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12 Mind-Bending Movies Like "Inception"

Inception
Inception

What Are Some amazing movies like Inception?

Inception messes with your mind, but in a good way. It’s difficult to get the hang of it in one sitting, so watching it more than once is totally worth it. And there's no shame in resorting to online forums if you still can;t figure everything out by yourself. The whole film is a breathtaking juggling act where one can easily forget what’s real and what’s not.

There is a reason why Inception is so exceptional– it took more than ten years for Christopher Nolan to write the screenplay. He must have spent a lot of time packing all that content into one cohesive package.

Did you love Inception? Are you looking for some comparable movies that mess with your mind? Then read on.

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Source Code

A lot of movies waste time getting to the point. Source Code, directed by Duncan Jones, gets straight to the crux of the matter. It feels as if there is no beginning; there is middle and then one of the most gratifying cinematic endings I have ever seen.

The movie starts with Colter Stevens, a US military pilot, who wakes up on a train to Chicago, apparently in someone else's body. The last thing he remembers is his plane crashing after an encounter with Afghan militants. How come he is in the US all of a sudden?

As he tries to come to terms with everything that's happening, a bomb detonates and everything ends. To his horror, he finds himself in an even more perplexing situation. He is injured, immobilized, and in some sort of cockpit. Was the train real? Or is this real?

As much as I would love to tell you more, I know you’d hate me for spoiling the movie. What I will say, though, is that Source Code is a movie that will make you go “huh?!"

The Matrix

What if everything we see is just a simulation? What if it’s not real? Who are we to say what’s real and what’s not? The Matrix tackles these perplexing questions head-on.

*Spoiler Alert*

It’s 1999. Neo, a computer hacker, is living two lives– one as a hacker and another as a regular guy. He comes into contact with a group that tells him that what he sees is not real. He refuses to believe them at first, but he meets them again as he becomes increasingly convinced that there is something going on that is beyond his understanding.

He eventually meets Morpheus, who offers him two pills– a red and a blue one. Taking the blue pill means everything will go back to normal and he will forget this conversation ever took place. Taking the red pill means that he will see what’s real and what’s not.

That’s when the whole world turns upside down for our guy. He realizes that his whole life was a mere simulation created by intelligent machines. There are billions of others like him still waiting to be woken up from their illusions.

Will he be able free them and emerge victorious in the war between humans and machines?

The Machinist

If not for anything else, watch The Machinist to see Christian Bale’s dedication to his craft. He lived on apples and coffee for months to get this freakishly skinny physique. It looks even more impressive when you see his hulky body in Batman Begins, a movie not released too long after The Machinist.

The Machinist has a surprisingly similar theme to Inception, with a protagonist struggling to deal with his flawed perception of reality. Apparently, Christian Bale's character is suffering from insomnia, which is causing him to behave strangely. Eventually, his quirks scare his friends and co-workers away.

What’s real and what’s not? Just like Inception, it will keep you guessing till the end and will reward you for your patience with a mind-blowing conclusion.

Triangle

How in the world is this movie rated only 6.9 on IMDB? Yes, if you are going to judge a movie by its trailer, you’d probably rate it as mediocre. But don’t go by the trailer. The less you know about this flick, the better. I think it’s a true masterpiece. Watch this gem with an open mind, and you’ll be utterly surprised by its depth and beauty.

The story revolves around a group of people traveling at sea. Struck by mysterious weather, they decide to jump on another ship, where matters to get worse.

Revealing why it’s like Inception would spoil the whole movie. Just know that you'll never guess the ending, as it carries that same “what the fu**” factor.

The Thirteenth Floor

Set in 1990s Los Angeles, The Thirteenth Floor is a science fiction film inspired by the success of movies like The Matrix with a plot that revolves around simulated worlds. A simulation has been set in 1937 by a genius programmer. Soon after creating it, though, he is killed and all his secrets are buried with him.

The protagonist, Douglas Hall, is the genius programmer's close friend and the prime suspect in his murder. The evidence against him is really strong and his friend left a message in the system before he was murdered. Why was he murdered? What is the message?

Eventually, Douglas Hall begins to question his own innocence. Is he the one who murdered his own friend?

*Spoiler Alert*

Everything becomes clearer when he finds out that that it’s really 2024. The 1990s world he thought he lived in is a simulation itself. It's actually a simulation within a simulation. They thought they were in charge, but it’s someone else who is pulling the strings. Will Hall manage to find the real killer and motive? You’ll have to watch to find out more.

Timecrimes

The name says it all. A man accidentally travels back in time an hour or so. To his horror, he finds his past self moving toward a series of disastrous events with unforeseen consequences.

Granted, the first few minutes of this movie are plain boring, but don’t let that stop you from watching one of the weirdest time travel movies ever. It’s quite amazing to see how they manage to pull off a quite subtle story in such a resourceful and clever way.

Sleep Dealer

Sleep Dealer is an interesting view of a future where immigration and globalization have become huge issues. People are not united and government organizations are leveraging citizens' confusion to control them.

The only problem with time-travel movies is that there are way too many plot-holes. There will be some things in this movie that leave you puzzled and you may never manage to wrap your head around them. But it is quite perfect in that sense as there is a reason behind even the smallest of details.

With its well-developed characters, heart-touching story, and convincing acting, Sleep Dealer cements its place as one of the best sci-fi movies like Inception.

Being a low-budget movie, some things like special effects leave you wanting for more, but it shouldn’t let you stop from watching this gem of a movie.

Memento

Memento’s plot revolves around Leonard, a man who has made it his life's mission to avenge the rape and murder of his wife. His only problem, though, is that he is suffering from short term memory loss. To remember important details and clues linked to his wife, he tattoos them onto his body.

The movie keeps you guessing until the end when a final twist reveals everything, leaving you in a state of shock. You’ll never see it coming! It’s an experience you don’t often come across in movies.

The Others

The plot revolves around a mother who is desperately trying to protect her kids from the outside world while hoping her husband will finally return after WW2.

With the arrival of three strange servants, things start going awry as the daughter starts noticing strange events and intruders everywhere. Their mansion becomes increasingly haunted as everyone starts noticing these strange events and voices, too.

Although it feels like a traditional horror movie for more than three quarters of this movie, the twist in the end is pretty unique, which takes some time to sink in. You will be thinking about it for a long time.

I am not going to reveal much. All I will say is, if you are looking for a twisted movie with some bone-chilling horror elements, you should give The Others a chance.

Shutter Island

Shutter Island is one of the best psychological thrillers to come out in decades. It messes with your mind and leaves you guessing for a long time after credits roll. You’ll feel like you are in the driver’s seat for the most part as the protagonist investigates to find out more about an escaped convict. The ending will compel you to question if the antagonists are protagonists, and vice versa. It’s packed with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The plot involves a couple trying to get over their breakup by using technology to delete memories of their life together. Halfway through, they decide to sabotage the operation as they realize how inhuman it really is. Is it too late for them?

This movie boosted Jim Carrey as one of my all-time favorite actors. Both Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey are really brilliant, cementing Spotless Mind as one of the best.

You know you have watched something special when you keep thinking about the parts of the movie for next couple of days and want to watch it again.

The Butterfly Effect

What if we could go back to certain major points of our lives and take a seemingly better route to become someone better than we presently are? What if some sort of portal existed, leading us back in our past where we could change things to our liking? On the flip side, what if you can’t really get a solid grip on things no matter how hard you try?

While we may never find any way to get access to our past, Evan, a 20-year-old college student, finds a way to go back through his childhood diary and attempt to change things for himself and his friends.

The Butterfly Effect successfully showcases that even if you could go back in the past and take a different route, things will not be perfect. At the end of the day, you’ll have to be content with what you have and focus on your future as there are some things beyond your control.

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16 comments

indianreel profile image

indianreel 23 months ago from London

This is a terrific list. Good to see movies like eternal sunshine on the spotless mind. Gotta catch up on others though.


hclpd profile image

hclpd 23 months ago from Delhi, India Author

Thanks for the visit. The Spotless Mind is a rare gem! A must watch.


Mills P 17 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

I've seen most of these, and still admire films like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable as well with their twists.


Farhana 14 months ago

Thank you. :)


Millad90s 8 months ago

Ive never seen films like inception. !!!

Imlooking for spiritual. And mystery films....


MARSHAL 2 months ago

U sud hav add PULP FICTION.


Akhyar 7 weeks ago

Thanks dude.. This was good.


Rafa Baxa profile image

Rafa Baxa 6 weeks ago

You might want to include The prestige, interstellar, Donnie darko and the sixth sense. Otherwise a very good list!


Kornél 6 weeks ago

Jacob's ladder (starring Time Robbins, dir. Adrian Line) also deserves being part of the list.


Leeloo killik 6 weeks ago

Watched the triangle yesterday. I think it deserves its rating as is


MrCobb 6 weeks ago

They really tried hard but u can stop looking. Mind bending 'like' Inception does not exist.!.


Melissa Hanung profile image

Melissa Hanung 3 weeks ago

Added STAY and ENEMY and MR. NOBODY


nopoflick 3 weeks ago

I whole heartily agree on "Eternal Sunshine...". I friggin loved that movie.

I would add these:

"Se7en "

"Revolver"

"Looper"

"Minority Report"

"The Adjustment Bureau"

"Edge of Tomorrow"


nopoflick 3 weeks ago

I whole heartily agree on "Eternal Sunshine...". I friggin loved that movie.

I would add these:

"Se7en "

"Revolver"

"Looper"

"Minority Report"

"The Adjustment Bureau"

"Edge of Tomorrow"

"Demolition"


hclpd profile image

hclpd 2 weeks ago from Delhi, India Author

Thanks. Would do.


Joel 4 days ago

mind bending and trippiest

"The Matrix"

"Inception"

"Dr Strange"

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