The 50 best thrillers to watch on Netflix right now – The Sun

YOU may be stuck at home because of the coronavirus outbreak, but Netflix has come to the rescue with some thrilling series that are sure to fill the boredom that comes with self-isolation.

Here's our round up of the most binge-worthy thrillers on the streaming service to get you through lockdown.


The American slasher film, directed by Mike Flanagan, follows how a woman called Madison Young (Kate Siegel) escapes the murder of a man watching her from outside her home.

Madison lost her ability to hear and speak after catching bacterial meningitis as a teen and decided that living away from the city in the woods with her cat is the best option for her.

After a visit from her friend Sarah, a masked killer bumps into her on her way home in the woods and tries to kill her, so she runs back to Madison's cabin in fear.

Her pal screams and shouts for her help outside her home but Madison can't hear and she dies – and to the killer's advantage, he realises that Madison is unable to hear and he decides that he's his next victim.

The film, which premiered on the streaming site in 2016, is a cat and mouse chase between Madison and the killer… but will Madison be able to outlive her killer?

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 93%

2. I See You 

The film starts with a man called Greg Harper who is made head of a case after a ten-year-old boy is abducted from his local park.

While he's doing well at work, in his private life Greg is struggling to come to terms with the fact that his wife Jackie has cheated on him with another man.

The married couple live in a beautiful house with their son Connor – who resents his mum for her infidelity – and they all start to realise that things are getting moved around the house, getting misplaced or going missing.

It is soon revealed that the people behind the weird goings-on are two people called Mindy and Alec, who have been hiding in their loft in secret to spy on them.

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 78%

3. Contagion

This Steven Soderbergh flick is extremely close to home considering the past year we've all had whilst trying to fight the outbreak of Covid-19.

The film, which was released nine years ago, follows civilians and medics trying to deal with a killer virus outbreak of a fictional virus called MEV-1, which has a 72-hour incubation period and high fatality rate.

Many fans have claimed that Contagion predicted what has happened this year. 

Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishbourne star in the flick.

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 85%

4. Zodiac 

The 2007 American mystery thriller film starts with a couple who are shot at lovers' lane in Vallejo, California.

Soon after the crime, the San Francisco Chronicle receive various coded letters from a person named "Zodiac".

Political cartoonist Robert Graysmith, who works at the paper and specialises in drawing, soon realises that the are from the person who committed the crime.

They start to piece what the Zodiac sends over to them to figure out the identity of the killer.

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 89%

5. U Want Me 2 Kill Him?

When schoolboy Mark tried to stab his pal John, detective inspector Sarah Clayton wanted to investigate further into why he did such a thing.

As she started researching, the policewoman found out that Mark fell in love with a girl online called Rachel – who is John's sister.

The young woman, who claimed she was in an abusive relationship and said she could never meet up with him, asked Mark to befriend her brother.

Mark's heart was broken when he was told that Rachel was killed by her boyfriend by John and began to plan his revenge.

As things start to unravel, it becomes clear that John isn't as innocent as he seems…

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 67%

6. The Stranger

The Stranger is a perfect binge watch in lockdown

Based on Harlan Coben's novel of the same name, the series will follow Adam Price, who seems to be living the perfect life – two great sons, a watertight marriage – until a stranger approaches him at a bar and reveals a shocking secret about Price's wife, Corinne.

You will never actually guess whodunnit in The Stranger, because with all the twists and turns the ending comes as quite a surprise.

It also stars Joanna Lumley as a cake shop owner – who doesn't want to see that.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 83%

7. You

A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by.

Penn Badgeley stars as the creepy stalker who might seem charming on the outside, but you don't want to see what's in his basement.

Set in New York and then Los Angeles, You follows Joe as he obsesses over a string of girls and has become one of the most popular shows on Netflix.

Based on Caroline Kepnes' best-selling novel of the same name, You is a 21st century love story that asks, "What would you do for love?".

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 90%

8. Mindhunter

Two FBI agents give birth to the science of psychological profiling to get into the minds of serial killers to try and catch them before their next kill.

Set in the late 1970s, the two FBI agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases.

Jonathan Groff gives a career defining performance, as the show recreates real interviews with some of the world's most famous serial killers.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 97%

9. Narcos

Narcos tells the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels thanks to drug king pin Pablo Escobar.

It follows DEA agent Steve Murphy as he tries to take down the Colombian drug lord.

More recent series follow what happened to Colombia and the fight for control of the drug business after Escobar's downfall.

As efforts are made to control cocaine, one of the world's most valuable commodities, the many entities involved – legal, political, police, military and civilian – find themselves in conflict.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 89%

10. The Gift

The Turkish thriller follows a painter, Atiye, in Istanbul as she embarks on a personal journey to unearth universal secrets about an Anatolian archaeological site and its link to her past.

An archaeologist Erhan discovers a symbol in the region's oldest temple that reveals the mystical relationship between Atiye and the temple.

As she unravels more of the mystery, Atiye questions everything between the past and the future, between the reality and the unknown.
Google Audience Rating: 94% (it does not have a rating on Rotten Tomatoes)

11. Ex Machina

Caleb Smith, a young programmer, gets a chance to become a part of a strange scientific experiment where he is expected to assess artificial intelligence by interacting with a female robot.

But things get out of hand quickly on the remote property when the robot starts to game the system.

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander give outstanding performances in this sci-fi thriller which has become a cult classic.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 92%

12. Hell or High Water

This gritty film starring Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster is set in Texas.

After the death of his mother, the unemployed oil and gas worker Toby Howard (Pine) is losing his ranch to the Bank

He then teams up with his brother Tanner who has just been released from prison, to rob banks to pay off his debts.

But the whole time, Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Bridge) who is near retirement are on their tail trying to guess their next move.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 97%

13. Bird Box

Starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and crowd favourite Sarah Paulson, Bird Box was a massive conversation starter when it first aired on Netflix.

More than 45 million watched the film which follows the events after an unknown global terror.

Malorie (Bullock) has to muster the strength to get her children to safety all while wearing a blindfold.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 63%

14. Apostle

Set in 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister on an isolated island battles it out with a sinister religious cult.

Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) travels to the island to rescue his sister but the mysterious religious cult demands a ransom for her safe return.

It soon becomes clear that the cult will regret the day it tried to tangle with Thomas, as he finds out more of the secrets and lies upon which the commune is built.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 80%

15. Jinn

Jinn is about a group of teenagers who go on a field trip to Petra, which is known as home to ancient demons and strange phenomena. The group's lives are disrupted when a spiritual figure appears, accidentally summoned by one of them.

They must try and stop the Jinn – a supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology – from destroying the world.

The film caused controversy in Jordan, with some government agencies wanting to ban it for "immoral content".
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 83%

16. Berlin Syndrome

Aussie actress Teresa Palmer stars in this thriller about how a passionate holiday romance lead to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.

She soon learns her lover has no intention of letting her out of his apartment.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 75%

17. Creep

Mark Duplass is usually known for his comedic roles, but now he's just creepy.

A young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man.

When he notices the man's odd behaviour, he sees the job through, but when it's time to leave he can't find his keys.

But then he receives a strange phone call and discovers his client is not at all what he initially seemed to be.

Starring Mark Duplass who is usually known for his comedic chops in shows such as The Mindy Project.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 89%

18. Blue Ruin

A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.

The 2014 thriller is one of the rawest and emotionally intense thrillers you'll watch in a long time.

It's a slow paced film that fills the viewer with a sense of foreboding throughout.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 96%

19. Gerald's Game

Starring a creepy 'monster' who will haunt your dreams for months to come, this film follows the repercussions of a sex game gone wrong between a long-time married couple who are trying to spice things up.

Carla Gugino must fight for her life after her husband dies of a heart attack during the sex game which left her handcuffed to the bed.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 91%

20. The Chosen One

Three young doctors sent to a remote village in Pantanal to vaccinate the residents find themselves trapped in an isolated community that is shrouded in secrets.

The residents of the community are devotees of a mysterious leader, who has the gift of curing diseases in a supernatural way.

Google User Audience Rating: 88%

21. 60 Days In

Seven civilians take part in an experiment that sees them pose as prisoners in an Indiana prison for 60 days, in an attempt to expose internal issues and examine life behind bars.

The participants include mum of two Barbra, police officer Tami and eccentric teacher Robert.

Tension between the volunteers and inmates quickly escalates, and one participant even finds themselves victim of physical assault.

A harrowing look at the reality of life in prison.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 77%

22. A Fall from Grace

It’s had mixed reviews but nobody can deny Tyler Perry’s movie leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Devastated by her ex-husband’s affair, Grace Waters (Crystal Fox) believes she’s found the love of her life.

But her joy is short-lived, and she soon finds herself admitting to the murder of her new husband.

A young lawyer is skeptical of her story, and sets out to uncover the truth.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 52%

23. Dark

A missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations.

The first German original series produced for Netflix, Dark follows a web of curious characters, all who have a connection to their small town’s troubled history – whether they know it or not.

Catch up on the first two seasons of the German sci-fi thriller before Netflix releases its third and final instalment.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating 94%

24. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an outstanding performance as young hustler Lou, a freelance videographer who trawls the streets of Los Angeles to film disasters and death.

But he soon discovers there’s a darker side to the trade.

Jake lost 14kg for his role in the crime thriller.

He told Deadline: “That hunger—that literal and figurative hunger—was a state that was really important for me to be in. It just drove the scenes.”

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating 85%

25. Prisoners

For those who can’t get enough of Jake Gyllenhaal, the actor also stars in 2013 thriller Prisoners alongside Hugh Jackman.

Described as ‘one of the most intense thrillers in recent years’, the plot kicks off when two young girls suddenly go missing outside their home.

Jackman plays the father who is prepared to do whatever it takes to find his daughter.

Meanwhile, Gyllenhaal plays an erratic, obsessive cop who is becoming increasingly frustrated at the crumbling investigation.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating 87%

26. The Silence of the Lambs

This 1991 is one of the few films to win the 'Big Five' at the Oscars; Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay.
Jodie Foster plays an FBI trainee who is tasked with interviewing Sir Anthony Hopkins' serial killer, Hannibal Lecter.
The cat and mouse game that follows is nothing short of chilling and will definitely send a shiver down your spine.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 95%

27. The Wicker Man

Seen by many as a true classic, the original 1975 version of The Wicker Man sees Edward Woodward's cop assigned to a remote Scottish island after a young girl is reported missing.
All is not as it seems once he arrives and he soon finds himself in the world of pagan rituals.
Christopher Lee is the town's leader Lord Summerisle which hints at the true horror which is to come in the iconic final scenes.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 82%

28. Minority Report

This 2002 sci-fi mystery thriller from Steven Spielberg stars Tom Cruise as the captain of a police department which predicts crimes before they happen.
However, his character is picked out as a future killer, sending him on a quest to try and prove his innocence, all while being hunted down by his former colleagues.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 80%

29. Cape Fear

Robert De Niro plays a convicted rapist in this 1991 Martin Scorcese remake who decides to terrorise the family of the lawyer who put him away.
De Niro nails the unhinged criminal, while Nick Nolte is a great co-star.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 77%

30. Drive

Not your typical thriller, but Drive is certainly gripping.
It follows Ryan Gosling's Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver.
However, things become complicated when he become friends with his neighbour, played by Carey Mulligan.
It's cool, it's violent, it's gripping. Check it out.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 79%

31. The Sinner

Detective Harry Ambrose as the only recurring character each series looks at why normal people commit horrific murders.

The first season stars Jessica Biel who stabs a man on a beach one day and her whole mysterious past is uncovered. There's a moment at the end of the last episode of the first season that will give you actual chills.

In series two and three are new cases that Ambrose has to solve. It's worth it alone just for the Bill Pullman screen time. Swoooon.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 95%

32. How to Get Away With Murder

The incredible Viola Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, with five of her students, becomes entwined in a murder plot.

It's currently up to its sixth season so plenty of content to binge watch during post-lockdown nights where the thought of going out doesn't sound as thrilling as what's on Netflix.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 88%

33. Dirty John

What's more chilling than fiction? Real life, which is exactly what Dirty John is.

Based on the based on the podcast of the same name by Christopher Goffard, it tells the story of  Connie Britton who falls in love with the charismatic and manipulative John Meehan.

It spirals into secrets, denial, and ultimately, survival – with horrific consequences for an entire family.

Watch it and then listen to the podcast. You'll be hooked.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 79%

34. Unfriended: Dark Web

A group of 20-somethings are pulled into a lethal online game after logging onto a stolen laptop.

It's that whole 'Black Mirror' vibe mixed with 'Big Brother' where you get confused who you're rooting for in the end.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 67%

35. Gone Girl

Twists, turns, lies and deceit will make you question whose side you're on during this 2014 American psychological thriller film.

Based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn, it stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry.

Set in Missouri, the story begins as a mystery that follows the events surrounding Nick Dunne (Affleck), who becomes the prime suspect in the sudden disappearance of his wife Amy (Pike).
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 87%

36. The Fall

Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson, is seconded to Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to help find the elusive Belfast Strangler.

Serial killer Paul Spector has already murdered two women and during the season claims the life of another.

50 Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan is the evil Spector and the thrilling game of cat and mouse between him and Stella will have you on the edge of your seat.

Add in a healthy dose of police corruption and some teenage infatuation and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 84%

37. Hannibal

A prequel, of sorts, for Silence of the Lambs, the series follows FBI profiler Will Graham as he is recruited to help investigate a serial killer in Minnesota.

Graham’s senior officer decides to have him supervised by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Initially, Lecter—who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer—works to manipulate the FBI from within, but the bond he builds with Graham begins to threaten his longevity.

Criminally underrated, this series dives headlong into the complex workings of Hannibal’s mind and his desire to kill.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 92%

38. Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler isn’t the first person you think of when it comes to casting for a thriller.

However, as Jewish-American jeweller and gambling addict Howard Ratner in New York City's Diamond District is well worth a watch.

Ratner must retrieve an expensive gem he purchased to pay off his debts losing it and getting killed.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 92%

39. No Country For Old Men

Starring Tommy Lee Miller, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, NCFOM is written and directed by the Coen Brothers.

It sees a Texas welder and Vietnam War veteran in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas.

Anton, played by Bardem, uses a coin toss to decide the fate of his victims as he attempts to recover money from a drug deal gone wrong.

Brolin stars as Llewelyn Moss, who has stolen the money, and is desperate to evade both Anton and Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Miller.
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 93%

40. The Call

Jordan Turner is a 9-1-1 operator who is left guilt-ridden after taking a call from a woman in the middle of a home invasion and who subsequently dies.

Six months later she receives another call from a girl who has been kidnapped and Jordan attempts to help her escape before they're disconnected and she decides to help the victim herself.

Featuring a stellar cast of Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, this thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as Halle's Jordan tries to save her from the serial killer.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 45%

41. Misery

Based on Stephen King’s incredible book of the same name, the film follows novelist Paul Sheldon, played by James Caan, who is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes, Kathy Bates.

Everything seems alright, albeit a little intense as Annie claims to be his biggest fan but things go wrong when she discovers the author is about to kill off her favourite character from his novels.

Kathy Bates is creepy AF as obsessed Annie and the bit with the sledgehammer? Ouch.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 90%

42. Velvet Buzzsaw

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the gloriously showy art critic Morf Vandewalt, who can literally make or break an artist’s career with his buzz-generating reviews.

However, after paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.

Striking visuals combined with a streak of black humour will keep viewers on the edge of their toes.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 61%

43. Inheritance

Starring eyebrow queen Lily Collins, Inheritance follows the story of wealthy and powerful patriarch Archer Monrow who suddenly dies.

At the reading of his will the family learn that they have not been treated equally and Archer has left $20 million to his son William, played by Chase Crawford, but (just) $1 million to his daughter Lauren [Lily Collins].

However, Lauren is left something much more significant in the form of the family’s deepest, darkest secrets.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 25%

44. Killer Women with Piers Morgan

Broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan travels across the US, meeting some of the country's most notorious female killers.

Throughout the series, Piers meets with the women face to face and asks them to recount the crime and explain what drove them to kill in the first place.

Among those interviewed over the three series are Rebecca Fenton, who murdered her husband, and Amber Wright, who took part in the murder of her teenage boyfriend.

45. I Am A Killer

I Am A Killer follows several convicted murderers sitting on death row in America who are interviewed about their cold-blooded crimes.

Each episode of the ten-part series profiles a different prisoner as they recount the events that led up to them being banged up behind bars.

The show has access to such killers as 54 year-old James Robertson, who is awaiting being put to death in Florida for killing his cell mate Frank Hart.

In his interview, James reveals he deliberately murdered his fellow prisoner while serving time for various thefts because he wanted to get out of solitary confinement and onto death row instead.


46. His House

An unmissable thriller stars some of the most talented actors in Britain today, including Matt Smith, Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku.

The former Doctor Who plays the burnt out case worker of South Sudanese refugees Bol (Dirisu) and Rial (Mosaku) as they try to make a new start in England.

As they try to get their British citizenship they can't not ignore the growing horrors that happens to each of them in their new home, including seeing their dead child haunt them in a twisted ghost form.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 100%


47. The Handmaiden

This Korean film has a cult following and a swag of awards for a reason.

It premiered in 2016 and remains a reference for sexy, period dramas.

The Handmaiden follows a woman who is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 95%


48. The Nightingale

This film is not for the faint hearted and depicts some pretty gruesome scenes of violence.

Set in a colonial Australia in 1825, the moody film follows Clare, a young Irish convict woman, who chases a British officer through the rugged Australian wilderness.

Clare is hell bent on revenge for the unspeakable violence the officer committed against her husband and newborn baby.

On her journey of retribution, she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who has his own trauma and demons to deal with.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: 86%


49. The Black Spot

This noir thriller is Netflix's first original commission in Belgium and it does not disappoint.

Set in a remote village without internet, phone coverage or even a church to protect locals from the creepy spirits that live in the dense forest.Things definitely don't bode well when the town's tradition is to leave outgoing high school students alone in the forest for the night.So the police chief and an eccentric new prosecutor investigate the string of grisly crimes and eerie phenomena in the isolated town at the edge of a forest.

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Rating: N/A


50. Elite

Not your typical murder mystery, this Spanish thriller TV drama, shows the loves of three working-class students enrolled in a private school through a scholarship.

However, their wealthy classmates make life anything but easy. Life is made even harder when a student is murdered and her classmates are potential suspects.

It could be described as a Spanish version of 13 Reasons Why.

English subtitles and dubbing are available.

Rotten Tomatoes audience rating: 88%

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