Top 12 Engrossing Movies Like 'Her'
What Movies Are Like Her?
Her is a simple yet effective foray into the possible human vs AI relationship dynamic. Its minimalistic approach to storytelling is effective, striking a chord with your heart. This sci-fi movie utilizes the love story as a lever for its snarky remarks on our increasing dependence on technology.
If you're looking for some transfixing films like Her, I've got you covered.
Films Similar To Her
- Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind
- Ex Machina
- Synecdoche, New York
- Upstream Color
- The Lobster
- Being John Malkovich
- The Shape of Water
- Donnie Darko
- Vannila Sky
- The Truman Show
- The One I Love
1. Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind
Renowned for his wacky comedic roles, Jim Carrey bucks the trend in this spellbinding feature, portraying a heartbroken guy on a quest to get the love of his life back. He hits it off with a quirky girl, but she seems uncannily familiar. As it turns out, it's more than a hunch. Everything spirals out of control when their past comes back to haunt them.
Those who have faced heartbreaks will find this movie relatable, for lying beneath its giddy exterior is a heart-wrenching story - one that'll elicit a range of emotions. Props to the writer and the director for cleverly disguising it as a light-hearted comedy. It is anything but that.
2. Ex Machina
This AI-experiment-gone-awry revolves around a young programmer who gets picked to spend a week with his boss on a secluded island. He arrives there, only to find himself embroiled in a sinister secret experiment, which will change everyone's life on Earth.
Despite being an ostensibly simple and straightforward story on the surface, this taut feature has an uncanny ability to connect with its audience on a deeper level, compelling them to revisit their notions about the world and life in general.
Unfortunately, the trailer isn't well-made. Don't be dissuaded by it. It is better to go in cold for a mind-blowing experience.
3. Synecdoche, New York
Directed by Charlie Kaufman, this sly pic is arguably one of the most depressing movies ever made, but also a favorite for many cinephiles. Statutory warning; only watch it when you're really willing to sob.
The talented filmmaker has a unique ability to bring serene profoundness into weirdest of premises, and he's done it once again here with an initially sombre yet eventually uplifting take on ‘everything.’ This two-hour ride is so densely packed it's easy to lose track of the multi-layered storyline.
Watching the events unfold can be too much to bear at times, to the extent where you might have to pause and take a breather. Is it a brilliant masterpiece? Yes. Is it worth re-watching? Depends on how much you can stand.
4. Upstream Color
The plot spins around a couple who meet on a train. They connect, only to realize that this meeting might not have been as spontaneous as they had thought. Something is not quite right about their relationship, and there is a sense that it's being monitored. Will they figure it out before it's too late?
Upstream Color is a disarmingly gorgeous and incomprehensible movie. Suspend your disbelief and let it bathe you in its quirkiness.
Those who love to break every detail down to a T would love what this movie has to offer. This Shane Carruth directed brain-teaser can be vexing when it plays coy with details, but the fun lies in deciphering its allegorical storytelling. Different people will react differently to their romantic story, even when they don't quite understand what really is happening on the screen. Such interactive and wildly varying interpretations are what makes this film such a compelling watch.
Like Carruth’s previous movie, Primer, Upstream Color is crafted with a whole purpose to get a rise out of you. Profound experience it's not, but it certainly is fun all the way through.
5. The Lobster
The Lobster takes place in the near and somewhat absurd future where people aren't allowed to stay single for over 45 days. As soon as anyone becomes available, they're taken to a remote hotel where they must find a romantic partner within the given days, failing which they'll be turned into an animal of their choice.
When David, a recently divorced man, lands himself in that hotel, he finds it increasingly difficult to find a life partner. With the impending transformation inching closer, he must come up with something extraordinary to save himself from being turned. As it is clear from the premise, it is a black comedy. If you’re a sucker for those, this one should right up your alley.
As outlandish as it may seem, The Lobster’s incisive digs at fragile contemporary relationships cuts to the bone. It's clever, even in its weirdest of moments, with a bleak undertone simmering right below the dark humor.
This cruelly dark feature was both lauded and loathed by critiques upon its launch. With the idea of love being so different from person to person, it is not hard to see why.
6. Being John Malkovich
Inexplicable yet somehow relatable, Being John Malkovich is unarguably the most outlandish feature in this list - one that'll disturb and disgust you to the core.
The story spins around a puppeteer living an anonymous life. His fate, however, changes when he inadvertently discovers a portal leading right to the soul of John Malkovich, a Hollywood superstar.
Don't let this seemingly delirious plot dissuade you from enjoying one of the best mentally disturbing movies ever made. The bleak undertone beneath its capricious exterior is thought-provoking.
Overall, Being John Malkovich is a film that aptly justifies the phrase ‘mind-bending’ and should be on your must-watch list.
7. The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water won the Academy Award for the best picture in 2018, and it is not hard to see why. The film transports us back to the 1960s in Baltimore, with its central characters being a strange alien creature and a human, taking a strange liking to each other.
Subject to all sorts of experimental cruelty in a secret government facility, this extraterrestrial being is on the brink of death. Elisa wants to help but being mute is a huge hurdle in her quest to save an innocent life. Little does she know that her noble mission is perched right on the edge of an impending catastrophe.
It's hard to pigeonhole this eccentric feature, for The Shape of Water blurs a myriad of genres to create a light-hearted drama wrapped in a flashy, outlandish exterior. It starts off as a pure horror movie, only to gradually lean towards romance at the latter half, and this movie is all the better for it. Trust director Guillermo del Toro to come up with something this astonishing.
It's too colorful and capricious to be taken seriously, but tug at your heart it definitely will. Despite the fantastical premise, the underlying theme of love and acceptance makes it super relatable. Love knows no boundaries, and nothing encapsulates the phenomenon better than this romantic dark fantasy feature.
8. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko is a staple in this list, and it's not because of its wackiness. Admittedly, the cryptic storyline is a tad perplexing to decipher, but it's a pleasant journey when you finally wrap your mind around this time-warping pic.
The story revolves around a troubled teenager, Donnie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. With not a lot of friends to hang out with, he makes an imaginary friend, Frank, a man donning the costume of a creepy looking bunny. His mysterious friend warns Donnie that the world is coming to an end. Our titular protagonist is the only one capable to prevent the impending doom. Reluctantly, Donnie delves deeper, only to find out that Frank is much more than a figment of his imagination.
Despite falling face first at the box office, this sly feature soon became a cult classic among hardcore cinephiles. Watch it and you'll understand why the cult continues to grow evej after almost 20 years after the initial release.
Moon is a feature unlike anything else you'll encounter these days on screen - a hearty, slow-burn narrative with a bamboozling twist right at the end. This Duncan Jones directorial will not make you shudder in fear, but it's relentness will get you.
Sam Rockwell stars as a lonely man stationed on the moon, who's counting down his days to return to Earth. Till then, his job is to keep supplying Earth with invaluable resources. Everything goes according to the plan, up until one day he stumbles upon something wasn't intended for his eyes - something that'll alter the course of his life.
Sam is phenomenal in his role, carrying the whole movie single-handedly with panache. His portrayal elicits sympathy as he struggles to find the nature of this reality.
The only thing up for debate regarding this movie is its slow pacing, but there is no way an intricate movie like this could have unfolded quicker. It's just the right amount of pacing.
10. Vanilla Sky
Vanilla Sky stars Tom Cruise as a financial wizard who has everything one could want from life. Things, however, turn south when Cruise’s character disfigures his face in an accident. Though he survives, the life after that incident is never the same. Everything feels dreamy, as if he's living in some alternate reality. It all boils down to the aftermath of the incident, which is this psychological thriller’s best weapon.
Unflinchingly poignant and unafraid to plumb the depths of humanity, Vanilla Sky’s sci-fi shenanigans should be experienced by everyone. If you're a fan of challenging, slow-burning dramas, this flick won't disappoint you.
Maybe the first viewing might not be as impactful. However, if you revisit this movie a few years later, you may be pleasantly surprised by its palpable profoundness.
If you're looking for some good movies like Her, Vannila Sky should be your best bet.
11. The Truman Show
Truman, an everyday guy, lives on a placid island in the middle of nowhere. A job, a loving wife, and an easygoing life; he has everything one could ask for. Still, the uncanny feeling that there’s something quite wrong with the nature of his reality increasingly haunts him. As it turns out, he isn't exactly inaccurate about his gut feeling.
Though the whole feature runs like a comedy, it gradually morphs into a profound, heartfelt experience, especially at the very end.
No one else but the veritable Jim Carrey could have carried that ending with such sincerity and aplomb. You have to experience this fantastic flick first-hand to witness his on-screen brilliance. How he didn't win an Oscar for this role is beyond my understanding.
12. The One I Love
This Charlie McDowell feature revolves around a couple on the brink of falling out. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to spend a weekend at a remote getaway house, recommended by their counselor.
Reluctantly, they accept the generous offer, only to stumble upon a sinister yet comical secret. It turns out that every couple spending their weekend there have gone through a ritualistic experience, and they must do the same, to save their marriage, and their soul.
Haunting yet morbidly funny, The One I Love is clever with its romantic storyline, mixed with some sci-fi elements at just at the right time to spice things up. It's better enjoyed if you try not to delve deep into its sci-fi logic and rules. Leave rationale at the doorstep and enjoy this little masterpiece.
Black Mirror (A TV show)
Though Black Mirror is a show, not including it in this list would have been blasphemy. Just like Her, this anthology mocks our increasing dependence on technology. Each episode stars a completely different cast with a separate theme. Barring a few episodes, every chapter has one thing in common - they all start out with an uplifting tone, showcasing the good side of advancement in technology, but then it turns dark in the blink of an eye.
It might sound a little odd, but Black Mirror is at its best when it's not trying to filter its deadpan humor. Some of its best episodes are unflinchingly dark and at times, suffocating.
Overall, it's not an easy show to consume and may leave you gloomy and even downright paranoid if you delve too deep. Are you ready for a challenge? This disturbing series is available on Netflix. Don't miss out on it.
Did I miss out on any good movies like Her? Let me know in the comments section.