3 MIND-BENDING INTELLECTUAL THRILLERS EVERYONE MUST WATCH IN 2023
Some people prefer a gentle and light experience when they watch a movie. While some other people love the blood and gore horror and action movies have to offer. But some people want their binging experience to be intense. They want to feel thrilled, intrigued, mystified, and even challenged during their cinema experience, and audiences in this category are increasing.
No wonder Hollywood directors like Christopher Nolan who specialize in creating mind-bending and suspenseful thrillers are idealized by viewers and young cinema students alike.
It is almost impossible to ascertain why American audiences have started loving psychologically perplexing pieces of art, maybe it’s because of the troubled and tumultuous times we live in or maybe it is a sign of mass hysteria, no one can be sure.
But no matter what the cause one thing is certain, the era of the mundane and the mellow has come to a close; modern-day cinema is looking towards the macabre to gain traction amongst audiences.
And Hollywood has responded very quickly to the evolving taste of its consumers; churning out dozens of mind-bending intellectual thrillers that keep audiences on the edges of their seats.
If you are one of those people who have missed out on this budding trend in the industry, this write-up will bring you up to date. But before we jump onto our extensive list, there is something we must talk to you about.
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Now that we have the essentials figured out let’s jump on to our list.
Off course we had to start out with one of Nolan’s masterpieces. Inception feels a little too complex, even for Nolan. After watching the movie, one cannot help but be curious about what goes on in the director’s mind.
The complex premise of the movie has now become the stuff of legends. The movie is set in a world where human beings have attained the technology to step into each other’s dream worlds and interact with subconscious elements of the brain.
So, the entire movie is a journey from one physics-defying dream to another. And if that was not puzzling enough, by the end of the story, our heroes find themselves jumping into dreams within dreams within dreams until they have lost all sense of reality.
The movie asks a lot from its audiences and is worth multiple re-watches. So, don’t worry if you can’t follow Inception during the first go, rarely anyone did.
Another one of Christopher Nolan’s masterpieces, Interstellar, puts science in science fiction and has set a very high bar for future movies looking to incorporate time and space travel into their plots.
Unlike the previous blockbuster on the list, Interstellar does not start out with a complex premise. Instead, the movie takes it very slowly, showing audiences a world that has been ravaged by the climate crisis and is unable to support human life.
Mankind’s only hope of survival is fleeing the dirt-covered barren planet. So, our protagonist sets out on a journey across the stars to find habitable planets our species can colonize. The stellar space journey that follows puts every other space exploration movie to shame.
And that is just the space aspect of the plot. To build an engine that is sophisticated enough to lift humanity out of oblivion mankind receives surprise help from a ghost hidden in a bookshelf, this ghost is what represents time in Nolan’s time-space fantasy.
The most beautiful aspect of Black Swan is that instead of being based on fiction or fantasy the movie is premised on the exact opposite, hyper-reality. But before we jump on to the plot and the story arc, there is one thing we want to point out; Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning performance as the lead in the movie will outlive the end of times.
The movie is based on a life of a struggling ballerina, who after intense and cut-throat competition, is finally offered the spotlight. But the role takes a heavy toll, as the performer delves deeper into the character she starts losing sense of her own identity. Her personality splits open under the immense pressure and she starts transforming into someone beyond herself.
And by the time our protagonist finally reaches the stage to perform she has lost all sense of self, what remains is just the performance; the Black Swan.
Mind-bending intellectual thrillers are not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone enjoys watching movies that force them to think harder than they would have to at work. After all, movies are entertainment and should be kept light, right? Well, a large number of Americans don’t think so.
For over two decades now, Hollywood has been abandoning gentle romances in favor of hard-hitting thrillers and viewers just cannot seem to get enough.
So, if you’ve finally decided to join the mind-bender train, start binging the explosive blockbusters mentioned in our list, you will not regret it.