Entertainment

The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character 

Ranker Film
Updated October 18, 2019 2.1k votes 382 voters 15.2k views 26 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

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

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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2
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

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

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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

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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

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4
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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

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5
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

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

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#4 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #203 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #7 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

6
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1976

Directed by: 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

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7
Natural Born Killers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert Downey Jr., Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Oliver Stone

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

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8
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth

Released: 1992

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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

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9
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange

Released: 1991

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

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

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10
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Dragon850 added Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Released: 1983

Directed by: Brian De Palma

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

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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

Released: 2009

Directed by: Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino

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

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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

Released: 2007

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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

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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

Released: 2005

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

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

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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

Released: 1996

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

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

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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

Released: 2007

Directed by: Michael Haneke

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

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16
Friday the 13th Franchis... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Aroniam added
Friday the 13th is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television show, novels, comic books, a video game, and tie‑in merchandise, as of 2016. The franchise ...more

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17
Kalifornia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Juliette Lewis

Released: 1993

Directed by: Dominic Sena

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

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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

Released: 1993

Directed by: Tony Scott

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

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19
The Lighthouse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman

Released: 2019

Directed by: Robert Eggers

The Lighthouse is a 2019 black-and-white psychological horror film directed by Robert Eggers. The story of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious ...more
20
Tone-Deaf is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Hayley Marie Norman

Released: 2019

Directed by: Richard Bates Jr.

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
21
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

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

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22
Badlands is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek

Released: 1973

Directed by: Terrence Malick

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
23
Four Rooms is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Madonna, Salma Hayek, Bruce Willis

Released: 1995

Directed by: Alexandre Rockwell, Quentin Tarantino, Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez

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

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24
Savages is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, John Travolta

Released: 2012

Directed by: Oliver Stone

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

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25
U Turn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies with a Psychotic Main Character
Jennifer Lopez, Sean Penn, Claire Danes

Released: 1997

Directed by: Oliver Stone

U Turn is a 1997 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire ...more