Most Mind-Bending Movies Ever Made

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The Matrix


Even though Matrix Reloaded and Revolution were disappointing to say the least, one cannot make a list about the most mind-bending movies of all time without including the Wachowski siblings’ seminal sci-fi epic The Matrix. It’s almost an ode to the world’s of philosophers, futurists, and sci-fi nerds alike.

The Matrix, in the literal sense, is film designed to mess with your mind. The essential plot of the film is that the 1999-world we believe to be real is actually a grand façade created by these malevolent sentient machines to keep humans in a concentrated cyber world while they harness our bodies for fuel to keep up their campaign for total global domination.

Simply watching the green code flow down your screen is enough to confuse even the most confident of moviegoers, but watch it enough and you’ll understand the basis of the Wachowskis’ goal to bring your attention to yet another possibility of human extinction via man-made machines.

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  • Cinemark

    What about the Granddaddy of mind-bending films: 2001

  • Ryan

    You forgot Stay and Donnie Darko

  • Milla

    Donnie Darko for sure should be on this list

  • Milla

    or Fight Club!

  • Dev

    A Beautiful Mind. C’mon

  • Ghazi

    The worst part is that Dennis Lehane who actually wrote Shutter Island gets no recognition

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.patterson2 Chris Shadowfinder Patterson

    Mind bend try ( Existence ) CLASSIC and ( John Dies at the end ) for me the others I understood but these 2 gave me a headache.

    • http://www.facebook.com/SmithingChick Sharon Smith

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking Existenz.

    • BertyFromDK

      I think Videodrome is in the same vein as eXistenz – both are by Cronenberg, after all.

  • NillaWafer


  • ScouseBot23

    “But in the end, he believes he’s being kept against his will.” (Shutter Island)…This isn’t what happens, the therapy ended up working as he realised he killed his wife but he didn’t want to live knowing that he did. That’s why he says, “Which would be worse–to live as a monster? Or to die as a good man?”, at the end before getting up and (of his own freewill, without anybody helping him) walking towards his own lobotomy…which is why Mark Ruffalo reacts the way he does….it makes the film less “Inception-like” as it’s not as open-ended but it makes it that much more depressing…brilliant film, and if DiCaprio didn’t have his problems with the academy, he would have won for this for sure (and best supporting for Django; NOT EVEN NOMINATED?!?!)…especially for the lake house scene…Chills…

  • Yoric

    Mulholland Drive?

  • Colin

    Also left out here: Jacob’s Ladder. A truly mind-bending and excellent film.

    • Kerry Coulter Crooks

      I was thinking the same thing. Jacob’s Ladder is one of my favourites. At the end you go “Oooooohhhhhh” and then you watch it again.

  • Glen Smith

    Have to say some of these movies are the weirdest i have ever seen. Certain ones i stopped halfway as i thought they were a load of crap.

  • George A. Christie

    In the Mouth of Madness, Repulsion, Identity, Donnie Darko, eXistenz, Antichrist, The Holy Mountain, all better options than most on this list.

  • thathang3

    What a stupid list. Inception and The Prestige are hardly mind bending. They are not intelligent at all, it’s basically Nolan with too much budget. The author seems only to be watching the same directors. Lazy!

    What a about Mulholland Drive, Dark City, Brazil, 1984, Solyaris (the Russian version especially)… Ah damn there are many great examples.

  • Cam

    Excellent list. I would’ve also added identity and existenz, and what the bleep do we know. That last one had me reeling for days.

  • Quatro vonDue 9

    I thought the title was 10 most mind bending movies “ever” made, not the 10 most mind bending blockbusters made in the last decade.. Some of my favorite movies there, don’t get me wrong, but lying to your readers because you are to fucking lazy to do you homework?! You suck!

    • JJS

      Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Classic Burton & Taylor and definitely mind blowing!

  • muckymuckman

    I’d have put A Tale of Two Sisters and Identity in there

  • Neela Bannerji

    I agree with every one of your choices. probably would have switched out Secret Window for Donnie Darko, but still, pretty spot on.

  • Solgazer

    The Fountains main protagonist only exists in two time periods: the present day and his own future. The sequences set in 16th century Spain were extracts from the book his partner was writing.

  • Krish

    Butterfly effect!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rahul

    I think 1408 was more mind-bending than The Prestige…

  • BlueScorpion

    Where’s Mulholland Drive? Or anything by Lynch, for that matter. Instead, we have Secret Window, which is just another horror-drama with a multiple-personality twist. C’mon, seriously!

  • bete

    Folks!!! totally forgot triangle made by Christopher Smith, and starring Melissa George- an amazing mind bender…

  • John Meighan

    None of these are massively mind blowing

  • Robert Henrycinq

    Any of you saw movies made before the 90′s ?

  • Brandon Karp

    donnie darko