10 Best English Thriller Movies

Our selection of the 10 best English thriller movies includes a lot of titles that you might have overlooked in your own wanderings through the genre. Let’s find out.

  1. A Clockwork Orange. This hardcore classic of violence and depravity among the youth in a futuristic Britain tops our list of the best English thriller movies ever made, and arguably director Stanley Kubrick’s finest moment.
  2. The Third Man. An American writer travels to Vienna and finds himself embroiled in a mystery surrounding his friend’s sudden death.
  3. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Richard Burton stars in this, one of the best English thriller movies of all time, about a spy in Berlin during the Cold War.
  4. Blow-Up. Set in sexy swinging London in the 1960's, “Blow-Up” tells the story of a renowned fashion photographer who might have accidentally captured a murder on film.
  5. The 39 Steps. This obscure early film by Alfred Hitchcock is worth hunting down. It’s about a guy who finds himself embroiled in a nightmare when a beautiful female spy hides out in his apartment and is killed. Though not Hitchcock’s most famous movie, it is still one of the best English thriller movies we’ve seen.
  6. Goldfinger. This was the third movie in the James Bond series, and most agree it is one of the best. Sean Connery turns in a brilliant performance, and Guy Hamilton directs.
  7. Gaslight. While you probably know the MGM version from 1944, the original English version of “Gaslight,” made four years prior, is commonly regarded as one of the best English thriller movies by critics and fans alike. 
  8. The Lady Vanishes. How reliable is memory? This is the question that Alfred Hitchcock set off to answer when he made this early film before re-locating to the United States.
  9. Brighton Rock. If “A Clockwork Orange” weren’t already on this list, then we’d say that “Brighton Rock” is the best English thriller movie about teenage gangs. So I guess it’s the second-best.
  10. The Long Good Friday. The mob in London goes up against the IRA in this classic flick, which rounds out our list of the best English thriller movies.
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