Alternative Reality Movies

by red_moon1987 | created - 21 Feb 2012 | updated - 2 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

When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

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

Votes: 1,654,073 | 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: 214,242 | 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: 2,036,180 | Gross: $292.58M

Dreams feel real while we are in them.

4. Your Name. (2016)

PG | 106 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita, Aoi Yûki

Votes: 187,221 | Gross: $5.02M

I came to see you. It wasn't easy because you were so far away.

5. 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: 1,831,249 | Gross: $37.03M

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

6. 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: 93,114 | Gross: $2.84M

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

7. Open Your Eyes (1997)

R | 119 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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: 63,575 | Gross: $0.37M

Open your eyes.

8. 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: 66,435 | Gross: $15.50M

You could call it the end of the world.

9. 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: 107,916 | Gross: $6.30M

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

10. 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.

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

Votes: 129,414 | Gross: $20.49M

This is not something you can control.

11. Donnie Darko (2001)

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

88 Metascore

After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

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

Votes: 734,353 | Gross: $1.48M

Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

12. 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: 838,480 | Gross: $170.74M

She never gets old.

13. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

R | 138 min | Action, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Freedom fighters Neo, Trinity and Morpheus continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army, unleashing their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the systematic forces of repression and exploitation.

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

Votes: 510,707 | Gross: $281.49M

We are all victims of causality.

14. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

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 within 8 minutes.

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

Votes: 480,861 | Gross: $54.71M

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

15. 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: 18,315 | Gross: $0.00M

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

16. 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: 53,504 | Gross: $0.32M

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

17. Coherence (2013)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

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: 106,481 | Gross: $0.07M

We are not from this house.

18. 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: 532,714 | 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

19. 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: 100,812 | Gross: $0.03M

Same rules apply.

20. 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: 692,730 | Gross: $106.95M

I just want to be perfect.

21. Stay (I) (2005)

R | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

41 Metascore

A psychiatrist attempts 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: 74,232 | Gross: $3.63M

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

22. 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: 1,113,138 | Gross: $128.01M

Baby, why are you all wet?

23. What Dreams May Come (1998)

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

44 Metascore

Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

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

Votes: 101,573 | Gross: $55.49M

Thought is real, physical is the illusion.

24. OtherLife (2017)

TV-MA | 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, Liam Graham, Fiona Press, Adriane Daff

Votes: 14,227

What would you do with your otherlife?

25. 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: 183,554 | Gross: $54.65M

It's 2016. No one cares about freedom.

26. 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: 168,138 | Gross: $38.58M

Honey, I don't know what you are.

27. 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: 309,632 | Gross: $22.86M

Truth is for suckers, Johnny Boy.

28. Enter the Void (2009)

Not Rated | 161 min | Drama, Fantasy

69 Metascore

An American 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: 70,011 | Gross: $0.34M

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

29. 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: 225,235 | Gross: $52.16M

Who am I speaking to?

30. 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 own consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

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

Votes: 215,438 | Gross: $23.02M

People fear what they don't understand.

31. 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

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

Votes: 8,683

People are pretty much the same, or totally different.

32. 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, no one else seems to be waking up from.

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

Votes: 186,734 | Gross: $14.38M

You were never a boy.

33. 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: 361,633 | 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.

34. 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: 298,947 | Gross: $35.82M

You have a very special purpose in life.

35. 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: 13,691

That, my friend, is the Big Danny.

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

R | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Neal Oliver, a very confused young man and an artist, 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: 29,707

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

37. Thou Gild'st the Even (2013)

107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Thou Gild'st the Evenis about the ordinary sorrows, worries, and troubles of the townsmen with extraordinary abilities. In a small Anatolian town, life goes on; Cemal is an assistant ... See full summary »

Director: Onur Ünlü | Stars: Ali Atay, Tansu Biçer, Cengiz Bozkurt, Asil Buyukozcelik

Votes: 9,036

Knowing everything and knowing nothing is the same thing. You just turn into a wood.

38. 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: 18,317 | 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.

39. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

Anonymous videotapes presage a musician's murder conviction; a gangster's girlfriend leads a mechanic astray.

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

Votes: 129,494 | Gross: $3.80M

We've met before, haven't we?

40. 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 is he?

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

Votes: 299,285 | Gross: $119.39M

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

41. Happy Death Day (2017)

PG-13 | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

58 Metascore

A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.

Director: Christopher Landon | Stars: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken

Votes: 114,275 | Gross: $55.68M

Oh, hey, you're up.

42. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

57 Metascore

Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

Director: Christopher Landon | Stars: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Suraj Sharma

Votes: 55,730 | Gross: $28.05M

Now you're stuck in this day. Congrats. Oh, and by the way? You're going to die. Again... and again... and again.

43. Pleasantville (1998)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy

Votes: 120,472 | Gross: $40.57M

How'd you know about the fire?

44. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 101,148

I think art is enormously important in life, especially for those struggling for one reason or another.