The best thought provoking / mind-bending movies

by geopehlivanov | created - 25 Aug 2014 | updated - 18 Oct 2016 | Public
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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: 1,438,969 | Gross: $171.48M

2. Vanilla Sky (2001)

R | 136 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

45 Metascore

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell

Votes: 228,535 | Gross: $100.61M

3. 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: 994,588 | Gross: $25.54M

4. 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: 203,095 | Gross: $52.16M

5. 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: 677,093 | Gross: $1.48M

6. The Fountain (2006)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn

Votes: 211,995 | Gross: $10.14M

7. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 551,756 | Gross: $37.63M

8. The Others (2001)

PG-13 | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

74 Metascore

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan, Alakina Mann

Votes: 305,014 | Gross: $96.52M

9. Waking Life (2001)

R | 99 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

82 Metascore

A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Trevor Jack Brooks, Lorelei Linklater, Wiley Wiggins

Votes: 55,653 | Gross: $2.89M

10. Audition (1999)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

69 Metascore

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Jun Kunimura

Votes: 63,077

11. Dark City (1998)

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

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

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

Votes: 173,466 | Gross: $14.38M

12. 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: 958,829 | Gross: $128.01M

13. Frequency (2000)

PG-13 | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

67 Metascore

An accidental cross-time radio link connects father and son across 30 years. The son tries to save his father's life, but then must fix the consequences.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jim Caviezel, Shawn Doyle, Elizabeth Mitchell

Votes: 92,154 | Gross: $45.01M

14. 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 CEO.

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

Votes: 1,755,015 | Gross: $292.58M

15. 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: 189,043 | Gross: $0.00M

16. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

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

Votes: 626,392 | Gross: $106.95M

17. The Sunset Limited (2011 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 91 min | Drama

Through a chance encounter, two men of opposing ideologies deliberate spiritual, philosophical, and profound matters in a New York City apartment.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones

Votes: 25,172

18. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Mystery, Romance, 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: 438,060 | Gross: $54.71M

19. Los cronocrímenes (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: 50,415 | Gross: $0.04M

20. Triangle (2009)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise 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: 85,105

21. 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: 59,543 | Gross: $15.50M

22. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 561,857

23. 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: 28,657

24. Exam (2009)

Not Rated | 101 min | Mystery, Thriller

Eight candidates for a highly desirable corporate job are locked together in an exam room and given a final test with just one question. It seems simple yet confusing that soon, tensions begin to unravel.

Director: Stuart Hazeldine | Stars: Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham

Votes: 90,752

25. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 280,815 | Gross: $7.22M

26. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum, Soo-jung Lim, Geun-young Moon

Votes: 49,035

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: 57,020 | Gross: $0.34M

28. 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: 1,605,005 | Gross: $37.03M

29. Cloud Atlas (2012)

R | 172 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

55 Metascore

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 318,725 | Gross: $27.11M

30. Trance (I) (2013)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

61 Metascore

An art auctioneer becomes mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Danny Sapani

Votes: 102,776 | Gross: $2.32M

31. Hellowoo goseuteu (2010)

111 min | Comedy, Drama

A man's failed suicide attempt enables him to see ghosts, who later keep following him everywhere. It is now up to him to fulfill their wishes to make them go away.

Director: Young-Tak Kim | Stars: Tae-Hyun Cha, Ye-won Kang, Moon-su Lee, Chang-Seok Ko

Votes: 3,228

32. 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: 442,503 | Gross: $25.57M

33. Sucker Punch (2011)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Fantasy

33 Metascore

A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather, retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, envisioning a plan to help her escape.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone

Votes: 214,301 | Gross: $36.39M

34. Snowpiercer (2013)

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

84 Metascore

Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris

Votes: 225,464 | Gross: $4.56M

35. 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: 17,501 | Gross: $0.00M

36. V for Vendetta (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Votes: 922,096 | Gross: $70.51M

37. Predestination (I) (2014)

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

69 Metascore

For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Madeleine West

Votes: 215,529 | Gross: $0.07M

38. Enemy (2013)

R | 91 min | Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 134,790 | Gross: $1.01M

39. Ex Machina (2014)

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

78 Metascore

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

Votes: 399,617 | Gross: $25.44M

40. Tesis sobre un homicidio (2013)

106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Roberto Bermudez, a specialist in criminal law, is convinced that one of his students committed a brutal murder. It leads him to start an investigation that becomes his obsession.

Director: Hernán Goldfrid | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Natalia Santiago, Alberto Ammann, Calu Rivero

Votes: 6,397

41. Stonehearst Asylum (2014)

PG-13 | 112 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

52 Metascore

An Oxford graduate takes up a job in a mental asylum, only to discover that the "revolutionary" new treatments are inhumane and that there is more going on than meets the eye.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 44,122

42. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,218,037 | Gross: $188.02M

43. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 61,703 | Gross: $0.70M

44. Lucy (I) (2014)

R | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

61 Metascore

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked

Votes: 387,199 | Gross: $126.66M

45. Die Tür (2009)

103 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A successful artist loses control of his life after his young daughter's death. A chance for a new start appears, but all is not what it seems.

Director: Anno Saul | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Schwarz, Valeria Eisenbart, Thomas Thieme

Votes: 4,433

46. 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: 524,154 | Gross: $100.21M

47. Sound of My Voice (2011)

R | 85 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future.

Director: Zal Batmanglij | Stars: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Davenia McFadden

Votes: 18,750 | Gross: $0.41M

48. Cui mian da shi (2014)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The famous psychologist Xu Ruining has a raising career, when he met the troublesome patient Ren Xiaoyan. The meeting is not easy as feeble-looking Ren is point by point against him.

Director: Leste Chen | Stars: Jing Hu, Zhong Lü, Karen Mok, David Yao-Qing Wang

Votes: 1,869

49. Dead End (I) (2003)

R | 85 min | Adventure, Horror, Mystery

Christmas Eve. On his way to his in-laws with his family, Frank Harrington decides to try a shortcut, for the first time in 20 years. It turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.

Directors: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa | Stars: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden

Votes: 22,827

50. A Pure Formality (1994)

PG-13 | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller