The best thrillers to watch on Netflix this June

Summer is heating up, even as the box office cools down. You want to stay home and watch a movie this weekend instead, right?

Each month, we hand-pick a few thrillers on Netflix that feel right for that time of year. Maybe there’s a connection with a new release. Maybe it’s good summer viewing. Maybe it’s new on Netflix. Or maybe it’s just that good.

This month’s selections include a new shark movie, a thriller comedy new on Netflix, and a standout Liam Neeson thriller from the creator of The Queen’s Gambit and Monsieur Spade.

Editor’s pick: A Walk Among the Tombstones

Liam Neeson sits across from Astro in a diner booth in A Walk Among the Tombstones Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Universal Pictures via Everett Collection

Director: Scott Frank
Cast: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook

This dark neo-noir is a bright spot in Liam Neeson’s late-career swerve to action and action-centric thrillers. He plays a retired NYPD detective who now works as a private investigator. When he’s hired to investigate a brutal murder case, he’s pulled into a dark web of crime and conspiracy.

Based on Lawrence Block’s novel, it’s the rare Neeson action (or action-adjacent) vehicle that actually allows the Oscar-nominated actor to flex his acting chops. Neeson’s Matt Scudder is troubled, but determined… and you really don’t want to mess with him. Add in an appealing supporting cast with Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook, and David Harbour, and you have a modernized throwback of a detective movie.

There are some reasons that A Walk Among the Tombstones is relevant this year: Director Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit) recently partnered with Clive Owen for another PI throwback in the AMC Plus show Monsieur Spade. Frank also co-wrote Logan, which I guess is relevant again with Deadpool & Wolverine around the corner. And it’s been a summer of Dan Stevens, with Abigail, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, and Cuckoo all coming out this year.

A content warning: This movie is, in part, about sexual violence, and deals directly with that topic. —Pete Volk

A Simple Favor

Anna Kendrick takes a photo of Blake Lively, wearing a suit with a white bowtie, in A Simple Favor Photo: Peter Iovino/Lionsgate via Everett Collection

Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding

A Simple Favor is every ounce the delicious thriller comedy you want and more. It helps that the film knows — and loves — what it is. Single mom and mommy vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) strikes up a surprise friendship with ultra cool and stylish Emily (Blake Lively), only to have Emily suddenly vanish entirely. That sounds like every pulpy lit mystery, but A Simple Favor has a laugh and an edge to it those stories don’t. As Stephanie finds herself more drawn to Emily’s husband, Sean (Henry Golding), in the wake of her disappearance, the movie winds its plot around its characters the way Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck get strapped to a pole. The result is a fun, splashy little thriller about a murder mystery mess, with great costumes (great costumes) and a gall far beyond its veneer. —Zosha Millman

Under Paris

A Shark and a woman under water stare at each other in Under Paris Image: Netflix

Director: Xavier Gens
Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Nassim Lyes, Léa Léviant

Without a doubt, this is the best thriller on this list that starts with a quote “based on Charles Darwin.” And for those who are craving the thrash and chomp of a good shark movie, Under Paris (from Mayhem! director Xavier Gens) will certainly satisfy — though it takes some time to build. Three years after losing her team to a shark attack, Sophia (Bérénice Bejo) has retreated to Paris to recover. But trouble, much like a shark in the Seine, follows her home and threatens the prosperity of the city.

If you’re thinking, Well just how much trouble could a shark in the Seine really cause?Under Paris is happy to clear that up for you. Delicately balanced as a movie that takes the threat just seriously enough to help you cheer when a shark majestically jumps out of the water with a Parisian in its jaws, Under Paris is a platonic ideal for watching sharks tear through the heart of the city of love. —ZM