Best thinking movies

by Mulholland-95 | created - 26 Nov 2016 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

These movies have intelligent characters living in a hard world. They have a pondering and profound dialogue between them for found meaning about their existence. These stories leave spectators thinking.

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1. The Sacrifice (1986)

PG | 149 min | Drama

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall, Guðrún Gísladóttir

Votes: 24,377 | Gross: $0.30M

The cycle of life. Foolishness of the human being. The current state of civilization

2. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, History

88 Metascore

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 164,181

Meaning of our existence. God. Death.

3. The Tree of Life (2011)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy

85 Metascore

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Votes: 167,634 | Gross: $13.30M

In search of meaning of life.

4. Stalker (1979)

Not Rated | 162 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Nikolay Grinko

Votes: 116,323 | Gross: $0.23M

Existence of God in man. Death of spirituality.

5. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

88 Metascore

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 95,889

Purpose. Guilt. Redemption.

6. Solaris (1972)

PG | 167 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky | Stars: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy

Votes: 80,668

What is life? Ties of the past.

7. Melancholia (2011)

R | 135 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård

Votes: 167,720 | Gross: $3.03M

Cruel reality.

8. Taste of Cherry (1997)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

80 Metascore

An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi

Votes: 23,336 | Gross: $0.31M

Suicide. Death. Life goes on.

9. The Man from Earth (2007)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine.

Director: Richard Schenkman | Stars: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd, John Billingsley, Ellen Crawford

Votes: 173,661

Question our basis.

10. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth--the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,670,586 | Gross: $171.48M

Search the true. Question your reality. Search yourself.

11. Another Woman (1988)

PG | 81 min | Drama

Facing a mid-life crisis, a woman rents an apartment next to a psychiatrist's office to write a new book, only to become drawn to the plight of a pregnant woman seeking that doctor's help.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Ian Holm, Blythe Danner

Votes: 12,886 | Gross: $1.56M

The mirror of maturity.

12. Nazarin (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

A priest in a poor community lives a charitable life in accordance with his religious principles, but many others do not return the favor.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Ignacio López Tarso

Votes: 5,293

Consequences of clinging to one's ideals

13. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,334,256 | Gross: $28.34M

Fear. Routine. Redemption. Hope.

14. The Straight Story (1999)

G | 112 min | Biography, Drama

86 Metascore

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter

Votes: 81,641 | Gross: $6.20M

15. My Blueberry Nights (2007)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

A young lonely woman takes a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love while encountering a series of offbeat characters along the way.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Chad R. Davis

Votes: 51,827 | Gross: $0.87M

Journey of self-discovery

16. Wonder Boys (2000)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr.

Votes: 61,134 | Gross: $19.39M

The extraordinary in the simple.

17. It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck | Stars: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Dana DeVestern

Votes: 135,014 | Gross: $6.35M

Know yourself.

18. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Maverick teacher John Keating uses poetry to embolden his boarding school students to new heights of self-expression.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 423,450 | Gross: $95.86M

19. Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama

40 Metascore

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director: Mimi Leder | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr

Votes: 112,595 | Gross: $33.52M

20. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,848,474 | Gross: $37.03M

Nihilism. Break the system.

21. The Truman Show (1998)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 935,690 | Gross: $125.62M

Question our reality.

22. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 577,027 | Gross: $70.91M

23. Another Earth (2011)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, DJ Flava

Votes: 90,642 | Gross: $1.32M

24. The Lobster (2015)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos | Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Olivia Colman

Votes: 218,268 | Gross: $8.70M

25. King of Hearts (1966)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Comedy, War

During World War I, a British private, sent ahead to a French town to scout for enemy presence, is mistaken for a King by the colorful patients of an insane asylum.

Director: Philippe de Broca | Stars: Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Marc Dudicourt, Daniel Boulanger

Votes: 3,594 | Gross: $0.02M

Inconsistencies in our society. Ideal society.

26. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 601,726 | Gross: $56.95M

Past and future of humankind. Evolution. Artificial intelligence. Extraterrestrial intelligence.

27. The Fountain (2006)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

51 Metascore

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn

Votes: 227,870 | Gross: $10.14M

Meaning of life. Relation between our past, present and future. Love through time.

28. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 579,282 | Gross: $124.99M

Beauty and cruelty in life.

29. Ad Astra (2019)

PG-13 | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

80 Metascore

Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.

Director: James Gray | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 197,412 | Gross: $35.40M

30. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

87 Metascore

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough

Votes: 578,505 | Gross: $42.34M

Madness in the reason.

31. When Nietzsche Wept (2007)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

Viennese doctor Josef Breuer meets with philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to help him deal with his despair.

Director: Pinchas Perry | Stars: Ben Cross, Armand Assante, Joanna Pacula, Michal Yannai

Votes: 4,259

God is dead. The will of power. The eternal return. The Übermensch.

32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 909,068 | Gross: $34.40M

Pain and joy in a relationship.

33. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

84 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 1,067,085 | Gross: $130.10M

How do you live your life?

34. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 858,439 | Gross: $138.43M

Priorities in our life. Relationships.

35. The Big Short (2015)

R | 130 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

In 2006-2007 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt

Votes: 360,364 | Gross: $70.26M

Great instability of our economic system.

36. Contact (1997)

PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Votes: 253,930 | Gross: $100.92M

Extraterrestrial life. Extraterrestrial intelligence.

37. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,185,477 | Gross: $132.38M

Alliance and betrayal.

38. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

44 Metascore

Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow

Votes: 102,070 | Gross: $55.49M

Memories. Delusion.

39. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

TV-MA | 83 min | Animation, Action, Crime

76 Metascore

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera

Votes: 128,752 | Gross: $0.52M

Question the reality. Artificial intelligence. Human and artificial thought.

40. Mr. Nobody (2009)

R | 141 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

63 Metascore

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham

Votes: 215,846 | Gross: $0.00M

41. Cloud Atlas (2012)

R | 172 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

55 Metascore

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 344,279 | Gross: $27.11M

Complexity. Relationship between all humankind. You are what you do.

42. Gattaca (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal

Votes: 280,278 | Gross: $12.34M

Overcome your weakness.

43. V for Vendetta (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Votes: 1,030,102 | Gross: $70.51M

Ideal revolution against an authoritarian government

44. Agora (2009)

R | 127 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom

Votes: 65,949 | Gross: $0.62M

Critical thinking. Religious fanaticism.

45. A Dry White Season (1989)

R | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A white middle class South African suburbanite with no interest in politics agrees to help his black gardener find his jailed son. His investigation opens his eyes to the horrors committed by the secret police and turns him into a target.

Director: Euzhan Palcy | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, Jürgen Prochnow

Votes: 5,083 | Gross: $3.77M

Discrimination. Fight for justice.

46. Rosa blanca (1961)

105 min | Drama, Thriller

7.2