Best Netflix Thrillers to Watch Right Now, Ranked


Summary

  • Netflix offers a variety of thrilling movies, featuring top Hollywood talent in captivating stories.
  • From intense crime dramas to chilling horror films, Netflix has something to satisfy all audiences.
  • The platform continuously updates its content, keeping viewers engaged with new releases and classics.



The epic streaming giant Netflix is no stranger to exciting and cutting-edge content, and its library of compelling thrillers is no exception. Some of the most spine-tingling and gripping pictures are a part of the ever-growing collection of Netflix movies, featuring Hollywood’s most innovative storytellers and dynamic performers. Whether you’re in the mood for watching Kevin Bacon portray a marvelously menacing bad guy in Cop Car, Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled 911 call dispatcher in The Guilty, or witnessing the disturbing and thought-provoking international Spanish horror thriller The Platform, Netflix is sure to scratch your movie itch.

Netflix knows how to put out stimulating and intriguing titles, and the juggernaut continues to become home to a plethora of diverse and colorful content. No matter what kind of pulse-pounding flick you’re looking for, the popular streaming service has you covered. These are the best thrillers on Netflix right now.


Updated March 2024 by Ben Hathaway: If you can’t get enough of the exciting streaming platform and its shows, you’ll be happy to know that this list has been updated.


10 The Hateful Eight (2015)

There are two versions of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight available for Netflix streaming. One is the theatrical edition. The other is the Netflix “miniseries” version of the same narrative. However, while it’s neat that Netflix has the extended version, the extra scenes add absolutely nothing to the film’s impact.


What Makes It Great Late-Period Tarantino?

Whether it’s the fact it wears its love for John Carpenter’s The Thing on its sleeve or Walton Goggins’ scene-stealing performance, The Hateful Eight works like a charm. It’s not quite top-tier Tarantino but, honestly, it might be the most rewatchable film the auteur has ever made. There’s a buoyancy to the performances (particularly Samuel L. Jackson’s) that makes it an attention magnet.

9 All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

All Quiet on the Western Front is the most Oscar-winning Netflix-produced film, with four Oscars under its belt. Loosely based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, the motion picture plunges into the distressing and haunting experiences of World War I. It specifically chronicles the terror of being on the Western Front through the eyes and experiences of a young German soldier. Starring Felix Kammerer, the film is an incredible study of the brutality of war, and the endless suffering, eliciting once again how damaging on all scales this inhumane practice is through truly graphic substance.


What Makes It Realistic?

The film does not shy away from being shocking and disturbing which makes what possibly could be one of the most horrifying films of all time. However, that is what makes it stand out; the cold approach and depressing elements that are scattered all throughout the film. What makes it even more powerful is its stunning emotional score, breathtaking cinematography, gripping acting, and masterfully crafted battle scenes.

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8 The Guilty (2021)

The 2021 crime thriller The Guilty stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a demoted police officer assigned to a call dispatch desk who finds himself conflicted when he receives an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman. It is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, with the actor having acquired the rights and producing the picture as well. The thriller takes place over the course of a single morning with Gyllenhaal’s troubled character Officer Joe Baylor realizing nothing is what it appears, as he finds himself forced to face his own demons head-on.


What Makes It a Showcase for Gyllenhaal’s Talents?

The Guilty was streamed in 69 million households over its first month of release and was the top-watched film on the platform in an astounding 91 countries. The tense thriller and Gyllenhaal’s portrayal earned positive reviews from critics, with Time Out writing, “If you come to this Netflix remake first, you are going to be blown away by a hurricane-force performance from Gyllenhaal.”

7 Calibre (2018)

Matt Palmer directed the 2018 British thriller Calibre, which follows two friends on a weekend hunting trip in the remote Scottish Highlands who find themselves in a nightmare situation that ends up testing both their nerves and morals. The edgy picture stars Jack Lowden and Martin McCann as pals Vaughn and Marcus, with the former actor portraying the Everyman role as expectant father Vaughn, who finds himself at odds with the shocking actions of his aggressive and tightly-wound best friend.


What Makes It Tense?

The project was nine years in the making for Palmer, who drew inspiration from 1972’s Deliverance by fully utilizing the rugged and wild open landscape, setting a menacing ambiance. Palmer chose the Scottish Highlands to help craft a truly nail-biting atmosphere for the hunters and an added layer of dread.

6 The Unforgivable (2021)

The Unforgivable is a crime thriller based on the 2009 three-part British miniseries, Unforgiven starring Sandra Bullock in the lead role. When Ruth Slater is released from prison after serving her sentence for a violent crime, she faces great difficulty, and feeling accepted and welcomed in society becomes a hard and exhausting task. However, that acceptance is not what Ruth is after. She is desperate to find her estranged younger sister whom she was separated from for 20 years prior to her sentence.


What Makes It a Showcase of Bullock’s Talents?

Bullock gives an extremely solid performance, one of her best, where she conveys raw and powerful emotions that will take on the psychological roller that makes up her character. She also has a very strong supporting cast such as Viola Davis and Richard Thomas, making the ensemble presence on screen even more captivating. On top of that, The Unforgivable does the thriller genre great justice with its great reveals and twists.

5 Coming Home in the Dark (2021)


The 2021 New Zealand psychological thrillerComing Home in the Dark is an electrifying and menacing movie that centers on a schoolteacher who is forced to address a brutal act from his past when a pair of sadistic drifters take his family and him on a frightening road trip. Featuring the talent of Daniel Gillies, Erik Thomson, and Miriama McDowell, the spine-tingling picture follows the family as they come to the terrifying realization that their seemingly random encounter with the sociopaths was set in motion two decades earlier.

What Makes It Gut-Wrenching?

James Ashcroft’s directorial debut, Coming Home in the Dark premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, with many appreciating the director’s incredible storytelling and enthralling take on trauma and its domino effect. Ashcroft told ScreenHub, “I wanted it to be an entertaining ride, a gut-punch of a ride, and enjoyable from a genre perspective. But one that also allows you to unpack some tricky material about New Zealand and some of the historical failings we need to face.”


4 Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems

Release Date
August 30, 2019

Runtime
130

Uncut Gems is one of Adam Sandler’s more serious roles where he really shows how versatile of an actor he is. He plays Howard Ratner, a previously successful gem dealer in New York whose career was doomed, and whose family stability was threatened due to his gambling addiction, which has left him with thousands of dollars in debt. What does he do? He makes even riskier and larger bets in an attempt to save the day.

What Makes It Sandler’s Magnum Opus?

The film takes an intensely close look at gambling with all its highs and lows, which really takes you on a ride full of anticipation and adrenaline rush. It is self-destruction wrapped in pleasure at its finest. It’s not your typical movie. It’s loud, it’s fast-paced and has a heavy dialogue, but that is what makes it uncomfortable yet entertaining.


3 Hold the Dark (2018)

Hold the Dark

Hold the Dark

Release Date
September 22, 2018

Director
Jeremy Saulnier

Jeremy Saulnier’s 2018 action thriller Hold the Dark is based on the William Giraldi novel of the same name and tells the story of writer Russel Core, who is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old to track down her son in the remote Alaskan wilderness. After the death of three children whom the town suspects were killed by wolves, the desperate parent begs Core (who studies wolf behavior) to bring her son home. While he faces the treacherous and rugged wild terrain, Core begins to realize a bigger and more harrowing mystery is at play, and it’s up to him to get to the bottom of it.


What Makes It Engrossing?

The thriller features an impressive cast including Jeffrey Wright as Core, Alexander Skarsgård, and Riley Keough, and follows the lonely trio as they descend into the heart of the darkness. Hold the Dark is an absorbing film full of chills and thrills. Just don’t expect to rewatch it every single weekend.

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2 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)


El Camino will be the guilty pleasure of anyone who loved the Breaking Bad series. It follows Jesse Pinkman as he battles the demons that haunt him from the past when he wants nothing more than to start a new life with a clean slate. It also gives Aaron Paul some of his best screentime as the character to date.

What Makes It a Treat for Breaking Bad Fans?

The movie continues from where Breaking Bad left off. While the character of Walter White got the attention and ending that all fans were waiting for, Jesse didn’t. And that’s why this film is perfect for anyone wanting a proper tribute and farewell that honors him.

1 The Platform (2019)


The 2019 Spanish social commentary and sci-fi horror thriller The Platform takes place in a vertical prison with one cell per level, whose residents are switched every 30 days between the various floors; this system inevitably leads to conflict as the prisoners housed in the upper cells are fed, while those below starve. The Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia flick’s key message is that “humanity will have to move towards the fair distribution of wealth” and explores the importance of individual initiative while critiquing capitalism and socialism.

What Makes It a Dystopian Nightmare?

The Platform is a gut-wrenching and jolting picture, with Gaztelu-Urrutia acknowledging that it’s difficult to watch due to its brutal violence and cannibalism, but knowing that this was the most accurate reflection of the truth he wanted to depict. The dystopian thriller premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where it won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness.




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