Best Psychological Thrillers on HBO max

If you’re looking for something to keep you on the edge of your seat, look no further than HBO Max’s fantastic selection of both vintage and modern thrillers. We’re monitoring everything on the service to bring you the best in psychological suspense, scheming, and willpower struggles. We know it’ll make for a great movie night if it has tension, overwhelming odds, or regular people in extraordinarily dangerous situations. And everyone should find something here. So grab some popcorn, close the blinds, and buckle up for some suspenseful entertainment.

A Simple Plan

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda

IMBD Rating: 7.5/10

Hank Mitchell leads a contented, routine life in his small town up until he has the opportunity for something more. Hank gives in to temptation and devises a scheme for his brother Jacob, temperamental friend Lou, and him to keep everything they find in the wreckage of a crashed plane. His straightforward plan quickly becomes complicated by bloody repercussions that just keep piling up, forcing him to commit ever-worse acts in order to retain his share of the fortune. A Simple Plan is a powerful modern tragic story about pride and greed, not just a crime thriller.


Director: Cory Finley

Cast: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin

IMBD Rating: 6.6/10

Amanda seems to feel things differently than other people do. Amanda, therefore, suggests killing her friend Lily’s abusive stepfather when Lily is having issues with him. Eventually, Lily decides to accept her offer, and the two decide to hire a local drug dealer and screw up Tim to do the deed. If they can trust him to follow through. A thoughtful examination of sociopathy and selfishness gives this unique film depth and intrigue. Thoroughbreds is a genuinely dark piece of film detective story that provides its multiple teen leads with more than enough complex characterization, despite its glossy surface and sly humor.

Whatever happened to Baby Jane

Director: Robert Aldrich

Cast: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono

IMBD Rating: 8/10

This twisted sisterhood rollercoaster pulls off the challenging feat of being both a suspenseful, unsettling supernatural thriller and a camp cult classic. Formerly a celebrated film actress, Blanche is now subservient to her unstable sister, former vaudeville child star “Baby Jane,” and partially paralyzed. Jane still harbors hopes of making a comeback, and she won’t let anyone stand in her way, least of all the sister she still bitterly despises. She cruelly takes advantage of Blanche’s impairment to keep her terrorized, alone, and helpless. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford both give outstanding performances that keep the movie gripping and the tension at an agonizingly high level.

The Deadzone

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt

IMBD Rating: 7.2/10

After being involved in a car accident and going into a coma, Johnny Smith loses his girlfriend and five years of his life. What he acquires is a powerful psychic ability that he doesn’t want, one that makes the “hunches” he occasionally had prior to the crash seem insignificant in comparison. He now has visions of people’s past, present, and future when he touches them. It can make him useful, but it can also turn him into a pariah who is blamed for the occurrences he foresees. He also envisions Greg Stillson, a brilliant, charismatic, and up-and-coming politician, becoming president and launching a nuclear war as he shakes his hand. The gravity of Johnny’s predicament and Christopher Walken’s nuanced portrayal of humanity make this performance unforgettable.

Devil in a Blue Dress

Director: Carl Franklin

Cast: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Beals

IMBD Rating: 6.7/10

A complex and atmospheric thriller with a unique perspective on traditional post-war noir, Devil in a Blue Dress is full of visual flair and historical detail. Easy Rawlins is back in Los Angeles after serving in World War II, and he must once again deal with the difficulties of being a Black man in 1948. He is in need enough to accept a job looking for Daphne Monet, a missing white woman who enjoyed frequenting nightclubs with a majority Black clientele. Easy becomes entangled in a web of politics, blackmail, murder, and explosive revelations as a result of his search for Daphne. Here, Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle deliver especially powerful, captivating performances.


Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Cast: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

IMBD Rating: 5.4/10

Diabolique a French thriller, opens with an unusual murder scheme. The victims of the sadistic and petty behavior of Michel, the headmaster of a boys’ boarding house, are his wife Christina, and mistress Nicole. Despite all odds, the two are friends, and weak-willed Christina and brave-hearted Nicole offer each other comfort. They also prepare to kill Michel. But even after they’ve killed him, the tension only grows more terrifying. After his body vanishes, witnesses claim to have spoken with him. Christina is beginning to crumble under the strain.

Even Hitchcock might have envied the plot of Diabolique, which also has one of the most recognizable twists in movie history. You’ll never forget at least one of the scenes in this film.

The Fugitive

Director: Andrew Davis

Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward

IMBD Rating: 7.8/10

The Fugitive is a thrilling, deftly plotted, and masterfully performed classic thriller. The story of Richard Kimble, who was convicted of killing his wife, is told here. When he manages to escape capture, he is forced to carry out his own investigation into her slaying because no one accepts his improbable allegation that an unexplained one-armed man literally committed the crime. He tries to follow up on every tip and stay hidden, but the tenacious and capable U.S. Marshal Gerard is after him. Kimble is just another fugitive that Gerard wants to apprehend. Pitting two smart, extraordinarily productive nice people against one another is a brilliant move. That’s one of the elements that contribute to The Fugitive’s suspense and memorability.

Gone Baby Gone

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman

IMBD Rating: 7.6/10

It’s simple to become engrossed in this thriller, but difficult to know what you would do if you were in the characters’ shoes because Gone Baby Gone deals courageously with dark subjects and morally challenging situations. Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are tasked with investigating the kidnapping of a young girl, and it quickly becomes apparent that the girl’s absentminded and frequently intoxicated mother, Helene, may have been involved. While Patrick and Angie descend into a rabbit hole of extreme criminality, every explanation offered to them keeps disintegrating. However, none of them would have been much more bearable than the reality. 


Director: Alan J. Pakula

Cast: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi

IMBD Rating: 7.1/10

Private investigator John Klute’s inquiry into the demise of a senior executive is the focus of this gritty, understated noir thriller. Despite Bree’s denials, the case raises the possibility that the missing person may have chased or harassed the actress and sex worker. Bree finds it difficult to predict how long her feelings for Klute will last as she shares more of herself with him and helps him with his case. As Klute investigates a complex plot of obsession, deceit, manipulation, and violence, their tentative relationship is given a warped mirror. Bree’s nervy, nuanced performance by Jane Fonda stands out in particular in this film.


Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

IMBD Rating: 8.4/10

One of Christopher Nolan’s earliest movies, “Memento,” is a ground-breaking example of tightly plotted noir brilliance combined with creative storytelling. Leonard, a former insurance investigator, sustained a severe head injury that has rendered him incapable of creating new memories; everything that occurs to him vanishes after a short period of time. He must resort to leaving notes, Polaroid pictures, and tattoos for his future self as he sets out on a mission to find the person who killed his wife. He makes his own path, and we follow him from the shocking conclusion of his story to its startling beginning.

Ray Tuffin

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