NETFLIX: Recent Thriller Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen

Bad Genius (2017)

Cheating on school tests, often portrayed in teen sitcoms, takes on a thrilling heist movie vibe in this Thai production. Despite being underappreciated internationally, “Bad Genius” deserves recognition as a cult classic. Its clever script and Nattawut Poonpiriya’s direction elevate the mundane act of test-taking to a heart-pounding adventure, akin to scaling the Louvre to steal the Mona Lisa.

I Care A Lot (2021)

It’s understandable if you didn’t know that Rosamund Pike won a Golden Globe for her performance in this darkly comedic thriller – it’s the Golden Globes, after all. However, you absolutely must watch I Care a Lot, especially for Pike’s captivating portrayal as a cunning con artist who targets seniors, until she crosses paths with the wrong gangster’s mother. Her performance is simply devilish and not to be missed.

They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

Netflix surprises us once again with a burst of creativity in the form of a must-see sci-fi Blaxploitation mash-up. John Boyega shines as Fontaine, a kind-hearted drug dealer who miraculously survives a fatal motel shootout only to awaken unharmed at home. With the unlikely aid of a pimp (Jamie Foxx) and a sex worker (Teyonah Parris), Fontaine dives into unraveling the mystery surrounding his bizarre resurrection. This film stands out as one of the year’s most original offerings, marking the directorial debut of Juel Taylor who proves himself a promising new talent to watch.

Oldboy (2004)

In a tale echoing the grandeur of Greek tragedy, the international debut of the Korean firebrand Park Chan-wook emerges as a shocking spectacle of hammer duels. It unfolds with violent fervor and a touch of complexity, yet its raw intensity lends it a dramatic gravity that threatens to crush the soul. At its heart is Choi Min-sik, delivering a performance of brutal intensity as a man ensnared by unknown captors for a decade. Upon his abrupt liberation, he plunges into unfathomable abysses on his relentless pursuit of retribution.

Emily the Criminal (2022)

Don’t underestimate this tense thriller led by Aubrey Plaza in a late-capitalist setting. Premiering at Sundance and now streaming on Netflix, it’s primed for an exhilarating evening in. Plaza portrays Emily, an LA resident grappling with overdue student loans, who becomes entangled in large-scale credit card fraud, leading to disastrous consequences. Plaza infuses her trademark sarcastic charm with a fearless rebellion against a flawed system.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

The original Knives Out brought back the classic murder mystery vibe akin to Clue, delving into the investigation of a wealthy patriarch’s death and delighting in every genre cliché. Its inevitable sequel updates the scenario with a billionaire tech mogul (played by Ed Norton) inviting his similarly affluent friends to his private island, only to encounter a murder among them. The formula remains largely unchanged, and thankfully so. One can imagine they’ll continue making countless iterations of these films, each promising enjoyment, especially with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the charmingly unconvincing Southern detective, Benoit Blanc.

Creep (2014)

In what may be remembered as the final, genuinely innovative entry in the found-footage trend, Mark Duplass takes on the role of the unsettling protagonist. He portrays a seemingly friendly but eccentric man nearing the end of his life due to an untreatable brain tumor. To capture memories for his unborn child, he enlists the help of a videographer, played by Patrick Brice. From this point on, the situation steadily grows even more unsettling.

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Stephen King’s thriller begins with a gripping premise: a married couple seeks a secluded cabin for a weekend of adventurous intimacy, only for tragedy to strike when he suffers a fatal heart attack while she remains bound to the bedposts. The challenge then becomes transforming this unsettling setup into a film that captivates audiences. Director Mike Flanagan (known for The Haunting of Hill House) succeeds remarkably, crafting a chilling cinematic experience that ranks among the finest King adaptations in recent memory.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Melanie Lynskey shines in Yellowjackets, showcasing a sharply incisive portrayal in this darkly humorous thriller that feels like a twisted rural twist on the ’90s Michael Douglas revenge tale Falling Down. Following a robbery at her home, nursing assistant Ruth Kimke (Lynskey) joins forces with the eccentric neighbor (Elijah Wood) to uncover the culprit, unleashing her pent-up frustration with the trajectory of her life in the process.

Calibre (2018)

In this indie thriller reminiscent of “Deliverance” set in tweed country, the film explores the fallout from a disastrous Highland shooting expedition. Jack Lowden delivers a standout performance as a man entangled in a web of violent consequences, all ignited by the reckless actions of his arrogant best friend. Against the backdrop of a close-knit Scottish community, the dense woodland becomes a gripping stage for a tense cat-and-mouse struggle that unfolds with gripping intensity.

The Gray Man (2022)

In a year fraught with challenges for Netflix, the Russo brothers’ spy thriller emerges as a resounding triumph for the streaming platform. It stands out as one of the most exhilarating action films ever produced by Netflix, featuring Ryan Gosling in the role of ‘Sierra Six,’ a former CIA assassin who, after uncovering shady operations within the Agency, goes rogue. His path intersects with that of a skilled hitman (Chris Evans), leading to intense showdowns and gripping intrigue.

The Killer (2023)

Based on the French graphic novel of the identical title, and unmistakably inspired by Jean-Pierre Melville’s renowned film Le Samourai, David Fincher’s noir action flick resonates with strong nouvelle vague influences, infused with Fincher’s trademark clinical aesthetic. Michael Fassbender portrays a hitman grappling with an existential crisis after a job gone awry. The film exudes a cool detachment typical of Fincher’s works, yet remains stylish and captivating—a psychological thriller rich in introspection.

Hold the Dark (2018)

In a remote Alaskan village, a wolf specialist (played by Jeffrey Wright) is called upon to track down a pack of wolves believed responsible for the deaths of three children. As he navigates through the blinding snowstorm, he discovers something far more disturbing than anticipated. If you’re familiar with Jeremy Saulnier’s intense thriller Green Room, brace yourself for another gripping and unsettling cinematic experience.

I Am Mother (2019)

Nodding distinctly to the high-minded sci-fi styles of Ridley Scott and early James Cameron, this Australian film features Clara Rugaard as the ‘daughter’ of a robot assigned to repopulate Earth after an extinction-level catastrophe. However, when a stranger (Hilary Swank) appears outside their bunker, their relationship’s true nature is called into question. While its influences are clear, director Grant Sputore maintains a taut, concentrated, and suspenseful narrative.

Cam (2018)

The Platform (2019)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

The Stranger (2022)

Oxygen (2021)

Shimmer Lake (2017)

Bird Box (2018)

The Guilty (2021)

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