Thrillers

The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies 

Ranker Entertainment
Updated October 7, 2019 377 votes 66 voters 40 items

List Rules Vote up the most entertaining psychological thriller films & tv shows, including streaming series.

When it comes to the genre of psychological thrillers, there are hundreds of choices in both film and television. There's something about a good thriller that makes us sit on the edge of our seats and reel in fear as the terror unfolds on the screen. The genre is littered with classics including stories about Hannibal Lecter told in top psychological thriller films like The Silence of the Lambs and the TV series Hannibal. Serial killers are only one aspect of the genre, however, with some of the best examples involving an unreal terror like portrayed in Jacob's Ladder.

Whatever your desire in the realm of psychological horror, there are plenty of television shows and films to watch. Should your interests lie in watching people trapped in a situation they don't understand while fighting for their lives like in the Cube film franchise or your preference sits on small screen fare such as Dexter, there is more than enough to watch in the genre. The best psychological thriller TV shows and movies are compiled here, which also includes some of the greatest TV shows and movies of all time. 

Which psychological thriller movies and shows deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and adding any good movies or shows missing from the list.

list ordered by
1
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Hannibal is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in the novel Red Dragon by ...more

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2
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
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

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3
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more

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4
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
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

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5
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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6
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

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7
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more

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8
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more

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9
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
10
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
The Shining is a horror novel by American author Stephen King. Published in 1977, it is King's third published novel and first hardback bestseller, and the success of the book firmly established ...more

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11
Pi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
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

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12
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Bates Motel is an American drama thriller television series developed for television by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin and Anthony Cipriano, and produced by Universal Television for the cable network ...more

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13
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more

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14
The Game is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
The Game is a 1997 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, and produced by Propaganda Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. It tells ...more

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15
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production ...more

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16
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more

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17
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more

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18
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more

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19
Duel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard Matheson, based on Matheson's short story of the same name. It stars Dennis Weaver as a terrified ...more

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20
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne, written and produced by Bruce Joel Rubin and starring Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello. ...more

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21
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more

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22
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Lie to Me is an American drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The Lightman ...more

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23
Lost is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more

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24
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series based on the book written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Set in the late '70s and early '80s, the series revolves around two FBI ...more

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25
Saw is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
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

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