Psychological thrillers and mysteries are the main themes of fiction, both in film and in books. Many box office movies are derived from bestselling novels.
An example is a commercially successful and critically acclaimed film Gone Girl. It is a story about a man seeking the truth.
He aims to unravel the mystery of the sudden disappearance of his wife. Gone Girl tackles themes about gender stereotypes, manipulation, and media influences.
It is a rollercoaster of twists and turns that gets audiences hooked.
If you are a fan of this genre, here are more movies like Gone Girl that will challenge your thinking caps.
Movies Like Gone Girl:
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a movie based on a novel by Stieg Larson. It is about a journalist who is trying to salvage his reputation. He is being sued for libel by a rich and influential businessman. He receives a request from a woman seeking assistance in unraveling the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance. After intensive investigations, secrets one after the other are revealed. Together the duo works their way closer to the shocking truth.
2. Mystic River (2003)
Mystic River is a psychological drama adapted from the novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. It is about three friends, Jimmy, Dave, and Sean, who experienced a troubled past. Things further go downhill when Jimmy’s daughter is found dead. Searching for the truth, Jimmy and his friends Dave and Sean investigate to find the culprits.
3. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
The international box office hit The Talented Mr. Ripley is from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. It is a psychological thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The plot is full of wit, deception, obsession, and betrayal. The events in the film capture the attention of the audience. In the end, all will agree that Mr. Ripley is truly talented. Will anyone figure him out?
4. Burning (2018)
Burning is a South Korean production inspired by a short story by the author Haruki Murakami. The short story is titled “Barn Burning” from the book “The Elephant Vanishes.” It is a psychological thriller about a struggling writer who fell in love with a childhood friend. They hit it off at first, but the woman changed her mind after a trip overseas. She chose to be with another guy who has an affluent standing in life. The writer maintained his camaraderie with the couple until a strange phone call from the lady happened. After the incident, she disappears, and the mourning writer is determined to find out who the real culprit is.
5. To Die For (1995)
To Die For is a comedy-drama thriller that is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Joyce Maynard. It is about a lovely local weather reporter who dreams of becoming a famous television reporter. As a stepping stone, she starts to film a documentary about teenagers where she manipulates them to do her bidding. This dark comic tragedy is critically acclaimed where they lead; Nicole Kidman is also praised for her portrayal of Suzanne Stone.
6. Zodiac (2007)
Zodiac is a crime drama mystery thriller adapted from the works of Robert Graysmith. The plot covers two books, “Zodiac,” published in 1986, and “Zodiac Unmasked,” released in 2002. The story is about the efforts to catch a serial killer who was active during the 1960s and 1970s. It is a gripping tale with an all-star cast. The movie is said to be one of the greatest films of the 21st century.
7. The Letter (1940)
The Letter is a classic American crime and melodrama production. The film based on a play written by W. Somerset Maugham has two adaptations. The story is about Leslie Crosbie, who killed a man and explained her actions as self-defense. The lady was arrested and faced trial. She was found not guilty, but not all are happy with that acquittal. Can she still go back to living a normal life? Or do more tragedies awaits her?
8. Destroyer (2018)
Destroyer is a crime drama that stars the talented Nicole Kidman. It is one of the movies like Gone Girl due to the plot. It revolves around a murder where clues are scattered and put together to get a bigger picture. Destroyer focuses on a lot of undercover work to unravel the mystery. If you are a fan of police investigations and badass female leads, this film is for you.
9. The Woman in the Window (2021)
The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller inspired by the author A.J. Finn. It is a story about a woman who intentionally spies on her neighbors. The act leads her to witness a crime that turns her life upside down. Getting entangled in a murder case, the woman works her way to survive despite the aggression directed at her.
10. Thoroughbreds (2018)
Thoroughbreds are the story of two friends, Amanda and Lily, who have drifted apart while growing up. The scenario is similar to Gone Girl, where Amy longing to return things to normal with Nick. However, Amanda is uncertain of the sincerity Lily is giving. She accuses the latter of being paid to befriend her. Can they rekindle their friendship or resolve to part ways permanently?
11. Nightcrawler (2014)
Nightcrawler is a psychological thriller that deals with consumerism. It is about a man named Lou who makes a living by filming disturbing scenes of the recent news. Similar to the film Gone Girl, this movie has manipulative characters that design situations for their benefit. Until when can they get away with their ploys? Because all good and bad things can come to an end.
12. Side Effects (2013)
The genre of psychological thriller is popular in movies. Prime examples are films like Gone Girl and Side Effects. Side Effects is about a woman arrested for killing her husband. The lady is under medication of an experimental drug and pleads not guilty due to insanity. As a result, her attending physician received backlash that ruined his career. As the plot thickens, things unravel that things are not what they seem.
13. Strangers on a Train (1951)
Strangers on a Train is a psychological thriller adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith. The film is under the direction of no less than the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. The plot revolves around a tennis star named Guy Haines and a psychopathic man named Bruno Anthony. They get entangled with dark plans that lead to fatal consequences.
14. Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
Before I Go to Sleep is inspired by the book written by S.J. Watson, which is a certified bestseller. It is a mystery psychological thriller about a woman who acquired amnesia because of trauma. Her journey to recovery begins as she tries to recall the past events of her life. As the pieces fall together, she questions her current situation. Is she living the correct life?
15. Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island is a novel by Dennis Lehane which is adapted into a motion picture. The production involved big names like actor Leonard DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese. The plot is about a marshal unraveling the mysterious disappearance of a woman in her cell. The asylum is in a remote area, and the security is like a fortress. For someone to disappear, something foul is brewing.
16. The Invisible Guest (2016)
The Invisible Guest is a Spanish mystery thriller film that manages to bag a good audience. It is about a successful entrepreneur who wakes up in a rural hotel with his lover dead. He is arrested for murder but pleads not guilty. He believes someone set him up. He hires a lawyer, and together they unravel what happened at the scene of the crime.
17. Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club originated from a novel written by Chuck Palahniuk. The motion picture includes big names like Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Jared Leto. The plot revolves around a man who is bored with the routine flow of life. He meets a soap salesman, and they end up creating an underground fight club.
18. Memento (2000)
Memento is a psychological thriller about a man who is suffering from anterograde amnesia. He is determined to find out the people responsible for his wife’s demise. Utilizing the limited information he has, like polaroid pictures and some tattoo clues, he embarks on a journey to find the truth. This film received praise for its innovative structure. If you are a fan of non-conventional narratives, this movie is for you.
19. The Gift (2015)
The Gift is a psychological thriller about a couple visited by a past acquaintance of the husband. The start begins harmless but develops into creepy stalking and escalates to more destructive outcomes. It seems someone is on a mission to ruin their lives. Will the evil plot succeed, or can they still salvage things to straighten out?
20. Tell No One (2006)
Tell No One is a film inspired by a book of the same name authored by Harlan Coben. It tells the story of a man who is mourning the loss of his wife. As time pass by, authorities begin to associate him with the murder. He then mysteriously receives a video showing footage that his wife is alive and well. Can they be reunited? And with it, his innocence be proven?
Do you want more of your fill with these psychological mystery themes? Here are more recommendations to consider for binge-watching. And if you have the time, it won’t hurt to have some on your reading list too.
– Gone Baby Gone
– The Prestige
– The Invisible Man
-What Lies Beneath
– The Girl On The Train
– Knives Out
– The Staircase
– I Care a Lot
– Basic Instinct
– Rosemary’s Baby
– Ruthless People
– A Perfect Murder
– Dark Places
– The Roommate
– Nocturnal Animals
– Fatal Affair
– The Invitation
– He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not
– A Simple Favor
-Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil And Vile