Best psychological thrillers on HBO Max are 1. The 39 Steps (1935) 2. American Psycho (2000) 3. Breakdown (1997) 4. Bug (2006) and 6 others. 

The psychological thriller is the genre that gets inside your head and stays there for a while. In some ways, it gives viewers what they find pleasure in the feeling of not being safe.

That also includes disturbing aspects like violence and emotional abuse that human nature has.

Followings can be the best options for someone who is craving to give a try on a mind-bending picture. The list includes crime mystery The 39 Steps, horror drama Bug, crime drama Kimi, and many more.

Top Thriller Movies On HBO Max

Movies NameRelease Date
1. The 39 StepsJune 6 1935
2.American PsychoApril 14 2000
3.BreakdownMay 2 1997
4.BugMay 25 2007
5.Inside ManMarch 24 2006
6. InsomniaMay 24 2002
7.KimiFebruary 10 2022
8.MementoMarch 16 2001
9.No Country For Old MenNovember 9 2007
10. The PlayerMay 8 1992

1. The 39 Steps (1935)

The lead character of The 39 Steps : Robert Donat (left) and Madeleine Carroll (right)
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It is a British thriller movie by Michael Balcom. Alfred Hitchcock is the director.

The story is inspired by the 1915 adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by Scottish author John Buchan. It was released on June 6, 1935, in London and later in August in the United States.

The movie starts with major-general Richard Hannay enjoying "Mr. Memory" at a London music hall theatre when he hears gunshots. A woman named Annabella Smith, a spy, comes to her seemingly scared.

Hannay takes her to his flat, promising her to hide from the secret agents. However, she is murdered with a knife. Before taking her last breath, she warms the major to run. Scared about being accused of the murder, he goes on the run to Scotland.

Once he reaches the railway station of the capital of Scotland, he learns he has been the target of nationwide hunting of the murderer. The drama continues with his run and meeting new characters.

  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery Thriller
  • Cast:Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft
  • Duration: 1 hour 26 minutes

2. American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho is the horror thriller movie directed by Mary Harron.
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American Psycho is based on American author Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. The picture combines horror with satirical comedy to 1980s yuppie culture and consumerism.

The film shows the psychopathic ego of New York City investment banking executive Patrick Bateman. He is handsome, well-educated, and intelligent. At night, he becomes a gruesome serial killer. 

Bateman murders his colleagues out of his madness. The picture later shows all the crimes he commits are just his imagination and he has killed none. 

  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10
  • Genre: Crime Drama Horror
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon
  • Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes

3. Breakdown (1997)

Breakdown won Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1998
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Breakdown is an American thriller picture by Jonathan Mostow. The movie was released on May 2, 1997.

The picture starts with the character Jeff Taylor and his better half, Amy, in their new car. The couple is set to San Diego from Boston.

On their way, they encounter Earl, the truck driver with whom the male character has some discussion. Shortly after they continue their trip, the car break downs in the middle of a desert.

Amy takes a ride with a truck driver to a diner, where she plans to call for help. But she doesn't come back. Jeff finds someone has tampered with the batteries. 

He repairs the problem and rushes to the diner. But none of the people has seen Amy around. Later, he discovers she has been kidnapped by the team of the truck driver. 

The leader, Red Barr, asks for $90,000 in exchange for Amy's life. So, how does Jeff deal with the kidnappers? The film is worth watching.

  • IMDb rating: 7.0/10
  • Genre: Crime Drama Mystery
  • Cast: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C.Gainey, Jack Noseworthy
  • Duration: 1 hour 33 minutes

4. Bug (2006)

Bug won Cannes Film Festival Award in 2006
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American playwright Tracy Letts wrote the psychological thriller movie Bug based on his 1996 play of the same name. William Friedkin directed the film which was released in May 2006.

Agnes, a waitress lives in a cheap motel in Oklahoma. She hasn't recovered from the grief of the disappearance of her ten years old son Lloyd. She is separated from her former abusive husband, Jerry.

One day, her friend RC introduces her to a guy named Peter. The two get closer in a short time. He discloses that he was a soldier in the Gulf War submitted by the army, and presently he is infested with bugs.

The motel owner informs them that there is no bug problem anywhere inside the motel. But Peter claims the invisible bugs are infesting his body. Agnes believes and feels the same symptoms.

Moreover, she believes in his conspiracy theory about the American government. The duo isolates themselves in the room, covering it with flypaper and aluminum foil to keep off communications.

  • IMDb rating: 6.1/10
  • Genre: Drama, Horror Thriller
  • Cast: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins, Brian F. O'Byrne
  • Duration: 1hour 42 minutes

5. Inside Man (2006)

Inside Man has won five awards and 12 nominations in total
Source : twitter

An American crime thriller picture is directed by Spike Lee and Russell Gewirtz wrote the narration. The movie was released on March 20, 2006, and grossed the box office collection three times more than the budget.

The movie narrates the story of three men, Detective Keith Frazier, mastermind Dalton Russell, and Manhattan power broker Madeleine. Russell has plans for a perfect heist in the Manhattan bank at the corner of Wall Street.

On the other hand, the detective is desperate to clear his name after his name was attached to a scandal. The detective, the bank robber, and the high-power broker proceed with high-stakes negotiations after the heist twists into a hostage situation.

Inside Man has been of the best Heist movies with highly-accomplished actors, worth watching. It engages the audience from the beginning through the credits.

  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10
  • Genre: Crime Drama Mystery
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe
  • Duration: 2 hours 9 minutes

6. Insomnia (2002)

Insomnia was premiered at Tribeca Film Festival on May 3, 2002
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Insomnia is based on a 1997 Norwegian movie of the same name about a police detective investigating a murder in town. Christopher Nolan is the director of the 2002 picture.

Somewhere in the small town of Nighmute, Alaska, Kay Connell, a 17-year-old, is found murdered. Will Dormer and Hap Eckhart, from the Los Angeles police department, are sent to the town to assist the local cops with the investigation.

In Alaska, Dormer and Eckhart encounter the murderer. Dormer shoots Eckhart with his gun in the action scene. He claims the suspect killed his partner.

Will can't sleep due to his guilt of killing Eckhart and the midnight sun in the town. This insomnia is causing him to a paranoid.

He receives a phone call from the killer, who states he has seen the detective kill his partner. They start keeping secrets for each other's benefit.

  • IMDb rating: 7.2/10
  • Genre: Mystery Drama Thriller
  • Cast: AI Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan, Paul Dooley
  • Duration: 1 hour 58 minutes

7. Kimi (2022)

Kimi is directed by an Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh
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Kimi is a crime drama film that portrays how an agoraphobic uncovers evidence of a crime. Angela Childs is a tech worker who reveals the crime of the CEO of her company, Amygdala.

Steven Soderbergh directed the movie with the narration of David Koepp, which was released on February 10, 2022. The film shows the scenario of the Covid pandemic in Seattle, where Angela works from home.

One day, she receives a recording that eventually is proved to be a record of her CEO committing a crime. She faces her greatest fear by going out of her apartment into the streets toward the nearby FBI field office.

The girl uses her company's product Kimi, a smart speaker, to distract the goons who are there to stop her. At the end of the movie, the cops catch the murderer. Angee also has overcome her phobia and has breakfast outside her apartment with her boyfriend.

  • IMDb rating: 6.3/10
  • Genre: Crime Drama Thriller
  • Cast: Zoe Kravitz, Byron Bowers, Rita Wilson, Erika Christensen, India de Beaufort
  • Duration: 1 hour 29 minutes

8. Memento (2000)

Memento Trailer ( Source : youtube )

Memento is an American movie based on the short story Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan. His brother Christoper Nolan is the director of the picture.

The story is about Leonard Shelby, who has short-term memory loss. He is a former insurance investigator. Due to his illness, he is unable to store new memories.

The last thing he remembers is the murder of his wife and his attempts to find the murderer. He uses notes, polaroid photos, and tattoos to investigate himself. The picture is worth watching how the character reaches the end.

The movie combines two separate stories of the character. One narrates the past, and what had happened, while another moves forward in time.

  • IMDb rating: 8.4/10
  • Genre: Mystery Thriller
  • Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega
  • Duration: 1 hour 53 minutes

9. No Country For Old Men (2007)

A sight from the 4-time-Oscar winning cinema
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No Country for Old Men is an American crime thriller movie based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. The Coen brothers are the writers and directors of the picture.

The cinema shows a hunter, Llewelyn Moss finds remains of drug deals after the drug runners are killed by themselves during an exchange.

Instead of going to the police, Moss keeps the two million dollars with himself. Then, he is on a hunt by two people. A merciless killer, Chigurh, and Sheriff Bell who tries to find him to protect him.

Viewers like the one-liners of the sheriff. He approaches Moss's wife, Carla Jeans to protect him. What happens to Moss? 

Is he able to save himself from the killer? The picture is worth watching for viewers who are passionate about crime dramas with mystery.

  • IMDb rating: 8.2/10
  • Genre: Crime Drama Thriller
  • Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald
  • Duration: 2 hours 2 minutes

10. The Player (1992)

The player is based on 1988 novel with the same name by Michael Tolkin
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The Player is an American satirical comedy crime drama released on April 3 1992. Robert Altman is the director, and Michael Tolkin wrote the narration.

Tolkin earlier wrote a novel with the same name, which is an inspiration for the cinema. The picture starts with Hollywood studio executive Griffin Mill. He hears a story from his screenwriters and chooses the best he thinks has the potential to be made into pictures.

Mill is strict about his selection. Every year he selects mere 12 scripts out of 50000 submissions. One day, he receives a life-threatening postcard. He assumes the threat came from a screenwriter, whom he rejected earlier.

He meets David Kahane, a writer who he suspects is behind the postcards he receives. Mill goes too far and kills him in the pool, making the crime look like a harmed robbery.

  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10
  • Genre: Comedy Crime Drama
  • Cast: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher
  • Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes

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