The best thrillers on Amazon Prime

Christine Persaud

Thrillers are the perfect movies to watch when you’re in the mood for some action, excitement, and suspense but you don’t want a full-blown, gory horror flick. Thankfully, there are plenty of them on Amazon Prime that you can stream. From new titles to films that date back as early as the 1940s, here are the best thrillers you can currently stream via Amazon.

A Quiet Place (2018)

With a sequel scheduled for release later this year, this post-apocalyptic thriller was a critically acclaimed box office success. Co-written, directed by, and starring John Krasinski alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, the movie follows a family trying to survive in a muted world where making even the slightest sound summons a creature with an acute sense of hearing that devours you alive. With a hearing-impaired teenage daughter, the family is able to communicate proficiently through sign language, but a new baby adds a tricky element to the situation. While a movie with zero dialogue sounds terribly boring, the nail-biting tension makes it edge-of-your-seat intense throughout the entire film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Genre: Drama, Horror, Suspense
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski
Director: John Krasinski
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 90 minutes

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The Report (2019)

A star-studded cast tackled this film’s deep dive into the investigation of and controversy around torture used by the CIA following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Examining the full 6,700-page report by Daniel Jones of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the story is based, in part, on Katherine Eban’s Vanity Fair article “Rorschach and Awe.” Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2019, the Amazon Studios movie had a brief theatrical release then went straight to the streaming service.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Thriller
Stars: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Rating: R
Runtime: 119 minutes

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The Machinist (2004)

A machinist suffers from severe insomnia and psychological problems, which eventually lead to a serious accident at the workplace involving a coworker. After being fired, he slumps into a world of paranoia and delusions while trying to deal with the guilt. With Christian Bale heading up the cast, it’s no surprise this film was well-received. His method acting and ability to fully immerse himself in roles of troubled characters like this one, including losing a serious amount of weight to play the role, create a character that is both captivating and terrifying.

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Suspense
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon
Director: Brad Anderson
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

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The Conversation (1974)

Surveillance has come a long way since this movie about a surveillance expert who discovers that his recordings might reveal a murder, presenting him with a moral dilemma about whether to release them. Interestingly, while the plot had nothing to do with Watergate, the film came out in theaters right before Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States, leading many to believe the movie was a reaction to the scandal. In any case, it received critical acclaim and a trio of Academy Award nominations.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Suspense
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Rating: PG
Runtime: 113 minutes

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The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

College students head to a remote cabin in the forest where they think they’ll be able to enjoy some quiet fun and relaxation. Instead, they end up being controlled and manipulated by technicians in an underground lab who are watching them, feeding them drugs, and watching as monsters and zombies attack the students. The plot sounds silly but the film was very well received by critics and audiences alike, who called the Joss Whedon-produced flick “funny, strange, and scary,” often all at the same time.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Horror
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison
Director: Drew Goddard
Rating: R
Runtime: 95 minutes

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To Catch a Thief (1955)

Go way back in time for this Alfred Hitchcock classic, based on the novel of the same name by David Dodge. Cary Grant is a retired cat burglar who, in an attempt to save his reputation, catches an imposter targeting wealthy tourists in the French Riviera. It marked the last film project for Grace Kelly, who starred as Grant’s love interest, before she retired from acting to become Princess of Monaco.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Runtime: 106 minutes

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The Long Goodbye (1973)

This neo-noir thriller based on the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel of the same name is a period piece set in 1950s to 1970s Hollywood. It tells the journey of a private investigator as he tries to help a friend but finds himself entangled in a murder investigation surrounding the man’s wife. Tackling everything from Hollywood’s self-obsessiveness to drugs, alcoholism, and murder, it has all of the makings of a great thriller.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Stars: Elliott Gould, Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Director: Robert Altman
Rating: R
Runtime: 112 minutes

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A Simple Favor (2018)

A widowed single mother and vlogger from a small town befriends a wealthy fashion executive after their kids have a playdate. Next thing she knows, she’s trying to solve the friend’s mysterious disappearance. The plot sounds simple but the film was a box office success thanks to performances by the leads Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, earning over $97 million on just a $20 million budget.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells
Director: Paul Feig
Rating: R
Runtime: 117 minutes

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The Handmaiden (2016)

Dubbed an erotic psychological thriller, this South Korean film, also known as Ah-ga-ssi, is inspired by the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, with a change in setting from the Victorian era to Korea during Japanese colonial rule. At the heart of the story is a con man with a sinister plot to seduce a Japanese heiress so he can have her committed and steal her money.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Stars: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong
Director: Park Chan-wook
Rating: NR
Runtime: 145 minutes

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The Rainmaker (1997)

In the film based on the John Grisham novel of the same name, a recent law school graduate with no real career prospects finds himself caught up in a scheme with an ambulance chaser who hires him to find potential clients in a local hospital. With a star-studded cast, it has been called one of the best Hollywood adaptations of a Grisham novel.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars: Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Mickey Rourke, Danny DeVito
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 135 minutes

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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs is regarded as one of the greatest thrillers of all time, one based on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name. The harrowing film follows young FBI cadet Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who is on a race against time to capture Buffalo Bill, a serial killer who literally takes the skin of his female victims. Her only hope to capture him, however, is to work with iconic villain Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), an imprisoned serial killer known to eat his victims. The Silence of the Lambs swept the 1992 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, among other accolades.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine
Director: Jonathan Demme
Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes

Watch on Amazon Prime