29 Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Movies That Will Make You Go "Huh?"
News > 29 Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Movies That Will Make You Go "Huh?"
These 29 Sci-Fi films are all varying degrees of head-scratchers!
Most films are pretty linear and easy to follow in their story telling. But some, some are designed to bewilder, obfuscate, and confuse. From the uneasy viewing to the unsettling, the 'what did I just watch' to the 'why did I just watch this', here's a renewed thought-blender list we compiled for you.
29. The Jacket, 2005
The film centers on a wounded Gulf war veteran who returns to his native Vermont suffering from bouts of amnesia. He is hitchhiking and gets picked up by a stranger and things go pear shaped when a cop pulls them over and is murdered by the stranger. The vet is wrongly accused of killing the cop and lands up in an asylum. A quack doctor prescribes a course of experimental therapy, restraining him in a heavy duty straight jacket-like device, and locks him away in a body drawer of the basement morgue. During the course of his treatment he gets flashbacks and visions of his future, where he can foresee he is to die in four days time. The catch is he doesn't know how. Thus commences the classic race against time.
IMDb: 7.1 28. Melancholia, 2011
On the night of her wedding, Justine is struggling to be happy even though it should be the happiest day of her life. It was an extravagant wedding paid for by her sister and brother-in-law who are trying to keep the bride and all the guests in-line. Meanwhile, Melancholia, a blue planet, is hurtling towards the Earth. Claire, Justine's sister, is struggling to maintain composure with fear of the impending disaster.
IMDb: 7.1 27. Artificial Intelligence: AI, 2001
In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his 'mother,' Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically.
IMDb: 7.1 26. Los Cronocrímenes, 2007
Hector is an ordinary man who's moving to a new house with his wife. One evening, while he's looking through his binoculars, he sees a naked girl in the woods. He decides to go there just to find that same girl laying on a rock. Suddenly, a man with a pink bandage covering his face stabs Hector in his arm with scissors...
IMDb: 7.2 25. Cube, 1997
Six different people, each from a very different walk of life, awaken to find themselves inside a giant cube with thousands of possible rooms. Each has a skill that becomes clear when they must band together to get out: a cop, a math whiz, a building designer, a doctor, an escape master, and a disabled man. Each plays a part in their thrilling quest to find answers as to why they've been imprisoned.
IMDb: 7.3 24. The Fountain, 2006
Three stories - one each from the past, present, and future - about men in pursuit of eternity with their love. A conquistador in Mayan country searches for the tree of life to free his captive queen; a medical researcher, working with various trees, looks for a cure that will save his dying wife; a space traveler, traveling with an aged tree encapsulated within a bubble, moves toward a dying star that's wrapped in a nebula; he seeks eternity with his love. The stories intersect and parallel; the quests fail and succeed.
IMDb: 7.3 23. Contact, 1997
The skeptical scientist Dr. Ellie Arroway researches extraterrestrial life with her team in Puerto Rico. When David Drumlin (Tom Skerritt) shuts-down the project, Ellie seeks for private funds to reopen her research in New Mexico. An anonymous millionaire provides the necessary funds and Ellie proceeds with her work. Four years later, she is contacted by alien forms from Vega that send a coded message. The millionaire S.R. Hadden, that is financing the research, deciphers the message and gives to Ellie the design of an intriguing machine. Ellie concludes that the equipment might be to transport a passenger to Vega. Now she needs to convince a commission formed by military, politicians, scientists and religious leaders that she is the best candidate for the journey.
IMDb: 7.4 22. K-PAX, 2001
PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.
IMDb: 7.4 21. The Abyss, 1989
An American nuclear submarine encounters an alien species, which coincidentally causes massive electrical and hydraulic malfunctions, causing the sub to crash into an underwater cliff and sink. The navy asks the workers of a nearby underwater oil rig who are joined by a number of navy SEALS to locate and investigate the cause of the crash. As the crew embarks on their mission, they encounter a number of difficulties and discover that they may not be alone. There is something else down there.
IMDb: 7.6 20. Paprika, 2006
Three scientists at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research fail to secure a device they've invented, the D.C. Mini, which allows people to record and watch their dreams. A thief uses the device to enter people's minds, when awake, and distract them with their own dreams and those of others. Chaos ensues. The trio - Chiba, Tokita, and Shima - assisted by a police inspector and by a sprite named Paprika must try to identify the thief as they ward off the thief's attacks on their own psyches. Dreams, reality, and the movies merge, while characters question the limits of science and the wisdom of Big Brother.
IMDb: 7.7 19. Predator, 1987
A team of special force ops, led by a tough but fair soldier, Major 'Dutch' Schaefer, are ordered to assist CIA man, George Dillon, on a rescue mission for potential survivors of a Helicopter downed over a remote South American jungle. Not long after they land, Dutch and his team discover that they have been sent in under false pretenses. This deception turns out to be the least of their worries though, when they find themselves being methodically hunted by something not of this world.
IMDb: 7.8 18. Dark City, 1998
John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. While trying to piece together his past, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of beings known as The Strangers who possess the ability to put people to sleep and alter the city and its inhabitants. Now Murdoch must find a way to stop them before they take control of his mind and destroy him.
IMDb: 7.8 17. Gattaca, 1997
In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret.
IMDb: 7.8 16. Ex Machina, 2015
Caleb, a 26 year old programmer at the world's largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world's first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.
IMDb: 7.8 15. Mr. Nobody, 2009
In a utopian future, Nemo is the oldest and last man to ever have the choice of immortality. The film explores Nemo as a young boy faced with an impossible decision: should he stay with his father or leave with his mother? The film is based around all of his possible lives that could occur, of which are all dependent on his one decision.
IMDb: 7.9 14. Children of Men, 2006
The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth.
IMDb: 7.9 13. Ant Man, 2015
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
IMDb: 8.0 12. Moon, 2009
With only three weeks left in his three year contract, Sam Bell is getting anxious to finally return to Earth. He is the only occupant of a Moon-based manufacturing facility along with his computer and assistant, GERTY. The long period of time alone however has resulted in him talking to himself for the most part, or to his plants. Direct communication with Earth is not possible due to a long-standing communication malfunction but he does get an occasional message from his wife Tess. When he has an accident however, he wakens to find that he is not alone. He also comes to realize that his world is not what he thought it was.
IMDb: 8.0 11. District 9, 2009
In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed 'The Prawns,' appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends.
IMDb: 8.0 10. 12 Monkeys, 1995
Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in the present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.
IMDb: 8.1 9. Donnie Darko, 2001
Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates, but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank - a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure.
IMDb: 8.1 8. The Thing, 1982
A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed and attacked by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They appeared to be trying to kill one of the dogs from the US base. Having dealt with the threat, the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate.
IMDb: 8.2 7. Blade Runner, 1982
In the futuristic year of 2019, Los Angeles has become a dark and depressing metropolis, filled with urban decay. Rick Deckard, an ex-cop, is a 'Blade Runner.' Blade runners are people assigned to assassinate 'replicants.' The replicants are androids that look like real human beings. When four replicants commit a bloody mutiny on the Off World colony, Deckard is called out of retirement to track down the androids. As he tracks the replicants, eliminating them one by one, he soon comes across another replicant, Rachel, who evokes human emotion, despite the fact that she's a replicant herself. As Deckard closes in on the leader of the replicant group, his true hatred toward artificial intelligence makes him question his own identity in this future world, including what's human and what's not human.
IMDb: 8.2 6. 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
'2001' is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.
IMDb: 8.3 5. Back to the Future, 1985
Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the Eighties, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean 'time machine' invented by a slightly mad scientist. During his often hysterical, always amazing trip back in time, Marty must make certain his teenage parents-to-be meet and fall in love - so he can get back to the future.
IMDb: 8.5 4. Alien, 1979
A commercial crew aboard the deep space towing vessel, Nostromo is on its way home when they pick up a SOS warning from a distant moon. What they don't know is that the SOS warning is not like any other ordinary warning call. Picking up the signal, the crew realizes that they are not alone on the spaceship when an alien stowaway is on the cargo ship.
IMDb: 8.5 3. Interstellar, 2014
Earth's future has been riddled by disasters, famines, and droughts. There is only one way to ensure mankind's survival: Interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the far reaches of our solar system allows a team of astronauts to go where no man has gone before, a planet that may have the right environment to sustain human life.
IMDb: 8.7 2. The Matrix, 1999
Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day, he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans' body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.
IMDb: 8.7 1. Inception, 2010
Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible - inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.