Best Psychological Thrillers

We certainly love movies that hold us in the firm fist, not allowing us to breathe and forget about doing something else besides watching. They can entertain the viewers as much as shock both with unpredicted outcomes of the storyline and amazing suspense that builds up through the course of the film. Some consider psychological thrillers scary and unappealing while others crave for more after they watch another thrilling story that keeps them awake thinking for days. The latter will most definitely present own lists of top psychological thrillers and debates will rage with a huge attitude.

Both older movies and new thrillers can compete equally because there is no need to measure the advancement of technologies and green screen effects, as the story is the only thing that matters. Modern picture quality can certainly look better and exquisite special effects can be applied, like in the Inception, but the narrative is the real gem of the package. Best psychological thriller movies include amazing twists that often make us yell at the TV or scare a few people sitting around us in the cinema. For many, these plot techniques are the best that Hollywood can offer. We have created a RankTopTen special, dedicated solely to the best psychological thrillers we have seen.

If you’re reading this then you are either looking for a good movie to watch or have seen them all and try to reach out to people, saying what’s good or bad. Both ways work perfectly fine. This list is all about psychological thriller movies and the audience is the core drive of the whole thing. Seen something you like? Pop a like and leave a comment describing your feeling about that particular piece of cinematography.



The Inception movie impressed everybody. Movie critics and fans immediately called it one of the top movies of all times; it collected five times more money than there was invested in the budget, and awards were also not long in coming. Inception stands out in the modern cinematography with its unique, large-scale plot and the end, which still confuses the audience around the world.


The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects is one of the psychological thrillers with a well thought-out detective storyline that intrigues from the first minutes. Unpredictable plot surprises with every new event, and it is impossible to guess which facts you will learn the next moment. Critics’ attitude to The Usual Suspects was ambiguous, but the audience was stunned by the work of the director and actors.


The Shining

Undoubtedly, Shining is among top psychological thrillers. It is an excellent screen adaptation of Stephen King’s cult novel about a family that is trapped in an old haunted hotel. Sight & Sound magazine recognized Shining as one of the greatest movies in the history. However, the writer was not pleased with director’s work; he even refused to participate in the advertising campaign for the film.


Shutter Island

Shutter Island is one of psychological thriller movies that confuse the audience with an ambiguous plot. The protagonist is U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who arrived at the hospital for criminally insane located on dismal Shutter Island. The film shocks with an extraordinary ending and unexpected transformation of reality into fiction; the atmosphere of gloom accompanies the movie from the beginning to the end.



Psycho is one of the best psychological thrillers in the world cinematography; it was shot in 1960 but keeps up with the most popular recent films. Alfred Hitchcock’s work is among the first movies about a dissociative disorder. Critics did not have an unequivocal attitude towards it, but their opinion was reviewed after positive reaction of the public.


Fight Club

Fight Club is one of the most revolutionary psychological thrillers in the world. Nobody can stay indifferent to it, and its status and popularity confirm this fact. From the very beginning, the movie was perceived critically; it made little money at the box office, but now Fight Club is a cult film, which is included in Top 10 the best movies by IMDb.



Memento is one of the top psychological thrillers with the great acting and plot. It is a story about a man with unusual abnormality – rare form of amnesia; he cannot remember anything for more than 15 minutes. Unexpected turns of events and original intrigue keep a viewer in suspense till the very end. Pearce stars as a man who, as a result of a past trauma, suffers from anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories and suffers short-term memory loss approximately every five minutes. He is searching for the persons who attacked him and killed his wife, using an intricate system of Polaroid photographs and tattoos to track information he cannot remember. Memento is presented as two different sequences of scenes interspersed during the film: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order (simulating for the audience the mental state of the protagonist). The two sequences "meet" at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative


The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense heads the list of supernatural psychological thrillers movies; it is one of four horror films in the history that have been nominated for Oscars. It is a story about a child psychologist that met a boy who can see the dead. The existence of child’s extraordinary gift cannot be denied, and the man tries to help his young friend. The Six Sense will impress both those who look for a striking clever movie and those who just decided to entertain themselves with an eerie story.


Seven (1995 film)

Seven is an outstanding movie among psychological thrillers, which stay in viewers’ memory forever. This film contains not only dynamic and shocking events, but also interesting dialogues and high-level acting; it is a mix of an excellent sound design, sense of sadness, and impressive scenes. An undoubted talent of the director and actors created a real masterpiece in the cinema world.


The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is an impressive movie, one of the best psychological thrillers in the world; it won the Oscar award in five the most prestigious nomination. A young girl, who is an FBI agent, investigates horrible murders, using the advice of an extremely intelligent serial killer and cannibal. Anthony Hopkins’ great acting made his character a legendary villain. The frightening detective story does not let viewers take their eyes off the screen for even a second.