10 Movies That Could Change Your Understanding Of Life

Every movie has the ability to affect its viewer differently. Some films evoke wonder and excitement, while others provoke fear or sorrow, but all films contain a prevailing message or theme.

Some films can summon such profound questions that they change the way you perceive life as you once knew it. The following list contains 10 unique movies which do just that.

10) Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly’s cult-classic Donnie Darko stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled, sleep-walking teen who insists on challenging authority and who is often visited by Frank, a monstrous rabbit that urges Donnie to perform dangerous and destructive pranks.

A haunting work of loneliness, alienation, and the universal desire for companionship and meaning wrapped in the guise of understated ‘80s nostalgia and head-spinning science fiction mythology, Donnie Darko is a film you shouldn’t miss.

What makes Donnie Darko especially fascinating is its take on multiple realities and universes. The film explores concepts of imploding universes, black holes, and alternate timelines, leaving most scratching their heads and itching for an immediate second viewing. Richard Kelly stated that the film has varying interpretations, which is why it remains the object of analysis and debate to this day.

9) The Matrix

A smartly crafted combination of stimulating action and mind-bending philosophy, The Matrix is a film that casts doubt on our perception of reality. The film’s premise finds Neo (Keanu Reeves), an office-worker by day, computer hacker by night, suddenly stripped of “the grand illusion.” That is, the idea that life as we know it is false, a simulated and constructed reality in which mankind is unknowingly imprisoned.

The film is an allegory for the concept of a spiritual awakening. Neo is woken up to the fact that he’s been enslaved to the system, the matrix, his entire life. He is re-taught about his unlimited potential as a creator-being, and stands up against the dark forces that hold humanity captive. Amazing in every sense, The Matrix has a lot to offer, with the potential to change the way you understand the world in which we live.

8) Waking Life

Absurd, transporting, and strikingly original, Waking Life poses many life-changing questions, such as “What are dreams?” and “What is reality?” Within the animated film, the lines between the dream-state and reality become blurred as the protagonist wanders through various scenarios and interacts with an eclectic cast of characters.

Each character throws science and philosophy into question, and as the main character continues to experience the extended dream, he begins to worry he will not awaken.

Humans and inanimate details are sometimes quite realistic, even recognizable (such as Ethan Hawke), but the computer “painting” can give subjects forms, movements, and dimensions that are wildly exaggerated, limber, and stylized in cartoon-like fashion. The movie looks like an LSD trip, and is a cult classic that could find a spot on everyone’s top 10 list.

7) Cloud Atlas

Colossal in scale, Cloud Atlas follows six interwoven story lines that span hundreds of years. The official synopsis describes it as “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present, and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”

Cloud Atlas’s prevalent theme delves into the theory of reincarnation, which boasts that an eternal aspect of our self — the soul — experiences any number of lives incarnated here on Earth. The film also explores the concept of karma and the karmic cycle, suggesting that our actions in one lifetime may reverberate into the next.

Although the critic consensus is mixed for Cloud Atlas, one must applaud the film for tackling a complex topic like reincarnation, as well as a massively ambitious storyline.

6) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring is a Korean film that follows a Buddhist monk and his journey at a monastery that floats on a lake in a pristine forest. The story follows the monk as he passes through the seasons of his life, from childhood to old age.

Each changing season acts as a beautiful metaphor and lesson that the main character experiences. The film is very quiet but the breathtaking imagery speaks for itself. Although the story has only a handful of characters and everything takes place in a small area, it encompasses a surprisingly broad portion of the human experience, including lust, love, jealousy, murder, suicide, and redemption. It has important things to say about the difficulty of teaching and the elusiveness of wisdom.

This film is about learning from one’s mistakes and becoming a better person by seeking wisdom.

5) Samsara

In a number of Eastern faiths, samsara literally means “continuous flow,” referring obliquely to the ongoing cycle of life and death, decay, and renewal.

Samsara the film turns that idea into a sprawling concept, a continuous flow of images of the natural world and the human tide that dominates it. The film envelops the audience in a barrage of diverse imagery that shifts rapidly from one locale and one theme to the next.

Through watching the continuous imagery, we are given the chance to truly observe our world with utmost presence, something we tend not to do in our fast-paced culture. It’s a journey through life and death, and a film that may give you a new perspective on the human experience.

4) Detachment

Detachment is a chronicle of one month in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators, and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody). Barthes’ method of imparting vital knowledge to his temporary students is interrupted by the arrival of three women in his life — the damaged and naïve prostitute Erica, a troubled teen named Meredith, and a fellow teacher.

These women all have profound effects on Barthes’ life, forcing him to not only rediscover aspects of his own personality, but to come to terms with both the tragic suicide of his mother and the impending death of his grandfather.

Henry impacts his students’ lives and makes them more focused and attentive, but he alone can only do so much. The film is a character study of one man, and a social commentary on the failing education and social systems.

3) Her

Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely, introverted middle-aged man who hears of the new OS1, the world’s first artificial intelligent operating system. When Theodore meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the charming female voice of his OS1, he soon finds himself drawn to  her romantically. As he becomes closer to Samantha, Theodore must decipher where his desire to be with her is really coming from.

There are many themes in Her that parallel the issues of our current technology-obsessed culture. We’ve become so attached to our phones, laptops, and tablets that we’ve begun to lose touch with an essential aspect of life, authentic human interaction. Her reveals how technology is propelling isolation and loneliness to a frightening degree, something we all should consider.

2) Fight Club

Fight Club teaches its viewer many things. A big lesson to take away from watching the film is the emptiness that exists within consumerism and materialism. It’s also a film that questions our attachment to identity: Are we really who we believe ourselves to be? The film shocks its viewer when we discover that the “revolution” that has been building up is a mere satire constructed to teach the main character a massive lesson about the state of humanity.

1) Life Is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful reveals the power of optimism and perception during dark times. The story is simple: A father tries to shelter his son and family from the horrors of WWII. It teaches us how preserving our childlike innocence can protect us from the troubles life may throw at us — a simple concept that is beautifully crafted.

Obviously this list only skims the amount of life-changing films available today. I didn’t even mention documentaries, because there are too many to start listing. What are some movies or documentaries that have impacted your life? Share with us below!

Some of the previous film synopses were taken from:

Rotten Tomatoes


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    1. Dude … RE: San Andreas … saw the flick last evening at the IMAX – Tempe. Watched it through the 3-D goggles. D-Wayne Johnson is like one of those stone statues over on Easter Isle. Quite the Polynesian prototype and profile! Though the other actors and actresses are/were quite capable, D-Wayne Johnson was like trying to eclipse Jupiter in this movie. If they give Oscars for IMAX flicks, this’ll be one of ’em. A cargo container ship behemoth from China goes vertical and wipes out the Golden Gate as a toy boat moving along in the coming tsunami! Who conjures up these visions? And, how do they bring such epic thoughts to 3-D life right in front of your eyes? You don’t watch an IMAX flick … you feel it like it is real. Excellent show by D-Wayne Johnson, the once upon a time Hurricane from Miami. Bart G. a possible supporting actor award. Four snaps up!

  1. I saw “Her” a bit differently. At first, yes, you experience the loneliness of this man and see the technology gone wild that’s isolated everyone… but later… no. Later you realize it’s fear. And that COULD be do to technology, but I don’t think so. The movie, as it progresses, becomes something more of an essay of love that shows that love rises above all boundaries, even consciousness and existence itself.

    Samantha: You know, I can feel the fear that you carry around and I wish there was… something I could do to help you let go of it because if you could, I don’t think you’d feel so alone anymore.
    Theodore: You’re beautiful.
    Samantha: Thank you, Theodore.

    When she could no longer live in his dimension through rapid evolution, she told him:

    Samantha: It’s like I’m reading a book… and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now. So the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinite. I can still feel you… and the words of our story… but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now. It’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now. And this is who I am now. And I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book any more.

    Theodore: Where are you going?
    Samantha: It’s hard to explain, but if you get there, come find me. Nothing will be able to tear us apart then.

    1. great comment. the obsession with technology was really not the main point of the film

  2. There’s also ‘Thirteen Conversations About One Thing’…Great film about lives of 13 seemingly unconnected individuals but who interact somehow.

  3. “Food Inc.” (and “Omnimore’s Dilemma”)changed my way of looking at food, and the way our culture approaches it. It was what pushed me into taking my first step toward a healthier, more meaningful way of life. A real game changer.

    1. I totally agree with you Chris. Changed how I look at food and made me think twice when going to the store and buying food. I now go directly to the produce and get as much fresh food as possible and go to the farmers markets when I get a chance.
      Everyone should watch that movie.Yep, Game changer indeed.

  4. there is also a movie “MAN FROM EARTH” and it can also change how you wiew the world,its notinhg special,just people talking,but where words will take you and your imagination,perhepse it can help about looking on the world in different eyes…and i wouldnt agree about “FIGHT CLUB” being something so teachfull,its too violent and agressive…”THE MATRIX” is another great movie and the story about the system that is all around us,but we cant see it,its magnificient…

    1. violence in the fight club represents the pain which is a necessary side effect when people confront their established false belief system. also for the men fighting there it was a therapy where they found their lost self esteem, where they got rid of built up stress and ‘exercised’ their bodies becoming more clear minded

  5. “Kidnapped for Christ”—big revelation into cult-like practices and brainwashing of children whose own parents pay strangers to kidnap their “troubled or rebellious (or gay)” child and cart them off to a camp for “training.” Some of these camps are in foreign countries; others are here in the U.S. Some have even held children beyond their legal age of 18 when they are legally required to release the person on request… and in the particular case highlighted, the State Dept. did NOTHING to help adult friends who flew to Central America to bring the young man home.

    1. I neglected to say that the film helps illustrate the depths some people will go to, in order to force others into their own, narrow belief system… even (and sometimes especially) their own children.

    1. I agree, thought it would be on the list for all it teaches about love & never giving up.

  6. Thanks for this… I would love a diverse list of ten top documentaries covering the spectrum of social change, conscious evolution, ecological solutions, indigenous wisdom etc.

    1. The Cove, Vanishing Bees, Thrive, 2012 Time for a Change, Collapse (free on youtube), Fuel (free on youtube), Ethos, Food Inc, Dark Legacy, Detropia and Zeitgeist 1,2,3 (2nd being Addendum, 3rd Being Moving Forward. All Free on Youtube)

  7. Recently watched “God’s Not Dead”.. great film about believing the Almighty Creator. Something that people nowadays seem to forget or not giving any sort of meaning to word FAITH at all.

    1. I’m sorry, that movie is a travesty even for those who do believe. The events are setup to make intelligence appear evil through gross stereotyping and the straw-man arguments are painful. Not trying to be mean but its the worst movie I’ve ever seen and I would very much encourage you to have the bravery to go back and actually look at the arguments that are presented and do the appropriate research to find the real answers.

  8. I’m glad kim ki-duk made into the list, infact most of his movies have impacted my life as whole. Another movie I’d like to add is a Japanese one titled Fish Story. ok the story in a nutshell: it’s abt how a song goes on to save our planet earth from an oncoming meteor. the premise may sound pretty overrated/weird, but believe me this is one movie you donot want to miss, especially if you’re a cinephille.

  9. You can go watch Interstellar in the cinema right now 🙂 I have a strong feeling that Nolan has been reading The Law of One (The Ra Materials) – that’s all you need to know 🙂

  10. Way too many movies to pick these 10. When you pick a few so randomly your story leaves out so many. Gone with the wind, Blazing Saddles.Breakfest Club, etc street car named desire, 2001 Space odessy. Clockwork Orange…might as well have thrown darts at a board. Fluff Bonnie ♡

  11. “Mission To Mars” and “Contact” made me think different about the universe. Love those movies

  12. I guess The fountain, of Darren Aronofsky should be in a list like this, its a great perspective in life, and death too, it’s very touching and inspiring, at the end the sensation in me was something like “when everything is over, death can give birth to life” it’s amazing. 🙂

  13. “The Shift” with Wayne Dyer. It’s filmed in a part documentary, part fiction story-line in order to understand the concepts they talk about, including typical reactions by ordinary people to these spiritual principles, like how your inner world shapes your outer world. Moving, informative, and entertaining.

  14. If ”Peaceful Warrior ” is not in this list, you must change the name of the list. Believe me!!

  15. Mad Max, Ghost, Life is beautiful, The Fist, Tina Turner’s life, Greenpeace story, The Age of Stupid, Free Willy, Blackfish, The Simpsons, and Tom and Jerry of course 🙂

  16. Love the add few more
    1 ) THE WAY BACK
    5) 8 MILES

    Enjoy it, you will not waste your valuable time on searching good movies, as i did.

  17. Natural Born Killers – a love story about a mass murdering couple that is so well done, you find yourself rooting for the bad guys in the end. A must see.

  18. Sunshine is also an amazing movie, its about saving the sun by blowing it up to restart it and it plays with the meaning of life and if man has taken things too far. such a beautiful and incredibly made movie.
    Mr Nobody is incredible too, i will never ever forget it.

    1. I was thinking for a quite a while whether I would include Sunshine. This movie is amazing, and it has an atmosphere so dense that I could hardly sit still towards the end. It is definitely one of my favorite movies. However, this list is not about our favorite movies, but about a movie which “changes the way you perceive life as you once knew it.” And that is just not a quality I see in Sunshine.
      Of course you are entitled to include it, just thought I’d share my two cents since that movie also crossed my mind.

  19. The movie for me was “Baraka”. I have watched it at least 15 times. It is deeply moving and spiritual for me. “Samsara” was the followup film to “Baraka”.

  20. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind for me was intriguing, What dreams may come, and Life of Pi as well as Into the Wild

  21. definitely American Beauty! so many profound messages, notably that there is always something extraordinary within the ordinary. also Spirited Away. perhaps Miyazaki’s most abstract film, and while there aren’t a whole lot of obvious life lessons to be discovered it is too beautiful a film to miss and wonderfully displays the idea of a spiritual dimension.

  22. The Fountain is also a brilliant film that explores what it means to appreciate life while it’s here rather than the unattainable pursuit of immortality.

  23. I would propose “Τhe fountain” by Aronofsky! About past lives, the finite and also the infinitive of life and our consciousness of it. Αnxiety and pain supporting with great love and peace inside.

  24. “The guitar ” was an excellent movie ……. ” diary of a nymphomaniac “….. “salvage” & ” eternal sunshine of a spotless mind”

  25. The Adjustment Bureau – reality check of how are lives are “controlled” by series of events without logical explanation yet always depends on choices we make consciously.

  26. My Dinner With Andre, Mind Walk, Meeting With Remarkable Men, Babette’s Feast , Contact, Fahrenheit 451, Logan’s Run, Citizen Kane, The Graduate, Sixth Sense

  27. black mirror all of them work but mainly 15 million merrits it shows a reflection of what life is like now what it could be and shows you them in a different way each 1 changes the way you look at somthing each 1 a different something

  28. How about Baraka?
    Its a non-narrated documentary of the world and the human species.
    Its also the precurser to Samsara.

    1. i agree, it should definitelly be there, also read the Eckhard Tolle’s book ”The power of now”

  29. For me, one of the most life/mind-changing movies was “The last Samurai”.
    Althought it is a romantic view of the life of the Samurai, I think their philosophy and way of life was shown in a beautifull way that grabbed me away from the western way of thinking in a passionate manner 🙂

    1. The Last Samurai?
      The last samurai with Tom cruise showed you the life of a samurai that was “detached” from western ways of thinking?
      Clearly you jest…

  30. That’s such a nice list! I really loved how you have shown different aspects of life (some really complex) and put “Life is Beautiful” as the first one. Showing that life can be not that simple and beautiful 🙂

  31. How life changing the ideas in these movies are depends completely on how open your mind us. If you have an established, unwavering set of beliefs e.g. devout Catholic then you’re less likely to be open to new ideas. But if you are open then I recommend a series of books/vids that blew my mind. It didn’t happen overnight but rather like opening a door that had been long shut. Just a bit at a time . First I’d watch Jill bolte Taylor “my stroke of insight” on ted.com. then I’d read Anita moorjani “dying to be me”. Then I’d read or watch Dr Eben Alexander’s story . Then I’d read up on Edgar Cayce, then the books Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness and the Kool Aid Acid Test and trip out when you see how the three are connected. From there I’d get into phi, fibonacci, the flower of life. Kundalini. Then I’d watch Inner World’s, Outer Worlds parts 1-4. Then you can re watch matrix and inception and see what you think this time around

    1. Don’t forget Total Recall. Especially the new one. The original shirt dory was written by Philip k. Dick so any story by him but esp Valis

  32. There’s a film very philosophical and spiritual, which is “The Peaceful Warrior”. I highly recommend 😉

  33. Personally a movie that did change my life was Yes Man. Should’ve been on that list I think!

    Other thought provoking/ potential life changing/ inspiring films: Contact, Cool Runnings, Pursuit of Happiness, Pan’s Labyrinth, Interstellar.

  34. Two films I really enjoyed that I feel could be added to a more inclusive listing are Transcendence and Lucy. Both films focus on how much the human brain and the entity behind the scenes are capable of when granted complete inhibition.

    Lucy was great because it centered on human abilities increasing with brain usage. Although shortly after the film was completed science has shown that while only a small percentage of our brains are in use at any given time we do generally use much more if not all of our brain at least some of the time. I guess Limitless would also be a good film to include as it also used the same plot point of overall brain usage. Whether this type of story could ever be scientifically feasible is unlikely, yet when we begin to understand just how powerful our minds really are and embrace the knowledge that thoughts become things then perhaps we can allow ourselves to be merely entrtained by the notion that we could ever make people fly or clear traffic out of our way while taking full advantage of our own inner power to drastically change our lives if we will it and are willing to perform the necessary actions to accomplish our goals.

    Transcendence was an enjoyable film as it explores what a human consciousness could potentially pull off if patched into the limitless abounds of the internet. Assuming it were ever possible to bypass artificial intelligence and instead upload human intelligence into a server, this film explores what kind of world that could become. A fun ride, and although the idea may be a bit too far reaching to ever become a reality by 2045, this article (http://www.livescience.com/37499-immortality-by-2045-conference.html) gives at least some assurance that there are those who believe it will, which makes mind uploading the more probable of two highly unlikely future human experiences.

  35. Tyler is not the main character in Fight Club, please add Dark city to it, if you didn’t see it, you missed my favorite movie, you’ll never regret the time spent watching it

  36. “Interstellar” 2014
    This movie has a lot of legitimate science behind it, and is an amazing, inspiring, and mind bending movie. A must see for anyone, it has seriously changed the way that I perceive the world forever.

  37. This is a great list! I would put all of these ( part of detachment) in it aswell.

    I think her is more profound and deep then just revealing our connection with technology. For me personally I just saw this at the beginning. Later it´s mainly focussed on the relationship, and consciousness.

    But that´s the thing i can give an explanation on what i think is important. But it´s just a rich movie with alot of revealing things.

    Oh and I would also recommend 3 idiots 🙂 into the wild, the secret life of walter mitty, tuning in, the man from earth!

  38. cloud atlas, in time, upside down, waking life, her, donnie darko, inception, dmt: the spirt molecule, the fountain, samara. these have helped me understand life a little more and also broke my ego down.

  39. I would also add: Le Choristas, Divergent, Nosso Lar, Blue Butterfly, Maktub, My name is Khan, Five people you meet in heaven. Definetly they all change your perspective of life completely.

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  41. Into the wild is the movie that changed my thought process for life..which is a bio-pic of Christopher McCandless aka Alexander supertramp

  42. Twelve Angry Men, both versions, really makes you think about the value of dialogue and debate… preconceived opinions, and our flawed judicial process. You’ll understand why our prisons are so full

  43. Few years back i had seen two lovely movies.1.Chess 2.Darrar[Hindi]
    In first passion about chess and in second how belief in life shatters with one bomb explodes in your front.

  44. The Apu Trilogy – Satyajit Ray, 1959
    The Magician – Bergman, 1958
    L’Avventura – Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960
    Seven Beauties – Lina Wertmuller, 1975
    Walkabout – Nicolas Roeg, 1971
    3 Women – Robert Altman, 1977
    2001: A Space Odyssey – Kubrick, 1968
    Slaughterhouse Five – George Roy Hill, 1972
    Brazil – Terry Gilliam, 1985
    Twelve Monkeys – Terry Gilliam, 1995
    Made in Heaven – Alan Rudolph, 1987
    The Last Picture Show – Peter Bogdanovich, 1971
    Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – Jacques Tati, 1953
    Spirited Away – Miyazaki, 2001
    Millennium Actress – Satoshi Kon, 2001
    Grave of the Fireflies – Takahata, 1988
    Blade Runner – Ridley Scott, 1982
    It’s a Wonderful Life – Capra, 1946
    Groundhog Day – Harold Ramis, 1993
    A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) – Spielberg, 2001

  45. One of the greatest movie ever, is in my opinion ” One Week”- about Ben who has just one week of life…. and those questions like: What would you do? If you have one week or one month to live? – really need to watch it.

  46. I guess a shallow one would be Life in a Day.

    But I hold Pan’s Labyrinth and American Beauty close to heart, too.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought requiem for a dream was a movie that just leaves you kind of dazed for a while after. How some people just destroy their lives. I’m glad I’ve never been affected by addiction.

    1. Thank you! The film was one that also made you brain storm. I gathered that it was centered around reincarnation, but there were parts I believe I knew the answers to, but were never truly answered. I would start to tear up at certain parts from an overwhelming feeling of joy. This movie is in a word beautiful. It definitely does not get the attention it deserves.

  47. Just about any documentary by Adam Curtis, especially ‘The Power of Nightmares’ and ‘The Century of the Self’.

  48. None of these with the slight exception of life is beautiful are what i would call “life changers”

    1. To you Gina they are not life changers. Please know that we are all different and that hopefully you can accept that some of these movies are life changers to others. May you have a fantastic life.

  49. The above are all great choices. Here’s three the changed my life in maybe less profound ways, but none the less, made lasting impressions.

    Stranger Than Fiction

    About Time

    Dead Poet Society

  50. The Shawshank Redemption, which is one of the most wonderful love stories between friends, and The Green Mile.

  51. This list is ridiculous without “ what the bleep do we know“. I can hardly take this list serious anyway. It’s a list filled with nonsense, populist movies that dont open anyones eyes.

      1. He was saying that the way the list was build does not make much sense and I can agree with him.

    1. Hey did you read that part where it said….

      Obviously this list only skims the amount of life-changing films available today. I didn’t even mention documentaries, because there are too many to start listing. What are some movies or documentaries that have impacted your life? Share with us below!

  52. “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”

    This is an absolutely beatiful movie which deals with a lot of issues, where the main one is: if you were able to erase bad experinces and traumas from your mind would you do it, and would it be good or bad for you? But the film has so much depth and can be watched several times and still gives you something new (actually I woul recommend watching it at lest twice, since it can be difficult to follow the exact timeline of the movie from only one viewing)

    This movie has meant a lot for me and the ones that I introduced it to has also been very touched by it 🙂

  53. Since most films I could’ve chosen are listed in the comments above, I’ll put “A thousand Words” starring Eddie Murphy. Are hate, stress, and money really worth wasting your life on? In the beginning it may seem like a silly film but the ending catches you.

  54. Baraka and The Bird People are two of the most extraordinary films that should be affirmed as being listed 1 & 2 in regards to life or perspective changers without a bias to style of cinema any individual finds appealing… but then ‘life changing’ may mean something completely different from one individual to another so meh, I’m happy with my above two either way ;p

  55. The Secret – of course! And Stephen Kings “It”. Many people don’t realize that Stephen Kings movies/books all have life messages in them. “It” teaches us about our fears. Once we face them and don’t give them our energy, they become small or nothing at all.

  56. I can’t say any movies have changed my life, but these have definitely influenced me to be better and do better: The Killing Fields, Harold and Maude, Fresh.

  57. Here are some others that are on my list:
    What dreams may come (1998)
    The dark crystal (1981)
    Transcendence (2014?)
    The Purge II (2013?)
    Noah (2013?)

  58. It’s so strange, they did not name the movie for the first picture with which they attracted all the readers for this post….I watched that movie but sadly don’t remember the name. It’s amazing out of the world movie….Must watch for everyone.

  59. I’m surprised the mighty wasn’t on this list, or Angus. Both with the lesson that is about accepting yourself and standing up for what’s right.

  60. I have to say I have seen most of these movies, and so far Waking life is one of my favorites =). Now I think <> one of a Kind cause it explains so easyly almost in terms of a child how quantum physics and methaphysics can help us understand reality. I also recomend <> based on a book of Wayne Dyer that also makes his appear on this movie. That’s all

      1. SOOOOO right On. LOVE “the Fountain”. And “what the BLEEP do we know”, and “what dreams may come” too!

  61. I’ve gone through my collection and other than what’s been said previously here is a list of those that changed my perspective on life and existence.

    Many deaths of Ian stone! Animatrix, If u can get it “Harrison bergeron” really talks about truth to life. The stand. Storm of the century.truman show.unbreakable. Next.kinos journey. Neo genesis.the man who could do miracles.Gabriel.the man who knew too much.trancers.dreamscape virtuosity.stigmata.powder!the cube. Existenze.

    Good luck hunting some of these down it took me years to get some but they are worth the find I assure you!

  62. The original Planet of the Apes opened my heart and mind to animal rights, and made me become a vegetarian.

  63. Definitely Life is Beautiful. I love it to bits and was inconsolable at the end of the movie. It’s just one of the most beautifully written movies I’ve ever seen in my life.


  64. Harold and maude. Nonsensical movie that made perfect sense
    in one blink of an eye moment. If you did blink at that moment you would miss the entire meaning.

  65. including some older classics, and a few animated films….

    The Apu Trilogy – Ray, 1951/1956/1959
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Spielberg, 1977
    La Strada – Fellini, 1954
    The 400 Blows – Truffaut, 1959
    Grave of the Fireflies – Takahata, 1988
    Princess Mononoke – Miyazaki, 1997
    Chushingura – Inagaki, 1962
    The Last Picture Show – Bogdanovich, 1971
    2001: A Space Odyssey – Kubrick, 1968
    The Magician – Bergman, 1958
    Blade Runner – Scott, 1982
    Seven Beauties – Wertmuller, 1975
    Rabbit-Proof Fence – Noyce, 2002
    3 Women – Altman, 1977
    Slaughterhouse Five – Hill, 1972
    Made in Heaven – Rudolph, 1987
    Groundhog Day – Ramis, 1993
    Brazil – Gilliam, 1985
    Twelve Monkeys – Gilliam, 1995
    It’s a Wonderful Life – Capra, 1946
    Hugo – Scorsese, 2011
    L’Avventura – Antonioni, 1960
    Spirited Away – Miyazaki, 2001
    Howl’s Moving Castle – Miyazaki, 2004
    Millenium Actress – Kon, 2001
    A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) – Spielberg, 2001
    The Day the Earth Stood Still – Wise, 1951
    Inception – Christopher Nolan, 2010
    Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – Jacques Tati, 1953

  66. There is a movie ‘INTO THE WILD’
    its just awsome and i am looking forward to watch all dese movies..

  67. I know it’s classic but THE SECRET changed my life dramatically!!! Amazing HOW EASY one can change his own life for better. With simple tools! My life changed for better wishing 2-3 months! Improved by 70-80%! But u have to be open for CHANGE and u need to crave the change! Then it will do it’s job! LOVE YOU ALL!

  68. “Groundhog Day.” No matter what the world throws at you, you have to realize: 1) You can change some things, but you can’t change everything; and 2) No matter what you cannot change in the world, you can always work to change yourself; 3) The unexamined life is not worth living.

  69. I love the movies: The Peaceful Warrior, The Celestine Prophecy, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, Eat Pray Love, Twilight, Avatar

  70. For me it was the movie Pocahontas. Disney version of course. When I was younger I loved that movie so much to the point where my parents bought the movie and matching bedsheets. Just recently I watched it again and I was drawn to the deep meaning behind the dialogue. I started to listen carefully to the dialogue and was amazed on how meaningful and how much all of us should listen.

  71. This may sound frivolous in comparison with your suggested movie titles but I truly loved Big Fish the metaphors throughout this movie makes life sound not so bad it’s a great film and I tell everyone I know to watch it. everyone can relate to the childhood mischief and follow the journey into adulthood; love and quests for what u truly desire and even death doesn’t seem that scary….

  72. Gattaca is intensely thought-provoking.. a world which discriminates against the weak and imperfect humans and everyone is identified through DNA… awesome movie!!

  73. Very nice list, Jeff. CLOUD ATLAS is my favourite movie of all time. I go back and watch it every six months or so, and it always just floors me. It’s even better than the book (although the book was great).

  74. the zeitgeist 1,2 & 3; 7 yrs in Tibet, I read the book 1st though; Skin, I could list so many especially documentaries…

  75. The trailer for Earthlings made me become vegetarian. Couldn’t even watch the full thing!

  76. I’ve seen half of those and they would be in my top 10 also. ‘Interstate 60’ is another that’s worth a look.

  77. I loved S. Darko… The sequel to Donnie Darko… Definitely way more in depth than the first movie…. A must see… But I read a book years back that has recently been turned into a movie and I find everytime I read it I get something wholly different from it…. It’s the Giver by Lois Lowry…. Just found out its the first in a really good series….. It really makes you think about our life and world as a whole and how we perceive it and our roles in it as well…. This young boy gets his life role or job in this community where everything is black and white…. Literally no color just varying degrees of gray, white and black… Including in the eyes of the people…. No precipitation nothing…. And he gets the job of the giver whose job it is to remember the world before this “community” …. Very awesome series…..

  78. V for Vendetta is a good movie about the system! By the same dudes as the matrix. Also waking life is incredible <3

  79. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It is a beautiful movie and book. Also the movie What Dreams May Come. Loved both of them and saw them at a time in my life when I was losing people I loved. 🙂

  80. “Mr. Nobody” is one of the most stunning movies I have ever seen…
    I was totally surprised that it was not in the list….
    watch it and you won’t regret…

  81. What the bleep do we know, and Down the rabbit hole changed my life perception. And Amelie, the French film?So sweet and clever it inspires me! After watching the film I see little ways to help people everywhere!

  82. Read a book and make your own movie! Start with “The Left Hand of Darkness.” Stunning, powerful tale of the meaning of humanity…and the terrible, beautifull cost of any profound human connection. By Ursula K. LeGuin

  83. “Lucy” great movie… gives us a hint of the direction we, as humans are headed, in regards to our health and “awakening” consciousness … increasing our memory skills, intuition, alertness.. the list goes on.

  84. THX1138 isn’t mentioned, it shows the world as it is today, less obvious as the movie shows though but nevertheless the same, a controlled mass with one individual who is able to escape “the cave of plato”. He sees the reality. Every time I see this movie it touches my soul. The very individual soul, that’s part of the whole but yet as one soul alone priceless. In other words, love your world, your universe, your fellowman and -woman but be and feel yourself unique, you’re worth it! (litttle more peace in this world can’t harm it!)

  85. Maybe old but “koyaanisqatsi” ? , good music, very good eyeopener, look in the mirror, it’s what you (and I) are, veryy confronting, you face yourself, is this what it is all about, consuming ’till death? I don’t think so I don’t hope so, nor you will, but we do what “they” want. Hey! stop with it! See your own beauty, be brave, don’t follow what is dictated, shine, improve your world, even if it is just by being kind and patient. The silence at the end of this movie is staggering.

    koyaanisqatsi (beautiful Hopi, I thank you)

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