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13 Mind-Boggling Movies Like "Coherence" That'll Make You Think

Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.


What Films Are Like Coherence?

Coherence starts very slowly, building the momentum right from the first minutes, and delivers on its promises with a fantastic end to a multi-threaded story. It compels you to think about endless ways the story could have ended. If you have watched it, it’s only fitting that you’re looking for some films like it. Let's take a look at the list I've compiled.


1. The Invitation

The plot revolves around a man, who invites a couple of other guests along with his ex-wife for a dinner party. Pretty soon, he begins to suspect that there is something seriously wrong with this gathering.

The Invitation brings out the analyst in you, compelling you to think about the aftermath. The tension builds up, leading to a horrifying conclusion. As the time passes by, you know that something bad is going happen. Whether you like it or not, it will leave its mark on you.


2. Timecrimes

Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, the story of Timecrimes follows a man, who finds a way to go an hour back in time, thus kicking off a chain of disastrous events. The more he tries to fix the mess, the worse it gets. Will he be able to fix it?

The first few minutes or so of this movie might seem a little dull. Don’t give up on it just yet. If you can get past that, the rest is pretty epic.

Is it a little too puzzling? Yes. Is it worth your time? Hell yeah. It doesn’t hold your hand and hand over the key to every puzzle. You have to figure it out yourself.

You’d think that you’re in the driver’s seat for the most part, but you aren’t. There are more than a few surprises along the way.


3. The Butterfly Effect

What if you could travel back in time and fix the mistakes of your past? Would it work in your favor? When a man finds out that he can go back in time with the help of his diary, he decides to change his past for a better future. It turns out, a few sacrifices will always have to be made, for nothing can be perfect.

He goes back and forth in time a couple of occasions to see what scenario best works out for him. Is there a right choice amongst those options?

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Even if time-traveling is not your cup your tea, you need to watch The Butterfly Effect. You'd enjoy a subtle but engaging story.


4. Inception

In the near future, a team of robbers invade business tycoons’ brains in their sleep and sell those ideas to others for loads of money. When they’re tasked with planting an idea instead of stealing one, things spiral out of control.

The longer they stay in the dream, the harder it's to come back to reality. If something goes slightly wrong, you’d forever be stuck in limbo, never even realizing that it’s just a dream. Knowing all these risks, they still take on the mission, for there is no other option. Will they come out unscathed?

Inception will keep you guessing from the very beginning till the credits roll. The deeper they go to plant that idea, the tenser their mission becomes. The story moves at a fairly brisk pace, challenging you to keep up with its twists and turns.

It's said that it took Christopher Nolan almost ten years to write the screenplay for Inception. More surprising is his ability to tell a subtle story like this in just a few minutes.

*Possible spoilers*

The vague ending might frustrate a few people. On a positive note, it leaves a lot of room for different interpretations.

Maybe you want to explore this sub-genre even further. If you loved this film, check out some movies similar to Inception.


5. About Time

When a young man learns that all men in his family have the ability to travel back in time, he goes back to fix his otherwise empty romantic life. But his quest to find a girlfriend isn’t as easy as he thought it would be. Will he find his love?

There is not much else to tell about it. By the looks of it, it seems like just another cliché romantic movie with a twist. I assure you that it's definitely not a time-waster. With just the right amount of comedy and sincerity, About Time would strike a chord in your heart.


6. Looper

Looper takes place in near future where people have invented time-travel. The only beneficiaries of it are the mobsters, who send their victims back in time to get them killed without any fuss. When one of the assassins finds out that he's going to be the next victim, he plans a way out.

There is enough action and suspense to keep you entertained for a few minutes. Apart from that, though, there is not much memorable about it. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking movie, you’d be disappointed. However, if you’re in for some nail-biting action, you’d enjoy Looper.


7. Predestination

I don’t know here to start with Predestination. While it’s a good mindfuck movie, I found it to be a little disgusting and outrageous. If you can suspend you disbelief for a few minutes, you’d enjoy it.

It revolves around three different persons who must live their life in a certain way as their life depends on it. I'm not going to say anything else since it would spoil the story. Granted, it is frustrating to figure out everything; it rewards your patience with a devastating ending that ties every loose thread together and answers all your questions.


8. The One I love

A troubled couple decides to rent a house on the suggestion of their therapist. The wife doesn't even for a second suspect that his husband would be willing to go to extreme lengths to make everything right between them again.

Even if you’re not too fond of romantic comedies, The One I Love will win you over with its character-centric story. With just the right mix of sci-fi and drama, it’s going to keep you hooked all the way through.


9. Moon

The plot revolves around Astronaut Sam Bell, whose three-year solo mission on the Moon is about to end. He desperately wants it to be over and go back to his normal life on Earth. His only friend is GERTY, a robot cum computer that keeps him company all the time.

As his stint on the Moon comes to an end, he begins to suspect that there is something seriously wrong going on under his radar. Why can’t he communicate back to earth? Determined to find out more, he finally stumbles upon the dark, ugly truth, which changes his concept of reality forever. Is he really who he thinks he is?

In a time of mindless sci-fi and action movies, Moon is a rare gem that no one should miss out on. It's a dark and thought-provoking experience.


10. The Family Man

What more could a person need when he has everything he could ever need? The story follows a wealthy investment broker, who has everything he could ask for. Still, something is lacking in his life. His wish for some sort of change in life is granted when he wakes up one morning to see that his girlfriend has become his wife and his sports car has turned to a mini-van.

Nicholas Cage brings life to his role of a wealthy businessman who is struggling to get a grip on his life. He is hilarious all the way through. Don’t mistake it for a comedy, though. While it would make you chuckle, it also conveys a profound message to its audience.

If you’re looking for some thought-provoking movies, The Family Man should be your best bet.


11. Triangle

The plot revolves around a couple of friends on a yachting trip, who find themselves stuck on a wrecked ship in the middle of the ocean. When they jump to an abandoned ship to save their lives, things only get worse. One of them realizes that something is seriously wrong here. What is it? Is it too late now?

For those who don’t like subtle movies, this is only going to be a disappointment. To understand what’s going on, you’d need to pay attention to every little detail, dialogue, and scene. If possible, watch it with your friends. It’s good to have someone you can discuss everything with.


12. Primer

The story follows four friends who work in a garage on a machine. They know that they’re on the verge of inventing something extraordinary, but they’re not quite sure what it is. When one of them finds out that it can be used to travel in time, he takes one of his friends along for a journey, which spirals things out of control.

It’s pretty likely that you’d have to watch it more than once to get the hang of all the time traveling instances. And even then, you’d need help in figuring out everything.

The most frustrating this about Primer is that it never really cares about explaining the plot to its viewers. At the end of the movie, you’d have more than a couple of unanswered questions. Thankfully, there are a few enthusiasts who are more than willing to explain everything with charts (Yes, it’s that subtle!)

It would be unfair to expect anything more from a movie that had a tiny budget of $7000. Yes, the acting sometimes feels dull at times and the camera work could have been a lot better. It still is a fascinating movie with a solid plotline. You’d be hard-pressed to find any loopholes in it.


13. Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is a strange movie. It makes sense from one angle and looks absurd from the other. When you finally manage to get the full picture, though, everything makes perfect sense.

The story follows Donnie, a troubled teenager, who is haunted by a strange bunny rabbit in his dreams. As time passes by, he starts seeing him more often. Convinced by the bunny, he starts following his advice, committing a series of crimes. Is he crazy or is the world actually coming to an end?

I have been watching movies for a very long time, but I'm yet to come across something as bizarre, haunting and heart-touching as Donnie Darko. It compels you to think, touching on topics like death, reincarnation, and the possibility of an alternate world.

Loved this masterpiece? Check out some other puzzling movies like Donnie Darko.

Did I miss out on a good movie? Le me know in the comments section.


Rahul Pandey (author) from Delhi, India on April 27, 2019:

It's depressing alright.

jason beckstrom on April 19, 2019:

The family man is one of the worst movies I have ever seen with one of the most depressing endings I have ever seen.

Coop on February 17, 2019:

Great list

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