Representing the best of all worlds, cinematic quality thrillers combine jaw-dropping suspense with real human conflict. Add in some mystery, tense action sequences, and casual romantic encounters, and it’s no wonder the genre remains so popular year after year. Thrillers are also less bound to formula or tone than something like pure horror or comedy, which gives them a lot more presentation possibilities.
Despite the broad parameters of the genre, most thrillers tend to emphasize the human element. As a result, viewers are more inclined to care about the characters and invest in the story. Not only that, but because thrillers often weave a more complex narrative, the best ones reveal additional layers of meaning and detail with each viewing, making them compulsively watchable over and over again. And who doesn’t love a movie they can watch multiple times?
As with any genre, not all thrillers are created equal. Some explode with pure movie magic while others fail to ignite even the weakest fuse. Stacker celebrates the first, listing the 100 best thrillers in movie history. For the analysis, we have built an index (the “Stacker score”) which compiles IMDb grades (weighted at 50%) and Metacritic scores (weighted at 50%). To qualify, the film had to be listed as a thriller on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by the number of IMDb votes. Each film on the list was considered based on cinematic history and thriller development.
Click to see if your favorite thriller has been added to Stacker’s list.
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