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The Best Memory Loss Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated March 17, 2020 2.1k votes 416 voters 51.2k views 44 items

List Rules Films 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.

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1
Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Released: 2000

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

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2
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2010

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more

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3
Inception is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

Released: 2010

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more

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4
Eternal Sunshine of the ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

Released: 2004

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

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5
The Bourne Ultimatum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox

Released: 2007

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action spy thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same title. The screenplay was written by Tony ...more

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6
50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Segal

50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal and written by George Wing. The film stars Adam Sandler as a lothario veterinarian and Drew Barrymore as an ...more

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#162 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #162 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films 50 First Dates Isn't Romantic - It's About A Guy Who Takes Advantage Of A Disabled Woman

7
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

Released: 1990

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In 2084, a construction worker, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), suddenly finds himself embroiled in ...more

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8
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more

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9
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles

Released: 2002

Directed by: Doug Liman

The Bourne Identity is a 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from extreme memory loss ...more

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10
The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner

Released: 2004

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a ...more

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11
The Hangover is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham

Released: 2009

Directed by: Todd Phillips

The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film, co-produced and directed by Todd Phillips and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It is the first film of The Hangover trilogy. The film stars ...more

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12
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

Released: 1995

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

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13
While You Were Sleeping ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Sandra Bullock, Monica Keena, Bill Pullman

Released: 1995

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub

While You Were Sleeping is a 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Daniel G. Sullivan and Frederic Lebow. It stars Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a Chicago Transit ...more

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14
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowall

Released: 1987

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was directed by Garry Marshall, produced by Roddy McDowall, and loosely inspired by the 1974 Italian ...more

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15
The Bourne Supremacy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Michelle Monaghan

Released: 2004

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

The Bourne Supremacy is a 2004 American-German action and spy film starring Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character. Though it takes the name of the second Bourne novel, its plot is entirely ...more

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16
Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence

Released: 2016

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton, and a sequel to Finding Nemo. The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen ...more

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17
Hancock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Charlize Theron, Will Smith, Jason Bateman

Released: 2008

Directed by: Peter Berg

Hancock, formerly known as John Hancock and Tonight, He Comes, is an superhero film directed by Peter Berg and starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron. Will Smith portrays an old ...more

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18
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, ...more

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19
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Lynch

Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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20
The Vow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange

Released: 2012

Directed by: Michael Sucsy

The Vow is a 2012 romantic drama film directed by Michael Sucsy, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The film is inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. The Vow was a ...more
21
Regarding Henry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, J.J. Abrams

Released: 1991

Directed by: Mike Nichols

Regarding Henry is a 1991 American film drama starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening, directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by J. J. Abrams focuses on a New York City lawyer who struggles ...more
22
Shattered is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
mikeville66 added Tom Berenger, Bob Hoskins, Greta Scacchi

Released: 1991

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Shattered is a 1991 Hitchcockian neo-noir/psychological thriller starring Tom Berenger, Greta Scacchi, Bob Hoskins, Joanne Whalley and Corbin Bernsen. It was directed and written for the screen ...more
23
The Long Kiss Goodnight ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
mikeville66 added Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, Brian Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Renny Harlin

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

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24
Bloodshot is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Vin Diesel, Sam Heughan, Guy Pearce

Released: 2020

Directed by: Dave Wilson

Bloodshot is a 2020 American superhero film directed by Dave Wilson, based on the Valiant Comics superhero. Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), a slain mobster, is re-animated with superpowers.
25
Still Alice is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Moore

Released: 2015

Directed by: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland

Still Alice is an upcoming 2015 drama film written by Lisa Genova and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

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