British thriller ’71 stars Jack O’Connell as a British soldier left behind on the deadly streets of Belfast. He doesn’t know who to trust and there’s danger on every corner as he struggles to get back to his unit. To mark ’71’s release on DVD and Blu-Ray, we’re looking at the top ten thrillers through the years… films that put you on edge, make you jump and make you feel for the characters involved.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
The adaptation of the John le Carré novel is a moody, tense spy thriller that follows George Smiley (Gary Oldman) as he tries to unravel layers of deceit to find a mole at the heart of MI6. A wonderful cast handles this smart script almost effortlessly there are twists and turns and Smiley is at the centre of it all, trying to find the truth.
Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are the mismatched detectives on the hunt for a serial killer who commits crimes with biblical references. Se7en is a brutal and grim film that studies the darker side of humanity, has brilliant performances and a haunting finale.
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Although, since it was released, the character of Hannibal Lecter has been parodied many times that doesn’t lessen Anthony Hopkins’ terrifying performance in this classic cop drama. The tension between him and Jodie Foster’s FBI Agent Clarice Starling is palpable and fascinating to watch.
In David Fincher’s quiet, dialogue-driven thriller, a San Francisco cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal) turns amateur detective to track down the Zodiac killer. Well-fleshed out characters and a grim spin on the 1970s makes this film more and more suspenseful as it moves towards its terse conclusion.
The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese finally got his Best Director Oscar for The Departed – a tense crime thriller that stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a cop undercover as a mobster and Matt Damon as a mobster posing as a cop. It’s a film of cat-and-mouse with Jack Nicholson – as the head of the Boston mob – providing a wonderfully foreboding presence, looming between the two sparring leads. The thing about The Departed that really makes it stand out is that it combines gritty realism with some surprising laugh-out-loud moments.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Usual Suspects seems pretty standard fare to begin with as police interrogate Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), the sole survivor of a massacre. But as the film processes and the flashbacks reveal more and more, The Usual Suspects becomes layered with lies, violence and twists.
Rear Window (1954)
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic is a showcase of tension and suspense. Wheelchair-bound L.B. ‘Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart) whiles away his hours watching his neighbours from his apartment window, slowing becoming convinced that one of them has committed a murder. He enlists his girlfriend Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) to help and the scene where she’s searching through the neighbour’s apartment racks up the tension as only Hitchcock can as Jeff and the audience look on as the murderer comes ever closer.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) becomes obsessed with Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and his ostentatious lifestyle which he wanst for his own. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a beautiful film which is at odds with Damon’s subtly creepy and unsettling performance as Tom Ripley.
Insomnia is a psychological drama where LA detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) travels to Alaska to try and help solve the case of a murdered young girl. Instead of a thriller with chase scenes and secret phone calls in the dead of night, Insomnia is set in the height of Alaskan summer meaning that, as Dormer slowly becomes disorientated by the constant sunshine, the whole film takes on a nightmarish quality.
Michael Mann has created a niche within with the thriller genre and Collateral is just as good as some of his previous work. A hitman (Tom Cruise) arrives in Los Angeles to do five hits in a night, a cab driver (Jamie Foxx) becomes his unwitting accomplice. Collateral is a stylish, Noir thriller with great performances from its two leads.
’71 is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD now.