Christopher Nolan is known for his ability to mess with the viewer’s mind thanks to an impressive appreciation for history, a genius directorial brain, and a pretty sizable budget. In all its sci-fi glory, Interstellar was one of his greatest works. Still, in the grand scheme of things, it probably didn’t come close to the level of brain-twisting beauty of much of his other work and the work of other directors with similar motivations.
Sci-fi, fantasy, and psychological thriller films can go to so many places and points in time that the story possibilities are essentially endless. They also provide opportunities to explore incredibly complex philosophical ideas and mind-blowing visual concepts. We’ve added several more movies like Interstellar for fans looking for more horizon-expanding stories with psychedelic twists and turns. From underrated blockbusters to the most accomplished indies, these films should entertain and impress fans of Christopher Nolan’s epic sense of scale and eye for detail.
As such, here are movies like Interstellar that fans would likely be interested in, especially if they’d like to crank up the cerebral intensity.
The Fountain (2006)
Writer and director Darren Aronofsky blend many different genres in this gripping and emotional romantic drama that follows the life of protagonist Hugh Jackman through space and time.
Part conqueror’s adventure in search of the tree of life, part contemporary cry about marriage and disease, part science fiction film about a haunted monk delivering a tree across the universe in a bubble to reach the heart of a dying star, Fountain makes your head spin. Still, it all comes together nicely, thanks to Matthew Libatique’s stunning cinematography.
Source Code (2011)
Through a strange technology that creates a kind of simulated reality, an army captain is forced to relive the final moments of a horrific terrorist train bombing repeatedly to find clues about who the bomber is and where the attack will be.
Through the different stages of the incident, the main character Jake Gyllenhaal starts to believe that he can alter the course of events with many mind-boggling concepts coming into play.
Rian Johnson dipped his toe into the world of sci-fi years before he took over the Star Wars universe with The Last Jedi, and his time-travel thriller Looper is often considered the superior film.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as the same assassin in the not-too-distant future, as both struggle to survive against the mob and each other when the older version of Willis is sent back in time to be killed by his younger self. Filled with all the twists and turns the writer/director would become so famous for with The Last Jedi and Knives Out, Looper is an action-packed ride that forces the viewer to engage their brain.
Known for being one of the most mind-blowing films ever made, The Matrix brings the “everything was a dream” experience to a new level.
While the plot itself is commendable, the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking film is also known for innovating various cinematic techniques, including “bullet time.”
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest works of visionary director Stanley Kubrick. The film looks so good that it holds up perfectly to this day, despite focusing on the extremes of sci-fi technology.
Its remarkable history spans from prehistory to humanity’s search for meaning through space exploration in the 21st century. It is clearly one of the biggest influences on all of the interstellar makeup.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko has some frightening moments that could easily be considered a horror movie and mind-bending science fiction.
A series of apocalyptic visions result in the appearance of vortices, time travel, and dream manipulations that are very difficult to wrap your head around at best. Despite a lackluster performance upon release, the film has rightfully come to be regarded as a cult classic.
As clichéd as the saying is, the production budget of Shane Carruth’s brilliant and entertaining sci-fi movie probably wouldn’t even have covered the catering budget for Interstellar.
The film follows two ambitious young inventors who, while working outside their own small business in a suburban garage, accidentally invent a time machine, and as wacky as the concept sounds, Primer is a labyrinthine indie thriller with so much staying power as the most significant films made in the studio.
In a world where the consciousnesses of others can be infiltrated through dreams (which can have multiple layers), Dom Cobb is tasked with putting an idea into a target’s subconscious.
Debatably the magnum opus of Christopher Nolan’s career thus far, Inception won various Oscars for such a conceptual film but lost Best Picture.
12 Monkeys (1995)
You’d never expect someone better known for their time as part of Monty Python to end up directing some incredibly complex cinematic classics. Still, Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys is one of the most famous entries in the sci-fi time travel genre of all time and significantly influenced Looper, among many other films.
The changes between various time periods are quite confusing, but once the viewer starts to realize that the main character’s memories don’t remain consistent, trying to get everyone in the right place at the right time gets complex.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
This gargantuan adaptation of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer’s David Mitchell novel is a highly ambitious sci-fi film that takes on even more distinct periods and genres than Fountain.
The reincarnated lives of the stunning ensemble span a timeline that spans from intimate 19th-century drama to 24th-century post-apocalyptic adventure, and the themes are as big as the effects and cast.
f you’re a sci-fi fan and enjoyed our list of movies like Interstellar, then be sure to check out our latest post on 9 Must Watch Parallel Universe Movies. These films explore similar themes and offer a captivating experience for sci-fi lovers. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic or a new release, there’s something on the list for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a journey into parallel universes and beyond.