popular opinion The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made  

Originally by
42k votes 4.5k voters 185k views 157 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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 DriveEraserheadInland Empire, and Lost Highway), Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space OdysseyThe 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 YorkAdaptationEternal 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.

list ordered by

1
+ - 1,209 538
Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Memento Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

The Best Disney Princesses The Best Cruise Ships for Families

2
+ - 1,447 692
Inception is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

3
+ - 1,241 346
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

4
+ - 782 283
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Mulholland Drive Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

5
+ - 833 328
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

6
+ - 369 310
The Tree of Life is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Tree of Life Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

7
+ - 591 370
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

8
+ - 580 382
Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Vanilla Sky Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz

9
+ - 499 327
Eyes Wide Shut is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eyes Wide Shut Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick

10
+ - 625 402
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

11
+ - 866 568
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

12
+ - 436 281
Being John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Being John Malkovich Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen

13
+ - 692 628
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

14
+ - 346 236
The Fountain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Fountain Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn

15
+ - 239 200
Antichrist is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Antichrist Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

The Scariest Movies Ever Made The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

16
+ - 533 467
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Shining Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

17
+ - 328 196
Pi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Pi Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

18
+ - 261 267
The Mothman Prophecies is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Mothman Prophecies Richard Gere, Debra Messing, Laura Linney

19
+ - 708 355
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

20
+ - 302 190
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Jacob's Ladder Macaulay Culkin, Tim Robbins, Jason Alexander

21
+ - 411 158
Primer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Primer Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw

22
+ - 499 326
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Black Swan Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder

23
+ - 393 356
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

24
+ - 372 179
Eraserhead is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eraserhead Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk

25
+ - 297 171
Lost Highway is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Lost Highway Richard Pryor, Gary Busey, Patricia Arquette

26
+ - 500 261
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

27
+ - 112 193
Stay is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Stay Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor

28
+ - 477 497
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

29
+ - 190 136
Blue Velvet is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Blue Velvet Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

The 13 Least Profitable Movies Ever Made The Best Ways to Be a Good Person

30
+ - 246 169
Brazil is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Brazil Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

31
+ - 289 272
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Requiem for a Dream Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

32
+ - 307 179
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Cloud Atlas Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon

33
+ - 219 217
Identity is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Identity Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

34
+ - 301 329
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

35
+ - 259 229
The Matrix Revolutions is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Matrix Revolutions Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith

36
+ - 115 58
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me David Bowie, Heather Graham, Kiefer Sutherland

37
+ - 411 425
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Pulp Fiction John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman

38
+ - 262 216
The Number 23 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Number 23 Jim Carrey, Rhona Mitra, Logan Lerman

39
+ - 152 111
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Machinist Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

40
+ - 107 151
Existenz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Existenz Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh

41
+ - 244 284
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Life of Pi Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

42
+ - 187 145
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Naked Lunch Ian Holm, Roy Scheider, Julian Sands

43
+ - 187 187
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller

The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies The Very Best of the 2/10 Would Not Bang Meme

44
+ - 146 65
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Interstellar Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

45
+ - 162 178
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

46
+ - 180 122
The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Prestige Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

47
+ - 128 137
Videodrome is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Videodrome Debbie Harry, James Woods, David Cronenberg

48
+ - 86 130
The End of Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The End of Evangelion Megumi Hayashibara, Junko Iwao, Koyasu Taketo

49
+ - 95 110
Synecdoche, New York is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
Synecdoche, New York Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Philip Seymour Hoffman

50
+ - 175 170
The Matrix Reloaded is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made
The Matrix Reloaded Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith