Your mind will thank you The science is less important that the characters' quests to find the answer, with religion, history, mysticism and philosophy all thrown into the mix. But the film — about a space station crew slowly going mad from their proximity to the title sentient planet — is worth the haul with its eerily beautiful imagery and deeply cerebral concepts about memory, reality, identity and time. Taking a page or two from Cronenberg, Aronofsky, Kubrick and other iconoclastic creators, Cosmatos has fashioned a hallucinatory epic about science, memory and the nature of reality, all centered around a psychopathic scientist and the psychically gifted young girl he holds prisoner in a malignant underground lab. Inception is a collection of one amazing image after another -- all of them warping reality in the strange way that only dreams can.
The result is a maze-like movie that leaves the unsettled viewer with more questions and no easy answers. We say more or less because Carruth deliberately makes the proceedings enigmatic and murky, reflecting the way in which time travel might affect our perceptions if it really did exist. Like a lot of films that expand one's consciousness, The Fountain can seem impenetrable in some ways, but it's worth making the effort. If a slow pace is a problem for you, better drink a Coke or two since director Andrei Tarkovsky does not give a hoot about your attention span. Bonus points to Tarkovsky for coming up with another mind-bender seven years later: Annihilation is absolutely part of a fantastic tradition in sci-fi cinema: But let's not forget the sheer brain-melting concept behind the Wachowskis' film as well, that we are all living in a simulated reality while our bodies are used to create energy for the sentient machines that rule over us. Video of eHgqfVQWv7s THX If you didn't know that George Lucas wrote and directed this experimental oddity based on a student short film he made four years earlier , you would not think that this film and Star Wars were created by the same person. A divisive film when it came out, Under the Skin is anchored by Johansson's otherworldly and brave performance, along with some truly trippy imagery. A Space Odyssey was based on a novel by Polish sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem and, Cold War rivalry aside, it stands as a brilliant film on its own. Your mind will thank you Video of Inception - Trailer Inception Speaking of head trips, no one is likely to forget the sight of an entire city block in Paris bending toward the sky and folding in on itself the way it did in Christopher Nolan 's epic. So as you savor that experience after seeing Annihilation and if you haven't yet, please try to get to a theater near you and see it on the big screen , consider checking out the list below of 18 other sci-fi movies that are guaranteed to stretch your brain cells to the breaking point. Video of N6ywMnbef6Y Inception is a collection of one amazing image after another -- all of them warping reality in the strange way that only dreams can. Video of Donnie Darko trailer Donnie Darko Another cult classic that has seemingly been dissected and analyzed for years, Donnie Darko boils down in the end to a relatively simple concept: Just about all of them are essential viewing anyway, so there's no reason to wait. Its pace may be too stately for some modern audiences, but delivers one spectacular moment after another, from the opening "Dawn of Man" segment all the way to the classic "stargate" sequence, surely the mother of all mind-bending sci-fi scenes. British director Ken Russell The Lair of the White Worm , known for his visual and cinematic excess, pulls out all the stops here in an often bonkers but unrelenting stew of science, mysticism, religious imagery, sex and hallucinatory effects that will stun your senses. We've watched Beyond the Black Rainbow twice and still aren't quite sure what it all means, but it is a striking, often strangely beautiful head trip all the same. THX is about as far away from Star Wars as a movie can get: The science is less important that the characters' quests to find the answer, with religion, history, mysticism and philosophy all thrown into the mix. Number theory, Jewish mysticism and world finance are all part of the mix of ideas that Aronofsky hurtles at the viewer during the film's 84 minutes, creating a dizzying, surreal experience that will leave your head spinning. Sean Gullette plays Max, a socially inept, paranoid math genius who accidentally stumbles upon a digit number that may be the key to the universe, a way to predict the stock market, the name of God — or all three and more. Video of Timecrimes Trailer HD Timecrimes Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo Colossal made his feature-length writing and directing debut with this twisty tale of time travel that begins with a woman taking off her clothes in the forest and ends with multiple versions of a man named Hector running around trying to stop himself from taking actions that he's already too late to prevent or something like that. Videodrome may be firmly set in a world that existed before cable, streaming, the Internet and social media, but its themes — the absorption of self into media, the blurring of lines between reality and fiction and the cult-like effects of personality-driven content — are arguably even more relevant now.
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