Best-Reviewed Thrillers 2020

We were kept in suspense all year thanks to the caliber of thrillers released, starting with Blow the Man Down, the women-driven murder mystery with plenty of quirky hometown touches. In fact, it’s women calling the shots in most of the entries, from the neo-noir Blood on Her Name and harrowing survival flick Hunter Hunter, to Aneesh Chaganty’s Run (his post-Searching movie starring Sarah Paulson) and Charlie Kaufman’s first live-action movie in 12 years, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, with Jessie Buckley and Toni Collette.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of February 28, 2021. Scores might change over time.

Adjusted Score: 102.636%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and original, Blow the Man Down is a cinematic journey that's not to be missed.
Synopsis: Welcome to Easter Cove, a salty fishing village on the far reaches of Maine's rocky coast. Grieving the loss of... [More]

Adjusted Score: 99.561%
Critics Consensus: Formally thrilling and narratively daring, Bacurau draws on modern Brazilian sociopolitical concerns to deliver a hard-hitting, genre-blurring drama.
Synopsis: A few years from now... Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita,... [More]

Adjusted Score: 97.63%
Critics Consensus: A satisfyingly dark noir elevated by stellar acting and a sharp screenplay, Blood on Her Name thrills in the moment and lingers in the memory.
Synopsis: A woman's panicked decision to cover up an accidental killing spirals out of control when her conscience demands she return... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Pope


The Nest (2020)

Adjusted Score: 95.327%
Critics Consensus: An effective pairing of period setting and timeless themes, The Nest wrings additional tension out of its unsettling story with an outstanding pair of lead performances.
Synopsis: Rory (Jude Law), an ambitious entrepreneur and former commodities broker, persuades his American wife, Allison (Carrie Coon), and their children... [More]
Directed By: Sean Durkin


Hunter Hunter (2020)

Adjusted Score: 95.348%
Critics Consensus: Bloody and brutal, Hunter Hunter is a hard-hitting survivalist thriller that ratchets its tension with precision.
Synopsis: Joseph (Devon Sawa), his wife Anne (Camille Sullivan), and their daughter Renée (Summer H. Howell) reside deep in the wilderness... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Linden


Alone (2020)

Adjusted Score: 93.771%
Critics Consensus: Alone's minimalistic approach makes this heightened thriller a gripping and suspenseful experience.
Synopsis: Jules Willcox (Netflix's Bloodline) stars in ALONE as Jessica, a grief-stricken widow who flees the city in an attempt to... [More]
Directed By: John Hyams

Adjusted Score: 93.71%
Critics Consensus: Smart and stylish, The Wild Goose Lake blends B-movie thrills with bold filmmaking choices and thought-provoking social commentary.
Synopsis: Fleeing from the law, gangster Zenong Zhou (Ge Hu) crosses paths with an innocent-looking woman named Aiai Liu (Lun-Mei Kwei).... [More]
Directed By: Diao Yinan


Run (2020)

Adjusted Score: 94.293%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting and expertly ratcheted tension help Run transcend its familiar trappings to deliver a delightfully suspenseful thriller.
Synopsis: They say you can never escape a mother's love... but for Chloe, that's not a comfort -- it's a threat.... [More]
Directed By: Aneesh Chaganty

Adjusted Score: 93.395%
Critics Consensus: A Good Woman Is Hard to Find, but it isn't difficult to see a star in the making while watching Sarah Bolger's powerful performance in this gritty thriller.
Synopsis: Sarah is a recently widowed young mother. Her son Ben has been an elective mute since the day he witnessed... [More]
Directed By: Abner Pastoll

Adjusted Score: 93.117%
Critics Consensus: Aided by stellar performances from Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons, I'm Thinking of Ending Things finds writer-director Charlie Kaufman grappling with the human condition as only he can.
Synopsis: Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse... [More]
Directed By: Charlie Kaufman

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