Many of us are suckers for mind-bending, bizarre movies. Movies like Inception provide our brains with the stimulation they give after hours of watching poor Movies marketed as “blockbusters.” It is unsurprising that Inception became a box office success upon its first release, making more than $800 million worldwide. The Inception‘s reviews and word of mouth were fantastic, as was Christopher Nolan’s unrivaled enigma as a filmmaker with a predilection for providing great blockbuster filmmaking, which pushed the Movie to its successful run.
Even today, the Movie Inception is ranked #14 on IMDb among the finest movies ever made, ranking higher than, I’m sure you’d agree, many greater masterpieces. Well, the masses act in ways that only they understand, but that in no way takes the genius of ‘Inception‘ as a Movie or the main ‘concept’ underpinning it all: Dreams. Nolan found to combine a summer blockbuster movie with one of the most powerful sci-fi concepts in recent memory, and the result was exciting, awe-inspiring, and will be a religion among fans in a decade or two if it isn’t already. But, then then, how frequently are Movies Like ‘Inception‘ made? Isn’t it rare? As a result, we thought to compile a list of movies comparable to Inception that are our suggestions and will undoubtedly satiate your thirst for mind-bending movies
Best Movies Like Inception You Must Watch
Some of these movies, such as Inception, are available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
A Movie that borrows a similar concept of time loop from ‘Groundhog Day (1993), the plot of this movie is set in the future when aliens invade Earth, and Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) – a public relations officer with little combat experience – is forced to go on an almost suicide mission battling the aliens. Though he is killed in battle, he suddenly finds himself in a time loop in which he relives the same day before the battle every time he dies. So, taking advantage of the chance to enhance his combat abilities, he joins up with Special Forces fighter Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) to find a solution to battle the alien invaders. It is the Best Movies Like Inception.
This is a clever and intense sci-fi spectacle with clever use of humor, followed by some stunning visual effects, fantastic alien design, and some beautifully orchestrated battle sequences in which we get to see Cruise & Blunt strapped up in full-body artillery, being transformed into ultimate fighting weapons, also going to great lengths by testing one’s physical prowess.
‘Predestination’ is a real reality of how time-travel movies are made and how unpredictable they are. It represents a timeless traveler who travels through time from 1945 to 1993 in pursuit of the fizzle bomber. The Movie’s plot is based on a concept known as the predestination dilemma. A predestination paradox is a series of events (actions, information, objects, and people) in which one event is one of the causes of another, which is one of the reasons for the first. How the eternal traveler makes his own creation possible, like ‘the snake that bites its own tail repeatedly,’ will astonish and leave you thinking.
‘Coherence,’ a story about eight friends at a dinner party who encounter a worrisome series of reality-bending occurrences, is based on a scientific hypothesis known as Schrödinger’s cat theory. Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, often known as a paradox, invented in 1935 by Austrian scientist Erwin Schrödinger. In plain words, it is the potential of numerous parallel realities existing simultaneously. It is the Best Movies Like Inception.
Walter Pfister made his directorial debut with this sci-fi thriller after making a name for himself as a cinematographer on multiple Christopher Nolan movies. Johnny Depp plays a research scientist whose expertise in the field of Artificial Intelligence makes him popular in the world of science for his notoriously famous experiments in which he succeeds in creating a sentient machine that combines the collaborative intelligence of everything ever known with the ability to display human emotions. Unfortunately, due to his success, he has become a target for anti-technology zealots who would go to any length to destroy his creations.
Like Inception, However, in their endeavor to destroy him, they accidentally become the cause for his success, i.e., a participant in his own transcendence. As a result, his thirst for knowledge leads him down a perilous road. Despite displaying promise for its one-of-a-kind concept, there are a few contradictions within the story and bad reasoning, which regrettably diminishes its potential. Still, if Artificial Intelligence intrigues you, you should watch this.
‘Interstellar,’ in my opinion, is a near relation to the landmark that is Inception. The first parallel that comes to mind is Christopher Nolan, but I feel Interstellar is made of the same basic fiber as Inception. These Movies provide fantastic sci-fi themes, one delving into the maze of the human mind through dreams, the other into the big unknown in space where time and even physical space are palpable enough to assess directly. However, a human aspect links these tales, a father yearning to return to his children, overcome with sadness over a loss they cannot necessarily repair, set amid cerebrally daunting set pieces. From Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to the mind-bending graphics to the overall narrative structure and the humanitarian presentation of a big notion, ‘Interstellar’ is everything you love about ‘Inception’ dressed up as a space opera.
Upstream Color (2013)
It’s impossible to isolate a single thing in ‘Upstream Color,’ but on a higher level, it examines the symbiotic link between man, animal, and environment via the personal journey of two people to self-discovery after being stripped of all they know and own. ‘Upstream Color’ has several layers, but it is essentially about the things that are beyond our control.
We rarely see time travel in movies implemented in such a unique manner. Like Inception This Movie is one of the select handful. This movie, directed by Rian Johnson, is set in a future 2044 when criminal syndicates deploy hired murderers known as “loopers” to kill people using time travel. Joe, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, is a looper whose duty it is to track down men transported from the future and into the past so that their remains may be appropriately disposed of. After a time, the mafia decides to “close the loop,” sending Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) back to the past to murder him. When the two meet, they must decide what to do with themselves since each has personal and competing ambitions to accomplish. It really is a thought-provoking Movie that combines future sci-fi themes with some good old action moments. ‘Looper,’ a highly clever and engaging thriller, is possibly the most underappreciated movie on the list.
Source Code (2011)
Colter Stevens, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is a pilot who is part of a secret government program that allows him to experience the final few minutes of the life of another man who died in a railway explosion. Stevens is required to uncover the bomber’s identity, but as he takes the mission, he realizes that many things are at risk, the least of which is time. Like Inception ‘Source Code’ wonderfully adds a unique twist to the time-travel Movies we’re accustomed to watching. You’ll be surprised at how similar this Movie is to Inception.
Liam Neeson found fresh recognition in Hollywood as an action actor after starring in the hit action-thriller ‘Taken’ (2008), which dramatically changed his image among his fans. ‘Unknown’ follows Dr. Martin Harris, who strives to establish his identity to the public after being engaged in a car accident and recount the events of the past day. ‘Unknown,’ which also stars Diane Kruger and January Jones, is an interesting psychological-action Movie that takes fans through unraveling a well-constructed narrative into a very unexpected finale. Collet-Serra has very effectively adapted the screenplay for the screen, eliminating extraneous stretches and keeping the Movie moving at the appropriate speed. With Neeson’s expert-style performance and ability to hold the whole Movie on his own, ‘Unknown’ is an aesthetically pleasing watch. Despite the Movie’s mixed reviews, Collet-Serra was inspired to work with Liam Neeson on other projects in the future.
Waking Life (2001)
‘Waking Life’ is more than just a Movie. It’s about the many themes that one encounters during one’s life, quietly hinting toward the meaning of life. Although many of these make little sense, they stay tied to the subconscious. Probably, at later phases of life, it all makes sense. The nameless protagonist continues encountering people in his dreams who are preoccupied with their own conversations, oblivious to his existence. He soon finds that he, too, can control his own dreams. At first, it comes easily to him, but he quickly becomes trapped in his own dreams. Like Inception ‘Waking Life,’ directed as an animated Movie by Richard Linklater, is a unique take on the ever-enticing concept of experiencing life in an instant.
‘Limitless’ is the story of a writer who is caught in limbo in his life, both professionally and romantically, until a medication called NZT enables him to access 100 percent of his brain function and capacity, unlocking all the potential even his subconscious mind has. A typical case of a man thinking he has found his genie in a bottle, only to have things spin out of control even though he believes he has everything he desired. The Movie features some remarkable, almost hallucinogenic graphics, which, along with the relentless tempo and Bradley Cooper’s acting, keep you moderately committed to this entertaining journey until the credits roll.
Shutter Island (2010)
‘Shutter Island’ is the story of two federal marshals, Edward Daniels and Chuck Aule, who go to an outlying island where a mental institute for the criminally ill keeps the most brutal murderers and rapists in case to solve the disappearance of a prisoner called Rachel Solando. As Edward develops his case, he seeks to unearth the truth behind the facility’s actions while being haunted by his wartime days and the death of his family. ‘Shutter Island,’ based on Dennis Lehane’s book of the same name, is Martin Scorsese’s most twisted Movie to date, pushing the levels of suspense, mystery, and thriller elements to new heights in Hollywood.
The Movie, set in the 1950s, combines aspects of detective thrillers with psychological horror and delusional story-telling by a disillusioned narrator. ‘Shutter Island’ is easily one of the most atmospheric movies I’ve seen, and everything, including the score, the locations, the cinematography, the forsaken island, and the lighting; everything, creates an eerie atmosphere that produces genuine, lasting horror that lasts long after the final twist blows your mind.
Christopher Nolan’s indie masterpiece depicts the story of a man suffering from short-term memory loss who is on the hunt for the man he believes raped and killed his wife. He keeps short notes and tattoos to help him recall important information that he may forget. Nolan’s usage of two structures for the Movie is a stroke of brilliance; a black and white sequence presented in chronological order and a color sequence given in reverse chronological order. This provides us the sense that we are inside our protagonist’s brain since we are denied access to information that has faded from our protagonist’s memory.
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Open Your Eyes (1997)
Assume you have a great life with friends and family and are happy with it. Then, suddenly, an accident alters everything and kills everyone you care about. What are your plans? Wouldn’t you give everything to relive those priceless moments? This Spanish Movie, directed by Alejandro Amenabar, portrays the story of a scarred man and his struggle to overcome his past as his dreams continue to display bits of it. A clever story was praised by reviewers and spectators alike, and it drew the attention of Tom Cruise, who made its similarly popular American remake – ‘The Vanilla Sky.’
The Machinist (2004)
Many people and online articles must have persuaded you to watch ‘The Machinist’ only to see Christian Bale’s passion for his profession and his incredible weight loss (and gain) to play a genuinely troubled guy who has insomnia. True, he’s at the peak of his game here, but it doesn’t diminish the Movie’s dark genius in portraying a psychologically complicated story of a protagonist who suffers from illusions dividing real from imagined as a mystery surrounding one of his coworkers and an accident at work grows.
Total Recall (1990)
Like many other average people, Dennis Quaid has a typical life with his lovely wife as a company. However, he has bizarre dreams about a beautiful woman in a secret place at night. Having been discouraged by everyone, he contacts Rekall, a company that specializes in planting memories for fantasy. Its Similar like Inception. However, Quaid begins to see glimpses of a suppressed memory as the process begins. And all of a sudden, his world does not seem to be the one he has spent his whole life in. Or so he thought. ‘Total Recall’ is based on a Philip K Dick story that also acted as a prologue to ‘Minority Report,’ which was regarded far ahead of its time.
The Prestige (2006)
In this game of one-upmanship between two magicians, who channel their deep-seated hate for each other into a lifetime quarrel that escalates to something terrible and beyond conception, we, the viewers, stay as passive observers, watching incredulously. Its Similar like Inception. ‘The Prestige,’ directed by Christopher Nolan, is a dark story about the damaged egos of characters preoccupied with secrets. The Movie’s clever ending will undoubtedly keep you thinking for days.
Minority Report (2002)
Top 10 Minority Report Sci-Fi In his own words, Spielberg defined the Movie as “50% character and 50% really intricate narrative with layers and layers of murder mystery and storyline.” I believe it is clearly more than that. Its topic of constantly challenging the existence and purpose of free will, or if they desire to act separately would have any worth if the future were known ahead of time, is cleverly explored via the actions of the lead, Tom Cruise, who is in fantastic form, and the precogs’ plight. The movie is visually stunning and a must-see if you like murder mysteries set in the past.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Chaos theory is an astounding hypothesis. According to it, a little event in one place might lead to significant ones in another. So when Eric Bress and Mackye Gruber made to make this notion into a Movie, we knew it would be unique. Evan (Ashton Kutcher) is a life who regularly blacks out due to excruciating migraines and is sent to the past, where he may change his own and others’ lives. When Evan finds that little adjustments in the past may radically alter the present, he finds himself in nightmarish alternative realms. It’s not a flawless movie, but it’s certainly entertaining Similar like Inception..
The Fountain (2006)
‘The Fountain’ is so much more than a mind-bending Movie with a complex narrative for a spectacle. It discusses man’s eternal hunt for the phenomena of birth and death, man’s futile attempts to control either, and how the two form a cyclical connection with each other. It does this via three parallel timelines and is essentially the story of a shattered man coming to hold with the death of his loving wife. I found myself absolutely at a loss for words when attempting to categorize the Movie, and in this, the Movie defies bounds and delivers something to be experienced without a critical eye, to be felt first and then fathomed upon afterward.
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Watching this wonderful Movie with a closed mind is a long exercise in futility. I’d rather think of Mr. Nobody as a long-term mental workout. As the events develop on screen, your mind is bombarded with a slew of parallel ideas and hypotheses, each one arriving at you at breakneck speed, which is essentially part of the watching experience. Consider an RPG in which you must make critical choices at several moments, clearly leading to distinct endings, and each stretched out among alternate realities. To materialize such a concept in a Movie, this good is an accomplishment in and of itself. Its fundamental topic of the future, uncertainty, chaos theory, existence, and everything in between is a delight of a jigsaw.
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
While watching and researching ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ I became aware of a concept called rubber reality, which describes the reality that our protagonist sees as being distinct or alternative to observed reality and/or not real at all. ‘Inception’ is a significant milestone in that genre, but ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ may be the point at which the genre finally established itself and came into its own. Nonetheless, it is not as highly received as other mind-bending movies from the period. ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ starring Tim Robbins, tells the story of a Vietnam war veteran who is shell-shocked and recuperating from the death of his son and who is haunted by visions that he finds difficult to distinguish between visions and reality. Its Similar like Inception. The Movie takes you through not just Jacob Singer’s brain but also his emotions in an increasingly intricate spiral, with an underlying philosophical, even prophetic tone.
Fight Club (1999)
‘Fight Club,’ without a doubt, is the Movie that redefined cool for an entire generation. With more catchphrases and lines that have become as famous as the movie itself, it has had a greater impact on the cinema-watching public and the present rebellious mindset of impressionable minds than any other modern Movie. At the same time, it elevated Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) as an immediate messiah for twenty-somethings looking for a transient meaning in life. The Movie’s renown stems equally from its critique of our times’ superficial existence as it does from its mind-blowing climax. Look no further if you want to participate in countless academic debates and be completely dissuaded by the conclusion of the Movie.
Donnie Darko (2001)
‘Donnie Darko’ recounts the exploits of the disturbed main character as he attempts to understand the meaning of his Doomsday-related visions. The story’s time is directly reliant on the audience’s capacity to stay coherent and acclimatize to the concept of time travel. Even though it is rich with concepts and practically impossible to comprehend in a single watching, few Movies have such a cult following. Like Inception One of the other distinctively beautiful things about ‘Donnie Darko’ is that, while there are numerous explanations available on the internet right now for what exactly conspired during its runtime, as well as numerous breakdowns of its much-discussed ending, each viewer will have a slightly different interpretation of its multi-layered script doused in possibly every science-fiction concept on this list; this is as open-ended as it gets.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003)
Many may find its inclusion on this list unexpected, but ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a science Movie with a love story. In addition, the Movie’s premise of memory erasure is so perplexing that most first-time viewers get lost in a labyrinth of complicated notions. Finally, the Movie combines science and romance with spectacular consequences. Charlie Kaufman uses the odd nature of the human mind and memory to analyze the terrible reality of human relationships. We frequently cling to particular memories for no apparent reason, but they keep us alive in some ways, which is what makes our lives worthwhile to live, and life becomes an awful misery the minute they vanish from our minds.
The Matrix (1999)
When I think of action and sci-fi movies today, and in the past, I always picture them in two movies: pre-matrix and post-matrix, which I feel is a tribute to the Movie’s impact on current sci-fi and Action Movies. It is true that ‘The Matrix’ altered things. It not only broke new ground with its story, but it also received high marks for its exceptionally stylish approach, both visual and cerebral, giving us an immediate sci-fi masterpiece for the ages. Much as in ‘Inception,’ the subject’s realization of the virtual world he was trapped in enabled him to execute humanly impossible things limited only by the mind’s imagination, an odd resemblance that I thought much later but made me love both movies much more.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
The story revolves around James Cole (Willis), a prisoner in the 2030s who is recruited for a mission and is transported back to the 1990s to acquire information about a deadly epidemic that has wiped off a major part of the population. Throughout the movie, the thing that stands out is his relationship with the crazy Jeffrey (Pitt) and his subtle and desperate infatuation with Dr. Katherine Railly. ’12 Monkeys,’ directed by Terry Gilliam and co-written by David Peoples, who previously wrote ‘Blade Runner,’ investigates the subjective nature of memories and their impact on perceptions of reality via the concept of time travel.
‘Primer’ is more than a science; it’s a complex scientific riddle. In a nutshell, it’s about two friends who accidentally (kind of) discover a form of time travel. Initially, they want to use it to generate money, but greed and shortsightedness lead them to build so many overlapping timelines (at least 9) that they lose control of themselves, their friendship, and the technology. To properly comprehend each and every detail of ‘Primer,’ numerous viewings are required. However, after you eventually “understand” the Movie, don’t be surprised if you feel joyful and triumphant, similar to how you feel when you solve a tough task Like Inception.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
A first watch of ‘Mulholland Drive.’ as a result of the following: Head scratching, perplexity, brainstorming, realization, and acceptance. Only once you’ve accepted that what you’ve seen is nothing short of a miracle do you go back for a second, 3rd, or fourth viewing to appreciate the intricacies, applaud the filming, editing, and acting, and make sense of the cerebral and haunting piece of cinema. Even 15 years after its premiere, the Movie is still being debated, and not every question regarding it has been addressed. So said, ‘Mulholland Drive’ has the greatest cinematic mystery.
‘Paprika,’ the final anime feature Movie directed by Satoshi Kon, is the closest immediate cousin of ‘Inception’ as a movie on the list and depicts the usage of a technology called dream therapy, which enables its user to see a person’s dreams, and by extension, his subconscious. In the context of the Movie, I venture to argue that ‘Paprika’ goes even farther than ‘Inception’ in describing the weakness and personal but sensitive character of dreams and the world they are capable of unlocking. It’s a quiet piece of brilliance, with excellent animation and a solid moral foundation at its center. Please don’t pass it up.