These four mind-bending movies like "Inception" are for fans of intricately woven narratives in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in "Inception" as a criminal with the ability to steal or implant ideas in a person's mind during their dreams. If this extraordinary movie concept piques your need for more neurologically challenging plots, these four mind-benders are mandatory movie viewing.
"Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" This movie is mind-bending in the literal sense, in that it involves Jim Carrey's socially awkward character Joel Barish trying to erase the memories of his previous girlfriend. Joel's childhood and adult life unfold to the audience as his memories become surgically plucked from his thinking cap. His past and present offer a multi-layered world like the creatively complex one seen in "Inception."
"Being John Malkovich" John Cusack plays a puppeteer who ironically goes from providing personalities to the inanimate dolls, to hopping inside a portal that gives him 15 minutes to experience the personality of actor John Malkovich—inside his head. Unlike "Inception", Malkovich's head is not being strictly entered during his dreams, but rather anytime of the day. While this "inner body experience" becomes commercialized to customers for $200 a trip, Malkovich fights back to regain his mental privacy.
Darko" This mysterious science fiction coming-of-age cult classic stars Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character—a teenager with an invisible friend in a rabbit suit. This eerie character named Frank manipulates Donnie into committing crimes and warns him that the world will be ending in 28 days. "Donnie Darko" is a movie that is a mental exercise like "Inception" that mixes time travel, psychological conflicts and apocalyptic doom into a thriller that offers new perspectives on the plot after multiple viewings.
"Waking Life" Similar to the 2010 heist adventure "Inception", this mental voyage movie from Richard Linklater also deals with the state of dreaming. Many popular beliefs about this nocturnal world are explored, such as being able to control your dream if you know that you are dreaming. The enticing "eye candy" created by the animation process called "rotoscoping" in this movie makes it seem as surreal as dreaming itself.