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The best thriller movies on Netflix (June 2020)

The best thriller movies on Netflix (June 2020)
Sandra Bullock in Bird Box, left, and Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Pic credit: Netflix/Orion

It is always the perfect time to watch a great thriller movie, and Netflix has a ton of options to keep any viewer on the edge of their seats this June.

From the early days of cinema, to the brilliance of Alfred Hitchcock, to the action-packed movies of the high concept era of the ’80s, thrillers come in all shapes and sizes with something for every movie fan.

If you are someone who likes to be scared, there are plenty of thrillers with serial killers, sociopaths, and cannibals to keep you awake at night.

For someone who likes their thriller movies to be more action-based, there are plenty of murder mysteries, spy thrillers, and crime stories that will have you on the edge of your seat.

When it comes to Netflix, the selection is extensive.

From some of the best movies in cinema history to great Netflix originals that have hit the streaming service over the past few years, here are 15 of the best thriller movies you can catch in June 2020 on Netflix.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Silence of the Lambs
Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Pic credit: Orion

The Silence of the Lambs is a rare case where a horror thriller movie transcended the genre when it won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards.

Not only did it win the top honors, but it also won Best Director for Jonathan Demme, Best Actress for Jodie Foster, and Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins.

This award-winning thriller movie is available on Netflix to watch right now.

Hopkins stars as a convicted murderer and cannibal named Hannibal Lecter. Foster is an FBI agent named Clarice Starling, who is trying to stop a new serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), and she interviews Lecter to try to see if he can help her get into the mind of a serial killer.

Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs remains one of the best mainstream horror movies in history.

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. Pic credit: A24

For anyone who thinks that Adam Sandler only stars in juvenile sophomoric comedies, check out Uncut Gems to see a very different side of the comedian.

Uncut Gems is in no way a comedy, and Sandler proves to be up to the task of changing genres in this thriller that hit theaters in a limited release in 2019 before arriving later on Netflix.

Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie had previously created a dark and disturbing thriller where they changed everything people knew about Twilight actor Robert Pattinson in Good Time. It made sense that Sandler would trust them in Uncut Gems.

Sandler stars as a New York City jeweler who does anything he can to stay afloat when his gambling debts start to rise. Sandler picked up a ton of critics awards for his role, including winning the Best Male Lead Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac
Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. in Zodiac. Pic credit: Paramount

David Fincher has made some of the best thriller movies in history, from Fight Club and Seven to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but one of his best movies might be one based on a true story.

Fincher tells the story of the Zodiac killer from the point-of-view of the men investigating the case in his 2007 movie Zodiac.

Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) are journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the murders while Mark Ruffalo is one of the lead officers on the case.

The identity of the Zodiac killer remains a mystery to this day. Fincher instead focuses the movie on Graysmith and his belief that he knew who the killer was, obsessing so much on solving the case that it destroyed his entire life.

Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box
Sandra Bullock in Bird Box. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix created its original thriller movie Bird Box in 2018, based on the novel by Josh Malerman.

The casting coup of bringing in Sandra Bullock as the lead actor helped propel it to one of Netflix’s most successful original movies.

Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic thriller movie about a world that has begun to die thanks to an affliction where people see things that drive them to suicide.

The only way to live is to keep a blindfold on at all times and never use sight for any reason.

Bullock stars as a woman named Malorie, who tries to keep two unnamed children alive in the face of both the entity that has killed so many and disciples that feel it is predetermined to bring down society.

Secret Obsession (2019)

Secret Obsession
Brenda Song and Mike Vogel in Secret Obsession. Pic credit: Netflix

Secret Obsession is another Netflix original thriller movie, this one from 2019, about a woman who wakes up with amnesia after an accident and has her husband there to help her return to normalcy.

However, as with the best thrillers, this man might not be who he claims to be, and the woman soon learns she is in great danger.

Directed by Peter Sullivan, a film director who partially got his start as a Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmaker, Brenda Song and Mike Vogel star in the lead roles of this roller coaster ride from beginning to end.

Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear
Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. Pic credit: Universal

Rarely does a remake match up to the original movie that came first. In the case of Cape Fear, not only does it match up to a brilliant film, but it exceeds it in many ways.

The version of this thriller movie on Netflix is the 1991 remake directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro.

The original movie hit in 1962 with Robert Mitchum as a deranged ex-convict who returns to torment the attorney he feels failed him. That attorney was the brilliant Gregory Peck.

The remake has a similar story, with De Niro as Max Cady, a man released from prison after 14 years. He sets out to ruin the life of the attorney who failed him (Nick Nolte). The film also stars an 18-year-old Juliette Lewis.

Kiss the Girls (1997)

Kiss the Girls
Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls. Pic credit: Paramount

James Patterson is one of the most successful mystery thriller novelists in history, and he achieved most of his success on the back of a criminal psychologist named Alex Cross.

There have been three film adaptations based on Cross, and fans can see the first of these thriller movies on Netflix with Kiss the Girls.

The film stars Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross as he tries to find his niece after she gets kidnapped by a serial killer named Casanova. Ashley Judd co-stars as Dr. Kate McTiernan, the only person to escape the serial killer’s clutches.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

The Lincoln Lawyer
Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer. Pic credit: Lionsgate

Released in 2011, Matthew McConaughey stars as a defense attorney in the thriller movie The Lincoln Lawyer.

The character originated in the Harry Bosch novel series by Michael Connelly. McConaughey is Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half-brother, and a defense attorney who doesn’t mind defending lowlives.

The film doesn’t mention Bosch, who has his own series on Amazon Prime, but takes Mickey on a thrill ride as he agrees to represent a man accused of murder (Ryan Phillippe).

When he realizes his client is not only guilty but will do anything he can to avoid a conviction, including threatening those that Mickey loves, it is up to the attorney to find a way to get through this case alive and see justice through in the end.

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. Pic credit: Columbia

Netflix seems to love thriller movies starring Robert De Niro. In the 1978 film Taxi Driver, he plays the iconic Travis Bickle, a New York City taxi driver.

Martin Scorsese directed this film, which has been called one of the best in cinema history by many publications and is preserved as part of the National Film Registry.

Bickle is a Vietnam veteran who works as a taxi driver in New York City and becomes obsessed with two women. One is a political campaign volunteer named Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), and the other is a teenage prostitute named Iris (Jodie Foster).

As his mind starts to break down, he seeks to save Iris from her dangerous pimp (Harvey Keitel) while starting to lose his grip on reality.

Extraction (2020)

Extraction
Chris Hemsworth in Extraction. Pic credit: Netflix

In 2020, Netflix created a new thriller movie starring Chris Hemsworth, the actor who portrayed Thor in the Avengers movies.

The film has developed an infamous reputation because Hemsworth kills a lot more people in this movie than most action thrillers. According to Netflix, Hemsworth’s character murdered 183 people in the two-hour running time.

Hemsworth stars a is Tyler Rake, a black-market mercenary hired to rescue a boy from Bangladesh. The movie follows his rescue mission, where he kills anyone who gets in his way, racing with the kid to freedom.

Drive (2011)

Drive
Ryan Gosling in Drive. Pic credit: FilmDistrict

Former Disney star Ryan Gosling shocked moviegoers in 2011 with his hyper-violent thriller movie Drive.

Directed by auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, Gosling is an unnamed character known only as Driver, who works as a stunt driver for movies and a getaway driver for criminals.

He meets his neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and develops a protective relationship with her and her young son. When her husband gets out of prison and returns home, danger follows him, and The Driver finds himself in the middle of a life or death chase.

The film, based on the novel by American crime writer James Sallis, won several national critics association awards and is available for streaming on Netflix.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Pic credit: StudioCanal

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is arguably one of the most underrated and overlooked spy movies ever made.

Gary Oldman turned in an Oscar-worthy performance in this story, set in the 1970s, of a British Intelligence Agency known as The Circus that might have a Russian mole in its ranks.

Oldman is George Smiley, the former right-hand man of Control, the head of British Intelligence; both forced to retire after a botched assignment. Smiley is asked to investigate the claims that there is a mole, which sends him into a wormhole of treachery and deceit.

The cast of this movie is top-of-the-line, with Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Graham, Toby Jones, and John Hurt all appearing.

Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) directed the film based on the spy novel by John le Carre. The movie won Outstanding British Film at the BAFTA Awards.

Green Room (2015)

Green Room
Imogen Poots in Green Room. Pic credit: A24

Green Room was a horror thriller movie released in 2015 that starred the late Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots.

Yelchin is Pat, the bassist of a punk band who is touring the Pacific Northwest. After a concert is canceled, they get a chance to play a show at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar outside Portland.

When Pat goes into the green room at the bar and sees a girl stabbed to death by a member of the band they opened for, they have their phones taken and the skinheads decide to kill Pat and his bandmates to cover it up.

The band then has to fight for their lives as they try to escape. Patrick Stewart stars in the movie as Darcey, the leader of the skinheads.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year
Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year. Pic credit: A24

Released in 2014 by director J.C. Chandor, A Most Violent Year is a dramatic thriller movie starring Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker) and Jessica Chastain (X-Men: Dark Phoenix).

Isaac is Abel Morales, the owner of a company that ends up under an investigation by the DA on accusations of price-fixing. He is also under attack by truck hijackers, damaging his business.

After his wife Anna tells him to fight violence with violence against the hijackers, Able starts to make more decisions that lead to criminal activity, which puts his family and his business in danger.

The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man
Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man. Pic credit: British Lion Films

The most important thing to note here is that this is not the remake of The Wicker Man, featuring Nicolas Cage, that came out in 2006. Avoid that movie at all costs.

Instead, this is the original from 1973 starring Edward Woodward as Police Sergeant Neil Howie, who heads to an isolated island known as Summerisle in search of a missing girl.

When he arrives, he encounters a cult that practices paganism led by their charismatic leader, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). Sgt. Howie finds resistance, even when he finds the girl, and soon realizes his life is in great danger.

Available on Netflix, this thriller movie is widely considered one of the greatest horror movies of all-time.

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