Entertainment

The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character  

Ranker Film
1.7k votes 316 voters 13.1k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest films in which a main character is a completely unhinged, probably violent psychopath.

Whether they're a wall street executive, a wanna-be drug dealer, or a disgruntled taxi driver, all these characters go a little mad sometimes. The best psychopath movies feature crazy killers who audiences actually enjoy watching for 120-plus minutes. This is a list of the best movies about psychopaths including everything from No Country for Old Men to The Shining to Psycho.

What films will you find on this list of movies featuring psychotic characters? The Silence of the Lambs was an instantly classic entry into the genre. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) was equally terrifying and intriguing as he helped Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) hunt down the serial killer Buffalo Bill. Funny Games is another great movie with psychos as the main characters. Quentin Tarantino is the king of psychopath movies, but Death Proof – starring Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike – has to be one of his best. Other good films featured on this top psychopath movies list include American Psycho, Taxi Driver, and True Romance.

Do you have a favorite among these movies about crazy people? Give the best films a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by
1
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
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
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe
American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more
3
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more
4
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
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
5
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
6
Natural Born Killers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert Downey Jr., Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones
Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American film directed by Oliver Stone starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was released in the ...more
7
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth
Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more
8
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Dragon850 added Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more
9
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese
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
10
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more
11
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more
12
Death Proof is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Rose McGowan, Rosario Dawson, Kurt Russell
This film is a 2007 American action-exploitation film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film centers on a psychopathic stunt man, Stuntman Mike played by Kurt Russell, who stalks ...more
13
Sin City is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke
Sin City is a 2005 American neo-noir thriller anthology film written, produced, and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on Miller's eponymous graphic novel Sin City. Much ...more
14
From Dusk till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino
From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more
15
Funny Games is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
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
16
Kalifornia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Juliette Lewis
Kalifornia is a 1993 American road thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny, and Michelle Forbes. The film focuses on a graduate student and ...more
17
Tone-Deaf is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Hayley Marie Norman
Tone-Deaf is a 2019 American comedy horror film directed by Richard Bates Jr. After losing her job and reaching the end of a complicated relationship, a woman rents a country house from a ...more
18
True Romance is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson
True Romance is a 1993 American film directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. The film stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette with a supporting cast featuring Dennis ...more
19
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger
L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more
20
Badlands is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek
Badlands is a 1973 American film written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri are also featured. Malick has a small speaking ...more
21
Savages is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, John Travolta
Savages is a 2012 American thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It is based on the novel of the same name by Don Winslow. The screenplay was written by Shane Salerno, Winslow and Stone. The ...more
22
Four Rooms is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Madonna, Salma Hayek, Bruce Willis
Four Rooms is a 1995 anthology comedy film directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing one segment of the film that in its entirety is ...more
23
U Turn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Jennifer Lopez, Sean Penn, Claire Danes
U Turn is a 1997 romantic comedy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone, based on the book Stray Dogs by John Ridley. It stars Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers ...more
24
Behind the Mask is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Donald Sutherland, Matthew Fox, Mary McDonnell
Behind the Mask is a 1999 drama film written by Gregory Goodell and directed by Tom McLoughlin.