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18 Mind-Bending Movies Like The Matrix Everyone Should Watch

Updated on August 9, 2017
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Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.

A mind-boggling sci-fi movie stays with you all the time. Movies like The Matrix are thought-provoking, making you think about who we are and what future has in store for us.

Fast forward more than a decade after the release of last entry from this series; it still inspires arguments both online and offline. So It’s only fitting that you’re looking for movies like “The Matrix”. Being a huge fan, I’ve compiled a list of some similar movies that would stretch your imagination and force you to pay attention. Let’s take a look.

Inception – One of the best sci-fi movies like The Matrix

Welcome to the world of dreams – a world where your ideas can be stolen by entering your brain while you’re sleeping. A world that is just as dangerous and enthralling as the real world. If you’re good enough, you can mold it into the shape of your choice and get whatever you want. It’s said that Nolan spent more than 10 years just writing the screenplay for Inception. He must’ve rewritten it more than a few times to fit in all the pieces of the puzzle together.

It can be really overwhelming to experience movies like “The Matrix” and “Inception” the very first time. If you pay attention, however, you being to notice e very little detail and shots that help you get the full picture. You have to piece it all together to make sense of what just happened. Not everything is explained to you. The ending, for example, is vague, which leaves it up to you to decide what really happened to our protagonist. Did he make it out of the dream state or is he still in limbo? There are a lot of theories about this movie. Make sure you chime in with your thoughts once you finish watching this gem of a movie.

A Clockwork Orange

An ultraviolent youngster gets arrested and thrown into jail. Convicted of murder and rape, he decides to take a shortcut – volunteer for a mysterious government experiment, which makes people detest violence. He’s back on the streets sooner than he expected. Things, however, don’t turn out the way he would have liked. The therapy has changed him, but not everything is in order. Things spiral out of control pretty soon.

It’s one of those movies that you have to watch a couple of times to get everything. You’ll love it each time. A sarcastic, exhilarating experience you don’t want to miss out on.

Shutter Island – A popular movie like The Matrix

A U.S Marshal is brought to a mysterious island to investigate an escape from a hospital of criminally insane. While he’s on it, he begins questioning what he knows about himself, his partner and the island. Is he the one who is insane?

Taking place in 1954, “Shutter Island” is remarkably reminiscent of that era. It’s beautifully cinematographed, bringing every little detail to our attention. More than anything, I found the pacing to be brilliant. It starts off slow, just like a normal criminal investigation movie. It doesn’t take too long for the viewers to realize that they are in for something really amazing.

Shutter Island has divided the movie community. Some people love it for its pacing and a gripping, dark story. Others, however, didn’t like the ambiguous ending. In any case, one can’t deny that it messes with your mind. And no human being likes to be messed with. This is exactly why you need to watch Shutter Island – one of the best movies like The Matrix.

A thought-provoking horror movie that demands attention and brings you to the edge of your seat from the very first moment.

The Prestige – One of the best Nolan movies like The Matrix

Directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception, Interstellar), the plot revolves around two famous magicians hell-bent on tearing each other’s secret apart. When one of them manages to create an ultimate illusion, the other one leaves no stones unturned to find out how he managed to do that, which leads to gruesome consequences.

When Nolan is helming the ship, you can’t expect things to go wrong. He’s renowned for his amazing, breathtaking screenplays. And I’m glad to report that “The Prestige” is no different.

It keeps you on your toes all the time, compelling you to think about the secret behind the ultimate illusion. No matter how prepared you are, the ending gets to you. The twist in the end is unexpected, but you’d suspend your disbelief pretty easily.

Memento

Memento is another one of the Nolan’s masterpiece. It’s the story of Leonard, a man suffering from short term memory loss, who is on the quest to avenge his dead wife.

As with most of his movies, “Memento” packs in much more that what synopsis would tell you. It’s a carefully crafted puzzle, al the pieces of which fall into their places in the end. The movie goes back and forth in time as Leonard tries to figure out who is behind all that. At times, it can be a bit confusing. Don’t fret though. You’ll get all the answers by the end.

Memento will have to you talking long after it’s over. Make sure you have someone else to discuss it with you. One of the best movies like The Matrix you shouldn’t miss out on.

Edge Of Tomorrow - One of the recent movies The Matrix

With millions of people dead and large swaths of land already captured by aliens, the fight against aliens is hopeless. When an ill-prepared man is sent to the ground to fight those beasts, he gets killed within minutes only to find himself living the same day over. He dies countless times in various encounters, getting a step closer to beating the whole alien invasion almost single-handedly. Will he be able to save the humanity before his luck runs out?

Tom Cruise has spent most of his 50s saving the human race. If you have somehow managed to let this Tom Cruise starrer slip under your radar, it’s about time you watched it. For a movie billed as “action”, there is a lot of depth and intrigue to it. You’re given a proper explanation as to why he is reliving the same day over and over again, and it makes sense.

Overall, “Edge Of Tomorrow” is one of the best movies like The Matrix. Give it a shot.

The 13th Floor

You thought “The Matrix” was trippy? This underrated masterpiece will leave you scratching your head.

The plot revolves around the world of simulations. A small simulation has been created in year 1937. But there lies a much bigger secret. The person who knew it was murdered. Determined to go the root of it, our protagonist discovers a message– a message that would change everything he knows about this world and himself.

I recommend this movie to everyone who love movies like The Matrix, While some elements are borrowed from “The Matrix”, it not a copy-paste. The plot is more intricate, and there is a lot more at stake.

This movie would have been more popular and critically acclaimed if there was no “The Matrix”. Don’t let the negativity around it prevent you from watchi9ng a gem of a movie. Some things might be borrowed from it, but it’s a refreshing experience nevertheless.

Another Earth

The plot revolves around Rhoda, a bright young girl who’s been accepted into M.I.T. Things go awry when she gets drunk and decides to drive to hoe by herself. She ends up in a tragic accident that changes her life altogether.

Fast forward 4 years, she is released from the prison. She tracks down the person who survived the crash to ask for his forgiveness. Instated, she ends up falling in love with him with unforeseen consequences.

The plot sounds a little bit like a love story with a twist. Trust me, though, there is a lot you’re going to like about it. I have not mentioned anything about the sci-fi part. It’s better than you experience it first hand. The less I spoil it, the better.

Dark City – One of the best sci-fi movies like The Matrix

A man with wakes up covered in blood with a dead man lying near him. He struggles to remember how he ended up here. In a world where sun never shines and everything stops right about 12 A.M., he soon figures out that there is something fishy going on. Why can’t anyone live this city? How does city changes its shape every day? When he embarks on the quest to find those answers, he finds himself in a lot more trouble than he bargained for.

If you like to have a little twist in the end of a movie that makes it worth watching it a second time, this is what you’re looking for. It’s very similar to movies like The Matrix and The 13th Floor. You never see the twist coming. It make you wonder about the world we live in. What’s out there? Is there anyone watching over us? These are some of the questions you’ll be dealing with. A thought-provoking and dark movie that you should see at least once.

District 9

District 9 takes place in an alternative timeline. Aliens have landed on Earth in 1982. Fast forward 28 years, the enthusiasm about them has waned. They’re made to evacuate the refugee camps. When one of the men in charge of the evacuation operation gets infected with some sort of alien chemical, he has no other way but to seek help from his alien fiends.

I loved the way it managed to differentiate itself from other sci-fi movies. With a unique way to tell a gruesome story, it cements its place as a must-watch flick.

Moon – A low-budget movie like The Matrix

Same Bell is an astronaut, who has an important job to do – sending back parcels of the resource to take care of Earth dwindling natural resources. Nearly at the end of his 3 year tenure on the moon, he begins to question whether he is going back home at all. Is he really the person who he thinks he is?

Where this movie lacks in jaw-dropping action, it more than makes up for it with a tight, gripping and sophisticated storyline. I thought they handled the twist pretty well. It’s going to leave you shocked and thinking about it for quite a while. If you are looking for some thought-provoking movies like “The Matrix”, you should give “The Matrix” a go.

Limitless

When a man takes a mysterious pill that activates 100% of the brain abilities, he becomes financially successful overnight. With success, come other problems. His addiction with this rare pill, for example, keeps getting worse. His world spirals out of control pretty soon.

Tired of all the heavy-hearted, lesson-teaching sci-fi movies? You need to give this light-hearted flick a go. It’s not deep, not by any stretch of imagination. A simple story, however, doesn’t imply that it’s not intriguing. You’ll love every moment of him getting on top of the world, dominating everyone.

The Truman Show

The Truman Show is about an ordinary salesman living in a quite town of Seahaven Island. Everything is too clean, too perfect. He knows a lot of people, but never really connects to anyone, not even his wife. There is something off about everyone. And for some reason, he never manages to travel out of town. Something always comes up. The feeling that everyone is watching him never goes away. There is something fishy going on. Will he find out the truth?

Honorable mentions – Other movies like The Matrix

“2001: A Space Odyssey”, “The Others”, “The Village”, “The Sixth Sense”, and “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” are some other movies that didn’t make it to the list. These movies, however, are just as good as those mentioned above.

With a list such as this, I’m bound to miss a few good entries. If you have a suggestion or two, let me know in the comments section.

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    • film critic profile image

      film critic 2 weeks ago

      Great list, although I have not yet seen Moon or The 13t Floor.

    • profile image

      Chieko 5 weeks ago

      "Another Earth" is a brilliant, beautiful movie. If you like that film, watch "The Sound of My Voice" it's by the same director and Britt Marling.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 2 months ago from Illinois

      Some of my favorites are on this list but I think based on this I am going to seek out Shutter Island - I'm a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio and it looks like a really good movie from the trailer.

    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 3 months ago from United States

      One of my favorites that you talked about was "Limitless" - talk about an unexpected twist - I love it when they can fool me into thinking one thing, then have it turn out to be another. "Matrix" was just simply mind-bending, as you said. I am going to hunt down the ones that I haven't seen, especially "The Thirteenth Floor." Sounds great.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 3 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I have seen all but two of these films. Moon and Another Earth. This is a great list and some of these I will most likely re-watch. Christopher Nolan is my favorite film maker so I am not surprised to see his work on here. I would add Interstellar because that movie blows my mind every time I see it. I love Inception and Prestige. I will need to watch 13th Floor and Dark City again.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your reviews on these movies. Ive seen most of them and added your post into my latest article.