Looking for an awesome movie to watch with a cerebral plot? Inspired by The Matrix, I pulled together a collection of movies that show an altered reality where the characters have to use their mind to figure out the world they live in.
This movie inspired the collection. Most people have probably seen it by now. All the movies below feature some of the same altered reality scenarios where something is not quite right, and the characters have figure out the rules of the universe they now live in.
I love the first half of the movie, because it shows a lot of what a real startup is like. It's incredible how they did the overlapping dialog to show the fast pace of thought. One of the best time travel movies since Back to the Future. Pay close attention once things get going, because much things get complicated fast.
This cult-classic from the 80s dramatizes the story of Bastian, a young boy struggling his way through grade school amidst bullies. He sneaks away one day to read a book he's been given. The more he reads, he begins to realize he is actually part of the story, and locked in a battle to save the Universe from a nihilistic villain: The Nothing.
Jim Carey has been growing up inside a reality TV show since birth. The wrinkle, is that no one has told him this, and all the cameras are hidden. As he comes of age, he starts to realize that something is not quite right. From here the movie dramatizes his struggle to figure it out and free himself.
This under appreciated Tom Cruise movie comes at the question of The Matrix in a different way. There's much more consideration of the idea that you might not want to be aware of what's actually real if you're living in a fantasy that seems better.
This incredible movie from Alex Proya is full a clues and gems to discover when you rewatch it. It actually has an audio commentary track of Roger Ebert sharing his findings. The movie chronicles the battle of Rufus Sewell and William Hurt to come to grips with a strange reality they're living in. No one can remember it being day time, and they cannot figure out how to escape the city they live in, which seems to turn in on itself.
This under appreciated 90s movie starts with the sci-fi premise that two teenage siblings have been transported inside a black and white 50s sitcom. The story ends up going well beyond the campy plot, as the characters realize they have to discover a passion within themselves to escape the world their trapped in.
One of the most visually stunning movies in this group, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shows a world where you can erase bad memories. Jim Carey stars as Joel, a defeated lover who opts for this new therapy. Midway through the process, he realizes he's made a mistake, and now he has to fight to save his memory and the love of his life.
Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams are incredible in this under appreciated movie. Williams plays Dr. Oliver Sacks, who discovers a way to bring catatonic patients back to life. Robert DeNiro plays Leonard Lowe, a patient who has suddenly come back to life after decades over being in a comatose state. You can't help but leave this movie feeling like every moment of your life is precious, and that it must be filled with value.
This is a less sci-fi version of this kind of movie. In this love story, Matthew is being tricked into believing something that isn't true that leads to the end of his relationship with a woman. The movie becomes a thriller of sorts to see if he can piece together the puzzle of what happened.
We all know the story of Hellen Keller who was born without sense of sight or hearing. This movie dramatizes the incredible meeting of Keller and Anne Sullivan, who helps Keller turn the jumbled sense of the world into something that makes sense. The movie is painful to watch at times, but incredibly inspiring.
In case you've been under a rock and haven't heard of this movie, you need to watch it. Christopher Nolan, who directed the latest Batman trilogy, delivers an incredible movie. It's also maybe the first movie where I've really enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio as a protagonist (sorry Titanic fans). Inception centers around the idea of influences people's ideas by infiltrating their dreams.