June’s slate of Netflix-ready thrillers is here to make us sweat. But if you require more perspiration, good news: We have a whole new list of best thrillers to watch on Netflix this month. Between the psychological and action thrillers, there’s something on the platform that will crank up the heat in the room for everyone.
From the screenlife mystery thriller Missing starring Storm Reid and Nia Long and the Korean dystopian thriller Time to Hunt featuring Park Hae-soo of Squid Game fame to the shocking sadomasochistic psychological horror drama Piercing starring Christopher Abbott (Possessor) and more, this month is packed with a bevy of films to shock and excite you. Let’s break down the best of the best thrillers on Netflix this month.
Run time: 1h 51m
Directors: Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick
Cast: Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung
Missing, one of the best movies of 2023 so far, stars Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time) as June Allen, a teenage girl who suspects that something terrible has happened to her mother, Grace (Nia Long), after she fails to return home from a trip to Colombia with her beau Kevin (Ken Leung). Desperate to find her, June resorts to her skills as an amateur online sleuth to get to the bottom of her mother’s disappearance. The film’s events are conveyed entirely through the framing device of online screens, which capture the drama as it unfolds across a cascade of webcam footage, email inboxes, FaceTime video calls, and home security footage. Will Merrick and Nicholas Johnson’s directorial debut is a masterful mystery thriller with enough twists and turns to keep one glued to the screen as June’s investigation yields ever more dire and personal revelations right up to its heart-wrenching climax.
Time to Hunt
Run time: 2h 14m
Director: Yoon Sung-hyun
Cast: Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae-hong, Choi Woo-sik
If you count yourself a fan of films like Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly or the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, you owe it to yourself to watch this Korean dystopian action thriller. Time to Hunt follows a group of four friends who, in their desperation to escape the despair and destitution of a near-future Korea, plan to pull a heist on an underground casino. The group succeeds, but not without incurring the wrath of the powerful crime organization that runs it, who proceed to hire a sadistic contract killer (played by Park Hae-soo of Squid Game fame) to hunt them down and reclaim their stolen property. With the killer closing in and their options dwindling by the minute, the four friends have to band together and fight to survive.
Time to Hunt is a beautiful cat-and-mouse thriller with gorgeous lighting, impressive gunfight sequences, and a thoroughly convincing depiction of a society teetering on the brink of unliveability.
And Tomorrow the Entire World
Run time: 1h 51m
Director: Julia von Heinz
Cast: Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra, Tonio Schneider
If you’re hungry for another timely, politically charged thriller in the vein of this year’s How to Blow Up a Pipeline, this taut thriller about the disintegration of an Antifa commune in Mannheim, Germany, will be right up your alley. The film follows the story of Luisa (Mala Emde), a law student from an upper-class family who joins an anti-fascist activist group in order to fight the rise of neo-Nazism in Germany. After recovering a burner phone at a protest with details pertaining to a secret far-right demonstration, Luisa plots with a faction of the commune to take a more proactive tactic in their fight against tyranny. As the nonviolent and pro-violence members of the commune begin to move apart, Luisa finds herself caught in the middle and growing progressively more radicalized in her ideology and actions. As an examination of growing up along the faultlines of political upheaval and ascendant fascism, and the challenge of choosing not only who you want to become but also how far you are willing to go to fight for your beliefs, And Tomorrow the Entire World is timely and sobering.
Of Good Report
Run time: 1h 49m
Director: Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
Cast: Mothusi Magano, Petronella Tshuma, Tshamano Sebe
This grisly noir thriller is best known for having been initially banned in South Africa before making its premiere on the final day of the Durban International Film Festival in 2013. Of Good Report follows the story of Parker Sithole, a shy and soft-spoken high school English teacher with a secretive past and latent violent disposition, who enters into a clandestine affair with Nolitha (Petronella Tshuma), an alluring young woman who turns out to be one of his students. As their relationship unfolds, the contours of the world as seen through Parker’s eyes twist and morph into a macabre tableau of scenes that confuse past with present, dark fantasy with an even darker reality. Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s film is disquieting, unsettling, and subtly terrifying before it reveals its more maniacally absurd side in the end. It’s also undoubtedly one of the best thrillers available to stream on Netflix and unlike anything you’ll watch anywhere else.
Run time: 1h 22m
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Cast: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
Sanctuary, the new psychological thriller starring Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Christopher Abbott (Possessor) about a dominatrix who takes one of her clients hostage after he attempts to leave her, is out in theaters right now and due for release on VOD later this month. If that premise sounds intriguing to you, bide your time by watching Christopher Abbott’s other sadomasochistic horror thriller about a John who gets more than he bargains for over the course of one terrifying night. Abbott stars as Reed, a new father and loving husband who otherwise harbors secret violent fantasies. Leaving home on a business trip, Reed sends for a prostitute (Mia Wasikowska) in order to act out his darker impulses, only to be caught off-guard by her own unsettling and self-destructive urges.
Word of caution: This movie is fucked up. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a trigger warning for the 25-minute mark of Piercing, which features a bracing scene of simulated self-harm worthy of the film’s name. If you’re down for watching something a bit conceptually weirder, more obtuse, and more violent than Netflix’s typical fare, this movie is perfect — it’s for anyone who considers themselves a living embodiment of the “Sickos Haha Yes” meme.