Tense movies and TV shows

The list contains the best, new and most relevant tense movies ordered by relevance. The recommendation service has sorted out tense, suspenseful, serious, realistic, stylized and clever films and TV shows about / with murder, crimes, violence, crime, death, corruption, twists & turns, blood, investigation and storytelling plots mostly in Drama, Thriller and Crime genres shot in USA, UK, China and other countries.
tense
 6249
tense movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as tense: Shutter Island (2010), Se7en (1995), Gone Girl (2014), The Departed (2006), No Country for Old Men (2007), Hannibal (2013), Breaking Bad (2008), Valkyrie (2008), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Zodiac (2007).

List of tense movies

 8.1
 1.0M
Shutter Island (2010)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 138 min.
Story: World War II soldier-turned-U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels investigates the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, but his efforts are compromised by his troubling visions and also by a mysterious doctor.
Style: psychological, surprise ending, suspenseful, twist ending, tense ...
Plot: mystery, mental institution, insanity, paranoia, investigation, losing-it hero, uncover truth, doctors and patients, island, mental illness, psychiatrist, plot twist ...
Time: 1950s, 20th century, 50s, year 1945, 1940s ...
Place: boston
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 1.3M
Se7en (1995)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 127 min.
Story: Two homicide detectives are on a desperate hunt for a serial killer whose crimes are based on the "seven deadly sins" in this dark and haunting film that takes viewers from the tortured remains of one victim to the next. The seasoned Det. ...
Style: tense, atmospheric, suspenseful, scary, twists and turns ...
Plot: serial killer, master criminal, psychopath, mind game, crime, investigation, police investigation, torture, killings, insanity, crimes, police detective ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 775K
Gone Girl (2014)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 149 min.
Story: With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.
Style: psychological, surprise ending, tense, suspense, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night, date night, girls' night, chick flick
Plot: missing person, police investigation, mystery, disappearance, manipulation, femme fatale, missing wife, investigation, infidelity, protagonist as suspect, mind game, adultery ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2012, 2010s, 2000s
Place: usa, missouri, manhattan new york city, st. louis missouri
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 1.1M
The Departed (2006)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 151 min.
Story: To take down South Boston's Irish Mafia, the police send in one of their own to infiltrate the underworld, not realizing the syndicate has done likewise. While an undercover cop curries favor with the mob kingpin, a career criminal rises ...
Style: tense, captivating, serious, twist ending, suspense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: gangsters, mafia, mole, working undercover, crimes, undercover cop, mind game, organized crime, crime, police, undercover, law enforcement ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: boston, usa, harvard university, taiwan, china
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon dead bodies, $2 million and a hoard of heroin in a Texas desert, but methodical killer Anton Chigurh comes looking for it, with local sheriff Ed Tom Bell hot on his trail. The roles of prey and predator blur as the ...
Style: tense, bleak, rough, serious, captivating ...
Plot: track down, crimes, hitman, death, human nature, psychopath, peril, shooting, greed, neo noir, escape, money ...
Time: 20th century, 80s, year 1980
Place: texas, usa, mexico, latin america
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 206K
Hannibal (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 44 min.
Story: Both a gift and a curse, Graham has the extraordinary ability to think like his prey—he sees what they see, feels what they feel. But while Graham is pursuing an especially troubling, cannibalistic murderer, Special Agent Jack Crawford teams him ...
Style: tense, psychological, atmospheric, serious, scary ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: serial killer, psychopath, mind game, cannibal, psychiatrist, cannibalism, death, crime, special agents, murder, mental patient, doctor ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 9.5
 1.3M
Breaking Bad (2008)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 49 min.
Story: When Walter White, a New Mexico chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of only two years left to live, he becomes filled with a sense of fearlessness and an unrelenting desire to secure his family's ...
Style: tense, psychological, captivating, serious, clever ...
Plot: drug dealing, drug lord, life turned upside down, drugs/alcohol, master criminal, double life, peril, crimes, family problems, life is a bitch, drug cartel, desperation ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2000s, 2010s
Place: new mexico, usa, albuquerque new mexico
Is relevant ?
 7.1
 216K
Valkyrie (2008)
Genre: Drama, History, Thriller, War
Country: USA, Germany
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Wounded in Africa during World War II, Nazi Col. Claus von Stauffenberg returns to his native Germany and joins the Resistance in a daring plan to create a shadow government and assassinate Adolf Hitler. When events unfold so that he becomes a ...
Style: tense, factual, bad ending, suspenseful, realistic ...
Plot: world war two, resistance, deception, bomb, nazism, treason, assassination attempt, betrayal, courage, nazi germany, plan gone awry, war ...
Time: year 1944, 20th century, 40s, year 1943, 1940s
Place: germany, europe, normandy, tunisia, munich germany ...
Is relevant ?
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 118 min.
Story: FBI trainee, Clarice Starling ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned homicidal cannibal. Starling needs clues to help her capture a serial killer. But her Faustian relationship ...
Style: tense, suspenseful, scary, suspense, serious ...
Plot: serial killer, psychopath, mind game, cannibalism, investigation, crime, murder, fbi, psychology, killings, deadly, profiler ...
Time: 20th century, 90s, 1990s
Place: maryland, virginia, usa, west virginia, ohio ...
Is relevant ?
 7.7
 401K
Zodiac (2007)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 157 min.
Story: The true story of the investigation of the "Zodiac Killer", a serial killer who terrified the San Francisco Bay Area, taunting police with his ciphers and letters. The case becomes an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are ...
Style: tense, suspenseful, atmospheric, stylized, bleak ...
Plot: serial killer, murder, crime, uncover truth, journalist, investigation, mystery, victim, paranoia, mind game, code, killings ...
Time: 1960s, 20th century, 60s, 70s, year 1991 ...
Place: california, san francisco, usa, oakland california
Is relevant ?
The Walking Dead (2010)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 44 min.
Story: Sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way.
Style: tense, captivating, suspenseful, bleak, scary ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: zombie, survival, apocalypse, zombie apocalypse, plague, post apocalypse, supernatural, future dystopia, walking dead, fear, danger, chaos ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2010s
Place: usa, georgia
Is relevant ?
 6.8
 97K
Exam (2009)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK
Duration: 101 min.
Story: The final candidates for a highly desirable corporate job are locked together in an exam room and given a test so simple and confusing that tension begins to unravel.
Style: mind bending, psychological, tense, surprise ending, serious ...
Plot: mind game, manipulations, psychologist, ambition, rivalry, human nature, surveillance, plot twist, confinement indoors, room, mystery, intrigue ...
Time: future
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
I Saw the Devil (2010)
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Country: South Korea
Duration: 142 min.
Story: Kyung-chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, ...
Style: tense, psychological, serious, bleak, rough ...
Plot: serial killer, murder, violence, vengeance, psychopath, cat and mouse, extreme violence, revenge, torture, loss of spouse, crime and punishment, sadism ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: asia, korea, south korea
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 89K
Bates Motel (2013)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 45 min.
Story: A "contemporary prequel" to the 1960 film Psycho, depicting the life of Norman Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events portrayed in Hitchcock's film, albeit in a different fictional town and in a modern setting. The series ...
Style: tense, atmospheric, suspenseful, serious, psychological ...
Plot: incestuous desire, motel, serial killer, small town, family problems, mental disorder, obsession, murder, overbearing mother, dysfunctional family, insanity, crimes ...
Time: 20th century, 2010s
Place: oregon, usa
Is relevant ?
 6.8
 140K
From Hell (2001)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Frederick Abberline is an opium-huffing inspector from Scotland Yard who falls for one of Jack the Ripper's prostitute targets in this Hughes brothers adaption of a graphic novel that posits the Ripper's true identity.
Style: gothic, tense, suspenseful, atmospheric, twist ending ...
Plot: jack the ripper, serial killer, who done it, police detective, woman in danger, psychic, crimes, a vision, murder, surgery, princess, police investigation ...
Time: 19th century, victorian era, victorian, 20th century, 1880s
Place: england, europe, london, buckingham palace, east end london ...
Is relevant ?
Final Destination (2000)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 98 min.
Story: After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.
Style: scary, tense, suspenseful, suspense, serious ...
Audience: teens
Plot: danger, death, destiny, characters killed one by one, air disaster, psychic, youth, life & death, survival, supernatural, group of friends, race against time ...
Time: 21st century, 20th century, contemporary, 90s, 2000s
Place: new york, usa, paris france
Is relevant ?
 7.2
 96K
Riverdale (2017)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 45 min.
Story: Set in the present, the series offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surreality of small-town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.
Style: captivating, tense, biting, suspenseful, surprise ending ...
Audience: teens, teen drama
Plot: high school, small town, friends, teenage life, friendship, youth, love triangle, murder, investigation, crimes, danger, parents and children ...
Is relevant ?
 8.0
 163K
The Blacklist (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 43 min.
Story: Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, surrenders in person at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He claims that he and the FBI have the same interests: bringing down dangerous criminals and terrorists. In ...
Style: captivating, tense, exciting, clever, twists and turns ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: fbi, secret, special agents, master criminal, investigation, intrigue, mind game, danger, unlikely partners, manipulations, law enforcement, partners ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2010s
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 8.2
 107K
The Originals (2013)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 45 min.
Story: A spin-off from The Vampire Diaries and set in New Orleans, The Originals centers on the Mikaelson siblings, otherwise known as the world's original vampires: Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. Now Klaus must take down his protégé, Marcel, who is ...
Style: tense, captivating, exciting, stylized, gloomy ...
Audience: teens, girls' night
Plot: vampire, supernatural, werewolf, witch, immortality, magical, rivalry, supernatural romance, dangerous attraction, secret, siblings relations, family relations ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: new orleans, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 506K
Looper (2012)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, China
Duration: 113 min.
Story: In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past where a looper, a ...
Style: tense, thought provoking, futuristic, exciting, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: time travel, time loop, changing the past or future, hitman, destiny, on the run, organized crime, sent to the past, mafia, violence, self sacrifice, death ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2040s
Place: usa, shanghai china, kansas
Is relevant ?
 8.8
 221K
Peaky Blinders (2013)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: UK
Duration: 60 min.
Story: A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.
Style: captivating, atmospheric, serious, clever, tense ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: gangsters, gang, organized crime, society, gang war, family relations, rivalry, rise to the top, crime, fighting crime, mafia, determination ...
Time: 1910s, 20s, 20th century, 1920s
Place: england
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 311K
Venom (2018)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: China, USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego "Venom" to save his life.
Style: tense, captivating, exciting, suspense, surprise ending ...
Audience: date night
Plot: superhero, alien, experiment gone awry, mutation, laboratory, violence, super villain, anti hero, tough guy, experiment, car chase, supernatural power ...
Time: 2010s
Place: san francisco, malaysia
Is relevant ?
 8.4
 1.0M
Memento (2000)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 113 min.
Story: Suffering short-term memory loss after a head injury, Leonard Shelby embarks on a grim quest to find the lowlife who murdered his wife in this gritty, complex thriller that packs more knots than a hangman's noose. To carry out his plan, Shelby ...
Style: psychological, surprise ending, tense, twist ending, suspense ...
Plot: memory loss, mystery, uncover truth, amnesia, revenge, paranoia, vengeance, haunted by the past, murder, twists & turns, plot twist, mistaken identity ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 2000s
Place: usa, los angeles, california
Is relevant ?
Related movie lists
 8.1
 154K
Wild Tales (2014)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Country: Argentina, Spain
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Six short stories that explore the extremities of human behavior involving people in distress.
Style: tense, psychological, dark humor, cynical, biting ...
Plot: human nature, twists & turns, unlikely criminals, revenge, road rage, wedding party, corruption, violence, fighting the system, multiple storylines, destiny, farce ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: argentina, latin america
Is relevant ?
Rizzoli & Isles (2010)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Country: USA
Duration: 60 min.
Story: Perhaps their strikingly different personalities make the relationship between detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles so effective. Jane, the only female cop in Boston's homicide division, is tough, relentless and rarely lets ...
Style: tense, realistic, serious, captivating, suspenseful
Audience: girls' night
Plot: police investigation, female detective, partners against crime, female protagonist, best friends, forensics, murder investigation, crime, homicide detective, police detective, partners, policewoman ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: boston, usa, massachusetts
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 437K
Prison Break (2005)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, USA
Duration: 44 min.
Story: Due to a political conspiracy, an innocent man is sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside out.
Style: suspenseful, tense, exciting, twists and turns, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: prison, prison life, fugitives, confined, escape, scheme, fbi, manhunt, chases and races, determination, siblings relations, self sacrifice ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 9.0
 453K
True Detective (2014)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 55 min.
Story: An American anthology police detective series utilizing multiple timelines in which investigations seem to unearth personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within or outside the law.
Style: bleak, clever, realistic, gloomy, serious ...
Plot: serial killer, police investigation, police detective, crime, crimes, partners, partners against crime, investigation, murder, uncover truth, troubled, haunted by the past ...
Time: contemporary, 20th century, 21st century, 90s
Place: louisiana, usa, california
Is relevant ?
 7.1
 134K
The Drop (2014)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 106 min.
Story: Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.
Style: tense, serious, captivating, twists and turns, clever ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: bar, organized crime, robbery, criminal heroes, danger, fall in love, crime, criminal's revenge, hitman, crimes, church, catholic ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: boston, new york, usa, massachusetts
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 20K
Animal Kingdom (2016)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 60 min.
Story: The series centers on 17-year-old Joshua "J" Cody, who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. Headed by boot-tough matriarch Janine "Smurf" ...
Style: tense, exciting, captivating, twists and turns
Audience: boys' night
Plot: dysfunctional family, crimes, heist, crime family, gay brother, drugs/alcohol, danger, escapades, family conflict, friendship, ex convict, outlaw ...
Time: contemporary
Place: southern california, usa, california
Is relevant ?
 6.6
 47K
Shadowhunters (2016)
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 42 min.
Story: When Clary Fray's mother has disappeared, Clary joins a band of Shadowhunters; demon killing hunters, and gets caught up in a plan to save the world.
Style: captivating, tense, serious, gothic, bleak
Audience: teen drama
Plot: vampire, werewolf, magic, supernatural power, good versus evil, demon, female protagonist, strong female character, supernatural, friendship, family secret, teenage girl ...
Time: contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
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