The Best New Thriller Movies of 2019

Related Movies
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Pet Sematary
47 Meters Down
Velvet Buzzsaw

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

The media has widely lauded 2019 as the year of the Keanussance. We at MC disagree—okay, about half of us. Keanu Reeves movies have NEVER NOT been a joy to watch and his sad-sandwich, woke AF antics have NEVER NOT been clickbait of the most satisfying order. The third installment of the series of action thrillers continues to chronicle the action-packed events (chapter 3 takes place an hour after chapter 2) set in motion by the (SPOILER ALERT!) killing of his dog in the first movie. Instead of being the hunter, he is the hunted—declared "excommunicado" by the High Table that governs this universe of assassins. The signature mix of balletic and brutal martial arts sequences, self-referential humor (thanks to the bad guy and Iron Chef host Mark Dacascos) and neo-noir vibe make this our favorite thriller of the year so far.


A deeply effing weird film about a woman (played by Blonde Anne Hathaway) who seeks out her old flame (Matthew McConaughy, doing his best Chrysler on an island to convince him to murder her abusive husband. But as in many thrillers, things are not what they seem. This is a creepy, slow-burning, thriller that will have you questioning your own eyes.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

A dramatization of the charismatic, handsome, and utterly psychotic serial killer Ted Bundy (played by Zac Efron, in his buzziest role ever). The movie shows his home life and the view the people who knew him as just a normal guy had of Bundy, and then offers a glimpse of the total circus surrounding his trial. (Efron is already getting awards buzz for his totally unrecognizable portrayal.)

Cold Pursuit

When my husband first told me the premise of Cold Pursuit (a remake of the 2015 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance), I thought he was joking: The action-packed thriller is about a snowplow driver (Liam Neeson) looking to avenge the death of his son by the hands of drug dealers. A SNOWPLOW DRIVER! Only Neeson could play the uncommunicative, hard-working Everyman with a silence that's at once menacing and heartbreaking. But it's not all bullets and steely stares—comedic moments (thanks to silly bad guys and Liam's own "I'm too old for this shit" moments) cut through the tension and will be the reason why you remember this movie and why it made this list...


Octavia Spencer plays the ultimate cool mom (albeit short-lived) to a group of high school kids looking to party. The action kicks off after one of them hits her up outside a liquor store to buy them alcohol. A series of wild parties at Ma's house ensues, feelings get hurt and her true intentions are revealed. Bonus: A dance party scene set to Debbie Deb's freestyle hit from the 80s "Lookout Weekend"—it's been on heavy rotation on my Spotify ever since.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s newest movie takes on the Manson Murders of the 1960s, showing Los Angeles in all of its gritty, glamorous glory. It’s also reliably star-packed: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, and more will show up.

Pet Sematary

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, it follows a family who buries a beloved cat in the cemetery behind their house in woodsy Maine—and then it comes back. But it’s different. So imagine what would happen if they buried something bigger...Okay, it might be more of a horror movie, but at least in the 1989 movie, there was more suspense than gore.

Motherless Brooklyn

Ed Norton directs and stars in this movie, based on the Jonathan Lethem novel about a spy who suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s set in New York in the 1950s and has lots of seedy, strange characters (Willem Dafoe and Bruce Willis also star) so expect a fun, nostalgia thrills.


This creature feature, directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension and Piranha 3D) takes place during a category 5 hurricane and as the water rises, so do the thrills. While most of her hometown head to higher ground, a reluctantly dutiful daughter (Kaya Scodelario) goes to her childhood home in a Florida swamp to check in on her father (Barry Pepper). She finds him injured and unconscious in the crawl space underneath the house. Swampy waters and everything that comes with them is now filling the streets and buildings. What was once dry land is now their domain. Who's going to make it out alive?

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

In this sequel to 47 Meters Down, instead of a lone Mandy Moore, trapped in a cage at the bottom of the ocean surrounded by sharks, we have four adventurous teens trapped in an underwater city with the devil-eyed predators—it's as if The Descent and Jaws had a Gen Z baby who would go to any lengths for the perfect IG photo.

The Rhythm Section

Directed by Reed Morano and based on the Mark Burnell novel of the same name, this movie follows the story of a woman (played by Blake Lively) who assumes a new identity to figure out the truth behind a plane crash that killed her family. Hell yeah.

Velvet Buzzsaw

A bizarro art world dark comedy about a mysterious dead artist whose paintings do his anti-capitalist bidding. Is it a not-so-subtle critique on the monetization of meaning in a world devoid of it? You bet.