Every once in a while, a movie is released that has you thinking about it for the next week. Whether it’s because it had a big emotional impact on you or because it is especially thought-provoking with lots of layers to uncover, these movies stay with you for a while and often make you want to rewatch the entire film. These movies have explored different themes and topics, from conscious AI to a series about gambling. Here are the top 10 movies that will make you think for a long time after watching them.

Black Swan

Black Swan is a psychological thriller where the main character, Nina, descends into madness as the world around her crumbles. The viewer is left wondering what is real and what is not as things turn darker and darker. After you watch the movie, you will be left with more questions than answers, and it will be up to you to come to your own conclusion about how the movie ends.

Barton Fink

Barton Fink is the fourth movie made by the world-famous Coen Brothers. The movie follows the life of a playwriter, John Turturro, as he travels to Hollywood to pursue a career in the theatre industry. The reason this movie sticks in a lot of people’s minds long after they have watched it is mainly due to the number of thought-provoking scenes that are open to interpretation by the viewer.

2001: A Space Odyssey

If you are into sci-fi movies that elicit a philosophical response in your mind, then you should definitely give 2001: A Space Odyssey a watch. This movie is a rollercoaster of dramatic scenes and explores a number of thought-provoking themes, including the meaning of life and the depths of the universe.

The Master

Joaquin Phoenix delivers an Oscar-worthy performance in this dramatic film that explores many themes, including misery and the meaning of life. He plays the role of a soldier that struggles to find purpose in the real world. After meeting a man who runs a cult-like religion, the two build a relationship that raises many questions about who is more lost in life and why they act the way they do in the film. It is most worthy of a watch if you are looking for a movie that will have you paying close attention to the small details.

12 Monkeys

Movies about time travel have been done many times before; however, 12 Monkeys is considered one of the most successful movies to explore this idea. Bruce Willis plays the role of a convict that has been selected to go back in time and find out as much as possible about a plague that is going to be released. It explores the morality of time travel as well as other themes, including fate.

Mulholland Drive

David Lynch produced Mulholland Drive with the intention of laying out all of the answers to the questions that arise in the film but makes it quite difficult to uncover. You have to pay attention to the movie at all times, or you run the risk of missing a clue or hint. Because this movie is so intriguing, paying attention isn’t the hard part. Connecting the dots to reveal the answers is where this movie will make you think.

Being John Malkovich

Critically acclaimed filmmaker, Spike Jonze released Being John Malkovich in 1999 and was certainly considered one of a kind at the time. The movie follows the life of a man who finds out he is able to transport his mind into the body of John Malkovich. This movie explores themes of what personality means as well as other topics, including morality and identity. As weird as this film is, it is most definitely thought-provoking and will leave you thinking about it long after you finish watching it.


If you thought a movie about the Pi number would be boring, then you are greatly mistaken. Pi, produced by Darren Aronofsky, follows the life of a lonely man that tries to explore the meaning being the number Pi. The movie takes a dark turn when the man’s paranoia takes over, and he is also investigated by the government for the research he has conducted.


Famous filmmaker Christopher Nolan delivers another classic to his repertoire with Memento. This movie follows the life of a detective that starts halfway through and goes back as the film goes on. At first, it is quite hard to get your head around the concept of the film, but once you start to understand the premise, it is an encapsulating watch and will make you think deeply about the scenes and how they connect with each other.


The movie that takes the number one spot as being the most thought-provoking film is Primer. This movie explores time travel in a way that has never been done before, and the viewer is left constantly wondering what part of the timeline is being explored. It is essentially a puzzle that you have to figure out as you watch and will likely require multiple viewings before you fully understand everything that is going on.