Best Thriller Movies of 2023

Shikhar Jauhari

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Best Thriller Movies of 2023

From ghostly encounters to grisly murders, there’s something here for everyone, with several high-profile directors crafting suspenseful thrillers as well as psychological dramas keeping audiences hooked throughout 2023.

Here are the 11 Best Thriller Movies of 2023.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Stream Now at AppleTV, Prime Video

Run Time: 2h 43m

After 27 years of special effects films that deceive audiences, it would be easy to assume that Tom Cruise and the minds behind the “Mission: Impossible” franchise have run out of new ways to excite. Yet each new film in his series seems to find even more innovative approaches that allow us to feel as if we’re right alongside them as they perform unbelievable stunts that no one would ever have predicted possible.

Ethan Hunt must procure an artifact from the CIA capable of controlling artificial intelligence. This movie not only boasts of stunning set pieces that have made this franchise such a favorite, but it also introduces an antagonist in the form of AI as its primary foe. “Taken is an action film that manages to render invisible enemies as real and menacing as any physical antagonist

The Covenant

The Covenant

Stream Now at Prime Video

Run Time: 2h 3m

Guy Ritchie shows his ability to learn from Paul Greengrass by keeping the focus tightly on Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim’s bonded heroes risking their lives for each other despite overwhelming odds in The Covenant. Unfortunately, though, Ritchie’s overt flourishes and attempts at building background importance don’t work nearly as well in this bloated wartime thriller.

This film is both an admirable tribute and a stark reminder of America’s failure to meet its commitments to allies like Sergeant Kinley. Instead of combat keeping him awake at night, it is rather his sense of betrayal. The Covenant is a compelling, gritty, and effective drama. Gyllenhaal and Salim deliver standout performances, though, at times, they are overlong or slow. Still worth your while thanks to Ritchie’s skill as a filmmaker and a strong supporting cast.

The Beast

The Beast

Stream Now at Netflix

Run Time: 2h 26m

At first glance, The Beast falls short as an effective late summer thriller due to too much sentiment and not enough horror; nevertheless, there’s plenty of tension and terror, and Seydoux makes an impression as she plays a woman haunted by both past and future fears.

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The Beast is an intoxicatingly intricate science fiction work that seamlessly merges seemingly disparate genres. It has three timelines: period romance, thriller, and dystopian sci-fi. The film’s three settings are strikingly similar, revolving around themes of unfulfilled love and impending ruin, with dreams, dolls, ominous pigeons, and knives serving as visual motifs. It’s a recursive tragic romance but with an unusual twist: instead of dwelling on what might have been or could have been, it focuses on what actually is.

Nimona

Nimona

Stream Now at Netflix

Run Time: 1h 41m

Nimona takes place in the medieval world, where Ballister Boldheart is falsely accused of a murder he didn’t commit. For help, he turns to Moretz, who brings an irreverent Goth kid’s unbridled anarchy into her portrayal. Instead of following its source material’s noodle-y aesthetic, this film employs designs drawn from both modernism and Disney’s golden age era, producing an engaging blend of old and new anchored by its extravagant settings and action scenes.

Nimona may veer into drama at times and lose momentum, yet it remains an appealingly unique movie with much to offer, particularly its subversive take on conformity and The Other. From quick-witted bantering between scenes to subverting the tropes of Arthurian-style fantasy literature, Nimona deserves wider audience appreciation than it has thus far received.

Fair Play

Fair Play

Stream Now at Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV

Run Time: 1h 53m

Fair Play is an erotic thriller in the same vein as classics such as Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, yet instead provides a critical analysis of power, sexual manipulation, and antiquated gender expectations. The film follows Emily and Luke, two hedge fund company employees with a blossoming romance. When Emily overhears news that one of her rivals for the top position may receive a promotion, their careers and personal lives begin colliding, culminating in an unexpected battle of sexual power between them.

The chemistry between the leads is outstanding. Both actors give committed performances that seamlessly move between pragmatic pragmatism and emotional intensity, creating a gripping, thought-provoking drama. Furthermore, the film accurately captures its depiction of a high-pressure world – characters feel like people you know, making the film both compelling and captivating to watch.

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John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick Chapter 4

Stream Now at AppleTV

Run Time: 2h 49m

Chad Stahelski’s hyper-kinetic franchise John Wick: Chapter 4 is bigger and bolder than ever. Furthermore, it demands both time and energy from its viewers to fully experience some of its more outlandish moments, eventually succeeding at creating something memorable beyond just body count!

As is his wont, Keanu Reeves delivers his monosyllabic hitman persona with tremendous conviction. Now on the run from The High Table – shadowy crime lords responsible for keeping order in his world – Reeves seeks to break free. Their leader, played by Bill Skarsgard as Marquis, is especially disturbing. Reeves takes on an extraordinary role, carrying much of the narrative weight even when scenes become overly long and violent.

Society of the Snow

Society of the Snow

Stream Now at Netflix

Run Time: Run Time: 2h 24m

T Society of the Snow is an epic tale of human endurance based on the true story of the Uruguayan rugby team who became trapped in the Andes after their plane crashes, but unlike Alive, which transformed journalist Pablo Vierci’s book into a Hollywood-like tribute to their spirit of survival, Society of the Snow presents another approach by exploring mental and emotional struggle related to losing, grief, creativity and resilience to build what it calls “society of snow.”

This film successfully avoids macabre details – no one is shown eating off camera – by employing suggestion rather than straight drama to show these men, women, and children making new lives together while paying their own respective respects to those gone before them. Furthermore, this adaptation pays a unique homage to their deceased loved ones in ways no other adaptation has managed.

Monster

Monster

Stream Now at NetflixPrime VideoAppleTV

Run Time: 2h 14m

Hirokazu Koreeda’s 2023 movie Monster, an unsettling tale of fateful misunderstanding that only fully unfolds over time and patience, may not immediately capture your attention. Still, its insightful dramatization of fractured perspectives brings his trademark delicacy, compassion, and sensitivity to every corner of its tale.

Once Monster establishes the touching reality of Minato and Yori’s relationship, it quickly builds towards an emotionally impactful conclusion that showcases Koreeda’s humanism throughout this complex tale. Backed up by an exquisite score composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Monster stands as an astonishing accomplishment – surely one of this year’s most poignant films.

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birth/rebirth

birth/rebirth

Stream Now at Not Available Yet

Run Time: 1h 41m

Laura Moss’s unnerve-inducing directorial debut, birth/rebirth, is an unsettling Frankensteinian horror that follows through on its promise of depicting scientific hubris as an uncomfortable morality play for motherhood, which makes the film both accessible and terrifyingly captivating. Unlike most horror movies where motivations for bad guys are obvious right away, Rose and Celi take longer for viewers to comprehend

Reanimating the dead is no small feat, but keeping this newly reanimated girl alive requires something much darker: harvesting fetuses from other pregnant mothers – and that sets into motion an insidious tale of maternal terror as two characters, played by Marin Ireland and Judy Reyes, vie to take care of this child miracle between themselves.

Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall

Stream Now at AppleTVPrime Video

Run Time: 2h 31m

Although Anatomy of a Fall starts out as a murder investigation, it soon becomes an autopsy of a troubled marriage full of betrayal, infidelity, and compromise. The film’s engaging drama and profoundly satisfying themes will keep viewers guessing long after it has ended, thanks to the talents of director Pierre and the actress. It also serves as an effective counterbalance to sensationalist crime-themed content and entrenched cultural conservatism in France.

Triet brilliantly subverts the conventions of legal thrillers with her debut, Huller. Instead of ramping up tension through plot twists and plot reveals, Triet uses them to broaden cultural awareness within her storyline. Her one-woman puzzle box is instrumental in this film’s success and keeps audiences guessing throughout.

Mami Wata

Mami Wata

Stream Now at Not Available Yet

Run Time: 1h 47m

Set in Iyi, where Mama Efe is the priestess for a West African water deity called Mami Wata, Nigerian director C.J. “Fiery” Obasi creates an imaginative modern fable about spiritual beliefs with intergenerational anxieties and an uprising against tradition versus progress. It features high-contrast black-and-white cinematography with haunting tribal music that transports audiences back in time while seemingly speeding forward. Opportunistically, militants promise technological progress versus matriarchal spiritual order.

This film follows Zinwe and Prisca, two daughters of Mama Efe, played by Evelyne Ily Juhen and Uzoamaka Aniunoh, respectively, as they experience life within a matriarchal society; Zinwe’s devotion and commitment towards her mother stand in stark contrast with Prisca’s skepticism and lifestyle choices.

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