The Intriguingly Weird

You know those movies where, a week later, you're still trying to wrap your brain around what you saw?

A salute to the mind-bending films we lust after.


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The criteria for inclusion here is not merely weird imagery, but an intriguing, coherent storyline. Also, English titles only.

If you think I missed one that fits, lemme know.
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1.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
“ The film that basically defines what we're after in this list. Weirder than weird, you could lose sleep trying to figure out what the hell happened. If you haven't seen this one yet, you're missing out in a severe way.

An emotionally unstable teenage outcast gets called out for a sleepwalk one night by a giant bunny who tells him when the world will end.

And it only gets weirder from there.

Thought-provoking, foreboding, thrilling, and extraordinarily well-made, this is the cult classic to end all cult classics. Do not see the Director's Cut, at least not for your first viewing. ” - equazcion
 
2.
Dark City (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun. (100 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
“ In a seemingly '20s film noir, a race of super-beings is killing people.

This richly atmospheric mystery pulls you in fast and hard from the first five minutes and doesn't let up, turning weirder as the seconds tick by. Sit back and enjoy this classic masterpiece of modern weirdness.

If you can, do see the Director's Cut instead. The ("regular") theatrical version includes a voiceover in the beginning that spoils some key elements. It's best to be surprised by them later. ” - equazcion
 
3.
Sunshine (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057. (107 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
“ One of those "best no one's heard of" movies, but not in that charming little indie-film way. This is a full-blown, big-budget, 'A'-list cast, sci-fi effects masterpiece that somehow flew in under the radar.

This film not only has an outstanding surface quality between its realistic effects and exceptional acting, but also a depth and open-to-interpretation chain of events that'll leave you musing over it for weeks to come. ” - equazcion
 
4.
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Brad Pitt in the role he was born to play: the legendary Tyler Durden peppers us with passages from his personal bible on the benefits of being cool and uncaring in a world that is just as indifferent toward us. A brilliantly detailed piece of artwork that's near-perfectly paced and just as stylish.

The main character is depressed with his perfect button-down life, until he meets the eccentric Tyler the soap dealer on a plane ride and his life is turned upside down.

To try to describe the many ways in which it bends the mind in ways never before conceived would be giving too much away, or I just lack the writing skills to pull off the one without the other. At times it's brutal with its fight scenes, but they're over relatively quickly and the overall movie is well worth the few moments of queasiness you might have to endure. You'll want to watch this one more than once to fully appreciate the message and understand the story. ” - equazcion
 
5.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
“ The classic weird tale about a guy who's trying to find his wife's killer while suffering from a mental condition that prevents him from remembering anything for more than a few minutes.

Told in reverse chronology. You know, like that one Seinfeld episode.

Very fun, supremely intriguing, superbly acted, and a quintessential member of this list. ” - equazcion
 
6.
The Nines (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways. (100 mins.)
Director: John August
“ Ryan Reynolds is a seemingly average man in a seemingly average life, but starts experiencing some strange things that tug on the fabric of existence. Who is he, really, and what's he doing here?

This one was a big surprise, especially because no one's heard of it. It's got an impressive cast, and is intriguingly entertaining in a big way. ” - equazcion
 
7.
The Wicker Man (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there. (88 mins.)
Director: Robin Hardy
“ A police sergeant is sent to investigate a missing child on an isolated island of which very little is known. Once there he finds a strange society built on odd traditions, the locals claim the missing girl never existed, and inexplicable things happen.

I utterly hated this movie, as the vast majority of the intrigue it builds seems to have been for naught by the end. It's also stylistically too artsy for my taste (try the 2006 remake for pretty much the same story minus the '70s experimental style). But it's widely considered a classic and fits the list criteria perfectly. ” - equazcion
 
8.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones. (133 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ A wealthy eccentric collector in possession of a prized occult book purported to have been dictated by Satan himself is convinced that only one of the three copies in existence is genuine. He hires Johnny Depp, an infamously unscrupulous dealer and expert in rare books, to travel to Europe and investigate the other two copies to determine which is the original. Odd things seem to happen at each step of his journey as he also notices significant peculiarities in the books he examines, and picks up on clues that he's being followed; then people start turning up dead.

Say what you want about Roman Polanski, but the guy sure knows how to make a movie. There's a subtlety here that seems uniquely counterpoised with its supernatural tone, making for what I can only describe as addictive viewing.

Being a sucker for creepy-modern quasi-religious stuff also helps me recommend this one, as well as "The Prophecy", "Stigmata", and "The Order" a few entries down. The lone investigator trying to unravel an increasingly bizarre conspiracy is also a favorite theme of mine, and the next four movies in the list share it.

Johnny Depp fans might also want to catch this one just to see him in one of his more obscure pre-Pirate roles. ” - equazcion
 
9.
The Big Bang (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A private detective is hired to find a missing stripper. A simple job turns complicated when everyone he questions ends up dead. (101 mins.)
Director: Tony Krantz
“ Antonio Banderaz is a private investigator whose already-strange search for a missing woman takes him to a desert town built around the infamy of a large particle accelerator, where still-stranger things happen. The classic noir and contemporary science blend together deliciously into an intriguing smoothy of pure entertainment, not to mention stunning visuals and superb acting. And writing.

Antonio Banderaz has his ethnic accent switched on for much of this, and is a little difficult to understand in the beginning. Either it subsides or you get used to it -- either way, you'll be fine.

This one has a disappointingly abrupt ending, but the meat of it is still delicious. ” - equazcion
 
10.
In My Sleep (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Marcus is a popular massage therapist who struggles with parasomnia, a severe sleepwalking disorder... (104 mins.)
Director: Allen Wolf
“ Having been criminally overlooked during its release, this movie is an outstanding piece of contemporary Hitchcockianism (? yeah I make up words, whatever), though updated and glossy-Hollywood-looking.

The main character has a chronic sleepwalking disorder, but lately wakes up to clues that he might have been doing worse things than merely walking these last few nights.

Watching him methodically investigate himself, whilst trying to act normally around people, is psychotically thrilling in an enormously satisfying way. ” - equazcion
 
11.
The Prophecy (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The angel Gabriel comes to Earth to collect a soul which will end the stalemated war in Heaven, and only a former priest and a little girl can stop him. (98 mins.)
Director: Gregory Widen
“ A faithless priest-turned-cop begins to suspect that a murder he's investigating has something to do with an angelic battle on Earth.

It's an imperfect film, but Eric Stoltz is amazing (it's a shame he's not around longer), and Christopher Walken is, well... Walken has done justice to too many great roles for me to get away with saying he was "born to play" any one of them above all others. But if I were to ever dare do so, it would be in favor of Gabriel, the fallen angel.

Those interesting characters, the dark religious tone, some modern science thrown in (crime labs trying to make sense of supernatural occurrences, X-Files style), plus an effective atmosphere of foreboding, help make this short and sweet underdog of a film effectively intriguing, and one of my favorites despite its flaws. See also "Stigmata" for similar themes. ” - equazcion
 
12.
Stigmata (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself. (103 mins.)
“ A Vatican priest, whose job is to investigate reported miracles, is sent to examine a statue that cries tears of blood and then a woman afflicted with stigmata (bleeding wounds that parallel those of crucifixion).

At times horrific, with some excellent moments, and some not so excellent, but intriguing and entertaining overall. Contains a rather profound message (whether historically accurate or not) that's not for those who take their belief in the Catholic Church too seriously. Patricia Arquette's awesome performance helps smooth out some of this film's imperfections, and Gabriel Byrne makes a cool priest. ” - equazcion
 
13.
The Order (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
A young priest is sent to Rome to investigate the troubling death of the head of his order. (102 mins.)
Director: Brian Helgeland
 
14.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
“ The Matrix and its concept have become such mainstays in mainstream film, one tends to forget just how groundbreakingly strange it actually is.

This is probably the only film I ever actually went to the theater to see more than once, as it was not only just THAT AWESOME -- especially for its time -- but I also felt that urge to get a better understanding of what was going on. It introduced concepts never before seen, and was therefore supremely intriguing, though it's been copied pretty often since.

Thanks to trochon-1 for reminding me about this one via the comments, as I shamefully missed it the first time around. ” - equazcion
 
15.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
“ A team of spies who retrieve information by invading and controlling people's dreams receive a special case that involves something slightly different and much more complex.

A very convoluted but thrillingly well-executed story that maintains believability by incorporating and exploring the actual nature and nuance of dreams. ” - equazcion
 
16.
Pontypool (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town. (93 mins.)
Director: Bruce McDonald
“ Stephen McHattie is a talk radio personality who just took a job at a small-town station. During his broadcast, he gets news that chaos has broken out outside, and everyone is being told to stay indoors. He and his producers struggle to report on the event, but information on the strange threat is scarce.

I can't say more without spoiling it. Okay, so IMDb says it's about a virus outbreak, but this is not one of those movies. This is one very strange and original thrill ride, even though it takes place entirely inside a radio broadcasting studio.

Stephen McHattie, usually thrown into supporting roles to add his natural brand of creepiness, is at his out-of-this-world best as the star of this show. Stay after the credits for something even more bizarre. ” - equazcion
 
17.
The Cell (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An FBI agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim. (107 mins.)
Director: Tarsem
“ A therapist attempting to use new technology to treat withdrawn children by interacting with them in their dreams is tasked with entering the mind of a comatose serial killer to find out where he imprisoned his final victim.

Vastly imaginative dreamscapes that switch between beautiful and disturbing await you here. They alone are reason enough to watch. Then there's Vincent D'Onofrio's brilliantly detailed serial killer portrayal. That, too, is reason alone to watch (no one does crazy like Vince). Put them together and you get quite an amazing film.

Yes it does "star" Jennifer Lopez, but do not let that color your preconceptions. This film is both effectively brutal and outlandish. ” - equazcion
 
18.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
“ The list wouldn't be complete without it, but frankly I don't remember much of it; and I would rewatch it, but these days I don't have the patience to put myself through a Jim Carrey "this is me being heartfelt, please forget my previous outrageousness" movie again.

I do remember it being good and very mind-bending, though, so as I said, the list wouldn't be complete without it. And most people love it. So that's something. ” - equazcion
 
19.
The Game (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A wealthy banker is drawn into a dangerous game where the lines between the game and his real life become more and more blurry. (129 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Michael Douglas is a wealthy joyless corporate dickhead whose slacker brother buys him a mysterious adventure from a mysterious company for his birthday. After some initial reluctance, he becomes intrigued by the idea, which no one seems to know anything about. Then,

I can't. I just can't continue without ruining some portion of the fun.

Multiple buildups and climaxes and reprieves effectively executed each time. A real crowd pleaser. Just watch it. ” - equazcion
 
20.
The Lost Room (2006 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A detective investigates a mysterious motel room, which acts as a portal to an alternate universe. (270 mins.)
“ In perhaps the only worthwhile SciFi channel production, The Lost Room spins a surprisingly well-made and original tale about a detective who finds a key that turns any door into a portal to a motel room that doesn't exist.

This is a mini-series of three 1hr 30min episodes (a whopping 4hr 30min total), but it's so intriguing that after the first half hour you won't even notice the time fly by. ” - equazcion
 
21.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The affair between a politician and a contemporary dancer is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart. (106 mins.)
Director: George Nolfi
“ A uniquely modern amalgamation that's equal parts sci-fi conspiracy thriller and romance novel, in which a young politician accidentally discovers that a secret society of super-beings are manipulating human fate, and proceeds to oppose their efforts to be with the woman he loves.

Matt Damon manages to counterbalance a cornball (though original) screenplay with his characteristically genuine performance. Still, often sappy and cliched, but entertaining and intriguing. ” - equazcion
 
22.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich. (112 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
“ If you're reading this list then chances are this one needs no introduction. I'll provide some semblance of one nonetheless.

John Cusack finds a strange tiny room that when entered places one inside the head of celebrity weirdo John Malkovich. When you're done with your ride being John Malkovich, a mysterious force propels you through the air and dumps you next to the New Jersey turnpike.

Yes, you could say this is an odd movie. It's a black comedy and depressed me, and is actually not one of my favorite films, but undoubtedly belongs here. ” - equazcion
 
23.
Dreamcatcher (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Friends on a camping trip discover that the town they're vacationing in is being plagued in an unusual fashion by parasitic aliens from outer space. (136 mins.)
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
“ An off-beat alien story from the mind of Stephen King that weaves several different themes into an intriguingly complex storyline.

I haven't read the book, but in contrast to other Stephen King novels-turned-films, this one gives the impression that no plot elements were cut in order to simplify it, and all the original intended novel-esque complexity usually thought of as Hollywood-incompatible is actually still present.

Very big, unique, highly entertaining, nicely cast and well-made. ” - equazcion
 
24.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. (129 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ In the future, a disease has all but wiped out the human race. Scientists send convicted felons, in exchange for the chance at a pardon, back in time to retrieve information they hope will help develop a cure. They warn against trying to change events though, because they've run the math and concluded it can't be done. But what do they know? ...damn eggheads.

'Twelve Monkeys' is Terry Gilliam's classic quintessential dark time travel tale, to which all others are compared.

It also marks the first of eight films in this list to deal with time and causality. 'Donnie Darko' also deals with this theme, though being our list mascot, is firmly stuck at position #1 :) ” - equazcion
 
25.
Primer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. (77 mins.)
Director: Shane Carruth
“ A group of young electronic engineers working out of a garage stumble onto inventing a time machine. A totally mind-blowing story ensues.

Ingenious and awesome. This one maintains a refreshingly high intellectual level between realism, the characters' technical speak, and the mechanics of the time travel occurrences. As one reviewer put it, if you claim to understand it completely after only one viewing, you're either a savant or lying. ” - equazcion
 
26.
The Jacket (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a Doctor's experiments, and his life is completely affected by them. (103 mins.)
Director: John Maybury
“ A crazy doctor somehow manages to send people back in time by stuffing them into a morgue drawer while bound in a straight jacket. Who knew that's all it takes?

A special time travel tale driven by Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley. Dark yet romantic, sad yet happy, and of course, weird and intriguing. ” - equazcion
 
27.
Sphere (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean. (134 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
“ A task force of scientists is gathered to investigate an alarming discovery: A huge spacecraft has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean that has apparently been there for a very long time. Inside, they find a giant pulsating golden sphere, and still stranger things begin to happen around them.

There are a lot of bad reviews floating around for this one, but I love it and think it's actually an exceptionally fine-crafted film. Judge for yourself and let me know. ” - equazcion
 
28.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal. (113 mins.)
 
29.
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
While drinking at their local pub, three social outcasts attempt to navigate a time-travel conundrum. (83 mins.)
“ A comedy about time travel, part buddy flick and part sci-fi, that succeeds in mixing the two together very entertainingly. Much better than the more hyped "Hot Tub Time Machine," which attempted something similar. ” - equazcion
 
30.
Minority Report (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder. (145 mins.)
“ In the future, Tom Cruise works with a special unit tasked with stopping murders before they happen, with the help of some catatonic precognitive people. It all goes to hell when the "precogs" reveal our main character to be the next murderer.

An epic rollercoaster mystery, and an authentic Spielberg classic. ” - equazcion
 
31.
John Dies at the End (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion? (99 mins.)
Director: Don Coscarelli
“ I... uh... okay. What? Okay.

I'm not sure what just happened. I started watching this movie, and some time later, I regained consciousness.

I'm still not entirely clear on the plot. I may need to watch it again. There's a drug that lets you see other dimensions, read minds, talk to dead people, see the future, the past, and what's in people's pockets. Some guys need to use it to try and save the planet, from something. I think.

A "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for the supernatural (instead of outer space), only more cryptic. Fast fun chaos. I came out both thoroughly entertained and thoroughly confused. ” - equazcion
 
32.
Fractalus (2005 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
(26 mins.)
“ Fractalus is a 25-minute short about a near future where humanity seems to be aware of God's location in the galaxy. Several scientific and religious teams have tried to reach it, but none have succeeded due to a breakdown of time-space during the approach.

It seems you can only see this at fractalusfilm.com, or by downloading a torrent (as of this posting on 9/26/11, the complete film is freely viewable at the website).

It's pure sci-fi oddness; one big delicious riddle. A well-made, short/sweet brain scrambler. Watch it. ” - equazcion
 
33.
Silent Hill (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill. (125 mins.)
Director: Christophe Gans
“ Definitely on the horror end of the spectrum, 'Silent Hill' is an adaptation of a successful video game series, which means people have complained about it. Not that they don't usually have good reason: Video game adaptations often suck for a variety of reasons. With an established horde of fans, adapters aren't usually in it for the art.

Having never played the game I can't say how close this comes to it, but I can say it surprised me. It's very effectively dark, moody, and above all riskily complex, with none of the dumbing-down typical of video game movies.

Featuring a dark parallel wonderland maze of outlandish, gruesome, mysterious happenings, this movie delivers in a major way, and stands on its own as an exceptionally solid horror film. ” - equazcion
 
34.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods. (95 mins.)
Director: Drew Goddard
“ A group of teens head to an isolated cabin for what has been planned as a typical horror outing, but turns out to be anything but.

Although a legitimate horror movie (of the supernatural type), this is a uniquely odd, unconventional, and comical look at the genre from an ironically detached viewpoint. Think Evil Dead + Cube + Truman Show. ” - equazcion
 
35.
Detention (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
As a copycat killer named after movie villain Cinderhella stalks the student body at Grizzly Lake High School, a group of co-eds band together to survive while serving detention. (93 mins.)
Director: Joseph Kahn
“ A non-slasher film about high school students who need to stop their principal from destroying the world in the past because he couldn't take his crush to the prom. Also there's a time-traveling bear, a mutant human/fly quarterback, and yes, a slashing murderer, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it.

Seriously, I want some of whatever the writer and director were under the influence of when they came up with this. It's original, stylish, random, fast-paced chaotic fun.

Ignore the movie poster and the claimed genre of "Horror". This is more of a horror spoof. But an entertaining one. ” - equazcion
 
36.
The Tall Man (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
When her child goes missing, a mother looks to unravel the legend of the Tall Man, an entity who allegedly abducts children. (106 mins.)
Director: Pascal Laugier
“ A town has a chronic problem with missing children. Legends grow that a "Tall Man" who lives in the woods is responsible.

Wow. Based on Jessica Biel's presence and the movie poster, I had lumped The Tall Man in with the cheap rainy day thrillers, and almost didn't watch it. But by the halfway point you will not know what the *beep* is going on here, and it had me more engrossed than a film has made me in a while.

This is not a horror movie, and I have reservations about even calling it a thriller, lest I cheapen it. This is a taut, smart, very original rollercoaster of a mystery, with twists that are introduced in such an effortless and unorthodox way that I have trouble calling them twists. There are very few scares. Instead there's deep intrigue and an important new question.

Jessica Biel gets to showcase some serious acting talent here that makes me hope she gets more opportunities to do so in the future. ” - equazcion
 
37.
Æon Flux (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found. (93 mins.)
Director: Karyn Kusama
“ A sci-fi effects extravaganza featuring Charlize Theron like you never could've imagined her: As one of a band of genetically-enhanced super-ninja rebels plotting to take down an oppressive government in a wildly futuristic society.

Effective rainy day entertainment. ” - equazcion
 
38.
The Machinist (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity. (101 mins.)
Director: Brad Anderson
“ Christian Bale has wasted away to the thickness of a sheet of paper, and he hasn't slept in a really long time. Lately he's been experiencing some exceptionally weird things. What the heck is going on?

A well-executed Hitchcockian mystery. ” - equazcion
 
39.
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death. (113 mins.)
Director: Adrian Lyne
“ Tim Robbins starts seeing demons and dead people during the course of his daily routine, and figures this isn't generally something people are supposed to see.

Entertaining, but not great, but, good enough to spark the intrigue and keep you entertained in the moment. You should watch it, but you'll probably forget about it afterwards. ” - equazcion
 
40.
Altered States (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically. (102 mins.)
Director: Ken Russell
“ A scientist induces self-hallucination using drugs and a sensory deprivation tank, which he believes might be causing genetic changes and taking him to another plane of existence.

Well, duh. I once thought I was a water buffalo from planet Lucious-3 in the Altarian dimension. We call that trippin'. You'd think a scientist would know this.

Not exactly one of my favorites, but that might be because I discovered it too recently. The science seems too weak to take seriously, if you ask me, but it's up there in '80s-cult-classic status, so you're not allowed to be too critical. William Hurt is always great though. I could watch that guy take a dump and still be reasonably entertained. ” - equazcion
 
41.
Communion (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Whitley Strieber goes with his family and some friends to his holiday home in the forest. They experience some weird occurances... (107 mins.)
Director: Philippe Mora
“ Christopher Walken plays Whitley Strieber, a real-life alien 'abductee' who wrote about his experiences in the book upon which this movie is based.

This movie seems to fit the list genre well, as there are a plethora of weird mysterious elements that keep getting introduced. The problem is that this is a 'true story' about alien encounters, so the ending couldn't possibly explain them. Just a forewarning. The intrigue concludes with many loose ends. It's still a worthwhile journey though. ” - equazcion
 
42.
Cypher (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale. (95 mins.)
Director: Vincenzo Natali
“ In a future where high-tech corporate espionage has become par for the course, a newly-drafted corporate spy becomes the central figure in a vast conspiracy that has him unsure of which are the good guys.

A fast, slick, visually appealing little oddball rollercoaster. I never would've even known it existed if not for seanmiguel's comment below, so a very big thanks to him. ” - equazcion
 
43.
Solaris (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet. (99 mins.)
“ A psychologist sent to investigate a disaster on a space station starts seeing his dead wife walking around there. Not like a zombie or anything; she actually looks pretty well put-together for a dead chick. ” - equazcion
 
44.
Moon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems. (97 mins.)
Director: Duncan Jones
“ One of the most depressing movies I've ever seen, though weird and an intriguing concept nonetheless.

In the future, a man on a multi-year mission to be the lone operator of a lunar (moon) mining mission has only a Kevin Spacey-voiced boxy robot with a smiley face to keep him company. If you think it couldn't possibly get more depressing than that, just you wait. Man finds out things aren't exactly what they seem.

I both hated and enjoyed this one. It's well-made and original, but also makes you feel like throwing yourself out the nearest window. Which wouldn't do much to me as I live on the ground floor, but it's just a figure of speech. ” - equazcion
 
45.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." (109 mins.)
Director: Garth Jennings
“ So long, and thanks for all the fish.

A journey across the universe drenched in creative weirdness, old-school political satire, and top-notch British humor. Vastly imaginative and brilliantly hilarious, plus Zooey Deschanel looking disarmingly pretty. If you haven't seen it, see it now. If you've seen it already, see it now.

Don't forget to bring a towel. ” - equazcion
 
46.
Slipstream (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Aging screenwriter Felix Bonhoeffer has lived his life in two states of existence: in reality and his own interior world. While working on a murder mystery script, and unaware that his brain is on the verge of implosion, Felix is baffled when his characters start to appear in his life, and vice versa. (96 mins.)
Director: Anthony Hopkins
“ Written and directed by Anthony Hopkins, this movie doesn't seem like something that could've come out of such a seemingly straight-laced gentlemen so firmly rooted in reality who never dropped acid.

This film is basically a symbolic journey through Hopkins' thoughts on the film making process and its industry. Artsy, but intriguingly-so, rather than pretentious.

Beautiful and confusing, as any raw window into a mind would be. ” - equazcion
 
47.
American Psycho (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies. (102 mins.)
Director: Mary Harron
 
48.
He Was a Quiet Man (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An office worker inadvertently becomes a hero after he saves a woman's life. (95 mins.)
 
49.
The Chumscrubber (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia. (108 mins.)
Director: Arie Posin
 
50.
Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide. (88 mins.)
Director: Goran Dukic
“ A whimsically comedic indie teenage post-death tale about the odd wonderland that awaits suicide victims.

An imaginative, cryptic, highly entertaining, romantic, fun little gem. See it. ” - equazcion
 
51.
The Kovak Box (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A sci-fi writer (Hutton) is invited to an island for a conference, only to discover that he's become lured into a trap. (102 mins.)
Director: Daniel Monzón
 
52.
Angel Heart (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn. (113 mins.)
Director: Alan Parker
 
53.
Nowhere Man (1995 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Bruce Greenwood stars as documentary photographer Thomas Veil who, in the course of one evening, seemingly has his whole existence erased... (44 mins.)
“ Nowhere Man was a TV series that lived only for one season. Though it was to be an ongoing series, the season finale actually wraps things up pretty well, answering nearly every question rather nicely (though not resolving the conflict).

Bruce Greenwood stars as Thomas Veil, a photojournalist trying to figure out how and why his life got erased in the course of a single evening. His wife doesn't remember him and his keys no longer work, and he finds out that this all has something to do with a photograph he took of a secret military execution in a war-torn jungle. Throughout the series he uncovers pieces of a global conspiracy that is still after him.

Nowhere Man captures the imagination and triggers the suspense via subtlety and precision storytelling reminiscent of The X-Files. The final episodes explain the mystery with an incredible bombshell that continues to send chills down my spine whenever I think about it.

The complete 25-episode series (most are 45 minutes each) is available on DVD, and you probably won't be sorry if you watch all 25 straight through. However, as the series started out finding itself, many episodes focused on side stories and the humanity of the situation.

If you'd rather stick to episodes that further the plot, here are my recommendations:

([1]) ([2]) 5 [8] 9 12 [13] 14 [15] [18] 19 21 22 23 ([24]) ([25])

Key: If you're the impatient type, the 8 [bracketed episodes] comprise a more "bare essential" episode list. Or, if you're truly not willing to sit through anything much longer than a feature film, at least watch the four (episodes in parenthesis). ” - equazcion
 
54.
Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Neal Oliver, a very confused young man and an artist (played by James Marsden) takes a journey of a lifetime on a highway I60 that doesn't exist on any of the maps, going to the places he never even heard of, searching for an answer and his dreamgirl. (116 mins.)
Director: Bob Gale
“ A young man is sent to make a delivery to a remote location via a road that isn't supposed to exist. Indeed split up into "Episodes", each is a mini-twilight-zone-esque story. It's lighthearted yet mind-bending oddness, which in present times is a recipe for being doomed to obscurity, so you've of course never heard of it.

An entertaining bit of oddball symbolism. ” - equazcion
 
55.
Cube (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Six complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless kafkaesque maze containing deadly traps. (90 mins.)
Director: Vincenzo Natali
“ A group of random strangers find themselves inexplicably dropped in a human-sized rat maze in the form of an enclosed cube of endless compartments, many of which kill you in creative different ways upon entering.

An intriguing little nightmare. It's widely regarded as a cult classic and essential viewing in the weirdness genre. Several sequels followed that you might want to check out as well. ” - equazcion
 
56.
The Box (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know. (115 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
 
57.
Southland Tales (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. (145 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
“ I didn't actually like this movie all that much, but to leave it out of a list of weird mind-benders would be a sin. This movie is nothing if not weird. It's just weird. ” - equazcion
 
58.
Chasing Sleep (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A college professor wakes up to find his wife has not returned home, then struggles to understand her disappearance. (104 mins.)
Director: Michael Walker
“ Jeff Daniels plays an insomniac professor whose wife never made it home from work. He becomes concerned and calls the police, but when they arrive they seem to be acting strangely, and he starts to experience strange things in his home. What's going on here?

An intriguing little mystery that Daniels carries well. ” - equazcion
 
59.
Brazil (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. (132 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
60.
One Point O (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
After receiving mysterious empty packages inside his apartment, a young computer-programmer begins a personal investigation into their origins. (92 mins.)
“ Empty packages suddenly start showing up in front of a young man's door, and he starts developing an unquenchable thirst for... milk. Lots of it. He starts doing other weird things too, along with trying to find out who left these packages and why.

A very weird and well-made mystery. ” - equazcion
 
61.
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A reporter is drawn to a small West Virginia town to investigate a series of strange events, including psychic visions and the appearance of bizarre entities. (119 mins.)
Director: Mark Pellington
 
62.
Triangle (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas. (99 mins.)
 
63.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result. (100 mins.)
“ Another one I didn't particularly like, but that must nevertheless be included. It's also a well-known and respected entry in the genre.

The ending shows that it wasn't all a random set of weird images after all. Still it would've been nice to have more clues throughout. ” - equazcion
 
64.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
65.
Pandorum (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities. (108 mins.)
 
66.
Eden Log (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A man wakes up deep inside a cave. Suffering amnesia, he has no recollection of how he came to be here... (98 mins.)
Director: Franck Vestiel
 
67.
Stay (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
This movie focuses on the attempts of a psychiatrist to prevent one of his patients from committing suicide while trying to maintain his own grip on reality. (99 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
68.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
“ We all know what it's about: The kid sees dead people.

It's easy to forget how much this one blew your mind when you first saw it, as it's been copied so much since. But The Sixth Sense is an undeniable landmark in the "whoa, my mind just got bent" department. ” - equazcion
 
69.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover. (136 mins.)
Director: Cameron Crowe
 
70.
Identity (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one. (90 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
 
71.
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions. (94 mins.)
Director: Grant Heslov
 
72.
The Forbidden Girl (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
The son of a fundamentalist pastor becomes addicted to an irresistible witch. If he gives in to his temptation, he will be doomed to eternal life on the dark side. (106 mins.)
Director: Till Hastreiter
 
73.
Ink (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A mysterious creature, known as Ink, steals a child's soul in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to join the Incubi - the group of supernatural beings responsible for creating nightmares. (107 mins.)
Director: Jamin Winans
 
74.
Melancholia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth. (135 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
 
75.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague... (100 mins.)
Director: Josef Rusnak
 
76.
eXistenZ (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged. (97 mins.)
 
77.
Shutter Island (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In 1954, a U.S. marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (138 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
78.
Franklyn (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A portrait of the broken lives of four people (a vigilante detective, a worried parent, an awkward man looking for love and a suicidal artist) as they all struggle to cope in their religiously-dystopian city. (98 mins.)
Director: Gerald McMorrow
 
79.
Bug (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation. (102 mins.)
 
80.
Candyman (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth. (99 mins.)
Director: Bernard Rose
 
81.
I Know You Know (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A young boy suspects his dad might be working undercover for MI6. (81 mins.)
Director: Justin Kerrigan
 
82.
Motorama (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A ten year-old boy runs away from his abusive parents, steals a Mustang, and rides off playing a surreal video game. (90 mins.)
Director: Barry Shils
“ On the "What the hell is this movie about" scale, this one's off the charts.

This movie is about a young boy who sets out on his own in some weird dreamy-nightmarish alternate reality. It feels like a lighthearted family adventure at first, but some surprisingly dark themes are introduced. The boy is inexplicably treated like an adult by everyone he encounters, and events become increasingly bizarre.

Probably the most obscure and avant-garde title in the list. It's honestly not the most entertaining film, but has appeal for those who appreciate a good dose of oddness. ” - equazcion