Netflix offers a wide range of thriller films in various languages from different countries, providing a plethora of options for everyone.
Who doesn’t enjoy a little excitement here and there? Our daily lives certainly can’t be full of suspense and surprises, making us anticipate what comes next all the time. Perhaps this is why we enjoy thrillers so much.
Netflix’s library has enough thrillers to keep you engrossed whenever you wish for it. The streaming platform has films from different countries and different time periods, allowing the audience to pick the setting of their choice.
After going through Netflix’s library, we have picked the 50 best Netflix thriller films; that is, these films are either Netflix originals or were acquired by Netflix.
The films have been ranked based on the ratings and the reviews each of them received as well as the opinions of our editors.
Here are the top 50 Netflix thriller films, including psychological, crime, political, and action thrillers, that every thriller fan must watch:
Editor’s note: This article was last updated in December 2023
50. Fractured (2019)
Cast: Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe, Stephen Tobolowsky, Adjoa Andoh, Lucy Capri
Director: Brad Anderson
This psychological thriller is set on a fateful night when Ray Monroe is driving back home with his wife Joanne and daughter Peri after spending Thanksgiving with the grandparents.
The family halts at a highway rest stop where Peri falls and fractures her arm. The trio rushes to a nearby hospital and has some difficulty getting Peri checked.
As the doctor finally sees her, Ray falls asleep, only to wake up and realize that his family is missing. The hospital staff claims that he came alone and nothing makes sense.
Now, it is up to him to get to the bottom of this mind-boggling mystery. Fractured had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 22, 2019. It was released on Netflix a month later.
49. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalia Dyer, John Malkovich
Director: Dan Gilroy
A film encapsulating the Los Angeles contemporary art scene, Velvet Buzzsaw introduces art critic Morf Vanderwalt, a highly dogmatic critic who wields immense power.
Soon after, a woman named Josephina discovers the body of an artist named Vetril Dease, who lived a troubled life. Furthermore, she discovers several curious paintings in his studio.
She takes them, and it is not long before anyone associated with these stolen artworks starts dying in a gruesome manner. Vanderwalt finally discovers the truth behind these killings, but it might be too late.
The film vaguely resembles the life of Henry Darger, a recluse artist whose work was heralded after his death. Just like Dease’s character, Darger also spent some time in an asylum.
48. Shimmer Lake (2017)
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, John Michael Higgins, Mark Rendall, Rob Corddry, Ron Livingston
Director: Oren Uziel
Another neo-noir crime thriller, Shimmer Lake is unique in its narrative style as the tale is told backward from Friday to Tuesday.
The story focuses on a bank robbery gone wrong and sheriff Zeke Sikes investigating the same. We find out that his brother Andy and two former friends are involved in it.
As the plot reverses to the day of the heist, a shocking revelation about Zeke flips the whole plot on its head.
The film was mentioned in the 2009 Black List, a record of the “most liked” unmade scripts in Hollywood. Netflix acquired the distribution rights for it in 2016.
47. Rogue City (2020)
Cast: Lannick Gautry, Stanislas Merhar, Kaaris, David Belle, Patrick Catalifo, Jean Reno, Moussa Maaskri
Director: Olivier Marchal
A tale of chaos, corruption, and gang violence, this French thriller is set in Marseilles and narrows in on an anti-gang Police unit, infamous for its unorthodox methods.
After a gang conflict results in a mass shooting at a nightclub, the squad engages in an investigation, and the situation starts spiraling.
Amid allegations of corruption, a key witness is murdered in custody, and the narcotics team locks horns with the anti-gang brigade for killing one of their undercover officers in an operation.
To make things worse, the gangs decide to bring the fight to the corrupt authorities. Rogue City was the second most-streamed film on Netflix during the first week of its release on October 30, 2020.
46. Code Name: Emperor (2022)
Cast: Luis Tosar, Alexandra Masangkay, Georgina Amorós, Laura Domínguez, Miguel Rellán
Director: Jorge Coira
A political spy thriller, Code Name: Emperor is a Spanish film revolving around Juan, an intelligence agency operative who oversees a small team and is assigned to stop an illegal import of black market Cobalt-60 into the country.
The target is a wealthy couple, and Juan woos their maid, Wendy to gain access to the house. Incidentally, he starts falling for her but is distraught when she discovers the truth.
Furthermore, he is instructed to honeytrap a seemingly clean politician using an underage teenager.
Shockingly, his investigation reveals startling information about the intelligence agency itself, and Juan decides to blow the whistle on his employers.
The film was originally titled Código Emperador and has been nominated in eight categories at the upcoming 21st Mestre Mateo Awards.
45. Monica, O My Darling (2022)
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Sikander Kher
Director: Vasan Bala
The plot of this neo-noir crime thriller focuses on a talented engineer Johnny who, despite being engaged, has an affair with a woman named Monica Machado.
In a shocking turn of events, Monica reveals she is pregnant and starts blackmailing Johnny. He later learns that he isn’t the only one being tortured by the woman and hatches a devious plan with the other two men.
They plan to murder Monica for good, but things fall apart when she survives and someone else is killed. As a police investigation begins, a bigger and more complicated ploy is revealed.
The film is an adaptation of the 1989 Japanese novel Burutasu No Shinzou (Heart of Brutus) by Keigo Higashino. The title was inspired by the lyrics of the song “Piya Tu Ab To Aja” from the 1971 Hindi film Caravan.
44. The Post-Truth World (2022)
Cast: Joseph Chang, Edward Chen, Caitlin Fang, Aviis Zhong, Amber An, Shih Chih-tian, Chan Tzu-hsuan
Director: Chen I-fu
The Post-Truth World is a 2022 Taiwanese film that revolves around Chang Cheng-yi, a former sports star who is jailed for allegedly murdering his girlfriend.
Seven years later, he escapes from prison and takes a news anchor Liu Li-min, hostage to gain public attention.
The anchor uses this situation to take a shot at fame and decides to investigate Chang’s case. However, his probe unveils much more than he anticipated.
The film was nominated in three categories at the 59th Golden Horse Awards.
43. The Lost Patient (2022)
Cast: Txomin Vergez, Clotilde Hesme, Rebecca Williams, Audrey Dana, Stéphane Rideau, Matthieu Lucci, Alex Lawther
Director: Christophe Charrier
A French murder mystery thriller, The Lost Patient (originally titled Le patient) follows 19-year-old Thomas Grimaud, who wakes up in a hospital after three years in a coma.
Unable to recall anything about the cause of his condition, his psychologist Anna reveals to him that his family was murdered.
Thomas is the only survivor of the slaughter, while his sister Laura is still missing. Now, he must set out on a journey to locate Laura and discover the truth about that fateful night with Anna’s help.
It is based on the 2019 comic book of the same name by Timothé Le Boucher.
42. Rebecca (2020)
Cast: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Keeley Hawes, Tom Goodman-Hill
Director: Ben Wheatley
Maxim De Winter is a recently widowed man who meets a young woman and falls in love with her in a very short span of time. He marries her and takes the new Mrs. De Winter back to his mansion in Manderley, England.
Mrs. De Winter meets the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who makes it very clear that she despises this woman who has come in place of Rebecca, Maxim’s previous wife.
As Mrs. De Winter learns more about Rebecca and how her life ended, she is also faced with rough treatment from Mrs. Danvers who tries to drive a wedge between her and Maxim.
This romantic thriller is based on the 1938 novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, which was previously adapted in 1940 by Alfred Hitchcock.
41. Yara (2021)
Cast: Isabella Ragonese, Alessio Boni, Sandra Toffolatti, Mario Pirrello, Thomas Trabacchi
Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
When a 13-year-old girl goes missing in the small town of Bergamo, Prosecutor Letizia Ruggeri is assigned to the case and becomes obsessed with finding her.
As her investigation progresses there is increased media scrutiny and pressure from the public, and her superiors to solve the case.
The film is based on the real-life murder of Yara Gambirasio in 2010. The killer was caught several years later thanks to an extensive DNA database established when she first disappeared.
The film has a forlorn tone backed by a grim background score as the case of who kidnapped and eventually killed Yara is revealed.
40. Loving Adults (2022)
Cast: Dar Salim, Sonja Richter, Sus Noreen Jondahl Wilkins, Mikael Birkkjær, Katinka Lærke Petersen
Director: Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg
Christian and Leonora have been married for many years but their marriage is put to the test when their teenage son is diagnosed with a serious illness.
They assume the worst is done when their son is given a clean bill of health, but Leonora soon finds out that her husband is having an affair.
They both have secrets in their past that would ruin them if they got out so the couple resorts to terrible means to ensure that their relationship stays intact and they stay out of prison.
A suspense-filled thriller about a turbulent marriage that is turned on its head, Loving Adults is unpredictable and dark in its tone. The film is based on a novel and is the first Netflix original film from Denmark.
39. Bird Box (2018)
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Jacki Weaver, Lil Rel Howery, Sarah Paulson
Director: Susanne Bier
In a post-apocalyptic world, humans are beset by entities that show them their worst fears and push them to commit suicide. Malorie Hayes is a pregnant woman who bands with a group of survivors as they aim to learn more about the situation they are facing.
One by one, the group’s number dwindles until Malorie and Tom are the only ones left along with Malorie’s newborn baby and the baby of another woman. They survive in a cabin in the woods for five years before learning of a safe haven where they can live without fear.
Malorie must overcome major obstacles to get herself and the children to safety, all while trying to avoid looking at the entities and losing her mind.
Bird Box is adapted from a novel of the same name with the film rights optioned to Universal Pictures before the release of the novel in 2013. It was eventually picked up by Netflix in 2017.
Bird Box comes in third place on the list of/ most-watched films on Netflix based on hours streamed.
38. In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael C. Hall, Rudi Dharmalingam
Director: Kim Mickle
When multiple strange deaths occur miles away from each other in Philadelphia, Police officer Thomas Lockhart and his partner, Maddox are tasked with investigating the crime along with Lockhart’s brother-in-law, Detective Holt.
Things get more complicated when Lockhart confronts the primary suspect, a young woman who reveals intimate details about his life. What follows is a complex case that spans several years as Lockhart gradually untangles the mystery behind the stranger.
The time-travel aspect of this film is easy enough to understand and the mystery remains consistently intriguing in this sci-fi thriller.
The film had its original screening at Fantastic Fest held in Austin, Texas before releasing on Netflix a week later.
37. The Devil All the Time (2020)
Cast: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Bill Skarsgård, Jason Clarke, Riley Keough
Director: Antonio Campos
A slew of sinister characters is tied together by the cruel threads of fate as they carry out their misdeeds and eventually face the consequences of their actions.
Abuse, murder, crime, and insanity are all central themes in this tale of revenge with a young orphan named Arvin at the center of it. The story begins sometime during World War II and moves through the 1960s, as Arvin grows up and learns about the troubles of the world.
With a remarkable ensemble cast, The Devil All the Time contains serious subject matter with gruesome visuals. Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson are especially wonderful in this somber narrative.
The screenplay was adapted from the eponymous 2011 novel by author Donald Ray Pollock, who also serves as the narrator in the film. This was Pollock’s first time doing any narrating work, as he had not even done the narration for the audiobook.
36. The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
Cast: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, Toby Jones
Director: Scott Cooper
Augustus Landor is a retired detective who is down in the dumps with very little going his way. He’s an alcoholic, a widower, and his only daughter has run away from him.
Landor is called in by the military academy at West Point to investigate the murder of a cadet by what seems to be ritualistic means since his heart was carved out. Landor enlists the help of another cadet, Edgar Allan Poe, who shows an interest in the case.
As more cadets go missing, Landor and Poe dig deeper into the mystery and arrive at a stunning conclusion to the identity of the murderer.
Films that involve Edgar Allan Poe always have a grim, gothic tone to them and The Pale Blue Eye is no different, the brilliant score and the haunting locations contribute to a serious and intriguing story.
Bale and Melling are the standouts of the film, with their chemistry overflowing and their individual performances truly the pick of the bunch.
35. Manhunt (2017)
Cast: Hanyu Zhang, Masaharu Fukuyama, Ha Ji-Won, Jun Kunimura, Angeles Woo, Stephy Qi
Director: John Woo
Based on the novel Kimi yo Funnu no Kawa o Watare by Juko Nishimura, Manhunt follows Du Qiu, a lawyer working for a huge pharmaceutical firm in Japan.
Qiu has defended the company in several lawsuits but things begin to spiral right before his relocation to the United States.
Qiu is framed for murder and consequently goes on the run while trying to clear his name in the face of two determined detectives and many deadly assassins sent to kill Qiu.
He ultimately manages to uncover a huge drug conspiracy and the identity of the real murderer after a mountain of bloodshed.
Manhunt is directed by the legendary John Woo and contains all the hallmarks of the influential filmmaker including high-octane action sequences, fabulous visuals, and buckets of fun.
34. Extraction (2020)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, David Harbour, Bryon, Ryder Lerum, Priyanshu Painyuli
Director: Sam Hargrave
When an innocent young boy becomes the victim of a morbid underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers, it’s upon one of the world’s most fearful mercenaries, Tyler Rake, to move into one of the world’s most impenetrable cities and rescue the young boy.
Acting as deadly hurdles in the mission are countless thugs and henchmen of drug lords who are engaged in warfare of their own. However, Rake, a mercenary with a grim past and broken mind, moves about without a care for his life, or anyone else’s.
Joining him in the deadly mission are others who often find it difficult to carry out an already impossible endeavor, thanks to Rake’s nothing-to-lose fervor and philosophy to most things.
Navigating the crowded and congested streets of Bangladesh, the characters in the movie are put to the wringer and the weather extremities, as the camera employs a kinetic pace and movement, thanks to director Sam Hargrave’s work and sensibilities as a stuntman.
33. Unlocked (2023)
Cast: Chun Woo-hee, Im Si-wan, Kim Hee-won, Park Ho-san, Kim Ye-won, Oh Hyun-Kyung, Jeon Jin-oh, Kim Joo-Ryoung, Gil Hae-Yeon
Director: Kim Tae-Joon
A thrilling crime drama revolving around the banes of technology, Unlocked follows the woes and worries of a woman who loses her phone, which falls into the worst hands imaginable.
The dangerous man getting a hold of Lee Na-Mi’s lost smartphone is Jun-Yeong, who uses the modern invention to carry out a series of moves that enable him to infiltrate Lee Na-Mi’s life, without raising her suspicion.
Gradually, Lee Na-Mi’s situation worsens and her social life is rendered obsolete, but a twist during the finality of the film entails a thrilling series of events that catch up to the antagonist while unravelling chilling secrets about him as well.
In his directorial debut, Kim Tae-Joon weaves into the narrative a couple of elements pertaining to the themes of drama, mystery, thriller, and crime.
32. The Angel (2018)
Cast: Marwan Kenzari, Toby Kebbell, Sasson Gabai, Waleed Zuaiter, Ori Pfeffer, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Hannah Ware, Tsahi Halevi, Guy Adler, Mickey Leon, Slimane Dazi, Mounir Margoum, Mali Levi
Director: Ariel Vromen
As Egypt prepares for war, the country’s top official Ashraf Marwan carries out a perilous game of espionage, with stakes as high as they can be.
The Angel is based on Uri Bar-Joseph’s NYT bestselling book, titled The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel. A true story about the aforementioned spy’s actions that led to a terrible outcome from taking shape, the film weaves in political elements with international espionage.
The real-life Ashraf Marwan was President Nasser’s son-in-law and served as the special adviser and confidant to Anwar Saddat.
31. I Came By (2022)
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, George MacKay, Percelle Ascott, Kelly Macdonald, Varada Sethu, Franc Ashman, Anthony Calf
Director: Babak Anvari
At the centre of I Came By is a young graffiti artist who comes across a shocking secret that stands to destroy him and his loved ones. The antagonist posing these dangers is a judge who masquerades in society as a progressive but harbors an inhuman side that he unleashes on unsuspecting victims inside his home.
Toby Nealy is a young graffiti artist with a heart fueled by his radical, political ideas. He moonlights as a vigilante who leaves his mark on the premises of whatever figure he finds to be corrupt, regressive, or harmful.
Blake, a seemingly progressive judge, moonlights a serial killer and exacts upon his victims, a treatment most inhumane inside the basement of his house. When Toby becomes a victim of the deranged antagonist, it falls upon his loved ones to avenge him and expose the monster in the public eye.
Directed by Babak Anvari, the film deals with a number of themes, ranging from politics, and race, to homosexuality.
30. Re/Member (2022)
Cast: Kanna Hashimoto, Gordon Maeda, Maika Yamamoto, Fuju Kamio, Kotaro Daigo, Mayuu Yokota, Shuntaro Yanagi, Naomi Nishida, Tasuku Emoto
Director: Eiichiro Hasumi
The live-action adaptation of the manga series Karada Sagashi, this Netflix film follows a group of six high schoolers who get trapped inside their school while an unknown entity goes on a bloody hunt throughout the institution’s premises.
Known as “Red Person”, this devious entity eludes most while making many the victims of its unquenchable hunger for flesh. However, there’s a way to stop this entity from continuing to wreak more havoc, and it’s by assembling all the decapitated parts of an unknown corpse, spread throughout the school.
The students must embark on perilous and daring missions to find the different body parts, and they must do it before the time runs out. Should they fail to do so, the threshold is crossed and the time loop resets.
The day begins again, and the students must again try to do what must be done to stop “Red Person.” This deadly and gory rendition of Groundhog Day appeals to the thriller and horror genres while also dealing with the preternatural elements incorporated with its Saw-like game narrative.
29. The Plagues of Breslau (2018)
Cast: Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Daria Widawska, Tomasz Oświeciński, Katarzyna Bujakiewicz, Andrzej Grabowski, Iwona Bielska
Director: Patryk Vega
The premise of The Plagues of Breslau deals with a serial killer, who at 6 pm every day, kills a new person. To track the killer down, police officer Helena Rus turns to the 18th-century history of the city, finding key clues to the mystery of what’s afoot.
The chilling nature of the serial killings often entails bodies being recovered in a most morbid state, with the first corpse that Helena Rus finds being sewn in a cowhide.
Throughout the film, the serial killings proffer a great deal of graphic imagery, along with nudity and moody psychological amidst a dearth of evidence of the killer. Loosely based on the novels of Marek Krajewski, the film features a prominent female cast.
28. God’s Crooked Lines (2022)
Cast: Bárbara Lennie, Eduard Fernández, Loreto Mauleón, Javier Beltrán, Pablo Derqui, Federico Aguado, Adelfa Calvo, Francisco Javier, Samuel Soler, Lluís Soler, Joan Crosas, David Selvas, Luis Sacristán
Director: Oriol Paulo
A moody psychological thriller, God’s Crooked Lines sees a woman checking into a psychiatric ward under fake pretenses in order to investigate a death of an inmate, that occurred amidst dubious circumstances.
Alice is a private investigator whose investigations into a death take her to the psychiatric ward where it took place, under the most mysterious and confounding circumstances.
She signs up for the mission feigning paranoia, but as her investigations move forward, the story unravels twists most unprecedented and unpredictable.
Soon, Alice has to contend with doubts over her own sanity, as the entire picture becomes more and more unclear as well as thrilling with every new turn. Based on the novel Los Renglones Torcidos de Dios, the film deals with Hitchcockian narratives and elements.
27. Army of Thieves (2021)
Cast: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen, Noémie Nakai, Christian Steyer, Dan Bradford, Tonya Graves, Trent Garrett, Barbara Meier
Director: Zach Snyder
Taking place about six years before the zombie apocalypse, the meek and timid, but brilliant bank teller Sebastian is also a safe cracker enthusiast.
After years of his enthusiasm for the offbeat craft being confined to a YouTube channel, Sebastian’s talents are finally acknowledged by a mysterious Gwendoline, who enlists him to gear up and crack one of the world’s most complex safes.
With an eccentric personality, a big heart, and an even bigger penchant for Richard Wagner, Sebastian embarks on the perilous mission and helps his team pull off the heist, while the authorities leave no stone unturned in their efforts at nabbing Gwendoline and her associates.
The film serves as a prequel spin-off for the character of Sebastian in Zach Snyder’s zombie extravaganza, Army of Dead.
26. Hold the Dark (2018)
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Julian Black Antelope, Macon Blair, Tantoo Cardinal, Peter McRobbie, Beckham Crawford, Jonathan Whitesell, Bobbi Jaye
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Hold the Dark follows a man venturing into the perilous wilderness at the request of a mother who lost her son to the wild wolves. However, the wilderness isn’t the only thing the two lonely souls have to contend with on their extremely dangerous journey.
Russell Core is a retired naturalist and a wolf expert, and after three kids are suspected to be killed by wolves, he’s requested by a young mother, whose son was also killed by a wolf, to help her track down the beasts that took her son.
During their journey to the wilderness, Core and Medora develop a relationship borne out of their mutual lonesomeness at the concurrent point of their lives.
However, apart from the immediate perils that their mission poses to them, they have to contend with more when Medora’s husband returns home from the Iraq war and goes on a rampage after hearing the news of his son’s death.
Shot in the span of 61 days in Alberta, Canada, Hold the Dark features a chilling, atmospheric backdrop to its moody and unsettling narrative.
25. The Perfection (2018)
Cast: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber
Director: Richard Shepard
Charlotte Willmore, a talented young cellist, is forced to leave the prestigious Bachoff Academy of Music when her mother becomes terminally ill.
Years later, she aims to reconnect with her mentor, Anton, and the school, only to learn that she has been replaced by Lizzie.
Charlotte befriends Lizzie, drugs her, and attempts to hurt her, and it looks like she is doing all of this out of jealousy until it is revealed that her plan is to save Lizzie from something far more sinister.
At first glance, The Perfection appears to be a film about jealousy, but it is actually about how women are harmed by their officials, in this case through art and the demand for perfection.
Williams and Browning’s team-up is one to look out for, and apart from the thrills and chills, the film also comes with some really gross scenes the viewers may have to sit through.
24. The Guilty (2021)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Vidal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough
Director: Antoine Fuqua
LAPD officer Joe Baylor is awaiting a court hearing for an incident that took place eight months ago. While working a night shift at the 911 call center, he receives a call from a woman named Emily Lighton, claiming that she has been abducted.
Joe goes above and beyond to help Emily out upon learning that she has kids waiting for her at her house.
As he dives deep into rescuing Emily, he learns that this abduction case isn’t what it looks like. The event changes him forever and encourages him to make a responsible decision regarding his upcoming court hearing.
The Guilty is the remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. Though the original film is considered to be superior, the remake is still a thrilling ride for those who haven’t seen the Den skyldige directorial.
23. The Ritual (2017)
Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton
Director: David Bruckner
Phil, Dom, Hutch, Luke, and Rob plan a group holiday. Unfortunately, they lose their friend Rob during a bank robbery.
In memory of their friend, four of them hike along the Kungsleden in northern Sweden, and while returning, they opt to take the way through the forest to avoid heavy rain.
The group witnesses strange phenomena in the forest, and soon they start getting hunted down by an ancient god-like entity. Despite receiving mixed reviews, The Ritual continues to be a favorite among thriller and horror fans.
The film makes brilliant use of creepy sounds, sets, environments, and landscapes. The viewers feel like the characters are more or less trapped in some sort of hell from which they cannot escape.
22. Darlings (2022)
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, Vijay Verma
Director: Jasmeet K. Reen
Badru suffers from her love marriage with Hamza, an alcoholic who abuses her every day. There are often times when she thinks of killing him and getting rid of him.
After abusing her, Hamza pretends to care the next day and forces her to forgive him. Badru loses her child because of Hamza, and that’s when she musters up the courage to teach him a lesson.
Badru teams up with her mother, Shamshu, to inflict the same damage Hamza gave her all these years.
Darlings received the highest global opening for a non-English Indian film. Packed with sharp writing and powerhouse performances from the lead cast, the film gives Netflix India a product it was missing for a very long time.
21. The Good Nurse (2022)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Amy, a compassionate nurse suffering from a heart condition, finds solace in her new partner, Charles ‘Charlie’ Cullen, who joins her at the hospital.
Charlie is just as caring as she is, and they instantly hit it off. Charlie even gets close to Amy’s family. When one of Amy’s patients dies suddenly, the hospital conducts an internal investigation that goes on for seven long weeks.
The case is then handed to detectives. They cross out Charlie as the prime suspect and seek Amy’s help, who defends her friend until another one of her patients dies.
The Good Nurse is a compelling serial killer drama that brings a fresh and different perspective to the genre. It focuses more on the relationship the killer shares with another human being.
The only disadvantage could be the slow pace, which requires commitment if viewers are to enjoy the film.
20. I Care a Lot (2020)
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage
Director: J Blakeson
Marla Grayson, along with her partner and assistant, Fran, runs a legal firm that gives guardianship services to old people. Marla aims to be rich. She looks at her business as a means to deceive old people and con the system.
She soon finds herself in trouble when she ends up picking the wrong prey in the form of Jennifer Peterson, who has connections in the underworld.
Led by a stellar cast, I Care a Lot starts out as a comedy but is a film that is deep and uneasy to go through. There is no gore or such things. It’s the way the characters inflict damage on innocents that will drive the viewers to the film’s story.
19. Forgotten (2017)
Cast: Kang Ha-neul, Kim Mu-yeol,Moon Sung-keun, Na Young-hee
Director: Jang Hang-jun
Forgotten follows the story of Jin-seok, who moves into a new house with his family. On a rainy night, Jin-seok watches his brother get kidnapped and pushed into a car.
Jin-seok’s brother surprisingly returns nineteen days later. From that point on, Jin-seok starts finding everything odd about his family. They seem different.
A freaked-out Jin-seok approaches the police, believing that his family is not real and some people are pretending to be his loved ones.
At the police station, he is asked about his age, which results in him finding out that he is not 21 years old anymore and that the year is 2017, not 1997.
Forgotten is one of the finest thrillers on Netflix. It’s unsettling, depressing, and keeps you guessing till the very end.
18. Munich – The Edge of War (2021)
Cast: Jeremy Irons, George MacKay, Jannis Niewöhner.
Director: Christian Schwochow
Munich – The Edge of War takes place in the 1930s. Hugh Legat, Paul von Hartmann, and Paul’s girlfriend, Lena, all get graduated from Oxford University.
The paths of Legat and Hartmann cross again six years later when Legat starts working as a private secretary for Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who is seeking peace with Adolf Hitler.
Hartmann, on the other hand, is working as a translator for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin and, at the same time, secretly with a Wehrmacht general to overthrow Hitler.
Believing that his old friend will likely be of help, Hartmann works with Legat, hoping to expose a Nazi secret.
Munich – The Edge of War is a well-acted and directed period drama that adapts Robert Harris’ fictionalized account of negotiations over Hitler’s plan to take over Czechoslovakia from the 2017 novel Munich.
Apart from having the story navigate through two fictional characters, the film tries to put Chamberlain, who was deemed a coward by many, in a sympathetic role.
17. Triple Frontier (2019)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, Adria Arjona
Director: J. C. Chandor
This film follows five former Special Forces operatives who reunite to execute a heist in South America. The mission is to rob a drug lord.
For the first time, their mission is for their own selves and not the country. When events don’t go exactly as planned, the mission threatens to unravel as their loyalties are put to the test.
Its title ‘Triple Frontier’ is a reference to South America’s Tres Fronteras region, which is known for drug trafficking and contraband.
The action thriller boasts a stellar cast and received praise for its engaging narrative, plot twists and pulsating action sequences.
16. Apostle (2018)
Cast: Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Mark Lewis Jones, Paul Higgins, Lucy Boynton, Bill Milner
Director: Gareth Evans
Apostle first premiered at the Fantastic Fest in April 2018 and premiered on the streamer one month later. It is based on a British man named Thomas Richardson, who sets out to save his sister from a cult on a remote island.
Set in 1905, Richardson’s mission sees him tussling with the sinister cult form the inside as he poses as a convert.
Apostle does not take the path of easy scares and instead builds up the eeriness till it turns into terror. Stevens, who plays the protagonist, gives a commendable performance as the central figure of the film.
The film has been written and directed by Gareth Evans, who is known for creating the Indonesian action-thriller franchise The Raid.
15. The Platform (2019)
Cast: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
The Platform, a Spanish-language horror thriller, has a rather unique and haunting premise. Set in ‘Vertical Self-Management Center’ the residents are switched each month between its floor.
They are fed through a platform which is filled with food at the top but the further it goes down, the less is left. The residents of the lower floors have to consume just the leftovers. A rebellion could break out at any time.
The Platform premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it bagged the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness.
The film is a stunning dystopian thriller. Through its premise, The Platform explores how humanity deals with a crisis.
The film’s Netflix premiere could not have happened at a more opportune time, as it was released during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
14. Wheelman (2017)
Cast: Frank Grillo, Garret Dillahunt, Caitlin Carmichael, Wendy Moniz, Slaine, John Cenatiempo
Director: Jeremy Rush
An unnamed getaway driver picks up a crew for a robbery. However, he gets a call from the Handler to abandon them as soon as they stash the money in the car as they have been instructed to kill him.
The driver does not reveal his true name to the crew or the Handler, and is referred to as ‘Wheelman’. Now on the run, he must figure out who set him up and protect his family.
Wheelman is a minimalistic yet thrilling film that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Frank Grillo excels as the titular protagonist of the film.
13. Oxygen (2021)
Cast: Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric, Malik Zidi
Director: Alexandre Aja
In this French-language sci-fi thriller, a woman named Liz regains consciousness in a cryogenic unit without any memory of her past.
With the Oxygen in levels in the unit rapidly declining, Liz must race against time and, with the assistance of an AI named M.I.L.O, trace who she truly is.
Oxygen squeezes the most out of its claustrophobic setting and delivers an exhilarating experience. Mélanie Laurent, who plays Liz, gives a riveting performance.
The film had been named ‘O2’ for most of its production phase and was renamed just months before its Netflix release.
12. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Cast: Carla Gugino, Chiara Aurelia, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken, Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel, Adalyn Jones
Director: Mike Flanagan
Gerald’s Game first premiered at London’s BFI Southbank and is based on Stephen King’s 1992 novel which shares the same name.
It follows a married couple who arrive at an isolated house for a holiday. When the husband (Greenwood) passes away after suffering a heart attack, the wife (Gugino) finds herself handcuffed to the bed.
She must now find a way to escape her predicament and more importantly, survive, all the while dealing with her inner demons.
Gugino received plaudits for her portrayal of Jessie, while Flanagan was praised for the direction. After watching the film’s rough cut, Stephen King called it: “hypnotic, horrifying and terrific”
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Pat Healy, Sara Sohn, Sharon Bajer
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Chloe Sherman (Allen) is a disabled homeschooled teenager who desires freedom after years of isolated medical care.
She begins to understand that her own mother (Paulson) might be responsible for holding her back and harbouring dark secrets about her true upbringing.
The film is a captivating psychological thriller that explores the harrowing ‘mother-daughter relationship’. Both the leads give powerful performances that elevate Run.
Run was released on Hulu in November 2020 in the US, but received its worldwide streaming release through Netflix in April 2021, and was rebranded as a Netflix original in all other territories.
10. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy, Devon Graye, Christine Woods, Robert Longstreet, Lee Eddy
Director: Macon Blair
Created by the producers of Certain Women and Green Room, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore narrates the story of Ruth (Lynskey), a nursing assistant.
Suffering an existential crisis, Ruth finds a newfound purpose after a burglary in her home thrusts her into finding the culprit, alongside her martial-arts enthusiast neighbour Tony. However, the two do not quite realise the depth of danger they are headed towards.
The film is an outstanding combination of humour and thrill with strong performances from numerous actors, especially Lynsekey.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.
9. Pandora (2016)
Cast: Kim Nam-gil, Kim Young-ae, Jung Jin-young, Kim Ju-hyeon
Director: Park Jung-woo
Park Jung-woo’s Pandora is a South Korean disaster film. The events of the film take place in a small town and follow a nuclear disaster.
Jae-hyeok, the protagonist, works at the local nuclear power plant, which is the sole source of energy for the town and a source of employment for the citizens. Jae-hyeok lives with his mother, his sister-in-law, and his nephew, but he wishes to leave the town one day.
As the authorities pay no heed to the warning of an employee at the plant, an earthquake triggers a nuclear disaster that causes widespread concern throughout the nation.
Jae-hyeok and the other employees must now risk their lives and return to the plant to stop another nuclear disaster before it is too late.
Pandora explores the idea of nuclear power being a threat to its beneficiaries as well; it paints a picture of what the world will have to face if a disaster like this occurs and spreads, making the audience fear for the protagonist and for themselves.
8. The Stranger (2022)
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Jada Alberts
Director: Thomas M. Wright
Based on Kate Kyriacou’s non-fiction book The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer, the film follows an undercover agent who sacrifices years of his life as well as his physical and mental health to solve a case.
When a teenager is abducted, Mark Frame, an undercover police officer, is tasked with befriending Henry Teague, the prime suspect, to solve the case. However, it is not easy, as the case starts affecting and haunting Frame day and night.
The case becomes personal for the protagonist, who must get close to the culprit and win his confidence in order to gather evidence against him.
The film depicts a unique murder investigation. Unlike a whodunnit, the culprit here is already known, and the job of the police is to prove that it is him.
Daniel Morcombe’s real-life murder case is said to have inspired the film. The makers later claimed that it is a fictionalized account, and the film does not mention Morcombe or the details of his murder.
7. 1922 (2017)
Cast: Thomas Jane, Dylan Schmid, Molly Parker, Kaitlyn Bernard
Director: Zak Hilditch
Based on a novella of the same name by Stephen King, 1922 revolves around the life of a farmer, Wilf, who convinces his son to aid him in murdering his wife in her sleep.
Wilf destroys his family for his selfish motives, but not without paying a price. Wilf’s mind becomes his greatest enemy, and Wilf suffers every single day. His son, Henry, does not lead a happy life either.
While the plot sounds simple, the film explores the horror and the guilt that comes with killing your kin in their most vulnerable state; the impact that it has on the human psyche is depicted carefully and in a detailed manner.
The critics praised director Zak Hilditch’s work. Thomas Jane’s portrayal of a tortured protagonist living in the year 1922 is considered to be one of his best performances.
It’s an unsettling slow burn that pulls out the guilt from the mind of the protagonist and depicts it on-screen for the audience to see through his loss of normal life and his sanity.
6. The Night Comes for Us (2018)
Cast: Joe Taslim, Iko Uwais, Asha Kenyeri Bermudez
Director: Timo Tjahjanto
The Night Comes for Us is an Indonesian action thriller written and directed by Timo Tjahjanto. It follows an elite Triad crime enforcer, Ito.
When Ito spares a girl’s life and decides to quit his job as a crime enforcer to rescue her. He then becomes a target of the crime syndicate. They send several people, including Arian, a former friend of Ito’s, to kill Ito and the girl.
The thriller comes packed with stellar performances from the cast and a load of gory action. However, the critics are divided on the action scenes; while some praised it, others felt the film can be unnecessarily violent at times.
Furthermore, it is the gruesome and violent action scenes that prevent this thriller from becoming just another story of an assassin’s change of heart.
The story was conceived as a screenplay, but it was adapted into a graphic novel before being released as a film.
5. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
Cast: Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Krysten Ritter, Charles Baker, Matt Jones, Robert Forster, Jonathan Banks, Bryan Cranston
Director: Vince Gilligan
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie serves as a sequel as well as an epilogue to the popular Breaking Bad series. The film revolves around Jesse Pinkman, a character from the series.
Following the events that take place in the finale of the series, Jesse manages to escape from captivity. However, his captor is not the one he has to outrun, as he is also a wanted criminal.
In the midst of all this, Jesse is constantly haunted by his past and the trauma that comes with it. For a better future and a better life, Jesse must find a way to deal with everything that threatens his existence.
Several other characters from the series appear in the film, including Todd Alquist, Jane Margolis, Badger, and Skinny Pete. This was one of the last on-screen appearances of actor Robert Forster, who plays Ed Galbraith.
The film received positive responses not just from the fans of the series but also from the critics. The film, a conclusion of Jesse’s story, further won many accolades.
4. Uncut Gems (2019)
Cast: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian
Director: Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie
Uncut Gems is a crime thriller film featuring various celebrities from different fields. Directed by the Safdie brothers, the film was chosen by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures as one of the top ten films of 2019.
Howard Ratner, a jeweler in New York City’s Diamond District, is addicted to gambling. His gambling debts keep mounting and include $100,000 that he has to pay to his brother-in-law, Arno.
When a basketball star insists on holding on to an opal that Howard has smuggled, Howard reluctantly agrees, and that sets in motion a game of high stakes that Howard must win at all costs.
The story of the Jewish protagonist was influenced by Josh and Benny’s father’s experience of working in the Dimond District as well as Jewish actors from the 20th century.
The Jewishness of the protagonist is central to the story, as it aims to reclaim Jewish stereotypes. The film is character-oriented, and Sandler’s strong performance as the protagonist helps elevate the experience of the tragedy as well as the thrill.
3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista
Director: Rian Johnson
Detective Benoit Blanc returns to solve yet another mystery in the standalone sequel to Knives Out. The unraveling of the mystery takes place on a private island in Greece during the pandemic.
Blanc is invited to join a group of friends on the island where billionaire Miles Bron is hosting a murder mystery game. However, Miles never invited Blanc, and if he did not, then who did?
Blanc believes that every person on the secluded island has a reason to kill Miles and that his life might be in danger. The more time Blanc spends with the group, the more he discovers their secrets. The genius detective must solve this case before it is too late.
With brilliant performances by the cast and Rian Johnson’s strong writing and direction, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is an engaging and entertaining murder mystery.
Apart from being chosen as one of the ten best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, the film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 95th Academy Awards.
2. The Call (2020)
Cast: Park Shin-hye, Jeon Jong-seo, Kim Sung-ryung, Lee El
Director: Lee Chung-hyun
Based on a British and Puerto Rican film, The Caller, The Call is a South Korean thriller that depicts the intervention of the past in the present that leads to the disruption of the protagonist’s present.
On her way to meet her sick mother, Seo-yeon loses her phone. She then finds an old cordless phone at her childhood home and receives a call from a woman who claims that she is being tortured.
Seo-yeon realizes that Young-Sook, the woman on the phone, is living in the same house but in the past. The phone connects two women occupying the same house 20 years apart, and the two end up forming a bond.
The bond between the two turns Seo-yeon’s life upside down when she realizes that Young-Sook has turned into a serial killer. Young-Sook becomes a threat to Seo-yeon’s reality and starts using her to change her own fate.
There is a sense of danger that follows Seo-yeon throughout the film as she tries to get rid of Young-Sook. The film turns into a war of wits between two women whose lives and realities are divided by time.
Cast: Shenina Syawalita Cinnamon, Chicco Kurniawan, Lutesha, Jerome Kurnia, Dea Panendra, Giulio Parengkuan, Lukman Sardi, Ruth Marini
Director: Wregas Bhanuteja
A night of celebration costs a college student more than she had ever imagined. Suryani was on the path to success, but she attends a party and the next day, finds her selfies, taken in a drunken state, posted online.
She loses her scholarship and is left with no shelter when her father kicks her out of the house. Having no recollection of the night that changed her life, she determines to investigate what happened to her.
The Indonesian crime drama also serves as a commentary on social issues. The film provides an authentic depiction of society, riddled with inequalities. Despite having its fair share of emotional scenes, it does not lose its thrill.
The brilliant direction and performances by the actors won the film 12 of Indonesia’s prestigious Citra Awards.
Photocopier is a story of the voices that go unheard; it is a story of a victim who refuses to be silenced.