James Caan staring

Free two-day shipping is great and all, but for movie lovers, the true allure of an Amazon Prime membership is the content offered by the company’s streaming service, Prime Video. Anyone who subscribes to a Prime membership has access to all kinds of movies and TV shows, some of which you can’t see anywhere else.

And as far as thrillers are concerned, Prime has a pretty great selection that gets better just about every month. You can stream everything from crime capers to classic tales of psychological suspense, or you can find something new and bizarre that you’ve never heard of before — stuff that’s dark and disconcerting. Whether you’re a thriller veteran or just looking to dip your toes into the genre, you just might find your next flick here.

Updated on September 1, 2022: Amazon Prime has an ever-evolving catalogue of films and shows, and we’ve updated this list to reflect the best thrillers currently offered by the streaming service. These picks will have you on the edge of your seat, and once you’ve been through them all, keep checking back each month to see what new thrills Prime Video has to offer.

Akilla’s Escape

Akilla lit by red light

As if the high-stakes, perilous world of the gangland thriller didn’t supply enough tension, "Akilla’s Escape" ratchets the pressure up a notch by anchoring itself in the stoicism of its core character — a world-weary Akilla (Saul Williams) who knows this dangerous world all too intimately and is trying to prevent a young boy from getting too acquainted with it himself. Everything about this film, from the creative choices to the music (which Williams also helped compose), serves the personal and sociopolitical tension between the past, the present, and the choices that move us between them.

  • Starring: Saul Williams, Thamela Mpumlwana, Vic Mensa
  • Director: Charles Officer
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: NR

The Boondock Saints

Norma Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery glaring

"The Boondock Saints" lived up to the original hype of its unique script, but it took a convoluted path to get there. In fact, its success looks unlike what anyone involved might’ve expected. Critics hated it upon release, possibly in part because that release was rife with controversy and studio politics and was limited to just a few theaters. Nonetheless, the film went on to gross an impressive deal in video sales, and it’s a cult favorite among audiences.

The film has earned its place in pop culture due to actors like Norman Reedus and Willem Dafoe. Plus, it has a compelling story that weaves together themes of family and justice as a pair of twin brothers become vigilantes and fight Russian mobsters, all while fleeing the dogged pursuit of an FBI agent.

  • Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus
  • Director: Troy Duffy
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Conversation

Gene Hackman spying

When he wasn’t busy helming the first two "Godfather" films in the early 1970s, Francis Ford Coppola was crafting "The Conversation." This intimate, personal thriller follows a surveillance expert who’s tasked with deciphering a conversation between two lovers, only to find that we he thinks he heard might not really be the truth. Rich with character building and an atmosphere of paranoia, it’s one of the all-time great thriller films of the 1970s, and it remains one of Gene Hackman’s finest performances.

  • Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Year: 1974
  • Runtime: 113 minutes
  • Rating: PG

The Courier

Benedict Cumberbatch concerned

"The Courier" is a bit of a history class, just a lot better at holding its audience’s attention. It revolves around an actual infiltration of the Soviet Union’s nuclear program that was critical to ending the Cuban Missile Crisis. With a haunting Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role playing a British businessman turned spy, the ominous tones and real-world stakes make the suspense feel all too tangible.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan
  • Director: Dominic Cooke
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13

The Ghost and the Darkness

Lion snarling

We know instinctively that we aren’t as safe in the wilderness as we are at home. But that’s just because predators in the wild live their lives with very different motivations for ours. If they’re threatened or hungry, they might eat us. It’s just how nature works, simply a matter of survival rather than ill will.

At least, that’s what we would like to believe until we watch cult favorite films like "The Ghost and The Darkness," which depicts the real-life-inspired story of a malicious, almost supernaturally driven pair of lions in Kenya who terrorize a group of construction workers and kill just for the sake of killing. It gets so bad that two hunters are brought in to pick these big cats off, but it’s a task that just might be impossible.

  • Starring: Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson

  • Director: Stephen Hopkins

  • Year: 1996

  • Runtime: 109 minutes

  • Rating: R

The Handmaiden

Fujiwara whispers in Hideko's ear

In terms of unlikely pairings, the team of con man and young pickpocket in "The Handmaiden" is an absurdly satisfying one. This psychological thriller begins with this team’s efforts to defraud a naïve heiress named Hideko, as the pickpocket, Sook-hee, convinces her to marry the con man, who goes by the name Count Fujiwara. Of course, this is only the beginning of this South Korean thriller. Betrayal and eroticism intertwine with sharply executed psychological thrills to make "The Handmaiden" not only gripping but genuinely entertaining.

  • Starring: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 145 minutes
  • Rating: NR

I See You

Kidnapper wearing frog mask

The thriller genre is interesting because it can encompass so many other film styles. There are political thrillers, sci-fi thrillers, crime thrillers, and historical thrillers, among many others. The best ones have some element of psychological unrest to them, perhaps even verging on horror. "I See You" is one of those uniquely unsettling pieces, a stalker-meets-poltergeist terror that takes your worst nightmare and plants it right outside your suburban door, complete with creepy masks, child abductions, and all sorts of mysterious events that just might be supernatural.

  • Starring: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Owen Teague
  • Director: Adam Randall
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Protege

Maggie Q staring

The ultra-skilled assassin who goes on a quest for vengeance after losing her mentor is not a new thriller movie trope, but "The Protege" still packs enough fresh thrills to make it worth your time. The story of Maggie Q’s trained killer and her hunt for the people who took down the man who trained her, it’s got an all-star cast that also features Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the stylish work of director Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale") to really sell the concept.

  • Starring: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal talks to Clarice

One of just a handful of films to sweep the best picture, director, actor, actress, and adapted screenplay categories at the Academy Awards, "The Silence of the Lambs" remains one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made. The story of a young FBI agent who attempts to catch a serial killer by interviewing a second killer who’s already in prison, it’s anchored by tremendous work from both Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins and driven by Jonathan Demme’s taut direction. It was one of the first great films of the 1990s and remains great today.

  • Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Matt Damon looking

One of the most memorable thrillers of the ’90s, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" follows the title character — portrayed by Matt Damon — as he’s hired to head overseas and convince the wayward heir of a shipping magnate to return back to the States. But as Ripley weaves his way into the life of the libertine Dickie Greenleaf, his arrival turns into a dangerous game. Is Ripley just a devoted hanger-on or something else entirely? It’s a question that’s the source of lingering, delicious tension in Anthony Minghella’s slick, sexy film.

  • Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R


James Caan on phone

Michael Mann remains one of the greatest crime film directors of all time, and if you look back at his feature film debut, you can see that was true from the moment he started helming movies. Starring James Caan in one of the best performances of his career, "Thief" focuses on the title character as he tries to balance a successful life of crime with his desire to have a family and a happy ending. Sadly, the mob has other plans, and what follows is a dark, emotional descent into violence.

  • Starring: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Year: 1981
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R

The Usual Suspects

Lineup scene in The Usual Suspects

Certain movies are required viewing regardless of genre, and "The Usual Suspects" is one of those films — a movie that fits a variety of designations and delivers on every one of them. It’s a thriller, a crime film, even a bit of a comedy. The neo-noir story benefits from having a questionable narrator, as the story of a massacre is told in a convoluted manner by a con man being subjected to interrogation. The story structure and narration only make it that much more titillating as we figure out what really happened behind a heist gone horribly wrong.

  • Starring: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro
  • Director: Bryan Singer
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: R


The Boy confronts his parents

There’s a fine line between thrilling and just plain uncomfortable, and "Vivarium" basically plays jump rope with that line. The film takes the innate desire of the restless soul to escape the humdrum suburban life and multiplies the intensity until you feel like you’re getting cabin fever just watching it.

As for the plot, young lovers Tom and Gemma are searching for a home, but when they visit a cookie-cutter neighborhood, they suddenly find themselves unable to escape. Things get even creepier when a "kid" shows up on their doorstep, with instructions that if they care for the boy, they’ll be released. Watching a couple find themselves trapped in an infinite subdivision of identical houses and forced to raise a humanoid monster as their child … well, it’s not for everyone, but that’s part of the unique thrill that both impressed and alienated critics and audiences.

  • Starring: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris
  • Director: Lorcan Finnegan
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: R

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Eva touches Kevin's forehead

Seriously, why don’t the parents in this film just do what the title demands? Why don’t they just talk about Kevin? Who knows how differently things might have gone if they had — though the story would almost certainly have been less thrilling.

As it stands, this is a slow-burning ride into psychopathy and family dysfunction, told through an idyllic lens of suburban life that’s been shattered by an unspeakable event. It’s so unspeakable that it — and the sinister dynamics that precipitated it — can only be revealed piece by ominous piece as the film goes on, examined through a mother’s complicated relationship with her very disturbed son.

  • Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
  • Director: Lynne Ramsay
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R

You Were Never Really Here

Joaquin Phoenix looking sad

If you don’t have a strong stomach and mind, you might want to "not really be here" for "You Were Never Really Here," which gives us an uncompromising look at harsh topics like human trafficking and PTSD. The plot follows a guy named Joe, a deeply troubled man who’s hired to rescue kidnapped girls by any means necessary. But when Joe is hired to save the abducted daughter of a New York senator, he finds himself drawn into a bloody, tangled conspiracy. Buoyed by Joaquin Phoenix’s leading performance, "You Were Never Really Here" is a white-knuckle rescue ride with a gripping psychological twist.

  • Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov
  • Director: Lynne Ramsay
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • Rating: R