The Best Thrillers on Amazon Prime Video Right Now (July 2021)

An effective thriller film can leave its mark for weeks. From pulse-pounding storylines to captivating cinematography, snappy editing, and mood-setting scores, a number of cinema’s finest films are cataloged as thrillers. A genre that shows no signs of stopping, a trove of past and present titles can be found on Amazon Prime Video. If you’re a yearly Prime subscriber, there are plenty of thrillers you can watch on Prime Video completely free. To help you find something to bite your nails to, we’ve compiled this monthly roundup of the best thrillers on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime may have a robust catalog, but it doesn’t have everything. Luckily, we’ve also curated roundups of the best thrillers on Netflix and the best thrillers on Hulu.

James Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window.

Rear Window (1954)

Hitchcock’s career went through a period of exponential growth from its inception, pushing through cinematic boundaries and introducing formalist elements, from camera to editing, that would become staples of the wicked genres the maestro spent his time in. Rear Window is one such entry that continues to inspire and influence to this day. Starring Hitchcock go-to James Stewart as Jeff Jeffries, an newspaper photographer recovering from a broken leg. When Jeff begins a voyeuristic sojourn of watching his across-the-quad neighbors through their apartment windows, the photojournalist begins to suspect foul play after witnessing what he believes to be a murder. A movie that achieves a propulsive pace with nothing more than a chilling slow-burner tone throughout, Rear Window more than earns its “classic” stripes.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Runtime: 112 minutes

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Colin Farrell on the phone in Phone Booth.

Phone Booth (2002)

Stuart Shephard (Colin Farrell), a New York City publicist, is leading a steamy affair with Pamela (Katie Holmes). After entering a phone booth to make a call to her, he takes an inbound call from a mysterious assailant (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) that begins making demands of the PR rep, going as far to threaten him with a sniper rifle. As the hours wear on, Stuart begins to lose his grip as the gunman becomes ever more threatening. A claustrophobic thriller with echoes of Hitchcock and a gripping lead performance from Farrell, Phone Booth will make you thankful that smartphones proliferate our lives.

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Colin Farrell, Katie Holmes, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Joel Schumacher
Rating: R
Runtime: 80 minutes

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Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is facing a major career ding after the fallout of a libel suit brought against him by a wretched businessman. When wealthy magnate Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) invites the disgraced journalist to investigate the disappearance of his niece, a purported crime 40 years in the past, Blomkvist seeks redemption by accepting the employment. Partnered with the brilliant but volatile Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a genius hacker that ran Blomkvist’s background check for Vanger, the unlikely duo soon discover a web of deceit that stretches further than either could ever imagine. David Fincher brings his iconic touch to this English-language adaptation of the 2003 Swedish novel, a directorial mark further complemented by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ moody underbelly of a score.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Director: David Fincher
Rating: R
Runtime: 158 minutes

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The Cast of Signs standing in a corn field.

Signs (2002)

M. Night Shyamalan was well-known for his movie’s crazy twists in the early aughts, but Signs was something a little different. Consistently eerie and a slower burn than other Shyamalan flicks, Signs is a more traditional suspense film. Farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) discovers an intricate pattern of circles and lines carved into his cornfields and, initially believing it was neighborhood hoodlums, soon discovers a presence much more terrifying. As he investigates the crop circles, his discoveries forever alter the lives of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) and children.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 119 minutes

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Midsommar

Midsommar (2019)

Midsommar takes creepiness to a whole new level. With their relationship foundering, a young American couple joins their friends on a trip to a fabled midsummer festival in an extremely remote Swedish community. The pastoral paradise appears to be a dream — the absolute pinnacle of human cooperation and cohabitation. But as the Americans soon learn the true reason they were invited to join these reclusive people, their trip soon turns sinister and horrifying.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper
Director: Ari Aster
Rating: R
Runtime: 125 minutes

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Clue

Clue (1985)

The classic mystery board game comes to life in this family-friendly, cult classic thriller! Mr. Boddy is hosting a dinner party, at which he openly admits that he’s blackmailing his visitors. Each of the guests has been given an alias: Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet, Mr. Green, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, and Colonel Mustard. But when Boddy turns up murdered, everyone’s a suspect, and they must work together (and conspire against one another) to figure out the true killer.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Lesley Ann Warren, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Rating: PG
Runtime: 96 minutes

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An Inspector Calls

An Inspector Calls (2015)

Thriller fans may have missed An Inspector Calls because it was a TV movie in the United Kingdom. However, Prime Video is giving this terrific film another chance to find an audience. In 1912, the Birling family’s engagement celebration for Sheila (Chloe Pirrie) and her fiancé, Gerald Croft (Kyle Soller), is interrupted by Inspector Goole (David Thewlis) as he informs the family about the suicide of a young woman named Eva Smith (Sophie Rundle). Goole is such a force of nature that his interrogations bring to light the secrets of the guilty. But who is truly responsible for Eva’s death?

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Stars: David Thewlis, Sophie Rundle, Chloe Pirrie, Finn Cole, Miranda Richardson
Director: Aisling Walsh
Rating: N/A
Runtime: 90 minutes

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The Wall

The Wall (2017)

The Wall is a very stripped-down thriller with only three major roles. In Iraq, military sniper Shane Matthews (John Cena) and his spotter, Sergeant Allen “Ize” Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), are assigned to make sure that a pipeline construction site is clear from enemy forces. Unfortunately, a feared sniper known as Juba (Laith Nakli) successfully draws them into a trap, and wounds both men. As the soldiers hide behind a crumbling wall, Juba uses the radio to learn more about them and to advance his larger plans. That’s because Juba has done this before, and his words are also weapons in his arsenal.

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena, Laith Nakli
Director: Sreenath
Rating: R
Runtime: 88 minutes

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Blow the Man Down

Blow the Man Down (2020)

From writer-director duo Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, Blow the Man Down is a bleak seaside thriller with black comedy undertones. Siblings Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth Connolly (Morgan Saylor) aren’t on the greatest of terms after their mother’s funeral. Further complicating their sisterly struggle is a murder they must commit (in self-defense). Disposing of the body, the sisters are far from out of the woods when local law enforcement begins a search for the very man the duo pitched in the ocean. Add to that another body washing up on the shore, and Blow the Man Down sheds a layer to reveal a deeper underbelly of feminist power-playing and malicious intent. A film that builds an immersive tone and atmosphere from the get-go, Blow the Man Down is a whodunit that keeps you drawn in for its 90-minute runtime.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Stars: Sophie Lowe, Morgan Saylor, Margo Martindale
Director: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
Rating: R
Runtime: 91 minutes

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High Life

High Life (2019)

Criminals on death row are dealt a vicious cosmic fate in writer-director Claire Denis’ High Life. The movie stars Robert Pattinson as Monte, a man serving a life sentence for a murder he committed years before. Monte and several other convicts are placed aboard a spacecraft by the cold-hearted Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche), a scientist with aspirations of gathering alternative energy from the ship’s destination, a black hole. As the vessel travels further through the galaxy, tensions run high for the shipmates. As wretched acts of backstabbing lead to bodies piling, Monte and an infant become the only survivors of the oblivion-bound spacecraft. Visually mesmerizing and powered by strong performances, notably from Pattinson, High Life aims high and hits hard. It’s another great entry in the canon of the French auteur Denis and a searing addition to our roundup.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin
Director: Claire Denis
Rating: R
Runtime: 110 minutes

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Unsane

Unsane (2018)

Sawyer Valentini (The Crown‘s Claire Foy) is still reeling from the trauma she experienced in her hometown. The victim of a male stalker, the twenty-something moves away and nabs her dream job at a bank. Psychologically triggered by men in general, Sawyer makes an appointment with a local therapist. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s unknowingly signed a consent form to be locked up for 24 hours in a behavioral facility. As she’s committed to the ward, Sawyer’s doctors and nurses question her sanity, which leads to an extension of her 24-hour sentencing. On top of all this, Sawyer starts to believe that her stalker is among the staff. A smart nail-biter you don’t want to miss, keep the lights on for Unsane.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Juno Temple
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 98 minutes

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Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace (2018)

Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) and Will (Ben Foster) live a tranquil but off-the-radar existence in the deep woodlands of the Pacific Northwest. Surviving off nature’s bounty and camping by fireplaces, the duo lead a quiet existence until they’re discovered by park authorities. Forcefully relocated from their forest-dwelling, the father-daughter team faces a cold world of displacement, systematic rigor, and no home to truly call their own. Debra Granik’s film is a heartfelt drama as much as it is a slow and subtle thriller, one where each minor misstep opens a bigger and deeper pit for its characters to crawl out of.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, Dale Dickey
Director: Debra Granik
Rating: PG
Runtime: 108 minutes

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Climax

Climax (2019)

Mostly comprised of a cast with no formal acting experience, Gasper Noé’s Climax is a hallucinogenic thrill-ride like no other that follows members of an up-and-coming dance troupe who get together at an abandoned school to practice their latest routine. After the rehearsal, all share in the same refreshment — sangria that just happens to be spiked with LSD. What follows is a brutally unhinged Pandora’s box of nightmarish images, violent personality clashes, and one or two demises too many. Those familiar with Noé’s catalog will feel more than at home with his latest bizarre entry to his canon.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Sofia Boutella, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile
Director: Gasper Noé
Rating: R
Runtime: 95 minutes

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The Report on Amazon Prime

The Report (2019)

A star-studded cast, including Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm, 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%
Stars: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison
Director: Scott Z. Burns
Rating: R
Runtime: 119 minutes

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To Catch a Thief

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%
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Runtime: 106 minutes

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The Handmaiden

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%
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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Knives Out

Knives Out (2019)

In a family gathering that ends in tragedy with the death of the patriarch, a master detective must figure out who the perpetrator is. A classic thriller whodunit trope with a modern twist, the star-studded cast alone makes this film a must-watch. Performing well at the box office and receiving plenty of accolades for the screenplay, direction, and story, the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was dubbed one of the top movies of 2019 by the National Board of Review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer
Director: Rian Johnson
Rating: PG
Runtime: 130 minutes

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We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Lionel Shriver’s psychological thriller, We Need to Talk About Kevin, was adapted for the screen by director Lynne Ramsay with Ezra Miller in the title role. Regardless, this movie belongs to Tilda Swinton, who plays Kevin’s mother, Eva. John C. Reilly also has a rare dramatic turn as Eva’s husband and Kevin’s father, Franklin. The story begins in the present, as Eva struggles to deal with the enormity of Kevin’s crime against society and herself. But as Eva examines her past, she begins to wonder what part she had to play in raising a monster under her own roof. Swinton’s performance is electric, and it carries the film all the way to its conclusion. However, Miller’s Kevin is the rare screen monster who is all too human with the evil he inflicts upon the world.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Rating: R
Runtime: 112 minutes

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You Were Never Really Here (2017)

You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Joaquin Phoenix is on point in Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here. The Oscar-winning actor plays Joe, a brutalizer-for-hire, with a specialty in rescuing trafficked girls. Suffering from suicidal thoughts and years of trauma from his childhood through his military career, Joe agrees to a new mission. It’s standard fare: Rescue a senator’s daughter and take down anyone that gets in the way. The only trouble is that those involved are part of a much deeper political conspiracy, and Joe lands right in the middle of the villains and their victims. You Were Never Really Here has teeth, and it bites — a lot. Those uneasy with gore may want to choose something else on this list. For those that can stomach Joe’s reign of hammer-blows, you’ll be rewarded with a brilliantly directed character study and a mesmerizing lead performance from our latest cinematic Joker.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Rating: 14A
Runtime: 89 minutes

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