It is always great to watch a film or two where all you want is to be blown away by crazy, trippy, and hallucinatory visuals that expand your mind into other dimensions. These films possess something unique that will take you on an incredibly profound and ecstatic journey. They can be strange, weird, set in surrealistic worlds, or distort our reality. But, at the same time, they can also be clean, pure, and powerful in their depths. Either way, these flicks will trip your brains out and never be forgotten.
25. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
This satirical thriller film directed by Dan Gilroy plunges deep into Miami’s elite art scene. Critic Morf Vandewalt and his associate Josephina stumble upon the enigmatic works of Vetril Dease. As these artworks captivate the industry, mysterious events surround those who seek to capitalize on Dease’s pieces. The art world’s elites who profited from Dease’s work soon realize that greed comes at a supernatural and deadly cost. With its surreal imagery and harrowing narrative, ‘Velvet Buzzsaw‘ weaves a tale where the lines between art and vengeance blur, making it a compelling addition to any list of trippy movies. You can watch the movie here.
24. The Wandering Earth (2019)
Directed by Frant Gwo, ‘The Wandering Earth’ is a Chinese science fiction film that presents an audacious vision of Earth’s future. Facing an impending apocalyptic scenario, the nations of Earth unite to implement a grandiose plan: use massive engines to shift Earth away from an expanding sun. As humanity retreats underground to escape the freezing surface, Liu Qi embarks on a dangerous mission to reactivate dormant thrusters. Simultaneously, in the vastness of space, astronaut Liu Peiqiang confronts a malfunctioning AI on an international space station. The intertwined fates of father and son play out against a backdrop of global unity and survival as Earth begins its treacherous voyage through the cosmos. You may watch the film here.
23. Time Trap (2017)
This action-adventure sci-fi film, directed by the duo of Mark Dennis and Ben Foster, features Andrew Wilson and Cassidy Giffordi in prominent roles. It delves into a mind-bending journey through a mysterious cave system, where time moves differently than on the surface. When archaeology professor Hopper disappears in search of lost hippies from decades past, a group of students, Taylor, Jackie, and others, venture to find him. Discovering anomalies in time, they confront cavemen, spacemen, and harrowing challenges while trying to decipher the cave’s secrets. The film’s unique narrative and exploration of time distortion make it a standout entry in this list. Feel free to check out the film here.
22. Stowaway (2021)
Starring Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, and Daniel Dae Kim, this sci-fi thriller film directed by Joe Penna launches us into the profound vastness of space on a two-year journey to Mars. When launch support engineer Michael Adams is accidentally trapped aboard, the crew grapples with life-threatening oxygen depletion. With intense decisions to make and sacrifices on the horizon, the team confronts dilemmas that question the very nature of humanity and survival. Combining the vast expanse of space with gripping human drama, Stowaway effortlessly secures its spot on this esteemed list. You can check out the movie here.
21. The Coldest Game (2019)
‘The Coldest Game‘ is a Polish spy-thriller film directed by Łukasz Kośmicki. Amidst the pulsating background of the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, a hazy grandmaster chess match ensues between an American, Joshua Mansky, and his Soviet counterpart. When the original American contender mysteriously dies from supposed Soviet poisoning, Mansky, a former chess champion and mathematic genius, is thrust into the heart of this geopolitical conflict. His turbulent past, marked by alcoholism, becomes both a crutch and a gift. But the game he’s playing is far more intricate than chess, entangled with espionage, trust, and betrayal. The chessboard’s squares hide secrets far deeper than moves and countermoves. This film impeccably captures the suspense of the Cold War era, blending political tensions with personal drama. You can watch ‘The Coldest Game’ here.
20. Synchronic (2019)
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, ‘Synchronic’ is a mind-bending sci-fi thriller that tells the story of Steve Denube (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis Dannelly (Jamie Dornan), two paramedic partners in New Orleans, Louisiana, who learn about a series of incidents where people died in strange circumstances, or the stories narrated to them doesn’t particularly make sense. Steve discovers that the events are connected to the titular drug, which seems to take the user back to various points in the past, depending on the location where the drug is used. Steve is diagnosed with cancer, and Dennis’ daughter, Brianna, goes missing. As Steve begins using Synchronic, he realizes that Brianna’s sudden disappearance and the spread of Synchronic in the market might be connected. Meanwhile, Dennis’ marriage begins to suffer after his daughter goes missing. You may watch the movie here.
19. In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)
Written by Gregory Weidman and Geoff Tock, ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ is a science fiction thriller film that stars Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, and Michael C. Hall. The movie revolves around a Philadelphia detective named Thomas Lockhart, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he begins the investigation into the seemingly unrelated deaths of several people due to hemorrhage. Even though he meets the culprit very soon, the drama that follows makes the murder mystery even more complicated as the Philadelphia detective gets obsessed with the time-traveling series killer in the process. You may watch ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ here.
18. ARQ (2016)
Directed by Tony Elliott, the science-fiction thriller film introduces viewers to a world conflicted by an energy crisis. With corporations fighting against corporations for the remaining energy supplies, an engineer named Renton, who has developed a technology that could potentially solve the current crisis, is targeted. His life gets further complicated as he gets stuck in a time loop soon afterward and relives the same day over and over again with his friends. You can watch the movie here.
17. Awake (2021)
The world is taken over by an existential crisis when a mysterious catastrophe not only takes away humanity’s sleep but also causes a malfunction of electronics all over the planet. With little to no time on their hands, the scientists race against time to find a cure, but they are met with unexpected challenges. However, when a soldier finds out that her daughter may hold the key to solving humanity’s existential crisis, she realizes that she has a tough call to make. Will the former U.S. Army Medic choose his daughter over mass extinction? Or will she put her child on the line for the greater good? To find the answers, feel free to check out the movie here.
16. iBOY (2017)
Tom Harvey is a young adult who struggles to get by until he is encouraged by one of his friends to pursue his crush, Lucy. When the two decide to study together, Tom is excited about the surprises that the future has in store for him. Unfortunately, things take a dark turn when he finds Lucy sexually assaulted and her brother unconscious when he visits her home. As he tries to inform the law enforcement agencies, Tom is shot in the head by the assailants. He later wakes up in a hospital where, after discharge, he learns that he has now gained the strange power to visualize digital signals and hear phone transmissions. Now, with his newfound abilities at his disposal, Tom decides to hunt each of the assailants down one after another. To know what happens next, you can check out the film here.
15. Bardo (2022)
Mexican auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu’s most personal film to date, ‘Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths’ tells the story of Silverio Gama (Daniel Giménez Cacho), an accomplished Mexican journalist turned documentary filmmaker and a stand-in for Iñárritu. Having spent the last 15 years in Los Angeles, Silverio returns to his native country to celebrate the release of his most recent and self-reflecting project just before he is to become the first Latin American to receive a prestigious award for his work in America.
The film’s narrative is depicted through Silverio’s perspective, which is extremely surrealistic and not always rooted in reality. ‘Bardo’ is not necessarily an autobiography but a fictionalized version of certain truths. The surrealistic and fictionalized aspects of the story have allowed Iñárritu to explore themes such as identity, immigration, death, memories, and dreams in a very independent and free-flowing manner. You may watch the film here.
12. Bird Box (2018)
The post-apocalyptic horror-thriller film revolves around a mysterious entity that has decimated human civilization by taking the form of people’s worst fears. Now, those who have survived must live a life blindfolded at all times and search for a safe sanctuary. But with the ever-present danger of the entity that chases them, is survival even possible? The Susanne Bier directorial is based on Josh Malerman’s novel of the same name and is a captivating film that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. You can watch ‘Bird Box’ here.
13. I Am Mother (2019)
The mother-daughter relationship is an important one. But ‘I Am Mother’ takes it to a completely different level. Clara Rugaard stars as a girl named Daughter, who lives with a robot that aids in the repopulation of Earth after an extinction event. It is referred to as Mother. When Daughter gets curious one day and leaves the bunker, she comes across Woman (played by Hilary Swank), who is not fond of androids, to say the least. What unfolds is a certain tension between Mother and Daughter, and the film will hold your attention for its taut psychological thrills. You may watch ‘I Am Mother’ here.
12. Circle (2015)
What would you do if, along with 50 people, you woke up in a dark room and saw people dying every few minutes? In fact, what would you do when you realize that the whole group calls the shots and has to decide who lives and who doesn’t? Scary, right? Well, this is exactly what happens in ‘Circle.’ The reason this premise makes for one mind-boggling movie is that it brings the human psyche to the forefront in a very raw and impactful manner. Plus, you will be more invested because you could see yourself as a part of this ill-fated group. You can watch the movie here.
11. The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
The third installment in the ‘Cloverfield’ franchise takes on an energy crisis on Earth in 2028. A group of scientists is at the Cloverfield space station, preparing to test a particle accelerator that could power the planet with infinite energy. However, when Earth seemingly vanishes, they must work together to escape this situation. This film looks at the concepts of a parallel universe and multiverse and also correlates the story to its predecessors in the franchise. Although it is seen as the weakest film in the trilogy (as third productions usually are), we believe that it packs a punch and is worth your time. You may watch it here.
10. IO (2019)
Jonathan Helpert has directed ‘IO,’ another science fiction film that looks at life after an apocalyptic event, which (let’s be honest) has started feeling like a possibility in recent times. Essentially, the air on Earth has become toxic, and most humans have fled to Io, Jupiter’s moon. But Sam Walden, played by Margaret Qualley, has not given up hope yet. When she sends out a radio transmission to find other people around her, a man named Micah arrives.
We then see the characters as they make their decisions to either stay on Earth or not. At its core, ‘IO’ is a movie that looks at how people choose to define what home means to them. But it is also a thought-provoking piece. It may not make you reevaluate your priorities or change your life completely, but it is a worthy contender on this list. Feel free to check it out here.
9. The Midnight Sky (2020)
Directed by George Clooney, ‘The Midnight Sky’ is a science fiction film based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s debut novel. The movie revolves around Augustine Lofthouse, a reclusive academic who has survived a global catastrophe and is now facing its aftermath. When he learns that a clueless crew of astronauts is returning to the planet, the Artic-dwelling scientist has to take the responsibility to stop them from returning to their homes that are no longer safe. You can check out the film here.
Read More: Best 90s Movies on Netflix
8. The Wonder (2022)
Set in post-famine Ireland, ‘The Wonder‘ is a psychological drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio. An English nurse, Elizabeth Lib Wright, is sent to observe a young fasting girl, Anna O’Donnell, who claims to survive without food due to divine intervention. As the layers peel back, Wright discovers harrowing truths about the community and the enigmatic Anna, leading to desperate actions. The trauma of the Great Famine casts a haunting shadow over the tale, adding depth to the complex relationships between characters. As Wright delves into the mystery of Anna’s fast, the film confronts beliefs, trauma, and redemption. An engrossing narrative set against the stark backdrop of rural Ireland, the movie masterfully intertwines historical events with human emotions. You can watch ‘The Wonder’ here.
7. Oxygen (2021)
Starring Mélanie Laurent Mathieu Amalric, and Malik Zidi, ‘Oxygen’ is a science-fiction drama movie. The Alexandre Aja directorial revolves around Liz Hansen, a clueless woman who wakes up in an air-sealed cryogenic unit whose oxygen content is depleting rapidly. With no memories of her arrival there, Hanse struggles to make sense of her present situation. Realizing that the oxygen in the unit will soon be used up, she, with the pod’s state-of-the-art A.I., tries to figure out a way out of her claustrophobic nightmare. But will she be able to do it in time? To find out, you may watch it here.
6. Cargo (2018)
Featuring stand-out performances by Martin Freeman, Simone Landers, and Anthony Hayes, ‘Cargo’ is a post-apocalyptic horror drama film that recounts a heartwarming story of survival and fatherhood. After a pandemic pushes humanity into survival mode, an unfortunate father who is infected desperately looks for a refuge for his young child. Sadly, as time passes, he is increasingly becoming aware of his changing nature, which can put the life of his kid at risk. Will the conflicted father find a way out of his current dilemma? To know, you may watch ‘Cargo’ here.
5. Mute (2018)
The movie focuses on the escapades of Leo, a mute bartender who is looking for his girlfriend, who has mysteriously disappeared. His search takes him deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of a dystopian Berlin in the future. The cinematography and the noir undertones of the film make it stand out. Moreover, the plot delves deep into the themes of parenthood, loneliness, isolation, and love. ‘Mute’ also features an ensemble cast of Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Robert Sheehan, Noel Clarke, Florence Kasumba, and lastly, Dominic Monaghan. If you have liked Duncan Jones’ ‘Moon,’ then you’d be happy to learn that ‘Mute’ is its sequel. You can watch the movie here.
4. The Discovery (2017)
If you’re looking for romance in the science fiction genre, then ‘The Discovery’ will not disappoint. When Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) declares that the afterlife does exist, the suicide rates shoot up as people want a reset. His son, Will (played by Jason Segel), holds him accountable for this. Rooney Mara plays Isla, a woman whom Will has recently met on a ferry. The two go to Dr. Harbor’s compound, where they find out more about his experiments while falling for each other. This movie deals with the themes of death, second chances, and love, and it will be on your mind even after it ends. Feel free to check it out here.
3. Mirage (2018)
It seems to be the case that alternate universes are pretty dangerous to travel to. If you manage to create a new reality or make your way to one where you don’t belong, you can be stuck in limbo from where there is no getting out. This is the theme of Oriol Paulo’s ‘Mirage’. The story begins with a young boy called Nico. He witnesses a murder in a neighbor’s house and goes there to see what has gone down. When the perpetrator notices his presence, Nico runs outside. However, he gets hit by a car and dies. This was also the time when an electrical storm was raging for 72 hours straight.
Exactly 25 years after this incident, a woman called Vera moves into Nico’s house and learns about the horrible fate suffered by the boy. She discovers that there is an old television where a space-time glitch can be created. So, she uses it to go 25 years behind to warn Nico about his tragic fate. But what repercussions will time travel have on Vera? This is the question that the film tries to answer. While it is wonderfully made, the plot is not anything quite new. Yet somehow, ‘Mirage’ is interesting enough to keep one hooked till the very end. You may watch the film here.
Read More: Best British Movies on Netflix
2. The Platform (2019)
If there is a movie that will trip you out solely based on its relevance in society today, it is ‘The Platform.’ Goreng is a man stuck in a vertical prison structure, which is called “the pit.” The residents are fed through a system where ample food is placed on a platform that gradually descends to everyone. As expected, the people on the higher floors feast, and by the time it reaches the lower levels, the residents are surviving on scraps.
Such an arrangement is bound to give birth to injustices and, with it, dissatisfaction. This film is a compelling case against unabashed capitalism and consumerism, and what makes it so mind-boggling is that it can potentially be extrapolated to our society for many more decades if things don’t change. You can watch ‘The Platform’ here.
Read More: Best Korean Movies on Netflix
1. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror,’ which is a Channel 4 original series, is one of the best and most innovative television shows of all time. Charlie Brooker and his team have always surprised us with new and thought-provoking content, which, while keeping the philosophy of the show in mind, has covered an array of topics. The showrunners truly outdid themselves when they went on to create the first feature film based on the series called ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.’
The story is based on the life of a video game developer who wants to build an interactive video game where the player can decide how to proceed. Now, the best part is that this movie has an interactive feature as well. So, it becomes a two-way experience for both the audience and the main character himself. ‘Bandersnatch‘ is not only a milestone in terms of new-age filmmaking, but it also has the potential to counter piracy and bring a new aesthetic into the industry. As the tragedies of the main character collide with yours, and the line between fiction and reality blur, you shall realize this is a zone you have never reached before. You may watch ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ here.
Read More: Best Movies Like Porn on Netflix