Best thriller movies on Netflix you must watch (February 2021)

Thriller movies are the most popular genres on Netflix, and well, across any form of entertainment these days. And why wouldn’t they be? They offer the best of both worlds. Authors develop the characters; we build the story up to a crescendo. Then we start picking clues, investing all our time into every tiny detail, but thoroughly enjoying the story, action, suspense, mystery, and everything that unfolds.

While Netflix offers a wide-ranging selection of thrillers, I have rounded up some of the best thriller movies on Netflix you can watch from psychological to mystery, horror, and beyond! Make sure you have your eyes glued to the screen, or you will end up missing a lot in that whirlwind second.

1. Shutter Island 

Shutter Island best thriller movie on Netflix
Source: IMDb

Two minutes into the movie and the gloomy background score will melt your heart away. It is dense; it has an eerie feel to it, different energy; that’s Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island for you. It’s doomy, but not horror; it’s dark but captivating, do not miss a single moment, my friend, for it will feel like you have entered a time loop just like the protagonist Leonardo DiCaprio.

Spill the sauce: Shutter Island is a craggy island off Boston, where criminally insane prisoners reside in a fortress. Two officers, US marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), visit the dread island to investigate a child murderer’s disappearance. And this is how the story unfolds. 

The climax is more confusing than the movie itself. Shutter Island is not meant for the soft-hearted. Leo and Mark are aces of the film, the cinematography captures the vibe perfectly, and tension prevails throughout the movie, which keeps the anticipation alive. This 120-second something film is undoubtedly going to be one of your go-to thriller movies once you get the hang of it. Watch it already.

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2. Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems best thriller movies for Netflix
Source: IMDb

You cannot help but laugh when Adam Sandler is on the big screen. But, Sandler taking the lead in a thriller movie? Now that’s something I need time to digest. This gambling addict diamond junkie, who takes more significant risks to get out of the debt, and the hardships that come along, is what the movie is all about.

Spill the sauce: Adam Sandler’s character makes terrible decisions throughout the movie, so much that it is pretty evident that he might see his downfall any moment. Still, you feel bad for the guy and want him to work his way out. Be it the scene where the goons follow him or the time he keeps betting more money; you want him to realize and work his way out of the mistakes.

The pursuit of the ultimate win would have made an excellent title to the movie. Thus, 135 minute-something film is on the lighter side of the thriller scale like it’s scary but funny. If you asked me just one reason to watch this movie, it would be its brilliant screenplay and Sandler’s charm.

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3. Inception

Inception best thriller movies on Netflix
Source: IMDb

Now, this is the movie that I call immune-to-spoilers. A film that is beyond a human’s wildest imagination, a drama that Christopher Nolan took more than ten years to pen down, a risk that could have gone either way, but a brilliant star cast and a genius director gave us one of the best movies that cinema could have ever witnessed.

Spill the sauce: If you know how the movie unfolds, you know what the character was dreaming about? Or was he even dreaming? Is he still dreaming? Let’s not get into the loop. Leo vividly mentions that one can not remember the beginning of the dream or the end. And I bet you don’t remember what you are dreaming about. But, if that’s the scenario, what was the movie even based upon? 

Coherent, imaginative, and entertaining, this is Inception for you. The 300 minutes long journey is going to get you hooked and dreamy, even keep you on the roll. I have watched this movie at least five times in the last decade, and every time I watch it, I keep coming back for more.

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4. Bird Box

Bird Box best thriller movies on Netflix
Source: IMDb

Based on Josh Malerman’s novel, Bird Box is brutal to its core. The story is a journey of an experimental mother striving to form a connection with her baby, start witnessing mass suicides all of a sudden, and is driven into a conquest of saving her family toward the end of the movie. You may remember this movie as the one that kept the memes coming a lot after its release.

Spill the sauce: Bird Box is divided into two time periods, five years after the end of the world and the initial days when everything started collapsing. The majority of the time, the film rolls around in flashbacks with Malorie. While casually discussing mass suicides happening on the other side of the world, Malorie and her sister end up witnessing people hurling themselves out of windows and into traffic, from a woman bashing her head into glass windows to another getting into the driver’s seat of a burning car.

Shot on a limited budget, the Bird Box keeps the audience hooked throughout the content. Bullock shows her charm, the kids are great actors, and the movie is packed with engaging dialogues. Avoid watching this one with your kids, though.

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5. Time to hunt

Time to hunt best thriller movies on Netflix
Source: IMDb

A Korean drama, preferably a coherent mixture of sci-fi, crime, and horror heist, Time to Hunt is here to get you an intense adrenaline rush. The movie is excellent craftsmanship of perfect acting, great cinematography accompanied by South Korean brilliancy that has always surprised us. The plot revolves around people nearing their financial crisis; pretty relatable, eh?

Spill the sauce: The film starts with a young blade releasing from prison and greeted by his friends. His immediate goal is to earn enough money for them for the robbery for which he was punished either spent or devalued, leaving him in a critical financial crisis. And to get out of this situation and make things better, they get into ……… another robbery and gambling! Sounds stupid? Try being in their shoes and think of the horror now. It scares you to death, right? 

Premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, Time to Hunt came up right before the Coronavirus lockdowns, giving everyone a perfect time to ponder the movie when the world was standing in the middle of a financial crisis. Need another push to watch the movie? One of the Parasite guys is in the film! Which one? Well, watch the film to figure it out.

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6. Extraction 

Extraction best thriller movies on Netflix
Source: IMDb

A black market mercenary with no shits to give sets upon a journey to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned crime god. Will he manage to free the son amidst an already existing ruckus of weapon dealers, drug traffickers? What problems does he face while dealing with the impossible?

Spill the sauce:  What may seem like a classic hit-and-chase goons movie from the 90s is much more than that. That Chris Hemsworth charm, the rivalry that he has to witness, and a string of emotions displayed in Randeep Hooda’s character convey many hidden emotions. The cherry on the cake is the action sequences in the movie that keep you on the chair the whole time. 

Named Tyler Rake, the superhero mercenary is our Thor himself. This action thriller sequence screams entertainment with 116 minutes of its run time, and every character has a back story of their own, making the content more engaging. Amidst the rays of physiological thrillers, an action thriller feels like Friday night’s Joey’s special!

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7. Gerald’s Game

Gerald's game best thriller movies on Netflix
Source: IMDb

A weekend gateway and a sexual fantasy went wrong. Gerald’s Game is a horror-thriller that depicts the journey of a couple trying to rekindle their relationship to take a romantic holiday, only to have one of them die of a fatal heart attack and the other person stuck handcuffed in a house where no one can hear her screams.

Spill the sauce:  At one point in the movie, you will find Carla talking to her dead husband’s spirit, discussing things like their relationship and life that she could have never discussed while she was alive. Meanwhile, the stray dog is biting the skin of the dead man’s hand and chewing it off. 

A very risky adaptation of Stephen King’s novels, Gerald’s Game, was regarded as his novel’s best adaption that year. It is the same year when the infamous interpretation ‘it’ was released. Any loyal Stephan King fan knows that his novels are blessed with absurd endings, and Gerald’s Game is no exception. But, it is the direction that makes it a genius redemption.

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Binge-watching these best thriller movies on Netflix already?

Well, I am a fan of movies with open endings. Add a flavor of thrill to it, and we are golden. These are some of the most-watched and top thriller movies on Netflix, some of them masterpieces. It is hard for me to pick one from the list; I am still confused between Inception and Shutter Island. I am planning to watch all of these again to get to my favorite movie.

Why don’t you help me pick one? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

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An entrepreneur by heart, I am obsessed with the world of Apple. I survive on Apple products and their updates. Over the last five years, I have been writing all kinds of content that are remotely connected to Apple and sharing across digital platforms. When not writing, you will find me on the court playing basketball or in my room playing the sitar.


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