12 Intense Movies That Will Have You on the Edge of Your Seat

What's more intense than being on the edge of your seat during a movie? Some filmmakers expertly create tension that's thoroughly entertaining for movie lovers.  

One film fan in a popular online forum asked for recommendations for “films with high tension or suspense… where the audience is given little time to catch their breath.” Here are 12 movies that deliver that level of tension. 


One movie fan said, “Breakdown with Kurt Russell. Outside of some issues with logic, it's a great thriller with some unbearably suspenseful sequences. It's one of the first films where I recall my heart pounding during some parts.” 

The Game (1997)

The Game, a thriller directed by David Fincher, follows a wealthy investment banker (Michael Douglas) as he plays out a game on his birthday. There are plenty of twists and suspense along the way. 

High Tension (2003)

High Tension is a French film that follows a woman staying at a friend’s house in the country as she’s forced to chase down a man who killed her friend’s family and kidnapped her friend.  

Blue Ruin (2013)

The film begins with a shocking act of violence as the protagonist takes revenge on the man who killed his parents, but then largely basks in tension as he prepares for a violent response from that man’s family. 

Uncut Gems (2019)

While Good Time stars my beloved Robert Pattinson, I feel like the edge goes to Uncut Gems which follows a gambling addict played by Adam Sandler as he scrambles to pull together money he owes. 

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

That the film manages to make the pulpy novel story about revenge tense makes sense, but what’s amazing is how that tension bleeds into the story of the couple’s real life. 

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