It Follows Meaning

Updated
It Follows Meaning

Dozens of directors have explored It Follows Meaning. We assembled 25 of our favorites.

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier
Rated R

Fight Club is a 1999 American film directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. It follows an unnamed narrator (Norton) who is unfulfilled by his white-collar job. He forms a "fight club" with soap maker Tyler Durden (Pitt) and they are joined by men who also want to fight recreationally. The narrator becomes embroiled in a relationship with Durden and a dissolute woman, Marla Singer. The narrator also discovers that Tyler is orchestrating an underground movement called "Project Mayhem," with the goal of overthrowing modern civilization. The narrator must choose between his new life of freedom or his old life of conformity. The film is a dark, violent exploration of identity and masculinity, and the consequences of toxic masculinity.

Inception (2010)

Inception
★★★★
★★★★
3.5 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe
Rated PG-13

Inception is a science-fiction thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb, a professional thief who has the ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets. When offered a chance to have his criminal history erased, he must pull off the impossible – inception, a task that must be done with the help of a team of specialists. Their plan is to use a shared dream state to implant an idea into the mind of a CEO. As they struggle to keep their grip on reality and face the consequences of their dangerous mission, they must confront their innermost fears and fight for their survival.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
Rated PG-13

Interstellar tells the story of a near future Earth that has been devastated by drought and famine, leaving only a few survivors. Former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is forced to leave his family behind to help lead an expedition beyond our solar system in search of a new home for humanity. The crew of the spacecraft Endurance must travel through a wormhole and across the galaxy, facing a mysterious force that threatens their safety as they attempt to find a new home. Along the way, they discover secrets about the nature of time and the universe, while fighting to save the future of humanity.

The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine
Rated PG-13

The Prestige is a 2006 psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan. It follows two rival magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), who become obsessed with creating the perfect illusion. In their quest to outdo each other, they use science and technology to create increasingly complex and dangerous stunts. As their rivalry escalates, they become increasingly desperate and reckless, leading to fatal consequences. The film is ultimately an exploration of obsession and its consequences.

Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
Rated PG

Rear Window is a classic 1954 Hitchcock thriller starring James Stewart as a wheelchair-bound photographer who believes he has witnessed a murder in a neighboring apartment. To uncover the truth, he enlists his girlfriend and his nurse to help him spy on the suspect, while staying one step ahead of the killer. Through a series of suspenseful scenes, the trio discovers that the suspect is indeed guilty of murder and must confront him to prevent further tragedy. In the end, their courage leads to justice.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest
Rated R

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film directed, produced, and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. The film stars Martin Sheen as U.S. Army Captain Benjamin Willard, who is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. During the mission, Willard soon discovers that Kurtz has gone insane and has established a primitive and dangerous cult in the jungle. Willard, who is increasingly overwhelmed by the horror of war, must confront his own darkness in order to complete his mission and restore order. The film is loosely based on the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Rated R

The Shining is a horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film follows the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a struggling writer and recovering alcoholic who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the isolated, haunted Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Along with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd), Jack slowly descends into madness as the hotel's malevolent spirits torment him and slowly drive him insane. Desperate to protect his family and escape the hotel's supernatural forces, Jack must confront the evil entities of the haunted hotel in a terrifying battle of wills.

Memento (2000)

Memento
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior
Rated R

Memento is a psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan that follows the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) who, as a result of a traumatic head injury, suffers from anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories. He is on a mission to discover the identity of his wife's murderer. In order to remember what he has already learned and keep track of his progress, Leonard takes polaroid pictures, writes notes, and tattoos himself with information. As he investigates the truth, he discovers that his memory loss may have been purposefully exploited by someone he trusts. The film is presented as two storylines, one in chronological order and one in reverse, that converge at the end. Through its intricate structure, Memento explores themes of identity, memory, and justice, leading to a thought-provoking conclusion.

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 seminal science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the short story The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke. 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 noted for its scientific accuracy, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery and themes of technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. A large variety of interpretations and analyses of the film have been offered in the decades since its release, and it remains one of the most influential science fiction films ever made.

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 drama directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman. It stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski, respectively, two lovers who have their memories erased of each other by a company called Lacuna Inc. As Joel attempts to erase his memories of Clementine, he discovers that he is actually in love with her and does everything he can to try and save the memories of their relationship. In the end, Joel and Clementine decide to keep their memories, choosing to be together and make things work in spite of their past. The film explores themes of memory, love, and the power of choice.

Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore
Rated PG

Vertigo is a 1958 psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart, Kim Novak and Barbara Bel Geddes. It follows John "Scottie" Ferguson (Stewart), a retired police detective suffering from vertigo, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the death of a woman he was hired to follow. The woman, Madeleine Elster (Novak), seems to be possessed by the spirit of her ancestor Carlotta Valdes, and is eventually driven to her death. Scottie is determined to save Madeleine and discovers that her husband, Gavin Elster, was behind the scheme. As Scottie unravels the mystery, he is forced to confront his own fears and vertigo, ultimately coming to terms with his inner demons.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Rated R

Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese in 2010, is a psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels. The film follows Teddy and his partner, Chuck Aule, as they investigate the disappearance of a patient from a mental institution located on Shutter Island. As Teddy and Chuck explore the mysterious island and search for the missing patient, they discover deeply disturbing secrets that challenge their sanity. Through a series of unexpected twists and turns, Teddy ultimately uncovers the truth of what happened on the island and the identity of the missing patient.

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
Rated R

Blade Runner is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. Set in a dystopian future Los Angeles, the film follows Deckard (Ford), a Blade Runner, a police officer tasked with hunting down and executing rogue, bioengineered replicants. During his investigation, Deckard becomes embroiled in a conflict between the replicants and their human creators, as well as a deeper existential crisis as to what it means to be human. As he searches for the replicants, Deckard discovers that he may in fact be one himself. The film is noted for its stunning visuals and thoughtful examination of themes such as identity, technology, and humanity.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky
Rated PG

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American romantic comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Danny Rubin and Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a cynical and arrogant TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. Initially, Phil makes use of his time loop to indulge in hedonism and gain personal pleasure, but he soon realizes that he must change his behavior and ethics in order to escape the loop. As he continues to repeat the same day, Phil gradually becomes less arrogant, more compassionate, and begins to appreciate life. Ultimately, Phil learns to be selfless and he is released from the time loop. The film was a critical and commercial success, and was included in several lists of the best films of the 1990s.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Richard Kelly, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne
Rated R

Donnie Darko is a psychological thriller about a troubled teenager living in suburban Virginia in 1988. Donnie is plagued by visions of a giant rabbit, which he eventually discovers is called Frank. Frank tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days and encourages him to commit destructive acts. Donnie begins to believe that Frank is a supernatural being and as the end of the world approaches, Donnie must decide whether or not to follow Frank's instructions and save the world. Along his journey, Donnie discovers secrets about his family, his town, and the power of the universe.

Mirror (1975)

Mirror
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev, Oleg Yankovskiy
Rated Not Rated

Mirror is a 1975 Russian drama film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a series of loosely connected memories, dream-like memories, and poems about the life of a poet, Alexei, who is looking back on his life. Alexei's memories touch on his childhood, his failed marriage, his relationship with his mother, and his relationship with his son, Ignat. Throughout the film, Alexei's memories intertwine with his present reality, creating a dream-like experience for the viewer. Through Alexei's memories, we are able to see the beauty and sorrow that can be found in the passing of time, and the regrets of a life not fully lived. The film is an exploration of life, death, and human experience and is considered one of Tarkovsky's masterpieces.

12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito
Rated R

12 Monkeys is a 1995 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt. The story takes place in a dystopian future in which a deadly virus has decimated the world's population. The survivors are forced to live underground, and a group of scientists send a convict, James Cole (Willis), back in time to gather information about the virus in the hopes of finding a cure. Cole is sent back to the year 1996, and while there, he meets scientist Dr. Kathryn Railly (Stowe) and mental patient Jeffrey Goines (Pitt). Together they must unravel the secret of the virus and save the future. Along the way, they uncover a conspiracy involving the Army of the 12 Monkeys, an underground organization with a mysterious agenda.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd: The Wall
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alan Parker, starring Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson, Eleanor David
Rated R

Pink Floyd: The Wall is a musical fantasy film directed by Alan Parker and starring Bob Geldof. Based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album of the same name, the film follows Pink, a rock star who, after experiencing a mental breakdown, builds a metaphorical wall between himself and the outside world. Through surrealistic designs and fantasy sequences, the film illustrates Pink's inner struggles with abandonment, isolation, and the loss of loved ones. In the end, Pink is able to tear down the wall and find peace.

Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder
Rated R

Black Swan is an intense psychological thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky about the struggles of a young ballet dancer, Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who is pushed to the brink of her sanity and physical limits as she strives for perfection in her art. Nina is a perfectionist and introverted dancer in a New York City ballet company whose artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace the long-standing prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) with a new one. When Thomas decides Nina is the right choice, she begins a grueling journey towards becoming the perfect Black Swan. Facing aggressive competition from fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis), a seductive but dangerous rival, Nina is forced to explore the depths of her own psyche and confront her deepest fears in order to win the coveted role. Throughout her transformation, Nina must find the strength to survive the darkly seductive world of the ballet.

Solaris (1972)

Solaris
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Jüri Järvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy
Rated PG

Solaris is a 1972 science fiction film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and based on the novel of the same name by Stanisław Lem. The film follows the story of a psychologist, Kris Kelvin, who is sent to a space station orbiting the mysterious planet Solaris to investigate the strange behavior of the crew. Once aboard, he discovers a mysterious force at work on the station, one capable of creating living manifestations of the crew's innermost thoughts and desires. As Kelvin strives to understand the planet and its power, he is forced to confront his own feelings and unravel the secrets that haunt the space station. The film is a thoughtful, philosophical exploration of the human condition, as well as a rumination on mortality and the unknown.

Akira (1988)

Akira
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Katsuhiro Ôtomo, starring Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda
Rated R

Akira is an anime sci-fi action film set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. The film follows the story of two childhood friends, Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, who become embroiled in a dangerous government experiment involving a mysterious young boy, Akira. The experiment leads to Tetsuo gaining immense psychic powers, which he struggles to control. He goes on a destructive rampage as he attempts to find and rescue Akira while also eluding the government forces that are trying to capture him. Along the way, Kaneda and a group of anti-government revolutionaries and biker gangs fight to save Tetsuo and the fate of Neo-Tokyo hangs in the balance.

8½ (1963)

8½
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Federico Fellini, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo
Rated Not Rated

8½ is a 1963 Italian fantasy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini. It follows the story of Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director, as he struggles to overcome depression and artistic block while trying to make his latest film. Guido is tormented by memories of his past and dreams of his future, as he is often sidelined by the demands of producers, his unsupportive wife, and the obligations of his fame. Throughout the film, Guido reflects on his life and attempts to reconcile his past with the present. Through this journey of self-reflection, Guido eventually finds his way back to his creative passion and is able to complete his film. 8½ is widely considered one of Fellini's best works, and has been praised for its dreamlike atmosphere and innovative narrative techniques.

Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect Blue
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Satoshi Kon, starring Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura
Rated R

Perfect Blue is a psychological thriller directed by Satoshi Kon. The film follows Mima Kirigoe, a former pop singer who has retired from the music industry to pursue an acting career. Mima soon finds herself caught in a web of paranoia and fear as she is unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. After becoming the victim of a twisted stalker, she begins to question her own sanity as she is engulfed in a spiral of violence, passion and obsession. Throughout the film, Mima's struggle with her identity, struggle for control of her own life, and her ultimate descent into madness are explored. At the film's conclusion, Mima confronts her inner demons and reclaims the power over her own life.

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 thriller from filmmaker David Lynch. The film follows the story of an aspiring actress, Betty Elms, and her friend Rita, who have both moved to Los Angeles. As the story progresses, the plot gets increasingly complicated and surreal. The audience is taken on a journey of mystery and suspense as Betty and Rita uncover the secrets of a mysterious woman known only as Diane Selwyn. Along the way, they discover the dark side of Hollywood and the twisted lives of the people who inhabit it. As their investigation deepens, they soon become entangled in a web of lies, murder, and betrayal. In the end, the audience is left with a hauntingly ambiguous and dream-like conclusion that will leave them both intrigued and perplexed.

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 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich. The story follows a puppeteer who discovers a portal that leads into the mind of actor John Malkovich. The film follows Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), a puppeteer struggling to make ends meet. Desperate for money, he takes a job filing papers in a mysterious office building. Upon discovering a hidden door that leads into the mind of actor John Malkovich (John Malkovich), Craig decides to take advantage of the situation and starts charging people to take a trip into John Malkovich's head, 15 minutes at a time. During his journey, Craig meets the eccentric Maxine (Cameron Diaz), a co-worker at the office, and they begin a passionate affair. Meanwhile, Craig's wife, Lotte (Catherine Keener), discovers the portal and starts using it to become John Malkovich. As their lives start to unravel, Craig and Lotte must confront the consequences of their actions and the peculiar nature of the portal. Through a series of bizarre and surreal events, the trio eventually learns

 



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