While some films prefer to play it safe in terms of fan expectations, others enjoy keeping audiences on their toes, providing plenty of twists and turns that never reveal too much about the story until the very end. Certain films, like the recently released Everything Everywhere All At Once, may even blow viewers’ mind on a first or even second viewing.
Films that truly through audiences for a loop are rare but often appreciated. As such, certain Redditors have spoken up about which films they believe absolutely blew their minds in all the best ways.
10 The Others (2001)
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One Redditor took a while to fully comprehend the point of The Others. “I remember walking out of the cinema thinking ‘That was a waste of an evening’ after watching [the movie],” writes Merryfan4, “only to spend the next week constantly thinking about it and going back the following weekend to watch it again. It was a very very slow blowing of my mind.”
The Others creates a slow burn for its audiences as they begin to put together the film’s ending, one piece at a time. By the time the credits roll, a new horror has sunken in as the truth is revealed and the cycle begins anew.
9 The Matrix (1999)
Available On HBO Max
A Reddit user by the handle of thebakermaker comments that The Matrix absolutely blew their mind. They write that, after seeing the iconic action film in the theater, they were with one very pertinent and disconcerting question: “am I a battery?”
The Matrix changed the action movie landscape forever, with countless films attempting to mimic its greatest scenes for years to come. Its underlying premise kept viewers talking for well over a decade as the film slowly turned itself into a long-running franchise, though its sequels would not perform as well as the original.
8 Memento (2000)
Available On HBO Max
Redditor Plug_5 was somewhat surprised by Memento‘s ability to surprise them. “It was the first movie I saw that really played around with narrative structure,” they write, adding that they “never saw the big twist coming–in fact, I didn’t even think you could put a twist in a movie that ran backwards.”
Memento establishes itself as one of Christopher Nolan’s most rewatchable films thanks in part to its loose narrative structure. The film plays in reverse, yet still manages to surprise the viewer at the end (or beginning) of the story. As mind-melting as its storytelling may be, Memento is a must-watch for any film buff.
7 12 Monkeys (1995)
Available To Rent On YouTube
JustACasualFan believes that there is much more to the 1995 science-fiction thriller film 12 Monkeys than its big twists. “There were twists, yes,” they write, “but it was also put together in a way I hadn’t seen [or] experienced before.”
As the above Reddit post mentions, 12 Monkeys is rife with plot twists, which have helped give the film longevity in the two decades since its release. But the movie’s proclivity to deliver its narrative out of order also does its part to keep the viewers on their toes, making an enjoyable (and mind-blowing) viewing experience.
6 Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Available On Tubi
Redditor 55gure3 was never the same after watching the landmark 2000 drama Requiem for a Dream. Not only did the film have a profound impact on them, but it also seems to continue to haunt them to this day. “I lost a piece of myself when I found that movie,” the Redditor writes, “I despise that sound track. I have the DVD but I never watch it.”
Requiem for a Dream quickly made a name for itself among movie buffs for its intense and often sickening imagery that stuck with viewers for long after their first viewing. As the above Redditor mentioned, the film’s content matter can truly move someone in every unpleasant way, making it one of the greatest psychological dramas of all time, though sometimes more akin to a horror film.
5 The Mist (2007)
Available On Netflix
“The Mist,” writes Reddit user crumumbooty when asked about films that shattered their mind. They go on to say that they “watched it only once in 2012 and every few months since, I’ll suddenly remember that ending and feel strong emotions.”
While The Mist functions as a relatively by-the-numbers horror flick for much of its run, it is in the film’s closing minutes that it truly sets itself apart. The karmic and unfortunate ending leaves viewers shocked and horrified by how profoundly a sick twist of fate can alter the course of one’s life–or death.
4 Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (2022)
Available To Rent On Youtube
Broatski had strong words of praise for A24’s most profitable release of all time. “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once was incredible. I went in blind not knowing ANYTHING about it on the last day it was in theaters and it was one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had.”
Everything Everywhere All At Once changes the cultural perspective of alternate realities, presenting a multiverse starkly different from Marvel’s. Zipping between dozens of alternate dimensions, the film still manages to remain grounded in one very compelling and emotional story about family, love, and acceptance. Moreover, repeated viewings will undoubtedly reveal more and more details about this intricately crafted film.
3 A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Available On Peacock
One Reddit user by the name of Mighty-pigeon loves A Beautiful Mind. “This movie is absolutely insane and changed my view of reality: just because you think [something is] real doesn’t mean it is to others. Most movies are predictable but i didn’t predict this ending at all.”
This Academy Award-winning film directed by Ron Howard challenges the cultural perspective on mental illness artfully, giving viewers a firsthand look at what such struggles can look like. Under the guise of a love story, A Beautiful Mind will stick with audiences long after their first viewing.
2 American Psycho (2000)
Available On HBO Max
Kingturboturtle13 offers their spoiler-heavy praise for American Psycho starring Christian Bale: “it set me up thinking he was gonna be arrested, sentenced with Insanity, or that his lawyer would at least freak out. Instead I’m just permanently haunted by [the line] ‘This Confession has meant nothing.’”
American Psycho is generally regarded as one of the best indie thrillers of all time. With an fantastic performance from Bale, the film leave the audience shocked and horrified by the events that transpire therein. Even worse, the closing minutes of the movie leave viewers wondering if the events of the film really happened at all, or if it was all merely in the head of Patrick Bateman.
1 Inception (2010)
Available On Tubi
Inception seems to have had a profound impact on a Redditor known as kryzlt009, who engaged in some dream experiments of their own after viewing the movie. “I researched and practiced lucid dreaming for the next three months [after watching the movie],” they write, “It is still my favorite movie of all time.
Inception has long been considered one of the most mind-boggling films ever made. Not only does the premise itself induce headaches, but the ambiguous closing shot has managed to spark debates among fans for over a decade concerning Cobb’s final fate.