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14 Movies You Must Watch if You Love ‘Prisoners’

March 15, 2018
8 min read

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, “Prisoners” follows the quest of a desperate father that takes matters into his own hands after his daughter and her friend go missing. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal give breathtaking performances as the desperate father and detective, respectively. The film would not be the same without them. Villeneuve’s masterful directing skills and the suspenseful and well-written story by Guzikowski create a fantastic movie that will surprise everyone that watches it. If you like suspense movies that play with your mind, here’s the list of fourteen movies similar to Prisoners. You can watch some of these movies like Prisoners on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime.

14. M (1931)

“M” is a monumental crime drama ahead of its time. In Berlin in the early 1930’s, a psychopathic man is murdering children. As the police are trying to find the criminal, their methods start to negatively impact the local criminal community. Hence, they decide that the only way to get the police off their backs is to catch the killer themselves. Directed by Fritz Lang, “M” is an influential and unforgettable film that will keep you on the edge of your sit.

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13. Nightcrawler (2014)

“Nightcrawler” is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. It follows Lou Bloom, a young man desperate for work who discovers the world of crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, and murder, Lou muscles into the dangerous realm of nightcrawling – where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents.

This is not a typical Hollywood film since it is extremely different and suspenseful. The script focuses on the characters, especially on Lou. As a result,  Jake Gyllenhaal has a lot of space to shine and show his talent, giving one of the best performances of his career. The script, cast, filmmaking, and atmosphere make a captivating movie that deserves more attention.

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12. Sicario (2015)

In “Sicario, we follow FBI agent Kate Macer (played by Emily Blunt) when she is sent to Mexico after drug violence escalates in the USA Mexico border. Her goal is to eradicate a drug cartel responsible for a bomb that had killed members of her team. “Sicario” has a lot of tension and approaches very political subjects, that is how the film captivates its audience. Additionally, the thriller has beautiful cinematography and great performances by a talented cast.

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11. Psycho (1960)

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Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece follows a young office worker who is tired of how life has treated her. One day, she steals $40000 from her employer and leaves town on her car. Tired of driving she decides to stay the night at The Bates Motel. Little does she know how evil are the owners. “Psycho” is not considered one of the best horror/mystery movies by chance. It has an amazing cinematography, thrilling story, and brilliant performances. Therefore, it is a must watch for any cinephile.

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10. The Usual Suspects (1995)

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup. “The Usual Suspects” has a skilled director, a captivating screenplay, and several wonderful performances. Most of all, its twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat and will make this experience an unforgettable one.

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9. Memories of Murder (2003)

In a rural district of South Korean in 1986, the population is shaken by a series of brutal rape-murders. Two ruthless local detectives team up with an intelligent detective from the capital to investigate these crimes. Based on true events, “Memories of Murder” is a powerful movie because of the way it was created. Besides being richly detailed, it is masterfully written and beautifully performed. Moreover, the character development is captivating and plausible. Director and screenwriter Joon-ho Bong created a masterpiece that quickly became a classic for thriller fans.

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8. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Lisbeth Salander is an antisocial, defiant, bisexual hacker that lives in the dark world of serial killings, incest and corruption. Although she is a loner, she teams up with disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of a woman 40 years ago. Directed by David Fincher, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is an electrifying and intense thriller with a lot of twists and layers. Powered by a brilliant performance by Rooney Mara, it is an exceptionally written and directed movie that every thriller fan should watch.

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7. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

When four-year-old Amanda McCready is kidnapped from her home and the police make little progress in discovering where she is, the girl’s aunt Beatrice McCready hires two private detectives Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan). When they are about to solve their case, they are faced with a moral dilemma that could tear them apart.

Based on the book by Dennis Lehane, “Gone Baby Gone” marks the directorial debut of Ben Affleck. It’s one of those rare movies in which the less you know about the story, the richer the experience. Moreover, it has a disturbing and emotional layered story that slowly unfolds with a moral dilemma at its core.

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6. The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

Clarice Starling is a young FBI agent who has been assigned to find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims, Buffalo Bill. She decides to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an infamous serial killer, to get an insight into the mind of a ruthless murder. However, that has severe consequences on Clarice.

“The Silence of the Lambs” is not one of the most popular thrillers out of luck. It not only has an incredible script and brilliant performances but also manages to build a suspenseful and disturbing atmosphere that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Also, it won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.

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5. The Game (1997)

Nicholas Van Orton is a lonely but wealthy banker. When his brother Conrad suddenly visits him and gives him the opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, Nicholas’ life is turned upside down. Every film directed by David Fincher is twisted and tense, and “The Game” is no exception. This intelligent tale stands the test of time because it is an original psychological ride loaded with twists and turns, scene after scene.

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4. Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl” was one of the most impressive movies of 2014 because of its thrilling plot and brilliant performances. Therefore, the film was nominated for several prestigious awards like the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. “Gone Girl” follows Nick Dunne when he reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful and happy marriage begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? If you love thrilling movies that play with your mind, you’ll love this one.

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3. Mystic River (2003)

In the Summer of 1975, one of three kids playing on a sidewalk is abducted and sexually abused several days. Several years ahead, the three childhood friends are forced to confront that traumatic event when a family tragedy occurs. “Mystic River” is a tragic story of the loss of youth. Brian Helgeland’s screenplay makes the pain of each of the men’s experiences very vivid and real. Besides being masterfully directed by Clint Eastwood, this drama has a mesmerizing cast. Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon have chilling performances that will leave you speechless.

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2. Se7en (1995)

This movie is about the desperate hunt of two homicide detectives for a serial killer who justifies his crimes as absolution for the world’s ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. “Se7en” takes us through the journey of the detectives and murderer through a series of incredible twists. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman successfully prove why they deserve to be so famous and some of the biggest Hollywood stars. Furthermore, David Fincher’s timeless directing captures a gothic, suspenseful and disturbing reality that will leave you shocked and begging for more. In sum, “Se7en” is a dark tale of murder and crime that you should not miss.

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1. Zodiac (2007)

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down this Zodiac Killer. Based on Robert Graysmith’s novel, it focuses on the lives of the detectives and newspaper people surrounding the serial killer. Directed by David Fincher, “Zodiac” is a chilling movie with a lot of twists and suspense. If you loved “Prisoners”, you have to watch this one!

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