17 Movies That Are More Mind-Blowing Than Inception.

So, we've all seen inception by now. It's a great film. I keep hearing about how it's such a "mind blowing" movie, and how its plot is so complicated.

Well, my friends, Inception doesn't even hold a candle to the following movies when it comes to 'mind-blowing'. Watching weird, convoluted movies happens to be something of a hobby of mine. Here's a list of the most complicated/mind blowing movies I've seen, in descending order:

Primer: This movie easily tops my list. It's about a bunch of engineers who inadvertently invent time travel, and the various problems that ensue. According to this chart, there are a total of nine timelines that weave in and out of each other throughout the movie. You're never sure which character is from what point in the chronological timeline, and to make matters worse, their motivations change with "time." You're never sure who's from when, what they're doing, or why. Anyone who tells you that they understand this movie is lying to you. (4.5 stars)

Revolver: This movie is like Oceans 11 meets the Godfather, meets LSD. The first part of the movie is pretty normal; it's about gamblers, gangsters, and people coning each other. Then, near the end, everything that you thought was going on in the movie collapses into symbolism and contradiction. I don't know — maybe the movie makes sense in it's own way. I'm still not sure. (3 stars)

Memento: Putting this movie on the list is pretty obligatory. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's about a guy who suffers from short-term memory loss, and who is trying to enact his revenge on a mysterious person who killed his wife. There's a big twist at the end. The movie does not proceed chronologically. Good luck. (4 stars)

eXistenZ: Imagine if movies could take drugs, and then imagine if the Matrix took steroids. eXistenZ is that movie. It's about a game that you plug into with your mind. This game is so lifelike, that when you're playing it, you can't distinguish it from the "real" world. Crazy stuff goes down. It stars Jude Law and Williem Dafoe. Watch it if you feel like doubting everything that you thought you could trust. (3.5 stars)

Donnie Darko: I imagine that most of people who are interested in this list have already seen this movie. It's got a huge cult following, and so it's place on this list is somewhat obligatory. I'm not even going to try to explain it — suffice it to say, it involves time travel, tangent universes, creepy rabbit costumes, indie kids, and a lot of eighties music. A word of advice: watch the directors cut of this movie. It's the version that actually makes sense. (4.5 stars)

Eraserhead: This entire list could consist of David Lynch movies if I wanted it to; but I'm only giving the man this one spot. Every David Lynch movie is disturbing — this one certainly notwithstanding. Do not watch Eraserhead. (1 star)

Being John Malkovich: Have you ever wanted to be someone else? This movie centers around a character who finds a tunnel that leads inside of John Malkovich's mind, allowing him to "be" John Malkovich for a few minutes. A few minutes — at first, that is. It explores the concept of identity, existential reality, meaning; all of that good stuff. It taps very much into the "my-life-isn't-really-my-life" sort of feeling that was prevalent in a bunch of nineties movies. This movie was directed by Spike Jonz, which I think is pretty much all of the endorsement that it needs. (4 stars)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: This movie is really creative, really artistic, and it will really send your mind on a trip. There isn't much that I can say about it without giving the plot away; suffice it to say, it centers around a business that erases people's painful memories. If I was ranking these movies according to how good they were as movies, this would probably be in first or second place. (5 stars)

Naked Lunch: If ranked according to weirdness, Naked Lunch would unquestionable come in first. In this movie, typewriters turn into big, weird insects and can talk. People take drugs and travel to strange lands inside their heads. Watching this movie is the closest thing that I've ever done to taking psychedelic drugs; I honestly don't recommend it. (1 star)

12 Monkeys: This one is really complicated. So of course, it involves time travel. In a future world devastated by disease, a convict (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. Multiple twists in this movie. Pay attention when you watch it. (4 stars)

Dark City: Before the Matrix came out, there was Dark City. (Dark City came out in 1998, the first Matrix came out in 1999). To be perfectly honest, Dark City is probably a better film. It definitely has a bigger "mind blowing" factor to it, which is why it is on this list and the Matrix isn't. Dark City is about a future, dystopian society where the sun never rises. There are these mysterious, alien-looking creatures with telepathic powers that fly around the city and control people, and apparently, matter itself. One man, who has a resistance to their powers, starts to uncover the secrets of this city. What he discovers blows his mind (along with yours!). Watch this movie. (4.5 stars)

Vanilla Sky: This movie is very similar to Inception, in the sense that it centers around dreams, and concept of spending one's life living inside them. I shouldn't say anything more, you'll just have to trust me on this one. It is a very good movie, and it would rank near the top if I were ranking these movies according to their quality as films. It stars a bunch of good-looking people, incidentally. Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz, for instance. It also has one of the coolest opening sequences of any movie, ever. (5 stars)

Rashomon: This one is pretty obligatory. It's a Japanese movie made in the 1950's, and it's about the rape of a woman and the apparent murder of a man. You watch the plot unfold from one perspective, and you think you understand what's going on. Then, you watch the same thing from another perspective, and it's totally different. This happens several times. It leaves you with a very empty feeling — like nothing really makes sense or has meaning. Just like life! Existentialism! Perspectivalism! Postmodernism! Yeah, that's this movie. Watch it if you're into this sort of thing. (3.5 stars)[EDIT: after some consideration, I raised my rating of this movie. I don't like it much, but it is a good movie.]

What Dreams May Come: Visually, this is probably the most stunning movie that I've ever seen. Honestly, every shot is a piece of art work. It visually captures every idea and feeling that the movie is trying to convey. This is particularly fitting, since it's a movie about one Man's journey through heaven and through hell. This movie's stunning portrayal of heaven and hell over-qualify it for this list. (5 stars)

The Fountain: I can still say what I did about What Dreams May Come, even though I've seen the Fountain. The Fountain is also visually spectacular. It tells a single story through three stories; one of them is about a Spanish inquisitor, one of them about a modern-day scientist, and one of them about a guy in the distant future traveling through space in a bubble. Each of them are searching for eternal life, in their own way. This movie is deeply symbolic. "Death as a disease" is a line from the movie, and as near as I can tell, this is the message of the movie. It has a beautiful soundtrack, and it stars Hugh Jackman. Watch it. (4.5 stars)

The Game: This movie is a thriller, much like Inception was. It's about a rich man who is deeply unsatisfied with his life, and so for his birthday, his son buys him a strange gift: a live-action game — one that takes place in his home, at his work, indeed, it follows him everywhere he goes. It consumes his life. Lots of twists. I'm pretty good at predicting movies, and believe me, you cannot predict this movie. (4 stars)

Adaptation: This is a movie about a screen writer who is writing a screen play. After a while, you realize that the movie he is writing is the movie that you are watching. Yeah, weird. Nicholas Cage is in it, though. Whatever. It's still really good. (4 stars)


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