Best Surrealist Movies

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Best Surrealist Movies

For Best Surrealist Movies, there are many directors exploring this feeling. Here are 20 of the best ones.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
Rated R

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 darkly satirical science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is based on Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel of the same name. The film follows the story of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent who leads a small gang of thugs in a night of ultra-violence. After being arrested and convicted of murder and rape, Alex is chosen as the subject of an experimental program in which he is subjected to intense psychological conditioning that is meant to take away his violent tendencies. However, the conditioning backfires and Alex is ultimately driven to a violent breakdown. The film explores the ethical implications of free will and government-controlled behavior modification.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter
Rated G

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. The film is a contemplation on the nature of humanity, and explores the possibilities of a future filled with advanced technology. It is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of spaceflight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
Rated R

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 psychological drama directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film follows four characters – Harry, Marion, Tyrone and Sara – whose lives become increasingly intertwined as they all succumb to their addictions. Harry and Marion, a couple living in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, become hooked on heroin while Tyrone, Harry's best friend, becomes enmeshed in a world of drug dealing. Meanwhile, Sara, Harry's mother, starts taking diet pills to lose weight and becomes obsessed with appearing on a game show. Each of the characters' lives unravel as their addictions consume them and they are left in a desperate struggle to break free. The film was critically acclaimed and was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for Ellen Burstyn’s performance as Sara.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Michel Gondry, starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne
Rated R

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 romantic science fiction comedy-drama film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. The film follows an estranged couple, Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski, who have erased each other from their memories. As their memories are erased, the two recall details of their relationship and start to remember why they fell for each other in the first place. The film explores the nature of memory and relationships and how they can be both beautiful and painful. In the end, Joel and Clementine choose to remember each other and start a new journey together.

Amélie (2001)

Amélie
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta
Rated R

Amélie is a whimsical romantic comedy set in Montmartre, Paris. Amélie (Audrey Tautou) is a shy and imaginative young woman who, after a childhood spent living in seclusion, goes on a mission to help the people around her. She discovers love and friendship, and ultimately learns to find joy in her own life. Along the way, she helps an artist find his true love, reunites a neglected garden gnome with its rightful owner, and brings joy and beauty to the world around her. Amélie's journey leads her to her own happy ending.

The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Seventh Seal
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ingmar Bergman, starring Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe
Rated Not Rated

The Seventh Seal is a classic 1957 Ingmar Bergman film that follows a knight named Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) who, after returning from the Crusades, encounters Death (Bengt Ekerot). Block challenges Death to a game of chess, believing that if he wins, he will be granted a reprieve from his fate. In the meantime, he and his squire, Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand), encounter a variety of people, all of whom are struggling to find meaning in their lives amidst the Black Death that is ravaging the land. Through these encounters, Block reflects on the meaning of life, faith, and death, ultimately coming to terms with his own mortality.

Persona (1966)

Persona
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ingmar Bergman, starring Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand
Rated Not Rated

Persona is an exploration of identity and human connection, directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film tells the story of Alma, a nurse who is tasked with caring for the famous actress Elisabet Vogler after Elisabet stops speaking. As Alma and Elisabet become increasingly intertwined, Alma starts to unravel as Elisabet’s identity begins to take over her own. Persona explores themes of isolation, identity, and the power of art and language, as Alma and Elisabet struggle to come to terms with the merging of their personalities. While the film's story and ending remain ambiguous, Persona is widely considered to be a profound exploration of the human condition.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Mulholland Drive
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From David Lynch, starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Jeanne Bates
Rated R

Mulholland Drive is a psychological neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch. It stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, and Ann Miller. The film follows an amnesiac woman as she attempts to reconstruct her past while searching for clues in the dream-like city of Los Angeles. Along the way, she encounters strange and mysterious characters, including a femme fatale, a Hollywood director, a romantic rival, and a cowboy. As her journey unfolds, the audience is left to decipher the truth behind her identity, her relationships, and the events that have unfolded before her. With its surreal dream-like sequences and dark themes, Mulholland Drive is widely considered to be one of Lynch’s most complex and unsettling works.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Luis Buñuel, starring Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier
Rated PG

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a surrealistic film directed by Luis Buñuel and starring Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, and Bulle Ogier. It follows a group of six upper-class friends as they attempt to have a dinner party, but their plans are continually thwarted by various events. Through these seemingly random events, Buñuel is able to satirically critique the emptiness of the upper-class lifestyle. The movie follows a non-linear structure, as the characters travel back and forth between dream and reality, never quite reaching their goal. Despite its surrealistic elements, the film maintains a sense of realism, bringing a sense of absurdity to the mundane life of the bourgeoisie.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Being John Malkovich
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Spike Jonze, starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich
Rated R

"Being John Malkovich" is a 1999 surreal comedy-drama film directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich, with brief cameos by Charlie Sheen and Orson Bean. The story follows Craig Schwartz, a struggling puppeteer who finds a portal into the mind of actor John Malkovich. After finding the portal, Craig is able to take control of Malkovich's body and experience life as him. Craig's girlfriend Lotte joins him in this strange experience, while his co-worker Maxine takes advantage of the situation to get closer to Malkovich. The film captures the bizarrely funny and darkly thrilling experience of "being" John Malkovich, exploring themes of identity, control, and the mysterious power of the mind. The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alejandro G. Iñárritu, starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough
Rated R

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a 2014 black comedy-drama film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. It tells the story of a once-famous actor, Riggan Thomson, who is trying to make a comeback on Broadway by writing and starring in a play he adapts from a short story by Raymond Carver. While fighting to make his show a success, Riggan is also battling with self-doubt, anxiety, and the voice of his alter-ego, Birdman, which constantly encourages him to embrace his former superhero persona. With the help of his daughter, Riggan is able to confront his inner demons, which in turn leads to a newfound sense of purpose. The film was a critical success, receiving numerous awards, including four Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.

Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From David Lynch, starring Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Rated R

Blue Velvet is a psychological thriller directed by David Lynch about the small town of Lumberton and its dark underbelly. When Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home to Lumberton after his father suffers a stroke, he discovers a severed human ear in an empty lot. His investigation into the mystery leads him to an intriguing nightclub singer named Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini), and a menacing drug kingpin, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). As Jeffrey's search for the truth unravels, he uncovers a twisted web of sex and violence. The film is an exploration of the tensions between the idyllic nature of small town life and the darkness lurking beneath the surface.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Eyes Wide Shut
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack
Rated R

Eyes Wide Shut is a psychological thriller directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1999, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a married couple thrown into a nightmarish odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after they are confronted with a situation that tests the boundaries of their relationship. Dr. Bill Harford and his wife, Alice, attend a party thrown by a wealthy friend and are confronted by a situation that challenges the boundaries of their own relationship and morality. After the party, Bill embarks on a surreal journey of sexual temptation, betrayal and murder, while Alice's own struggles lead her to confront her innermost desires and fears. As their lives become increasingly entwined with a mysterious group of powerful and evil individuals, Bill and Alice are forced to confront their true selves and the secrets that have been kept from them. In the end, their journey of discovery leads them to a startling realization about the power of secrets and the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of everyday life.

Spellbound (1945)

Spellbound
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll
Rated Approved

Spellbound is a classic 1945 Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller. In the movie, psychiatrist Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is put in charge of the mental health of the celebrated Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck), a man who recently took over the position of director at a psychiatric institute. As Constance falls in love with Edwardes, she begins to suspect that he is an impostor who suffers from a serious bout of amnesia. With the help of another colleague, she sets out to uncover the truth about Edwardes’ mysterious past and the shocking secret he is hiding. Spellbound is a taut psychological thriller featuring intense scenes, dream sequences, and a stunning performance by Ingrid Bergman that earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Pi (1998)

Pi
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart
Rated R

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Dario Argento, starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé
Rated R

Eraserhead (1977)

Eraserhead
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From David Lynch, starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates
Rated Not Rated

The Fountain (2006)

The Fountain
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn
Rated PG-13

Enemy (2013)

Enemy
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Denis Villeneuve, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
Rated R

Mother! (2017)

Mother!
★★★★
★★★★
2.6 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer
Rated R

 



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