5 Mind-Blowing Movies You Have to Watch

Recently, I have become addicted to binge-watching a lot of existential and thought-provoking movies. I find it fascinating how vicariously experiencing these characters’ emotional journeys and revelations can transform the way we view our lives. As I continue to watch more movies with deeper meanings behind them, it makes me reflect on how significant of an impact media can have on our mindsets, and I would like to recommend some of my favourites so far. These unforgettable movies will definitely change how you see the world!

1. Memento (2000)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

What it’s about: Memento follows Leonard, a former insurance investigator, who suffers from anterograde amnesia. This condition means that he is unable to form new memories. Using Polaroid photos and the tattoos on his body, he is determined to find out who attacked him and killed his wife. 

Why you should watch it: I love how Nolan decides to tell Leonard’s story backwards. It is such a unique storytelling device because we start at the “end” of the movie and watch how everything has accumulated up to that moment. The themes of memory and time are intertwined with Nolan’s clever narrative structure. This is definitely a mind-blowing movie that you have to check out, and it will make you contemplate the reliability of our memories and how we can create our own purpose in life.

2. The Truman Show (1998)

Director: Peter Weir

Cast: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris

What it’s about: Our main character, Truman, is unaware that his everyday life is being filmed as part of a reality show, and that all the people he interacts with are actors. Once strange events start occurring, he gradually uncovers the truth and makes a plan to escape. 

Why you should watch it: In addition to being extremely entertaining, I love how The Truman Show criticizes the entertainment industry and supports the sociological concept of dramaturgy. This movie will make you question the idea that we are all playing some role in our everyday social interactions and whether our life can be considered a series of performances.

3. Snowpiercer (2013)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt

What it’s about: In an alternate 2014, a climate engineering accident creates a new ice age after a failed attempt to stop global warming. The Snowpiercer train circulating the Earth carries all of what remains of the human population, with lower-class passengers at the back and higher-class passengers at the front. Our main character, Curtis, is one of the tail-section passengers, and he decides to lead a rebellion against the elite.

Why you should watch it: From the Academy Award-winning director of Parasite (2019), this dark science-fiction thriller effectively explores themes of classism and morality. I really like how Snowpiercer addresses class conflict, the price of revolution, and climate change in this action-packed film. There are a lot of plot twists that I didn’t see coming, and I highly recommend watching this if you want to watch a movie with a deeper meaning behind it. 

4. Fight Club (1999)

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

What it’s about: Fight Club follows an unnamed narrator who forms an underground fight club with the help of his new friend, Tyler Durden. 

Why you should watch it: Fight Club is a really great satire of toxic masculinity, consumerism and capitalism. The fast-paced and compelling plot makes this a very entertaining watch, while also encouraging us to consider how our society controls countercultures by making them sacrifice politics for commerce. Also, the plot twist at the end still blows my mind to this day, so I highly recommend watching this if you haven’t already. 

5. Waves (2019)

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sterling K. Brown

What it’s about: This movie follows the lives of a suburban family as they experience loss, compassion and growth. Even though Waves is not a psychological thriller like most of the movies previously mentioned, I really appreciate how it shows that everything is connected, and how even the smallest decisions can drastically change your whole life.  Why you should watch it: The acting, cinematography and soundtrack work together to beautifully capture the human experience. Shults plays with the aspect ratio, colour palettes and narrative structure to effectively evoke emotion within you. This movie is so stunning, and it definitely makes you reconsider how you interact with others and understand how people can get pushed into emotional situations.

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