The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

36k votes 3.9k voters 169k views 147 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Vote up any movie that required a rewatch or someone else to explain it to you

The most confusing movies ever made are those films which either intentionally or accidentally are hard to follow, complicated and so far out there that they are disorienting to even the most seasoned viewer. That's not to say these movies are bad because of their complicated nature but certainly not for the easily confused.

For those who crave the mental challenge of confusing movies, there are several directors whose style is highlighted by their complicated plot lines, tendency to present films out of chronological order and seemingly devotion to chaos in their movies. The likes of David Lynch ("Mulholland Drive," "Eraserhead," "Inland Empire" and "Lost Highway"), Stanley Kubrick ("2001: A Space Odyssey," "The Shining" and "Eyes Wide Shut") and Christopher Nolan ("Inception" and "Memento") are perhaps the best at making stellar yet highly confusing movies and among the greatest directors in movie history.

Lynch, Kubrick and Nolan undoubtably influenced other great filmmakers who also have a tendency to create movies that make viewers ask what the heck is happening. Charlie Kaufman, who did "Synecdoche, New York," "Adaptation," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich," and Steven Soderbergh, responsible for great films like "Sex, Lies, and Videotape," among many others, gave their interpretation of how to create confusing and simply WTF movies.

So whether you love the twists and turns in "The Matrix" or think the utter madness of "Primer" is cause to be among the worst movies of all time, vote for the movies you think are the most confusing below! Have a confusing movie in mind that's not listed? Add it! Help us rank the most confusing movies ever made.
  • 31 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,074
    - 462

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,276
    - 620


    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

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  3. 3
    + 1,096
    - 306

    ranked low on reranks
    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

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  4. 4
    + 672
    - 251


    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

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  5. 5
    + 736
    - 290


    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

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  6. 6
    + 334
    - 284

    often listed & added by PeteBoyle
    Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

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  7. 7
    + 530
    - 326


    Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

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  8. 8
    + 515
    - 343

    added by LucasSerrano
    Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz

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  9. 9
    + 444
    - 290

    added by Bootsdad
    Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick

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  10. 10
    + 546
    - 361


    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

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  11. 11
    + 759
    - 505


    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

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  12. 12
    + 389
    - 257


    Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen

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  13. 13
    + 609
    - 564

    added by wiabux
    Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

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  14. 14
    + 306
    - 217


    Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn

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  15. 15
    + 215
    - 187

    often listed
    Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

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  16. 16
    + 467
    - 417

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

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  17. 17
    + 293
    - 168

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

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  18. 18
    + 235
    - 236

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Richard Gere, Debra Messing, Laura Linney

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  19. 19
    + 267
    - 168

    ranked low on reranks & added by ChangesDownClub
    Macaulay Culkin, Tim Robbins, Jason Alexander

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  20. 20
    + 611
    - 319

    ranked low on reranks
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

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  21. 21
    + 447
    - 290

    added by dlewisxc
    Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

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  22. 22
    + 345
    - 320

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

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  23. 23
    + 348
    - 143

    ranked low on reranks
    Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw

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  24. 24
    + 331
    - 166


    Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk

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  25. 25
    + 443
    - 230


    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

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  26. 26
    + 101
    - 178

    often listed & added by WR10Dev7
    Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor

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  27. 27
    + 259
    - 158


    Richard Pryor, Gary Busey, Patricia Arquette

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  28. 28
    + 429
    - 447

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

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  29. 29
    + 165
    - 122

    added by StacyWolfe
    Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

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  30. 30
    + 222
    - 156

    ranked low on reranks & added by Dave Loomis
    Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

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  31. 31
    + 250
    - 246

    added by Bootsdad
    Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

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  32. 32
    + 272
    - 165

    ranked low on reranks & added by SamiMorcos
    Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon

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  33. 33
    + 276
    - 301


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

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  34. 34
    + 189
    - 196

    added by Haskins
    Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

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  35. 35
    + 372
    - 388

    added by Scott Klingaman
    John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

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  36. 36
    + 217
    - 204

    added by StacyWolfe
    Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith

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  37. 37
    + 91
    - 49

    added by mainpleine
    David Bowie, Heather Graham, Kiefer Sutherland

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  38. 38
    + 233
    - 199

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Jim Carrey, Rhona Mitra, Logan Lerman

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  39. 39
    + 120
    - 97

    added by MikeHegstrom
    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

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  40. 40
    + 217
    - 252

    added by llh6782
    Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

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  41. 41
    + 95
    - 138


    Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh

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  42. 42
    + 174
    - 135


    Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands

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  43. 43
    + 157
    - 159

    added by StacyWolfe
    Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller

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  44. 44
    + 117
    - 126


    Debbie Harry, James Woods, David Cronenberg

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  45. 45
    + 76
    - 119

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Megumi Hayashibara, Junko Iwao, Koyasu Taketo

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  46. 46
    + 136
    - 165

    added by dlewisxc
    Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

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  47. 47
    + 137
    - 99

    ranked low on reranks & added by GhassenHammas
    Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

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  48. 48
    + 84
    - 105

    added by StacyWolfe
    Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet

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  49. 49
    + 91
    - 45

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mediocre_Maja
    Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

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  50. 50
    + 79
    - 98

    added by MichaelHritz
    Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    ;
148 +

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