In my opinion, the best movies are the ones you’re still thinking about days, weeks, or even months later. The ones that ask Big Questions about life, make you reconsider everything you thought you knew, or rattle you to your very core as you ask yourself, “What would I do in that situation?” Here are 5 movies that had that effect on me:


The Killing of a Sacred Deer – This is one messed-up movie. As director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) slowly reveals the true nature of the connection between successful heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a mysterious boy (Barry Keoghan), and the freaky things that begin happening to Steven’s family members (including Nicole Kidman, who plays Steven’s wife), your sense of dread will reach a nearly unbearable peak. Don’t plan on getting much sleep afterward!

Shutter Island – Martin Scorsese adapts Dennis Lehane’s best-selling 2003 novel of the same name into a neo-noir thriller that will definitely make you go “Hmm.” Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a U.S Marshal sent to investigate a psychiatric facility on the mysterious Shutter Island alongside his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo). Nothing is as it seems, and by the end you will likely wonder “What. Just. Happened?”

The Matrix – I hate to break it to you guys, but “there is no spoon.” In a dystopian future, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) introduce the clueless Neo (Keanu Reeves) to the hard truth that he — and the rest of humanity — aren’t really here. Instead we’re all in a computer-simulated reality that poses as real life. After watching this movie you’ll likely be on the lookout for “glitches” in the program.

The Cabin in the Woods – Director Joss Whedon serves up a clever tale about college students who must survive not only a deadly weekend at a deserted cabin, but also every horror-movie cliché known to man. The plot gets turned on its head more than once, and you’ll be talking about the final scene long after the credits roll.

The Butterfly Effect – Ashton Kutcher stars in this 2004 psychological thriller that explores what would happen if you were to go back in time and change something you did. The Back to the Future franchise was built around this same conundrum, but this movie heightens the tension by taking out the funny things that might transpire from such time-traveling hijinks and instead focuses more on everything that could go wrong. It plays with age-old theories about fate and destiny, and will stay with you for a long, long time.


What other movies have you seen that totally messed with your head?