Don’t you like having your heads thoroughly screwed, contemplating on a good plot, trying to comprehend what just happened, unraveling the truth, and suddenly hit by an unexpected twist?
If you find yourself relating to this, welcome to the club!
Some people like to unwind by watching relaxing cooking shows, pretentious tv series drama on Netflix, while others prefer to watch something that will take them completely out of reality.
If you fall into the sci-fi fan category, you’re in luck because we have a plethora of mind-bending movies that will not only hold your interest for a few hours but will have you analyzing for weeks to come.
Why Mind-bending movie?
Like, Who doesn’t appreciate great life realizations that change everything like a good psychological thriller, especially these days—something to ponder our thoughts on more than just reality.
Sometimes you only need a gentle nudge to shift your thoughts to a higher level.
The level that is too peripheral, too deep as if it was in front of you but also never seen. And won’t it sound so amazing if a great sci-fi or mind-bending movie leads on this thought process?
These are the films that, on the surface, do not always seem to be what they promise to be.
The way these movies use science-based depictions of phenomena not entirely accepted by mainstream science, such as alien space lifeforms, magical kingdoms, extrasensory perception, and time travel, as well as high tech elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar travel, or other technologies blending it in with real-life scenarios and captivating the psychological thinking of mind to have us hooked on to film, is more than a good reason to watch it.
Top Mind-bending movies
And to make your search easy, here are our best recommendations for mind-bending movies to watch the next time you binge on Netflix or Prime.
1. Source Code(2011)
Duncan Jones is the director, and Ben Ripley wrote the 2011 American science-fiction action thriller Source Code.
It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as the main character, a captain in the United States Army dispatched into a computerized world to hunt a bomber.
Supporting actors include Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Captain Colter Stevens is permitted to relive the final moments of Sean Fentress’s life, a guy who perished in a commuter-train explosion.
Colter’s objective is to discover the identity of the bomber and avert a similar disaster. As Colter experiences Sean’s dying moments, he grows increasingly confident that he can prevent the first tragedy from occurring – as long as he doesn’t run out of time.
Through his several reenactments of the tragedy, Jake Gyllenhaal’s main character comes to feel that he can change the course of events with a slew of mind-bending notions at work.
The critic review by Entertainment Times says, “The beauty of Source Code lies in its science-meets-superhero tenor and in the fact that the film hurtles across like a relentless thriller, leaving you no room to sit back or even blink.”
IMDb rating: 7.5/10
Available on Amazon Prime
Without question, Momento is the most creative and distinct sci-fi to be released in its time. A film that employs reverse chronology so brilliantly and is so complicated at times that it truly pushes you to use your head.
This film has had such an impact that it alters your perception of cinema. When you think sci-fi thriller movies can’t be any more innovative, Memento thoroughly debunks that notion.
The great Christopher Nolan’s neo-noir psychological thriller film, produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd.
Guy Pearce plays the main character(Leonard Shelby), an ex-insurance investigator who suffers from anterograde amnesia (the inability to generate new memories) and short-term memory loss every fifteen minutes due to an accident.
He’s looking for the individuals who assaulted him and killed his wife, and he’s utilizing an elaborate system of Polaroid photos and tattoos to seek out facts he can’t recall.
The film is built on memory throughout, as Leonard suffers from short-term memory loss that prevents him from learning new things. Because he cannot develop new memories, he is continuously relearning the same information, making the same mistakes, and reliving the same agony.
The way Nolan tells the drama keeps viewers thinking for hours: scenes shift between color and black and white, with the color sequences telling a story chronologically from the beginning and the black and white ones moving backward.
It isn’t straightforward, but the return is enormous.
Alex Garland is the writer and director of this 2018 British-American sci-fi horror film, based on Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel. Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac appear in the film.
The plot revolves around a group of explorers who venture inside “The Shimmer,” a strangely isolated zone with mutated flora and animals due to alien presence.
The main character, Lena, played by Natalie Portman, is a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to discover what had happened to her husband inside Area X, which is a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline.
Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscapes and creatures, as dangerous and beautiful, that threatens both their lives and sanity. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscapes and creatures, as dangerous and beautiful, that threatens both their lives and sanity.
After the brilliant Ex Machina, director Alex Garland’s second debut, this brainy, philosophical, horror sci-fi is an even more ambitious and fantastic film.
IMDb rating: 6.8/10
Available on Netflix.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel, David Fincher’s dark yet fascinating psychological thriller story concentrates on flawed, mysterious, unsettling people played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
A 2014 psychological thriller film is a postmodern mystery set in Missouri that chronicles Nick Dunne’s events (Ben Affleck), who becomes the primary suspect in his wife Amy’s unexpected disappearance (Rosamund Pike).
Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry also star in the film.
Gone Girl is a highly praised psychological thriller based on the eponymous 2012 film that first presents the main character as the evil person only to discover halfway through the film that, as the trailer states, what appears to be the most probable isn’t necessarily the answer.
Overall, the film is good enough to keep you interested and booked with a dark twist.
It’s a one-of-a-kind David Fincher work of art, so if you’re a fan of David Fincher or enjoy watching psychological criminal thrillers or murder mysteries, you should go for it.
Available on Amazon Prime.
Inception is powerful and dense, yet it is always cohesive, inventive, and engaging.
Christopher Nolan, the director, has shown to be a classic master at time juggling. His ability to frequently flip time or layers time on top of itself, balancing many concurrent narratives precariously yet with great clarity, is the base of this fantastic, mind-bending movie.
The best part is that Inception seems like a groundbreaking and exhilarating story because it is just a brilliant premise and execution.
It brazenly relies on its audience to be smart enough to grasp everything that’s going on like a truly mind-bending experience.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays a skilled thief who steals information by penetrating his prey’s subconscious minds. He is allowed to have his criminal record wiped in exchange for implanting another person’s concept into the dreams of a target.
Dom Cobb(Leonardo DiCaprio) is entrusted with implanting a concept into a target’s mind in a universe where others’ consciousnesses may be invaded via dreams.
Also starring Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
Available on Netflix.
The Invitation is Director Karyn Kusama’s 2015 narrative about a reunion gone wrong. The Invitation is presented as raw as possible. After all, a psychological horror thriller based on slow-burning tension is only as excellent as its twists.
Will played by Logan Marshall-Green, and his girlfriend are invited to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife Eden(Tammy Blanchard) and her new spouse David(Michiel Huisman).
Will and Eden’s marriage fell apart with the death of their young son, and Eden has struggled to cope with the loss. He discovers that Eden has joined a support group to assist her cope with her loss, but he also notices clues that make him suspicious of the organization’s intentions.
The finale of this horror film, designed to unnerve rather than terrify, may have you thinking twice before you are accepting an invitation to a dinner party.
Available on Netflix.
7.The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
The film delves at the scary prospect of computer-simulated universes where individuals only believe they are real.
Josef Rusnak is the director and writer, and the movie is produced by Marco Weber, Roland Emmerich, Ute Emmerich. Starring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Dennis Haysbert, Vincent D’Onofrio.
Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko) and his employer, Hannon Fuller (Armin Mueller-Stahl), have used a computer chip to recreate 1937 Los Angeles.
When Hall awakens to find bloodied clothes and his boss’s dead body in his home, he becomes the primary suspect. His pursuit of the truth leads him to the thirteenth level, where a gorgeous woman (Gretchen Mol) may hold the key to solving the mystery.
Even after you’ve done viewing it, the narrative makes you think twice. It puts you far ahead of time. It is based on the notion of parallel universes or alternative worlds.
Some might say this to be one of the most underappreciated sci-fi films of all time. The plot is fantastic, full of twists and turns. The story is good. A film worth seeing twice.
IMDb rating: 7.1/10
Martin Scorsese directed the film, which was scripted by Laeta Kalogridis and based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, investigates a mental hospital on Shutter Island after one inmate goes missing.
Mark Ruffalo plays his companion and fellow deputy marshal, Ben Kingsley plays the facility’s chief psychiatrist, Max von Sydow plays a German doctor, and Michelle Williams plays Daniels’ wife.
The film is dark, mysterious, strange, and scary. Martin Scorsese depicts the excellent shuddering terror we feel when horror movies are about something and don’t let all the tension out with action scenes.
Martin Scorsese returned to the thriller genre with Shutter Island, possibly his most challenging project to date.
Keep an eye out for clever dramatic irony instances that lead audiences into an incredible plot twist.
Shutter Island is a work of art. The film’s introduction implies a relatively simple storyline of detective drama, maybe a thriller. As the film proceeds, the narrative expands and gets increasingly complicated. It’s remarkable how this occurs. The pace is excellent, and all this makes the film so compelling.
Available on Netflix.
Darren Aronofsky’s 2006 epic classic romance drama film The Fountain, starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, was written and directed by Aronofsky.
The film incorporates aspects of fantasy, history, spirituality, and sci-fi into three tales concerning immortality and the resultant love lost, as well as one man’s goal of escaping this fate in this life or beyond.
A conqueror and his ill-fated queen, a modern-day scientist and his cancer-stricken wife, and a wanderer immersed in a global trip with parts of his lost love life are all played by Jackman and Weisz.
The intertwined narratives represent the themes and interaction of love, life, and mortality, as reflected through match cuts and recurrent visual elements.
A part adventure about a conquistador looking for the Tree of Life, part modern weepy about marriage and sickness, and part arthouse science fiction about a haunted monk is transporting a tree through the universe in a bubble to the core a dying star.
The story is set over three millennia in three different periods. As the drama shifts from 16th century Spain and Mayan Mexico to the current day and a medical lab to a bubble ship traveling across the galaxy with the Tree Of Life within, it becomes evident that accessibility was not a top goal.
At its core, this is a straightforward Philosophical story about love and death. In terms of execution, it’s a complicated and beautiful mini-epic with outstanding performances from its two leads.
Available on Amazon Prime.
Christopher Nolan directed and produced the 2014 epic sci-fi film Interstellar. Matthew McConaughey, Starring Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, and Matt Damon.
The film depicts a crew of astronauts who fly through a wormhole near planet Saturn to quest a new home for humans in a bleak future when civilization is fighting to live.
The screenplay was written by brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, and it was based on a script Jonathan developed in 2007.
One of the most mentally engaging movies of the 2010s was Interstellar. As a result, many people were perplexed by the Interstellar narrative idea, high-concept science, and nervy finale.
You’ll know the storyline and meaning like the back of your hand by the end; you might even claim we’ll have an “interstellar explanation” for the fourth dimension.
Available on Netflix.
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix, widely regarded as one of the most mind-bending films ever created, takes the phrase “it was all a dream” to a whole new level.
While the narrative is admirable, the Wachowskis’ debut picture is also notable for pioneering several cinematic techniques, such as ‘bullet time.’
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
In the starring role of this dystopian detective thriller, Ryan Gosling plays a synthetic executioner on the hunt for a synthetic-human hybrid who challenges the world order of the future’s hierarchy.
The Oscar-winning visual effects and cinematography of Blade Runner 2049 are enough to enthrall an Interstellar fan. Still, its emotional intensity and spiritual musings make it an unforgettable experience of sci-fi films.
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The Wachowskis’ much-maligned space opera is mind-bending on purpose and by accident due to its tangled storyline. Available on Netflix.
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is a cleaning lady who discovers she is meant for bigger things, intergalactically speaking. What follows is a slew of CGI mayhem starring a half-canine Channing Tatum and a whispery Eddie Redmayne.
Psycho was a revolution at the time. Not only was Pyscho famous for its aesthetic horror aspects, but it also included one of the earliest ever ‘twists.’ It’s perhaps possible that it’s the twist.
It’s very difficult not to be taken aback when you learn that it’s Norman Bates himself who is wearing a wig and is claiming to be his mother while murdering innocent clients. No matter what period you’re from, the movie can have you hocked on.
The Discovery (2017)
What if someone could rationally explain the existence of an afterlife?
That is what occurs in The Discovery when Thomas Harbor’s (Robert Redford) discovery causes an increase of suicides. But what happens in the afterlife is still a riddle that his son (Jason Segel) is attempting to solve.
Mind-Bending Movies don’t just get us hooked on the story or plot but also have an after effect on us in our day-to-day actions, our way of thinking, our mindset. It opens up our minds to numerous ideas and expectations.
The list of these movies is never-ending and never limiting. So, Happy Watching!