Every so often, people need to be riveted. Thriller movies are designed to get the heart pumpin', providing a welcome diversion from all that is humdrum about life. Spent all day studying arcane literature in the library? Killer sharks to the rescue. Tired of assembling tedious spreadsheets? Bring on the sinister madmen, baby. While they may not be works of art, the smartly-executed thrillers we've listed below are guaranteed to at least produce a goose bump or two. So be thrilled, be chilled and be fulfilled. Just don't fall off the edge of your seat.

1. BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)

Bonnie & Clyde was a colossal bomb when it was first released. A film based on the real life story of lovers/bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, every critic called it "sick" and "sadistic" (well, every critic except a 125 lb. lad named Roger Ebert, who loved it), and it soon disappeared. However, producer Warren Beatty went to the Warner Bros. head and begged that the picture be given another chance. It was, and this time, it was a hit. Bonnie & Clyde hit such a strong chord in America that the critic from Newsweek actually retracted his original negative review and released a second one, praising the film.

Perhaps the original dislike of the film was based on the fact that it was released at a time when American youth was getting antsy and ready to rebel. Just as the youthful Bonnie and Clyde were rebelling against a society for which they had lost respect, parents felt their own children starting to slip away.

And then there's the film itself. Beatty and Dunaway are two young, attractive gangsters who hold up banks (making sure they only take government money, not the farmers' money), spit in the face of cops, and soon realize that they can never have a normal life. Along the way, they meet up with a cast who would later become household names (including Gene Hackman and Gene Wilder). One last interesting note: Clyde was probably the first movie hero with prolonged erectile dysfunction . . . and the children who saw the film in the late '60s later went on to invent Viagra.


  • Nominated for 9 Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and 2 Supporting Actor nominations, for Hackman and Pollard)

  • Won 2 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (for Estelle Parsons) and Cinematography

  • Faye Dunaway's wardrobe inspired a fashion craze for little hats

  • Placed #27 on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Movies" List