget Moynahan, Joe Pantoliano and Barry Pepper about a ...more

30
8 7
Pi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at ...more

31
6 5
Coherence is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Lorene Scafaria Coherence is a 2013 American-British science fiction thriller film directed by James Ward Byrkit in his directorial debut. The film had its world debut on September 19, 2013 at the Austin ...more

32
1 0
Enemy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Daniel Magnan added Jake Gyllenhaal, Isabella Rossellini, Mélanie Laurent Enemy is a 2013 Canadian-Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, loosely adapted by Javier Gullón from José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double. The film ...more

33
5 5
Killer Joe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Matthew McConaughey, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple Killer Joe is a 2011 American Southern Gothic crime film directed by William Friedkin. The screenplay by Tracy Letts is based on his 1993 play of the same name. The film stars Matthew ...more

34
6 7
Take Shelter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon, Katy Mixon Take Shelter is a 2011 American drama-thriller film written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young ...more

35
5 7
The Astronaut's Wife is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Joe Morton The Astronaut's Wife is a 1999 American science fiction/thriller film directed and written by Rand Ravich. It stars Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron.

36
3 5
Righteous Kill is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, 50 Cent Righteous Kill is a 2008 American crime thriller film with elements of a buddy cop film directed by Jon Avnet, and starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. It is one of only two movies in which De ...more

37
3 5
The Double is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn The Double is a 2013 British black comedy film written and directed by Richard Ayoade and starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. The film is based on the novella The Double by Fyodor ...more

38
2 5
Grand Piano is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Elijah Wood, John Cusack, Tamsin Egerton Grand Piano is a 2013 English-language Spanish thriller film starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack. The film is about a once promising pianist returning for a comeback performance, only to be the ...more

39
6 10
Only God Forgives is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Burke Only God Forgives is a 2013 Danish-French thriller film written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Vithaya Pansringarm. The film was shot on ...more

40
4 8
Inland Empire is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Naomi Watts, Jeremy Irons, Laura Dern Inland Empire is a 2006 mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and was his first feature film since 2001's Mulholland Drive. The feature took two-and-a-half years to complete, and was ...more

41
3 7
Syriana is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's ...more

42
1 5
Exam is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Gemma Chan, Colin Salmon, Jimi Mistry Exam is a 2009 British psychological thriller film written by Simon Garrity and Stuart Hazeldine, directed by Stuart Hazeldine and starring Colin Salmon, Chris Carey, Jimi Mistry, Luke Mably, ...more