Entertainment
435 voters

The Best Memory Loss Movies

Updated April 23, 2021 3.3k votes 435 voters 53.6k views48 items

List RulesFilms in which characters experience memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, forgetfulness, or manipulated memories

List of the best memory loss movies, as ranked by film fans and movie critics. Films about memory loss are very popular and often critically acclaimed because, although most movie viewers don’t experience loss of memory, the themes are universal. Many of these films feature characters trying to find themselves, fix the unfixable people in their lives, or trying to relive moments that are gone forever. The characters of these films either had memory stealing car accidents or deal with dementia. In some cases they even had their memories stolen by malevolent forces.

What are the best memory loss movies ever made? The films here - all movies about memory loss - range from romantic comedies, like 50 First Dates and Overboard, to haunting thrillers, like Shutter Island and The Manchurian Candidate. A few of the films feature abstract depictions of amnesia, such as Memento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Even Disney's animated films Finding Nemo and Finding Dory deal with characters suffering from short term memory loss. While most of the movies include a protagonist with amnesia, a few have main characters who are dealing with a loved one suffering from dementia.

This list features the best memory loss movies of all time, ranging from heartbreaking romances, like The Notebook, to hilarious gut-busters, like The Hangover.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    116
    32

    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss
    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan....  more

    More Memento 

    #72 of 139 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again#11 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

  • 2
    132
    51

    Total Recall

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone
    Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In...  more

    More Total Recall 

    Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True#37 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s

  • 3
    94
    25

    While You Were Sleeping

    Sandra Bullock, Monica Keena
    While You Were Sleeping is a 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub and written...  more

    More While You Were Sleeping 

    #152 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies#59 of 127 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

  • 4
    87
    30

    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams
    Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The...  more

    More Shutter Island 

    #49 of 174 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#16 of 54 The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

  • 5
    82
    32

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by...  more

    More Inception 

    10 'Inception' Fan Theories That Left Us More Confused Than We Already Were#64 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

  • 6
    73
    26

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama...  more

    More Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

    #48 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms#2 of 76 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way

  • 7
    64
    22

    The Vow

    Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum
    The Vow is a 2012 romantic drama film directed by Michael Sucsy, starring Channing Tatum and...  more
  • 8
    48
    16

    Still Alice

    Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin
    Still Alice is a 2014 drama film written by Lisa Genova and directed by Richard Glatzer and...  more
  • 9
    55
    30

    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe
    Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by...  more

    More Finding Nemo 

    #384 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#37 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

  • 10
    47
    28

    The Notebook

    Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
    The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on...  more

    More The Notebook 

    #108 of 380 The Best Movies Based On Books#295 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 11
    53
    40

    Regarding Henry

    Harrison Ford, Annette Bening
    Regarding Henry is a 1991 American film drama starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening,...  more
  • 12
    33
    18

    Finding Dory

    Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks
    Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew...  more

    More Finding Dory 

    #56 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels#29 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

  • 13
    52
    45

    The Number 23

    Jim Carrey, Rhona Mitra
    The Number 23 is a 2007 American psychological thriller film written by Fernley Phillips and...  more

    More The Number 23 

    #29 of 135 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made#13 of 73 The Best Movies About Split Personalities

  • 14
    58
    54

    The Bourne Ultimatum

    Matt Damon, Julia Stiles
    The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action spy thriller film directed by Paul...  more

    More The Bourne Ultimatum 

    #6 of 14 Franchises Where The Best Installment Came Way After The Original#3 of 125 The Best Assassin Movies

  • 15
    32
    24

    Hancock

    Charlize Theron, Will Smith
    Hancock, formerly known as John Hancock and Tonight, He Comes, is an superhero film directed...  more

    More Hancock 

    #94 of 116 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made#4 of 15 15 Bad Superhero Movies That Are Actually Good

  • 16
    40
    38

    Jason Bourne

    Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones
    Jason Bourne is a 2016 American action thriller film directed and written by Paul Greengrass...  more

    More Jason Bourne 

    #37 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises#41 of 90 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives

  • 17
    26
    22

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus
    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch...  more

    More Mulholland Drive 

    #552 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#297 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

  • 18
    55
    61

    Anastasia

    Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan
    Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy drama film produced by Fox Animation...  more

    More Anastasia 

    It's Time To Admit The Cartoon 'Anastasia' Was Unspeakably Weird#183 of 359 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • 19
    22
    19

    Dream House

    Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz
    Dream House is a 2011 American psychological thriller written by David Loucka directed by Jim...  more

    More Dream House 

    #11 of 17 17 Movies That Totally Shattered Celebrity Marriages#17 of 64 The Best Naomi Watts Movies

  • 20
    40
    42

    Spellbound

    Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck
    Spellbound is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred...  more

    More Spellbound 

    #88 of 225 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made#44 of 248 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • 21
    45
    49

    Moon

    Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore
    Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The...  more

    More Moon 

    #55 of 63 Movies You Wish You Could Still Watch for the First Time#23 of 49 35+ Great Movies That Blur the Lines Between Horror and Drama

  • 22
    39
    44

    Unknown

    Diane Kruger, Liam Neeson
    Unknown is a 2011 thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. "Dr Martin Harris has come to...  more

    More Unknown 

    #187 of 231 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#26 of 28 The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation

  • 23
    64
    78

    50 First Dates

    Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler
    50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal. Henry Roth...  more

    More 50 First Dates 

    50 First Dates Isn't Romantic - It's About A Guy Who Takes Advantage Of A Disabled Woman#134 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 24
    2
    1

    Bloodshot

    Vin Diesel, Sam Heughan
    Bloodshot is a 2020 American superhero film directed by Dave Wilson, based on the Valiant...  more
  • 25
    53
    64

    The Bourne Identity

    Matt Damon, Clive Owen
    The Bourne Identity is a 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's...  more

    More The Bourne Identity 

    The Best Characters in the Whole Jason Bourne Franchise, Ranked#117 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time