Entertainment
289 voters

The Best Indie Thriller Movies, Ranked

Updated April 23, 2021 2.3k votes 289 voters 21.9k views106 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    78
    31

    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale
    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly...  more

    More Donnie Darko 

    #11 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time#232 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 2
    67
    22

    Fargo

    Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy
    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and...  more

    More Fargo 

    Theories About Why The Coen Bros. Had Marge Gunderson Go On A Date In Fargo#159 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 3
    70
    29

    Get Out

    Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener
    Get Out is a 2017 American horror film directed by Jordan Peele. A young African-American...  more

    More Get Out 

    Things You Didn't Know About The Making Of Jordan Peele's 'Get Out'#184 of 666 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • 4
    57
    19

    Prisoners

    Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal
    Prisoners is a 2013 American drama thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. Two young girls...  more

    More Prisoners 

    #67 of 173 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#84 of 122 The Best Father-Daughter Movies

  • 5
    56
    19

    Nightcrawler

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo
    Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in...  more

    More Nightcrawler 

    #8 of 44 Great Movies with a Neon Aesthetic#6 of 69 The Best Movies About Incels

  • 6
    57
    21

    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss
    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan....  more

    More Memento 

    #2 of 16 Movie 'Heroes' Who Were Actually Villains The Whole Time#23 of 63 Movies You Wish You Could Still Watch for the First Time

  • 7
    79
    43

    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow
    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars...  more

    More Seven 

    Behind The Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Se7en'#14 of 440 Your Favorite Movies of the 1990s

  • 8
    51
    20

    It Follows

    Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist
    It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David...  more

    More It Follows 

    #16 of 22 The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made#20 of 48 The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks

  • 9
    54
    25

    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro
    The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan...  more

    More The Usual Suspects 

    #102 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels#5 of 13 The 13 Most Influential Plot Twists In Cinema History

  • 10
    52
    23

    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe
    American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by...  more

    More American Psycho 

    #7 of 43 30+ Very Preppy Movies with the Preppiest Characters#5 of 22 The Weirdest Willem Dafoe Performances That Prove He's Great In Everything

  • 11
    45
    16

    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh
    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad...  more

    More The Machinist 

    #24 of 34 The Best Horror Movies About Carnivals and Amusement Parks#8 of 37 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

  • 12
    47
    19

    Drive

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

    More Drive 

    #220 of 380 The Best Movies Based On Books#216 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys

  • 13
    74
    46

    Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta, Bruce Willis
    Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob...  more

    More Pulp Fiction 

    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Pulp Fiction'#470 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 14
    35
    12

    The Astronaut's Wife

    Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp
    The Astronaut's Wife is a 1999 American science fiction/thriller film directed and written by...  more
  • 15
    32
    15

    One Hour Photo

    Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen
    One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Mark...  more

    More One Hour Photo 

    #20 of 139 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again#7 of 30 Great Movies About People Going Through Life Solo

  • 16
    28
    12

    Primer

    Shane Carruth, David Sullivan
    Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means...  more

    More Primer 

    #3 of 135 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made#3 of 14 Sci-Fi Movies People Only Pretend To Understand

  • 17
    35
    21

    Saw

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

    More Saw 

    The Best Saw Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked#26 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 18
    27
    13

    You're Next

    Sharni Vinson, Barbara Crampton
    You're Next is a 2011 American independent action-horror slasher film directed by Adam...  more

    More You're Next 

    #76 of 114 The Best Horror Movie Franchises#14 of 20 Horror Movies That Originally Had Much Darker Endings

  • 19
    27
    13

    The Art of Self-Defense

    Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola
    The Art of Self-Defense is a 2019 American dark comedy film, written and directed by Riley...  more
  • 20
    36
    24

    The Boondock Saints

    Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus
    The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars...  more

    More The Boondock Saints 

    #97 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises#22 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • 21
    34
    22

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus
    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch...  more

    More Mulholland Drive 

    #280 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#5 of 10 10 Hidden Messages In Well-Known Films You Probably Missed

  • 22
    27
    15

    The Neon Demon

    Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman
    The Neon Demon is a 2016 psychological horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. An...  more
  • 23
    24
    13

    Nocturnal Animals

    Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal
    Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Tom...  more

    More Nocturnal Animals 

    #122 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#26 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

  • 24
    21
    10

    Funny Games

    Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe
    Funny Games is a 1997 Austrian psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael...  more

    More Funny Games 

    #182 of 451 The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History#104 of 149 The Best Horror Movies Of The 1990s

  • 25
    17
    6

    Enemy

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Isabella Rossellini
    Enemy is a 2013 Canadian-Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve,...  more

    More Enemy 

    #68 of 100 The Best Movies Like 'Inception'#34 of 92 The Best Mindf*ck Movies