6 Edge-Of-Your-Seat Thrillers You Probably Forgot About

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Hollywood produced a slew of well-thought-out thrill rides that often pitted flawed good guys versus seemingly unstoppable bad guys (or odds) for white-knuckle suspense that kept you guessing. Then they got distracted by a bright shiny new thing called CGI and every theatrical release was pretty much a superhero movie. Today we want to take you back to the glory days and look at 6 Edge-Of-Your-Seat Thrillers You Probably Forgot About. Let’s get started.

6. The Game (1997)

Michael Douglas and Sean Penn starred as brothers in this 1997 plot-twister about wealthy San Francisco financier Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas), who gets a strange birthday present from wayward brother Conrad (Penn): a live-action game that consumes and maybe even threatens his life. The ending is a jaw-dropper that we won’t spoil for those of you who’ve never seen it.

5. Cop Land (1997)

Sylvester Stallone turns in one of the rare great performances of his career as a never-was lawman, who allows the bright, crooked cops of New York to have their way with his small town. Eventually, he starts to wake up to the corruption and decides to take a stand, building to an intense and heart-thumping finale that ranks among my favorite movie shootouts.

4. Heat (1995)

Forget the 2008 disaster Righteous Kill. As far as I’m concerned, the only real pairing of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro was Michael Mann’s Heat, based off his own 1980s TV movie L.A. Takedown. This cops-and-robbers classic places the two men at odds with one another — despite their mutual respect — while they were still at the tops of their games. At close to three hours, it never seems that long, and it builds to a nail-biter of a finish.

3. Manhunter (1986)

Michael Mann again! This time, he takes on the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, which everyone now knows introduced us to Hannibal Lecter. Here he’s played by Brian Cox (and it’s spelled Lecktor). Tom Noonan is the creepy serial killer. William Petersen (Grissom from CSI) is Will Graham. And the finale is so retro-cool that we wish Harris could have actually written it that way.

2. Breakdown (1997)

In the vein of 1971’s Duel, directed by Steven Spielberg, this psycho truck driver movie will keep you riveted. Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan are a husband and wife, whose car breaks down in the middle of a desert. A friendly truck driver stops to offer one of them a lift to the nearby gas station. The wife goes, but never comes back. Faced with the reality that his wife has been kidnapped and possibly murdered, the hubby will stop at nothing to find out the truth.

1. 52 Pick-Up (1986)

Roy Scheider and Ann-Margret star as husband and wife Harry and Barbara Mitchell, who fall in the crosshairs of three murderous thugs. The husband has had a fling, and the thugs have found out about it. They start terrorizing him, killing his mistress and threatening to expose him to his wife. Realizing he’s made a mistake and that he’s still in love with Barbara, he decides to tell her about it. But soon, the threat of blackmail becomes the threat of murder, and it’s up to Harry and his own ingenuity to stop the trio dead in their tracks. Fantastic finish on this one as well! Based on a novel by the late great Elmore Leonard (creator of Raylan Givens from Justified).

Which edge-of-your-seat thrillers do you think should be rediscovered? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

And for more movie fun, check out these 6 Movie Endings That Will Leave You Speechless.

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