Top 11 Mind-Boggling Movies Like 'Source Code'
What Films Are Like Source Code?
Source Code is a thrilling ride - one that starts with a bang right from the get-go. This well-written thriller is executed with painstaking perfection, albeit with a couple of stumbles at the end. Years after its initial release, this flawed masterpiece is still making the rounds.
If you're here, I'll assume you have already watched this gem. Without further ado, let's take a look at some movies like Source Code.
What Films Are Like Source Code?
- American Psycho
- Requiem For a Dream
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Donnie Darko
- The Commuter
- The Triangle
1. American Psycho
The story follows Patrick, a sociopath mogul, who loves bathing in thoughts of murder and mayhem. As his never-fulfilling desire to be perfect grows, his dark side starts yearning for just the opposite - chaos, murders, and disorder.
It's almost an irony how the book, upon which, this movie is based, was vilified and hated all over the country. Back in 1991, the time of this book’s release, many journalists overtly boycotted it.
Fast forward to 2001, the underappreciated dark satire was finally adapted into a movie - a transfixing masterpiece with a tone so unrelentingly dark, it will definitely make you squirm in your seat. This Mary Harron directed feature gets going from the very first moment. The palpable tension and dread build up from the get-go, reaching to a tipping point before the fireworks begin.
If you're looking for a mind-bending movie like Source Code, American Psycho should be right up your alley.
2. Requiem For A Dream
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, this taut feature centers around four different people with addiction problems so deep, their life gets progressively worse as they descend further down the rabbit hole. The eccentric story might feel wayward at times, especially in the beginning where things move fast, but sticking to it is definitely worth it.
The main takeaway of this movie is that drugs can mess things up for you, big time. The palpable aftermath of overdoses is presented in a dreamy, hypnotic session as the story slowly trudges along. The scriptwriter doesn't want to sell you a sob fest; this is a trippy experience - one that takes time to show its fangs. Underneath its outlandish exterior lies a bleak, unflinching undertone with disarming poignancy.
The close-ups as protagonists get high are disturbing, and to some extent, suffocating. The whole movie is brilliant but an uncomfortable ride laden with bumps all along the way.
3. Edge of Tomorrow
Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise Cruise in the role of an inane Major with no previous combat experience. Thrown in the battleground against aliens, who are on the verge of winning the war, Will (Cruise) summons all the courage and goes head-on, only to die within seconds.
But that's only the beginning of his quest to single-handedly defeat the whole alien army. Will finds himself in the perpetual loop of life and death, inching closer to driving the extraterrestrial forces away.
Though Emily Blunt gets some screen time, especially in the latter half of the movie, it's Cruise who carries this whole feature upon his shoulders. His character’s transformation from a cowry, gullible character to a braveheart is adrenaline-fueled.
It's unbelievable how criminally underrated Edge of Tomorrow is. A perfectly executed movie like this certainly deserves a better fate.
Let's start with a disclaimer that I am a little biased towards this movie. Someone who has watched Primer at least half a dozen times, I still don't understand some of its time-warping intricacies.
It starts out as a simple pic, introducing the audience to every character and a deceptive premise. The story revolves around four friends on the verge of inventing something truly revolutionary. As they inch ever so close to a breakthrough, fissures among the team widen, leading to an irrevocable turmoil punctuated with some time-travel paradoxes.
Its sheer brilliance seeps through, despite a lackluster budget and an inexperienced cast. For a movie made with a shoestring budget of $7000, the minimalist cinematography and multi-layered storyline is of reasonably good quality. The plot could use some accessibility and hand-holding as it's incredibly difficult to figure things out on your own. Not once does this sly feature attempts to simplify its convoluted plot. Made for hardcore cinephiles, this lean feature might infuriate a majority of viewers, especially when it gets into the nitty-gritty of time traveling.
My suggestion would be to watch this movie and then come back to find a well-articulated explanation of everything transpiring on the screen.
5. Donnie Darko
Donnie is a troubled teenager around whom the whole movie is centered. The opening scenes capture him sleepwalking out of his house, seconds before a plane crashes right on top of it.
Something is not right about the world he's living in. Frank, his masked imaginary friend, keeps telling him about the impending doom that'll make the entire world collapse. In a world where nothing is quite as it seems and dreams often amalgamate with reality, who will he listen to?
To wrap one’s mind around everything at once would be a huge task, even for hardcore moviegoers. This sly feature, despite being transfixing, is often coy with details. Frank, Donnie’s masked friend, for instance, never reveals his true self until the very end. Comprehending the story and its underlying profound message is an arduous exercise, but it's well worth it at the end. There's a reason, after all, behind its cult following. People love Donnie, and so will you.
In the near future, time-travel has become a common phenomenon, so much so that the government has it banned. The only ones using this mode are criminal bodies who use it for their own grubby agendas. Victims are sent back in time to be executed by Loopers, professional killers who specialize in this kind of work. They stand on the spawning spot with their guns drawn, and the job is done as soon as the victim spawns. Simple enough.
Things get ugly when a Looper finds his future self is sent back into the past to be killed by his younger self. Will he kill himself or break free of the old tradition of ‘closing the loop?’
In a world where time-traveling has become a possibility, you would expect things to go haywire. And haywire everything goes. Except for the invention of time-travel, everything else goes downhill.
If you have got a taste, oh so refined, for movies like Source Code, this star-studded movie should be in the list of your favorites.
550 million miles away from Earth, a wayward spaceship is the only home to nearly 60000 people. With no way to contact back home, they're on their own. Lumbering around this spaceship is a sinister, ruthless force waiting around the corner. One slip and they'll be chewed off by this extraterrestrial creature. In a place where cries for help is a futile exercise, how far will they go to survive?
Pandorum uses some familiar horror tropes to narrate its well-worn story in a new way - one that might not make you look over your shoulder, but will deeply unsettle you. It's not going to convert the naysayers into ardent sci-fi fans, but those who already love this genre will find plenty to cheer for.
8. The Commuter
The story revolves around a humdrum insurance salesman with a regular life; commuting using the same train for years. Being a passenger for so long, he assumedly knows almost every other regular commuter onboard. His mundane life is traded for a blood-curdling conspiracy when he comes across a mysterious lady on the train. His reluctance to do her sinister bidding for some money leads him into a well-laid trap - one with stakes high enough to affect every passenger on the train.
Try not to get dissuaded by negative reviews swarming the internet. This being, a Liam Neeson starrer, everyone expected it to have the grandeur of Taken, another one of his movies. In contrast, the action-sequences here feel a little docile, almost like a high school squabble when you compare it with the former.
Focus on the action and you'll lose its point. The Commuter excels at narrating a gripping, over-the-top storyline in a hypnotic fashion. The firework is only a shorthand for an attempt to convey a deeper message - one they may or may not resonate with you. Love it or hate it; we can all agree on the point that The Commuter packs the punch where it matters.
Inception has found its way into so many of my lists, and not without a reason. Encompassing romance, horror, suspense, and sci-fi, this catch-all is a perfect fit for almost any sci-fi or thriller list. I'm often guilty of eulogizing this dream-within-dreams flick, but you'll be the latest one to join the ever-increasing fan base after watching this movie.
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception’s sorry follows Cobb, a thief who uses dream-sharing technology to manipulate dreams of his victims and steal invaluable corporate secrets therein.
Things turn sinister when a new client offers him money for planting an idea inside someone. With stealing no more being the mission in the latest run, they prepare to go deeper into the dream of the victim - a potentially fatal ploy fraught with danger. With no option of going back, Cobb grabs this morbid opportunity with both hands, inviting his troubled past to come back and haunt him.
There's a reason why Inception is one of the most talked about movies on the internet. Nolan took over 10 years to prepare the script, and the flawless perfection is evident in Inception’s delightfully intricate ways. Without absolute clarity over how to go ahead with the plan, a subtle plot like this could have easily gone wayward. Nolan, however, directed this thriller expertly, leaving no room for imperfection.
10. The Triangle
This hallucinatory feature stars Melissa George in the role of Jess, an everyday woman caught in a sinister loop - one that compels her to revisit a yachting trip in the middle of nowhere. Caught in this hellish nightmare, she tries her best to wriggle out of the mire, only to get sucked into a world full of chaos and blood - one she can't escape without coming to terms with her past and accepting her fate.
If the synopsis seems a little vague, it's intentional on my end, for I wouldn't want this ordeal spoiled for you. For some more clarity on the plot, you can check out IMDB’s synopsis, but I recommend you to go in cold, without knowing much about this pic. Try to figure out the puzzle on your own. It's challenging but rewarding.
Our anti-heroine makes some questionable choices throughout the movie which might vex some people; but then again, she wouldn't be in the middle of a brewing disaster had she been apt with her choices. As long as you don't question some things, you'll love this mind-numbing experience.
The plot spins around eight friends who meet up for a dinner party. The pleasantries are traded for shrieks, not long after they meet as they inadvertently open the pandora’s box. A mundane get-together turns into a despairing affair, leading to chaos, confusion, and mayhem.
This James Ward Byrkit directed gem is a proof for all the naysayers that not all successful, thought-provoking movies need the budget of a blockbuster movie. Some excellent camera work, a talented ensemble cast, and a transfixing story make for one of the best mind-benders you'll ever experience.
The start might be a tad slow for a sci-fi movie, but it's a roller-coaster ride when it finally fires on all cylinders. Take your time with this gem. You'll want to revisit it.
In my attempt to collate a comprehensive list of movies like the Source Code, I might have missed out on some good entries. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments section. I will be sure to check them out and update my list.