Top Five Movies That Question Reality

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

We can suspend disbelief only so far, and this week, Bruce returns with a Top Five Express episode about movies that make us question reality.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Peter Kuebeck on

    Definitely interesting choices! Here are my top 5:

    1. The AniMatrix: While the original Matrix was groundbreaking, and the final two film in the trilogy were hit-or-miss, the AniMatrix, which was a direct-to-DVD accumulation of animated shorts set in the Matrix universe, and which expanded and explained its context and history, deepened the “down-the-rabbit-hole” feel of the films and asked some difficult questions about the nature of culture and the mind.

    2. Inception: This dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream thriller juggles several layers of consciousness at once for a mind-bending, exciting trip.

    3. Memento: Guy Pierce is a man with short-term memory loss seeking out who killed his wife. The film is told in reverse, and features great performances by Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Ann Moss. Is what Pierce believes to be true correct? Who is telling hi the truth? And what is the true value of memory? This film is mind-bending, and the implications of the twist-ending will truly leave you reeling.

    4. Mulholland Drive: No mind-bending movie list would be complete without a David Lynch film, and this is my favorite. An amnesiac woman who survives an assassination attempt falls in which another helpful young woman and together they try to get to the bottom of who tried to have her killed. But the film detours wildly, including strange encounters with a beast in a parking lot, and a tables-turning sequence where our heroines become completely different characters. This film left me wondering for days afterward if there was some inexorable, deeper hidden meaning to the proceedings, or if I’d completely been had by a master storyteller.

    5. The Sting: The best con-man movie ever, which gave rise to an entire genre. In the 1930s, Robert Redford is a young grifter who enlists the best con man in America, played by Paul Newman, to get satisfying revenge on the ultra-powerful crime boss who had Redford’s last partner killed. Redford learns the business even as a series of deadly machinations swirl around him. This movie has perhaps the best twist ending of them all, and requires multiple viewings to put all of the thread of the plot together. A rich and satisfying film.

  2. The Matrix – Launched mainly spoiler free (maybe one of the last movies to accomplish that feat) so the twist was pretty impressive. The only good thing to come out of the sequels was the discussion over whether they ever got out of the matrix in the first place.

    John Dies at the End – Not as good as the comic but still really trippy. The effects of Soy and seeing the calls play out of order was extremely weird. The switch with Giamati’s character was so cool.

    Rubber – The very description of this movie makes one question reality; according to IMDB: “A homicidal car tire, discovering it has destructive psionic power, sets its sights on a desert town once a mysterious woman becomes its obsession.” All of this is being observed by spectators in the surrounding hills describing it like it’s a show, and several of the characters in the town seem to be unsure whether they are real or not.

    In the Mouth of Madness – Fairly standard horror story about a mad author who writes a book that unmakes reality for those who read it. Closest thing to a real Lovecraft story we’ve gotten from a major studio till Crimson Peak comes out.

    American Psycho – I was going to say Fight Club, but since the podcast already hit that I’ll vote in Patrick Bateman. Again, a great twist. A study in narcissism that actually eats its own tail the main character is so narcissistic. That ecerything we’ve been told is a lie the main character has been telling himself.

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