The 25 Best Mind-Blowing Movies Of All Time (2023)

The 25 Best Mind-Blowing Movies Of All Time (1)

Mind-Blowing Movies: Stories that consciously target the audience's brain as a pawn, either allowing us to work through their abstract mysteries or pulling the rug out from under the audience's final moments or taking us on a spiraling dream journey like no other . another movie might.

Let's take a look at the best of the best in this unique subgenre, on a one-entry-allowed-by-director criteria (otherwise this would just be a David Lynch and Christopher Nolan list). Prepare your mind...

25. Altered States (1980)

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Ken Russell was already Britain's terrible child before traveling to the United States for this troubled production, which quickly killed his chance to work there again. Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky (also disowned by him), the film follows a Harvard scientist (William Hurt) who becomes obsessed with discovering the true role of human nature in the universe. How does he do it? Lock himself in an isolation chamber and use hallucinatory drugs, just like you.

The film devolves into silly nonsense as Hurt's physical condition reverts to its original form in response to this ordeal, but where the film thrives is in its incredible "vision" related imagery; This is where Russell is really in his element, as he creates a stunning world that is probably the most amazing and elaborate hallucinogenic sequences ever brought to celluloid, as well as his strongest work in this particular field (which is to say something). The plot is interesting, even if some of the execution is flawed, but it's worth your time for its mind-blowing staging and hellish imagery.

24. Triangle (2009)

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From underrated director Christopher Smith, this mighty little thriller makes for a hilarious and unforgettable experience that makes the most of its premise: a group of travelers is stranded on an empty cruise ship in the Bermuda Triangle. It isn't long before they are all hunted down by a hooded, axe-wielding assassin, but things are not as they seem.

Playing on the standard "slasher" tropes Smith knows so well, "Triangle" strips away the façade of the familiar, then slowly strips away those elements and introduces a rumbling, maze-like story that leaves most stunned by its final. It's backed by gripping direction and a performance from its lead, Melissa George, that's a must-read for fans of the genre craving something different with her kicks. Get ready for something closer to Donnie Darko than Friday the 13th.

23. Predestination (2015)

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One of the more recent and overlooked entries in this article, Ethan Hawke has reunited with his 'Daybreakers' directors, the Spierig brothers, for this sci-fi mystery with a twist at the end, widely hailed as one of the top. in recent memory.

Ultimately, it would be a great disservice to discuss this movie on a grand scale, so in a nutshell, Hawke is a time-traveling enforcer on a relentless mission to hunt down the "Fizzle Bomber," a terrorist who specifically targets 1975 New York. Does that sound loud enough? Well, things get weird when his story becomes intertwined with that of Sarah Snook, a young woman with a troubled past and even more complex gender issues.

A witty and suspenseful thriller with juicy sci-fi elements and a crazy third act. Cleverly directed by the Spierigs and anchored by two fantastic leads in Hawke and Snook, it's the best time travel thriller in recent memory (sorry, "Looper").

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22. Fight Club (1999)

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David Fincher's masterful satire on the man before the turn of the millennium deserves a place here, even if it contains one of cinema's most recognizable twists.

In case you didn't know, Edward Norton's aimless office worker's life is turned upside down when he meets a dysfunctional love interest (a hilarious Helena Bonham Carter) and, more importantly, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a enigmatic but terrifying. admits the mentor.

Fincher's source material was already packed with Chuck Palahniuk's vivid opinions and biting humor, but the director is able to complement the colorful text in an incredible Take-No-Prisoners-esque exercise and balance his dark comedy in a mind-bending brain teaser. . Every moment of the film builds up to the third act in such an eclectic way that, rewatching it, it's amazing you didn't see it coming: it's celluloid's most famous "mind screw," but it may live up to the hype. hype with an incredible (albeit often quoted) piece of cinema.

21. Open Your Eyes (1997)

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In the late '90s, filmmaker Alejandro Amen√°bar had a penchant for twisted and thought-provoking thrillers, and there's no better example than this blockbuster: a powerful morality story about a rich playboy (Eduardo Noriega) who sleeps with the wrong woman and he ends his efforts mutilated in a car accident. With her body and his mind badly traumatized, things veer into the territory of a paranoid thriller with a dose of sci-fi.

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Beautifully and meticulously made with a tight script that accommodates its twists and turns, "Open Your Eyes" remains Amen√°bar's best work, so much so that even when Hollywood was filming a big-budget Tom Cruise remake ("Vanilla Sky in 2001), it could feel like a decent copy shrouded in shadow of the original, which only helped to make the point that it's mission impossible to reproduce the magic of something so fresh, original and crazy.

20. Identity (2003)

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A typical dark and stormy night, a bunch of strangers stranded in a musty motel. A mysterious assassin takes them one by one and then they all realize they are connected in more ways than one. Until now, Agatha Christie, right?

Well, that's the fun factor about this piece: as formulated genre fodder, it's solid and far better executed than it deserves, directed by James Mangold with loving use of genre tropes and moody atmospheres, plus a great cast. (John Cusack, Ray Liotta, John Hawke). What really takes this track to mind-blowing levels though is its third act, which opens a door into very new and totally unexpected territory. Going too deep wouldn't do it any favors, but for those who missed this one, you should check out a wonderfully murky, but equally clever horror-thriller.

19. Mind Game (2004)

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Anime has a strong tradition of making utterly insane movies that can intrigue and baffle at the same time, and none would be more appropriate than this mid-2000s attempt, which should have changed its title to Mind Fuck, given the way it that defined that category. clearly manifested.

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Nishi is a wacky aspiring manga artist whose crush on his high school crush ultimately leads him on a crazy journey that will take him anywhere from a gangster's car to the belly of a whale to life in the darkest. there (before, of course, he is revived).

Director Masaaki Yuasa throws a plethora of concepts and themes at us at once, all of which are made even more schizophrenic through their constant light-hearted animation styles, from hand-floating drawings to CGI and live-action fusions. Fortunately, he is unpretentious and manages to be a hilarious and sometimes heartwarming adventure that is, well, hilarious as hell.

18. Primer (2004)

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This indie is divided on it: some find it a refreshingly mature take on the sci-fi genre, while otherwise feeling it's an unnecessarily complicated mess of amateurish acting and dull directing. Both could be true, to be honest, but somewhere in the middle lies a compelling riddle, one that loses all of its subject matter's high-profile luster in a stark exploration of how anyone could realistically build a time machine. and the terrible ramifications this has. would have in turn

Shane Carruth's directorial debut can be frustrating at times, as he intentionally makes the plot difficult to follow. The first 30 minutes are pretty much all or nothing, spewing technical talk at us at a pace that quickly overlaps with flashy handheld style and unconventional plot structure. Do you feel unnecessarily tight? Perhaps, but the work the audience puts in becomes satisfying when things pay off in the third act, unraveling some clever plotting in what may be the definitive movie about time travel mechanics.

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