A selection of 10 modern thrillers – incase you get bored with self-isolation.
What’s an indicator of an excellent thriller? The physical and psychological strain that causes your heart to beat more often and the feeling that the situation is so hopeless can only be saved at the cost of inhuman efforts. Are your palms sweating? Ok.
Modern thrillers are good enough to keep your stress levels to the maximum — and at the same time focus on charismatic characters who want to empathize and a compelling plot that takes you to places that hopefully you will never see in real life. The first thing that comes to mind is “Stringer” with Jake Gyllenhaal, “You’ve Never Been Here” with Joaquin Phoenix (it’s better than “Joker,” sorry), and the rabid films of the Safdie brothers.
Perhaps the craziest role of Jake Gyllenhaal. The actor plays an unclean guy from Los Angeles, Lou Bloom, who becomes an eyewitness to a car accident and discovers the profession of a stringer. He patrols the city at night to be the first to get footage from shocking and bloody accidents and crime scenes and sell them to news services. Bloom Gyllenhaal resembles a cruel beast prowling for prey with a manic glint in his eyes and sunken cheeks.
The intricate and winding plot of the novel Gillian Flynn found a wonderful embodiment in the film adaptation of David Fincher (the benefit of Flynn herself undertook to write the script). The main character, Amy (Rosamund Pike), goes missing on the wedding anniversary day, and her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), becomes the main suspect. “Disappeared” plays with thriller clichés and turns them upside down.
You Were Never Really Here
Joaquin Phoenix absolutely deserved an Oscar for this role. In the psychological thriller Lynn Ramsey, the actor plays a brutal former FBI agent tasked with finding the missing teenage girl. His play is hard to look away from, and his traumatized hero — both victim and aggressor — makes us want his perverse justice.
Recently, Robert Pattinson began to star more often in arthouse projects such as “High Society” (2018) and “Lighthouse”(2020). The role of a cute good guy, leftover from previous roles, does not prevent him from bringing frightening persuasiveness and intensity to his anti-heroes. So, in this 2017 film, Pattinson plays Connie Nikas, a Greek-American criminal from Queens, who has to save his brother suffering from mental disabilities after another scrape. A tense plot will take you to busy New York for a few hours and make you reconsider your attitude towards Pattinson.
Island of the Damned (2010)
“Which is better: live as a monster or die a man?” asks Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, an American marshal who was sent to investigate the disappearance of a patient on a remote island in this mysterious 2010 film by Scorsese. It is difficult to imagine a better guide through the intricate labyrinth of a mysterious island than the anxious hero DiCaprio.
The Machinist (2004)
Everyone knows that it was for this role that Christian Bale lost so much weight that only photos of the actor were eerie to look at. But his metamorphosis for the role of machine operator Trevor Resnick was much deeper than the physical transformation that has now become very fashionable in Hollywood. “Machinist” is a psychological study of the injured mind, the impression of which will not be lost immediately after viewing.
Before Arrival and The Killer, director Denis Villeneuve named himself in this 2013 grim thriller. In the story, two families celebrate Thanksgiving together, but by the evening, a tragedy happens: the younger daughters of both families, who played in the house’s courtyard, disappear. The maniacal search for a distraught father (Hugh Jackman) is helped by the hardworking detective Loki, brilliantly played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
All the Money in the World (2017)
One can only wonder what oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty would look like in the performance of the disgraced Kevin Spacey, who was cut from the film after the MeToo scandal. But one thing is for sure: Christopher Plummer managed to convey greed and duplicity damn convincingly, and the film itself turned out to be exciting and intriguing in the spirit of the popular series “Heirs.”
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
In 2009, Matthew McConaughey said goodbye to his career in Hollywood romcoms, the last time noted in the image of a romantic hero in the film “Ghosts of ex-girlfriends.” Well, “Lincoln for a Lawyer” is the first film of the “McConesans” era. Here he plays a lawyer representing the son of a rich man accused of raping a prostitute. The information he discovered about the client puts the hero in front of a difficult moral and professional dilemma, which gave us several brilliant scenes from McConaughey.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Josh and Benny Safdie somehow managed to shoot after “Good Time,” an even more insane crime thriller that takes the viewer to the diamond district of New York with its nefarious inhabitants. Adam Sandler brilliantly transforms into a rogue adventurer and diamond dealer, Howard Ratner, who tries to get out of debt by dubious methods, but instead gets into one mess after another.