Thriller films are always a treat to watch. It gives the audience an adrenaline rush to what will happen in the next scene. A common aspect of crime thriller films is that, it involves an extended investigation conducted by police, lawyers, journalists and private detectives. But most of them happen to be predicable in the midway. Only a few films will leave us puzzled till the end, and there are also films that require multiple viewings to know what actually has happened. Here are some of the best and of course my favorite of such films. I call them freaking awesome because they really are! I don't like the idea of ranking the films while making a list, as each of the film is different in its own way.
1. Se7en (1995) – USA
Director: David Fincher
A soon to be retired veteran detective and his newly transferred replacement are on hot pursuit after a serial killer whose motifs are based on 7 deadly sins. Believe me, this is the best thriller film I have ever seen. Se7en is an outstanding film in all the aspects, especially the way the thrill element is maintained throughout is really terrific. The cinematography and visual effects gives you a haunting effect that will remain with the viewer for quite a while. The film brings out one of the finest performances from Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. For thriller movie freaks, this is a not-to-miss film.
2. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) – Argentina
Director: Juan José Campanella
In the Argentinean era of political unrest and state sponsored terrorism, the film tells the story of a murder case and its effect on the lives of persons closely involved. Switching back and forth between 1974 and 2000, this film sets the standards of how a mystery drama film should be, with an intense and engulfing plot, mesmerizing performance, excellent execution of a well written script by the director. For those who are bored of mediocre Hollywood films, go for this emotional and rich thriller. You will not be disappointed!
3. Memories of Murder (2003) – South Korea
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Two detectives with different mindset and methods in approaching homicide cases are appointed to solve unsolved mysteries behind murders of young girls. The film is based on the true story of South Korea’s first known serial murders. The film moves in a slow pace but that suits it very well with a fantastic character development, acting and a flawless screenplay at the top. You can find many thriller films like this but not like this one for sure. Films like this are very uncommon and far better than most of the Hollywood counterparts.
4. Angel Heart (1987) – USA
Director: Alan Parker
A private detective is hired by a mysterious man to find a missing singer and soon realizes that things are not simple as he expected it be in the course of his investigation and finds himself in lot of trouble. What makes this interesting is its blend of horror, mystery and detective genre, a gripping and intriguing plot and great performances from Rourke and de Niro. The eerie soundtrack is excellently coherent with the dark and unnerving plot. Read my review about the film here.
Director: Roman Polanski
A ghost writer is hired to complete the memoir of an ex Prime minister, and in the course of writing, his own life is put under risk.The film turned out to be a slow paced gripping thriller, thanks to Ewan McGregor’s powerful performance and Roman Polanski’s stylish direction. This may not be the best of Polanski, but it surely is a terrific mystery thriller film that keeps you engaged till the end. Other than the plot, I really liked the film’s chill and rainy environment. Upon its release, the film drew controversies because of its sensitive political content.
6. Shutter Island (2010) – USA
Director: Martin Scorcese
Set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Edward Daniels arrives at a mental hospital for criminally insane located in the titular Shutter Island, to investigate the disappearance of a murderess escaped from the hospital and suspected to be hiding nearby. When you have a film directed by Scorcese with Dicaprio in it, what else you need! Shutter Island’s great success lies with Marty’s superior command and flair in delivering a simple plot as a sophisticated psychological thriller. Dicaprio portrays Edward as a desperate one in finding the truth in a brilliant manner that we start to follow him in his quest to solve the puzzle. Shutter Island combines variety of genre like detective, fantasy, period, film noir and psychological thriller, and heavily influenced by Hitchcock films.
7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – USA
Director: David Fincher
Financially broken journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by leading business magnet Henrik Vanger and assisted by an aggressive and talented computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, to find a woman from Vanger family who has been missing for 40 years. Fincher has given yet another immensely enjoyable film with a captivating plot staged brilliantly. The film is technically superior, well acted, excellently shot and progresses in fast pace. You will never get a boring or dull moment with captivating performances from Craig and Rooney Mara. An apt choice for those who prefer a fast paced mystery thriller.