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120 Best Mind Twisting Movies and Thrillers to Watch Now

Movies have always been an excellent way to transport us into a different world and make us think. Mind-twisting movies are a particular genre that takes us on a rollercoaster ride of confusion, surprises, and revelations that leave us speechless.

Here is the scoop on the best mind-twisting movies.

Best Mind Twisting Movies

1. 12 Monkeys (1995)

Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis in 12 monkeys
12 Monkeys (1995) – Universal Pictures

A convict is sent back in time to prevent a deadly virus from wiping out humanity.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A space mission to Jupiter goes awry as the crew confronts a sentient computer. Widely regarded as one of the best science fiction movies of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey has cemented its place in film history as one of the most mind bending movies and is a must-see. 

3. The Sixth Sense (1999)

A boy who can communicate with the dead seeks help from a troubled psychologist. Bruce Willis plays the lead role in this M. Night Shyamalan thriller/horror movie, which has since become known for its famous plot twist during the final act.

Despite Haley Joel Osment only being 11 while filming the movie he gives an impressive performance as a kid troubled by a dark and mysterious ability that allows him to see dead people.

4. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A genius mathematician battles schizophrenia while making groundbreaking discoveries.

5. The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

A politician falls in love with a ballerina, but their paths are manipulated by mysterious agents.

6. The Babadook (2014)

A single mother and her son are terrorized by a monster from a children’s book.

7. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Evan Treborn learns he can travel back in time to change events, but in doing so it leads to many unforeseen consequences. 

8. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

A silent film classic about a hypnotist who uses a sleepwalker for evil purposes.

9. The Call (2013)

A 911 operator tries to save a kidnapped young girl while facing her own demons.

10. Coherence (2013)

Emily Baldoni in Coherence (2013)
Coherence (2013) – Bellanova & Ugly Duckling Films

A dinner party turns into a nightmare as the guests confront alternate realities.

11. Contact (1997)

A scientist makes contact with extraterrestrial life and faces a battle between faith and science.

12. Cube (1997)

A group of strangers must find a way out of a maze-like structure filled with deadly traps.

13. Dark City (1998)

A man wakes up with amnesia and discovers he’s caught in a mysterious, ever-changing city.

14. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Joker wreaks havoc in Gotham City, challenging Batman’s moral code. Widely considered one of Christopher Nolan’s best movies, earning him a Critics Choice Award for Best Director, it comes with a star cast including Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman. 

15. The Departed (2006)

Two cops, one a mole and the other an undercover agent, play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. This crime thriller, directed by Martin Scorsese, sees an ensemble cast going head-to-head in every scene of this film. 

16. The Double (2013)

A man’s life is turned upside down when he meets his doppelganger.

17. The Exorcist (1973)

A possessed little girl undergoes an exorcism in a terrifying battle between good and evil.

18. The Game (1997)

A wealthy businessman, played by Michael Douglas. is given a mysterious gift that turns his life into a dangerous game. As he tries to figure out exactly what this game is, strange things begin to unfold around him. 

19. Get Out (2017)

A young black man visits his white girlfriend’s family and discovers a sinister secret.

20. The Girl on the Train (2016)

Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train (2016)
Dreamworks Pictures -The Girl on the Train (2016)

An alcoholic woman becomes embroiled in a missing person investigation in this psychological thriller movie.

21. The Godfather (1972)

The Corleone family’s rise to power in the world of organized crime.

22. The Good Shepherd (2006)

A CIA agent navigates the agency’s murky waters during the Cold War.

23. The Invisible Guest (2016)

A businessman hires a lawyer after being accused of murder, and the two of them must prove his innocence in this Spanish film.

24. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

A Vietnam veteran experiences nightmarish visions and hallucinations.

25. The Lobster (2015)

In a dystopian future, single people are given 45 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal.

26. The Matrix (1999)

A computer programmer discovers that the world as he knows it is a simulated reality.

27. Memento (2000)

A man with short-term memory loss tries to solve his wife’s murder by using tattoos and notes.

28. Mulholland Drive (2001)

A woman with amnesia and a young actress search for clues in Hollywood’s dark underbelly.

29. The Nines (2007)

Three interrelated stories explore the nature of reality and identity.

30. The Number 23 (2007)

Jim Carrey in The Number 23 (2007)
© 2007 New Line Cinema. All rights reserved.

A man becomes obsessed with the number 23 and its dark significance in his life.

31. Oldboy (2003)

A man is mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years and seeks revenge when he is released.

32. Buster’s Mal Heart (2016)

The film follows a family man turned eccentric mountain man nicknamed Buster, played by Rami Malek, who runs from authorities. This film highlights the toll daily life can have.

33. One Hour Photo (2002)

A photo lab technician becomes obsessed with a family whose pictures he develops.

34. Open Your Eyes (1997)

A man’s life becomes a nightmare after undergoing an experimental surgical procedure.

35. The Others (2001)

A woman and her children are haunted by ghostly presences in their isolated mansion.

36. The Prestige (2006)

Two rival stage magicians engage in a deadly game of one-upmanship after a tragic accident causes them to become bitter enemies. Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman star in this terrifically mind-bending film. 

37. Primer (2004)

Two engineers accidentally create a time machine and must deal with the consequences in this indie sci-fi thriller.

38. Psycho (1960)

A young woman becomes the victim of a deranged motel owner and his mother.

39. The Red Violin (1998)

The history of a legendary violin is traced through time and across continents.

40. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream (2000)
© 2000 – Artisan Entertainment

Four people become addicted to drugs and spiral into a world of despair.

41. The Room (2003)

A man’s life is turned upside down by his fiancee’s infidelity and his strange new neighbors.

42. The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

A businessman is caught in a web of deceit and betrayal.

43. The Sting (1973)

Two con men, played by Robert Redford and Paul Newman, team up to pull off an elaborate heist on a powerful mob boss.

44. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

A man becomes obsessed with the life of a wealthy friend and will do anything to keep it.

45. The Terminator (1984)

A cyborg assassin is sent back in time to kill a woman whose unborn son will lead a rebellion.

46. Total Recall (1990)

A man discovers his memories have been implanted and his entire life may be a lie.

47. Triangle (2009)

A group of friends on a yacht trip become stranded on a mysterious ship.

48. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

A prequel to the cult TV show, written by David Lynch, that delves into the dark underbelly of a small town.

49. Us (2019)

A family’s idyllic beach vacation turns into a nightmare when they encounter their doppelgangers who try to kill them.

Jordan Peele wrote and directed this story about a woman and her family unraveling the hellish mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole movie. 

50. Gone Girl (2014)

Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit in Gone Girl (2014)
© TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

A man becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance after their marriage takes a dark turn. Ben Affleck acts alongside Rosamund Pike in this shocking film.

51. The Happening (2008)

A science teacher and his wife flee from a mysterious environmental crisis.

52. Signs (2002)

A farmer and his family face a series of unexplained events that may be linked to an alien invasion.

53. Split (2016)

A man with dissociative identity disorder kidnaps three teenage girls, leading to a deadly game of cat and mouse.

54. Unbreakable (2000)

A man discovers he has superhuman abilities and must confront a dangerous nemesis.

55. Predestination (2014)

A time traveler on a dangerous mission to stop a terrorist must confront his own identity.

56. Interstellar (2014)

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in this film about a group of astronauts that must travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity.

57. Shutter Island (2010)

Two U.S. Marshalls investigate the disappearance of a patient from a psychiatric facility for the criminally insane.

This psychological thriller film only gets better with rewatches as viewers may notice subtle details they may have missed upon the first viewing that cleverly hints towards the final twist. 

58. Mulan (2020)

A young woman disguises herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army and defend her country.

59. Black Swan (2010)

A ballerina, portrayed by Natalie Portman, loses her grip on reality when her quest for perfection takes a dark and dangerous turn fueled by her personality disorder in this dark psychological drama. 

60. The Social Network (2010)

Andrew Garfield in The Social Network (2010)
© 2010 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The story of the founding of Facebook and the lawsuits that followed.

61. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

An FBI agent seeks the help of a psychopathic killer to catch a serial killer on the loose.

62. Se7en (1995)

Two detectives track a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motive.

63. Donnie Darko (2001)

A troubled teenager, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, has a vision of a giant rabbit who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days.

64. The Usual Suspects (1995)

A group of criminals are brought together for a heist, but one of them may not be who they seem. Kevin Spacey plays a disabled con-man named Verbal that is brought in for questioning after surviving a massacre on Keyser Söze’s boat that left various people dead.

Is Verbal everything he seems, or has he been hiding something the entire time? 

65. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

In a dystopian future, a violent young man undergoes an experimental treatment to cure his deviant behavior.

66. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Joel undergoes a procedure meant to wipe his memory, but as his memories play in his head like his own movies about his life he realizes he may not want to forget everything.

From the opening scene at a train station, the film goes on a journey about love and self-reflection in this movie helmed by Jim Carey and Kate Winslet. 

67. Source Code (2011)

A soldier is sent back in time to relive the last eight minutes of a train bombing to identify the perpetrator.

68. Moon (2009)

A solitary astronaut on a lunar mining mission discovers a startling secret about his identity.

69. Minority Report (2002)

A futuristic society uses precognition to prevent crimes, but a police officer is accused of a murder he hasn’t yet committed.

70. Fight Club (1999)

fight club - Brad Pitt and Edward Norton
Fox 2000 Pictures – Fight Club (1999)

An office worker, played by Edward Norton, and a soap salesman, played by Brad Pitt, start an underground fight club that spirals out of control.

Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden, will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire movie in this David Fincher film based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name. 

71. The Neon Demon (2016)

An aspiring model enters the cutthroat world of fashion and discovers the cost of beauty.

72. Vanilla Sky (2001)

A wealthy playboy’s life is turned upside down after a car accident leaves him disfigured and haunted by his past.

73. Don’t Look Now (1973)

A couple grieving the loss of their daughter encounters a psychic who claims to have seen her ghost.

74. Arrival (2016)

A linguist is recruited by the military to communicate with aliens who have landed on Earth.

75. Inception (2010)

A thief and his team are hired to plant an idea in a target’s subconscious through lucid dream sharing technology.

This Christopher Nolan flick features Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character, with impressive supporting roles played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy just to name a few. 

76. The Vanishing (1988)

A man’s search for his missing girlfriend leads him down a dark and twisted path.

77. Perfect Blue (1997)

A pop singer’s mental health deteriorates as she becomes embroiled in a dangerous stalker situation.

78. The Skin I Live In (2011)

A plastic surgeon creates synthetic skin that he tests on a woman he has imprisoned.

79. The Cell (2000)

A psychologist enters the mind of a comatose serial killer to try and save his latest victim.

80. Blue Velvet (1986)

Isabella Rossellini and Kyle MacLachlan in Blue Velvet (1986)
© 1986 – MGM

A young man discovers a severed ear and becomes embroiled in a seedy underworld.

81. Mr. Nobody (2009)

A man recounts his multiple possible lives and loves in different parallel universes. This wild ride of a movie that plays more like a feature length episode of Black Mirror shows the consequences of our choices ultimately ending things with more questions than answers. 

82. The Village (2004)

The residents of a remote village live in fear of creatures in the surrounding woods, but all is not as it seems.

83. The Game Changers (2018)

A documentary exploring the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes.

84. The Fountain (2006)

A man searches for a way to save his dying wife through different timelines and reincarnations.

85. Waking Life (2001)

An animated exploration of philosophical concepts and dream states.

86. Perfect Stranger (2007)

A journalist goes undercover to reveal the truth behind a powerful advertising executive’s secrets.

87. A Ghost Story (2017)

A recently deceased man returns as a ghost and watches as his former life moves on without him.

88. Enemy (2013)

A man discovers a doppelganger and becomes increasingly obsessed with the other man’s life.

89. Mulholland Falls (1996)

A group of LAPD detectives investigate the murder of a young woman in 1950s Los Angeles.

90. Cloud Atlas (2012)

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas (2012)
 © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Six interwoven stories that span different time periods and follow characters whose lives are connected in mysterious ways.

91. Lost Highway (1997)

A musician is haunted by a mysterious figure and experiences strange events that blur the line between reality and fantasy.

92. The Truman Show (1998)

A man’s entire life is a reality TV show, but he doesn’t know it until he starts to question his reality.

93. Upstream Color (2013)

A woman is drugged and manipulated by a thief but begins to regain control of her life and sense of self.

94. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

A surgeon’s life begins to unravel after he befriends a teenage boy with a sinister agenda.

95. The Invitation (2015)

A man attends a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife and her new husband but begins to suspect that something sinister is afoot.

96. Ex Machina (2014)

A programmer is tasked with testing the intelligence of a humanoid robot but begins to question his own reality as he becomes more involved with her.

97. Being John Malkovich (1999)

A puppeteer, played by John Cusack, discovers a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich, leading to a surreal exploration of identity and desire.

98. Frequency (2000)

A man discovers he can communicate with his deceased father through a radio, but alters the past with unintended consequences.

99. The Jacket (2005)

A soldier is wrongly accused of murder and sent to a mental institution where he is subjected to experimental treatments that alter his perception of time.

100. The Machinist (2004)

Christian Bale in The Machinist (2004)
© 2004 Paramount Classics. All Rights Reserved.

A factory worker suffers from severe insomnia and delusions that lead to a dangerous and surreal unraveling of his life.

101. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

A novelist investigates the disappearance of a famous horror writer and begins to question his own sanity as he uncovers a dark conspiracy.

102. The Illusionist (2006)

A magician uses his skills to win the heart of a woman but is pursued by a police inspector who suspects foul play.

103. American Psycho (2000)

A wealthy investment banker leads a double life as a serial killer in 1980s New York City.

104. Looper (2012)

In 2074 making someone disappear without a trace is impossible. Leaders of organized crime utilize time travel to send their victims back in time to be assassinated by hired killers called loopers.

Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt star in this futuristic action movie. 

105. Prisoners (2013)

After two girls get abducted on Thanksgiving Day, a detective must find the individual responsible and bring the two girls back to their families. Their parents must decide how far they are willing to go to protect their children.

This film, and its ensemble cast, will leave you shocked from start to finish. 

106. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Humanity is fighting an unwinnable war against aliens called Mimics. Cage, played by Tom Cruise, gets killed by one of the aliens and discovers he can relive the same day over-and-over again. Will it be enough to win the war against the Mimics? 

107. Identity (2003)

Ten strangers find themselves stranded in a remote Nevada hotel and begin to be killed off one-by-one in this thrilling whodunit movie. 

108. 1408 (2007)

A writer that debunks the paranormal travels to The Dolphin, a New York City hotel, to spend the night in room 1408, a room famous for the deaths of those who stay inside. 

109. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

In this interactive film, a video game programmer in 1984 begins to question his reality and mental health as he works on a new video game. All the while viewers make choices that impact the direction of the story. 

110. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Photo credit: Michele K. Short – © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

A woman wakes up chained in a conspiracy theorist’s doomsday bunker and is told an alien invasion has begun. She concocts a plan to escape, but what is outside may be worse than her captor inside. 

111. Soylent Green (1973)

Set in 2022, overpopulation has caused chaos around the globe. A police officer conducting the murder investigation of a Soylent Corporation member discovers a secret that will shake the world to its core. 

112. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Robert Langdon, a symbologist, finds himself at the center of a cover-up done by the Catholic Church in an attempt to hide the true nature of the birth of Christ. 

113. The Shining (1980)

Jack Torrence becomes the caretaker of a remote Colorado hotel and brings his family along for the winter. Jack’s mental state quickly deteriorates, and the family discovers the hotel, and Jack, are not what they seem. 

114. Primal Fear (1996)

A lawyer must defend the innocence of an altar-boy accused of murdering an Archbishop. 

115. Stranger than Fiction (2006)

A man begins hearing the words of a narrator over his life and learns that it’s the voice of an author writing about his life.

He must find her before she writes his death in this comedy starring Will Ferrell. 

116. Midsommar (2019)

A group of college friends travel to Sweden for a midsummer festival, but their vacation quickly turns dark when strange things begin to happen all around them. 

117. Tenet (2020)

A secret agent must uncover the secrets of a Russian oligarch and his ability to manipulate time in order to prevent WWIII. 

118. Barbarian (2022)

A woman’s stay at a Detroit rental home takes a grotesque turn when she realizes the basement holds a sinister secret. 

119. Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling (2022)
New Line Cinema – Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Set in a 1950s utopian community, a young woman begins to doubt her husband, and the rest of her neighbors, intentions as she begins to question her reality. 

120. Groundhog Day (1993)

A reporter travels to Punxsutawney to cover the Groundhog Day festivities, but when he awakens he realizes he is reliving the same day over and over again. 

Psychological Mind Twisting Movies Guide

This list of the best mind-bending movies provides viewers with countless films showcasing unique and thrilling cinematic experiences that challenge their perception of reality, identity, and morality.

From psychological thrillers to science fiction horror films, these movies offer a range of genres for audiences to explore.

These mind twisting movies demonstrate the power of storytelling to create immersive and thought-provoking experiences that stick with you long after the credits roll. 

best mind twisting movies to watch

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