5 movies like Netflix’s The Killer you should watch right now

David Fincher’s latest film, The Killer, is now streaming on Netflix, marking his first Fincher since 2020’s black-and-white drama Mank. The Killer stars Michael Fassbender in a tense psychological thriller about a hitman who thrives on procedure. The man is solitary, cold, and methodical; no sense of regret or morality will stop him from his next target. The killer waits in the shadows and takes pride in being a professional. After a fateful near miss, though, he is forced to battle his employers — and himself — on an international manhunt.

The movie, described as a neo-noir action thriller, is a return to the dark, violent side of Fincher’s filmography that has made many of his previous movies immensely memorable. If The Killer is your kind of movie, check out these five other movies similar to Fincher’s latest.

Panic Room (2002)

Kristen Stewart and Jodie Foster sit together in Panic Room.
Sony Pictures Releasing

Panic Room is not one of Fincher’s better-known works, but it is undoubtedly one of his most fun. The movie doesn’t have the dense thematic aspirations of something like Fight Club or The Social Network, but its beauty is in its simplicity. Starring Jodie Foster and a young Kristen Stewart, almost the entirety of Panic Room takes place in a New York brownstone on one fateful night. The movie is wildly entertaining and a masterclass of tension.

The movie follows Foster and Stewart as they are trapped in their house’s panic room. They retreated to the hidden chamber after a trio of intruders — played by Joker actor Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Dwight Yoakam — broke into the brownstone in order to steal valuable bearer bonds. The only problem is that those bonds are in a safe inside the very panic room where the house’s residents are hiding. Thus begins a tense cat-and-mouse home invasion story that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. While Panic Room might not be Fincher’s densest film, it’s a highly worthy watch for fans of the director. Much like The Killer aims to be, Panic Room reminds viewers how Fincher has a keen eye for creating tense, hair-raising sequences.

Panic Room can be rented or purchased on Prime Video.

Léon: The Professional (1994)

Jean Reno teaches a girl to shoot a gun in Leon The Professional.
Columbia Pictures

Léon: The Professional — or just simply Léon — is one of the greatest assassin movies out there. The movie French action-thriller is directed by Luc Besson, who also helmed movies like Lucy and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Léon is undoubtedly Besson’s best work to date, though. For all of the movie’s dark tone and themes, it’s also oddly affecting. The relationship at the heart of the movie is one of its strongest assets, but it’s also a hell of a good time for genre fans.

Featuring a breakout turn for a young Natalie Portman, Léon follows a 12-year-old named Mathilda who is deeply familiar with darkness. Her father is abusive and stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and her mother never gives Mathilda the time of day. When a crooked DEA agent played by Gary Oldman (Slow Horses) murders Mathilda’s family, the young girl teams up with a hired hitman who lives down the hall. The hitman, Léon (Jean Reno), teaches Mathilda his deadly ways so that she can enact sweet revenge. Léon is a stylish, thrilling flick outfitted with plenty of violence and gory deaths.

Léon: The Professional is streaming for free on Pluto TV.

Collateral (2004)

Tom Cruise sits behind Jamie Foxx in a taxicab in Michael Mann's Collateral.
DreamWorks Pictures, 2004 / DreamWorks Pictures

It’s rare that occasional action star Tom Cruise plays the bad guy, but Collateral allows us to see the legendary actor as a full-throated villain. Cruise’s performance as the assassin Vincent is supremely chilling, and it’s made even greater by his counterpart on-screen in Jamie Foxx. The acting duo, along with Heat director Michael Mann, make Collateral a feast for the eyes. Mann’s trademark style is on full display in this movie, but it’s hard to come away from this movie without being struck by the lead performances. In fact, Foxx earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his work.

Put simply, Collateral‘s premise hinges on the question: “What if the person in your backseat was a deranged lunatic?” Foxx plays Max, an LA taxi driver who picks up a sharply dressed man named Vincent. Vincent offers Max $600 to drop him off at a few places, and Max happily agrees. Little does he know, though, that Vincent is in fact a stone-cold killer. Each stop they make means another hit for Vincent to complete. Now, Max and Vincent are inextricably linked to a trail of bodies across the city, and the police are on their tale. As the movie continues, it’s entirely unclear if Max will ever survive the night himself.

Collateral is streaming for free on Pluto TV.

Killing Them Softly (2012)

Killing Them Softly
The Weinstein Company

While Killing Them Softly is more of a mobster movie than a hitman movie, the film is a methodical, dark crime tale that is funnier than you might first assume. Directed by Blonde helmer Andrew Dominik, Killing Them Softly is a quiet and dirty but visceral cautionary tale on capitalism. The film runs at a beautifully brisk 98 minutes and fills that runtime with shrugging violence. Outfitted with impressive cinematography and tense drama, Killing Them Softly is a finely crafted commentary that hits like a sledgehammer.

The movie follows Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, an enforcer for the mob who is given a mission to take care of a couple of thugs who took off with the mob’s money. The heist was a part of a big plan by a rival crook named Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola), who hired a couple of low-rent thugs to rob a card game run by mob boss Markie (Ray Liotta). Frankie and Russell, the two thugs hired by Amato, are one of the most incompetent duos out there, yet they still manage to make off with the money. Now, though, Cogan is on their tail. Killing Them Softly isn’t very subtle in its commentary on American livelihood, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. At its heart, though, this movie is a relentless crime movie with some outright hilarious moments. Its ending, too, will surely stay with you.

Killing Them Softly is streaming for free on Tubi, Pluto TV, and PLEX.

The Card Counter (2021)

Oscar Isaac in The Card Counter.
Focus Features

The most modern addition to this list comes in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, released in 2021. If the title of this movie made you think it was a movie about cards, you would be mistaken. While games like poker and blackjack are key aspects of the story, this isn’t Rounders. Instead, the Oscar Isaac vehicle is a dark, haunting movie about a truly disturbed mind. The Card Counter unfolds slowly, starting as a gambling story and transforming into a supremely grim tale of revenge. It’s truly haunting, and Isaac’s performance is one of the most gripping performances in recent history.

Isaac plays William Tell, a gambler and ex-military interrogator who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past. Tell has done horrific things as an interrogator, but those days are behind him. Now, he just wants to play cards — or at least that’s what he tells himself. As the movie progresses, we see the anti-hero figure grow more and more interested in revenge. Schrader’s direction is in full force here, resulting in a darkly moving and thoroughly horrifying thriller that pays off its slow burn.

The Card Counter is streaming on Freevee.

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