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The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked

Updated August 1, 2019 2.1k votes 266 voters 19.1k views46 items

List RulesVote 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.

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    The Art of Self-Defense is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Art of Self-Defense

    Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola

    Released2019

    Directed byRiley Stearns

    The Art of Self-Defense is a 2019 American dark comedy film, written and directed by Riley... more
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    Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2001

    Directed byRichard Kelly

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly... more

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    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy

    Released1996

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and... more

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    Get Out is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Get Out

    Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener

    Released2017

    Directed byJordan Peele

    Get Out is a 2017 American horror film directed by Jordan Peele. A young African-American... more

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    Prisoners is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Prisoners

    Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2013

    Directed byDenis Villeneuve

    Prisoners is a 2013 American drama thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. Two young girls... more
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    Memento is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan.... more
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    Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Nightcrawler

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo

    Released2014

    Directed byDan Gilroy

    Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in... more
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    The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

    The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan... more
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    Seven is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars... more

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    Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis

    Released1994

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

    Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob... more

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    American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed byMary Harron

    American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by... more
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    It Follows is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    It Follows

    Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist

    Released2014

    Directed byDavid Robert Mitchell

    It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David... more

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    Drive is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Drive

    Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling

    Released2011

    Directed byNicolas Winding

    Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring... more

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    The Astronaut's Wife is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Astronaut's Wife

    Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp

    Released1999

    Directed byRand Ravich

    The Astronaut's Wife is a 1999 American science fiction/thriller film directed and written by... more
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    The Boondock Saints is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Boondock Saints

    Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus

    Released1999

    Directed byTroy Duffy

    The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars... more

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    One Hour Photo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    One Hour Photo

    Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen

    Released2002

    Directed byMark Romanek

    One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Mark... more
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    Saw is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Saw

    Danny Glover, Monica Potter

    Released2004

    Directed byJames Wan

    Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's... more

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    You're Next is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    You're Next

    Sharni Vinson, Barbara Crampton

    Released2011

    Directed byAdam Wingard

    You're Next is a 2011 American independent action-horror slasher film directed by Adam... more

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    Only God Forgives is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Only God Forgives

    Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas

    Released2013

    Directed byNicolas Winding

    Only God Forgives is a 2013 Danish-French thriller film written and directed by Nicolas... more

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    The Neon Demon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Neon Demon

    Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman

    Released2016

    Directed byNicolas Winding Refn

    The Neon Demon is a 2016 psychological horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. An... more
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    Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch... more
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    Primer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Primer

    Shane Carruth, David Sullivan

    Released2004

    Directed byShane Carruth

    Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means... more

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    The Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Nightingale

    Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin

    Released2018

    Directed byJennifer Kent

    The Nightingale is a 2018 Australian period thriller film directed by Jennifer Kent. In 1825... more

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    The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Anderson

    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad... more
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    Nocturnal Animals is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked
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    Nocturnal Animals

    Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2016

    Directed byTom Ford

    Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Tom... more

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