The 20 Most Complex Movies of All Time


The best kinds of movies are the one that won’t leave your mind days after watching them, often comprehending ideas too big to grasp in the first watch. These movies demand you come back to them and make sense of the plot and find the missing link you couldn’t find earlier.

Here is a list of movies so complex and strange that it’s difficult to get them out of your mind; the kind of movies that make more sense after repeated viewings.


20. Enemy

“Enemy” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake’s character is a history teacher, and one day his co-worker recommends he watch a certain movie. As he is watching it, he notices an actor in the movie looks exactly like him. This sets him on an intense journey to find who this actor is and what he is doing.

“Enemy” doesn’t follow the traditional linear structure of filmmaking; as soon the movie ends, the viewer is left mind-boggled, trying to find a cohesive understanding of its surreal dreamlike imagery. The film is beautifully shot, with an overwhelming yellow haze to show the dullness of Adam’s life, while the bright color scheme is used to show how it contrasts from Anthony’s life.

The score for this film was eerie and subdued but when needed, it exploded to help this film give this dreamlike feel. Wonderfully acted, this film makes viewers feel the plight of the character. It is about the subconscious of a man who decides to leave his mistress to go back to his pregnant wife, as noted by Villeneuve. “Enemy” is a mind-bending, tightly-held psychological thriller that takes its audience into an intense journey filled with surrealism.


19. Predestination

Predestination, an Australian fantasy thriller directed by Peter and Michael Spierig and starring Ethan Hawke, is faithful and tragic with an amazing underlying of many genres the audience can enjoy. The film is incredibly original and creative, draped with old school aspects of ‘science fiction’. Hawke unsurprisingly delivers a flawless performance as the nameless lead, while Sarah Snook impresses audience with her wide range of acting abilities.

Hawke’s character plays a time-travelling agent for a secret agency that uses their ability to manipulate time to stop crimes. On his final assignment, he is tasked to stop ‘’Fizzle Bomber’’, a terrorist that exploded a bomb in New York City in 1975 that killed 11,000 citizens. This compelling, thought-provoking and extremely clever film keeps the audience on the edge of their seats until the last frame.


18. Mr. Nobody

Mr Nobody

“Mr. Nobody” is a fantasy-drama directed by Jaco Van Dormael. Set in 2092, the film deals with last mortal human, played by Jared Leto on Earth. He reflects on this past and about the choices he could’ve made. Visually stunning, the movie comes with so many stylistic, tonal and narrative changes that it challenges the audience to pay extremely close attention.

“Mr. Nobody” provides a unique, fresh and profound experience. Along with the brilliant acting, astonishing cinematography and amazing soundtrack. “Mr. Nobody” leaves the audience with a memorable experience that will stay with them long after they have seen the film.


17. Being John Malkovich

“Being John Malkovich” is a crazy film about a puppeteer who finds a portal that leads directly inside the head of Hollywood actor John Malkovich. Directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, the film is original, beautiful and funny. Cameron Diaz is completely unrecognizable and so is John Cusack, and John Malkovich was presented an interesting opportunity to play himself, which he does by creating a wonderful character.

This strange, surreal, and outlandish film sucks the viewers into this world of John M. Filled with nuance and subtle humor, this riveting film showcase the brilliance of Jonze and his entire cast. “Being John Malkovich” is the kind of movie that comes once in a long while and leaves you wanting more.


16. A Clockwork Orange

One of the most controversial films ever made, “A Clockwork Orange” grabs you and holds you down in your seat from start to finish. It contains extreme emotions, strangeness, perversity, and brutal violence at its worse. This Kubrick masterpiece was ahead of its time and is still impactful toward today’s society. The tale of troubled Alex and his subsequent ‘’reformation’’ by the government forces you to ponder on the atrociousness of the world on the both ends of the spectrum.

“A Clockwork Orange” is by no means a pleasant film, but the perfectionism of Kubrick and Malcolm MacDowell’s amazing portrayal of Alex demands its audience to actually think about the world around them. “A Clockwork Orange” asks the hard question – if we take away people’s choice to be good or evil, are we taking away their humanity as well?


15. Cloud Atlas


“Cloud Atlas”, a science fiction film directed by Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis, follows six different timelines that change after every scene. The style and structure of the film makes it a complex and mind-bending film. It comes with a great ensemble cast who all give amazing performance, though some criticize the movie for its over-ambition and too many intertwined characters.

“Cloud Atlas” is part science fiction, part historical drama, part comedy, part romance, giving the audience the experience of enjoying different films within one. “Cloud Atlas” is a sharply-written film leaving no space for its views to get lost in the intertwined storyline.