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The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies 

Ranker Entertainment
Updated October 7, 2019 387 votes 67 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.

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list ordered by
1
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller, based on the characters created by novelist Thomas Harris. A gifted FBI profiler ...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 Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 4 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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5
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 5 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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6
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

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7
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. The show features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine ...more

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8
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 8 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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9
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 9 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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10
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
11
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Bates Motel (A&E, 2013) is an American psychological horror drama television series based on characters from the 1959 novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. After his father's sudden death, teenager ...more

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12
Pi is listed (or ranked) 12 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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13
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...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
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
The Killing (AMC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Veena Sud, based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen. Seattle homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen ...more

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17
Duel is listed (or ranked) 17 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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18
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 18 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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19
Oz is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes. It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced ...more

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20
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 20 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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21
Next Door is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Naboer is a 2005 Norwegian psychological thriller film, directed by Pål Sletaune. In the movie, the protagonist John is drawn into a sexual, violent game by his two beautiful neighbours. ...more
22
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. A CIA ...more

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23
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more

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24
November is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
November is a 2004 American psychological thriller film first screened at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. It stars Courteney Cox as Sophie, a photographer whose life begins to unravel following ...more
25
Insomnia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Psychological Thriller Shows & Movies
Insomnia is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives ...more

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