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The Best Thrillers on Netflix Canada Right Now

From nail-biting murder mysteries to pulse-pounding capers, here are the most suspenseful offerings on Netflix Canada.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - In The Line Of Fire 1993Photo: Netflix

In the Line of Fire (1993)

On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Thirty years later, Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood), the last remaining Secret Service agent who was guarding Kennedy that afternoon, is still haunted by his failure. Enter Mitch Leary (John Malkovich): a disenchanted former CIA operative who plans to assassinate the current president—and who taunts Horrigan along the way. In the Line of Fire features top-notch direction and a taut screenplay, but it’s Malkovich who threatens to steal the show in an Academy Award-nominated turn that surely inspired one or two future Joker performances.

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Best Thrillers on Netflix Canada - Shot CallerPhoto: Netflix

Shot Caller (2017)

When his drunk driving gets his best friend killed, wealthy stockbroker Jacob Harlon (Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is sent to a notorious maximum-security prison: the California Institution for Men. Once inside, Jacob joins a white supremacist gang in return for protection, but learns the hard way that once you join a prison gang, there’s no getting out—even when you’re released early on parole.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - EnemyPhoto: Entertainment One

Enemy (2013)

History professor Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) seemingly leads a normal life—but something is afoot. One day, Adam rents an obscure film, and in it spots an actor who looks exactly like him. Is this man his doppelganger, his twin brother, a figment of a fraying mind or a manifestation of a guilty deed? Enemy may have more questions than answers but, like the very best psychodramas, it’s all the more fascinating for it. Plus, it’s one of the few movies filmed in Toronto that’s actually set in Toronto.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - BeirutPhoto: Netflix

Beirut (2018)

This criminally under-seen political thriller follows Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm), a former U.S. diplomat who is called to Beirut in 1982 to negotiate the release of his kidnapped CIA friend. Ten years earlier, a terrorist group ambushed Skiles’s villa, murdering his Lebanese wife and abducting their adopted son, a Palestinian refugee. Together with CIA operative Sandy (Rosamund Pike), Mason must uncover the true meaning of his mission before time runs out.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - A Simple Favor 2023Photo: Lionsgate

A Simple Favor (2018)

As the director of Bridesmaids and Spy, Paul Feig is no stranger to comedy. His first foray into mystery, however, might be his strongest effort yet. In Connecticut, widowed mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) spends her hours running a no-name blog; one day, her rather dull existence is enlivened by Emily (Blake Lively), the high-powered director of a PR company and mother of her son’s classmate. What follows is an engrossing and darkly funny whodunnit after Emily vanishes and Stephanie learns her new friend wasn’t what she seemed.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - We Own The Night 2023Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

We Own the Night (2007)

James Gray’s We Own the Night may have the sweep of an opera, but you’re not likely to find a less pretentious movie on Netflix Canada. Set in 1988, this action-thriller follows Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix), manager of a popular Brooklyn nightclub that doubles as a front for dangerous Russian drug dealers. To complicate matters, Bobby’s brother (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall)—both high-ranking officers in the NYPD—become targets of the Russian Mob. As We Own the Night shows, life on the right side of the law can be just as soul-destroying as life on the wrong side.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Triple 9 2023Photo: Netflix

Triple 9 (2016)

This criminally underrated, A-list thriller—it stars Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot and Anthony Mackie, to name a few—follows a crew of corrupt Atlanta cops who are blackmailed by the Russian-Jewish Mafia into taking on a risky job. The plan? Break into the Department of Homeland Security to steal valuable intel—and manufacture a genuine “999,” police code for “officer down,” in order to do so.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Mystic RiverPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures

Mystic River (2003)

Clint Eastwood’s most unlikely film is also his most disturbing. Sean Penn gives the performance of a lifetime as Jimmy Markum, a convenience store owner—and ex-con—whose teenage daughter is found murdered after a night out. Mystic River’s stellar supporting cast includes Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney; Tim Robbins, meanwhile, plays Dave Boyle, an old friend of Jimmy’s reeling from his own ordeal. Mystic River is a film about many things: vengeance, trauma, self-deception. But above all else, it is a work of absolute power.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Eastern PromisesPhoto: Focus Features

Eastern Promises (2007)

David Cronenberg’s most accessible film to date has lost none of its verve, thanks to a hypnotic central performance by Viggo Mortensen, well-timed twists and a handful of slit throats and cracked ribs. In London, a midwife (Naomi Watts) finds the diary of a teenage girl who dies during childbirth—a discovery which leads her to the violent world of the Russian Mafia.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - The VanishingPhoto: Lionsgate

The Vanishing (2018)

The infamous Flannan Isle Mystery is reimagined in this captivating tale of greed and paranoia. Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan (Ozark) and Connor Swindells (Sex Education) star as three lighthouse keepers on a remote Scottish island whose days become numbered when a chest of gold washes ashore. Tensions rise and trust breaks down; all the while, the trio must contend with unwelcome visitors. A true hidden gem on Netflix, The Vanishing is a fascinating study of the dark side of human nature.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Zero Dark Thirty - Jessica Chastain - 2012Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

“You know that thing we talked about? It’s going to happen,” whispers an intelligence officer late in Zero Dark Thirty. The 10-year mission to find Osama bin Laden is painstakingly dramatized in this Academy Award-nominated war thriller; at the heart of the covert American operation is Maya (Jessica Chastain), a CIA analyst on a single-minded pursuit to bring him down. The 28-minute sequence depicting the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, is a masterclass in action filmmaking.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Gone Baby Gone - Casey AffleckPhoto: Entertainment One

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

When a three-year-old girl is abducted in the neighbourhood of Dorchester, Boston, the girl’s aunt and uncle hire a private investigator, Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), to track her down. But after joining forces with a burnt-out detective (Ed Harris) and a by-the-book police captain (Morgan Freeman), Kenzie is faced with a shocking ethical dilemma that will shake him to his core. Anchored by an incredible cast and marking Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone will haunt viewers long after it’s over.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Inside Man Clive OwenPhoto: Universal Pictures

Inside Man (2006)

Denzel Washington has teamed up with director Spike Lee on four films—of their acclaimed collaborations, the fourth, Inside Man, is the film that most deserves repeat viewings. In New York City, Detective Frazier (Washington) is called to Wall Street when a crew of robbers take a bank’s customers and employees hostage. What follows is an unpredictable cat-and-mouse game between Frazier and Dalton Russell (Clive Owen), the heist’s mysterious ringleader.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Sicario - Benicio Del ToroPhoto: Lionsgate

Sicario (2015)

Set in the dangerous border lands between the United States and Mexico, idealistic FBI agent Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by a sly government official (Josh Brolin) to bring down a lieutenant in the notorious Sonora Cartel. Joining the team is Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), an enigmatic “adviser” with a dark past. Sicario is a visceral and intelligent thriller—and a unique deep-dive into the failure of America’s War on Drugs.

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The Guilty (2021)Photo: Netflix

The Guilty (2021)

In this remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Joe Baylor, an LAPD officer demoted to working nights at a 911 call centre while awaiting a court hearing. Late into one particular shift, Joe gets a call from a woman named Emily, who claims she’s been abducted and is being held in a white van on the move. As the night unfolds, however, Joe learns that Emily’s predicament isn’t so cut-and-dried. Brilliantly acted, smartly paced and packing a handful of astonishing twists, The Guilty is one of the best thrillers on Netflix Canada.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Escape From PretoriaPhoto: Netflix

Escape from Pretoria (2020)

This criminally underrated thriller—it stars Daniel Radcliffe, moving further away from his Harry Potter roots—follows two white South African anti-apartheid activists who are sent to Pretoria Central Prison for lengthy sentences. The duo’s plan? With the help of a fellow prisoner, they analyze every inch of the complex and memorize every task the guards are given—and plan a daring, against-the-odds escape. What Escape from Pretoria lacks in innovation, it more than makes up for in nerve-wracking action.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix - The Town (2010)Photo: Netflix

The Town (2010)

Set in Charlestown, the oldest neighbourhood in Boston, The Town stars Ben Affleck (who also serves as co-writer and director) as Doug, a bank robber and one-time hockey player. After tailing Claire (Rebecca Hall), an assistant bank manager and witness to his crew’s latest heist, Doug instead falls in love with her—and decides to hang it up for good. The hustle never ends for career criminals, however, and, in true noir fashion, Doug is tasked with one last job. Boasting strong performances and a water-tight script, the bleak and violent The Town is one of the best thrillers on Netflix Canada.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - SearchingPhoto: Netflix

Searching (2018)

When his teen daughter Margot disappears one night, widowed father David (John Cho) joins forces with a San Jose police detective (Debra Messing) to find her. The catch? Searching is set entirely on computer screens, smartphones, televisions and security cameras, as David traces Margot’s digital footprint and discovers just how little he actually knew his daughter. Unpredictable and original, Searching is the perfect edge-of-your-seat thriller for our increasingly virtual world.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - 22 JulyPhoto: Netflix Canada

22 July (2018)

On July 22, 2011, Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik carried out two attacks in his home country: a car bomb explosion in Oslo and a mass shooting at a Workers’ Youth League summer camp on the island of Utøya. The attacks claimed 77 lives and injured more than 300 people. 22 July depicts the events of that day in harrowing detail, before a superb coda that ends things on a hopeful note.

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Best Thrillers On Netflix Canada - Operation FinalePhoto: Netflix Canada

Operation Finale (2018)

After the end of the Second World War, Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), one of the principle masterminds of the Holocaust, disappeared without a trace. Almost two decades later, a team of Israeli Mossad agents led by Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaacs) locate him in Buenos Aires under a new identity. Their mission? Kidnap Eichmann and bring him back to Israel to be tried for his crimes. Based on Palkin’s memoir, Operation Finale is first and foremost a late-career acting showcase for Kingsley.

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Best thrillers on Netflix Canada: Bad GeniusesPhoto: Netflix

Bad Genius (2017)

Set in the high-stakes world of university admissions testing, the exhilarating Bad Genius follows Lynn, a Thai math prodigy who builds a lucrative exam-cheating business. Her ultimate goal: cracking the Standard Test for International Colleges—the correct answers to which could net her millions of dollars from her wealthy clientele. Answering multiple-choice questions has never been so nerve-racking!

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Best thrillers on Netflix Canada: Gerald's GamePhoto: Netflix

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) travel to an isolated lake house in the hopes of reviving their marriage. Once there, Gerald handcuffs Jessie to their bedposts to act out a sexual fantasy, but suddenly dies of a heart attack. Quickly succumbing to dehydration and hunger, Jessie must battle her own demons (and a hungry dog) in order to escape. Gerald’s Game is one of the most horrifying Stephen King adaptations in recent memory.

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Best thrillers on Netflix Canada: CalibrePhoto: Netflix

Calibre (2018)

Two childhood friends, macho businessman Marcus and shy father-to-be Vaughn, reunite for a weekend hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands. Their happy get-together, however, quickly turns into a nightmare when Vaughn accidentally kills a young boy during one of their expeditions. Can Marcus and Vaughn hide their horrible crime without arousing suspicion from the locals? One of the best thrillers on Netflix Canada, Calibre is an edge-of-your-seat ride from start to finish.

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The Decline (2020)Photo: Netflix

The Decline (2020)

Convinced that a cataclysmic event is just around the corner, Antoine (Guillaume Laurin) travels to rural Nord-du-Québec to meet Alain (Réal Bossé), a survival expert. The charismatic Alain has built a self-sufficient compound on his 500-acre property, and has also invited five other survivalism enthusiasts to his intensive training program. When a freak accident leaves one person dead, however, the group argues over what to do next, provoking a tense—and violent—showdown.

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The Red Sea Diving ResortPhoto: Netflix Canada

The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

Inspired by true events, The Red Sea Diving Resort follows a group of international spies—led by Israeli Mossad agent Ari Levinson (Chris Evans)—as they attempt to rescue thousands of refugees fleeing Sudan in the early ’80s. The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams co-stars.

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