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Best 15 Psychological Thriller Movies You Must Watch

Psychological thriller movies
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Those who watch psychological thriller movies, know very well that psychological thrillers are all about messing with your mind — and that’s a totally different ballgame. So, Hey guys! How have you been? Well, today I have decided to give you all a very captivating article on “psychological thriller movies.” 

Speaking of filmmakers, who are undoubtedly amazing at their role in making psychological thriller movies, Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most notable psychological thriller filmmakers of all time. 

Also, directors named Jordan Peele, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher have created equally stirring films full of unexpected plot lines and untrustworthy characters.

Guys, there is a sure-sure assurance that you are going to feel inclined to double-check your door locks after watching these psychological thriller movies. 

Oh yes, and beware: twisted nightmares are almost a guarantee after streaming these psychological thriller movies.

Warning you now, these films are seriously terrifying and twisted. So, without any further ado let’s dive straight into the list of Psychological Thriller movies. 

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1- The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs Psychological thriller movies

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American psychological horror film. 

It stars Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee who is hunting a serial killer, “Buffalo Bill” (Ted Levine), who skins his female victims. 

To catch him, she seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. 

The film also features performances from Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald, and Kasi Lemmons.

The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14, 1991, and grossed $272.7 million worldwide on a $19 million budget, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1991 worldwide. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

It became the third and most recent film to win Academy Awards in all the major five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the only horror film to win Best Picture.

  • Director: Jonathan Demme 
  • Writer: Ted Tally
  • Running time: 118 minutes 

2- The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train Psychological thriller movies

The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American mystery psychological thriller film based on British author Paula Hawkins’ popular 2015 debut novel of the same name. 

The film stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez, and Lisa Kudrow. 

It follows an alcoholic divorcée who ends up becoming involved in a missing person investigation. 

The exciting film was a box office success, grossing $173 million worldwide. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

It received mixed reviews, although Blunt’s performance received widespread acclaim. 

The film received nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

  • Director: Tate Taylor
  • Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
  • Running time: 112 minutes 

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3- Get Out (2017)

Get Out (2017) Psychological thriller movies

Get Out is a 2017 American horror film written, co-produced, and directed by in his directorial debut. 

It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener. 

The plot follows a young black man (Kaluuya), who uncovers shocking secrets when he meets the family of his white girlfriend (Williams).

Get Out has maintained a strong reputation since its release, and it is commonly cited by critics as one of the best films of the 21st century, featuring in multiple listings of the best films of the 2010s.

The Writer’s Guild of America ranked Peele’s screenplay the greatest of the century. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

  • Director & Writer: Jordan Peele
  • Running time: 104 minutes 

4- The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The story of the film Following the sequence, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist who receives an award on the same night that he is visited by a very unhappy ex-patient.

After this encounter, Crowe takes on the task of curing a young boy with the same ills as the ex-patient (Donnie Wahlberg) .

This boy “sees dead people”. Crowe spends a lot of time with the boy much to the dismay of his wife (Olivia Williams). 

Cole’s mom (Toni Collette) is at her wit’s end with what to do about her son’s increasing problems. Crowe is the boy’s only hope.

It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Shyamalan, Best Supporting Actor for Osment, and Best Supporting Actress for Collette. 

It was the second-highest-grossing film of 1999, taking about $293 million in the US and $379 million in other markets.

  • Director & Writer: M. Night Shyamalan.
  • Running time: 107 minutes 

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5- Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan (2010) Psychological thriller movies

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film. Screenplay by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on a story by Heinz. 

The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder, and revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet by the New York City Ballet company. 

The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina Sayers (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new rival Lily (Kunis). 

Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the role, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into madness.

  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Writer: 
  • Running time: 108 minutes

6- American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho is a 2000 horror film. 

It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon. 

Based on Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel American Psycho, the film follows Patrick Bateman (Bale), a New York City investment banker who leads a double life as a serial killer. 

The satirical film blends horror and black comedy to mock 1980s yuppie culture and consumerism, exemplified by Bateman. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

  • Director: Mary Harron
  • Writer: Guinevere Turner, Mary Harron

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7- Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl is a 2014 American psychological thriller film based on her 2012 novel of the same name. 

Set in Missouri, the story is a postmodern mystery that follows the events surrounding Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck), who becomes the prime suspect in the sudden disappearance of his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). 

The film also stars Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry. Gone Girl premiered as the opening film at the 52nd New York Film Festival on September 26, 2014, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 3, by 20th Century Fox.

 It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $369 million worldwide against a $61 million budget, to become Fincher’s highest-grossing film. 

The film is now considered a cult classic with some jokingly calling it a “romantic film”. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

  • Director: David Fincher 
  • Writer: Gillian Flynn

8- Us (2019)

Us (2019) Psychological thriller movies

Us is a 2019 American horror film, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. 

The film follows Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o) and her family, who are attacked by a group of menacing doppelgängers. 

Us had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 8, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 22, 2019, by Universal Pictures. 

It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $255 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million, and received praise for Peele’s screenplay and direction, Nyong’o’s performance, and Michael Abels’ musical score.

  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Writer: Jordan Peele

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9- Misery (1990)

Misery (1990)

Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film, based on Stephen King’s 1987 novel of the same name, starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances Sternhagen.

The plot centers around an obsessive fan who holds an author captive and forces him to rewrite the finale of his book series. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

The film was released in the United States on November 30, 1990, by Columbia Pictures.

 It received highly positive reviews and was a box office success.

  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Running time: 107 minutes

10- The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) Psychological thriller movies

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film. 

Haunted by a persistent writer’s block, the aspiring author and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance, drags his wife, Wendy, and his gifted son, Danny, up snow-capped Colorado’s secluded Overlook Hotel after taking up a job as an off-season caretaker.

As the cavernous hotel shuts down for the season, the manager gives Jack a grand tour, and the facility’s chef, the aging Mr. Hallorann, has a fascinating chat with Danny about a rare psychic gift called “The Shining”, making sure to warn him about the hotel’s abandoned rooms, and, in particular, the off-limits Room 237. 

However, instead of overcoming the dismal creative rut, little by little, Jack starts losing his mind, trapped in an unforgiving environment of seemingly endless snowstorms, and a gargantuan silent prison riddled with strange occurrences and eerie visions. 

Now, the incessant voices inside Jack’s head demand sacrifice. Is Jack capable of murder?

In 2012, The Shining was ranked the 75th greatest film of all time in the Sight & Sound directors’ poll.

 In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Running time: 146 minutes

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11- Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo is a 1958 American film noir psychological thriller 

The story was based on the 1954 novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by Boileau-Narcejac. 

The screenplay was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor.

Vertigo received mixed reviews upon initial release but is now often cited as a classic Hitchcock film and one of the defining works of his career.

The film is often considered one of the greatest films ever made. One of the best Psychological Thriller Movies you must watch.

It has appeared repeatedly in polls of the best films by the American Film Institute, including a 2007 ranking as the ninth-greatest American movie of all time.

  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Running time : 128 minutes

12- Joker (2019)

Joker (2019) Psychological thriller movies

Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film. 

The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker and provides a possible origin story for the character. 

Set in 1981, it follows Arthur Fleck, a failed clown and aspiring stand-up comedian whose descent into insanity and nihilism inspires a violent counter-cultural revolution against the wealthy in a decaying and destroyed Gotham City. 

Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron appear in supporting roles. 

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Joker was produced by Warner Bros. 

Pictures and DC Films in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, Bron Creative, and Joint Effort.

  • Director: Todd Phillips

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13- Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film, as a remake of the 1962 film of the same name which was based on John D. MacDonald’s 1957 novel, The Executioners.

 It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Joe Don Baker and Juliette Lewis. 

Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, and Martin Balsam cameo in the remake; all three starred in the original film. 

Cape Fear marks the seventh collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro. 

The film was a commercial success and garnered positive reviews, receiving Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor (De Niro) and Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Lewis). 

  • Director: Martin Scorsese

14- Ma (2019)

Ma (2019) Psychological thriller movies

In this film, A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. 

Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

This psychological thriller movie has received mixed reviews from critics, yet I will suggest you stream it on the basis of IMDb ratings. 

  • Director: Tale Taylor 
  • Writer: Scotty Landes

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15- Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological thriller film. 

Based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. 

Mark Ruffalo plays his partner and fellow deputy marshal, Ben Kingsley is the facility’s lead psychiatrist, Max von Sydow is a German doctor, and Michelle Williams is Daniels’ wife. 

Released on February 19, 2010, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics, was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010, and grossed over $294 million worldwide.

  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Writer: Laeta Kalogridis,
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