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Top 10 Psychological Thrillers of the 2000s

For all those who have been bitten by the movie bug and are addicted to watching films, our drug simply cannot be mainstream cinema. Even though we watch them all, like or dislike them, our heart yearns for the offbeat movie. The movie which will feed on our thought process, which will lead to debate and discussion. Thus the genre of Psychological Thrillers is absolutely loved by even the average movie watcher. The amount of brains and effort that goes into making such brilliant cinema is absolutely worth a watch. The 2000s brought for us some brilliant thrillers that will forever remain etched in history as some of the iconic movies ever made in cinematic history.

Here we list a compilation of the top 10 psychological thrillers of Hollywood, which we think is a must watch for everyone.

American Psycho (2000)

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American Psycho is a 2000 American black comedy horror film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon.

Producer Edward R. Pressman purchased the film rights to the novel in 1992. After discussions with David Cronenberg fell through, Harron was brought on to direct and cast Bale in the lead role. Lionsgate acquired worldwide distribution in 1997 and temporarily replaced Harron and Bale with Oliver Stone as director and Leonardo DiCaprio portraying Patrick Bateman. DiCaprio left in favor of The Beach and Harron and Bale was brought back. American Psycho debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2000, and was released theatrically on April 14, 2000. The film was a financial success and received generally positive reviews: the screenplay and Bale’s performance were singled out for praise, while criticism focused on its disturbing and violent imagery.

Budget $7 million
Box office $34.3 million
 Source: Wikipedia

Memento (2000)

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Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. The film’s script was based on a pitch by Jonathan Nolan, who later wrote the story “Memento Mori” from the concept. It stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.

Memento was a box office success. In the United States, during its opening weekend, it was released in only 11 theatres, but by week 11 it was distributed to more than 500 theatres. It grossed over $25 million in North America and $14 million in other countries, making the film’s total worldwide gross some $40 million as of August 2007. During its theatrical run, it did not place higher than eighth in the list of highest-grossing movies for a single weekend.

Budget $9 million
Box office $39.7 million

Source: Wikipedia

The Others (2001)

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The Others is a 2001 gothic horror film with psychological thriller elements. It was written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan.

The film won eight Goya Awards, including awards for Best Film and Best Director. This was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain’s national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it. The Others was nominated for six Saturn Awards including Best Director and Best Writing for Amenábar and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Alakina Mann and won three: Best Horror Film, Best Actress for Kidman and Best Supporting Actress for Fionnula Flanagan. Kidman was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Drama and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, with Amenábar being nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, a rare occurrence for a horror film.

Budget $17 million
Box office $209.9 million

Source: Wikipedia

Insomnia (2002)

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Insomnia is a 2002 American psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives investigating a murder in an Alaskan town. A remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, Insomnia was released on May 24, 2002, to critical acclaim and commercial success, grossing over $113 million worldwide. To date, this is the only film that Nolan has directed without receiving at least a share of one of the writing credits, even though he wrote the final draft of the script

Budget $46 million
Box office $113.7 million

Source: Wikipedia

The Machinist (2004)

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The Machinist is a 2004 psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale and features Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, and Michael Ironside in supporting roles. The film is about Trevor Reznik (Bale), a machinist whose insomnia and psychological problems lead to a serious workplace accident involving a co-worker (Ironside). After Reznik is fired, he goes into a downward spiral of paranoia and delusion. The film was well-received by critics, particularly for Bale’s performance. It is an international co-production of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the United States

The Machinist opened on 22 October 2004 in three theatres in North America and grossed $1,082,715 with an average of $21,553 per theatre ranking 45th at the box office. The film’s widest release was 72 theatres and it grossed $1,082,715 in North America and $7,120,520 in other countries for a total of $8,203,235

Budget $5 million
Box office $8.2 million

Source: Wikipedia

Zodiac (2007)

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Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery-thriller film directed by David Fincher. The screenplay by James Vanderbilt is based on the 1986 non-fiction book of the same name by Robert Graysmith. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey, Jr., with Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Dermot Mulroney, and Chloë Sevigny in supporting roles.

Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who called himself the “Zodiac” and killed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s, taunting police with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers mailed to newspapers. The cases remain one of the United States’ most infamous unsolved crimes.

Opening in 2,362 theatres on March 2, 2007, the film grossed US$13.3 million in its opening weekend, placing second and posting a per-theatre average of $5,671. The film was outgrossed by fellow opener Wild Hogs and saw a decline of over 50% in its second weekend, losing out to the record-breaking 300. It grossed $33 million in North America and $51 million in the rest of the world, bringing its current total to $84 million

Budget $65 million
Box office $84.8 million

Source: Wikipedia

Black Swan (2010)

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Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The screenplay was written by Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin, and Andres Heinz, based on an original story by Heinz. The film stars Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City ballet company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new arrival Lily (Kunis). Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the part, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into a living nightmare.

Black Swan had a limited release in select cities in North America on December 3, 2010, in 18 theatres and was a surprise box office success. The film took in a total of $415,822 on its opening day, averaging $23,101 per theater. By the end of its opening weekend, it grossed $1,443,809—$80,212 per theater. The per-location average was the second highest for the opening weekend of 2010 behind The King’s SpeechThe film is Fox Searchlight Pictures’ highest per-theater average gross ever, and it ranks 21st on the all-time list. On its second weekend, the film expanded to 90 theaters, and grossed $3.3 million, ranking it as the sixth film at the box-office. In its third weekend, it expanded again to 959 theaters and grossed $8,383,479. The film went on to gross over $106 million in the United States and over $329 million worldwide.

Budget $13 million
Box office $329.4 million

Source: Wikipedia

Shutter Island (2010)

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Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis, based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Mark Ruffalo plays his partner officer, Ben Kingsley is the facility’s lead psychiatrist, and Michelle Williams is Daniels’ wife. The film received generally favourable reviews from critics and grossed over $294 million at the box office.

The film opened #1 at the US box office with $41 million, according to studio estimates. The movie gave Scorsese his best box office opening yet. The film remained #1 in its second weekend with $22.2 million. Eventually, the film grossed worldwide $294,803,014 and became Scorsese’s second highest-grossing film worldwide

Budget $80 million
Box office $294.8 million

Source: Wikipedia

Inception (2010)

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Inception is a 2010 neo-noir science fiction heist film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-produced by Emma Thomas. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious. The ensemble cast additionally includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

After the 2002 completion of Insomnia, Nolan presented to Warner Bros. a written 80-page treatment about a horror film envisioning “dream stealers” based on lucid dreaming. Deciding he needed more experience before tackling a production of this magnitude and complexity, Nolan retired the project and instead worked on 2005’s Batman Begins, 2006’s The Prestige, and The Dark Knight in 2008. The treatment was revised over 6 months and was purchased by Warner in February 2009. Inception was filmed in six countries, beginning in Tokyo on June 19 and ending in Canada on November 22. Its official budget was $160 million, split between Warner Bros and Legendary. Nolan’s reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film’s $100 million in advertising expenditure.

Budget $160 million
Box office $828.3 million

Source: Wikipedia

Gone Girl (2014)

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Gone Girl is a 2014 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, based on her 2012 novel of the same title. The film stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry. Set in Missouri, the story begins as a mystery that follows the events surrounding Nick Dunne (Affleck), who becomes the primary suspect in the sudden disappearance of his wife, Amy (Pike).

The film had its world premiere on opening night of the 52nd New York Film Festival on September 26, 2014, before a nationwide theatrical release on October 3. It was received well critically and was a commercial success, grossing $369 million, making it the highest-grossing film by Fincher.

Gone Girl grossed $167.8 million in the U.S. and Canada and $201.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $369.3 million, against a production budget of $61 million. Calculating in all expenses, Deadline.comestimated that the film made a profit of $129.99 million, making it one of the most profitable films of 2014

Budget $61 million
Box office $369.3 million

Source: Wikipedia

Have you watched them all? Do you agree with our list or think that something is left out? Let us know in the comments section below. For those who are yet to watch these, don’t linger anymore. Have your Sunday dose of fun!

Disclaimer: The logo in the featured image is only a representation of the image being featured on this website and has nothing to do with claiming copyright of this iconic image. The information provided in this blog post has been gathered from the Internet and the list has been compiled in accordance with the author’s perception of each of the movies. We do not claim any rights on any of the images featured in this article.

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