Good thrillers are becoming a rare breed nowadays and coming up with ten titles for this list proved to be more challenging than expected. While making our choices, we decided not to include some movies such as “Ready Or Not”, “Us” or “Crawl”. While they might also fall under the “thriller” label, the previously mentioned movies are already present on our best horror movies of 2019 list and we think they are better fitted on that list.
Even so, most of the movies on this list are not one-hundred percent thrillers and they rather mix more genres. From crime-thriller, action-thriller, mystery-thriller to psychological-thriller or legal-thriller, we’ve included a lot of different types of thrillers here and, while we don’t expect you to agree with all of our choices, we prefered to choose movies that are only partially thrillers rather than come up with a list made of “Gemini Man”, “Angel Has Fallen”, “Cold Pursuit” or other Holywood misfires.
Without any further ado, here are our 10 picks for the best thriller movies of 2019. Let us know in the comments what other thrillers you enjoyed last year.
10. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find
“A Good Woman Is Hard To Find” stars Sarah Bolger as a single young mother of a boy and a girl whose husband was murdered and is now struggling with grief and money problems. As if things weren’t already bad enough for her, one day a robber forcefully enters into her house and bullies her into letting him stash some stolen drugs in her apartment. After she finds out that the robber has links to the criminal world, the woman sees the opportunity and tries to find out what exactly happened with her dead husband.
This British thriller is a slow-burn yet, in the end, an engrossing and rewarding experience. We were pleasantly surprised by Sarah Bolger’s acting range. The 28 years old Irish actress is perfectly cast as the main character and we thought that her excellent performance was the standout of this somewhat middling thriller.
9. The Forest Of Love
The latest film from Japanese director Sion Sono (“Love Exposure”, “Cold Fish”) is an ultra-violent thriller that follows a charismatic con man and a trio of aspiring filmmakers who force themselves into the lives of two young women who’ve been through a traumatic experience while in high school.
With a 150 minutes runtime, this is a long film and if you’re not into gory, weird, excessive and totally messed up kind of movies, it might not be for you. However, if you’ve seen and liked Sion Sono’s other works, you will probably enjoy “The Forest Of Love”, which feels like an amalgamation of all of the themes, characters, and obsessions that can be found in the director’s past catalogue. It is a self-indulgent, indescribably strange, and nearly impossible to review movie, the kind of film that you will either love or hate.
8. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Set six years after the finale of “Breaking Bad”, this Netflix original movie lets us know what happened to Walter White’s partner in business Jesse Pinkman. Taking place just after the aftermath of the original show, “El Camino” centers on the terrified and deeply traumatized Jesse just after he escapes from the neo-Nazis meth dealers, but it also contains a couple of flashbacks showing previously unseen moments and bringing back some familiar faces.
As we expected from “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan, who has also written and directed this sequel, there was a lot of effort put in the film’s production value: “El Camino” is well-shot, filled with great cinematography and an amazing soundtrack. However, the highlight of the film remains Aaron Paul, who gives a career-best performance with his intense portrayal of the PTSD-suffering Jesse Pinkman.
Mostly acting like an extended episode of the original show, “El Camino” will please fans who wanted to know a little more about the aftermath of Walter White’s death, and is a thrilling and insightful new addition to the “Breaking Bad” universe.
7. Dragged Across Concrete
Directed by S. Craig Zahler, the man behind 2017’s “Crawl in Cell Block 99” and the 2015 western horror “Bone Tomahawk”, “Dragged Across Concrete” is a slow-burn crime thriller that stars Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn as two police detectives who are suspended for two months when a video of their aggressive tactics leaks in the media. Low on cash and lacking other options, the two men delve into the criminal underworld trying to find a new way to provide for their families.
Like Zahler’s other work, this is a brutal, gritty, and sadistic film that challenges the moral position of its viewers and can sometimes be a pretty uncomfortable experience to sit through. Despite feeling a little overlong and maybe not being as enjoyable as his previous films, “Dragged Across Concrete” benefits of brilliant performances from its cast, a compelling story, and superb craftsmanship that solidifies Zahler’s status as a filmmaker worth paying attention to.
6. Dark Waters
Directed by Todd Haynes (“Carol”, “Far From Heaven”), this legal thriller is based on real-life events and stars Mark Ruffalo as Robert Billot, the Cincinnati corporate defense attorney who took on an environmental lawsuit against the DuPont company and uncovered some of the dangerous effects of the toxic chemical components in Teflon.
Todd Haynes’ latest movie is one of the most important, informative and, at the same time, infuriating films of 2019, and despite its didactic approach to its subject, it never ceases to be gripping, eye-opening, and even frightening.