Best Thriller Films (1)

1. FARGO (1996).

Jerry Lundegaard’s inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen’s bungling as well as the persistent police work of pregnant Marge Gunderson. For me, the Coen Brothers can be very hit or miss; bar a couple of gems (The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men), I believe them to be one of the most overrated names in Hollywood. However, this is as perfect a film as you are likely to see. Apparently based on a true story, this is a scary look at what life may possibly be like behind the doors of such ordinary people.

 2. SEVEN (1995).

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. This is the ultimate serial killer/detective film. It has everything – David Fincher’s masterful directing, a storyline like no other, incredible yet honest performances by Pitt and Freeman, and the quintessential unmerciful bad guy. A masterpiece!

 3. ONE EIGHT SEVEN (1997).

After surviving a brutal attack by a student, teacher Trevor Garfield moves from New York to Los Angeles, where things get from bad to worse. Despite being quite a rare film featuring Samuel L. Jackson, his performance as a troubled Los Angeles teacher in an urban high school is truly memorable. For somebody seeking out an edgier, grittier Dangerous Minds, this is the film for you.

 4. HEAT (1995).

The lives of two men on opposite sides of the law – one a detective, and the other a thief. God forbid there are people who have somehow missed this film. For fans of crime capers, Michael Mann, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, to name but a few, you have to watch this film. It is cool, calm and collected, and yet it isn’t afraid to fire off a million bullets when necessary.

 5. KALIFORNIA (1993).

A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself. For those who believe Brad Pitt is all looks and no substance, you are solely mistaken. His performance as the remorseless Early Grayce is truly terrifying. Pray you never meet a character like this.

 6. LEON (1994).

A professional assassin, Leon, reluctantly takes care of 12-year-old Mathilda, a neighbour whose parents are killed, and teaches her his trade. There is nothing more to say other than this film being one of the greatest films of the nineties, and maybe of all time. Jean Reno is the gentlest, nicest man imaginable, yet he is also the most relentless contract killer around. Add Luc Besson and an irreplaceable Gary Oldman to the equation and you have a classic piece of French-American moviemaking.


A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. Deserving of the Oscar, Gene Hackman plays “Popeye” Doyle, a real brute of a cop, tackling a French drug syndicate in this electrifying, no holds barred crime thriller.

 8. SERPICO (1973).

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force, only to have his comrades turn against him. Put the late, great Sidney Lumet at the helm of your film as well as the typically incomprehensible Al Pacino and you have a classic.

 9. REAR WINDOW (1954).
A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. To this day, I have still never had a bad experience with Alfred Hitchcock. He may still be the true master of suspense, even now. Add Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly to a fairly simple concept for a story and you have a film that truly stands the test of time.


A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. Hitchcock does it again! This 1950s gem is a beautifully shot, incredibly acted out portrayal of crime, conspiracy and suspense. A must-see for any film-goer.

Written by Conley Low


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