’s Top Five Thrillers


Stepping up to become a major player in the ever-growing world of streaming video, Crackle has a new angle that may pique your interest – You can watch full-length streaming films completely free of charge on your computer, phone or tablet device.

We’ve compiled a list of five of the best thrillers the site has to offer, but the choices don’t end here. There’s hundreds of films to pick from and the list is still growing. So scroll down and click on any of the images to watch a film right now!

Absence of Malice (1981)

Nominated for a trio of Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay), Absence of Malice arrives from the late, great Sydney Pollack and stars Sally Field as Miami-based reporter Megan Carter who, in a newspaper article, implicates Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a former area criminal, for murder. When Carter comes to her in attempt to figure out her motivations, the pair wind up teaming to prove his innocence.

Written by real-life newspaper reporter Kurt Luedtke (who based the events on an actual case), Absence of Malice is a wholly engrossing commentary on the power of journalism, setting out to prove that even the most well-intentioned of acts can, without the proper research, have grave consequences.

La Femme Nikita (1990)

On the heels of his critically acclaimed drama, The Big Blue, French director Luc Besson cast Anne Parillaud in an action thriller that would set the tone for many of his future projects (including the just-released Colombiana) and one that would hit critical and box office success internationally.

Parillaud is Nikita, a teenage junkie convicted of murder who, instead of receiving the death sentence, is given a chance to become a top-secret assassin for the DGSE. Playing her trainer is iconic French actress Jean Moreau (Jules and Jim, Diary of a Chambermaid) and working against her is Jean Reno’s Victor “The Cleaner.” Reno, who appeared in The Big Blue, would soon again work with Besson for Leon (aka The Professional), the idea for which the director admits spun off of Nikita.

Remade in America as Point of No Return three years later, La Femme Nikita has also spawned, to date, two different television series, including a currently-running program on The CW network with Maggie Q in the lead.

Christine (1983)

Two masters of the horror genre, Stephen King and John Carpenter’s sole creative teaming is this film adaptation of King’s novel, released the same year.

Keith Jordan stars as Arnie Cunningham, a socially outcast high schooler whose life changes forever when he buys Christine, a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Little does he realize, though, that Christine is no ordinary automobile. She’s a sentient mechanical killer that can’t be destroyed and who happens to have a taste for blood.

Falling between The Thing and Starman in the Carpenter ouevre, King himself faced what has jokingly been called a real-life Christine when, in 1999, he was nearly killed in a car accident. Just to be sure, King purchased the van that struck him and personally oversaw its destruction.

Body Double (1984)

A modern homage to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Body Double was Brian De Palma’s follow-up to what is arguably his most famous achievement, 1983’s Scarface. In it, Craig Wasson plays Jake Scully, a down-on-his-luck actor suffering from claustrophobia who becomes obsessed with spying on his exhibitionist neighbor, Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton). What begins as an act of voyeurism, however, soon leads Jake to getting caught up in a murder case.

Body Double is also a favorite film of fictional serial killer Patrick Bateman. In Brett Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel, “American Psycho,” Bateman rewatches De Palma’s film over and over, repeatedly renting the video. Though it’s not named directly in the film version, there is a sly nod when Bateman claims that he has to “return some videotapes.”

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

It’s rare enough to find a remake that receives favorable comparisons to the original, let alone one that tackles a bona fide classic. Still, special effects legend-turned-director Tom Savini manages to pull it off, updating George Romero’s 1968 horror thriller twenty years later.

Following the same plot as the original, Patricia Tallman stars as a woman who, after visiting a country graveyard, finds herself attacked by hordes of man-eating zombies. Tony Todd (Candyman), meanwhile, steps into the role of Ben (played to much acclaim by Duane Jones in the original).

Though the special effects have been updated, Savini wisely maintains Romero’s sense of taught survivalist drama, making the zombies the catalyst for the true conflict, one that is brutally human.

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