Rama’s Screen: Top 7 Best Thriller Movies of All Time

Welcome to our weekly column by YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. He’ll discuss the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely.

I love thriller movies. There I said it!

It’s not new news that my favorite films are anything suspenseful and mysterious, with adventurous twist endings that you never see coming from a mile away. Not to mention that we’re living in a time where the movie watching experience is filled with special effects, like what the upcoming film Jumper is going to give us. In other case, you can still find thrillers that use good old fashioned, difficult stunt work, like The Bourne Ultimatum.

If you were to ask me to list my favorite thrillers of all time, the complete list would be very long. Having said that, in light of my anticipation for the new Beowulf 3-D movie, I’ll narrow list to seven movies. It was not an easy process, but here they are:

7. SEVEN: Now this, my friend, is quite possibly Brad Pitt’s best movie but I wouldn’t say it was entirely his doing because Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey all contributed in making this one of the best thrillers I have ever seen. To have a serial killer who bases his murders on the seven deadly sins is brilliant and only the brilliant David Fincher could have successfully managed to deliver that to us.

6. ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN: This movie has one of the most famous catchphrases of all time (“Follow the money”) and, of course, the infamous, mysterious character Deep Throat, who finally revealed himself a few years ago to be William Mark Felt. The whole story is based on true accounts of investigative journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Taking down the presidency has never been this thrilling.

5. LA CONFIDENTIAL: They say politics is in everything. It can penetrate the very organization that’s supposed to protect and serve. This film Noir is just an example of that. You never know who you can trust because anyone can be an enemy. Its stellar cast only validates the well-written script of this great thriller. The collaboration of Guy Pierce as the brain and Russell Crowe as the brawn turns out rewarding.

4. MARATHON MAN: What if some bad guy from the past is out to get you because, for some reason, he doesn’t like the fact that you still exist, let’s say an ex-Nazi war criminal. Ah, conspiracy, the perfect ingredient to an effective thriller. This movie is not two hours about some dude running 26 miles, it’s actually filled with symbols represented by the characters involved. It deals with the concept of tyranny and the willingness to fight it.

3. MEMENTO: Another thriller starring Guy Pearce. This appreciation goes out to director Christopher Nolan and his brother screenwriter Jonathan Nolan who crafted this masterpiece. It’ll keep you guessing to the very end and each sequence is filled with such clever tricks and twists that you wouldn’t mind getting pulled into the world of short-term memory. It’s one of those things that might confuse you but you’re so hypnotized that you find yourself discussing the film with your peers long after it’s done — and then watch it all over again.

2. THE FRENCH CONNECTION: A thriller isn’t a thriller without a cat and mouse game. This classic film starring the great Gene Hackman still has the most exciting car-chase scene in the history of cinema, by far. Trust me: If you think the chase sequence in the movie Ronin was hot, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet until you check out The French Connection! Although I’m not a fan of remakes, if they ever make a remake of this one, I’d have no objection whatsoever.

1. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Putting Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster together in a movie is like combining all the elements necessary to make an explosive hit. This is a psychological thriller at its best. It’ll put you in a mindgame that’s so messed up, you’ll feel proud and relieved you watched it. Anthony Hopkins doesn’t even have to say anything — his evil stare can get in your head and the next thing you know, all you hear is a chilling, creepy voice, saying, “Hello, Clarice!” The Silence of the Lambs is nothing short of incredible.