Help Me Build A New Mind Job Mind Bending Mind F%$& Movie List

So I was emailing with someone (one of you fantastic readers) just the other day, and in my trying to find a movie for them I ran across my old old post of the 5 best Mind Job movies. Which is a dang good list of movies I might add. But, it’s quickly going out of date. Someone even started arguing with me in the comments years later… WHAT?!? EX MACHINA ISNT IN THIS LIST!??! I was like, dude, I didn’t have a time traveling machine. I didn’t know it was coming!

So, here’s what I want to do. I’m just going to explode a list of mind job movies that I think should be considered for the new list. The parameters for the list? Nothing. If you want to submit a cave painting, I’ll take it. But generally the movie needs to make you say, “WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED!” in all caps like that. I’ve dumped in over 50 just to get your brain started. Some of them I have reviewed and discussed with you. Some you guys recommended to me and I haven’t even seen yet. But it’s just meant as list to get your brain started:

Eternal Sunshine
Ex Machina
The Prestige
The Usual Suspects
Being John Malkovich
Fight Club
Donnie Darko
Upstream Color
Requiem for a Dream
The Invitation
The Lobster
Vanilla Sky
Shutter Island
Jacob’s Ladder
12 Monkeys
Total Recall
Blade Runner
The Man From Earth
Dark City
Time Crimes
The Signal
If There’s A Hell Below
They Look Like People
The Matrix
Sound of My Voice
Session 9
The Machinist
The Arrival
Fight Club
The One I Love
The Congress
Another Earth
The Nines
Operation Avalanche
Old Boy
The Fountain
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Ring
Sixth Sense
Nine Queens
One Point O
Matchstick Men

If you want to play – and tell us what you think – here’s what I ask. Please give me your top ten, and give them to me in some sort of order of priority. Maybe I’ll even create an announcement on the site to tell people from other pages to get over here and to help. Never done that before. But hey, we can give it a go and see what happens.

Thanks everyone in advance for helping!! I mean, heck, I can make a list that’s as good as the next guy’s. But it’d be a killer list if you guys helped me build it.


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80 Responses

  1. Jeremy

    This is a hard one for me. A couple of years back I went in search of movies that were disturbing and really blow my mind. I had no idea what was in store for me. One movie in particular I would never recommend to anyone. Not because it wasn’t entertaining, but the ending left me feeling like my soul needed a week long shower and toxin cleanse. I can not give you 10 movies. But I can give you 4.
    1. A Serbian Film (This movie will change your life, in the most horrific way. It can be found on Youtube.)
    2. Eraserhead (I have absolutely no idea what I watched and I attempted it a second time)
    3. Antichrist ( No clue…it was also weird and disturbing)
    4. Kids (I have never actually seen this one, But I heard from a friend who watched a couple of these experimental movies with me, that this one was the most F’ed up one he has seen. After #1, I doubt I would say it.)

    • Taylor Holmes

      Thanks for kicking things of Jeremy! I actually am told to watch Antichrist pretty regularly. I downloaded it even. Have yet to hit play. But maybe I will now that you are bringing it up again.

      To be clear, mind job to me doesn’t mean horror gross out. It means, “what just happened”. If you’ve read the book Slaughter house 5 about World War II you will get what I am going for here. But I will dig on all four of these movies and see what we have on our hands. Thanks again amigo!

      • Jeremy

        Well, I threw in a couple just because you said there were no rules. I like movies that blow my mind. I have seen a lot and not too many really stand out.

  2. Judy

    Glad to see “Cypher” on there. I’d thought I was the only one who ever heard of it. :) Also glad to see “Another Earth” and “Sound of My Voice.”

    May I suggest “Mulholland Drive?”

    Can’t think of a top 10 at the moment. It’s been a long day.

  3. Happy Pancake

    I agree with the above suggestion, Mulholland Drive, and from your own reviews, Time Lapse, which I don’t think I saw on this list. Frailty has some elements required, but I’m not quite sure if it quite hits the mark. I know you specified movies, but the television series Lost seems worth of an honorable mention, as it mind-jobbed me every episode.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Judy and Pancake,
      Thanks for adding a few to consider! So exciting. My friends and I actually go around town rating burger joints. We have rules, and voting criteria, and normal form standards we have applied to the database. I need something like that here. Criteria, and facts, votes, in order to make the decision.

      +10 for surprise ending
      +20 for devolving and destabilizing timeline
      +50 for anything by Shane Carruth

      Hahaha. But thanks! And yeah pancake, I totally have left off a bunch of my own favorites. I didn’t look any up, I just started typing and stopped when I was done! Hahah. But time lapse is a sad sad miss.

      And for new people coming to the post, please don’t think you have to add to the list, even affirming a movie on my list is very helpful. Thanks!!

  4. Judy

    Well – okay – Happy Pancake mentioned “Lost,” which is a TV show, so I will recommend two TV series …
    “The 4400” – alllll about time/timelines/mind-bending stuff, multilayers, etc. I LOVED it when it came out in 2004 and I just rewatched the whole darn series and loved it just as much as I did the first time.

    “Persons Unknown” (2010)

    Both are on Netflix.

    • Taylor Holmes

      So if I were to make the list today – with what you guys have given me so far you’d list:

      – Cypher
      – Sound of my voice
      – Another Earth
      – Mulholland Drive
      – Time Lapse

      Yes? Freaking out a little, but I’ll be ok. hahaha. I went and checked out a little bit of A Serbian Movie, and that my friends is basically shock horror porn. Sorry! hahah. I’m not aiming for aberrant. I’m looking for movies that throw you for a loop, surprise, shock, and confuse you. Not cause you to wet yourself. Just saying.

  5. Happy Pancake

    As happens, the background of my brain percolated on this all day. I came up with:
    Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.
    Adaptation. Stranger Than Fiction. I Heart Huckabees. Ruby Sparks.
    Source Code. The Butterfly Effect. Looper. The Jacket. The Others. V for Vendetta. Black Swan. Unbreakable.
    Fermat’s Room. The Skin I Live In. Don’t Tempt Me.
    Predators. Cube 2: Hypercube (I never saw the first one).
    The Invention of Lying. (I may have left the criteria behind on this one, but it was still thought provoking and original, so there’s that.)

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hazzah judy,
      I absolutely adored Franklyn. Loved everything about it. So, thanks for the recommendation. Jacket, I saw several years ago and dug it as well.

      Ryan Philippe is awesome. One of my favorite movies of all time was a movie called Playing By Heart, with Dennis Quaid, Angelina Jolie, and a pile of othe great actors. Franklyn had this same feel throughout as you tried to figure out the connections. So, well played. And thanks foe contributing!


  6. Vale

    Hi there,
    I hope it’s not too late to comment here, but I’d like to suggest one movie no one seems to have mentioned by now:

    A pure formality (Una pura formalità) by Tornatore.
    It has:
    -small cast
    – dark/noir atmosphere
    – great dialogues
    – surprise ending (which strikes you to the heart)
    It is said that it inspired a movie which is already on your list, but I won’t say which one.
    Cube-Il cubo by Natali could be a great addition too.
    Regarding the movies listed above, I absolutely affirm Primer, Old boy (by Park Chan-wook), Predestination, Dark city, the Usual Suspects, Memento and Exam (which I discovered thanks to you, btw), but there are many I haven’t seen yet.

    P.S. I’ve bumped into this site quite recently (looking for an explanation of Synchronicity) and I’ve discovered a lot of great movies I never heard about. So thank you. You’re doing a great job here (sorry for the OT, but I didn’t know where else to write this).

    • Taylor Holmes

      Vale & Judy,
      You do realize I gave you guys my list so you’d show me yours right?!? This whole “blog post” thing is just a ruse so that I can find new movies! Hahaha. And you guys are doing a great job. When I see you add a movie I’ve never heard of? I just go download it immediately and cache it away for later. So thanks for filling my queue up.

      Anyone else? Come on! That can’t be all. I definitely don’t want to move on and write this post until I’ve heard from a few more. Thanks gang for the comments you’ve added so far. Couple more?!? And even if all you do is vote for one on my list, that is fine! I just need to know they deserve to be here.


      • Judy

        Taylor – well, your ruse was transparent to me. :) (just kidding – but oh, what a wonderful ruse!) Wish I’d thought of it – although even if I had thought of it, nothing would come of it because I don’t have a blog. I’m always looking for mind-bending movies and TV shows. And, thanks to your site, I’ve found new ones!

  7. Erik

    Lucky Number Slevin is an AMAZING movie. Not sure if it meets the “Mind Job” label, but if The Usual Suspects makes the list it is at least worth considering.

  8. Elizabeth Gries

    Hey Taylor,

    Here’s a few to add to your list. I will likely think of more as I go about my day and of course a ton of the ones you have already mentioned. Will come back to add those when I have further time . Thanks for the fun! And amazing, in depth reviews.

    Solaris (Directed by Steven Soderburg) amazing, sad and with plenty of WTF?!??)

    Revolver (2007 directed by Guy Richie)

    Antichrist (directed by Lars Von trier) amazing, amazing, amazing but Not for everyone. Extremely disturbing and WTF!??! But also very sad.

    The Science of Sleep (Michel Gondry director)

    Safety Not Guaranteed (directed by Colin Trevorrow) sweet and silly fun

    Synecdoche New York (directed by Charlie Kaufman)

    Wristcutters (dark, fun weirdness)

    Moon (director Duncan Jones)

    • Taylor Holmes

      Have you recommended antichrist before, that you’d be interested in my thoughts in it? I believe that was you? No? I have literally started it 3 times and never gotten deeper than 10 minutes. Moon is fantastic. Safety and sleep are fantastic too. I don’t remember revolver as wtf, but I don’t remember it well at all. Great list. Thanks for jumping in. I keep worrying if I close it and write the post I’ll miss something obviously spectacular and then jump off the nearest bridge. And as I can’t deal with that… I keep it open! Hahaha.

      Keepem coming!

      • Elizabeth Gries

        Hi again, Taylor, yes… I did recommend Antichrist in the past to you. Difficult opening sequence… ok… numerous difficult scenes, but please do try again. A deeply affecting movie and very, very sad.

        Revolver, that I previously mentioned, was one my husband, Mica, loved and suggested I include, the rest were all my picks.

        As for your list, a few of my favorites include: Eternal Sunshine, Primer, Memento, The Usual Suspects, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club, Donny Darko, Upstream Color (finally watched it today OMG!), Requiem for a Dream, The Lobster (too dark and mean spirited for me, but kudos for a refreshing and unique film), Jacob’s Ladder, Bladerunner (my top ten list), Stay, The Matrix, The Machinist, The Arrival, The One I Love, Sixth Sense, Tree of Life,

        Another bunch I thought to add to the growing list, Pi, The Man Who Fell to Earth (David Bowie), Barton Fink, Synecdoche, New York (perhaps I said that one already), The Holy Mountain, Source Code, Run Lola Run, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Punch Drunk Love.

  9. Happy Pancake

    So the next question is – have you seen any new mind jobbers from your readers’ suggestions and what did you think of them?

    • Elizabeth Gries

      Yes, please let us know, Taylor… inquiring minds want to know

      • Taylor Holmes

        Have you guys seen The Discovery out now on Netflix? I’m doing a write up on it now. Fantastic Mind Job movie. Highly recommend.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Dang it.
      I had a very long comment string going and going, and then one of your (plural possessive) movie recommendations (Franklyn) sent me down a rabbit hole. An extraordinarily good rabbit hole.

      So yeah, Franklin was good. Had Ryan Philippe, which I adored in Playing By Heart. So good, though not a mind job.

      I also watched Triangle from my list (which was just a big pile of these sorts of conversations. Only I had never seen it. So so good. You guys see it? I’m almost through with a review of it. So complicated and yet so fantastic!

      Your list, elizabeth, is fantastic and basically means we’ve been separated at birth, siblings gone separate ways. But all movies I have seen again and again. Darko is the one movie I haven’t reviewed but forever have wanted to. (Please let your husband know I haven’t forgotten him… work has blown up, vacation… life. Gah.)

      I did find the smallness of A Pure Formality fantastic. But not sure how many would dig it. Gerard has all kinds of baggage! Hahah. Pancake, did you realize that splinter is a sequel to your Unbreakable? Or prequel postquel origin story?

      I watched the beauty inside, which, I think pancake recommended on another post? Someone else? Can’t remember. That was a very clever mind job of a concept.

      Life is eating my lunch. So no. Not as many as I would like to. But Val’s, while responding and reading through the comments I watched your franklyn recommendation as I mentioned and just loved it. So good. So different.

      Until next time.

  10. Taylor Holmes

    Just culled back through this list. I’m about to head to Haiti for 2 weeks and these are the ones I plan to download and attempt to watch whilst I am gone:

    1. One Point O
    2. Cypher (unclear if I’ve seen this already.)
    3. Existenz
    4. Tornatore
    5. Wristcutters
    6. The Science of Sleep

    Anything else? You have until SATURDAY to get them into my computer before we fly.

  11. Ryan

    Great list!
    Recommending Time Lapse, Project Almanac, the Illusionist, and Stonehearst Asylum. Also, if youre into foreign films: Oldboy (the korean one) and the Hypnotist (chinese movie). All movies that sent chills down my spine
    Also, Inception is on your list three times lol

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hahahah inception is THAT GOOD, apparently! Too funny.

      Time lapse isn’t on here?!? Wait what??? The illusionist isn’t here because I do not like it. Hahahah. It came out at the same time as The Prestige, and they are NOtHINg alike… except that it’s a story of two competing magicians. Hahaha. You guys have got me to start Old Boy more than once. But I have never finished it. Seems like I am always getting interrupted. And I have never heard of Stonehurst Asylum. Kudos there mate. I’ll look it up.

      Can you link me to the Chinese version of the hypnotist? I can’t seem to find it. Is enemy in this list? (Sorry in admin panel, and feeling lazy.) That definitely needs to be here.

      Thanks Ryan! Great list.

      • Ryan

        Hey Taylor,

        Best I can do is link you the IMDB for the Chinese Hypnotist movie (actually called “the Great Hypnotist” – my bad!), not sure where you would be able to watch it though. ( And you DEFINITELY need to watch OldBoy through to the end… it has some of the most disturbing movie sequences I’ve ever seen revolving around an extremely dark theme, and that plot twist still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it.


      • Taylor Holmes

        Alright, I’m in on Oldboy then. The original though, right? Not the new one? And “The Great Hypnotist”? Ok ok ok. Movies have been slow of late, so I’m up for both. Tonight is Destiny game night with my friends, but Wednesday I’ll watch one or the other. Which should I hit first?


      • Ryan

        The original Oldboy, all the way. The new one is also good if you hadn’t seen the old one, but I personally think the original has much better cinematography, and the music gets stuck in my head for days.

  12. L

    These movies definitely cause a viewer to ask, “WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED!” They also are so “WTF!” viewers might not watch again to try to understand. I start with the worst mindjob (not a good idea to watch) the least (watchable).

    The first three movies are not necessarily deemed “best” in a “favorite” or “liked” manner; these particular films stand as THE definition the “Mindjob” movie genre:

    1. Kuso
    2. The Lobster
    3. Under the Skin
    4. I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay
    5. Donnie Darko
    6. Mulholland Drive
    7. Jacob’s Ladder
    8. Pan’s Labyrinth
    9. Old Boy
    10. Memento

    • Taylor Holmes

      Wait, what? So this list isn’t in order? Yet you ordered them? Let me clarify, so is Kuso the best mind job ever? And Memento is the 10th best? Just trying to understand what you are doing here L. heheh.

      • L

        I perceive Mindjob movies as films which leave viewers with the greatest brain exclamation and are often films not necessarily enjoyed or liked but considered cinematic art nonetheless.

        The movies listed are in order pertaining to the hugest Mindjob (which was hated) as it defies logic, understanding. The second and third on list cause perceptions to go all over the board. As the order progresses from four to ten, films listed are of the sort which seem on the fringe of lunacy, nightmarish, haunting, or confusing timeline types of Mindjob movies and were liked.

        I don’t feel many of the movies on your example list are Mindjobs because they are understandable films containing plot twists or red herrings; they’re easy to figure out often in the first viewing.

        For example: Blade Runner and Ex Machina are sci-fI classics and offer cool plot twists but they’re not Mindjobs.

    • Judy

      Oh! So glad to see “I’m a Cyborg But That’s Okay!” One of my favorite movies ever :)

      • L

        Hi, Judy! I cheated a bit and asked my friend, Jon, to whom I value his opinion, to list twisty mindjob movies he’s watched. It was quite an extensive list and from that list was reminded of I’m a Cyborg but That’s Okay.

        Are we perhaps the only three people in the U.S. to have seen this quirky film?…and often ponder, as many other folks have opined, if this planet houses an insane asylum of so-called humanity.

  13. Judy

    I need a new mindjob movie – I think I’ve seen them all… :( Someone, PLEASE, write and produce a new one…

    • Taylor Holmes

      I just tweeted at bpcooper to create a Time Lapse 2 earlier today. But yeah, I’m with you. This site literally runs on new mind jobs!

      You have seriously seen every movie on this list? Wow. I so badly want to trade lives with you right about now! hahaha.

    • Taylor Holmes

      What about the new show that is supposedly a Whydoneit? Sinner? I trying to decide if I’m going to anything with that here. Probably watch the first episode and see. Unless, of course, you want to watch it for me and tell me what I ought to do! hhahaha.

      Planning to go see Atomic Blonde tonight? But, not much of a mind job there I doubt. A Ghost Story? Still haven’t been able to get in to see that and no one has sent me a copy… curses. Yeah. Serious desert happening right now.

      • L

        Taylor, I really grappled with sharing that movie and in hindsight now feel great remorse. Because it is indeed awful! If you’d like to delete the two posts referring to it, that’s all right by me.

        I wondered if A Ghost Story might be a Mindjob in the literal haunting sense but after watching film’s writer/director David Lowery interview, it sounds like an interesting concept film. Whereas, Atomic Blonde looks action-packed with eye-candy. Such disparate movies you’re trying to choose to watch, Taylor! What’s your mood?

        BTW even though Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets received some crappy reviews, I still plan to watch it for its fluff and eye-candy scenes.

        Films that make us think are preferred and more meaningful for discussion but sometimes a romp through a gorgeous vid art movie, showing end credits of a vast technical art staff large enough to fill a small town, is an entertaining way to escape for a bit:-)

      • Taylor Holmes

        A Ghost Story feels like it could be very similar Personal Shopper, which was hella’
        complicated. That post blew up over there. And Valerian is worth watching, I’ve seen it. Still considering what to write. Been reading back through the books. Maybe later this weekend I’ll write it up? But yeah, eye candy. But I agree with you, sometimes fun is what you need.

    • L

      Have you seen Pontypool? It free on YouTube. I don’t care for zombie movies but this Canadian one is unique and a wee bit of a mindjob.

    • Taylor Holmes

      A Ghost Story?
      The Ghoul?
      It Comes At Night?

      Those four are all fantastic mindjobs. Oh, and maybe you’d dig Donald Cried? I personally loved it.

  14. Judy

    Taylor, I emailed you a while back about “The Nowhere Man,” a ’90s TV series which is episode after episode of Mindjobness. I loved it in the ’90s, watched it again a few months ago (the entire series is available for free on Youtube) and loved it again. For everyone here, if you are starving for a heaping helping of Mindjob, “The Nowhere Man” is patiently waiting on Youtube.

    • Taylor Holmes

      I saw your email – went and found it. Watched 15 minutes. Got distracted. Realized I just didn’t have the time to give to it. Again, I’ll take Judy’s life!! Gah. Wish I could just crank TV out. But it really has to be extraordinarily good to catch my full attention for 20 hours or whatever.

      • Judy

        Taylor – I hope this shows up as a reply to my long-ago post about Nowhere Man. Sorry it didn’t grip you enough to compel you to watch the whole series. Actually the first episode is the weakest – it gets better and better. That’s okay – I’m now watching “Lost” for the first time and I’m in love with it.
        Why am I able to watch so many movies? Well, I’m retired, and have a disability that pretty much keeps me at home. So you don’t want my life! :)

  15. L

    Taylor and Judy:

    Taylor, Pontypool is a low budget Canadian cool film that has the kind of attributes you claim to like in other posts: it is “dialogue-y”. This movie is listed as “horror” yet critiqued as a “cerebral” horror film…if that doesn’t hint as a mindjob movie then what does? Hehe

    Judy, Taylor is asking for a movie Mindjob genre viewer’s list. It’s not about lamenting what is old and new in films. Let us know, in what order of your opinion, what Mindjob movies you’ve seen which you infer is extensive, blew your amazing mind.

    BTW, Taylor which movie did you eventually choose to watch? Both were so disparate in entertainment viewing: Atomic Blonde or A Ghost Story? Enquiring minds want to know haha!

    • Judy

      Well, the movies that have most blown my mind – and, oh, it’s hard to put them in order, or to limit this list to 10, but I’ll try, are:
      When Blackbirds Fly
      The OA (Netflix series)
      12 Monkeys
      Sound of my Voice
      Shutter Island
      Jacob’s Ladder
      Amelia 2.0
      I Origins

      • L

        Thank you, there’s a few I’ve never heard of and will check out. Shutter Island is one I’ve seen but it was a dismal movie although aptly categorized as as a mindjob. Anyway, very interested in your list since they seem a bit obscure, not popular mainstream movies.

  16. Happy Pancake

    Howdy Taylor. I have a question that is not mind-job-movie related but this is the only multi-movie post I saw, so it seemed like the place to ask.

    As I appreciate your taste in most Mind Job movies and short films, I am curious if you have other films which you recommend. Things you like for any reason whatsoever. Movies that make you feel: humor, machismo/excitement, tenderness/romance. Movies that make you think: cinematic excellence (The Godfather, Citizen Kane), movies that – while not mind jobs – make you ponder big questions and sometimes stick with you long after the movie is over.

    Two movies that really stuck with me:

    The Piano (1993) This was a Holly Hunter, Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel, and young Anna Paquin period piece set in New Zealand. I disliked it as I watched, but then couldn’t get it out of my mind. I rewatched it. I found a copy of the script with direction in it at the university library, and also found a literary synopsis of it there. I finally realized it was the first film I’d ever seen where every character seemed real. No one was really a protagonist, and no one a villain. I had struggled with why characters had behaved as they had, and it turns out it was because all had moral gray areas as real people do, and made selfish choices, right down to the kid.

    The Rapture (1991) This starred Mimi Rogers (whom I’m not generally a fan of but she was quite effective here), and a young David Duchovny. It was a film about the nature of faith. It struck me how little the film preached yet how much it had to say. It asked not if it is necessary to believe or what to believe, but if you do, how much belief is enough? And what would have to happen to get you there? Again – gray areas instead of black and white.

    Anyway…just tossing this out there for you and whomever else may be interested. Be well!

    • Judy

      Oh, yes, “The Rapture!” Amazing movie! Your comments on it are right on the nose. I’ve been thinking of bringing it up to Taylor – so glad you did.

  17. Natalia

    Oldboy messed with me so badly, I just sat there staring at my screen for a good five minutes before screaming WHAT THE HELL at my sister, who watched it with me. It was great, one hell of a twist there for sure, but I would never watch it again – disturbed me a bit too much.

    Anyways, just commenting to say that I’ll be trying to watch all of those movies in the next month or so… Wish me luck!

    • Taylor Holmes

      I’m planning on watching Oldboy tonight. I’ve got it. I’m wide awake. Ready to go! Maybe you’ll see a post about it soon enough. This week was a freaking abattoir. For real. Worked 20 hours last Friday. 15 hours last Saturday. 15 hours Sunday… and on and on it went all week. Brutal. But it’s ok everyone… it’s alright! I’m gonna pull through! It all worked out in the end. Hahah, whatever.

      Regardless, Oldboy is queued and ready. Can’t wait for this ending.

  18. Elizabeth gries

    Ok Taylor… Busters Mal heart!!! WTF??!?? Have you seen this yet?! Please please this is a total mind bender

      • Taylor Holmes

        Elizabeth / Shelby – I owe you both lunch. A glass of wine. Something. I watched Buster do his thing last night and holy crap that’s going to be a long review! Hahahah. Time fractures, inversions, prophets, Noahes and whales, mind breaks! Gah and wow! Gow? Wah? Yeah, might take a day or two to find time to crank the 5,000 words necessary to walk through that thing! Might force the two of you to edit it! Hahaha.

        What a ride. Loved it. Wish me luck!!

  19. Daria

    Hi Taylor!

    Thank you for the wonderful list and your movie reviews! I stumbled upon your website searching for the explanation of Triangle movie (what a film though!!)

    Was trying hard to think about some movies to add to your list and other people’s suggestions, but most of the mind bending movies have been named except for one that I can very strongly recommend. It’s called Reconstruction and is made by a danish director Christoffer Boe. It is slightly based on Orpheus and Eurydice myth (similar to the way Triangle deals with the myth about Sisyphus), but has many layers to it. It deeply affected me first time I watched it and is not only mind bending, but also beautifully poetic.

  20. Mjane

    Blue Velvet by David Lynch, it was the first movie where we said What the f*? God we were innocent, we had no idea movies could play tricks like those on us. I saw you have Donnie Darko already, so I figure you don’t mind a movie where you don’t know whether you feel dirty and need to cleanse yourself, or whether you have peeked through to a different universe that you are not meant to understand, so you can only observe and be stunned. If you accept Blue Velvet, then maybe all of Lynch’s movies (and tv show?), they are a labyrinth of an over active mind with slow pacing.

    The Others with Nicole Kidmann was very good, we didn’t expect what happened, it was the little movie that exploded, unlike Tom Cruise’s Vanilla Sky that imploded.

    Inception appears three times in the list, I can see you like it.

  21. Dana Mcgranahan

    I recently saw a Mind Job movie by accident. I didn’t let the subtitles get to me. …have you seen the movie Frame? I found it on Amazon Prime. I highly recommend it to you Taylor and fellow Thinc fans.

    By the way, I’ve gotten thru about 85% of your list here, the last one I watched was Triangle and OH! My! GAWD! So good.

  22. Jeff

    Hi everyone,
    There are sooooo many great movies listed here that have bended my mind in ways I never thought a movie could. I had to really dig deep to find movies that were not listed on here(hopefully).
    1) the hunger (David Bowie)
    2) extracted
    3) contracted
    4)funny games (Tim Roth)
    From Jeff

  23. Phil

    Ahhh what a great discussion I would have loved to be part of as I just recently discovered this site. I’ll chime in anyway even if I’m way too late. So many great movies on your list; I’ve probably seen 70% of them and most of my favorite movies of all time are here. Additionally, I’ll add the following which I strongly recommend:

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – *this and Primer are the two best sci-fi movies of all time in my opinion

    Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) (1997) – this is the original movie that was remade as Vanilla Sky. This one’s better in my opinion

    Cube (1997)

    Pi (1998)

    Adaptation (2002)

    Solaris (2002)

    Ink (2009)

    Enemy (2013)

    Under the Skin (2013)

    Faults (2014)

    The Incident (2014)

    The Frame (2014)

    Moon (2009)

    Mr Nobody (2009)

    Melancholia (2011)

    The Similars (2016)

    Buster’s Mal Heart (2016)

    Colossal (2016)

    Evolution (2016)

    mother! (2017)

    Moon (2009)

    Mr Nobody (2009)

    Melancholia (2011)

    • Taylor Holmes

      GREAT LIST! Most I have reviewed and you should join in on the discussion. Like Mother, Buster’s, Moon, etc. But I see a number here I should talk through. And a few I have never seen. The nice thing about waiting to comment? More and newer movies! We are still here. I watch this thread actively as it provides all kinds of goodness regularly. Thanks for the ideas!

  24. MiAngelo

    I saw bunch of these movies and they were pretty awesome !
    One them though was a waste of time : “The Nines”

  25. Happy Pancake

    Counterpoint, on Starz, starring J.K. Simmons – I really think you’d like it. A television show, but it is all about how we become who we are – not just nature vs. nurture but timing, opportunity, choices, fate or not fate, and how multiplicity lives within all of us. I was wishing I had made a character chart from the beginning so I could keep track of who people were and what their motivations were in each universe.

  26. Henry Birch

    Cant see anyone mentioning the movie “+1” from 2013 – mindbending movie which has timetravels, multiple dimensions and assorted weirdness.

  27. Salina

    I like movies that reveal the twist in the end…here’s my list in no specific order

    Gone girl
    Before I go to sleep
    What lies beneath
    Enemy of the state
    Gerald’s Game
    Double Jeopardy
    Nocturnal Animals
    Out of Time

  28. Salina

    I love movies that reveal the twist in the end…here’s my list in no specific order

    Gone girl
    Before I go to sleep
    What lies beneath
    Enemy of the state
    Gerald’s Game
    Double Jeopardy
    Nocturnal Animals
    Out of Time

  29. rebours

    Do yourself a favor and watch Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. If you like it, watch El Topo and Santa Sangre.

    If you have the patience to watch a very slooooow, beautiful, and deep movie, watch Tarkovsky’s Stalker. If you liked it, watch his Mirror and The Sacrifice.

    More good, mindbending movies: Brazil (1985), City of Lost Children (1995), The Game (1997), Southland Tales, The Truman Show, Unbreakable, Videodrome (1983), Zardoz (1974)

    I strongly second the recommendations of Primer, Abre Los Ojos, Blade Runner, Fight Club, Memento Requiem for a Dream, Moon, Mulholland Dr, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and The Rapture. Triangle, Dark City, Inception, The Prestige, Predestination, the first 2 seasons of Lost, 12 Monkeys, Jacob’s Ladder, Source Code, The Butterfly Effect, the original version of Total Recall, Blue Velvet, and The Matrix were also good.

    I wasn’t a fan of Oldboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, or Time Crimes, and think they’re overrated. I hated: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Usual Suspects, The Lobster, Seven, Existenz, Adaptation, Melancholia, Mr Nobody, Funny Games, and Being John Malkovich. Donnie Darko was ok (but Southland Tales was way better).

  30. Erika Lown

    Yes! The City of Lost Children must be on the list! I repeat must!

    Below are movies that made me think, made me pay attention and made me want to watch over and over again. Some date me, but they still hold up today.

    Time Bandits (fave of all time after City of Lost Children)
    Y Tu Mama Tambien
    The Devil’s Backbone
    Eve’s Bayou
    City of God (2002)
    Never Let Me Go
    Miss Sloane
    Red Road (2006)
    The Sinner (series)
    Run Lola Run
    Tape (2001) Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are excellent in this closed box film)
    12 Angry Men (because it is fantastic and true and relevant to our current social climate) both versions

  31. Dan

    The google Algorithm must be resurfacing your blog for some reason lol. 2 comments in June 2020 haha. And here I am as well. You should update/clean up your list a bit, if for whatever reason you’re seeing additional traffic. I reached your site after rewatching Triangle for the first time in maybe 7 years?

    I vaguely remembered the ending, but in watching it this time I very clearly interpreted it as either she was being punished to go through the loop repeatedly for how she treated her son. Like she was either actually dead and this was her punishment OR she’s like crazy and punishing herself within her own head.

    So basically I agreed with your final theory from your post on triangle. Anyway this “genre” of “mind F” movies or whatever you want to call it, has always been a favorite of mind. I used to spend hours 7-10 years ago trolling around the IMDB forums finding lists such as this, and asking for recommendations lol. (RIP IMDB forums) I’ve seen probably 85% of the movies you have listed here. And of the movies listed here that I’ve seen, probably close to 70% of them I would say are one of my “favorite movies” lol. Here would be my notes for your list, firstly Corrections:

    You have both Fight Club and Circle listed twice on the list.
    You have inception listed 3 times. (lol)
    You have Arrival listed as “The Arrival”, just a small change there.

    Additions I Would make:
    The Discovery
    Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Trance (Didn’t care for this much but it fits the list)
    Time Lapse (not the greatest “time loop/travel” but fits list)
    Source Code
    Fermats Room
    A Bothersome Man
    La Moustache ( This and a bothersome man for me both almost fall into the category of just being “weird” rather than pure “mind F’s” not sure I would include them)
    The Guest (borderline whether or not I would include this in this “genre”)

    Lastly just my opinion but I would remove a few that I wouldn’t exactly call “mind f” movies, even though I like some of these:

    Inception: The story is actually fairly linear imo (maybe I’m just trying to seem smart lol)
    The Invitation: I really liked this movie just as a horror/thriller, but was surprised to see it on the list. What about it was “Mind F” worthy?

    Blade Runner: Also a pretty linear story IMO, maybe some debate as to whether or not he’s a replicant. But I wouldn’t exactly call that worthy of this list. (again, this is a movie I really liked)

    Pandorum/MatchStick Men: Two movies I’m a big fan of, but I would say these just more have a twist ending that it really being a mind F. By including movies like this, I think you’re open to including stuff like the Ocean’s 11 movies, where we thought one thing was happening and it was actually something else. And I don’t think anyone would call those movie mind F’s lol.

    The Ring: A bit of a surprise/twist ending and story. But for me it doesn’t fit with the rest. I’d put something like The Shining on this list before I would put the Ring on here. And I’m not sure I would include the Shining in this list.

    Anyway, your list is probably one of the most comprehensive lists of this type of movie I have come across. I have a few movies added to my watchlist after reading this! Thanks for making it and I hope you update it again soon! Keep up the good work!


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