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Best thrillers in movie history

  • Best thrillers in movie history
    1/ Newmarket Capital Group

    Best thrillers in movie history

    Representing the best of all worlds, quality cinematic thrillers pair edge-of-your-seat suspense with genuine human conflict. Throw in a little mystery, some taut action sequences and the occasional romantic encounter, and it’s no wonder that the genre remains so wildly popular year after year. Further distinguishing a number of thrillers is that they opt for the slow burn, as opposed to, say, horror movies, which go straight for the jugular. That said, there are still plenty of top thrillers out there that veer into “action movie” territory, sparing the slow burn for a non-stop barrage of fights, explosions and death-defying showdowns. One might say such loose parameters lend the genre all the more range. Others might argue that those same parameters dumb things down, diluting the genre in the process.

    Big budget action sequences or not, most thrillers tend to emphasise the human element. As a result, viewers are more inclined to care about the characters and invest themselves in the story. Not only that, but because thrillers often weave a more intricate narrative, the best ones reveal additional layers of meaning and detail with every viewing, making them compulsively watchable over and over again. And who doesn’t love a movie that they can watch multiple times? No one, that’s who.

    As with any genre, not all thrillers are created equal. Some explode with pure movie magic while others fail to light even the weakest fuse. Today, Stacker is celebrating the former, listing out the 100 best thrillers in movie history. For analysis, we’ve built an index (the “Stacker score”) that compiles IMDb ratings (weighted 50%) and the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (weighted 50%). Suffice to say, there are far worse ways to get an adrenaline fix than by checking out each title on this list.

     

  • #100. Miller's Crossing
    2/ Circle Films

    #100. Miller's Crossing

    Year: 1990

    Stacker score: 84.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 91%

    Cinematic masters the Coen Brothers turn their attention to the Prohibition era in 1990’s “Miller’s Crossing,” which tells the story of a crime boss advisor who tries to keep the peace between warring clans. The brotherly filmmaking duo are so prolific that in the middle of writing the screenplay for this film, they hit the pause button to write a separate screenplay about writer’s block. That second script ended up being “Barton Fink,” another Coen Brothers’ classic.

     

  • #99. Blade Runner 2049
    3/ Alcon Entertainment

    #99. Blade Runner 2049

    Year: 2017

    Stacker score: 84.5

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 87%

    Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to a sci-fi cult classic, “Blade Runner 2049” centers on a bounty hunter who tracks down genetically engineered artificial beings (aka replicants) and uncovers a dangerous secret along the way. The film goes big on special effects and action while retaining a humanist core, which is somewhat ironic given that the premise deals largely with artificial humans.

  • #98. 127 Hours
    4/ Pathe

    #98. 127 Hours

    Year: 2010

    Stacker score: 84.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Based on a true story, “127 Hours” is about a mountain climber who gets trapped under a boulder in Bluejohn Canyon and resorts to extreme measures in order to survive. To go into detail is to give too much away, but it should be noted that this movie is not for the faint of heart. Meanwhile, Aron Ralston–the real life figure on whom the story is based–didn’t let the incident bring him down. In fact, he’s returned to the very same canyon no less than 10 times.

     

  • #97. X-Men: Days of Future Past
    5/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #97. X-Men: Days of Future Past

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 90%

    Past and future collide in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” the seventh film in the series, including prequels and offshoots. In the film, a mad scientist must be stopped in the early 70s before he unleashes technology that will one day destroy the world. The film is replete with references to the overarching franchise, including some Japanese souvenirs in Logan’s apartment that signify a call back to 2013’s “The Wolverine.” 

  • #96. To Catch a Thief
    6/ Paramount Pictures

    #96. To Catch a Thief

    Year: 1955

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Marking the first of many Alfred Hitchcock films to appear on the list, 1955’s “To Catch a Thief” is about a retired jewel thief who’s been falsely accused of returning to his former profession. The film stars Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, who collectively ranked #8 on Moviefone’s “Sexiest Movie Couples of All Time.”

  • #95. Skyfall
    7/ Eon Productions

    #95. Skyfall

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 92%

    The name is Bond. James Bond. And he’s synonymous with everything a quality action movie should be, such as epic set pieces, gorgeous romantic interests, nonstop thrills and memorable villains. In 2012’s “Skyfall,” Daniel Craig stars as the iconic spy, who endures a battle of wits against a wealthy, elusive villain played by Javier Bardem.

  • #94. District 9
    8/ TriStar Pictures

    #94. District 9

    Year: 2009

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 90%

    A sci-fi thriller with palpable socio-economic undertones, “District 9” imagines a human society that forces visiting aliens to live in militarized slums. Striving for authenticity (relatively speaking, that is), the shanty town in the film is an actual abandoned Johannesburg ghetto.

  • #93. Dial M for Murder
    9/ Warner Bros.

    #93. Dial M for Murder

    Year: 1954

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 88%

    They didn’t call Hitchcock the master of suspense for nothing. The famous director returns to the list with “Dial M for Murder,” the story of a man whose plot to kill his wife backfires. In order to capitalize on contemporary trends, the movie was originally shot in 3-D, though the fad had passed by the time the film was released, prompting a “flat” version to hit theaters instead.

  • #92. Deliverance
    10/ Warner Bros.

    #92. Deliverance

    Year: 1972

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 93%

    It’s hard to even think the word “Deliverance” and not hear the melodic twang of a back-country banjo. Of course, that’s just one among many memorable things about the film, which involves a group of friends who go for a rafting trip and rile up some mountain men along the way. As tense as the action was on screen, it was reportedly matched by the tension off screen, with director John Boorman and screenwriter James Dickey coming to blows over creative differences.

  • #91. Baby Driver
    11/ TriStar Pictures

    #91. Baby Driver

    Year: 2017

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Bank heists are to the thriller genre what haunted houses are to the horror genre, yet that didn’t stop filmmaker Edgar Wright from infusing “Baby Driver” with its own distinct vibe. The movie is about a young getaway driver with a passion for music who gets wrangled into pulling off an impossible job. To research the film, Wright befriended real-life ex-convict Jo Loya, author of “The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell.”

  • #90. True Romance
    12/ Morgan Creek Entertainment Group

    #90. True Romance

    Year: 1993

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 92%

    Directed by Tony Scott and written by none other than Quentin Tarantino, “True Romance” centers on a lonely pop culture geek who runs off with a call girl and a suitcase full of her pimp’s cocaine. That puts all sorts of bad people on the couple’s tail, and copious violence predictably ensues. Among the film’s legion of stars is future Soprano James Gandolfini, who refused to wear earplugs during a scene where someone gets shot and apparently went deaf for three days as a result.

  • #89. The Imitation Game
    13/ Black Bear Pictures

    #89. The Imitation Game

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 91%

    Based on the story of real life code-breaker Alan Turing, “The Imitation Game” pits Turing and his team of mathematicians against the complicated German Enigma code during WWII. In keeping with the film’s puzzle-based nature, the official website granted users access to exclusive content on the condition that they solved crossword puzzles designed by Turing himself.

  • #88. The Dark Knight Rises
    14/ Warner Bros.

    #88. The Dark Knight Rises

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Tomatometer: 87%

    It’s Batman vs. Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” the third and final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. According to legend, the movie was originally supposed to feature Heath Ledger’s Joker, an idea that was scrapped after the actor’s untimely passing.

  • #87. Midnight Express
    15/ Columbia Pictures

    #87. Midnight Express

    Year: 1978

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 95%

    From a harrowing non-fiction book and subsequent Oliver Stone screenplay came 1978’s “Midnight Express,” the story of an American college student thrown into a Turkish prison for smuggling drugs. Directed by Alan Parker, the film was so uncompromising in its depiction of prison brutality that Turkey experienced a noticeable drop in tourism on the heels of the film’s release.

  • #86. Halloween
    16/ Compass International Pictures

    #86. Halloween

    Year: 1978

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Most folks might consider John Carpenter’s 1978 classic “Halloween” to be straight horror. However, the film about a crazed homicidal maniac who terrorizes his hometown actually touts more suspense than it does gore. That feature and a slow-burn narrative easily qualifies this film as a thriller, and one of the best thrillers of all time at that.

  • #85. Gone Baby Gone
    17/ LivePlanet

    #85. Gone Baby Gone

    Year: 2007

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 94%

    Actor Ben Affleck made his directorial debut with “Gone Baby Gone,” which follows two Boston detectives on the hunt for a missing girl. To help retain an authentic atmosphere, Affleck cast real Bostonians to play most of the background characters.

  • #84. Escape from Alcatraz
    18/ Paramount Pictures

    #84. Escape from Alcatraz

    Year: 1979

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Decades ago, it was said that no one could escape from Alcatraz, but that didn’t stop three men from trying. Their real-life attempt was given the big screen treatment in 1979’s “Escape from Alcatraz,” which stars Clint Eastwood in the lead role. To this day, it’s unknown as to whether the men on which the movie was based actually survived.

  • #83. Children of Men
    19/ Universal Pictures

    #83. Children of Men

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 92%

    In a desolate future where humans are unable to reproduce, a miracle arrives in the form of a pregnancy. So goes the premise for “Children of Men,” a propulsive thriller based on a book of the same name. Among the movie’s many iconic scenes is one where a pig floats over the Battersea Power Station, making direct reference to the Pink Floyd album “Animals.”

  • #82. Captain Phillips
    20/ Scott Rudin Productions

    #82. Captain Phillips

    Year: 2013

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Tom Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips in 2013’s “Captain Phillips,” which tells the true story of a cargo ship hijacked by Somali terrorists. In the film, Phillips is hero of the day; however, a number of real-life crewmembers would claim that their captain ignored crucial warnings to steer clear of the Somali coastline, needlessly endangering the crew.

  • #81. Blood Simple
    21/ River Road Productions

    #81. Blood Simple

    Year: 1984

    Stacker score: 85.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 94%

    The Coen Brothers’ debut film, “Blood Simple,” is arguably one of their best. Contrary to its name, the movie is about a complicated series of double-crossings and misconceptions, all kicked into gear after a business owner hires a hitman to murder his wife. M. Emmet Walsh plays the hitman, and if you look closely enough, you can see bulges protruding from beneath his leisure suit. Apparently, Walsh insisted on being paid cash up front and proceeded to keep the stacks of money on him during the shoot.

  • #80. The Secret of NIMH
    22/ Aurora

    #80. The Secret of NIMH

    Year: 1982

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Proving that kids’ cartoons can have a dark side is “The Secret of NIMH,” the tale of a mouse who seeks help from a colony of rats. If there’s a distinct anti-Disney vibe to the premise, that’s no mistake: the film was actually created by former Disney animators who left the company in pursuit of edgier content.

  • #79. Midnight Run
    23/ Universal Pictures

    #79. Midnight Run

    Year: 1988

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Long before his comedic turn in “Meet the Parents,” Robert De Niro was showing off his lighter side in 1988’s “Midnight Run.” The movie centers on a bounty hunter who must bring a criminal accountant from New York to Los Angeles, with the two forming an unlikely friendship along the way. Allegedly, De Niro met with actual bounty hunters to prepare for his role

  • #78. Mean Streets
    24/ Warner Bros.

    #78. Mean Streets

    Year: 1973

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Showing off the more classic (and career-defining) side of Robert De Niro is Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets,” in which the actor plays a psychotic troublemaker. The movie also stars Harvey Keitel as a small time hoodlum trying to make his way up the mob ladder.Scorsese made the film on a shoestring budget of $500,000, allegedly spending most of the money on music for the soundtrack.

  • #77. Enter the Dragon
    25/ Warner Bros.

    #77. Enter the Dragon

    Year: 1973

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee infiltrates a criminal operation and squares off against a legion of bad guys in 1973’s “Enter the Dragon.” Lee underwent numerous injuries during filming, including a cobra bite to the hand. He survived those injuries only to die from a cerebral edema the same year the film was released.

  • #76. Donnie Darko
    26/ Pandora Cinema

    #76. Donnie Darko

    Year: 2001

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 91%

    A modern cult classic if there ever was one, “Donnie Darko” tells the surreal tale of a teenage boy who narrowly escapes death, only to be haunted by visions of a man wearing a rabbit suit. Richard Kelly’s debut film is so heady in its delivery that there are entire websites devoted to deciphering its meaning.

  • #75. Charade
    27/ Stanley Donen Films

    #75. Charade

    Year: 1963

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 8

    Tomatometer: 92%

    1963’s “Charade” is so full of good old-fashioned suspense that to this day many people think it was made by Alfred Hitchcock. In reality, Stanley Donen helmed the classic thriller, which stars Audrey Hepburn as a woman on the run from killers and Cary Grant as the man who comes to her aid. But can she trust him? Watch to find out.

  • #74. Bullitt
    28/ Solar Productions

    #74. Bullitt

    Year: 1968

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Steve McQueen stars as a San Francisco cop on the trail of a kingpin in 1968’s “Bullitt.” The movie is highly regarded not just for its hard-boiled main character, but for some of the most intense car chase sequences in cinematic history. In fact, automakers still release cars in honor of the movie and its star to this day.

  • #73. Blue Velvet
    29/ De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG)

    #73. Blue Velvet

    Year: 1986

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 94%

    Before twisting minds in “Twin Peaks,” legendary auteur David Lynch explored the dark side of suburbia in 1986’s “Blue Velvet.” The film is about a young man who discovers a severed ear and then investigates where it came from, getting in way over his head along the way. Dennis Hopper stars as Frank Booth, a psycho who inhales an unnamed gas in order to get his blood flowing. Originally, the gas was supposed to be helium, but the idea was scrapped after Hopper’s voice came out sounding too similar to Donald Duck’s.

  • #72. Blade Runner
    30/ Ladd Company, The

    #72. Blade Runner

    Year: 1982

    Stacker score: 86

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 90%

    In the midst of the initial “Star Wars” craze came Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” a noirish take on sci-fi that’s earned itself a healthy cult following over the years. In the film, Harrison Ford stars as a bounty hunter who must find and terminate a group of escaped replicants. Everything from the music to the characters to the set pieces is bursting with style and distinction, lending the film a breathtaking aesthetic all its own.

  • #71. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
    31/ Associates & Aldrich Company

    #71. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Year: 1962

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 92%

    As anyone who caught FX’s “Feud” is likely to know, actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye while filming 1962’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Yet all that behind the scenes friction amounted to a genuinely gripping thriller about a former child star and her paraplegic sister cooped up in a Hollywood mansion. It just goes to show that sometimes a little backstage drama can galvanize instead of compromise a finished product. 

  • #70. The Hurt Locker
    32/ Voltage Pictures

    #70. The Hurt Locker

    Year: 2008

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Movies don’t get much more straightforward in their intensity than Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” which follows a bomb squad sergeant as he dismantles explosives during the Iraq War. In spite of its broad acclaim, this movie remains the lowest grossing Best Picture winner of all time.

  • #69. The Bourne Ultimatum
    33/ Universal Pictures

    #69. The Bourne Ultimatum

    Year: 2007

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon deliver nonstop thrills and lots of shaky-cam action in “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third in a series of Jason Bourne movies. In the film, Bourne narrowly escapes the wrath of a CIA boss and his various assassins, all while searching for the truth behind his own life as a trained killer.

  • #68. Lucky Number Slevin
    34/ The Weinstein Company

    #68. Lucky Number Slevin

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 95%

    In a bad case of mistaken identity, a young man named Slevin finds himself in the middle of a mob war in 2006’s “Lucky Number Slevin. The movie stars a veritable array of talent, including Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley and Josh Hartnett in the title role. Both Hartnett and Liu enjoyed themselves tremendously while filming. In fact, Liu would go on to say this was the most fun she ever had making a movie.

  • #67. Jurassic Park
    35/ Universal Pictures

    #67. Jurassic Park

    Year: 1993

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 92%

    Leave it to Steven Spielberg to help usher in the era of CGI by making one of the best films of the 90s. That film was “Jurassic Park,” which brought dinosaurs to life like never before. At first, Spielberg wanted to use animatronics for the dinosaurs, having been inspired during the King Kong ride at a Universal Studios theme park. As that would have cost way too much money, computers were employed instead. For better or worse, cinema has never been quite the same.

  • #66. Dunkirk
    36/ Syncopy

    #66. Dunkirk

    Year: 2017

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” takes place during WWII and deals with the true story of Allied soldiers finding themselves under constant attack from the German Army. In the film, Nolan eschews traditional character development in favor of constant action and an almost permanent sense of dread. The result is a war saga quite unlike any other.

  • #65. Dirty Harry
    37/ Warner Bros.

    #65. Dirty Harry

    Year: 1971

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Known for its uncompromising depiction of violence and equally uncompromising lead character, “Dirty Harry” stars Clint Eastwood as a San Francisco cop assigned to track down “the Scorpio Killer.” Helping Eastwood perform the job is a fearless attitude and a silver .44 Magnum revolver. In many ways, this seminal film expanded upon the persona Eastwood had developed in classic Westerns, where he likewise took an “ends justifies the means” approach toward the pursuit of justice.

  • #64. Dawn of the Dead
    38/ Strike Entertainment

    #64. Dawn of the Dead

    Year: 1978

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 93%

    It doesn’t get much more thrilling than zombies, and 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead” remains a zombie classic. The film finds survivors seeking shelter in an abandoned shopping mall, which soon gets overrun by the walking dead. That shopping mall setting wasn’t arrived upon haphazardly, as director George Romero has said the film was in part a critique on the false sense of security provided by consumer culture.

  • #63. Arrival
    39/ Lava Bear Films

    #63. Arrival

    Year: 2016

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 94%

    In 2016’s “Arrival,” aliens have landed on Earth and it’s up to a top-notch linguist to figure out why. To lend the film a substantial degree of realism, director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer actually created their own alien language.

  • #62. Argo
    40/ Warner Bros.

    #62. Argo

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 96%

    In order to save six American hostages, CIA agents enter Tehran under the guise of a Hollywood production crew in 2012’s “Argo.” Directed by Ben Affleck, the movie is based on a real life hostage crisis that occurred in 1979. While the film does strive for authenticity, it reportedly overlooks Canada’s involvement in the rescue mission, which in real life was quite significant.

  • #61. All the President's Men
    41/ Warner Bros.

    #61. All the President's Men

    Year: 1976

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 93%

    From the annals of great journalism movies comes 1976’s “All the President’s Men,” the story of two reporters who blow the lid off the Nixon Watergate scandal. While the movie goes to great lengths to preserve the integrity of the book upon which it was based, it does take some liberties in the dialogue department. More to the point, the film introduced the phrase “follow the money,” which is now part of the national lexicon.

  • #60. Wait Until Dark
    42/ Warner Bros.

    #60. Wait Until Dark

    Year: 1967

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Starring Audrey Hepburn, 1967’s “Wait Until Dark” is about a blind woman who’s terrorized by small time criminals while they search her apartment for a stash of drugs. Horror legend Stephen King is a huge fan of the film, dubbing it the scariest movie of all time in his book “Danse Macabre.”

  • #59. The Usual Suspects
    43/ PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

    #59. The Usual Suspects

    Year: 1995

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.6

    Tomatometer: 88%

    Rife with taut writing, chilling music and legendary performances, “The Usual Suspects” centers on a group of ex-cons recruited by a criminal kingpin for a massive heist. Among the film’s stars is Benicio Del Toro, who crafted a unique dialect just for his character.

  • #58. The Player
    44/ Avenue Pictures

    #58. The Player

    Year: 1992

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Directed by Robert Altman and based on a novel of the same name, 1992’s “The Player” is a Hollywood satire and compelling thriller rolled into one. The movie tells the tale of a film executive who finagles his way into deals and out of murder charges. Look for cameos from just about everybody who was anybody around the time the film was made.

  • #57. The Long Goodbye
    45/ E-K-Corporation

    #57. The Long Goodbye

    Year: 1973

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Another classic from Robert Altman, 1973’s “The Long Goodbye” adapts a Raymond Chandler novel and stars Elliot Gould as famous detective Philip Marlowe. This was one of five movies that Gould and Altman would make together and was also one of the first movies to feature Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • #56. The Fugitive
    46/ Warner Bros.

    #56. The Fugitive

    Year: 1993

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Harrison Ford plays a falsely accused murderer on the run in “The Fugitive,” which was based on a TV series of the same name. The film delivers no shortage of memorable dialogue, an impressive feat given the fact that the actors improvised many of their lines.

  • #55. Reservoir Dogs
    47/ Live Entertainment

    #55. Reservoir Dogs

    Year: 1992

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Tomatometer: 91%

    Quentin Tarantino made his directorial debut with 1992’s “Reservoir Dogs,” and he’s been a Hollywood mainstay ever since. Accordingly, this movie about a group of strangers gathered together for a robbery is an absolute master class in independent filmmaking. Fun fact: the actor who played Mr. Blue was a former bank robber turned author in real life.

  • #54. No Country for Old Men
    48/ Paramount Vantage

    #54. No Country for Old Men

    Year: 2007

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 93%

    The Coen Brothers were well into their careers as legendary filmmakers by the time they made “No Country for Old Men,” and yet the film stands out as one of their best. Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, the film tells the story of a man who comes across a boatload of drug money before finding himself in the crosshairs of a sadistic killer. In the film, Josh Brolin’s character gets shot in the arm and hobbles around in pain, which was fortuitous because the actor actually did break his shoulder right before shooting.

  • #53. Nightcrawler
    49/ Bold Films

    #53. Nightcrawler

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 95%

    “Nightcrawler” takes place amidst a media landscape where news programs outbid one another for footage of death and disaster. It’s the ideal environment for Jake Gyllenhaal’s shady character to make a living, and he scores big time after arriving upon a murder scene before the police do. It would all be the stuff of satire if it didn’t seem so uncomfortably plausible in today’s times.

  • #52. Logan
    50/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #52. Logan

    Year: 2017

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Set in a futuristic wasteland straight out of “Mad Max,” 2017’s “Logan” finds Wolverine battling all sorts of odds in order to protect the people he cares about. While this is supposed to be the final film starring Hugh Jackman as the razor-clawed mutant, the actor has suggested he’d be willing to reprise the role if the right Deadpool/Wolverine crossover called for it

  • #51. Inception
    51/ Warner Bros.

    #51. Inception

    Year: 2010

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.8

    Tomatometer: 86%

    In 2010’s “Inception,” Christopher Nolan takes the action inside . . . the mind, that is. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief skilled in the art of extraction, i.e. retrieving important data by entering another person’s dream world. With a premise that involves exploring dreams within dreams, the film can get rather confusing at times. In fact, when they show “Inception” on TV in Japan, the broadcast includes text in the upper corner to let viewers know which level of the dream world the characters are in.

  • #50. Gravity
    52/ Warner Bros.

    #50. Gravity

    Year: 2013

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 96%

    In order to make 2013’s “Gravity,” director Alfonso Cuaron and his team didn’t just spend years in the computer animation studio, but actually invented new technology along the way. And that was all before they even began shooting with actors. Suffice to say, the effort paid off, as the 3-D film about two astronauts trying to survive in space was a massive hit upon its release.

  • #49. Casino Royale
    53/ Columbia Pictures

    #49. Casino Royale

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 87

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 94%

    2006’s “Casino Royale” doesn’t just mark Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond, but portrays Agent 007’s very first mission. In the film, Bond squares off against a range of enemies over a high-stakes game of poker. Since this is a prequel of sorts, it’s not really a spoiler to mention that Bond makes it out alive.

  • #48. The Insider
    54/ Touchstone Pictures

    #48. The Insider

    Year: 1999

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Sometimes a thriller doesn’t need to go big on explosions or mysteries in order to retain an atmosphere of suspense. For proof, look no further than Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” about a chemist’s harrowing attempt to expose Big Tobacco by appearing on “60 Minutes.” The film is based on the real life story of Jeffrey Wigand, who requested that not a single cigarette be smoked on screen. With the exception of one puff during the opening sequence, Mann obliged.

  • #47. The Great Escape
    55/ Mirisch Company, The

    #47. The Great Escape

    Year: 1963

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Putting actor Steve McQueen in a POW escape movie is virtually guaranteeing one of the best thrillers of all time. That movie was “The Great Escape,” and it features McQueen leading a group of allies out of a German internment camp. Charles Bronson stars as the chief tunneler, drawing upon his previous experiences as a coal miner for the role.

  • #46. The Departed
    56/ Warner Bros.

    #46. The Departed

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    Tomatometer: 90%

    Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio play undercover agents on opposite sides of the law in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.” The movie was a star-studded affair to say the least, with about half the $90 million budget going toward actors’ salaries.

  • #45. Out of the Past
    57/ RKO Radio Pictures

    #45. Out of the Past

    Year: 1947

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 94%

    True to the era in which it was made, 1947’s “Out of the Past” shows a former private eye being lured back to the big city, entering a world of danger, double crosses and dames. Humphrey Bogart originally expressed interest in playing the lead, seeing numerous parallels between this film and “The Maltese Falcon.” Ultimately, it was Robert Mitchum who landed the job.

  • #44. Hell or High Water
    58/ Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

    #44. Hell or High Water

    Year: 2016

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 99%

    Combining a simple premise with poignant social commentary, 2016’s “Hell or High Water” tells the story of two brothers who rob banks in order to save their family’s ranch. Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan was partly inspired to write the film after visiting his hometown and seeing nothing but closed storefronts and empty houses.

  • #43. Gilda
    59/ Columbia Pictures

    #43. Gilda

    Year: 1946

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 97%

    A small time gambler goes to Buenos Aires, rekindles an old flame and finds himself in dangerous waters in 1946’s “Gilda.” The movie stars screen legend Rita Hayworth in the title role. Her character was so mesmerizing that she was later quoted as saying that the men in her life “fell in love with Gilda and woke up with me.”

  • #42. Forbidden Planet
    60/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #42. Forbidden Planet

    Year: 1956

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 98%

    While visiting a planet colony inhabited by scientists, a team of astronauts encounter the stuff of nightmares in “Forbidden Planet.” Bolstered by a groundbreaking electronic score, this was the first film set entirely on another planet.

  • #41. Fargo
    61/ PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

    #41. Fargo

    Year: 1996

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 94%

    While the premise of a man who hires two criminals to abduct his wife might sound like standard Hollywood fare, 1996’s “Fargo” is quite unlike any other film of its kind. Arguably the Coen Brothers’ most quintessential work, this movie performed well at the box office and even spawned a hit TV series on FX. But the FX series actually marks the second time “Fargo” was adapted for the small screen: before that came a TV adaptation in 1997 which was passed over by networks. 

  • #40. Dog Day Afternoon
    62/ Warner Bros.

    #40. Dog Day Afternoon

    Year: 1975

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 95%

    As much a comedy and a drama as it is a thriller, 1975’s “Dog Day Afternoon” is based on the true story of a man who robs a bank in order to pay for his partner’s sex-change operation. What follows is a media circus for the ages. Al Pacino stars in the lead role and bears a striking resemblance to his real-life counterpart.

  • #39. Die Hard
    63/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #39. Die Hard

    Year: 1988

    Stacker score: 87.5

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 93%

    Awash with unforgettable dialogue, flying bullets and blood-soaked ultraviolence, 1988’s “Die Hard” kicked off a trend of aggressive action movies that continues to this day. In the film, NYPD Officer John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) attends his wife’s office Christmas party, only to find himself squaring off against a team of international terrorists. Unbeknownst to a number of fans is that this movie was actually based on the 1979 novel “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which was in turn inspired by the 1974 film “The Towering Inferno.”

  • #38. The French Connection
    64/ Philip D'Antoni Productions

    #38. The French Connection

    Year: 1971

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Before shocking audiences with 1973’s “The Exorcist,” director William Friedkin was helming one of the most epic car chase sequences in movie history in “The French Connection.” The film stars Gene Hackman as a cop on the trail of drug smugglers. Not only was the aforementioned car chase filmed without proper permits, but the movie also includes an unplanned car crash.

  • #37. The Big Sleep
    65/ Warner Bros.

    #37. The Big Sleep

    Year: 1946

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Another private detective story lifted from the pages of Raymond Chandler, 1946’s “The Big Sleep” was simply loaded with talent. Specifically, the acclaimed film noir was directed by Howard Hawks from a screenplay co-written by novelist William Faulkner, with legends Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall playing the lead roles. Then there’s the story itself, about a private detective who gets lured into a case involving blackmail, murder and romance. Indeed, this one’s a classic in pretty much every sense of the word.

  • #36. Key Largo
    66/ Warner Bros.

    #36. Key Largo

    Year: 1948

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Two years after the release of “The Big Sleep” came “Key Largo,” which again capitalized on the natural chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and wife Lauren Bacall (it was, in fact, their fourth and final film together). This time around, Bogart plays Frank McCloud, who visits a friend’s ramshackle hotel in Key Largo to find it being overrun by gangsters. While a hurricane rages outside, McCloud reluctantly faces off against his newfound adversaries.

  • #35. In the Heat of the Night
    67/ Mirisch Corporation, The

    #35. In the Heat of the Night

    Year: 1967

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 96%

    An African American detective encounters all sorts of hostile resistance while investigating a small southern town homicide in 1967’s “In the Heat of the Night.” The movie stars Sidney Poitier in the lead role and includes a scene in which Poitier’s character gets slapped by a southerner before quickly slapping the southerner back. The scene, which would later be dubbed “the slap heard ‘round the world,” helped land the film a Best Picture win at the Oscars.

  • #34. High Noon
    68/ Stanley Kramer Productions

    #34. High Noon

    Year: 1952

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Gary Cooper plays a sheriff who reluctantly battles a gang of revenge-seeking killers in 1952’s “High Noon.” The famous film was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who nearly got run over by a train during the shoot.

  • #33. Get Out
    69/ Universal Pictures

    #33. Get Out

    Year: 2017

    Stacker score: 88

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 99%

    Still fresh on everyone’s minds is Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” the 2017 thriller about an African American who visits his white girlfriend’s family and unwittingly gets ensnared in a diabolical scheme. As one might imagine, the film is rife with racist overtones and comic jabs at upper crust society. However, there are also some less obvious references to America’s history with racism. For instance, a teacup and spoon play an important role in the film, alluding to the slave era, when masters would use a teacup and spoon to summon slaves

  • #32. Touch of Evil
    70/ Universal International Pictures (UI)

    #32. Touch of Evil

    Year: 1958

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 96%

    Orson Welles might be best known today as the singular force behind “Citizen Kane,” but nearly as worthy of note is his 1958 offering, “Touch of Evil.” The film is about police corruption in a small Mexican border town. Unlike “Citizen Kane,” however, Welles lost creative control over this project, and was even fired during post-production. In 1998, a re-edited version more in line with the director’s intended vision was released.

  • #31. To Have and Have Not
    71/ Warner Bros.

    #31. To Have and Have Not

    Year: 1944

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    “To Have and Have Not” marks the first time Humphrey Bogart shares screen time with wife Lauren Bacall. Based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway, the film tells the story of an American expatriate who helps smuggle a French Resistance leader and his wife to Martinique during WWII. Like many Bogart films, this one is rife with memorable dialogue, including the now famous “you know how to whistle” sequence

  • #30. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
    72/ Palomar Pictures (I)

    #30. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    Year: 1974

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 100%

    Not to be confused with the lackluster 2009 remake, 1974’s “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” is a gripping thriller about a team of criminals who hijack a New York subway. Viewers of the film might notice that the criminals all take on pseudonyms named after colors, a plot device that Quentin Tarantino himself would later employ in “Reservoir Dogs.”

  • #29. The Killing
    73/ Harris-Kubrick Productions

    #29. The Killing

    Year: 1956

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    One of master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s earliest works, “The Killing” tracks a group of thieves as they plan and execute a racetrack robbery, then deal with the subsequent fallout. The film’s story is told in non-linear fashion from multiple perspectives, which originally turned off audiences during test screenings and even forced Kubrick back into the editing suite. In the end, however, the movie was released as it was originally intended.

  • #28. The Conversation
    74/ Directors Company, The

    #28. The Conversation

    Year: 1974

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Tomatometer: 98%

    In between making “The Godfather” and “The Godfather II,” Francis Ford Coppola released “The Conversation,” a comparatively modest but effectively unnerving film about a surveillance expert who thinks his next targets are going to be murdered. The highly acclaimed movie won Palmes D’Or at Cannes and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It would ultimately suffer defeat in the Best Picture category to “The Godfather II,” making 1974 a really good year for Coppola.

  • #27. Sleuth
    75/ Palomar Pictures (I)

    #27. Sleuth

    Year: 1972

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 96%

    In “Sleuth,” a successful mystery writer gets involved in a real life mystery of his own. The film stars Michael Caine in one of the lead roles, and the actor popped up again in a remake 35 years later.

  • #26. Rope
    76/ Warner Bros.

    #26. Rope

    Year: 1948

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Another Hitchcock classic, 1948’s “Rope” follows a group of men as they murder a classmate, hide the body in a chest and then invite a group of friends over for a dinner party. As the party ensues, the killers get somewhat cocky about their crime, compromising themselves in the process. The film was shot in a series of eight-minute takes (the most that cameras would allow at the time) and is loosely based on a real-life event.

  • #25. Notorious
    77/ RKO Radio Pictures

    #25. Notorious

    Year: 1946

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Alfred Hitchcock appears on the list yet again, this time for 1946’s “Notorious,” the story of a woman who’s asked to spy on a group of Nazis in South America. The director famously made cameos in his own movies, and this one was no exception. Look for Hitchcock drinking champagne around the hour mark at a party sequence

  • #24. Memento
    78/ Newmarket Capital Group

    #24. Memento

    Year: 2000

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    Tomatometer: 92%

    Giving Hitchcock a run for his money (in terms of appearances on this list) is Christopher Nolan, who first wowed audiences with 2000’s “Memento.” The film tells the story of a man with short-term memory loss, who must outmaneuver his own condition in order to solve his wife’s murder. While the movie might seem to take its liberties regarding amnesia, it’s reportedly relished by neuroscientists, many of whom say the film is actually quite accurate in its depiction.

  • #23.  Jaws
    79/ Zanuck/Brown Productions

    #23. Jaws

    Year: 1975

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    The original blockbuster, 1975’s “Jaws” pits a great white shark against unsuspecting locals and tourists in a small coastal town. As most are aware, this film made director Steven Spielberg a household name, though what is less commonly known is the fact that he wasn’t the studio’s first choice. Lucky for Spielberg, the director who was originally attached was fired after he kept referring to the shark as a whale during production meetings.

  • #22. In a Lonely Place
    80/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #22. In a Lonely Place

    Year: 1950

    Stacker score: 88.5

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 97%

    Humphrey Bogart plays a potentially dangerous screenwriter suspected of murder in 1950’s “In a Lonely Place.” Starring beside Bogart is actress Gloria Grahame, who separated from her husband during filming. Making the separation much more awkward was the fact that her husband happened to be the film’s director, Nicholas Ray.

  • #21. The Night of the Hunter
    81/ Paul Gregory Productions

    #21. The Night of the Hunter

    Year: 1955

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 98%

    In “The Night of the Hunter,” a depression-era con man assumes the role of a preacher in order to swindle an unsuspecting widow out of $10,000. The film was directed by actor Charles Laughton and would end up being his only credited directorial effort.

  • #20. The Manchurian Candidate
    82/ M.C. Productions

    #20. The Manchurian Candidate

    Year: 1962

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Frank Sinatra, 1962’s “The Manchurian Candidate” is a harrowing political thriller about a former POW who’s brainwashed into becoming an assassin. The executives at United Artists were originally reluctant to produce the film, fearing its political premise was far too controversial. Their sentiment changed after Sinatra reached out to his good friend President John F. Kennedy, who made a direct plea to the UA studio head and got the film greenlit.

  • #19. Strangers on a Train
    83/ Warner Bros.

    #19. Strangers on a Train

    Year: 1951

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Alfred Hitchcock continues to reign over this list, this time with 1951’s “Strangers on a Train.” Adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the premise deals with two men who agree to swap murders in order to forge stronger alibis. Mystery writer Raymond Chandler wrote an early draft of the screenplay, but virtually nothing from the draft would make it onto the big screen. However, Warner Bros insisted on giving Chandler screenwriting credit as a marketing ploy.

  • #18. Scarface
    84/ The Caddo Company

    #18. Scarface

    Year: 1932

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 100%

    It’s the rise and fall of a psychotic gangster in 1932’s “Scarface,” which was co-directed by Howard Hawks. The film was a big hit among real life mobsters. In fact, it’s rumored that Al Capone obtained his own personal copy, something pretty difficult to do back in those days.

  • #17. Mad Max: Fury Road
    85/ Warner Bros.

    #17. Mad Max: Fury Road

    Year: 2015

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 97%

    The legendary Mad Max series got a 21st century upgrade in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” It pairs the post-apocalyptic warrior with a group of female rebels as they all try to escape a vicious overlord. The blockbuster was made at a time when CGI was ubiquitous, but that didn’t stop director George Miller from using practical effects and stunts for about 80% of the action sequences.

  • #16. Cape Fear
    86/ Melville Productions

    #16. Cape Fear

    Year: 1962

    Stacker score: 89

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Tomatometer: 100%

    A lawyer finds himself being stalked by a former client in 1962’s “Cape Fear.” The movie was a financial failure upon its release, though it’s earned a strong following over the years, thanks in part to a 1991 remake directed by Martin Scorsese.

  • #15. Vertigo
    87/ Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

    #15. Vertigo

    Year: 1958

    Stacker score: 89.5

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Tomatometer: 95%

    What, you thought we were done with Alfred Hitchcock? The master of suspense was back and better than ever with 1958’s “Vertigo,” which centers on a private investigator with a fear of heights who becomes obsessed with a woman he’s hired to follow. Featured in the film is a now-famous “vertigo effect,” which was credited to Hitchcock at the time. As it turns out, it was second unit cameraman Irwin Roberts who actually came up with the effect.

  • #14. Double Indemnity
    88/ Paramount Pictures

    #14. Double Indemnity

    Year: 1944

    Stacker score: 89.5

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Tomatometer: 96%

    A noir classic from Billy Wilder, “Double Indemnity” tells the story of an insurance salesman who’s seduced into a murder plot by a gorgeous femme fatale. Actress Barbara Stanwyck landed the role of the seductress, and she was initially hesitant to play a diabolical killer. In response, Wilder asked her, “are you a mouse or an actress?”

  • #13. Shadow of a Doubt
    89/ Universal Pictures

    #13. Shadow of a Doubt

    Year: 1943

    Stacker score: 90

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Tomatometer: 100%

    In Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt,” a woman fears that her visiting uncle is not the man he appears to be. In fact, her uncle might very well be a serial killer known as the Merry Widow Murderer. Hitchcock often claimed that this was his personal favorite among his many films.

  • #12. On the Waterfront
    90/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #12. On the Waterfront

    Year: 1954

    Stacker score: 90

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Marlon Brando plays a former boxer who takes a job as a longshoremen and finds himself at odds with corrupt union bosses in Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront.” Brando nabbed the role from Frank Sinatra, who reportedly carried a grudge for the rest of his life.

  • #11. Chinatown
    91/ Paramount Pictures

    #11. Chinatown

    Year: 1974

    Stacker score: 90

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 98%

    Set in 1937, Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” is about a private investigator who finds himself embroiled in a wide-reaching scheme involving Los Angeles’ water supply. Written by Robert Towne and starring Jack Nicholson, the film is often pointed to as delivering perfect narrative structure. However, that perfection was only achieved after multiple compromises, including a complete change to the scripted ending.

  • #10. The Silence of the Lambs
    92/ Strong Heart/Demme Production

    #10. The Silence of the Lambs

    Year: 1991

    Stacker score: 90.5

    IMDb rating: 8.6

    Tomatometer: 95%

    Adapted from the best-selling novel by Thomas Harris, “The Silence of the Lambs” remains a benchmark in the thriller genre. That’s in no small part thanks to Anthony Hopkins’ turn as serial killer Hannibal Lecter, who enjoys toying with minds as much as he does devouring bodies. Hopkins would later claim he was able to portray the iconic character by combining author Truman Capote and actress Katherine Hepburn with the HAL computer from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

  • #9. Anatomy of a Murder
    93/ Otto Preminger Films

    #9. Anatomy of a Murder

    Year: 1959

    Stacker score: 90.5

    IMDb rating: 8.1

    Tomatometer: 100%

    In “Anatomy of a Murder,” an accused man pleads temporary insanity while on trial for murdering his wife’s rapist. As the courtroom drama unfolds, it turns out there’s far more to both the murder and the man than first meets the eye. Ultimately, it’s up to the prosecutor (played by George C. Scott) to get to the truth of the matter.

  • #8. Rebecca
    94/ Selznick International Pictures

    #8. Rebecca

    Year: 1940

    Stacker score: 91

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    Tomatometer: 100%

    More thrillers means more Hitchcock, and 1940’s “Rebecca” finds the master in top form. The film centers on a newlywed woman who moves in with her recently widowed husband and finds herself unable to escape the looming presence of his deceased former wife. This is the only Hitchcock film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

     

  • #7. Psycho
    95/ Shamley Productions

    #7. Psycho

    Year: 1960

    Stacker score: 91

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    Tomatometer: 97%

    No list of best thrillers is complete without Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which tells the story of a serial killing hotel owner who works out his mommy issues on unwitting guests. The film’s premise was quite controversial for its time, prompting Paramount Studios to back out of financing. Hitch himself ended up using his own money to get the film made, in exchange for 60% ownership. Suffice to say, that ended up working out in the director’s favor.

  • #6. L.A. Confidential
    96/ Regency Enterprises

    #6. L.A. Confidential

    Year: 1997

    Stacker score: 91

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Tomatometer: 99%

    Based on James Ellroy’s novel, “L.A. Confidential” takes place against a backdrop of widespread corruption as three policemen investigate a murder that isn’t what it seems. Ellroy himself felt the book could never be adapted for the big screen. The author was wrong in this assumption and ended up quite pleased with the results.

  • #5. Aliens
    97/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #5. Aliens

    Year: 1986

    Stacker score: 91

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Tomatometer: 98%

    In 1979, Ridley Scott terrified audiences with “Alien,” and in 1986, James Cameron delivered “Aliens,” a sequel that cranked up the action while toning down the horror. Cameron would later become well known for his authoritative methodology, but at the time he was considered a novice, which made it hard for him to earn the respect of his assistant director and the film crew alike. In response, Cameron had the assistant director replaced, quashing a potential uprising.

  • #4. Witness for the Prosecution
    98/ Edward Small Productions

    #4. Witness for the Prosecution

    Year: 1957

    Stacker score: 92

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Tomatometer: 100%

    Sometimes the best thrillers are the ones that play out in the courtroom. That’s certainly the case in “Witness for the Prosecution,” in which a British lawyer defends a man accused of murder during a deliriously unpredictable trial. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder and based on a play by legendary mystery author Agatha Christie.

  • #3. The Dark Knight
    99/ Warner Bros.

    #3. The Dark Knight

    Year: 2008

    Stacker score: 92

    IMDb rating: 9.0

    Tomatometer: 94%

    The second Batman film from Christopher Nolan is now widely considered one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. We’re speaking, of course, of “The Dark Knight,” which sees Christian Bale returning as the caped crusader and Heath Ledger famously tackling the Joker. To best capture the role, Ledger reportedly drew upon a slew of influences, including Sex Pistols members Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten as well as Alex from “A Clockwork Orange.”

  • #2. North by Northwest
    100/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #2. North by Northwest

    Year: 1959

    Stacker score: 92

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Tomatometer: 100%

    In Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” a case of mistaken identity sends a New York ad executive down a dangerous path as he struggles to survive while being hunted by international spies. Featuring a brilliant score by Bernard Herrmann along with some of old Hollywood’s most memorable set pieces, the film infused the thriller genre with ideas that are still being utilised to this day.

  • #1. Rear Window
    101/ Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

    #1. Rear Window

    Year: 1954

    Stacker score: 92.5

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    Tomatometer: 100%

    Unsurprisingly taking the number one spot is Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” the story of a wheelchair-bound photographer who’s convinced his neighbor is a murderer. The movie explores themes of doubt and paranoia with impeccable precision and remains a cornerstone of the thriller genre. Meanwhile, some of the film’s events were inspired by real life murder cases.

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