While a suspense movie can be hard to describe, the best thriller films manage to weave a compelling story, while still keeping their audiences continually guessing. Whether you’re watching a crime plot unfold before your eyes or a psychological thriller thrill you, suspense movies are the perfect way to spend a movie night in or out.
The 30 Best Suspense Movies on Netflix
1. 'Uncut Gems'
Nothing says suspense like this 2020 Sadfie’s brother film. Full of twists and turns that will have you the edge of your couch, Uncut Gems follows jewelry seller Howie Ratner (Adam Sandler) as he jumps through hoops to pay off his gambling debts by selling an expensive and risky gem. Ratner’s foolproof plan quickly falls through, as he entangles himself further into debt collectors, marital problems, and Kevin Garnett (yes, Kevin Garnett).
2. 'See You Yesterday'
This science-fiction debut put the thrills first, as it follows as a group of kids desperate to go back in time. C.J, a killer science genius who is shocked when her brother is killed by a police officer. Instead of giving in, C.J builds a time machine and is forced to race against the clock to change her brother’s fate, without changing the future forever.
This mystery thriller tells the tale of the famed Zodiac killer and the crack team who tried to hunt him down. A famed serial killer that stalked San Francisco Bay in the late ‘60s, the Zodiac killer was most well known for his self-involvement in the case, including taunting law enforcement with cryptic messages and presents. The case is full of second guesses, and baffles people to this day, making the film the perfect creepy watch.
4. 'Killing of a Sacred Deer'
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, this psychological suspense film depicts a cardiac surgeon desperate to reconnect with his past, who strikes an uncommon friendship with a teenage boy with a strange illness. This excellent suspense watch was and still is lauded as a masterpiece, and is based on a Greek tragedy by Euripides.
5. 'Molly’s Game'
If you love gambling or watching Sorkin films, then this is the movie night for you. Molly’s Game follows the real-life story of Molly Bloom, a former Olympic hopeful who uses her work ethic to start an underground poker kingdom. Molly, who eventually falls under an FBI investigation that could cost her everything, must use her wits to try to save the empire she built, without spilling any of the secrets she learned along the way.
Starring a young Ryan Gosling, Drive follows a stunt driver who drives for Hollywood and bank robbers on the same day. After he falls in love with his neighbor and the ready-made family she and her son can offer him, her ex threatens to ruin it all. After getting involved in a botched heist that could kill him, the driver must find a way to outrun his fate and get back to the family he desperately wants to begin. With an excellent soundtrack and fast-paced scenes, Drive is no bore.
7. 'Good Time'
Another goodie from the Safdie brothers, this suspenseful crime movie features Robert Pattinson racing against the clock, after his disabled brother is taken into police custody. Beyond the chases and neon lights, this film is shot beautifully, which means your eyes will have a treat while your heart continues to race.
8. 'Bird Box'
Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen Bird Box. But since it’s been a year (I know don’t remind me) since the film dominated our Twitter feeds, now might be the perfect time for a rewatch. Even if you know how the film ends, its twists and turns can still feel suspenseful, especially if you didn’t watch hard enough the first time.
9. 'The Devil All The Time'
If you’re looking for a suspense film you’ve never seen before, you’re in luck. Netflix just released The Devil All The Time, a mind-bending thriller that uses the passage of time to examine giant themes of evil, revenge, and power in a tiny town. If that synopsis doesn’t intrigue you, the absolutely stacked cast might. The film features Tom Holland, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Haley Bennet, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, and Robert Pattinson.
Want something that’ll leave in awe? Watch Nightcrawler. A Jack Gyllenhaal classic, this film is all about relationships. The story follows Lou Bloom, a freelance videographer who records crazy violent fights and events that happen at night in Los Angeles and sells it to television news stations, who can’t get enough of his violent content.
11. 'Strange But True'
What happens when the dead come back to life. In Strange But True, that’s the only thing that doesn’t happen. Instead, the Chase family is thrust back into the worst months of their lives, when the girlfriend of their deceased son turns up on their door. Ronnie died five years ago. But his very pregnant girlfriend is convinced that the baby she’s currently carrying is his. Cue the suspense.
12. 'Taxi Driver
If you haven’t seen Taxi Driver, do you even like suspense movies? Set in New York after the Vietnam War, Taxi Driver takes suspense to the next level, embroiling audiences in presidential assassination attempts, prostitutes, and the light lit streets of New York.
13. 'Fatal Affair'
This new age psychological suspense film features Nia Long as Ellie Warren, a wife who must contend with a college roommate who turns stalkerish. With a mystery to unravel, Ellie must uncover the truth with her life on the line.
14. 'I am Mother'
This suspense flick has a science fiction twist, as it takes place in a bunker at the end of the world. In it, Daughter, a young girl, is raised by a robot willing to do anything to bring the world back into order. With twists that you’ll never see coming, I am Mother takes science to the next level.
15. 'El Camino'
Love Breaking Bad? Want to watch it in movie form? It’s incredibly suspenseful to see your favorite show turned into a feature film, which is why El Camino works so well. A movie that combines suspense themes with westerns, El Camino is the perfect watch to see some of your favorite Breaking Bad characters back together again.
16. 'The Red Sea Diving Resort'
This thriller takes spies from Mossad, and refugees on to a new level. Starring Chris Evans, the movie is based on Operation Moses and Operation Joshua, two undercover operations that helped Jews based in Ethiopia smuggle themselves to freedom.
17. 'The Invitation'
This horror film takes suspense and shoves it down the viewers’ proverbial throats. When a man brings his girlfriend to his wife’s dinner party, he is forced to deal with the hurt it causes to relive his child’s death. And in the meantime, he’s pretty sure meeting his new fling wasn’t the real reason his wife invited him over. With heart-pounding twists, this is one film you won’t walk away from at ease.
Want suspense? What about the story of a husband who comes into the hospital with his family, only to be convinced that he came in alone? Welcome to Fractured. When Ray takes his wife and daughter to the hospital after a small injury, he wakes up to discover the hospital has no idea who he is. Fractured uncovers the mystery of what happened to his family, and follows a man either fighting for his life, or on the verge of a mental breakdown.
19. 'November Criminals'
When Addison’s (Ansel Elgort) friend Kevin is killed at his bakery job, he must uncover the reason his friend died, something the police refuse to help with. Months from graduating, Addison must try to uncover the truth while keeping the people he loves safe.
20. 'I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore'
This film combines comedy and suspense to bring a crime story that keeps on giving. When a nursing assistant is robbed of her prized possessions, it takes the help of a neighbor to regain her things and her sense of self.
21. 'The Hateful Eight'
A Tarantino film turned into a miniseries, The Hateful Eight follows a bounty hunter, a fugitive, a lodge owner, a cowboy, a general, as they walk into a bar, well, um a stagecoach lodge. The suspense is absolutely palpable, just as a Tarantino film should be.
22. 'Train To Busan'
This suspense film takes action to the next level when a divorced father and his daughter try to visit her mother on the train. An infected person on the train quickly becomes a zombie, threatening the lives of everyone on board. As the train continues, a small group forms, that realizes the zombie attack isn’t just on the train but spreading through the entire country.
23. 'The Platform'
The Platform is simple. People live in simple cells stacked on top of each other, with a common hole in the middle. Food is lowered down once a day on a platform, moving from the top to the bottom Those at the top feast, but those at the bottom starve. With ever-evolving rules, the Platform defies expectations and keeps the suspense up to the bitter end.
This thriller features the son of a drug lord, who is kidnaped for ransom. Black market gun for hire Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) must create a crew to rescue the kidnapped son. But when you’re working with criminals, for criminals, you never know who you can trust.
25. 'Project Power'
What if there was a pill that could make you a superhero, but only for a short time? That’s the basis of Project Power, where this magic drug is circulated regularly on the street, and it’s up to Jamie Foxx to stop it and rescue his daughter at the same time.
The world is ice, and Chris Evans wants to climb to the top. In Snowpiercer, humans have survived the ice age by traversing the earth in a continuously moving train. The rich passengers party at the front, while the poor starve at the end of the train. Curtis (Evans) leads a violent expedition to the front, where the world is never as it seems.
27. 'The Gift'
This 2015 features Jason Bateman, who is forced to confront his past when an old classmate turns up at his new home with a bone to pick. The Gift is never what it seems, and the film makes sure you never assume anything for too long.
28. 'Velvet Buzzsaw'
Love the art world? Well, you might not after watching Velvet Buzzsaw. When an art critic exhibits the work of a dead man in his gallery, the success comes with a price. When the paintings come alive, the artists involved begin to fear for their lives.
29. 'In The Shadow Of The Moon'
A police officer and a detective investigate several spontaneous deaths. When they start to look connected, the trail turns dark, weaving a web of deceit, confusion, and fear in the heart of 1980s Philadelphia.
30. 'I’m Thinking Of Ending Things'
You’ll never know what I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is about. And that’s the way that Kaufman wants it. Created by the celebrated director, the film takes a girlfriend trying to break up with her boyfriend on a trip to visit his parents and turns it into a mysterious tale of suspense.
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