Table of Contents Show
- 1. The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor, 2016)
- 2. The Woman in the Window (dir. Joe Wright, 2021)
- 3. Prisoners (dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
- 4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. David Fincher, 2011)
- 5. Zodiac (dir. David Fincher, 2007)
- 6. Basic Instinct (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1992)
- 7. Single White Female (dir. Barbet Schroeder, 1992)
- 8. Tell No One (dir. Guillaume Canet, 2006)
- 9. Dark Places (dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2015)
- 10. Sharp Objects (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée, 2018)
- 11. Strangers on a Train (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)
- 12. Gone Baby Gone (dir. Ben Affleck, 2007)
Have you seen David Fincher’s 2014 thriller Gone Girl? If not, have you read Gillian Flynn’s 2012 source novel? Both the movie and the book are well worth your time, telling a complex tale of a couple that starts out simple and gets progressively more and more tangled as it goes. Fincher does an excellent job adapting Flynn’s story and keeping all of its nasty edges, so if you want a thriller that feels like a true deep dive into the human psyche, you could do a lot worse than Gone Girl.
Of course, chances are you’ve already worn out your physical or digital copy of Gone Girl and you’re looking for new thrills in this genre. Happily, there’s no shortage of complex psychological thrillers out there, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the 12 best movies like Gone Girl to watch right now.
1. The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor, 2016)
At the time of its release, some unfairly dismissed The Girl on the Train as a Gone Girl rip-off. The title might suggest that, but the story here is more original than you might think; it’s a high-concept narrative about a woman who witnesses something on a train she simply can’t forget. Just like Gone Girl, the story starts out straightforward and goes to some very interesting places indeed.
2. The Woman in the Window (dir. Joe Wright, 2021)
We’re not going to pretend that The Woman in the Window is high art; it doesn’t have the depth, complexity, or scope that Gone Girl has. However, considering that the cast includes stalwarts like Gary Oldman and Amy Adams, you could certainly do a lot worse than this thriller, and Joe Wright’s direction isn’t quite as rough as people have made it out to be. That’s not going to be on the poster, granted, but give this one a shot.
3. Prisoners (dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
This pitch-black thriller from Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve is a dark, twisted look at humanity’s worst side. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the wonderfully-named Detective Loki, and Hugh Jackman is in fine form as patriarch Keller Dover, whose daughters have been abducted. This isn’t a laugh riot, but it’s a thought-provoking, if relentlessly bleak, thriller from an excellent director.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. David Fincher, 2011)
Before he worked on Gone Girl, David Fincher made this gritty thriller starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. It revolves around a 40-year-old missing persons case that Craig’s journalist Mikael Blomkvist is investigating, aided by the iconic Lisbeth Salander. This being a David Fincher movie, you won’t be in for a cosy Agatha Christie-style ride here, but Tattoo does boast Gone Girl’s sense of visual style and earthy atmosphere.
5. Zodiac (dir. David Fincher, 2007)
Another Fincher movie makes the cut – this is the last one, we promise. We could fill this whole list with Fincher movies, but Zodiac is the one you must seek out if you’re only looking for the essentials. Jake Gyllenhaal stars alongside Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, and Brian Cox in a story that depicts an attempt to disentangle the identity of the notorious Zodiac Killer, whose real-life identity was never discovered.
6. Basic Instinct (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1992)
You probably know this erotic thriller from the iconic Sharon Stone leg-crossing scene, but there’s more to it than that. Although the movie wasn’t particularly well-received on release, it’s since become a well-liked cult classic, largely thanks to the sizzling tension between leads Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, as well as Verhoeven’s forward-thinking direction. Check this one out if you’ve overlooked it.
7. Single White Female (dir. Barbet Schroeder, 1992)
While we’re on the subject of 1992 erotic thrillers, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Barbet Schroeder’s underrated Single White Female. The movie stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda, with Fonda’s Allie advertising for a roommate after a relationship breakdown. Her ad is answered by Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Hedy Carlson, who…well, we don’t want to give the movie’s plot away, but it doesn’t go as Allie might like.
8. Tell No One (dir. Guillaume Canet, 2006)
When discussing the problem of Western audiences appreciating non-English movies, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho referred to the “one-inch-tall barrier” of subtitles. That’s a barrier that’s well worth overcoming for Tell No One, a twisty French thriller in which a man investigates the supposed reappearance of his wife, who he had previously thought dead. Harlan Coben’s novel provides an excellent source for this brilliantly-made drama.
9. Dark Places (dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2015)
Like Gone Girl, Dark Places is based on a Gillian Flynn novel, so you can expect the same skewed vision of the dark heart of America presented by Flynn in her other works. Charlize Theron is Libby Day, a woman who must reckon with her horrifying past and confront her demons. Like other Flynn work, Dark Places is unflinching and uncompromising, although this movie version somewhat lacks Gone Girl’s spark.
10. Sharp Objects (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée, 2018)
We’re going to cheat a little bit here and include a miniseries rather than a movie. Sharp Objects was helmed by C.R.A.Z.Y. director Jean-Marc Vallée for HBO back in 2018, and it makes for a far more compelling Gillian Flynn adaptation than some of the movie conversions have been. Starring the always-excellent Amy Adams, Sharp Objects sees a woman returning to her hometown to investigate two murders.
11. Strangers on a Train (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)
It doesn’t get much more classic than this Hitchcock adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith source. Robert Walker is the deliciously suave psychopath Bruno Antony, while Farley Granger is the tennis player who gets himself mixed up in one of Antony’s schemes. This movie is shot through with Hitchcock’s characteristic tension, making it equal parts compelling and terrifying to watch.
12. Gone Baby Gone (dir. Ben Affleck, 2007)
Who better to close out this list with than Ben Affleck himself? The acclaimed actor has also made a string of great movies in the director’s chair, one of which is this 2007 crime thriller. Affleck’s brother Casey plays a private detective who, along with his partner (played by Michelle Monaghan), must discover the truth behind a young girl’s abduction. Just like Gone Girl, things aren’t what they seem on the surface.