Alternative Reality Movies

by red_moon1987 | created - 21 Feb 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

The Movies in this list tell the stories of an alternative reality which is created by either the characters' mind or a scientific/technological process. The movies are listed in order of decreasing rating of my opinion.

By the way, who can claim that the reality we live in is the true reality? May be we also live in an alternative reality or in a delusion. Are we able to distinguish the reality from dreams and delusions?

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1. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,514,169 | Gross: $171.48M

There is no spoon.

2. Mr. Nobody (2009)

R | 141 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

63 Metascore

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham

Votes: 197,720 | Gross: $0.00M

In chess, it's called Zugzwang when the only viable move is not to move.

3. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,846,137 | Gross: $292.58M

Dreams feel real while we are in them.

4. eXistenZ (1999)

R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

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.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 87,804 | Gross: $2.84M

Hey, tell me the truth. Are we still in the game?

5. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

36 Metascore

A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

Director: Josef Rusnak | Stars: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 61,826 | Gross: $15.50M

You could call it the end of the world.

6. Open Your Eyes (1997)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera, Fele Martínez

Votes: 59,729 | Gross: $0.37M

Open your eyes.

7. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,683,792 | Gross: $37.03M

Hey, you created me. ... Take some responsibility!

8. The Jacket (2005)

R | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

44 Metascore

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.

Director: John Maybury | Stars: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Daniel Craig, Kris Kristofferson

Votes: 103,748 | Gross: $6.30M

The important thing in life is to believe that while you're alive, it's never too late.

9. Gamer (2009)

R | 95 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

27 Metascore

In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'Doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive thirty sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor | Stars: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Ludacris, Amber Valletta

Votes: 124,856 | Gross: $20.49M

This is not something you can control.

10. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 699,099 | Gross: $1.48M

Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

11. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 772,861 | Gross: $170.74M

She never gets old.

12. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

R | 138 min | Action, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Following the events of The Matrix (1999), Neo and the rebel leaders estimate they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 479,654 | Gross: $281.49M

We are all victims of causality.

13. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 452,811 | Gross: $54.71M

What would you do if you knew that you have less than 8 minutes to live?

14. Ben X (2007)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Thriller

As an alternative to getting bullied at school, an autistic teenager retreats into the world of online role-playing games.

Director: Nic Balthazar | Stars: Marijke Pinoy, Greg Timmermans, Cesar De Sutter, Gilles De Schryver

Votes: 17,795 | Gross: $0.00M

Someone always has to die first. And then everyone suddenly wakes up.

15. Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

62 Metascore

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic | Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits, Will Arnett

Votes: 51,260 | Gross: $0.32M

Most of the people that I knew before I got here were either half dead or just completely dead already.

16. Coherence (2013)

Not Rated | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.

Director: James Ward Byrkit | Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen

Votes: 89,829 | Gross: $0.07M

We are not from this house.

17. Her (2013)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

Votes: 468,585 | Gross: $25.57M

I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It's a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity

18. Filth (I) (2013)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own inner demons.

Director: Jon S. Baird | Stars: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots

Votes: 93,754 | Gross: $0.03M

Same rules apply.

19. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Votes: 649,964 | Gross: $106.95M

I just want to be perfect.

20. Stay (I) (2005)

R | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

41 Metascore

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.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Kate Burton

Votes: 70,347 | Gross: $3.63M

If this is a dream, the whole world is inside it.

21. Shutter Island (2010)

R | 138 min | Mystery, Thriller

63 Metascore

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 1,008,769 | Gross: $128.01M

Baby, why are you all wet?

22. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

44 Metascore

Chris Nielsen dies in car crash one night, and then goes to Heaven. Later, his widow Annie commits suicide, unable to overcome her loss. Chris descends into Hell to save her.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow

Votes: 95,558 | Gross: $55.49M

Thought is real, physical is the illusion.

23. OtherLife (2017)

96 min | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After inventing a drug that induces time-compressed virtual realities, young Ren grapples with partner Sam over how to use their powerful creation.

Director: Ben C. Lucas | Stars: Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Cocquerel, Shalom Brune-Franklin, T.J. Power

Votes: 11,004

What would you do with your otherlife?

24. Assassin's Creed (2016)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

36 Metascore

Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, before taking on the secret Templar society.

Director: Justin Kurzel | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 167,532 | Gross: $54.65M

It's 2016. No one cares about freedom.

25. Surrogates (2009)

PG-13 | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 163,529 | Gross: $38.58M

Honey, I don't know what you are.

26. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

90 Metascore

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Votes: 289,151 | Gross: $22.86M

Truth is for suckers, Johnny Boy.

27. Enter the Void (2009)

Not Rated | 161 min | Drama, Fantasy

69 Metascore

A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Olly Alexander

Votes: 61,425 | Gross: $0.34M

It's a little like dying would be the ultimate trip.

28. Identity (2003)

R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

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.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes

Votes: 209,780 | Gross: $52.16M

Who am I speaking to?

29. Transcendence (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A scientist's drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

Director: Wally Pfister | Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy

Votes: 204,754 | Gross: $23.02M

People fear what they don't understand.

30. Next Door (2005)

Unrated | 75 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

John has just been left by his girlfriend Ingrid. That day he allows himself to be seduced into a mystical and scary world, where it is impossible to separate truth from the lies

Director: Pål Sletaune | Stars: Kristoffer Joner, Cecilie A. Mosli, Julia Schacht, Anna Bache-Wiig

Votes: 8,228

People are pretty much the same, or totally different.

31. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, which includes a wife he cannot remember, and a nightmarish world without a sun.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 177,645 | Gross: $14.38M

You were never a boy.

32. Ready Player One (2018)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

When the creator of a virtual reality called the OASIS dies, he makes a posthumous challenge to all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune and control of his world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe

Votes: 303,723 | Gross: $137.69M

People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.

33. The Island (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

50 Metascore

A man living in a futuristic sterile colony begins to question his circumscribed existence when his friend is chosen to go to the Island, the last uncontaminated place on earth.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 288,424 | Gross: $35.82M

You have a very special purpose in life.

34. Parallels (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 83 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A mysterious building is the gateway to infinite parallel Earths.

Director: Christopher Leone | Stars: Mark Hapka, Jessica Rothe, Eric Jungmann, Constance Wu

Votes: 12,765

That, my friend, is the Big Danny.

35. Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002)

R | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

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.

Director: Bob Gale | Stars: James Marsden, Gary Oldman, Kurt Russell, Matthew Edison

Votes: 27,625

Given an infinite universe and infinite time all things will happen.

36. He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (2002)

PG-13 | 92 min | Romance, Thriller

63 Metascore

A young woman who is in love with a married doctor becomes dangerous when her attempts to persuade him to leave his wife are unsuccessful. However, when things are seen from his point of view, the real situation becomes clear.

Director: Laetitia Colombani | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan, Isabelle Carré, Sophie Guillemin

Votes: 17,741 | Gross: $1.01M

Though my love is insane, my reason calms the pain in my heart. It tells me to be patient and keep hoping.

37. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 118,796 | Gross: $3.80M

We've met before, haven't we?

38. Total Recall (1990)

R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin

Votes: 278,585 | Gross: $119.39M

I just had a terrible thought. What if this is a dream?

39. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

R | 100 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Rory Cochrane

Votes: 100,484 | Gross: $5.50M

What's on the dessert menu?

40. The Machinist (2004)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian

Votes: 330,099 | Gross: $1.08M

I just want to sleep.

41. TRON: Legacy (2010)

PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.

Director: Joseph Kosinski | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner

Votes: 296,645 | Gross: $172.06M

The only way to win the game is not to play.

42. +1 (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

Three college friends hit the biggest party of the year, where a mysterious phenomenon disrupts the night, quickly descending into a chaos that challenges their friendships - and whether they can stay alive.

Director: Dennis Iliadis | Stars: Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw, Natalie Hall

Votes: 7,354

They're us, but they're not us...

43. Enter Nowhere (2011)

R | 90 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Three strangers arrive one by one at a mysterious cabin in the middle of nowhere only to learn they've been brought together for a reason.

Director: Jack Heller | Stars: Katherine Waterston, Scott Eastwood, Sara Paxton, Shaun Sipos

Votes: 7,328

Maybe we're all about to live.

44. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (2006)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Soo-jung Lim, Rain, Seong-hun Cheon, Hee-jin Choi

Votes: 21,289

I'm not a psy-cho; I'm a cy-borg.

45. Self/less (2015)

PG-13 | 117 min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

34 Metascore

A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.

Director: Tarsem Singh | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 80,896 | Gross: $12.28M

Death, has some, side effects.

46. Ghost in the Shell (2017)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the near future, Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals.

Director: Rupert Sanders | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche

Votes: 177,069 | Gross: $40.53M

What's the difference, fantasy, reality, dreams, memories. It's all the same, just noise.

47. Cypher (2002)

R | 95 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Jeremy Northam, Lucy Liu, Nigel Bennett, Timothy Webber

Votes: 29,054

That's not who I am anymore.

48. The Science of Sleep (2006)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Miou-Miou, Alain Chabat

Votes: 65,786 | Gross: $4.66M

First, we put in some random thoughts. And then, we add a little bit of reminiscences of the day... mixed with some memories from the past.

49. The White Sound (2001)

109 min | Drama

7.2