Get your thinking cap on
10. A Scanner Darkly
This film was shot and then drawn over giving it a unique edge. The film is dark and winding with a labyrinthine plot and twisting themes. The plot revolves around an undercover drug officer going after the largest supplier of drugs in the world. However in order to do so he must become a drug user himself. The film charts his demise into drugs and the sow loss of his sanity. Gripping and enticing this film keeps you wondering and guessing right up to the end.
Memento was just a great film. Shot back to front it becomes incredibly hard to follow the twisting plot and man lops of information. The film plots the course of a man seeking revenge for the brutal murder of his partner. The problem is that he has no memories so must tattoo himself in order to remember anything. A great film to make you ponder the mind and memory.
8. Fight Club
Fight Club is a fantastic film and the first time you watch it you are out as likely to spot the twists as we are to grow wings. The plot centres around a fighting club for the down and outs of the world dissatisfied with modern consumer culture and their lives. The themes include mental illnesses, anarchy and modern life and the dystopian critique of the modern world is superb, though we wouldn’t suggest copying the ideas.
7. Waking Life
Another of Richard Linklater’s films Waking Life is an engrossing journey through dreams and the idea of lucid dreaming – being able to actively control and become conscious in your dreams.
The journey charts one person’s discovery of the dream world and there experience of their consciousness and reality whilst “trapped” in the dream. The film is an interesting analysis of consciousness and in fact waking life.
6. Requiem for a dream
Requiem for a dream is a truly terrifying film. If you’re going to watch it we would heartily recommend having something cheerful to watch afterwards. The film charts the journey of four people with or developing) serious drug problems. The film centres around the love between two junkies and the search for drugs that tears them apart. A truly terrifying experience to watch and incredibly dark.
5. Eternal sunshine of The Spotless Mind
Eternal sunshine of The Spotless Mind is a fairy tale romance story at heart and a feel good film throughout. The plot focuses on a company that will delete unwanted memories for you if you pay them and two people who fall in love before having their memories erased. The film is an interesting take on love, fate, emotion and memory and thought provoking whilst being charming.
4. American Beauty
American Beauty is the be all and end all of midlife crisis films. It charts the dysfunctional life of a middle class man and his family. Though some of the scenes are just corny the film offers an interesting discussion of prejudice, lust and life so is well worth watch.
3. Big Fish
One of Tim Burton’s finest films Big Fish is a fantastical tale of life and lies. The plot focuses on a man struggling to come to grips with his dying father, and struggling with the truth as he sees everything his father says as lies. His father does in fact tell big fish and the film charts the stories whilst juxtaposing the ideas of truth and fantasy and examining their implications and consequences in our day to day lives.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth
When it comes to making you think this is almost unsurpassable. A complicated commentary on the horrors of war, on good and evil and most importantly fantasy and reality. The story follows a young girl’s emotional journey through war torn Spain and the fantasy hat unfolds around her. A really spectacular film that we will say no more about – just go and see it.
1. The Matrix
Yes we know the Matrix is at heart a sci-fi action film with what were at the time mind blowing special effects. But the film also had incredible depth and lot of thought provoking one liners and themes. It managed to raise questions of reality, consciousness and experience on a continual basis. Not to mention it is one of the best sci-fi films ever.