The 100 Best Thriller Movies Of All Time - Entertainment News 2022

A thriller might be difficult to define, but you can usually tell when you sense or see one. within your hands. close to your armpits, Your leg continues to shake uncontrollably as you grind off the enamel in your teeth. It's the most physically intense cinema genre, second only to horror, and when done well, it produces a visceral reaction unmatched by any other.
The best thriller films always get it right, you can be sure of that. But there are many other ways they start that reaction. Political conspiracies, murder mysteries, explosive and subtly tense psychological dramas, and, of course, a tonne of crime, all fall within the thriller genre. Clearly, there are a lot of things in the thriller. The finest of them, though, will captivate you, steal your breath, and leave your brain spinning.

1. North by Northwest (1959)

We haven't yet seen a thriller that is more thrilling, hotter or filled with memorable moments than this one. The most enjoyable aspect of Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller is how easily everything seems to flow: a gliding magic carpet trip from New York to Mount Rushmore via Chicago and a Midwestern bus stop, while Cary Grant's ad guy experiences a potentially fatal case of Wrong Man-itis. It takes a lot of labor to produce a movie that seems so effortless. All of this is a testimony to Hitch and his team of talented individuals who worked behind the scenes, including screenwriter Ernest Lehman, composer Bernard Herrmann, and Saul Bass, who created the film's renowned title sequence. The cast, too? All of the characters—heroes, villains, and anxious mothers—are having a blast, including Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau, and Jessie Royce Landis. However, Grant is the star of the film, a Hollywood A-lister who enjoys being the joke when the situation calls for it.

The Killer Scene: The crop-duster sequence, which starts out like a Western showdown and finishes with the sexiest guy in the film lying face down on the ground.

2. M (1931)

With titles like "the Butcher of Hanover" and "the Vampire of Düsseldorf," several real-life child killers, cannibals, and serial killers terrorized Germany in the 1920s. Fritz Lang, the most well-known and wealthy director in Berlin, was drawn to the topic since it would form the core of his first sound movie, which was in many respects the commercial genesis of the contemporary psychothriller. The most ominous film ever made is M, a depiction of monstrous desires that revolutionized cinema since it also served as a slanted mirror on society as a whole. Nazi party officials rejected Lang's studio space for the movie, which was shot under the working title Murderer Among Us.) Peter Lorre's career-defining performance as Hans Beckert, who is caught in a dragnet of cops and mobsters and sweating passions, makes the movie legendary. Additionally, Lang gave Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King," which Beckert whistled but Lorre couldn't, an instantaneous imprint of auditory terror.

The Killer Scene: A shadowy figure appears in front of a wanted poster. Beckert approaches a little child and says, "What a wonderful ball you have there," to entice them into the discussion.

3. Chinatown (1974)

Roman Polanski's majestic conspiracy thriller is the pinnacle of New Hollywood's adventurousness in the 1970s (it all went downhill from here), locating seediness everywhere in Los Angeles, even in the water. For aspiring writers hoping to gain a whiff of sociocultural currency, Robert Towne's meticulously researched screenplay about land grabs, murder, and one "nosy fellow" continues to be the gold standard. For some Angelenos, watching Chinatown is like discovering that they reside in a stolen paradise—or hell itself. Despite the film's depth, it took a mischievous Jack Nicholson, a captivatingly reticent Faye Dunaway, a menacing John Huston, and Polanski himself (at the height of his powers) to shock the audience. The film is a poisoned masterpiece that shimmers like a romance from the 1930s while pumping out black bile.

The Killer Scene: A wilting Noah Cross tells our hero that the future is his top priority: "Mr. Gittes! The coming era!

4. The Third Man (1949)

The Third Man is expressionist perfection, taking place in a post-World War II Vienna with canted angles and stark shadows. One of cinema's best performances belongs to Orson Welles as Harry Lime, a down-and-out novelist who Holly (Joseph Cotten), a childhood friend, believes is dead before making a dramatic comeback. Welles carries himself with calm certainty throughout the movie and delivers several memorable lines in his distinctive baritone. Naturally, it is perilous to pretend to be dead, and doing so convincingly is difficult. Carol Reed, the director, completely engrosses us in Lime's fate and thrills us at every turn of the narrative. You won't ever look at tunnels or Ferris wheels (or hear zither music) the same way again after watching this utterly captivating movie.

The Killer Scene: Welles compares peaceful Switzerland to violent Italy under the Borgias after getting off the wheel. This famous line was improvised that day. "And what resulted from that?" Cuckoo clock.

5. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Nothing about Quentin Tarantino's breakthrough was particularly original: the speech was Scorsese-intensified, the suits were straight out of a Rat Pack movie, and even the storyline was taken from a Hong Kong crime film called City on Fire. But the outcome was explosive, like mixing common materials to produce a bomb. Reservoir Dogs revolutionized film, and its effects are still being felt today (see the smooth criminals of Baby Driver or the entire career of Three Billboards director Martin McDonagh for evidence). Even if none of those things were true, the movie would still be a delight to see again and over again because every sentence zings with energy, every actor delivers a snappy performance, and every frame hits you in the face with a cold bucket of water. Since then, Tarantino hasn't come close to it, but no one else has either.

The Killer Scene: There are too many to list, but one that will be remembered forever is the off-camera ear-slicing sequence set to the upbeat "Stuck in the Middle with You."

6. Touch of Evil (1958)

Famously, Orson Welles was only intended to appear in front of the camera for this beautifully sleazy borderlands crime film; he was only to be cast as Hank Quinlan, the villainous corrupt sheriff. It was actor Charlton Heston who pushed for Welles to be given the directing job and who first supported him against interference from Universal. The end result was a film by Welles that was impossibly rich and could be compared to Citizen Kane: a brutal, explicitly sexual crime story; a satire on race and prejudice; a sad-eyed lament for wild pre-conformist America; and one of the most exquisitely directed movies ever—even the dialogue scenes flow like ballet. Not that Universal was aware. Ultimately, they recut the movie against Welles' desires. We've just now had the opportunity to truly appreciate this work of art, almost exactly as its author intended.

The Killer Scene: The iconic opening tracking shot, which is an unbroken three-and-a-half minutes after a bomb detonates in a vehicle trunk, is the obvious pick for the film's killing moment (and the correct one).

7. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The violent undercurrent in Jonathan Demme's tight serial-killer procedural, which is set in a troubled America, borders on Grand Guignol horror. The Silence of the Lambs splits its terrors between hideous insects, a blood-curdling butcher of women, and the cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a nightmarishly manipulative collaborator with a penchant for liver and fava beans. Unusually, the film finds its savior in the form of FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, merging strength and weakness). Lambs, is one of the finest films of the 1990s, with outstanding cross-cutting building up to its spectacular ending (a twisted reveal sends chills down your spine). It is also an uncommon thriller to receive significant Oscar recognition.

The Killer Scene: Buffalo Bill follows Clarice in the dark while using night vision. No one dares to take a breath in the moments that follow.

8. The 39 Steps (1935)

A helpless innocent is at the center of a spy plane in Alfred Hitchcock's early thriller, the greatest of his British-produced works, which established many of the genre's defining characteristics. A Hitchcock trademark, the "wrong guy" narrative draws us into the action on screen by posing the question, "Will our hero find a way out of this dangerous world?" There are wry jokes sprinkled throughout the film, such as when a hymnal in a man's coat pocket saves his life. There is also a seductive blonde (Madeleine Carroll) who gets caught up in the drama. All of these components combine to create a roller coaster that is one of the master's most thorough stylistic flourishes.

The Killer Scene: The story begins with a flawless set piece when gunshots interrupt the first scene, which takes place during a performance by the mentalist "Mr. Memory."

9. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

It's difficult to decide which aspects of John Huston's superb noir adaptation of Dashiell Hammett to laud first: The plotting is razor-tight, the antagonists are irresistibly cunning (especially Peter Lorre's Joel Cairo and Sydney Greenstreet's "Fat Man"), Mary Astor's femme fatale is a seductive delight, and the titular MacGuffin, a black statuette, is so recognizable that the prop itself brought in $4 million at auction. For a 12-inch bird that was once thrown on Humphrey Bogart's foot while filming, it is a lot. So what about the hero? Sam Spade is everything you want in a noir detective: quick-witted, cunning, arrogant, and unconcerned by the pea-shooter you have pointing at him. The problem is not even that he is a very decent person; rather, everyone else is far worse. Bogie's Spade was the epitome of a new type of Hollywood hero that emerged during the war years: a man who can switch from being a hero and being annoying in the space of one scotch.

The Killer Scene: The decisive moment occurs when a detective queries the falcon, "What is it?" The answer from Spade, ineffably, is "The stuff that dreams are made of."

10. Les Diaboliques (1955)

The suspense in thrillers is rarely better filled than with a spooky boarding school, a terrible headmaster, his subduedly irritated wife, and another angry lover. Henri-Georges Clouzot, the French equivalent of Alfred Hitchcock, subtly combines the hedonistic mistress (Simone Signoret, sporting a strikingly provocative appearance) with the timid spouse (Véra Clouzot, the director's wife, playing a plain Jane in braids) for a murderous plot against a common foe. Clouzot employs every tool at his disposal, including spooky hallways, filthy swimming pools, and loud children. The end product is a terrifying thriller that had an impact on Psycho. It even included a title card at the conclusion requesting that viewers not give away the ending of the movie to others. Clouzot's infamously suspenseful story culminates with a domino chain of twists. Expect to discover who is lying to whom only in the final frame.

The Killer Scene: Unforgettably, the headmaster's white-eyed body emerges above the water of a bath at the exact wrong time for the women.

11. Double Indemnity (1944)

Billy Wilder's story of an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) being seduced into a cunning plan by a femme fatale (Barbara Stanwyck) who wants to kill her husband is one of the most famous examples of film noir. To see the movie is to lose oneself in a dark and enigmatic universe that has impacted innumerable films since, especially with its shadows and Stanwyck's swaggering seduction.

The Killer Scene: It's straight down the line for both of us, Stanwyck purrs in an unexpectedly scary brilliantly illuminated Los Angeles grocery aisle, providing the model for how women might get into trouble.

12. Zodiac (2007)

The truth itself is the last casualty in David Fincher's mind-blowing criminal thriller, which pushes beyond the boundaries of knowability. In Zodiac, we see decent men stymied by the elusive spirit of a violent ghost, making it the quintessential film of its tumultuous decade. As a kid, Fincher was haunted by the crimes committed by California's Zodiac Killer; his film is a reflection of this preoccupation, both on and off the screen.

The Killer Scene: A weirdo is sitting next to us in the break area, making ominous excuses (the ominous John Carroll Lynch). Although his watch bears the killer's target sign, the authorities are not quick to pounce. He declares, "I am not the Zodiac." And I'd be quite unlikely to tell you if I were.

13. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

As if that fear weren't enough, there is further off-screen torture, vicious desk-clerk slapping, and the careless destruction of a cherished opera record. Film noir's most terrifying nightmare concludes with a burning nuclear holocaust. Mickey Spillane's violent Mike Hammer, played by a beaming Ralph Meeker, comes to life in Robert Aldrich's sadistic masterpiece. Mike Hammer is a conceited bottom feeder who frequently uses his fists. He is the most villainous antihero. He became that way because of Los Angeles.

The Killer Scene: The fatal phrase is "I want half," which Lily Carver commands while brandishing a revolver. Soon enough, she's standing in front of the most important suitcase ever shown in a movie (also see Pulp Fiction and Repo Man), which she can't resist opening.

14. The Fugitive (1993)

There aren't much smarter, more thrilling, or more convoluted blockbuster thrillers than this box office-dominating, Oscar-winning remake of the 1960s TV series. The entire "It wasn't me, it was the one-armed man!" thing didn't become a pre-Internet meme for nothing, despite all of that being said; it's also rather stupid. However, the sincere performances at the heart of the film save it from ever becoming stupid. Even while he's outwitting the authorities and jumping into 200-foot waterfalls, Harrison Ford flawlessly sells the role of innocent everyman doctor Richard Kimble. Additionally, Tommy Lee Jones received an Academy Award for his depiction of US marshal Sam Gerard, Kimble's relentless pursuer. Gerard is famed for being focused on his task and not caring much about whether or not his target had murdered his wife. The wonderful thing is that you inevitably support them both.

The Killer Scene: Gerard has now encircled Kimble, giving him the option of giving up or taking a gamble by jumping into the roaring water coming from a large dam. You didn't grow up in the 1990s if you don't know what comes next.

15. Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo, frequently regarded as the pinnacle of film, captures the height of Hitchcock's psychosexual obsessions in gorgeous Technicolor. Kim Novak's performance as Judy Barton—or is it Madeleine Elster?—personifies complex womanhood. Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of "Scottie" Ferguson, an ex-detective who is becoming more and more fascinated with her, is a masterful perversion of the actor's upbeat persona.

The Killer Scene: While writhing in his sheets, Scottie enters a wordless, psychedelic nightmare, which is punctuated by Stewart's disembodied head, crazy colors, eerie graveyard images, and Bernard Herrmann's tumbling soundtrack.

16. Mulholland Drive (2001)

The uncrackable masterwork of David Lynch comes together at the point when dream logic and Hollywood fantasies converge. Anything may be hiding around the corner in Lynch's crazy-quilted Tinsel Town, including a grime-coated urban ghoul, enigmatic puppeteers wearing cowboy hats, fragmented worlds, helpless gangsters, or a cunning Billy Ray Cyrus. Mulholland Drive's legacy will always be its clarity, but in all the discussions about what the hell it means, people frequently forget that the movie thrills from start to finish. It's a puzzle box with no solutions that still works as a masterful noir, a gripping mystery, and an ethereal horror yarn.

The Killer Scene: The film's most startling scene is hidden in Winkie's Diner, but the Club Silencio segment is an unedited, pure Lynchian bump so deliriously calibrated that can almost feel the filmmaker ripping at the rug from under your feet.

17. Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert De Niro's portrayal of Travis Bickle, a Vietnam War veteran turned cab driver who struggles with inner demons, in one of the most famous movies of the 1970s is also one of the most exciting. Travis Bickle is one of the key representations of fractured masculinity in that era. The audience holds its breath as a result of Scorsese's masterful portrayal of a troubled mind.

The Killer Scene: The most memorable line in movie history is said by Travis when he cockily looks in the mirror and says, "You talkin' to me?"

18. Seven (1995)

Herein lies David Fincher's turning point—the moment when he moved from creating ultra-stylish Madonna music videos to producing work of a more significant nature. From its imposing opening titles to its soggy urban wasteland, Seven undoubtedly exudes its trademark melancholy. Beyond the surface, though, the film seems just as subversive as a Fritz Lang thriller, completely indicting the police as much as its moralizing serial murderer. The story by Andrew Kevin Walker combines theoretical bookishness with impetuous action, but Fincher's brilliance is in exposing those modes for what they are really: temporary survival methods.

The Killer Scene: The film's one truly unforgettable scene takes place in the desert when the tables are turned and the question, "What's in the box?" becomes the killer: The sloth victim traumatized us.

19. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Although America was gripped by fear of Soviet dominance in the early 1950s, things weren't that straightforward in Hollywood. Filmmakers realized they had just as much to fear from their own government as they did from some dubious foreign power in the aftermath of the Joseph McCarthy hearings. The Manchurian Candidate, a harsh monochrome study of manipulation that is a contradiction for a film in which nothing is black and white, is the most obvious representation of that worry.

The Killer Scene: Suddenly, we realize that the lovely Angela Lansbury is portraying a vicious monster rather than merely a controlling mother.

20. LA Confidential (1997)

Classic noir's recurring fears are frequently redone for modern viewers. However, Curtis Hanson's tribute to the genre daring something even greater by going back to the original and recreating the brutal era itself, in an impeccably filmed story of deep Tinseltown corruption. There are self-serving cops, who want to be actors, and a hilarious Lana Turner cameo in this deceitful maze, and Hanson does the movies that came before him proud.

The Killer Scene: While chasing a murder suspect, Guy Pearce's stiff-upper-lipped sergeant pays a price that earns him the nickname "Shotgun Ed."

21. The Conversation (1974)

Francis Ford Coppola's very tiny and understated character study, which was released in between the two box office titans The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II, is still widely unappreciated despite being a high point of both Coppola's career and the period. That's mostly because Gene Hackman, who plays Harry Caul, a private surveillance specialist who understands better than anybody that the idea of privacy in the modern world is false, gives an emotionally distant yet intensely captivating lead performance. He's plagued by guilt about his career and after recording what he thinks is a murder confession on video, he turns to obsessive self-destruction. Even though it was seen at the time as a Watergate metaphor, it still rings true in today's world of doorbell cameras, smart gadgets, and targeted advertising.

The Killer Scene: After breaking apart his residence in pursuit of a bug, Caul sits by himself amid the rubble and plays a melancholy saxophone.

22. The Killing (1956)

Reservoir Dogs and other crime movies were influenced by Stanley Kubrick's racetrack heist film, which still holds up as a sharp morality tale elevated by an unconventional plot, immoral characters, and a third act that twists like a drunken blackjack player. Sterling Hayden, who personifies the stand-up guy gone bad time and again, is the methodical thief who has planned everything out—all save the one element that would bring the whole thing tumbling down.

The Killer Scene: What's that little puppy doing on the tarmac, anyway? The most costly baggage check fee ever assessed is the consequence of an accident.

23. Rififi (1955)

With a budget of just ten centimes, blacklisted American director Jules Dassin creates a faultless thriller that was shot in Paris, bringing film noir to France (the nation that first coined the term for a particular genre of Hollywood thriller). Rififi established the fundamental elements of the heist film: a mismatched gang, a complex scheme, a nail-biting break-in, and, of course, a disastrous climax in which everything goes wrong.

The Killer Scene: It's the single best heist sequence in film history, and it was so convincing that it served as an inspiration for a number of imitative crimes.

24. The Big Sleep (1946)

The fact that this Raymond Chandler adaption is notorious for being very hard to follow doesn't lessen its impact. A complicated story of criminality with noir intrigue is given legendary charm by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The classic thriller from Howard Hawks, co-written by William Faulkner and containing a lot of pervy evasion of modern production regulations, remains a genre rarity today.

The Killer Scene: Bogart has a steamy meeting with a bookshop employee (the great Dorothy Malone) that is as exciting as any of the larger mysteries that are portrayed elsewhere.

25. Blue Velvet (1986)

Calling Blue Velvet a thriller is like comparing the Mona Lisa to a painting: both are 100% accurate but not really the complete tale. A haunting cruise into a netherworld of desperate damsels, dishonest cops, underworld crooners, and well-dressed fuckin' guys, one of the real masterpieces of the 1980s was created by David Lynch on a diet of coffee, hamburgers, and transcendental meditation. It's difficult to explain and even more difficult to completely grasp; it's more like a nightmare than a movie.

The Killer Scene: "A candy-colored clown they call the sandman tiptoes to my chamber every night," said Dean Stockwell, leaning into the light.

26. Rear Window (1954)

Alfred Hitchcock's stylish murder mystery is a Greenwich Village courtyard criminal puzzle as well as a loving depiction of an opposites-attract marriage, making it a classic New York movie (we all snoop into our neighbors' affairs around here). The masterpiece has a variety of elements, including Grace Kelly at her most moving, a snarky and impatient James Stewart, Edith Head's opulent costumes, and the definitive declaration on voyeurism.

The Killer Scene: At last, we see the murderer (a scary Raymond Burr), and in a startling moment of recognition, he also sees us.

27. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

In its day, Sidney Lumet's New York City criminal thriller was groundbreaking for its realistic portrayal of marriage equality and its stance in favor of trans rights. It then tells the genuine story of a foiled bank heist on a scorching July day. It also examines the always opportunistic American media that enjoys a good circus with unyielding tension and humorous moments.

The Killer Scene: "Attica! Attica!" Al Pacino has one of his most ferocious on-screen rants while leading a riot outside of the bank in the iconic incident.

28. Dr. No (1962)

Many bestselling thrillers have also become classics. But only one can lay claim to having started an espionage franchise that has lasted for five decades and counting and has made billions of dollars globally. Dr. No bursts out of the chamber with casual Rat Pack insouciance, vicious action, and Ursula Andress in a bikini, serving as the James Bond phenomenon's birthplace. There is just no way to downplay the importance of the first film, a culture-changing endeavor, which is held together by Sean Connery's scowling attitude. His subsequent films would polish the approach.

The Killer Scene: So hard to choose. Is this our first time seeing the opening credits with the rifle barrel? The twangy guitar theme's initial application? At the baccarat table, Connery's slack line delivery of "Bond, James Bond" is our favorite.

29. Blow-Up (1966)

The notion is thrilling in and of itself: a murder may have been photographed in the background by a cynical photographer (David Hemmings). The reality-altering "Swinging London" story by Michelangelo Antonioni is a painstakingly crafted slow-burn of eye-popping mod attire, naughty nudity, and an epic Yardbirds appearance. Bonus: The art-house phenomenon sparked a period of serious American filmmaking with European tastes and gave rise to the rating system we use today.

The Killer Scene: A tennis match with an imaginary ball is the greatest mime scene in movie history. Come for the murder, stay for that.

30. The Wages of Fear (1953)

One of the best action movie narrative ideas ever is this: To transport two trucks of extremely explosive nitroglycerin over the Amazon jungle to the location of a blazing oil fire, four desperate men are recruited. If they succeed, they will be paid well. They become dust if they don't. Before the trucks start moving, there is a lot of ugly, sweating discussion in Henri-Georges Clouzot's brutal masterwork. But as the bush closes in on them, dread grips them with its clammy fingers.

The Killer Scene: Half the cast is eliminated in the space of a single blink. The others continue anyway.

31. Oldboy (2003)

Visionary filmmaker Park Chan-vengeance Wook's thriller, a Greek tragedy on crystal meth, exposed many Westerners to Korean cinema. But few films from the nation, or perhaps from anywhere, can match its intensity. Oh Dae-Su, played by the captivating Choi Min-Sik, has been held captive for 15 years by unidentified kidnappers for reasons that are unclear to him. He is desperate to find out who took his life and exact retribution after being abruptly released. He uses the same hammer to defeat a group of criminals along the road, performs some dental work with it, and eats a still-wriggling octopus at a sushi restaurant. However, nothing can adequately prepare him or us for the shock of his devastating denouement.

The Killer Scene: There are a lot of options, but the scene at the sushi bar is the most well-known. mostly because, yep, Min-Sik actually swallows an actual live octopus.

32. The Usual Suspects (1995)

Yes, it's more difficult to see in light of recent developments involving both director Bryan Singer and star Kevin Spacey, but let's concentrate on the movie itself. The Usual Suspects, whose title is taken from a line from Casablanca, weaves a web of criminality, coincidence, and outright falsehoods using a combination of classic Hollywood flair with contemporary humor and unpredictability. The cast, which includes stuttering Benicio del Toro, suave Gabriel Byrne, prickly Kevin Pollak, and menacing Pete Postlethwaite, is fantastic.

The Killer Scene: As one investigator points at another while examining the office's clutter, the other says, "Man, you're a slob." The other foot is going to step out.

33. The Vanishing (1988)

George Sluizer's tar-black investigation of obsession and wickedness would rank most ordinarily in a list of superbly twisted European thrillers that received terrible Hollywood remakes (Diabolique, Open Your Eyes, etc.). It centers on Dutchman Rex (Gene Bervoets) as he seeks to learn what happened to Saskia (Johanna Steege), his lover who vanished from a rest area service station years previously. Astonishing is how it ends.

The Killer Scene: A psychopath tests his abduction methods while chloroforming a fictitious victim in the passenger seat.

34. Notorious (1946)

As Cary Grant's slick, unflappable government agent prostitutes Ingrid Bergman's desperate daughter of a Nazi scientist to the enemy—and finds up falling for him anyway—Alfred Hitchcock plays sadistic games with the very idea of decent. In "Notorious," which is set in Rio just after the war, Bergman and Grant swan around a number of magnificent aristocratic residences. But the story's disturbing undertones—one of sexual exploitation, murder, deceit, and state-authorized cruelty—remain troubling.

The Killer Scene: Old Hitch isn't typically associated with producing sexy material, but this could be the best film kiss ever—lusty, protracted, and laden with the unspoken.

35. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The one and only picture that Charles Laughton directed is a dark fairy tale, an action movie, and a serial murderer thriller that was made before the word "serial killer thriller" ever existed. Robert Mitchum's murderous preacher, a killer of women ('Perfume-smellin''' things, lacy things, things with curly hair), attempts to track down two children who hold the key to a hidden treasure. Working with cinematographer Stanley Cortez, who shot The Magnificent Ambersons for Orson Welles, Laughton crafted a story of fear and flight steeped in Southern Gothic and Bible allegory.

The Killer Scene: The pivotal scene is when Mitchum's minister tells us the parable of "right hand, left hand, good and evil." Because of how excellent the monologue was, Spike Lee incorporated it in Do the Right Thing.

36. The Long Goodbye (1973)

Robert Altman, a master of rambling talks, is remembered for a long list of masterpieces, including Nashville, 3 Women, The Player, and Gosford Park. Can Altman's greatest enduring masterpiece, a delightful parody of Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel, be this shaggy-dog private investigator film? From The Big Lebowski to Inherent Vice and every L.A. thriller that weaves its way into a cloud of marijuana-scented peril, you can see its impact everywhere. A legendary 1970s invention is Elliott Gould's sleazy Philip Marlowe, who goes out at night to purchase cat food in between solving crimes.

The Killer Scene: The pivotal scene occurs when neurotic mobster Marty Augustine (played by future On Golden Pond director Mark Rydell) invites his stunning mistress into the room and uses a Coke bottle to make a vicious point to Marlowe: "Now there's a person I adore!" I don't even like you.

37. Heat (1995)

It's true that some of the performances in Michael Mann's loose adaptation of his own 1989 television film L.A. Takedown are larger than the Hollywood sign. You can only be amazed at the elemental power Mann generates from his straightforward plot of officer (Al Pacino) and robber (as it skitters toward that epic finale) though (Robert De Niro). Recently, Pacino admitted that Lieutenant Vincent Hanna, the character he plays, is a covert cocaine addict, which undoubtedly explains the entire "amazing ass" diatribe.

The Killer Scene: An artfully understated cafe conversation between two icons of crime cinema, Pacino and De Niro, that is laden with subtext.

38. Point Blank (1967)

John Boorman, the director, has only ever produced one film, a lighthearted showcase for the Dave Clark Five. Meanwhile, Cat Ballou, played by actor Lee Marvin, had recently won an Oscar. The latter supported Boorman's vision—a dramatic change in both form and substance for the double-cross thriller—by supporting the former's ability and employing his star power. Point Blank, which was released only two weeks before Bonnie and Clyde, marks the turning point in Hollywood's daring foray into sex, violence, and a new sort of drastically disconnected narrative.

The Killer Scene: Marvin is seen sauntering into an unremarkable office in the granddaddy all hallway sequences. Boorman runs, veering away from the action but never losing that forward momentum as his heels resound mesmerizingly.

39. Deep Red (1975)

The Giallo thriller genre in Italy, so named because it originated with yellow-covered pulp books, is as influential as cinema noir was to Hollywood: it represents a substantial advancement of onscreen style connected to a general cultural malaise of boredom and free-floating amorality. Deep Red, a devilish killing machine characterized by leather-gloved hands (often Argento's), glittering objects, extravagant spurts of blood, and the prog-rock tinklings of Goblin, was created by the inspired director Dario Argento.

The Killer Scene: So you were afraid of the puppet in Saw? Stupid stuff. Watch out for this man as he emerges from a shadowy nook laughing artificially.

40. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

The narrative feature debut of Louis Malle is a beautifully evocative criminal story with Miles Davis music. This horrific tale of a murder plot gone wrong, which takes place over the course of one night, captures our attention in large part because of the gorgeous yet worn-out appearance of cinema great Jeanne Moreau.

The Killer Scene: As Moreau strolls around the streets of Paris at night, she calls her boyfriend, making aimless wandering fascinating.

41. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Who are we to contest Hitchcock's assessment that this darkly humorous suburbia thriller is among his very best? He embellishes it with minute minutiae, blink-and-you'll-miss-it proof, and a portrayal of astounding sociopathy in Uncle Charlie, the lady-killer (Joseph Cotten). His visit is a nice distraction for his teenage niece Charlotte "Charlie" Newton (Teresa Wright), who is young, bored, and longs to be somewhere else. Until she realizes that he is truly a cold-blooded killer, at least.

The Killer Scene: "Fat, wheezing beasts," is how Uncle Charlie describes elderly widows in his first vulnerable moment (a horrifying camera creep).

42. Blood Simple (1984)

The Coen brothers' sweat-soaked feature debut foreshadows much of what would follow: the explosive brutality of No Country for Old Men, the half-smart schemers of Fargo, and Frances McDormand, a force of nature making her first film appearance. Blood Simple is still shabby and unexpected; it's a Texas-shot thriller with a modest budget but a big impact, and it's an independent that still plays well.

The Killer Scene: The rifle fires in an oppressively hot workplace over the sound of crickets. We painfully see dark crimson drip over a white blouse. Who now appears foolish, the gunman questions a corpse.

43. The Grifters (1990)

Jim Thompson was a master of hardboiled crime fiction; his stories are slim and engrossing, often following a tough, amoral, not very intelligent hero as she messes with him. One of the best adaptations of his writing is this black comedy directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Martin Scorsese. Anjelica Huston portrays the mother in question with delightful brutality, while John Cusack plays the idiot who thinks he can sneak one over on her. It obviously doesn't work out as planned.

The Killer Scene: Cusack's shamelessly oversexed partner in crime Annette Bening and Huston square off in a hospital setting, setting off enough pyrotechnics for an entire shelf of thrillers.

44. Knife in the Water (1962)

The subdued thriller by Roman Polanski explores the underlying fissures in a marriage that has been shaken by a dashing wanderer (Zygmunt Malanowicz). Knife in the Water, a metaphor for upper-class privilege and male arrogance, was featured on the cover of Time magazine's 'Cinema as an International Art' issue and received an Oscar nomination, which officially launched Polanski's career.

The Killer Scene: The film's title gives away the destiny of the drifter's priceless pocket knife, but there's more that goes wrong than that.

45. The French Connection (1971)

William Friedkin's snappy police procedural follows 'Popeye' Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner 'Cloudy' Russo (Roy Scheider), two NYC cops trying to break up a heroin-smuggling gang. The film borrows stylistic elements from Italian neorealism and the French new wave. The movie, which was partially based on real events, gave the cop movie a biting verisimilitude as Popeye bellowed and brutalized his way through a criminal brotherhood. The follow-up is just as impressive.

The Killer Scene: Eat it, Bullitt; this one features the finest automobile chase in motion pictures, mostly captured from bumper-level views.

46. Blow Out (1981)

The remake of the 1960s classic Blow-Up by Brian De Palma is a highly stylized story of paranoia starring John Travolta as a cinematic sound-effects worker who thinks he has recorded a political killing. The movie benefits from a lot of high-tension set pieces; it is addictive because of how it combines slasher-flick imagery with political intrigue and sorrow.

The Killer Scene: When De Palma's camera creeps into a tacky B-movie women's dorm and a coed screaming incoherently, "Cut to the guys mixing the movie," emerges.

47. Le Samouraï (1967)

Jean-Pierre Melville's cryptic thriller exudes pure flair and is an openly acknowledged influence on such unknowns as Jim Jarmusch, Walter Hill, and John Woo. It also transmits an almost abstract sense of inevitability and beauty. (If Drive was your thing, you have homework.) Its central character is the sculpted, trenchcoat-clad hitman played by actor Alain Delon. He moves through the movie as though he were doomed; the storyline never becomes emotional, merely colder and more ruthlessly on target.

The Killer Scene: Delon's assassin jumps a moving walkway and switches between numerous Metro lines to confuse several pursuers. He's a class act.

48. One False Move (1992)

This movie, if any, ought to be seen by more people. The late Bill Paxton portrays Dale Dixon, a small-town sheriff who fantasizes about emigrating to the metropolis, in his most sincere and genuine performance. When word arrives that a group of legendary killers is on its way to Dale, he prepares for war in High Noon fashion. However, portraying a hero is not the same as becoming one. One False Move is a short, precise gem that juggles cutting remarks on race and class with nerve-wracking tension and an endless supply of empathy.

The Killer Scene: The initial house invasion still astounds with its casual violence.

49. Mother (2009)

With this small-scale whodunit, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho channeled his inner Hitchcock a decade before his class-warfare epic Parasite struck a chord throughout the globe. A fiercely protective back alley herbalist (South Korean national treasure Hye-JA Kim) plays the detective in an effort to clear her mentally frail son of a horrible murder in Bong's film, a coldly calculated procedural interrupted with profound sweetness. Like its lead character, the movie is daring to go into society's shadowy corners, following Mother into a maze of despair, dead ends, and, ultimately, moral decay. From front to back, it's an agonizing mystery that makes you clench your jaw. The biggest trick Bong pulls is creating unwavering empathy for the family at its core, despite the fact that the third act takes an incredibly terrible turn.

The Killer Scene: As the credits roll, Mom takes a well-deserved bus trip around the countryside where she tries her own medication.

50. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

It's strange to believe that when it was released, it sparked a long list of think pieces and even promises of a congressional investigation since the typical presidential tweet these days generates more controversy than anything in Kathryn Bigelow's geopolitical thriller. The principal charge against Bigelow, that she approved of the use of torture in her portrayal of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is not supported by a thorough examination of American foreign policy. It's essentially The Bourne Ultimatum for readers of The Atlantic: a clever thriller that doesn't hold back when it comes to the fireworks.

The Killer Scene: CIA officers assume their years of research are about to pay off as they stand in front of a table model of Obama's hiding place. "Who are you?" the operative's director queries (Jessica Chastain). She responds, "Sir, I'm the motherfucker that located this spot."

51. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Rita Hayworth portrays a seductive femme fatale, and Orson Welles himself plays a naive Irish sailor in this story of treachery, desire, and murder. The film is full of artistic flourishes and gritty turns. It is hardly surprising that Welles produced crime films that endured for so long given his status as one of cinema's great artists.

The Killer Scene: The gunfight in the hall of mirrors is a frantic triumph of cinematic illusion and mise en scène. Only Welles could execute this actual image-shattering with such assurance.

52. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Although writer-director Jean-Pierre Melville made up the apparently Buddhist opening epigraph, the Zen-like purity that permeates this perfect French heist film is incredibly believable. Alain Delon, who also starred in Le Samoura, plays career criminal Corey in Melville. After being freed from jail, Corey travels back to Paris and begins planning his next heist. This is precision-tooled cinema, as streamlined and exact as Japanese calligraphy.

The Killer Scene: The 30-minute quiet heist phase is a master tutorial in building tension.

53. The Big Heat (1953)

In Fritz Lang's relentless noir of "vice, dice, and corruption," an honorable but reckless officer (Glenn Ford) vows war on organized crime. With its string of oppressed women and ominous climax, "Keep the coffee hot," this vicious, rug-pulling vengeance epic helped pave the way for films like Chinatown and L.A. Confidential.

The Killer Scene: The fatal turn of events occurs when a menacing attacker brandishes a boiling pot of coffee at Gloria Grahame's beautiful face. Thankfully, it takes place off-screen.

54. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Alfred Hitchcock's breezy, conversational train thriller, an indirect allegory for England's precariousness on the cusp of World War II, has its roaring engine reverberating in nearly every railway movie since, from Silver Streak to The Girl on the Train. Additionally, it debuted the hilarious cricket-obsessed characters Charters and Caldicott, who went on to appear in several other movies and even a TV show.

The Killer Scene: Was Michael Redgrave really the first Ethan Hunt? He bravely leans out of the window of his carriage and stares at the approaching train.

55. Sicario (2015)

No moral certainty and no happy endings are to be found in this chilling drug-war thriller, as Denis Villeneuve's terrible Incendies forewarned us. Emily Blunt's rookie FBI agent falls through the rabbit hole and into a bloody world of realpolitik on the Mexican border, like Alice in a narco-wonderland. Villeneuve stages breathtaking set pieces, presenting a grimmer vision of the lawless badlands than even Trump can manage (the convoy sequence, photographed by the great Roger Deakins, is a heart-pounding masterpiece).

The Killer Scene: A very quick supper with a drug lord and his family is attended by Benicio del Toro's vengeful cartel guy.

56. Dressed to Kill (1980)

In this supremely assured thriller set in New York City, directed by Brian De Palma, his obsession with Alfred Hitchcock is polished to a high sheen. Keith Gordon plays a teenage tech genius who is fixated on cameras and spy gadgets and is determined to avenge the unsolved murder of his glamorous mother (Angie Dickinson). Since this film, trans movies have advanced significantly.

The Killer Scene: A wordless flirting between two strangers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (actually filmed in Philadelphia) develops into a missed connection, an agonizing rejection, then a pursuit. It is one of De Palma's finest scenes of complete skill.

57. Black Swan (2010)

The dramatic realm of dance provides an ideal setting for investigating professional obsession and envy. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis provide passionate performances that drive the backstage antics to absurd lengths in Darren Aronofsky's gory psychological horror movie, which explores the intriguingly scary concept of doppelgangers.

The Killer Scene: A fierce, shape-shifting battle scene between rival prima donnas. Who could possibly think of ballet as prissy when there is such extreme delirium?

58. The Untouchables (1987)

Instead of being straightforward thrillers, The Godfather and Goodfellas function more as studies of power. But there are no such complaints with Brian De Palma's stylized, loosely fictionalized account of Chicago's crime-fighting history, which checks every thriller prerequisite. It's De Palma hitting the mark with its inventive, gory set pieces, the movie's abundance of memorable language (such as "You're nothing but a bunch of talks and a badge"), and a restless Ennio Morricone soundtrack that ups the suspense.

The Killer Scene: The tense Battleship Potemkin-homaging battle at Union Station, which continues to raise our systolic blood pressure to dangerously high levels.

59. Memento (2000)

Memento should be difficult to understand since it is a study of the act of remembering, a study of loss and grief, and a tale presented both forward and backward. It is a movie for the art house, not the multiplex. So it's a credit to Christopher Nolan's skill as a writer and director that the movie wasn't only a big smash but also the beginning of one of the most lucrative careers in modern Hollywood. A lot of credit should also be given to the movie's star Guy Pearce, who at moments seems to be gluing the entire thing together with his sheer willpower.

The Killer Scene: When Carrie-Anne Moss circles our hero and mocks him for his forgetfulness, she kills him because she knows he would forget everything in a matter of minutes.

60. The Last Seduction (1994)

Nowadays, where can one find Linda Fiorentino? It is much missed that she was as cool as Lauren Bacall in John Dahl's sexual neo-noir, which was the Gone Girl of its day. It's enticing in and of itself to see Bridget, her elegant seductress, manipulate her innocent small-town boy toy and double-cross her terrible husband. Her easy villainy is as sensual as the sex in the movie.

The Killer Scene: Guess who survives the incident when an inquisitive private spy falls for Bridget's devious tactics and willingly unzips his pants during a drive?

61. Klute (1971)

Bree, a prostitute who becomes embroiled in a missing-person case being looked into by the eponymous detective, is played by Jane Fonda and offers a legendary performance (Donald Sutherland). The movie is rife with corruption and suspicion, and Bree is a wonderful mixture of liberated but vulnerable '70s women. The streets of New York City provide the ideal melancholy setting.

The Killer Scene: Bree is lying in bed late at night while her phone continues to ring and the camera slowly pans out. It is a powerful, menacing portrayal of the danger she confronts.

62. The Thin Man (1934)

Never underestimate the importance of humor, particularly when thrillers are involved. Nick and Nora Charles are two of the funniest characters to ever grace the genre. They are crime-fighting pairs, devoted dog lovers, and regular drinkers. In this movie and its sequels, William Powell and Myrna Loy were at the height of their careers. Can you find a more romantic portrayal of professional collaboration, sass and all, than what one may mistakenly classify as light entertainment in The Thin Man?

The Killer Scene: Nick holds court during a huge announcement that goes awry as all the murder suspects are seated at a dining table.

63. Deliverance (1972)

Yes, the canoe voyage from hell is one of the primary pleasures in John Boorman's wilderness survival picture as it follows two alphas (Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds) and two betas (Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox). Want a fight? Choose between man vs nature, man versus a hillbilly, or man versus self. But despite the Bear Grylls action sequences and hicksploitation trappings, it's the protagonists' ongoing struggle with their own manhood that drags them down throughout the sorrowful, contemplative survivalist story.

The Killer Scene: After the famed "squeal like a pig" scene, Reynolds' adult boy scout is rendered unconscious by a post-traumatic boat mishap. As things get dangerous, the group dynamic is radically altered.

64. Cape Fear (1962)

We know we're seeing a villain for the ages whenever Robert Mitchum's vengeful ex-con Max Cady takes the screen with his hat, cigar, and trademark sleazy smile (along with Bernard Hermann's unsettling orchestra soundtrack). Although the term "rape" is completely avoided in J. Lee Thompson's explosive adaptation of John D. MacDonald's 1957 novel The Executioners, Mitchum's terrifyingly gloomy gaze makes it clear that Cady committed spine-chilling sexual offenses.

The Killer Scene: The film's operatic ending beside the river has the film's most chilling scene, in which Cady breaks an egg and suggestively spreads it over his next possible victim.

65. In a Lonely Place (1950)

In this superb noir film set in Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart plays Dixon Steele, a temperamental playwright who may have committed a murder. The moral haze that surrounds Dixon and his neighbor-turned-girlfriend, Laurel (Gloria Grahame), makes for a captivating and perplexing couple, and it keeps us on our toes until a shocking conclusion.

The Killer Scene: The killer line is one Bogart wrote for a script, which he then has Grahame repeat after him: "I was born when she kissed me." When she departed, I passed away. I had a few weeks when she was in love with me.

66. Basic Instinct (1992)

Sharon Stone was instantly transformed into an immortal celebrity by Catherine Tramell, a murder suspect who is as Hitchcockian as ultra-chic blondes come. Although Paul Verhoeven's hotly contested whodunit may not be the best erotic thriller of the 1990s, it is one of the most infamous for its no-holds-barred sex scenes between Emma Stone's bisexual author and Michael Douglas's obviously helpless investigator.

The Killer Scene: Stone's despotic (and much parodied) leg-cross in the classic white dress informs her interrogators who is in charge—no ice picks required.

67. Dead Calm (1989)

Dead Calm presents a dramatic environment for a twisting two-hander between Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane by fusing the lovely expansiveness of the sea with the claustrophobia of a ship's cabin occupied by a maniac. Our fiery-haired heroine uses creativity while her husband (Sam Neill) is trapped on a far-off sinking boat, encountering several surprises along the way.

The Killer Scene: A husband and wife, each on a shaky vessel, try to speak via radio, and each scarcely audible word may be their final.

68. Funny Games (1997)

The Piano Teacher director Michael Haneke's nauseating masterpiece of sheer nihilism ultimately breaks one of the fundamental concepts of the home invasion thriller (no telling), and it's still the toughest of his movies to sit through. My advice is to refuse any preppy strangers who knock on your door and beg to borrow some eggs. Haneke, who recreated this movie in 2007 with Naomi Watts and a sincere belief in indicting our desire for blood, did so shot for shot.

The Killer Scene: The killer moment comes when ruthless Paul (Arno Frisch), who is already a winking Ferris Bueller who speaks directly to the camera, turns out to be nothing less than an evil god when his plan goes awry and he grabs the remote control of the TV, "rewinding" the scene we just watched and starting over.

69. Dirty Harry (1971)

A neo-High Noon cynical deep charge, vigilante-cop violence, and an extra long. 44 Magnum ('You have to ask yourself, 'Do I feel fortunate?' Don Siegel's crime thriller broke all the conventions of police procedurals (i.e., "Well, do ya, punk? "), and instead infused them with the hopeless desperation of the unsolved Zodiac killings. Clint Eastwood, who was toughened into a legendary fury, was also developed into a big star.

The Killer Scene: As Harry treads on the suspect's leg wound and the camera helicopters up to a hazy, nightmare standoff, the suspect, who is being chased through an empty football stadium, squeals like a pig and declares, "I have the right to a lawyer!"

70. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960)

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse and Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, the first two Dr. Mabuse movies, were released approximately 30 and more years, respectively, after the villainous doctor's initial nefarious plot was unveiled. In order to create a convoluted plot in which a not-so-good doctor (Wolfgang Preiss) puts every room in a hotel under observation, director Fritz Lang abandons his anti-Nazi allegories. It feels like a precursor to a whole generation of techno-thrillers, like Enemy of the State and, dare we say it, Sliver, with its abundance of gadgets and anxiety.

The Killer Scene: A sniper kills a TV reporter who is operating a vehicle. The abruptly immobile automobile is focused on in a high-angle image.

71. Z (1969)

With its maximalist punch—entertaining and never-ending suspenseful—Costa-Gavras' Z, based on the actual tale of the killing of a liberal Greek politician, revolutionized political thrillers with its Rashomon-like framework of shifting views. Its central message, the necessity to seek the truth, perfectly captures the turbulent, activism-defined time in which it was published and is especially relevant in the age of false news and political corruption.

The Killer Scene: The decisive moment was when right-wing thugs in a vehicle sped at a group of demonstrators and assaulted a politician who was being peaceful with a club.

72. The Handmaiden (2016)

When we were beginning to believe that sensual thrillers were relics of a bygone period, along came Park Chan-gothic Wook's masterpiece set in 1930s Korea. The Handmaiden's lavish visual delights aren't exactly male gaze-proof, but the film's rich denouement is a sneaky smack in the face to any aggressors who think they're above the law.

The Killer Scene: When two female bedmates engage in an "educational" multi-positional sex encounter, bodily fluids flow freely.

73. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

The cool-as-fuck duo of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, whose speech consists primarily of snarling, give Hitler a headache by escaping with a captured general who is being imprisoned in a Schloss on a Bavarian mountainside. Even the twists have twists here, at least that is the goal. Even if we still don't know who "Broadsword" and "Danny Boy" are, it is one of the few war movies that just gets better with time.

The Killer Scene: Even if it appeared to be rear-projected in the MGM parking lot, cable-car combat is a test of nerve-wracking intensity.

74. The Parallax View (1974)

The Parallax View, a key component of thrill-seeking from the Watergate era, forms a trilogy with filmmaker Alan Pakula's early film Klute and subsequent film All the President's Men that is unmatched in terms of national doom. Warren Beatty portrays a crusading reporter who delves deep into a clandestine group of political killers; he is unaware of how eager they are to have him join them.

The Killer Scene: Joe Frady, played by Beatty, attends an interview He is taken to a theatre where, in true Ludovico fashion, he is made to sit through one of the most avant-garde silent montages ever shown in a Hollywood production.

75. Strangers on a Train (1951)

Two guys randomly cross paths. Also, they have someone they want to get rid of, but they both fear being discovered. Why don't they trade killings? Even though Patricia Highsmith's most well-known book was loosely adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock, it nonetheless maintains one of the book's main themes by providing a subtextual depiction of open homosexuality during the McCarthyite conformity era. The overall effect is clever, peculiar, and inexhaustibly intriguing.

The Killer Scene: The climactic fight on an out-of-control carousel is disorienting after a movie's worth of circling.

76. Coup de Torchon (1981)

The 1930 French West African setting of Bertrand Tavernier's tale of a humiliated, violent police commander (Philippe Noiret) delivers a cutting examination of colonialism and masculinity. The thrills in this movie result in a lot of deaths, but they are moderated by a significant amount of existentialism, and Isabelle Huppert, who is always fantastic, gives welcome mischief to the character of a young mistress.

The Killer Scene: "I'll never use it," Huppert says as she practices firing a pistol. We already know she will; the only question is when.

77. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Even the nice people in this Gotham-set '70s thriller are seasoned with cynicism and a disdain for authority. Zachary Garber, a jovial Transit Authority officer played by Walter Matthau, has a terrible day that suddenly gets worse when Robert Shaw's gang kidnaps one of his trains. In Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino gave a nod to the villains, Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, Mr. Grey, and Mr. Brown. Unfortunately, the excellent ending twist was dropped from the 2009 Tony Scott version.

The Killer Scene: "Gesundheit," the biggest sneeze in movie history.

78. Purple Noon (1960)

More great films have been adapted from Patricia Highsmith's books than any other crime writer, including Carol, The American Friend, and Strangers on a Train. This French-language translation of her best-selling book The Talented Mr. Ripley may not be as reverent as Anthony Minghella's version from 1999, but it's still a tighter, more compelling movie that plays with the themes of sexuality, identity, and psychopathy in the book. The star, Alain Delon, is maybe the pinnacle of masculine beauty in cinema in his first significant role.

The Killer Scene: The spectacular first murder, which involved sun, sex, and a planned stabbing.

79. Stray Dog (1949)

Tokyo, 1949. A thief on a crowded trolley steals the pistol from a rookie police officer as a heat wave sweeps the city. He is motivated to act and chases the weapon across the city, discovering a significant gun-running organization. Akira Kurosawa's second big film (after 1948's yakuza picture Drunken Angel) was released just four years after the conclusion of World War II. It combines documentary footage of the bombed-out city to explore how commonly Japanese civilians were coming to terms with their shocking defeat.

The Killer Scene: Who is more desperate, the officer or the crook, in a grimy, mud-covered fight in the woods?

80. The American Friend (1977)

Although Wim Wenders isn't exactly a household name in the field, he turns Patricia Highsmith's Ripley's Game into a compellingly offbeat thriller. Dennis Hopper plays the part of Ripley, a wealthy American vagabond who befriends Bruno Ganz's dying German picture framer and convinces him to start carrying out kill jobs for a band of criminals. Wenders is more concerned with the existential veil that surrounds his characters - and their conspiratorial link than the reasons for their actions, even though the plotting is not quite Hitchcockian. It's a buddy drama in the vein of cinema noir.

The Killer Scene: The decisive action comes when Ganz's unlikely assassin commits his first murder on the Paris Métro.

81. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

This vengeance thriller is a British exploitation picture with a genuine emotional weight that stands out brutally among director Shane Meadows' warm, humanitarian filmography. With his portrayal as ex-soldier Richard, Paddy Considine brings a hint of Travis Bickle to the Peak District. Toby Kebbell plays Anthony, Anthony's beaten and helpless brother, who is preyed upon by drug dealers who are unaware of what's coming. For a rural England double-bill that will have you staying in the city, see this one with Kill List.

The Killer Scene: Richard participates in a terrifying raid while donning a gas mask that will give you nightmares.

82. Caché (2005)

Director of Funny Games Michael Haneke is aware of the submerged guilt of the contented bourgeois who is plagued by outside forces, in this case, an unidentified stalker with a camera. This Juliette Binoche-starring film, one of the masterworks of the director, agitates via its skillfully hidden uneasiness and concludes with a political statement on the continuing effects of past brutality and prejudice.

The Killer Scene: When a horrifying splash of blood rips up a previously antiseptic film, the husband Daniel Auteuil doesn't see it coming (and neither do we).

83. Kill List (2011)

Nothing could have prepared us for Ben Wheatley's second feature, Down Terrace, even if his DIY debut was a blast. Kill List takes the standard components of low-rent Britcrime-bickering hit guys, a shady aristo crime lord, and drab suburban surroundings and turns them into art. It's like a DVD-bin thriller given a big injection of excellence. The end effect is horrifying, occasionally infuriating, and totally engaging with its improvised conversation, pin-drop sound design, and terrible brutality.

The Killer Scene: You're made of stone if you can see the hammer scene without cringing.

84. Night and the City (1950)

Filmmaker Jules Dassin worked on the other side of the Atlantic in the 1950s after being chased out of the United States by the "reds-under-the-bed" brigade. Hollywood's loss was Europe's gain since he created his two best films there: the groundbreaking heist film Rififi and this London noir, which stars the always underappreciated Richard Widmark in a career-high performance. Widmark's hustler Harry Fabian is an antihero for the ages as he spins a web in the criminal underworld so intricate that he finally becomes trapped in it, sheened in sweating desperation.

The Killer Scene: The key scene is a foot pursuit that culminates down the Thames, showcasing Hammersmith in a way that has never looked better.

85. In the Cut (2003)

In the dark adaptation of the sensual thriller by filmmaker Jane Campion, Meg Ryan is intriguingly cast against type. Ryan embodies the very antithesis of a charming rom-com heroine in her role as Frannie, a teacher who becomes involved with a detective looking into a string of killings. Campion also conjures a world of sexual peril that is violent but never exploitative.

The Killer Scene: Early on, Frannie sees a lady putting pressure on a man in a bar's back room. The shockingly brutal scene starts the voyeuristic storyline in action.

86. Misery (1990)

True insane female villains like Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), the deranged fangirl turned tormentor from the Misery movie, are tragically hard to come by outside of fairy tales and romantic thrillers. More of these are required. Rob Reiner's adaptation of Stephen King is a journey into the solitary, melancholy corners of celebrity infatuation, set against the ticking clock of the worst deadline. It is unconventional, humorous, and growingly terrifying.

The Killer Scene: It's still difficult to see Annie violently "hobble" her bed-bound house visitor.

87. King of New York (1990)

In some important ways, Abel Ferrara's sleazy gangster film has come to represent the core of Christopher Walken's eerie, stilted demeanor and has taken up a prominent position in NYC iconography. Walken portrays Frank White, a vacant-eyed drug king who continues his high-flying lifestyle and futile presidential dreams from a base at the opulent Plaza Hotel as soon as he is released from jail.

The Killer Scene: Everyone knows Walken can dance, but until you see him fluttering a bird, you haven't really witnessed how strangely electric and terrifying he can be.

88. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Over the course of fifty years, the James Bond film series has evolved from Cold War thrills to international adventure, to whatever the hell Moonraker was. This episode—the greatest of the Roger Moore era—serves as a brilliantly amusing transitional piece between the two eras, providing escape before the gizmos-soaked insanity to follow. Ken Adam deserves special recognition for building an underwater villain lair on a Pinewood backlot.

The Killer Scene: The fatal confrontation between 007 and man-mountain Jaws (Richard Kiel) takes place at the ancient Temple of Karnak in Egypt.

89. Animal Kingdom (2010)

This crime thriller with a Melbourne setting has all the fire of an early Scorsese film while adding something new and very Australian to the genre. The murder of two police officers in real life in the late 1980s served as the inspiration for David Michôd's feature debut, and the reconstruction of those events is only one of the violent outbursts in a film that meticulously selects its violent scenes for maximum impact. Joshua (James Frecheville), a young victim caught in the midst, is unsure of who to believe in the crime family he has been adopted into. The response? Nobody, least of all the genuine threat's matriarchal Smurf played by Jacki Weaver.

The Killer Scene: The killer scene is when Ben Mendelsohn's (before he became Hollywood's go-to villain) repulsive but weirdly seductive Pope plots evil as Air Supply's "All Out of Love" provides an ironic backdrop.

90. Play Misty for Me (1971)

The debut film by Clint Eastwood is a powerful study of passion. He portrays Dave, a California DJ coping with an increasingly crazed fan who has turned into a hookup and a stalker, in a calm and charismatic way (Jessica Walter). The juxtaposition between the dark impulses on the show and the sun-dappled, ultra-'70s style is interesting; the device of the single-minded madwomen, pushing the thrills nearly to terror, would prove to be quite influential.

The Killer Scene: The killer scene involves Evelyn (Walter), who sneaks into Dave's bachelor's apartment and destroys his belongings because she is so determined to be closer to her passion target.

91. The Ipcress File (1965)

With the aid of jazzy John Barry music, swinging London must be having a better time than in this paranoid espionage movie that was taken straight out of Len Deighton's book. Harry Saltzman, the creator of James Bond, was responsible for everything. He gave us Michael Caine's Harry Palmer, who was 007. He is a womanizer and an insubordinate trickster (okay, so that's not entirely different), but - surprise of shockers - he wears spectacles and cooks. He also serves as the supremely cool hub of this masterfully orchestrated spy thriller.

The Killer Scene: The brainwashing scene trippy foreshadows a scenario in The Parallax View that is similar.

92. Gaslight (1944)

The idea of gaslighting has enduring power for a reason: This movie's depiction of emotional abuse makes me physically uncomfortable. Ingrid Bergman portrays his victimized wife, Charles Boyer plays his ruthlessly manipulative husband, and the viewer is left fervently hoping that the never-ending round of mind games will come to an end.

The Killer Scene: "Are you trying to tell me I'm insane?" was the fatal phrase. Boyer is asked by Bergman, who is bursting through her skin and reaching for the truth. In a single phrase, it sums up the film's gloomy psychological situation.

93. Run Lola Run (1998)

Berlin serves as a harsh industrial setting in Tom Tykwer's time-traveling film with techno music. In order to save her partner, a small-time criminal, Lola (Franka Potente) must acquire a fortune in the next 20 minutes. Bring on three drastically dissimilar scenarios that unfold as a hybrid of a computer game, a much crazier Sliding Doors, and a "Choose Your Own Adventure" tale. Even the Simpsons are referenced in it, which is something you can't claim about many low-budget European thrillers.

The Killer Scene: Lola's initial attempt to save her sweetheart fails miserably.

94. Gone Girl (2014)

Gillian Flynn's 2012 blockbuster found the perfect adaptation director in David Fincher, whose gloomy approach to a thriller proved to be a trap in and of itself. It is deliciously crazy and a gift for aficionados of the double cross. Nick (Ben Affleck, impressively shady), a bar owner and former hotshot writer, finds his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike, revelatory), a small star, missing from their Missouri home. The noose is closing around him.

The Killer Scene: Amy croons from the dead, or perhaps it's much closer, about the "cool girl" she was expected to be, enraged and vengeful.

95. Thief (1981)

Before "Miami Vice" made him famous, Michael Mann's distinct aesthetic was already there in this stylish first film. As the stereotypical hesitant criminal who accepts one more job before settling down to a life of home bliss, James Caan emanates manly anxiety. The film has become recognizable for its austere images, sophisticated Tangerine Dream soundscape, and a mounting feeling of impending calamity. Never have Los Angeles' glittering boulevards seemed smaller or more foreboding.

The Killer Scene: The deadly line is delivered by lovable, grandfather-faced character actor Robert Prosky as a vicious mafia leader.

96. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

In René Clément's Purple Noon, the con artist Tom Ripley of literature is caught, but in Anthony Minghella's gorgeous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's book, he kills his way to a grimmer conclusion. A first-rate ensemble led by Matt Damon, gorgeous locations, and a multidimensional homosexual protagonist (still a mainstream rarity) shine in this sun-dappled thriller. His reflection on a polished piano rip apart in a mind-blowing shot. John Seale, the filmmaker, deserves praise.

The Killer Scene: Tom's patience is continually tested by Freddie (Philip Seymour Hoffman, delightfully annoying), who is suspicious of the main character.

97. Infernal Affairs (2002)

Because Martin Scorsese utilized it in his Oscar-winning adaptation of The Departed, you are already familiar with the plot. Even though the movie is amusing, the Hong Kong original is superior. Both Tony Leung and Andy Lau play spies: the former is a police officer working his way up through the ranks to infiltrate a dangerous triad. Infernal Affairs is the John Woo of the thriller fan, blazing its way through gunplay and agonizing sequences of dangerous clandestine labor.

The Killer Scene: The decisive moment occurs when both guys inevitably stand on a rooftop and compare their faces. Never were Leo and Matt as cunning as this.

98. The Long Good Friday (1980)

There are several opportunities throughout John Mackenzie's Cockney crime-athon to perform your best Bob Hoskins imitation ('The Mafia? I've smacked 'em!" However, it never falls into cliche because of the brave performances by Hoskins as ambitious gangland fixer Harold Shand and Helen Mirren as his frigid moll. Instead, it gradually shifts from a bloody character study to an oddly moving tragedy. Shakespeare's Macbeth may have been Shand if he had grown up in Stepney after World War II.

The Killer Scene: The finest wordless acting in movies may be seen in a long, close view of Hoskins as he is being driven to a meeting with fate, with complex emotions visible on his face.

99. The Stranger (1946)

This potboiler is a rollicking good time in a Blue Velvet-like dark-side-of-smalltown-America kind of manner, albeit perhaps not as polished or as durable as The Lady From Shanghai, the thriller Orson Welles would produce a year later. Welles portrays a high-ranking Nazi (and amateur horologist) in New England who poses as a history professor and uses his wife as the ideal front (Loretta Young). The war crimes hunter who has his number is Edward G. Robinson. The combination of clammy tension-building and Welles' inventive filmmaking works well. You'll adore it if you enjoy clocks.

The Killer Scene: The pivotal scene is when Edward G. Robinson plays a haunting newlywed video of Loretta Young from the Nazi death camps—the first time Holocaust material has been included in a Hollywood production.

100. Wild Things (1998)

The narrative of an intricate, sex-filled protracted con is told with vivid gusto in John McNaughton's Wild Things, the sexual thriller at its sweatiest, most stylized finest. Although trashy, the thrills in this film are overstated and well carried out. All of this is to say: don't even consider skipping the end credits.

The Killer Scene: One of cinema's most often replayed sequences has Neve Campbell and Denise Richards making out in a pool. Which of these high school females, though, is in the lead?

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