The Top 3 Most Existential Movies of All Time

I have a love-hate relationship with existential movies. While I love the ideas, the execution, the creativity of it all, they leave me thinking for days. Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of all genres of movies. However, there are a few movies that have stuck with me since the moment I watched them and after all the times I rewatched them. Below are the three movies that left my brain flipped upside down for way too long.

  1. 1. Interstellar

    Crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter and the Milky Way

    I first watched Interstellar when it came out in 2014. I was only around 11 years old, so I didn’t fully understand the sheer brilliance of it. I rewatched it again at 16 and became immediately obsessed. The soundtrack joined all of my Spotify playlists, I spent plenty of hours on message boards reading different theories, and I rewatched my favorite scenes on a daily basis. The reason this movie is at the #1 slot is because of the combination of space mysteries, the concept of time, and relationships between people. I won’t spoil the whole thing, but it makes you realize how special we are to each other and in the concept of space.

  2. 2. Annihilation

    american flag against blue sky

    I went into Annihilation only knowing it was a horror movie. However, the scary part wasn’t the few jump scares or freaky monsters, it was the concept of the movie. I watched it in theaters with friends who expected nothing but a classic horror movie, but we all left the theater in silence. The ending of this movie was one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever watched in a film. I was thoroughly confused about the whole thing, but after reading theories and recaps from blogs, I was nothing but impressed. In fact, it was almost the opposite of Interstellar, which I had fallen for beforehand. If you’re interested in science fiction, altered reality, and the government, this movie is for you.

  3. 3. Brain on Fire 

    I first read the novel version of Brain on Fire due to my interest in neuroscience as a whole. My mom, the least scientific woman I know, read it before me and thought I’d like it as much as her. I ended up becoming so engrossed in the story, I finished the book in a couple days. The book alone left me thinking about how our brain works and how the mind/body/soul connection plays a role. The movie, though arguably not as good as the book, did the same. For anyone interested in any sort of science, this movie is a great place to start developing your own beliefs. Though not as intense as the other two movies, it’s still an amazing watch. 

If you’re looking for movies that are abnormal, interesting, and existential, these three should leave you in the right place. As for the “perfect order” to binge these in, I vote starting with Brain on Fire, then Interstellar, and then Annihilation and seeing where your mind races. Hopefully after your next movie marathon, you’re left with a billion thoughts and new soundtracks on your playlists!

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