So you liked The Usual Suspects, Inception, Memento, or Edge of Tomorrow...

by mittens-and-matches | created - 07 Sep 2012 | updated - 12 Sep 2018 | Public

A couple months ago I got a hankering to watch some Memento type movies. I did a search online watched a lot of movies and tried to distill the good ones here. I broadened it from just Memento to Inception, Edge of Tomorrow and the Usual Suspects as well.

If this list has been helpful to you or you have any thoughts or recommendations for me leave a comment and let me know :)

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1. Oldboy (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

77 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-Tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Kim Byeong-Ok

Votes: 518,191 | Gross: $0.71M

The back cover description doesn't do this movie justice. I know its a foreign flick and you have to read the subtitles but its amazing. Plenty of dark humor and plot twists.

2. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

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.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 336,103 | Gross: $5.01M

Beautiful outer space cinematography and a great performance by Sam Rockwell. This movie is a slow burner. Don't expect a lot of action. Just a smart, nuanced sci-fi mystery that gets better each time you watch it.

3. Incendies (2010)

R | 131 min | Drama, Mystery, War

80 Metascore

Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Mustafa Kamel

Votes: 151,383 | Gross: $6.86M

Amazing foreign movie with great acting and incredible plot.

4. Primer (2004)

PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya

Votes: 98,919 | Gross: $0.42M

A cult classic that was made with a $7000 budget. Its a time travel movie that is going to require repeated viewing to completely understand. Worth it though. Especially if you are a fan of intricate and non-linear storytelling like Memento.

5. The Prestige (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,196,455 | Gross: $53.09M

Another Christopher Nolan flick. Most likely you know Christopher Nolan directed Inception, and Memento as well as the Batman movies. I've seen all his movies. He is my favorite director. This is one of his best and has some great performances by Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and the rest.

6. Sicario (2015)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal

Votes: 373,372 | Gross: $46.89M

7. Jo Nesbø's Headhunters (2011)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

72 Metascore

An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julie R. Ølgaard

Votes: 97,249 | Gross: $1.20M

Hard to find a good english subtitle version of this movie but its definitely worth the effort. It's a smart crime thriller with more emotional depth than your typical American film. Highly recommend!

8. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,195,828 | Gross: $132.38M

Another crime/drama with a wicked smart script. It won best picture at the Oscars. Love it.

9. 12 Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

74 Metascore

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.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito

Votes: 580,314 | Gross: $57.14M

For fans of movie endings in the vein of The Usual Suspects. This movie is based on a short movie called La Jetée and I think this is one of the few cases where the new version is better than the original. Brad Pitt gives my favorite performance as a crazy guy.

10. Timecrimes (2007)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo | Stars: Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernández, Bárbara Goenaga, Nacho Vigalondo

Votes: 58,708 | Gross: $0.04M

A quirky but fun foreign time-travel movie. Like Memento you and the protagonist start out trying to figure out whats going on and it gets more clear as well as complicated from there. Huge elements of the plot from this movie were lifted to make the movie Triangle (listed below).

11. Triangle (2009)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruiser drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Michael Dorman

Votes: 103,686

This movie is a bit of a remake of "Timecrimes" (listed above) for American audiences. Timecrimes is a bit more logical/believable while Triangle relies on a sort of magical element. However, both employ the same time travel mechanics. Triangle also blatantly steals one of the key features of Timecrimes so once you watch one movie you're going to recognize what is happening in the other. Even so there are a lot of elements I enjoy in Triangle more than Timecrimes. I recommend watching both and am willing to bet that whichever you see first will color your opinion of the one you see after ;)

12. 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: 1,864,043 | Gross: $37.03M

A cult masterpiece.

13. 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: 313,512 | Gross: $22.86M

"Being John Malkovich" is about a puppeteer who "discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star, John Malkovich." This movie is a drama not a thriller but its sheer creativity makes it a trip.

14. Adaptation. (2002)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton

Votes: 179,197 | Gross: $22.25M

Also, from the writer of 'Being John Malkovich' and more of a drama than a thriller. This movie employs a plot twist halfway through that I don't think you've ever seen in another movie.

15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 915,601 | Gross: $34.40M

In some ways the opposite premise of Inception. Instead of planting new memories in someone the movie asks "what if you could erase a person from your memory?" A sad drama with great performances.

16. 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: 106,722 | Gross: $5.50M

Based on a novel by Philip Dick who wrote all sorts of trippy stuff. If you like these kind of movies read some of his books like "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch", " Now Wait till last Year", "Ubik", etc... This movie is also not a thriller but a drama that looks at the lives of a group of parnoid drug addicts.

17. Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 696,463 | Gross: $32.87M

A sci-fi classic. If you haven't seen the movie yet its important you watch the "Final Cut" version that came out in 2007. Its the only one Ridley Scott had complete control over. Also, based on a novel by Philip Dick.

18. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 581,807 | Gross: $70.91M

A romantic comedy from the 90s. It's on here because it employs time travel and its a classic. Funny and sweet. Bill Murray is great.

19. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 602,443 | Gross: $100.21M

Included in the title but worth seeing...even if you're not a Tom Cruise fan :). Its a smart big budget Hollywood production. Basically the Sci-fi version of Groundhog Day.

20. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 1,130,421 | Gross: $25.54M

Included in the title. This is the movie that got me started down this path originally. A classic and the movie that kicked off Christopher Nolan's career.

21. 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, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 2,078,417 | Gross: $292.58M

Included in the title. But for those that haven't seen it its worth repeated viewing. Amazing movie. Reminds me of the book "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch," by Philip Dick.

22. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 995,449 | Gross: $23.34M

Included in the title. Its a great crime drama with a famous plot twist. If you haven't seen it watch it.



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