The vast majority of films released today follow a predetermined plot line. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end to each of these stories. Films that deviate from popular wisdom are rare, yet they happen every so often. Their own story arcs, with no beginning and no finish are the norm for them. I refer to these films as mind fucks. It’s a twenty-first century invention! Although mind-boggling films existed before to the success of The Matrix and Memento, it appears that producers learned that there is a large audience for such films following their success. So, what exactly are these “mind-fucking movies”? Any film that messes with your head is eligible for the title! So it’s that simple.
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As a fan of screwed up movies, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this list. Listed here are the best mind-boggling films ever filmed. These mind-boggling films may be viewed on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Let us know which one you like most.
20. Time Lapse (2014)
Three people discover a camera that shoots pictures of the next day, i.e., the future. The premise is promising. Fast-paced and well-executed, the picture more than makes up for a few storyline gaps. However, the director has done an excellent job of building tension and dread throughout the film’s runtime. The film has its gloomy moments. In addition, this is his first time behind the camera as a filmmaker. King, Bradley. The name is important.
19. Triangle (2009)
This suspenseful thriller in the form of a twilight zone has a haunting score and is expertly crafted. Keep in mind that this film is difficult to follow, so pay attention to every little detail. A dreamlike quality permeates the film’s direction and photography, making it reminiscent of David Lynch’s work. It’s well worth your time to read this gripping psychological thriller.
18. The Double (2011)
What happens when an introverted, depressed employee meets his doppelganger, a vibrant and exuberant coworker, in his place of employment? Despite Simon’s introversion, James, a well-liked and well-respected coworker, helps him get to know Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), his attractive coworker. In Simon’s horror, James begins to encroach on his personal and professional life. ‘The Double’ is gripping from beginning to end — and even after that.
17. Identity (2003)
‘Identity,’ despite receiving a drubbing from critics, has become a cult favorite for good reason. That being said, the picture is not without its shortcomings. As they know that they’re all going to be slaughtered one by one, eleven strangers find themselves stranded in an isolated Nevada motel during a rainstorm. Until the final scene, the film toys with the thoughts of its characters as well as its audience.
16. Predestination (2014)
When it comes to time travel movies, ‘predestination’ is an appropriate reality. From 1945 to 1993 it depicts a time-traveling traveler in search of the fizzle bomber. A “temporal agent” (Ethan Hawke) and a “predestination” (Sarah Snook) are depicted in the film. The opening scene is a paradox since it mixes a three-generation time-loop. ‘Predestination’ leaves you with a jumbled brain at the end.
15. Source Code (2011)
‘Source Code’ by Duncan Jones, the director of ‘Moon,’ is a film that leaves us more than a little baffled. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a pilot and part of a secret government program that allows him to relive the last few minutes of another man’s life, who was killed in a railway explosion. To catch the bomber, Stevens will have to go through a lot of hoops, the least of which is the limited amount of time available to him. In ‘Source Code,’ we get a fresh take on time travel, and it’s done well.
14. The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Chaos theory states that even a seemingly insignificant occurrence can have far-reaching consequences. This notion had never been made into a film before before Eric Bress and Mackye Gruber did it. Due to excruciating head pain, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) is frequently transported back in time to make changes in his own life and the lives of others. As a result, Evan finds himself in ghastly alternative universes when he discovers that little adjustments in the past can have a profound effect on the present. Despite its flaws, it’s a fascinating film.
13. Mr. Nobody (2009)
Choices. There are so many options and decisions that we have to make during our lives, isn’t that true? An engaging picture with captivating graphics and intriguing possibilities is born from the simple premise that a little kid must choose between staying with his mother or moving in with his father. Critics savaged the film, but don’t take their word for it. This is a film that will last for generations to come.
12. The Machinist (2004)
Trevor, a machinist, hasn’t slept in a year because of his sleeplessness. In a year, that’s what you’re looking at. Is there a way to wake up when you’re not asleep? His remarkable physical metamorphosis serves as a highlight and adds realism to Christian Bale’s portrayal of the legendary character. It’s almost impossible to shake the image of Bale’s weak and emasculated figure from your mind.
11. Coherence (2013)
‘Coherence’, a novel about eight friends at a dinner party, is based on a scientific hypothesis known as Schrödinger’s cat theory, which describes a chain of events that defies logic. In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger invented Schrödinger’s cat, a thought experiment that is frequently referred to as a paradox. This means that there is a chance of several worlds coexisting at the same moment. Based on an even more fascinating concept, this is a fascinating film.
10. Primer (2004)
‘Primer’ is more than a movie; it’s a complex scientific problem. In order to truly comprehend the film, numerous viewings are required — individuals who claim to have “got” the film in the first watching are either lying or being smug. Don’t be shocked if you feel delighted and victorious when you eventually “understand” the film, similar to how you feel after you solve a challenging puzzle. I’ve never seen a film that was so tough to follow in one watching in my whole movie-going history.
9. Upstream Color (2013)
Filmmakers like Terrence Malick and David Lynch influence ‘Upstream Color’s cinematic style. Though Malick’s unusual aesthetic is evident, the filmmaking quality is more in line with David Lynch’s surrealistic realism. A synapse-fired spark is required to comprehend this film’s plot in its purest form. Shane Carruth’s genius will blow your mind if you comprehend it.
8. The Gift (2015)
As interest in domestic psychological thrillers has grown with the release of ‘Gone Girl,’ here’s another underappreciated entry in the category. ‘Arrested Development’ Michael Bluth, our guy next door, Jason Bateman, the amusing, fumbling Michael Bluth, has never been so good in a dark role. A fantastic film that begins as a stalker thriller before veering off into more sinister territory. Characteristics of both the protagonist and antagonist are muddled. Throughout the course of The Gift, you’ll be filled with a sense of dread.
Joel Edgerton, the film’s director and star, directs and plays the antagonist opposite Jason Bateman’s character, and it’s their distinct, opposing, and unpredictable personality traits that help to obscure and obscure the plot’s development for the audience. When it comes to predicting what will happen next, we’re completely stumped.
Bateman’s connection with his wife and his old high school classmate is a little ambiguous and incredibly disturbing, but the film’s focus is on three characters: Bateman, his wife, and his high school classmate. Initially, the couple is all smiles and talk fairly formally, but shortly after this new acquaintance begins to cling to them, trying to influence their private and personal moments and making their lives uncomfortable. In what may be one of the most unique twists in recent years, this film unveils its twist layer by layer, all the while making the audience feel utterly powerless and helpless.
7. Enemy (2013)
When an underachieving actor who looks exactly like him turns out to be an actual person, the story of “Enemy” begins. The protagonist’s plight is symbolized by spiders and webs in this tough investigation of the mind. One of the most complicated stories, with many interpretations by fans and reviewers alike, the film has been widely acclaimed. “Chaos is order yet undeciphered,” read the opening caption of the film.
With a distinct lead and a few distinguishable turns of events, we can follow the full runtime even though it presents a slew of circumstances that all make little sense with incoherence everywhere. The film is left up to the audience to decide whether or not it succeeds in captivating them with its narrative technique and great performances. Who or what is the spider in the climax representing? What is the significance of the last act in the lives of the actor and the teacher, and why is their relationship so strange? The clues are there, but sadly, I haven’t spotted any of them myself. Then again, I don’t believe every film story has to be resolved in the film’s running time.
Because the story is loose, but its presence is felt, like the solution that isn’t clear in Michael Haneke’s “Cache,” “Enemy’s success is that it gives you something to think about, because even if the plot is loose, its presence is very much felt” (2005). Both the photography and the direction contribute to the film’s claustrophobic feel.
6. Shutter Island (2010)
One of the most dangerous patients at the AsheCliff Institution for the Criminally Insane on Shutter Island has escaped, but is hidden someplace in the hospital. Teddy and Chuck, two investigators, arrive on the island and begin searching for clues. Everyone is considered a suspect. All the way down to Teddy. The psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
With a few pals, we were all on the edge of our seats when we first saw “Shutter Island.” This is a trend I’ve noticed in a lot of the thrillers that have appeared on this list, and it’s based on the fact that they always feature a twist that radically alters what you thought you knew about the picture. You can’t tell for sure if the characters you thought you knew ended up in a completely different direction because of natural causes or a capitulation to a system that is too powerful to resist.
The film’s entertainment value resides in the surprise finale, which forces the viewer to reevaluate what they’ve just watched. The performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are some of the best in Scorsese’s oeuvre, with the last act carried out well by both actors. Despite my reservations, I believe the revelation at the end was done so as to be more impactful.
5. Donnie Darko (2001)
With an expansive imagination of a wealthy young man, ‘Donnie Darko’ is one of the most imaginative films ever made. “Donnie Darko” is about a teenage rebel named “Donnie” who pays homage to works such as “The Catcher in the Rye” and manages to inject levity into threatening situations and people. ‘Donnie Darko’ is a one-of-a-kind film. 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.
In order to tell the story of a death and the events leading up to it, ‘Donnie Darko’ relies on both strong visual and narrative aspects. The film manages to seamlessly apply its principles in a story that is anything but conventional. With Jake Gyllenhaal as the protagonist, it’s evident that he’s got an issue. In his nightmares, bizarre visions arrive and force him to perform things without his will. He is concerned. Although I can never be sure of anything, I’ve created a connection between this film and the idea of silent human ties as an interpretation of the film’s subtle but stunning hint to despair. With Gary Jules’ rendition of “Mad World” playing over some images that etch themselves into your mind, the film’s final scenes are both haunting and perplexing, since they signify that the plot you have just witnessed unravel may, in the end, make sense upon a final, deeper analysis of the film. Gary Jules’ rendition of the song
4. Interstellar (2014)
Black holes, warm holes, the theory of relativity, the 5th dimension, and space-time warping are all discussed in great detail in ‘Interstellar’. You’ll be blown away by the visuals even if you don’t lose your mind trying to grasp the theories themselves. ‘Interstellar’ is visually stunning and technologically impressive, with some of the best sights you’ve ever seen on film.
In spite of the fact that the storyline of “Interstellar” could have easily devolved into a documentary, the film is saved from that fate by a cast of memorable characters. There’s a father who’s convinced he’s right, a daughter who’s worried about him while he’s in space with a group of astronauts, a crew member who has a romantic history you can relate to, and so on. Stunning shots like the iconic frozen beach sequence, in which a wave ready to crash appears trapped in its own planetary time that differs from that of the characters, are part of the film’s remarkable cinematography. However, the film’s scientific veracity has been called into question on numerous times, although that does not detract from the film’s overall quality.
The final act includes yet another series of visually stunning sequences. Even though it is an extraordinary journey, the only flaw I can find is the inclusion of a guest star about halfway through, whose actions are anticipated and hence irrelevant and feel forced. Otherwise, it’s astonishing that a movie like this was made at all.
3. Memento (2000)
In ‘Memento,’ the audience is teased, tested, and challenged in a way that few films can accomplish. “Memento” may not have the greatest power in its jigsaw narration, but rather in its ability to surprise and move the audience—a characteristic that director Christopher Nolan consistently strives for, even if he doesn’t always succeed. As a filmmaking example, “Memento” is also a good example of how huge doesn’t always equal better; little can be just as good. It would be wonderful if Christopher Nolan, who is known for making mind-boggling films, could return to making intimate and spectacular works of art like this one.
However, I don’t think it’s the director’s most mind-blowing film, despite the fact that it doesn’t lack much in the way of visual flair. Backward, forward, and intercut storytelling techniques are employed by Nolan to try and put the audience in the thoughts of its main character as his extreme short-term memory loss prevents him from recalling recently witnessed faces or experiences. Our hero remains blind to their true colors when the putative enemies appear right in front of him, even though we know their genuine identity. This is a disturbing experience for the viewer. Because of this, his character has been elevated to the top of Nolan’s most well-written characters.
The twist in the middle of the novel, when the hero’s history and future finally come together, is my favorite part of this masterpiece.
2. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Even 15 years after its first release, ‘Mulholland Drive’ remains a topic of conversation because it offers the greatest cinematic enigma ever. To date, “Mulholland Dr.” is David Lynch’s best work to date. The film has a haunting quality that makes it feel like a prolonged mood opera. It’s one of those movies whose themes of identity and delusion will linger with you for a long time. The film ‘Mulholland Dr.,’ which stars Naomi Watts in one of her all-time best performances, is a mind-blowing experience.
If I’m not mistaken, I’ve seen “Mulholland Drive” at least seven times already, and I can’t claim I’ve figured out anything. To put it another way, I only watch Lynch’s masterwork because I enjoy the sensation of watching it, which is like walking into an eerie lucid dream, with characters that at first appear to be plastic or even false; but as they mature, their experiences get more frightening. In this film, there is nothing that feels real, nothing that seems too unbelievable to be true. In reality, it’s nothing more than an idealized version of the celebrity lifestyle. A possible critique of the mysteries that reign supreme in the dark regions of the globe may be the case. Human sexuality may be the subject of investigation. I don’t know for sure, but it does feel like a film that touches on every facet of its subject matter, even if just tangentially.
‘Inland Empire’ (2006) by David Lynch, which I could have placed on this list had it been longer, is a spiritual sequel to this picture and is worth a look, though of course, this is the superior film to see.
1. Inception (2010)
Most people who saw ‘Inception’ for the first time in a movie theater were slightly unnerved by the experience. Although the video is only two and a half hours long, the conversation surrounding it continued for weeks. Those debates continue to rage on the internet in some places. “Inception” is the only movie on our list that fits the description of a mind-fucking movie better than any other.
A lot of these movies have to do with the things that pop into our heads as we’re ready for bed, and ‘Inception’ is no exception. This is a movie about a man who goes into other people’s dreams in order to influence their real-life thoughts and decisions, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead. As a result, the film focuses on one of their most difficult and perilous missions. When the protagonists appear to have walked out of the mind of the person they entered in order to warp, the question becomes one of whether or not they are still in the dream at the conclusion. Confusion has arisen due in large part to the renowned top scene. Does the closing scene really take place in a dream? Is it really that important?