Unspeakable Times

Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic  

Ranker Film
609 votes 111 voters 5.9k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite movies about the hunt for a serial murderer that are less OMG horror, more dramatic thriller.

Murder plus expertly calibrated tension is the perfect recipe for serial killer thrillers. The top dramatic serial killer movies feature cat-and-mouse games between disturbed characters and the people out to put them behind bars. This is a list of the greatest serial killer dramas including everything from Kiss the Girls to The Killer Inside Me to I Saw the Devil.

What films will you find on this list of the best dramatic serial killer movies? The Silence of the Lambs features not one, but two serial killers. The incarcerated Hannibal Lecter is recruited by the FBI to help catch Buffalo Bill before he kills again. Seven is another compelling serial killer movie with a lot of drama. American Psycho finds a New York businessman trading in stocks for slaughters. Other good movies featured on this list include Psycho, Zodiac, and Strangers on a Train.

Do you have a favorite movie about serial killers? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any great movies that are missing.

list ordered by
1
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
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
2
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
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
3
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more
4
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo
Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery-thriller film directed by David Fincher and based on Robert Graysmith's non-fiction book of the same name. Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for a person ...more
5
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton
Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. The novel was originally ...more
6
Copycat is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Harry Connick
Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller, starring Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. The film was directed by Jon Amiel, with a score composed by Christopher Young.
7
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins
Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence ...more
8
Kiss the Girls is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Mena Suvari
Kiss the Girls is a 1997 American psychological thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes. The screenplay by David Klass is based on the ...more
9
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
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
10
Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Brian Cox, Garcelle Beauvais, Joan Allen
Manhunter is a 1986 American thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Written and directed by Michael Mann, it stars William Petersen as Will Graham and features Brian Cox as ...more
11
Dahmer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Dion Basco
Dahmer is a 2002 American biopic horror film about the American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeremy Renner stars in the title role. There are two timelines in the film: The "present" ...more
12
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe
Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more
13
I Saw the Devil is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik, Cheon Ho-Jin
I Saw the Devil is a 2010 South Korean psychological thriller/horror film directed by Kim Ji-woon. The film follows NIS agent Kim Soo-hyun (Byung-hun), who embarks on a quest of revenge, ...more
14
Mr. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Danielle Panabaker
Mr. Brooks is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. It was released on June 1, 2007. The film ...more
15
Hannibal Rising is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Gong Li, Kevin McKidd, Rhys Ifans
Hannibal Rising is a 2007 horror film and the fifth film of the Hannibal Lecter franchise. It is a prequel to the previous three films: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal. The ...more
16
Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll
Strangers on a Train is an American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It was shot in the ...more
17
Confessions is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Takako Matsu, Masaki Okada, Ai Hashimoto
Confessions is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, based on Kanae Minato's 2008 novel of the same name. The story follows a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with ...more
18
Bundy: An American Icon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Kane Hodder, Corin Nemec, Kristen De Luca
Bundy: An American Icon is a 2008 horror film depicting the criminal career of American serial killer, Ted Bundy. It was directed by Michael Fein serial killer biopics, and starred Corin Nemec ...more
19
Funny Games is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt
Funny Games is a 2007 psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael Haneke, a remake of Haneke's 1997 Austrian film Funny Games. Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and Brady ...more
20
Memories of Murder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
vasdim added Song Kang-Ho, Park Hae-il, Kim Roi-ha
Memories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean crime-drama film directed by Bong Joon-ho. It is based on the true story of the Korea's first serial murder in history, which took place between 1986 ...more
21
Artik is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo, Lauren Ashley Carter
Artik is a 2019 American horror action film directed by Tom Botchii Skowronski. A boy befriends a mysterious stranger who threatens to reveal his family's horrible secret.
22
The Chaser is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
vasdim added Kim Yoo-jung, Ha Jung-woo, In-gi Jeong
The Chaser is a 2008 South Korean film starring Kim Yoon-seok and Ha Jung-woo. It was directed by Na Hong-jin in his directorial debut. Inspired by real-life Korean serial killer Yoo Young-chul, ...more
23
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
vasdim added Lee Young-ae, Song Kang-Ho, Choi Min-sik
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a 2005 South Korean film by director Park Chan-wook. In North America and parts of Europe, the film has been screened under the title Lady Vengeance. The film is ...more
24
The Killer Inside Me is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck
This film is a 2010 American film adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name by Jim Thompson. The film is directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate
25
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic
vasdim added Bae Doona, Song Kang-Ho, Shin Ha-kyun
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook which follows the character Ryu trying to earn enough money for his sister's kidney transplant and the path of ...more