Top 10 Mind-Blowing, Yet Thought-Provoking Movies


If there’s one thing movies do better than any other art form, it’s weirdness. The combination of sight, sound, and music make for a perfect cocktail to take the audience away on a wild and spaced-out ride; and in recent years filmmakers have even started using film as a way to explore heady philosophical ideas like the nature of identity, time, and consciousness.  With this in mind, the following are ten movies that have some of the most far-out, inventive, and thought-provoking plotlines in film history. There are countless honorable mentions that could have easily made this list, so please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments section.

10. The Prestige

If you want to mystify an audience, you can’t go wrong by taking a page out of the magician’s book of tricks, which is exactly what director Christopher Nolan did with his 2006 film The Prestige. The story follows two turn-of-the-century magicians who get into a fierce rivalry after one of them invents an extraordinary—and totally inexplicable—new trick.  It’s a film filled with twists, reversals, and red herrings, and it asks some pretty lofty questions about the nature of identity and obsession which are bound to keep you thinking. It’s like a ninety-minute magic trick transplanted to the screen—but unlike so many magic tricks, it features a payoff that’s actually worth sticking around for.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
The Prestige is at its best when it’s showing the two magicians, played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, performing on stage. Of these scenes, the best is surely the first occasion when Bale’s character performs ‘The Transported Man,’ the trick that sparks a deadly rivalry between his and Jackman’s character. The trick is simplicity itself—Bale’s character bounces a ball across his stage and manages to somehow teleport between two doors, reappear, and catch it—but it’s so elegantly portrayed in the film that it’s easy to understand why Jackman’s character would become so obsessed with discovering its secret.

9. Seconds

If you’re in the mood for a movie that’s really going to make you think, look no further than Seconds, a little-known gem from the late 1960’s starring Rock Hudson. The film follows the story of a middle-aged banker who is contacted by a shadowy organization that offers a most-tempting service: new life. For a fee, the company fakes the man’s death, sets him up in a brand new career and house, and gives him plastic surgery so that he comes out looking like the famously handsome Mr. Hudson. Not a bad deal, right? Well, think again. These being the movies, things are much more complicated than they seem, and the story soon takes an abrupt turn toward the creepy. Director John Frankenheimer used some truly revolutionary shooting techniques for the movie, and the result is a harrowing and hallucinatory experience that you won’t easily forget. Brian Wilson sure didn’t. According to his biography, seeing Seconds while in the middle of his drug years and teetering on the edge of schizophrenia affected the Beach Boys front man deeply, and he claims that after watching the film he didn’t go to the movies again for almost fifteen years.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
Early on in Seconds, the company drugs the main character in order to con him into accepting their service. The filmmakers used ultra-wide angle and fisheye lenses to create a feeling of unease for the sequence, and in some shots they even mounted the camera on the actor’s body, a technique that has some really disorienting effects.  To top it all off, they even built a room with an off-kilter, warped floor that resembles something you might see in a funhouse. The result is one of the weirdest and most effective dream/drug sequences you’ll ever see.

8. A Clockwork Orange

When it comes to weirdness in film, Stanley Kubrick is king. From 2001, to The Shining to Eyes Wide Shut, he was a director always interested in exploring the deeper, more twisted reaches of the subconscious. Nowhere is this more apparent than in A Clockwork Orange, his 1972 masterpiece of satirical science fiction. The story takes place in a dystopian future and follows the exploits of Alex, the sociopath leader of a gang of ‘droogs’ who go around terrorizing people on the streets of Britain. Alex is eventually arrested for murder and given a radical treatment that attempts to instill an extreme aversion to violence in him—with somewhat mixed results. A Clockwork Orange was quite controversial upon its release, and was even briefly banned in the UK, but today it has become one of the quintessential cult movies for its bizarre style and philosophical undertones. Mostly, though, it’s remembered for being one hell of a strange ride, at turns disturbing and hilarious—sometimes both at the same time.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
A Clockwork Orange has so many seminal scenes that it’s hard to pick just one, but when it comes to the bizarre, it doesn’t get much more unsettling than the scenes where Alex undergoes his “treatment” to scrub his consciousness of all tendencies toward violence. He’s put in a movie theatre, strapped to a chair, and forced to wear a nightmarish helmet that holds his eyes open while the screen shows one act of violence and murder after another. It’s not an easy scene to watch, but it is guaranteed to stick with you for a while.

7. The Man From Earth

Taking your viewers on a wild ride doesn’t always require millions in special effects and a convoluted plot—sometimes it’s just about taking a good idea and exploring it for all it’s worth. Such is the case with 2007’s The Man From Earth, a small independent film that unfolds like a mixture of a well-written stage play and a brilliant philosophical treatise. The story centers on John Oldman, a college professor who, during a party with some friends, makes the bizarre claim that he is immortal. He explains that he was born in Cro-Magnon times, but never aged, and that for 10,000 years he has been walking the Earth, moving every five years so that no one will catch on to his secret. His friends are understandably skeptical, but they are willing to play along with what they think is a game, and what follows is a lengthy dialogue on the nature of time, knowledge, and aging that never ceases to be fascinating.  It’s a film that’s confined to a single room and a single subject, but even though it’s shot on the smallest scale possible, the ideas it presents and the questions it raises are bigger and more ambitious than movies with budgets ten times bigger.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
The Man From Earth might as well be a filmed play, so there are no big set pieces to remember. There are several memorable moments, though, and of these the most notable has got to be the scene where John first lets his friends in on the secret that he is more than 10,000 years old. At first, they take it like a joke or some kind of parlor trick, but when the realization finally hits them, it’s a sight to behold.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Writer Charlie Kaufman has come up with some pretty heavy premises in his time, but his best foray into the realms of the strange and bizarre came in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a sci-fi romance story notable for its mind-bending plot and mesmerizing visual style. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star as Joel and Clementine, two former lovers whose dysfunctional relationship leads them to a technology company that specializes in erasing painful memories from subjects’ minds. This ingenious premise allows director Michel Gondry to really have some fun playing with time and space, and in some scenes objects and people will disappear out of the shot as they are systematically being erased from a character’s memory. All this makes for some amazing sequences, but what really makes Eternal Sunshine such a weird trip are all the questions it forces the viewers to ask themselves: are we nothing but the sum total of our memories? Would it be worth it to delete bad experiences from your mind even if you lost a little of yourself in the process? That kind of depth of subject matter is a rare find in movies, and it’s a big part of what makes this film such a strange and memorable experience.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
The trip the film takes through Joel’s memories stops at a number of odd points in time, but by far the strangest and the funniest has got to be a scene where we’re taken all the way back to when Joel was a baby. Gondry shoots the scene from the floor up, as baby Joel sits under his kitchen table desperately trying to get his busy mother’s attention, nearly losing his mind in the process. It’s a hilarious, wonderfully imaginative scene, and easily one of the most memorable parts of the film.

5. Primer

Time travel movies are always one of the easiest ways to throw an audience for a loop, simply because of the inherent paradoxes and logical traps that jumping back or forward in time creates. It’s a plot device that’s been used time and again, but rarely has it been employed as effectively as it was in Primer, a 2004 science fiction film about two struggling engineers who accidentally invent a time machine. Primer is a movie that’s notable for two things: being made independently for $7,000, and having one of the most convoluted, mind-blowing, and intentionally dense plot lines of all time. The filmmakers choose not to spoon-feed their audience any information, and the result is a movie that features a good deal of technical banter and hard science. The heady dialogue and twisty plotting is guaranteed to lose some of the audience, but for those that get into it, Primer is ultimately one of the most rewarding and thought-provoking movies of the last few years.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
This is a movie that is focused entirely on studying the paradox of time travel, so every little scene is a part of a bigger, more meaningful whole. But none of this is made apparent until about twenty minutes into the film, when the character of Abe takes his friend Aaron out to a field by promising to show him “the most important thing that any living organism has ever witnessed.” When they get there, Abe hands Aaron a pair of binoculars, and the two watch as Abe—a second Abe, fresh from the time machine—leaves the storage unit where the device is being stored.

4. Mulholland Drive

Pretty much every movie director David Lynch has made could be put on this list, but if you’re looking for a good intro to the carnival of weirdness that is his career, start with Mulholland Drive, a 2001 psychological thriller that ranks among his best films. The story follows a young actress who moves to L.A. with the intent of breaking into the movie business. She soon meets up with a mysterious woman with amnesia, whom she tries to help recover her identity. From there, the narrative unravels into one of the most unsettling, complex, and downright fascinating movies of the last few years. It’s the kind of movie where each viewer is destined to come away with their own personal reading of what it means, and there’s little doubt that this is what Lynch, who has refused to comment on what he believes it’s all really about, always intended.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
Outside of its main plot, Mulholland Drive is made of up small vignettes, many of which are based around characters that have little or no contact with the major players.  But it is one of these scenes that provides the film’s most unforgettable moment. The sequence takes place in a diner, where two men are eating breakfast. One begins to describe a terrible dream he’s been having, and as he does the details of it start to unfold around him, right down to the gruesome creature that’s hiding in the diner’s back alley. It’s a masterful scene that rivals the best horror films in terms of creepiness. Try as you might, you won’t easily forget it.

3. The Matrix

What is there left to say about The Matrix? This film was a real game-changer in Hollywood, and when it came out in 1999 it immediately became established as one of the weirdest, most influential, and stylistically inventive movies of all time—and all this despite having Keanu Reeves in the starring role. The film is essentially based around a simple philosophical idea that’s been troubling philosophers since the days of Descartes: how do we know what is real? The filmmakers took this thought experiment and built their story around it, throwing in a dose of heavy firepower and kung fu for good measure, and the result is a movie that is at turns thought-provoking as well as pure, simple fun. It features some of the most eye-popping visual effects and action scenes in recent memory; but what The Matrix will really be remembered for is pushing the envelope of the kinds of subjects that can be tackled in movies, whether it’s the nature of sensation and experience or our ever-changing relationship with technology.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
During Neo’s training in how to bend the rules of space and time while in the Matrix, there is a scene where he and Morpheus are transported to a dojo straight out of a Hong Kong action movie and forced to square off in hand-to-hand combat. All of the best parts of the film—from its intriguing concept to its superior fight choreography—are on display in this scene.

2. Fight Club

1999 was a big year for mind-blowing movies, and of these Fight Club is the one that still hits the hardest. Insomuch as it can be explained, the story follows a nameless office drone (played by Edward Norton) that comes in to contact with a flamboyant soap salesman played by Brad Pitt. Together the two start an underground bare-knuckle boxing club, and after it catches on, they slowly mold their group of disaffected young men into an unofficial guerilla army that rebels against the status quo by performing bizarre acts of sabotage and vandalism.  Anyone who’s seen Fight Club knows this is just a tiny part of the story, but that’s why this film continues to be one of the weirdest experiences you’ll ever have at the movies. The filmmakers keep throwing new curves at the audience, each more preposterous than the one before, and it all leads up to one of the most warped, mind-bending, and truly surprising twist endings of all time. But the film doesn’t just work on a gimmick. It’s also one of the most thematically audacious stories of the last few years, tackling everything from violence and masculinity to advertising and consumer culture.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
Fight Club is filled with memorable moments, some of them hilarious and some of them downright disturbing, but one of the best comes when Norton’s character, fed up with his job, literally beats himself up during a meeting with his boss. After punching himself in the face and throwing himself through a glass table, he tells security that his boss attacked him, and manages to walk away with a hefty settlement that allows him and Pitt to really shift their mischief making into high gear.

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

The late 90s might have been a renaissance of inventive style and bold ideas on screen, but none of it would have been possible if not for the 1968 release of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It might be difficult to understand now, but before 2001, the kinds of ideas that would become the staple of modern mindbenders just weren’t being addressed in mainstream film, and science fiction was certainly not taken seriously as a genre. Kubrick not only spent millions constructing the most realistic vision of space travel then possible, but he matched it all with a story that actually tried to tackle not just the origin of humanity as a thinking species, but also speculated on where our next scientific leaps might take us. I won’t even pretend to know exactly what the final third of the movie means, and I don’t know if anyone really does for sure, but what is certain is that 2001 gave its viewers more food for thought than any movie before it, and forty years later it still hasn’t lost one ounce of mystery or inventiveness.

Most Unforgettable Scene:
2001 is divided into four chapters, and of these the most mind-blowing is certainly the last, a section called ‘Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite’ that features an astronaut being sucked into a ‘star gate’ and getting hurtled through space and time. What follows is a lengthy explosion of color and sound that can only be described as a psychedelic. It’s one of the trippiest sequences in film history, so much so that when 2001 first premiered, it gained a reputation with the youth culture as a popular movie to see while high on acid.

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  1. There are tons of weird movies and movies with interesting plot twists, but I love those that make you ponder about the nature of reality or of being human. “After the Dark” is a movie set in an Indonesian Philosophy classroom on the last day of senior year as the instructor sets the students on their last thought experiment. In an apocalyptic setting where only 10 people can survive the year in a sealed bunker, how to you choose who gets a ticket. The story moves in an out of an enactment of the scenario and makes the students –and teacher– reconsider just what it is that makes us human. Beautiful cinematography. As engaging as Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth.

  2. Is there any reason that the wall has not been mentioned as one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen?

  3. Really great list. watched most of the films already but quite excited for seconds and clockwork orange!!
    I thino Dinnie Darko should definitely be in there and also The Fountain.
    My favourite movie of all time which I didn’t see in any of he comments is Mr. Nobody with Jared Leto. if you want a movie that will change your perspective of life and how you make choices in your every day life you can’t go wrong with Mr. Nobody. It really is the best movie I have seen in my life.
    Also I assume this list is pretty old but the new Christopher Nolan movie interstellar is amazing.
    why didn’t I see any mention of Cloud Atlas??

  4. The films in the list are truly thought provoking. Great selection and effort in this article.

  5. This list will remain incomplete unless it includes “The Shutter Island” and “Inception”. These are the finest mind bending movies I have seen so far.

  6. Awesome list.
    I’d definitely swap ‘The Man From Earth’, in my view a very boring and unimaginative movie (especially given it’s promising concept), and instead put either ‘abre los ojos’ or ‘the usual supsects’ on the list.
    Donnie Darko deserves an honorable mention, but never made perfect sense to me. I strongly feel there were gaping plot holes. Also, I think Fight Club should be number 1.

  7. I saw primer as an intriguing insight into the nature of time, determinism and wealth… It provoked discussion and debate, but about its themes, rather than the film itself. This is where I think it fails. It’s a film which tackles interesting topics, but the film itself isn’t very interesting or well made.

  8. Great post and I love the follow-up. I think the films and the fans’ responses are proof that everyone has an opinion that is allowed to be expressed – UNLESS you are a few of the films we;re talking about!

    Fascinating – keep the comments coming AND DO include “Donnie Darko.” It will fit in any slot from #10 to #1.

    P.S. What – no love for “The Human Centipede?”


  9. I’ve seen most of the movies here. I always wanted to see A Clockwork Orange since I was about ten and saw the iconic Poster in a TV guide advertising it being released after being banned for 18yrs. I the saw the VHS in the store and the picture of Alex strapped in the straight jacket with his hair pulled back and eye lids pried open had me transfixed. I had to see this movie!! Finally at 18 I got to see it but was disappointed -it wasn’t anywhere near as trippy or twisted or shocking as I expected. Videodrome probably came closer to what I expected but even then not close enough. But still Clockwork Orange is still one of my favourite movies of all time. A brilliant film who Tarantino owes a lot of his tricks too.

    1. skeleton key
    2. triangle
    3. orphan
    4.ticking clock
    5.source code
    6.jacobs ladder

  11. where to watch free movies online on

    dont agree with all of them.

    The Fight Club
    The Matrix
    2001 space odyssey
    The Prestige
    Eternal Sunshine

    these definitely deserve to be there.

    Should make a top 20 list cause theres tons of other great ones.

    • Yeah 10 is definitely not enough. Just reading through the comments I have at least another 20 on top of what’s already on the list

  12. jesus krishna on

    must watch list from a stoned canadian
    1 enter the void
    2 2001
    3 The fall
    4 city of god
    5 donnie darko
    6 renegade a.k.a. blueberry
    7 tree of life
    8 the man from earth
    9 solaris Andrey Tarkovsky’s original, not the clooney one
    10 12 monkeys
    11 zeitgeist (if documentaries count)
    12 the thing 1982
    13 barton fink
    14 videodrome
    15 naked lunch
    16 eraser head
    17 slacker
    18 dark city
    19 altered states
    20 jacobs ladder
    21 a clockwork orange
    i could keep going on but it would take forever to think of all the amazing movies i’ve seen.

  13. without inception no list though i have to say i havent seen any movie other than prestige and matrix from the list and they both were mind blowing so i suppose rest of the movies woulb be mind blowig. and can anyone tell me from where i could download 2001,clock work orange and prime in 3gp format? that would be a great favour

  14. Solaris (2001). The movie that messed with my head so much and got me thinking about it for days.

    • Pedro Urrutia on

      That’s the kind of movies I like! Not the ones you forget leaving the theatre aka most Hollywood crap.

  15. I said the list missed “The Usual Suspects” and “Shutter Island” , I forgot to add “Vertigo” Hitchcock’s best and most hypnotizing movie.

  16. There has never been a film that makes me think more than Fight Club. 13 years later and I still find myself thinking about it. 2001 was certainly a mind f*** but it was so confusing at the end I can’ begin to image what it was going for.

  17. syed aleem shah on

    There are so many great films in hollywood which were relesed from 1991 to 2000, in my opinion more than 100 movies can be caleed very very very good movies, but this is just my opinion about the top 10 holywood movies relesed from 1991 to 2000 which are following:

    1- Brave heart (1995).

    2- A Few Good Men (1992).

    3- The English patient (1996).

    4- Gladiator (2000).

    5- Good Will Hunting (1997).

    6- Terminator 2 (The Judgement day) (1991).

    7- As Good As It gets (1997) & Titanic (1997).

    8- Sheakespeare In Love (1998) & Silence Of the Lambs (1991) & Pulp Fiction (1994).

    9- Scenet Of A Woman (1992), Jurrassic Park (1993), Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), Speed (1994), Die Hard 3 (Die hard With A vengeance) (1995), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Ghost & The Darkness (1996), Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Insider (1999) & Cast Away (2000).

    10- The Unforgiven (1992), The Last OF The Mohicans (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Philadelphia (1993), Heat (1995), Elizbeth (1998), Hurricane (1999), Vertical Limit (2000), Mission Impossible 2(2000).

    This is my top 10 list & in my top 10 list if you look with care and attention that NUMBER 9 & 10 have many movies, I picked all of these movies with very care , i picked top 10 movies of each year and i compared them with each other,

    I know that a very very good action and drama movie schinder;s list (1993), a very very goodromantic movie Jerry Mcguire (1996), a very very goof war movie the thin red line (1998), romantic and social drama American Beauty (1999) and movies like matrix and mummy are not in my list, i know that there are also some other movies which were great like faceoff, franky and johny, carlito’s way, golden eye, the world is not enough, erin brokovich, the jurassic park 2 (the lost world), mission impossible (1996), enkino man (1996) sense and sensibility are also very very good movies,

    ut the top 10 movies movies list which i presented is better according to my opinion, because this list has every kind of movie , romantic, art and social drama, old historic, epic, science fiction, action, suspence, adventurte, war, court room drama, comedy etc.

    the list which i gave was from 2001 to 2010 movies,,,,,,, if i have to pick the best movies of all times,,,,,,,,, then i will have to select firstlybest movies of hollywood year by year and thne to check that which movies are not best i some year but are better than best movie of another year,,,,,,,, i gave my list of top 10 movies of hollywood from 2001 to 2010…..see this and tell me which movie do you think is not so good ,,,,,,,,

    1- The Return Of The King (2003) also known as lords of the ring part.3
    2- Batman begins (2005) & No country For Old Man (2007)
    3- Inception (2010)
    4- Angels & Demons (2009)
    5- Dark Knight (2008) & Valkyrie (2008)
    6- The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) First part of lords of the ring series & Enemy At The gates (2001)
    7- Departed (2006)
    8- The Two Towers (2002) second part Of The Lords Of the Ring Series
    9- Public Enemies (2009), The King’s Speech (2010), Avatar (2009), The Core (2003), National treasure (2004)
    10- Rocky Balboa (2006), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Aviator (2004), King Kong (2005),The Last King Of Scottland (2006), Indiana Jones And Kingdom Of Crystall Skull (2008), The Hurt Locker (2009) , True Grit (2010)……

    every year from 2001 to 2010,, hollywood produced 35 to 40 movies which are good to watch and atleast 15 to 20 very good movies and atleast 7 or 8 very very very good movies and they are so much brilliant movies that you have difficulty to pick the best movie,,,,, so i have picked the top movies in the top list………….

  18. I like the list, but honestly the Matrix, and A Clockwork Orange weren’t exactly mind blowing to me personally. Not that I didn’t like them, but movies like Primer, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Man From Earth are more up my alley of mind blowing. Of course I agree with the other comments, its a personal taste. I didn’t care for 2001 either, but would of loved to have seen Memento on the list.

  19. Awesome list …. I would only take out “Mulholland Dr” and “2001” since i didn’t get the purpose of those movies completely so i couldn’t be mind blown. I would replace them with “Shutter Island” and “The Usual Suspects” then the list would be perfect for me.

    • I would find it highly advisable to anyone who sees the last third of “2001 : A Space Odyssey” that they are not under the throes of a hallucinigenic drug like LSD or “Magic” Mushrooms. The greatest experts and critics in movie and cinema history still can’t figure out what the last third of that movie is supposed to mean !!

      • Pedro Urrutia on

        Off course they do, read the Wikipedia entry or read the novel. Joking. Not joking.

  20. the list which i gave was from 2001 to 2010 movies,,,,,,, if i have to pick the best movies of all times,,,,,,,,, then i will have to select firstlybest movies of hollywood year by year and thne to check that which movies are not best i some year but are better than best movie of another year,,,,,,,, i gave my list of top 10 movies of hollywood from 2001 to 2010…..see this and tell me which movie do you think is not so good ,,,,,,,,

    1- The Return Of The King (2003) also known as lords of the ring part.3
    2- Batman begins (2005) & No country For Old Man (2007)
    3- Inception (2010)
    4- Angels & Demons (2009)
    5- Dark Knight (2008) & Valkyrie (2008)
    6- The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) First part of lords of the ring series & Enemy At The gates (2001)
    7- Departed (2006)
    8- The return Of the King (2002) second part Of The Lords Of the Ring Series
    9- Public Enemies (2009), The King’s Speech (2010), Avatar (2009), The Core (2003), National treasure (2004)
    10- Rocky Balboa (2006), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Aviator (2004), King Kong (2005),The Last King Of Scottland (2006), Indiana Jones And Kingdom Of Crystall Skull (2008), The Hurt Locker (2009) , True Grit (2010)……

    every year from 2001 to 2010,, hollywood produced 35 to 40 movies which are good to watch and atleast 15 to 20 very good movies and atleast 7 or 8 very very very good movies and they are so much brilliant movies that you have difficulty to pick the best movie,,,,, so i have picked the top movies in the top list………….

    • Not A Squirrel on

      Never seen 2, 4, 5, Enemy at the Gates, Public Enemies, Avatar, The Core, Aviator, The Hurt Locker or True Grit.. The second part of the lotr series is called the Two Towers, btw. Also I think when there are multiple listings tied for a number, they take the place of as many listings as there are. Basically if there are two tied for first, there’s no second place. Here’s mine:

      1: The Departed
      2: LOTR Return of the King
      3: Gangs of New York
      4: Inception
      5: The King’s Speech
      6: Crash
      7: Gladiator
      8: There Will Be Blood
      9: Mystic River
      10: Cinderella Man

      That said I have also not seen The Pianist, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or City of God, all of which are supposed to be excellent.

  21. Not A Squirrel on

    Love A Clockwork Orange. How was that one supposed to blow my mind though? I know a lot of people had their minds blown by The Matrix, but there are a fair number of people, including me and a few of my friends, that had their Descartes moments in elementary school (for all of us that was before that movie came out). 2001, I assume you’re talking about the ending, I’m not sure about that. Fight Club was quite interesting.Not unlike The Machinist.

  22. No.8 “A Clockwork Orange” should be in a list of its own. It is far and wide my favorite movie ever made and of course the genius/director Stanley Kubrick is the director (besides “Eyes Wide Shut” what movie of his is NOT a masterpiece). It was voted #46 in the AFI Top 100 movies ever made and the photography is needlepoint perfect. WARNING : Guys, I highly recommend that you do NOT take your woman or wife to see this movie due to the graphic scenes of rape and violence. However, it has one of the greatest story lines ever written. This movie is an exhilirating movie to watch and I have read only two books in my lifetime TWICE. “A Clockwork Orange” and Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”

    • “WARNING : Guys, I highly recommend that you do NOT take your woman or wife to see this movie due to the graphic scenes of rape and violence.”

      What does gender have to do with that? Are you saying men are comfortable watching rape scenes?…

  23. in my opinion the best top 10 list wich is according to my point of view is following:
    1- The Return Of The King (2003) also known as lords of the ring part.3
    2- Batman begins (2005) & No country For Old Man (2007)
    3- Inception (2010)
    4- Angels & Demons (2009)
    5- Dark Knight (2008) & Valkyrie (2008)
    6- The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) First part of lords of the ring series & Enemy At The gates (2001)
    7- Departed (2006)
    8- The return Of the King (2002) second part Of The Lords Of the Ring Series
    9- Public Enemies (2009), The King’s Speech (2010), Avatar (2009), The Core (2003), National treasure (2004)
    10- Rocky Balboa (2006), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Aviator (2004), King Kong (2005),The Last King Of Scottland (2006), Indiana Jones And Kingdom Of Crystall Skull (2008), The Hurt Locker (2009) , True Grit (2010)……

    There are many mnay good movies from 2001 to 2010,, every reay has produced 10 or 12 very very good movies and in 2008 ithink atleast 20 very very good movies were released,,, and i have very very difficulty to pick the best movies.

    Hollywood Film Industry is the best film industry of the world and that is the reason why many people have too many point of opinions,, the top 2 or 3 movies of someone is not in the top 25 movies of another one.

  24. Hey, I only saw the prestige from this list and i was amazed. But what you’ll have to say about ‘Se7en’ the ending was good enough to be in this list. I might be wrong.

  25. Great list. Mine would go as follows:

    1. Enter the Void (my all time favorite movie. like nothing i’ve ever experienced)

    2. Memento

    3. The Fountain

    4. Inland Empire (Took me 5 watches, and then I finally understood it. Insanely weird movie.)

    5. A Scanner Darkly

    6. Franklyn (Underrrated to death, but fantastic)

    7. The Machnist

    8. Brazil

    9. The Man from Earth

    10. Watchmen (Another underrated gem)

    • helo myles i think the return of the king (lords of the rings part 3) and no country for old man should be included, without them list is not looking extra ordinary….no doubt that all the movies in your list are very very good movies.

  26. I would have put in “Butterfly Effect” for sure–I watched that movie at a rather young age and it’s STILL stuck with me.

  27. Primer is absolutely challenging….so is 2001 and mullholland drive.donnie darko needs a mention…pi is also amazing.
    Irreverrsible is deserves to be in the list.

  28. Eyeless Dog Pawless Dog Loveless Dog on

    So, only you yanks make mind-blowing movies?
    my friend Murnau would disagree

  29. i think you have left out “Identity” it’s a thriller with an absolutely mind blowing twist. i was surprised not to find “Memento”in the front line of your list. also, inception was in fact mind blowing for me. it challenges our perception of what we call reality and the dream world.
    thank you for the interesting list

  30. great list but thought Twisted with Morgan Freeman, the Illusionist, Fracture, and Inception should have made the list

  31. @roshant Enter the Void is the latest from the same director of Irreversible (not sure i’m ready for that one! 🙂

  32. Enter the Void is mindblowing, enlightening, disturbing. It messed me up and had my head spinning for weeks after I watched it. I had quite a paradigm shift. Its about a guy, we see in the movie that’s about to trip, i’m thinking he’s about to take dmt maybe. The entire movie you spend in first person, and while stoned this creates the effect that everything the protagonist is experiencing you experience a little too. A friend early on asks him if he’s read the book he gave him yet. The book is The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is a book that leads a person through the stages of death onto rebirth then liberation. Early on the main character gets shot when he goes with a drug dealer friend to a place that gets raided. The camera or ‘you as the main character’ lingers and examines his own dead body. So he is now still conscious but not in his body as he visits, dreamlike, moments from his past, looking in on his sister, his friend etc. It is quite a trip, with psychedelic first person tunnels that his consciousness and yours travels through to the next “dream/life” sequence/level/state. It could be disturbing to some, if you have a problem with almost x rated scenes, or the fact that the main character was a little too close to his sister….but that’s all if you look at sex from only a physical point of view…and anyone with vertigo will not be able to take the trip scenes and possibly the first person wobbly camera effect, or anyone who just wants comedy/pot movies. If you are shallow or superficial, that’s what you will get out of the movie, but if you like to plumb the depths of consciousness, you will find treasures in this movie to contemplate for a long time! About a month after watching it, I am still very impacted by the movie and ran across this 16 page essay or chapter from Ken Wilber entitled Death Rebirth and Meditation that I think could almost be a companion piece for the movie, and adds even more mindblowing facets to aspects of the movie that you might have overlooked. If you don’t trust the link or it doesn’t post just Google for a pdf of the article. Good stuff! smoke up and go watch this movie! it’s streaming now on netflix if you have account.

  33. That preview for ‘The Prestige’ showed way too much of the movie. If you were to watch that preview right before you watched the actual movie, it definitely wouldn’t be as good.

  34. I loved “The Prestige” also and I agree with “Space Odyssey” at # 1. But I would also add to the mind- blowing list, “Far North” with Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Krusiec and Sean Bean. This is a very disturbing movie.

  35. The Prestige is without a doubt my favorite movie.. The Ending, oh dear, it took me a few days to figure it out completely

  36. “Visitor Q” … ridiculous amounts of unnecessary coated in hyper-disturbing nonsense. Not for the faint at all

  37. This needs to be updated and have shutter island as numberone. And maybe the Univited? good list tho!!

  38. Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange” was a boring,idiotic movie– On the other side of the coin I agree that his “2001: A Space Odyssey” would be number 1.

    • shame on you dennis – can’t you recognise a good piece of orwellian cinema when you see it?

      Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange tells the story of a dismal, near future society under the control of severe authoritarian rule. Survival of the fittest and mind control a-plenty.

      Watch it again, then go watch CNN for a couple of days. You won’t see the difference.

      • To Jimbo, Speaking of CNN, you should have seen it when Malcolm McDowell was on the Larry King show and was asked by Larry if he will ever live that movie down to which Malcolm said a resounding “NEVER”

  39. As someone who saw ‘The Usual Suspects’ when it was only showing in the art house theaters, it was certainly a mind-blowing movie and I’m surprised it didn’t appear on the list. To have an entire theater give a collective gasp at the end, applaud and whistle over the credits, then congregate in the parking lot afterward to discuss it? I’d say there were some minds that were blown.

  40. Wow someone didn’t like clockwork orange. I admit I can’t watch movie.s before the 1980s. That obvioulsy makes me not a film both, but that movie was brilliant. Someone said Pi too. I am someone with anxiety, so the movie freaks me out. He’s the exact example of someone with ever increasing social anxiety.

  41. I’m glad you included two Kubrick classics. His art remains, to this day, ahead of our time.
    Though, I think American beauty deserves a place.

  42. I couldn't agree more with your choices… of the movies I've seen. Of the ones that I haven't, I now have a new movie list! Great minds… Here's a movie for you… Inception. Have fun!

  43. Irreversible (2002)

    Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    Shutter Island (2010)

    Inception (2010)

    The Man from Earth (2007)

    Mulholland Dr.(2001)

    Donnie Darko (2001)

    Inglourious Basterds (2009)

    Memento (2000)

    these are the best mind blowing movies from last decade

    • ManiaCrazYouth on

      I think all the movies you listed are great, but not all of them are MIND-BLOWING, which this list is about…like Inglorious Basterds and Inception..

      I DO agree that Donnie Darko should be on the list.

      And for those mentioning Lord of the rings and the likes….great movies, but in no way mind-blowing (yeah you are amazed and possibly awestruck at the cinema, but it doesn’t make you think radically new thoughts or let you view life differently or in another perspective)

      By the way, a very good list – Im gonna see Man on earth and Seconds whenever i get the chance!

      • i completely agree. lord of the rings was not mind-blowing nor was any movie similar to it and donnie darko should be in the top 5, at least.

    • Irreversible (2002)

      Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

      There Will Be Blood (2007)

      three of my favorite films, unsure about the rest of the list but i can never get these films out of my head and agree they should be on the list. the list is pretty good, sadly i wouldn’t put the matrix in as its now been ruined for me, however amazing the film was the sequels have tainted it. I’d of put the Prestige before the matrix.

  44. The ending to 2001 is simple:

    Dave Bowman escaped from the god-like control that HAL had over him. He had become enlightened and was able to defeat HAL (camera angles help this thought). After that, when the trip sequence starts, he is having a dream sequence which is symbolic of him leaving. Leaving where? The movie itself. He has left the dimensions of the movie screen (this was before VHS), and has entered a realm of symbolic rebirth (renaissance decor = "rebirth" decor). He severs all ties to technology, and must then overcome his final God, Kubrick himself. He severs all ties to 2001 the movie, and when the monolith appears for the last time, Bowman realizes that he is 2 dimensional, and can reach the monolith in a 2D perspective although from a 3D perspective, he must get up first. He is then symbolically reborn as a "Star Child", which makes him free from the training wheels of technology.


  45. None of these movies listed or mentioned on this page can hold a candle to the weirdness that is Funky Forest. If you can find anything weirder I would love to know about it.

  46. I like this list, a lot of great movies as well as some I haven't seen and will definitely try out. The only one I personally dislike is 2001. I understand why people like it. But I refuse to acknowledge 2001 as a movie. There's barely any plot, nearly no dialogue, and most of the film is preposterously boring. Don't get me wrong, I love Kubrick. He's a great director and some of my favorite movies are directed by him. But I really loathe 2001. It bored me to no end and I to this day refuse to watch it.

    • Well, I will say one thing about “2001 : A Space Odyssey”, I would not want to watch it under the throes of either an LSD trip or have taken a handful of peyote mushrooms !!!…..LOL

  47. Didnt really find Primer to be all that mind-blowing. By the end you dont know who are the originals and who are the doubles. So much of the story just left me wondering wtf is going on and you are just left with a bunch of questions which is rarely a good way for a movie to end.

  48. + infinity on Primer

    But you forgot Oldboy!

    As much as I didn't like it per se, Antichrist could deserve a shot at this list too.

    • yea primer one hell of a movie and the fight club have to be the first not space odessy

  49. "What follows is a lengthy explosion of color and sound that can only be described as a psychedelic."

    Is this a typo or an admission of ignorance about psychedelia in general?

    "it gained a reputation with the youth culture as a popular movie to see while high on acid."

    High on acid? Are you serious? Nobody who has ever taken LSD would describe the experience as a "high"

    You, sir, need to stop speculating on that which you do not, and can not, understand.

    • I'm not really sure what you're complaining about here. I just looked up the word "psychedelic" and got this definition: "having the vivid colours and complex patterns popularly associated with the visual effects of psychedelic states." That seems to be exactly the way in which I used it. As for using the word "high" in relation to LSD, I know that 's not the kind of effect it has, but come on, at this point that's pretty much a blanket term for being under the influence of any drug.

      • Firstly, since WHEN is it cool to nit-pick what someone else’s experience on acid was like. It IS a huge HIGHHH when you are TRIPPIN. So,Lord of Numa, maybe you should sit back, get a nice little vile of acid, drop some into a sugar cube(or your eye!) and chill. Like Evan said, HIGH is a blanket term.. and thus is should be treated so. I teach 5th graders and I have them meditate every morning before we start any work..then we eat a snack , listen to classic rock and get our minds going.Maybe you should try that Numa if you aren’t into psychedelics:) I don’t need a reply with you TRYING to sound intelligent about something that doesn’t require a lot of thought..use your knowledge for something that will benefit others, not hurt them.

        PEACE AND LOVE<3

  50. SallyBeam | Self Hel on

    Most of the movies in this list, I never see before. Just only Matrix. And seeing all these 10 blow my mind.

    Thanks for the list

  51. Good job on this list. I've seen almost all of these films, but there's a couple I'll have to check out ("Seconds" looks interesting).

    I'd probably have gone with Eraserhead instead of Mulholland Drive for David Lynch, but like you said, pretty much any of his movies could have made this list. You could write a whole list just about him!

  52. My mind wasn't blown by A Clockwork Orange, I was just pissed I had wasted an hour and a half or so of my life watching that garbage.

    • Wow… You sound like one of those people that would rather spend their time watching 'Movie' movies or Transformers

      • Perhaps he/she was a little bit rude with the comment, but one has the right to like whatever we want. If you think one person’s a fool just because they don’t like a “well-known artistic movie”… Certainly you’re mistaking by judging a priori. Does it feel good being on the safe side defending a film most of big-headed people worship? Where on Earth did that idea “No Clockwork Orange: Yes Transformers” come from? Your comment is disrespectful and the way you label things is annoying, just as Jawathehutt’s is.

  53. Thanks for including The Man From Earth. That's one of my favorite films. It has been adapted into a play and I would love to see it on stage one day.

    I noticed these are all English language films. There are some amazing, mind-blowing foreign films. Here are some I can think of.

    Oldboy, Spoorloos, Akira, Cache

    And what about Tideland, The Cell, Cube, Event Horizon, Fargo, The Machinist

    • I definitely agree with you on Cache and Cube. Both of those could easily be on the list. Spoorloos seems like a bit of a stretch, but it is a great movie. The ending of that one will certainly stay with you for a few days.

  54. I think I would have picked The Illusionist over The Prestige. Ok, it may not have been "mind blowing" but it had a better ending, in my opinion. 🙂

      • ^agreed completely,i was expecting donnie darko to come up the entire time i was reading..i was disappointed to see that it never did

        • yeah, it took me days to fully understand that movie. i love some of the movies on the list but in my opinion donnie darko should be number one.

      • Agreed! I couldn’t sleep after watching Donnie Darko, not because I was scared, but because all I could do for the next few nights was think about it! Definitely should be up on the list

    • What? In what way is Illusionist better? It wasn’t bad at all but it was nothing compared to The Prestige. Maybe you just didn’t get it?

  55. You people are some Kubrick haters! He directed Clockwork Orange and 2001 (amongst many other classics…now that his is dead we can call them classic).

    His work is simply amazing and it's truly a shame we can no longer enjoy new works from him. His last piece in work was Artificial Intelligence (though he worked on the project under a different title). After his death Spielberg took over the project.

    • A Clockwork Orange is a completely vile piece of junk that belongs only on the list of the worst movies of all time.

  56. I have seen 7 of the 10 movies listed here and agree they had me thinking about them the next day. Always a good sign that the movie was one I enjoyed. All except 2001. I have tried more than once to watch this film and both times gave up. Maybe the third time is the charm.

    Regardless, the Matrix is my favorite movie from this list, by far. I have seen it so many times, it borders on embarrassing. The prestige gave me the biggest "OMG" factor when I figured out what was going on, so the twist was the real mind blower.

    Evan did a wonderful job with this list and when we discussed him writing it we decided to stay away from movies where the twist WAS the movie, so M. Night movies were basically excluded. Although, Sixth Sense could easily be added to this list as I walked out in a daze trying to figure out how I could have missed the big twist.

  57. Was going through this list and I was like, "huh?" I never saw any of these movies. Interesting. Then I saw the Matrix and said, "ok'. The list was a well comprised "thought provoking list", but of course it's subjective so everyone may respond differently. Nice effort regardless.

      • Like all the films on the list. I would have to include Twelve Monkeys and Save the Green Planet

    • Oh man…That Man from Earth really didn’t do anything for me. The acting was horrific and put me off instantaneously. I can’t say I was thrilled with Mullholand Drive either…Lynch is too weird for my taste. I would add Groundhog Day to this list, even though it’s not necessarily as thought provoking as some of these, I still learned a lot from it 😀 Oh, Donnie Darko too. And Shutter Island. The Prestige is for me the best one on this list.