I suppose we all know what a mind-blowing movie is and what isn’t. It’s true that a film like ‘Primer’ may be uninteresting to someone who isn’t a fan of science fiction. However, in general, if you find yourself asking, “What did I just see?” after viewing a movie, you probably witnessed something truly mind-blowing. Even if you find yourself constantly dissecting the film’s plot, you may have just seen a mind-boggling film.
Now, obviously, you reacted the way you did because you were shocked or surprised by a certain component of the film. An open storyline, a twisting conclusion, or even blatant violence or sexuality could fall under the category of “certain aspects” in film. This list of the top mind-bending movies shows that each one has a unique reason for being included. With that, here are the best movies that are sure to leave you speechless. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all have some of these mind-blowing films available for streaming.
Birth tells the story of a 10-year-old child who tries to convince a mother that he is her dead spouse reincarnated. The story of ‘Birth’ has its problems, but the film’s beauty and merit lie in its handling. ‘Birth,’ with its haunting tune and stunning cinematography, has a way of drawing you in and holding you there like a spell.
19. Being John Malkovich
This film introduced the world to Charlie Kaufman’s brilliance. ‘Being John Malkowich’ is tough to categorize. How far-fetched is this? Probably. Is it a love story? Likely. ‘Being John Malkovich’ fits neatly within the “strange” subgenre of films. This is a narrative about a puppeteer who discovers a doorway that leads into the head of a movie star. How else can you define this story?
18. Donnie Darko
A wealthy teen’s expansive imagination informs ‘Donnie Darko’s’ grandiose vision. Donnie Darko is about a teenage rebel named “Donnie” who pays homage to classics like “The Catcher in the Rye” and effectively applies flippant humor to intimidating people and issues. One in a million films are like “Donnie Darko,” which is an extraordinary achievement. Few films, if any, are as jam-packed with fantastic concepts despite the fact that they are thick and practically hard to absorb in a single watching.
17. The Tree of Life
Although it may be difficult to grasp at times, the philosophy of ‘The Tree of Life’ will enthrall you with its imagery even if you don’t. Every frame of this film is jaw-droppingly beautiful, making it one of the most beautiful movies ever made. Even if you don’t enjoy the film’s convoluted plot, the images will linger in your mind long after you’ve seen it.
As a science fiction film, “Interstellar” is packed with concepts like blackholes, the theory of relativity and the 5th dimension as well as the bending of time and space. These theories are so intricate that even if you don’t get blown away attempting to understand them, the images will. ‘Interstellar’ is visually stunning and technologically impressive, with some of the best sights you’ve ever seen on film.
The vengeance thriller ‘Oldboy’ takes a different turn from the norm. In spite of the fact that Park Chan-film wook’s is a violent one, he utilizes it as a metaphor for his ruthless storytelling. Vibrant imagery, passionate functionality, and poetic meaning are the hallmarks of his approach of storytelling. To ensure that his film isn’t merely watched but experienced, he exhausts us emotionally by subjecting us to a brutal dramatic thrashing.
14. Upstream Color
Terrence Malick and David Lynch are among the filmmakers who inspired Upstream Color. Malick’s unconventionality is reflected in the filmmaking, although David Lynch’s surrealism laced with reality is more reminiscent. The film’s narrative necessitates a synapse-spark-like ability to grasp its essence. Shane Carruth’s genius will blow your mind if you comprehend it.
For Brandon and Phillip, the two smart young aesthetes in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “Rope” is an intellectual exercise in which they strangle their former classmate David to prove their superiority by committing the “perfect murder.”
The film is shot in such a way that it appears to be one big continuous shot throughout.
At one point, the camera focuses on an inanimate object with only one visible character moving back and forth near it, soaking it in tension and putting even the most calm and collected of spectators on the edge of their seat, chewing their nails.
In addition to ‘The Tree of Life,’ this is the second film on this list that will leave you speechless with its philosophy.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s Russian film ‘Stalker’ is based on the novel ‘Roadside Picnic’ and depicts the narrative of a person who leads two others to a region called the Zone, which is rumored to be able to fulfill any person’s ‘innermost’ wish. The film offers a powerful exploration of the human psyche’s conscious and subconscious realms. Films like this one are often used to represent the universal human need for hope as well as to explore the intricate complexity of our own minds.
11. 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days
‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ tells the story of two friends who try to get an abortion in the cruel Ceausescu communist regime of Romania in 1987. The film is both heartbreaking and exhilarating in equal measure. For the first time in my years of movie-watching, I found myself so enthralled by (and concerned about) the destiny of Gabita in this film. When you’re waiting for a loved one to emerge out of the operating room after a surgery, have you ever felt that gut-wrenching sensation? While watching this film, I had the same same reaction. In terms of how realistic the film feels, this is the only one on this list.
10. The Usual Suspects
An excellent mystery is woven around Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects, which also features a colorful band of conmen who create their own plots and relate to the famed villain’s eventual reveal. Having one of the most startling endings in cinematic history, you can’t help but be thoroughly impressed by this picture.
An unknown American city is the setting for a series of gruesome killings depicting a biblical sin. John Doe, an unidentified killer, is being sought by a soon-to-be-retired detective and his hot-tempered partner. When he has killed five people, the killer surrenders to the police and says he can take them to two more. Next, a mixture of unpleasant, obscene, and completely outlandish events occur. “Se7en” is a fictional film, yet it seems to be based on a truth that ultimately your sin would come up with you.
Memento is one of the few films that manages to tease, test, and confront its audience in a unique way. However, ‘Memento’s’ greatest power may not be in its jigsaw narration at all, but rather in how surprisingly moving it is — a characteristic that Nolan usually attempts to bring to all of his films, but with less success. As a filmmaking example, “Memento” is also a good example of how huge doesn’t always equal better; little can be just as good. Nolan is known for making mind-boggling films, but we hope he can return to making intimate, striking pieces of art.
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Many people would be surprised that ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is so high on this list, but the film is just as much a mind-blowing sci-fi masterpiece as it is a heartbreaking love story. There are so many hypotheses about how memory-erasing works that most first-time viewers find themselves lost in a sea of confusing concepts. It’s not helping matters that the plot is difficult to follow. The film’s genuine beauty can only be appreciated by those who have fully grasped its meaning.
6. Mulholland Drive
One of the most talked about films of all time, ‘Mulholland Drive’ is simply the greatest cinematic enigma ever made. To date, “Mulholland Dr.” has been David Lynch’s best work; it intrigues, hypnotizes, and has the air of a long-form operatic narrative. It’s one of those movies whose themes of identity and delusion will linger with you for a long time to come. ‘Mulholland Dr.’ features one of the greatest Naomi Watts performances of all time.
5. The Matrix
As a film or as a phenomenon, ‘The Matrix’ had a profound effect on people’s perceptions of the world around them. ‘The Matrix,’ a film by the Wachowskis, introduced the unsettling concept of a simulated reality. A number of important philosophical questions were also raised concerning mankind and its ultimate purpose. Even now, not all of the film’s questions have been answered.
In addition to being a film, “Primer” is a science-fiction puzzle. Those who claim to have “got” the film in their first watching are either lying or just being a smart-ass. To really comprehend ‘Primer,’ numerous viewings are required. It is not uncommon to feel pleased and successful when you finally solve a challenging challenge after seeing a film. I’ve never come across a film that was so tough to follow in a single watching in my whole movie-going history.
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
From existentialism to the evolution of the universe, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is one of the greatest works of literature. The film, loosely based on Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel,” was co-written by the author and Kubrick, and follows a team of scientists as they go to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL 9000. The film’s sheer audacity is what surprises you when you’re done seeing it.
2. Fight Club
The film is based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name, which tells the story of an insomniac who establishes a recreational fighting club with a soap producer. It also tackles a number of today’s hottest topics like consumerism, homoeroticism, and loneliness. In terms of cinematic audacity, ‘Fight Club’ has to be right up there with the best.
Everyone who saw “Inception” for the first time in a movie theater left a little disoriented. Although the video is only two and a half hours long, the conversation surrounding it continued for weeks. Those debates are still taking place in some corners of the internet. ‘Inception’ is the only film on our list that truly meets the description of a “mind blowing” film, and as a result it is ranked first.