If you watch a movie for the heart-pounding and jaw-clenching scenes, you're definitely not alone. It's those types of films that keep us on the edge of our seats until the credits begin to roll. Here are 17 movies that will get the blood flowing and keep you wondering.
1. The Silence of The Lambs (1991)
When Clarice Starling finally encounters Jame Gumb, aka Buffalo Bill, at his front door, we all held our breaths. But when the giant moth flitters in the room and Clarice realizes exactly who he is, it's a non-stop gasp for air until the final basement scene, especially when there's nothing but a pair of night vision binoculars between her and the bad guy.
2. Panic Room (2002)
Another Jodie Foster film that keeps us on the verge of removing ourselves from our seats, “Panic Room” is set in a New York City brownstone. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues compliments of a break-in by three intruders which is bad enough, but if you're not as fan of small spaces, it's even worse.
3. Whiplash (2014)
This movie is a deliberate choice. The blood, sweat, and tears dripping from the scenes make this film intense. Neyman’s relentless aggression and blisters and Fletcher’s incredibly creative litany of insults will keep viewers glued to their screens.
4. Green Room (2015)
Skinheads keep a group of adolescent punk rockers captive after unintentionally witnessing a crime. Violence never really stops once it begins. The group is unsuccessfully attempting to battle their way out of the club’s green room. The constant tension between the characters is tense.
5. Prisoners (2013)
In the movie, two fathers are driven to the brink of obsession as they search for an unidentified kidnapper who has taken one of their daughters hostage. The elusiveness of the abductor quickly turns the hunt of these men futile. This audacious crime thriller offers its audience a peek into how capable the good or bad ones are of evil.
6. Se7en (1995)
A serial murderer starts by killing victims per the seven deadly sins. The duty of catching the perpetrator falls to two detectives, one of whom is new to the city, and the other is getting ready to retire. The suspense only heightens as the stakes rise, leading to a tense and unsettling ending.
7. The Ring (2002)
It tells the tale of a journalist who starts looking into a mystery video that appears to be murdering its viewers after seven days. The movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seats the entire time, and for seven days after watching it, many feared receiving a dreaded phone call. The psychological elements and ghostly frights intensify everything.
8. Argo (2012)
It almost seems impossible to believe that this true story happened. The movie follows a CIA agent on a dangerous mission to free six Americans trapped in Tehran during the US hostage crisis in Iran. With daring plans in motion and high stakes with life and death on the line, the historical thriller delivers on the intensity. It has viewers holding their breath in suspense.
9. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
A troop of soldiers is charged with seeking Private Ryan, whose three brothers have all previously died. This epic uncovers a straightforward tale that is morally complex beyond belief. How will the soldiers deal with the ongoing death threat on a mission to raise morale? The story gives a human face to a combat story full of tremendous dread and hope.
10. The Devil All The Time (2020)
The movie follows several interesting characters as they succumb to uncertainty. It expertly diverts the audience with a single central plot before revealing that the protagonist is linked to every single incident and character and must struggle to survive them all. Each viewing allows the audience to delve deeper into the motivations behind the characters’ actions, maintaining the intensity even after the twist, in the end, is revealed.
11. Black Hawk Down (2001)
This story is a gripping contemporary war film that draws viewers in. An Army Rangers unit is dispatched on a mission to Mogadishu, Somalia. Things go wrong, making the situation even more dangerous and challenging. The spectator is invited into the action and anguish of the fighting in this movie with much more intensity, knowing that these events did occur.
12. Nightcrawler (2014)
The name alone starts the heat. Louis Bloom intensifies it as he stalks the seedy neighborhoods of Los Angeles at night, looking for “the perfect crime.” As he resorts to extreme measures to get the crime perpetrators after photographing their crime scene, there is nothing viewers can do but wait and see how Bloom will continue to push the envelope.
13. Uncut Gems (2019)
Adam Sandler portrays a wealthy and charismatic jeweler in New York who gets into difficulties due to his gambling addiction and then struggles to overcome it. You see, the characters make terrible choices, and then when they think they are safe, they double down and make everything even worse. The viewer gets the sense that they are seeing a two-hour dispute.
14. Dunkirk (2017)
Allied soldiers from Belgium, France, and the British Empire attempted to flee the town of Dunkirk while engaged in protracted and challenging combat against German forces. Dunkirk keeps viewers hooked to the screen and their hearts racing with nearly non-stop action and drama.
15. Good Time (2017)
The crime thriller depicts the tale of a young bank robber who becomes obsessed with finding a means to free his disabled brother from prison after being determined to do it. The entire film has a frenzy aura. This frantic activity keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
16. Sicario (2015)
The movie portrays an idealistic FBI agent thrust into a challenging position with a raging drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border. Its sole objective is to provide as many nerve-wracking scenarios as possible. Sicario is a frantic thrill trip well worth the two hours, rarely allowing viewers to recover their breath.
17. Free Solo (2018)
That viewers are witnessing an authentic life-or-death situation raises the stakes in this documentary. The danger Alex Hannold is putting himself through as he attempts the first free solo climb on El Capitan is obvious, and you hold tight and hope he doesn’t let loose.
Amaka Chukwuma is a finance and lifestyle writer with a real knack for the craft. She's been at it for over four years, making her mark on places like FinanceBuzz and The Buttonwood Tree, not to mention some cool collaborations with various brands. Her. Her work with Wealth of Geeks has been widely appreciated, with syndication across multiple platforms and publications. Amaka's got a BA in Linguistics. When she's taking a break from her writing adventures, you'll probably find her digging into some delicious pies or exploring the food scene. Want to see what she's up to or get a taste of her work? Hit her up on LinkedIn and Twitter.