If you're in the mood for something exciting, dark, and suspenseful but not a full-blown action movie, then thrillers might just be the choice for you.

We've combed the library of Netflix UK and Ireland and come back with a selection of thrillers you should definitely check out before they leave the streaming platform.


Quite simply, one of the best thrillers ever made. That's really all there is to say about 'Zodiac'. One of Jake Gyllenhaal's best performances, Robert Downey Jr. in his resurgent phase, Mark Ruffalo looking like a young Columbo, a cracking soundtrack, gorgeous cinematography, whip-smart dialogue, a good old-fashioned yarn about a serial killer, and all of it served up with an intriguing commentary on the mania of celebrity and attention. If you've never watched it, please rectify this grave error immediately.

'Primal Fear'

Once upon a time, major studios used to pump money into one-off thrillers and Richard Gere more or less had the market for leading men cornered. You had movies like 'Red Corner', 'Unfaithful', and of course, 'Primal Fear' featuring a baby-faced Edward Norton as an altar boy accused of murdering a priest who, it turns out, has multiple personalities. It's a perfect example of a high-concept thriller that major studios don't make anymore and streaming services have taken up in the absence. More specifically, 'Primal Fear' shows off what a talent Edward Norton was at a young age. He was picked out of 2,100 auditions and this was his first movie.

'Panic Room'

Speaking of high-concept thrillers, 'Panic Room' is another example of this sadly dormant genre. Jodie Foster leads the charge against home invaders Jared Leto, Forrest Whittaker, and Dwight Yoakam with a pre-teen Kristen Stewart in tow. It's such a tightly-written script with committed and believable performances by all concerned, but it's really David Fincher's slick-as-mirrors directing that pulls it all together. Also, you just know that house would probably be all over Architectural Digest now and you could get a YouTube walkthrough of it.

'Gerald's Game'

Mike Flanagan has become Netflix's go-to guy for smart horrors, but his early work on 'Gerald's Game' suggests he's just as comfortable with psychological thrillers. Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood lead this adaptation of a lesser-known Stephen King work that was long considered unadaptable. While it's true, the ending is slightly bonkers, Carla Gugino lights up the screen and the grizzly but compelling storyline - she's handcuffed to her bed after her husband has a heart attack during a bit of kinky foreplay - will keep you (pardon the pun) locked in.


Denis Villeneuve might be off in space with 'Dune' and the eagerly anticipated second chapter due out in 2023, but whenever he comes down to Earth, he does with a bang. 'Prisoners' is one of those movies that you'll watch once, be utterly transfixed and probably traumatised by it, and as a result, never watch it again. Hugh Jackman is on fire as the pained, violently angry father of a kidnapped child who aims all of his anguish and frustration on Jake Gyllenhaal's icily calm cop and, eventually, the lead suspect in Paul Dano. Roger Deakins' cinematography turns what could have been a conventional enough kidnap thriller into a neo-noir masterpiece.


If there was any justice in the world, 'Nightcrawler' would have done huge business at the Oscars instead of a single nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Gyllenhaal should have been in the running for the bug-eyed, utterly sociopathic Lou, the late great Bill Paxton did some of his best work as the sleazy stringer Joe, and Rene Russo was electric as the vampish producer who signs a deal with the devil for TV ratings. It's got a real sense of '70s cinema to it, evoking comparisons with the likes of 'Taxi Driver' and 'Network' but with a sharp edge of modernity to it in how people are willing to literally do anything and everything for fame and money.