The best classic thrillers to watch on Netflix MENA
Edge-of-the-seat movies to stream
April 19, 2020 7:00 AM
Alfred Hitchcock perfected the thriller movie with a string of classics that remain unmatched. But from today’s perspective, there’s more to them than ice blondes and wrong-men scenarios.
Here’s our pick of the best classic thriller films available on Netflix MENA.
Gone Girl (2014)
Director: David Fincher Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris Deliriously nuts and a treat for fans of the double cross, Gillian Flynn's 2012 bestseller found the ideal adapting filmmaker in David Fincher, whose doomy way with a thriller proved a ruse in itself. The noose tightens around Nick (Ben Affleck, impressively shifty), a bar owner and former hot-shot journalist whose wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike, revelatory), a minor celebrity, has disappeared from their Missouri home.
Kill List (2011) Director: Ben Wheatley Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiley Ben Wheatley’s DIY debut Down Terrace was a blast, but nothing could have prepared us for his second feature. Like a DVD-bin thriller given a massive jolt of quality, Kill List takes the basic elements of low-rent Brit-crime-bickering hit men, a shady aristo crime boss, and dreary suburban locations – and transforms them into art. With its improvised dialogue, pin-drop sound design and shocking violence, the result is terrifying, occasionally frustrating and utterly compelling.
Director: Dan Gilroy Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed With hints of The King of Comedy’s oblivious Rupert Pupkin in its main character (an ambulance-chasing cameraman played by a skeletal Jake Gyllenhaal, who deserved an Oscar nomination), this Los Angeles-set neo-noir is today’s Network. Not only does writer-director Dan Gilroy satirise our addiction to gore and fear, but he also darkly rewards the despicable enablers of lowbrow culture.
Director: David Fincher Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow Here's the pivot point for David Fincher – the inflection at which he transitioned from being a maker of super-stylish Madonna videos into something more substantial. Seven certainly delivers a signature gloom, from those powerhouse opening credits. But beyond the gloss, the movie feels as subversive as a Fritz Lang thriller, indicting the police as thoroughly as it does its moralising serial killer. Andrew Kevin Walker's script contrasts theoretical bookishness with impulsive action, but Fincher's genius is to show those modes for what they really are: survival strategies that only get you so far.
Director: Denis Villeneuve Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin Denis Villeneuve’s devastating Incendies warned us what to expect from this chilly thriller: no moral certainties and no happy endings. Villeneuve mounts spectacular set pieces (the convoy sequence, shot by the great Roger Deakins, is a pulse-pounding standout), while also painting a bleaker picture of the lawless badlands than even Trump can muster.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow Cast: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton The average presidential tweet packs more controversy these days than anything in Kathryn Bigelow’s geopolitical thriller, so it’s strange to think that when it came out, it spawned a litany of think pieces and even threats of a congressional inquiry. A smart thriller that doesn’t skimp on the pyrotechnics when the time comes, it’s basically The Bourne Ultimatum for people who read The Atlantic.
Director: David Fincher Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. Scraping up against the limits of knowability, David Fincher's mind-blowing crime thriller targets the truth itself as a serial killer's final victim. Zodiac is the definitive movie of its troubled decade, showing us good men thwarted by the elusive spirit of a murderous ghost. The real-life exploits of California’s Zodiac Killer haunted Fincher as a child; his film is an expression of obsession, onscreen and off.