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, serious, suspenseful, realistic, clever and stylized films and TV shows about / with violence, murder, crimes, death, crime, twists & turns, corruption, storytelling, blood and investigation plots mostly in Drama, Thriller and Crime genres shot in USA, UK, China and other countries.
tense
 6035
tense movies
TOP 10 movies tagged as tense: Shutter Island (2010), Se7en (1995), Gone Girl (2014), The Departed (2006), Breaking Bad (2008), No Country for Old Men (2007), Hannibal (2013), Exam (2009), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), The Walking Dead (2010).

List of tense movies

 8.1
 989K
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, serious, tense, suspenseful, twist ending ...
Plot: mental institution, investigation, mystery, insanity, paranoia, uncover truth, losing-it hero, doctors and patients, island, delusion, psychiatrist, plot twist ...
Time: 1950s, 20th century, 50s, year 1945, year 1954 ...
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, disturbing ...
Plot: serial killer, master criminal, psychopath, mind game, crime, police investigation, investigation, killings, crimes, torture, insanity, police detective ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 749K
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, twist ending ...
Audience: boys' night, girls' night, date night, chick flick
Plot: missing person, police investigation, mystery, disappearance, manipulation, missing wife, investigation, femme fatale, mind game, infidelity, protagonist as suspect, murder suspect ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, year 2012, 2010s, 2000s
Place: missouri, usa, manhattan new york city, st. louis missouri
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 1.1M
The Departed (2006)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA, Hong Kong
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, suspense, suspenseful ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: gangsters, mole, mafia, working undercover, undercover cop, organized crime, crimes, crime, mind game, police, undercover, law enforcement ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: boston, usa, china, harvard university, taiwan
Is relevant ?
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 9.5
 1.2M
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, rough ...
Plot: drug dealing, life turned upside down, drug lord, master criminal, double life, drugs/alcohol, crimes, peril, family problems, hidden identity, unlikely partners, partners ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century, 2000s
Place: new mexico, usa, albuquerque new mexico
Is relevant ?
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, rough, bleak, serious, captivating ...
Plot: track down, hitman, crimes, human nature, psychopath, peril, shooting, neo noir, escape, money, death, stolen money ...
Time: 20th century, 80s, year 1980
Place: texas, usa, mexico, latin america
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 199K
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: psychological, tense, atmospheric, serious, scary ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: serial killer, psychopath, mind game, psychiatrist, cannibal, crime, special agents, murder, death, cannibalism, doctor, fbi ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 6.9
 94K
Exam (2009)
Genre: Horror, 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: psychological, mind bending, tense, surprise ending, suspenseful ...
Plot: mind game, manipulations, psychologist, ambition, rivalry, human nature, surveillance, plot twist, intrigue, confinement indoors, room, mystery ...
Time: future
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: suspenseful, tense, scary, suspense, serious ...
Plot: serial killer, psychopath, mind game, investigation, fbi, murder, crime, cannibalism, killings, deadly, special agents, profiler ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 1990s
Place: maryland, virginia, usa, washington d.c., bahamas ...
Is relevant ?
The Walking Dead (2010)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, 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, suspenseful, captivating, bleak, scary ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: survival, zombie, apocalypse, plague, zombie apocalypse, supernatural, future dystopia, vestiges of humanity, danger, chaos, post apocalypse, fear ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2010s
Place: usa, georgia
Is relevant ?
 7.4
 495K
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, futuristic, exciting, suspenseful, mind bending ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: time travel, changing the past or future, on the run, destiny, hitman, organized crime, sent to the past, violence, self sacrifice, mafia, death, time loop ...
Time: future, 21st century, 2040s
Place: usa, kansas, shanghai china
Is relevant ?
 8.3
 104K
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, exciting, captivating, stylized, gloomy ...
Audience: teens, girls' night
Plot: vampire, witch, werewolf, supernatural, immortality, magical, supernatural romance, rivalry, secret, siblings relations, dangerous attraction, family relations ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: new orleans, usa
Is relevant ?
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 7.7
 384K
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, victim, paranoia, journalist, investigation, mystery, code, mind game, crimes ...
Time: 1960s, 20th century, 60s, 70s, year 1978 ...
Place: california, san francisco, usa, oakland california
Is relevant ?
 8.5
 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, suspense, bleak ...
Plot: memory loss, uncover truth, amnesia, vengeance, mystery, paranoia, revenge, haunted by the past, murder, mistaken identity, rape, investigation ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 2000s
Place: usa, los angeles, california
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 148K
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, revenge, unlikely criminals, wedding party, road rage, corruption, violence, fighting the system, multiple storylines, destiny, farce ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: argentina, latin america
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 90K
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, biting, suspenseful, tense, surprise ending ...
Audience: teens, teen drama
Plot: small town, high school, friendship, teenage life, friends, murder, investigation, youth, parents and children, family relations, crimes, danger ...
Is relevant ?
 8.2
 85K
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, small town, murder, family problems, serial killer, obsession, mental disorder, overbearing mother, motel, crimes, dysfunctional family, insanity ...
Time: 20th century, 2010s
Place: oregon, usa
Is relevant ?
 7.1
 131K
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, crime, danger, criminal heroes, fall in love, criminal's revenge, robbery, hitman, crime boss, gangsters, crimes ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: boston, massachusetts, new york, usa
Is relevant ?
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 8.4
 425K
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, chases and races, scheme, fbi, manhunt, self sacrifice, fighting the system, determination ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 46K
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: werewolf, vampire, demon, supernatural power, good versus evil, female protagonist, friendship, supernatural, family secret, strong female character, teenage girl, magic ...
Time: contemporary
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
 6.7
 282K
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, experiment gone awry, laboratory, super villain, violence, mutation, car chase, alien, first contact, destruction, anti hero, experiment ...
Time: 2010s
Place: san francisco, malaysia
Is relevant ?
 8.1
 154K
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, exciting, tense, clever, twists and turns ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: fbi, secret, special agents, master criminal, intrigue, investigation, mind game, danger, manipulations, crimes, unlikely partners, partners ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa
Is relevant ?
I Saw the Devil (2010)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, 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, vengeance, violence, revenge, psychopath, loss of spouse, crime and punishment, track down, cat and mouse, mercilessness, extreme violence ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: asia, south korea, korea
Is relevant ?
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 7.1
 212K
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, bad ending, suspenseful, factual, realistic ...
Plot: resistance, deception, bomb, nazism, treason, assassination attempt, betrayal, courage, plan gone awry, nazis, conspiracy, war ...
Time: year 1944, 20th century, 40s, year 1943, 1940s
Place: germany, europe, normandy, bavaria, tunisia ...
Is relevant ?
 6.8
 235K
Panic Room (2002)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 112 min.
Story: Trapped in their New York brownstone's panic room, a hidden chamber built as a sanctuary in the event of break-ins, newly divorced Meg Altman and her young daughter Sarah play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with three intruders - Burnham, Raoul ...
Style: tense, suspenseful, suspense, stylized, serious ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: home invasion, confinement indoors, crime gone awry, confined, locked in a room, robbery, thief, danger, cat and mouse, millionaire, bunker, disorder ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, new york, manhattan new york city
Is relevant ?
 9.0
 431K
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: clever, bleak, serious, realistic, tense ...
Plot: police investigation, serial killer, police detective, crime, crimes, partners, partners against crime, investigation, murder, uncover truth, who done it, troubled ...
Time: contemporary, 20th century, 21st century, 90s
Place: louisiana, usa, california
Is relevant ?
 8.6
 227K
Sons of Anarchy (2008)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Duration: 45 min.
Story: An adrenalized drama with darkly comedic undertones that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s (MC) desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains exactly that, charming. ...
Style: tense, rough, serious, suspenseful, exciting ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: gang, crime, power struggle, family relations, biker, arms dealing, motorcycle gang, crimes, prison, ira, friends, group of criminals ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: usa, california
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, partners against crime, female detective, forensics, crimes, police detective, policewoman, family relations, female protagonist, partners, best friends, crime ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, boston, massachusetts
Is relevant ?
 7.3
 300K
Flight (2012)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: USA, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 138 min.
Story: Commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker has a problem with drugs and alcohol, though so far he's managed to complete his flights safely. His luck runs out when a disastrous mechanical malfunction sends his plane hurtling toward the ground. Whip ...
Style: tense, emotional, psychological, bleak, captivating ...
Plot: air disaster, pilot, stewardess, alcohol abuse, courage, trial, addiction, airplane accident, airplane, investigation, confession, drinking problem ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: usa, california
Is relevant ?
 8.8
 1.7M
Fight Club (1999)
Genre: Drama
Country: USA, Germany
Duration: 139 min.
Story: A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the ...
Style: twists and turns, biting, disturbing, surprise ending, thought provoking ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: losing-it hero, split personality, social decay, fist fighting, against the rules, nihilism, insomnia, violence, fighting the system, paranoia, social misfits, dark hero ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 1990s
Place: delaware, usa
Is relevant ?
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