Entertainment

The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
1.4k votes 208 voters 14.4k views 46 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
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
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 crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
3
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
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
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Get Out is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams
Get Out is a 2017 American horror film directed by Jordan Peele. A young African-American (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend's parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness ...more
7
Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello
Prisoners is a 2013 drama thriller film written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve.
8
Memento is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston
It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake ...more
10
The Art of Self-Defense is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots
The Art of Self-Defense is a 2019 American dark comedy film, written and directed by Riley Stearns. A young man, Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg), who after a rough encounter on the street, ...more
11
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal who starts shooting footage in Los Angeles and ...more
12
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto
American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more
13
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Drive is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
One Hour Photo is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
The Neon Demon is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Enemy is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
The Boondock Saints is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly
The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as fraternal twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, who become ...more
19
Hard Candy is listed (or ranked) 19 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 a 14-year-old female vigilante. The film was directed by David Slade, written by Brian Nelson, and starred Ellen Page and Patrick ...more
20
The Crying Game is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
You're Next is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
The Strangers is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Nocturnal Animals is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Blood Simple is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh
Blood Simple is a 1984 neo-noir 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