Thursday, October 16, 2008

Best Thriller Movies

I recently saw Nick of Time with Johnny Depp.  It reminded me of why I think some movies deserve to be called great.  By telling an intriguing story, they make you feel emotion.  Here are some movies that, no matter how many times I see them, I feel the same intense emotions at the same places in the film.  

Body Heat (1981) - passion; we saw this movie at a drive-in on a cold night and by the middle of the picture, we were sweating from the steamy scenes.

Seven Days in May (1962) - fear and loathing; chilling because at the time the film was released the world was one tick away from a nuclear holocaust.

Like Water for Chocolate (1992) - passion, longing, joy, humor, compassion, sadness for what might have been, for what should have been.  This is not a thriller, but it is a wonderful movie.

L.A. Confidential (1997) - passion, obsession, envy, innocence and the perfect blend of all these elements into a smart, stylish thriller.

Das Boot (1981) - claustrophobia, suspense, loneliness, compassion for an enemy who is more like us than he is different from us.

Manchurian Candidate (1962) - nightmarish horror, hopelessness, ice cold cruelty; makes you want to run home and thank your Mother for being so nice to you.

My Dinner With Andre (1981) - intensely interesting 2-hour conversation between two men who never leave their table at a New York restaurant.  This is not a thriller, but an odd, compelling little movie.

Nick of Time (1995) - fear, anxiety, mistrust, resourcefulness, and tenacity that comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Night of the Hunter (1955) - terror enhanced by every nuance of a film noir style and lyrical images.

Ransom (1996) - hope, anguish, loathing, and finally relief in a plot with several twists you don't see coming; one of the best movie trailers of all time:.

Rear Window (1954) - Hitchcock was the master of finding terror in the most unexpected places.


Events by Evonne, LLC said...

"Thriller" is my favorite genre! Thanks for your recommendations... I will have to put some of these movies on my Netflix queue.

J Sav said...

There's no end to great thrillers. When your Netflix queue runs low, here are some more: Dial M for Murder (1954), North by Northwest (1959), The Sting (1973), Jagged Edge (1985), House of Games (1987), The Firm (1993) and The Usual Suspects (1995). One that's on my Netflix list is Smokin' Aces (2006). One thing that makes a great thriller is the twist at the end.