10 best conspiracy thrillers of the 20th century, ranked by IMDb

No film genre is so dependent on the world seemingly in flux as the conspiracy thriller. These films, in which characters are oppressed against the truth in a world of lies, deceit, and deception, grew in popularity in the 20th century.

The protagonists of these films are often referred to as little guys who have to fight against the greater powers to find out the truth and therefore justice. Often expressing the feelings and insecurities of the time in which they were released, many of these films are considered some of the best that the thriller genre has to offer.

10 ‘Coma’ (1978)

coma_1978_genevieve bujold

IMDb Score: 6.9/10

Directed and written for the screen by a famous writer Michael Crichton, coma is a rather frightening mystery that combines elements of mystery, thriller and horror. Referring to a doctor noticing a series of bizarre deaths at her hospital, coma sees Genevieve Bujoldas smart and compelling as ever, in one of her best roles.

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With a spooky atmosphere and excellent pace, coma really works because the conspiracy goes so high. It’s a film that is unpredictable without resorting to ridiculousness. Although the studio wanted her role to be played by a man, Bujold proved to be the perfect person for the role as her size and limited authority made her the ideal heroine in jeopardy.

9 ‘The Parallax View’ (1974)


IMDb score: 7.1/10

The second in Alan Pakulas “Paranoia Thriller” Trilogy, The parallax view captures the confusion of post-Kennedy assassination America, as well as each of its eras. Beginning with a political assassination, the film follows a reporter’s investigation into the cryptic Parallax Corporation.

In The parallax view, the rulers are incredibly big and influential and seem to change the whole country. While many scenes are great, its montage, which perfectly portrays America’s fear and dwindling confidence, is one of the best of the decade. His ending is cynical, a clear message that the public is helpless and the controlling forces will always prevail.

8th “No Way Out” (1987)

no_way_out_hackman and costner

IMDb score: 7.1/10

A remake of the movie from the 40’s The big clock, No escape gives a political twist to a classic noir. At that time, 1987, Kevin Costner was arguably the biggest star alive, and The Untouchables came out that same year. No escape proves to be one of his best films, a well thought out, literate political thriller that stands out in an era when many were being produced.

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No escape is a film from a bygone era, when big stars could make hits from mid-budget genre films. The film isn’t flashy, but makes use of its Washington DC setting and qualitative twist. Full of two faces and criminal conversation, No escape see Costner et al Gene Hackman completely in their element.

7 “Enemy of the State” (1998)

Public Enemy Will Smith Gene Hackman

IMDb score: 7.3/10

Most conspiracy thrillers deal with the troubles of their time, and public enemy is no exception. Released on the precipice of the burgeoning technological boom of the noughties, the film sees a tape of a murdered congressman fall into the hands of an unsuspecting lawyer.

Like many conspiracy thrillers, the film focuses on government control, especially in the age of technology with new, sky-wide gear. The cast here is excellent, with Will Smith And Gene Hackman lead the charge. Combine a strong concept with Tony Scotts explosive direction, public enemy turns out to be an action thriller that has definitely stood the test of time.

6 “Three Days of the Condor” (1975)

three days condor
Image via Paramount Pictures

IMDb score: 7.4/10

Three Days of the Condor seemed very timely, a post-Watergate thriller that seemed as gripping as it was plausible. However, it’s almost more interesting today than it was when it was released, as the TV remake shows. condor. With Robert Redfordthe film is an interesting comparison to other conspiracy films of the time, including Redford’s own All the President’s men.

Redford isn’t a smart actor, and his seriousness really shines through here. Faye Dunawayin a love interest role, also offers enough mystery for the two Max Von Sydow as the murderer Joubert. Syndey Pollacks Direction is strong, if not overwhelming, and stylistically Three Days of the Condor would be a thematic precursor to his future films The Company And The interpreter.

5 ‘Blow Out’ (1981)

Blow Out_John Travolta

IMDb score: 7.4/10

Acknowledged as one of the few great films of the 80’s as well as a masterpiece of fading old “New Hollywood”, blow out was a bombshell upon release and launched the career tailspin for Star John Travolta. However, critics and scholars alike recognize this Brian de Palma Thriller as one of his seminal works.

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The film is far shabbier than other conspiracy thrillers. Despite being about a political assassination, the film is grittier than many of its genre contemporaries, rising thanks to De Palma’s virtuoso direction, sexuality, and twisted humor. A commentary on both the political landscape and filmmaking as a whole, as many quote blow out as De Palma’s opus.

4 “The Game” (1997)

Image via PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

IMDb Score: 7.7/10

As an actor, MichaelDouglas is at its best when its natural cunning can be placed in a world that seems to be crumbling beneath its feet. In these roles, Douglas is a victim of uncontrollable forces, if not always a benevolent one. The best director and arguably the best film that brought out this side of Douglas was David Fincher with The game.

A cryptic puzzle, the film deftly creates doubt and suspense through a potentially flippant premise. The game overrides belief by blurring the lines for both Douglas’ Nicholas Van Orton and the audience. Fincher’s always sharp direction and the films make the scenario playful yet sophisticated The game a curvy delight.

3 “The Fugitive” (1993)

Richard Kimble stands alone in a subway car and rejoices in The Fugitive
Image from Warner Bros

IMDb Score: 7.8/10

In addition to Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford is the outstanding damoiseau of cinema. These are men who thrived on movies that turned their normal male office life upside down, and they need to find out why. Ford took control away from the normally controlling men and had a number of these films, including witness, HecticAnd Probably innocentand culminated in The fugitive.

Based on the 1960s television series of the same name, the film Dr. Richard Kimble falsely accused of murdering his wife as he must outdo a Deputy Marshal and find out the truth. Make quotable lines, cat-and-mouse hilarity, and impressive car chases The fugitive one of the most gripping adult action thrillers of the 90s.

2 “The Conversation” (1974)

A man with machines in a laboratory

IMDb Score: 7.8/10

Possibly the defining post-Watergate film, The conversation is a thriller of such immense cavernous moral brooding. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola in a wink between two Godfather films, The conversation was Coppola’s misunderstood but brilliant middle child who ironically played the lead role Godfather’s middle child John Cazale next to Gene Hackman.

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The conversation is tragic, but it’s hard to say exactly why. Perhaps it’s Hackman’s detached performance as a man who has technological insight into everyone’s lives but knows nothing. Coppola’s use of metaphor has always been one of his great gifts and The conversation perhaps its climax, for its resolution is one of the great final scenes of the story, a capsule of destruction.

1 China Town (1974)

Jack Nicholson Chinatown
Image via Paramount Pictures

IMDb score: 8.2/10

Nominated for 11 Oscars, Chinatown is rightly considered one of the greatest films of all time. It’s perfectly constructed, both literarily in all the right places and cinematically in all the right places. Each member of the elite ensemble adds their own flavor, making the film the perfect dish.

Private detective films are often inherently conspiracy thrillers as they focus on lies and cover-ups. However, Chinatown goes deeper than meager human distractions or shoddy red herrings. While on the surface he’s a noir about power and corruption, Chinatown works just as well as a dark, labyrinthine psychodrama.

NEXT: 10 ’70s thrillers that bombed but became cult classics

https://collider.com/best-conspiracy-thrillers20th-century-ranked-imdb/ 10 best conspiracy thrillers of the 20th century, ranked by IMDb

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: dustinhuang@24ssports.com.

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