What makes a great thriller? It can be hard to put your finger on an answer, in part because the definition of a thriller is always changing. Some thrillers are also great action movies, while others could be defined as great horror movies, or at least horror adjacent. Thrillers exist in a nebulous zone in the middle; they’re often fun to watch, but not the same joyride many action movies are, and they’re also unsettling without being outright terrifying. The best thrillers are actively helping to define the genre, and that’s what makes them so special.
What unites thrillers, though, is that great ones are riveting from their opening moments. They often tell stories of seedy underworlds or criminal enterprises, and they’re often unafraid of being racy when they need to be. A great thriller should entertain you, but it should also leave you asking questions when you exit the theater. The
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom: Everything we know about this Jason Momoa and Amber Heard DC movie
- The 11 best Steven Spielberg movies, ranked
- HBO’s True Detective Season 4: Jodie Foster hunts a serial killer (and everything else we know)
- Disney CEO says there are so many Marvel movies it’s causing the franchise to lose steam (and revenue)
- The 11 best Robert Downey Jr. movies, ranked