10 Movies Like Primal Fear You Must See

Once it was cops who solved crimes. Then private eyes. In the Grisham era, it has been lawyers. “Primal Fear”, based on a novel by William Diehl, stars Richard Gere as a flamboyant Chicago defense attorney who chases defendants instead of ambulances and volunteers his services when a teenager(Edward Norton) from Kentucky is charged with murdering an archbishop.

Norton’s acting is surreal which makes us fall in love with his character’s definition. Many critics regard this performance as one of the finest of his career.The plot is as good as crime procedurals get, but the movie is really better than its plot because of the three-dimensional characters. Gere is given several quiet scenes, including a half-drunken conversation with a journalist, to develop the complexities of his character. The film encompasses a variety of emotions which makes viewers to withstand the thunderous twist the film ends with. Here is the list of films similar to ‘Primal Fear’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like Primal Fear on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

10. Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gone Girl follows Nick Dunne when he reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful and happy marriage begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question. Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? If you love thrilling movies that play with your mind, you’ll love this one.

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9. L.A.Confidential


Based on James Ellroy’s novel of the same name, the film stars Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger and Danny DeVito. After a mysterious massacre at a diner, infamous as the “Nightingale Murders”, three detectives in 1950s Los Angeles with vastly different personas must put aside their differences to find out what truly happened. The standout of the film is its harsh depiction of 1950s cop life- the violence, the glamour and of course the shady stuff. The few books to film adaptations which might be as good if not better than the actual book itself. The film does a brilliant job of building up the tension and suspense to keep the viewers engrossed until the end.

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8. Se7en


Directed by David Fincher, the eponymous master of ‘crime thrillers’, Se7en stars Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as two killers in pursuit of a serial Killer who seems to choose his targets based on the Seven Deadly sins. The movie starts off as another procedural but indeed is vastly different. The standing points of this movie are the performances by Freeman and Pitt. Both have starkly contrasting personalities.

Freeman is a rugged, tired, seen it all cop who is on the brink of retirement when this case is thrown in his lap. Pitt is the hotshot young detective with a bright career ahead of him who desperately seeks to gain respect and recognition. Throw in Fincher’s brilliant direction and we have ourselves an explicitly dark and engrossing masterpiece. The final act of the film is where it truly stands out from any other detective movie.

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7. Reservoir Dogs


The debut film of the mastermind director Quentin Tarantino, the film follows a group of bank robbers who regroup at a shelter after a heist gone terribly wrong. Tarantino himself described the movie as a study of paranoia. The movie brilliantly captures all of Tarantino’s trademark tropes including his dark humor, his violence, and all the pop culture references. The movie is a unique as it follows a highly non-linear story structure but reaches a cohesive conclusion. Much like The Usual Suspects, the film also features shifting allegiances and several twists and turns.

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6. Prisoners

Top 10 Movie Vigilante - Keller Dover, Prisoners

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners follows the quest of a desperate father that takes matters into his own hands after his daughter and her friend go missing.Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal give breathtaking performances as the desperate father and detective, respectively. The film would not be the same without them. Villeneuve’s masterful directing skills and the suspenseful and well-written story by Guzikowski create a fantastic movie that will engulf everyone who watches it.

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5. The Prestige

The Prestige Magic

Another marvel from one of the greatest magicians of cinema,Christopher Nolan. The Prestige stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as two rival magicians in the 19th century who battle it out to find out who finishes on top. Obsessed with creating the best onstage illusion both Alfred Borden(Bale) and Robert Angier(Jackman) try different techniques to outsmart and humiliate the other to find out that at the end, they’ve forged a tragedy.

The authenticity of the film lies in its story structure and direction which leaves the audience puzzled periodically in search of answers. The title refers to the final act in a magician’s trick,The Prestige as referred to by in the film by Michael Caine. The film beautifully captures the feelings of pride, hate, guilt, gluttony, jealousy, madness, thievery and in the end is a beautiful yet questionable culmination of how far can people go for love and superiority.

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4.The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

The concept of ‘seeing dead people’ was one thing that was around long before ‘The Sixth Sense’ where spine-chillers like ‘The Haunting’, ‘The Others’ and ‘The Changeling’ set the tone when M. Night Shyamalan was still in daycare.

What Shyamalan did do effectively, however, was introduce a completely head-turning twist to the genre, which would influence not only horror but all of cinema.It is the power of this twist which makes the film such a success and also not very suitable for repeated viewings.We, for our part, can’t help but remember our reaction the first time we saw The Sixth Sense  thankfully before anyone could spoil the story’s true colors. The phrase ‘I see dead people’ by Haley Joel Osment in the film still reverberates in everyone’s ears when they hear even the title of this film.

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4. Fight Club

fight club art work

The title gives you the impression that this movie is about fights. And it is about fights, to some extent. But it’s also about so much more. Fight Club revolves around brawls, sex, and loads of confusing and exhilarating drama. If you are only focusing on the violence, you’ll miss the entire thing the movie is poised to convey you about. It has a queasy twist at the end which will make you want to watch this movie repeatedly with more attention and concentration.

It’s utterly disturbing and dark, but at the same time it manages to be ‘the’ stylistic and smartest of films ever to be filmed. The attention to detail and the hidden clues every frame offers will blow you away. If you haven’t watched it, please go do it now. Otherwise, I have to term it as a ‘worldly sin’. If you have, try to watch it again with your ‘smarty-ass’ friends.

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3. The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

Awe is not something which is very limited. Around the globe and wherever you go,there is always something that makes you stop your nerves and wonder a thing for a while. There are abundant atrocities of such kind by various directors in all the countries that has ever produced film.

One such film, The Usual Suspects gives you shivers down the spine by its exhilarating screenplay and its 10 second ‘the best in cinematic history’ plot twist.Kevin Spacey’s breathtaking performance as Verbal Kint which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is otherworldly. From its sleek and unrelenting visual style to its eerie music and its unapologetically unreliable narration, this is a movie that sticks with us long after we have finished watching.

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1. Memento

memento (2)

Nolan’s masterpiece was everything we’d come to expect from the director since it was his official debut after ‘Doodlebug’. The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby suffering from anterograde amnesia who is on the hunt for the man responsible for the death of his wife and his amnesic condition.

The movie is a standout in the “a non-linear narrative with an unconventional screenplay” genre as it follows a highly unconventional form of storytelling and an artistic approach to make sure the viewers have all sorts of confusion around their brains. Memento has two segments running in parallel. The colored segment, which moves in a reverse order, and the non-colored(black and white) segment which runs chronologically. The two segments finally meet up at the end where the entire twist is revealed.

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