Film The Best Memory Loss Movies  

Ranker Film
1.6k votes 320 voters 42k views 36 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.

list ordered by

1
93 26
Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano 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

2
71 21
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo 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

3
68 29
Inception is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, ...more

4
58 22
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey 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

5
42 15
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana 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

6
48 22
The Bourne Ultimatum is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Brian Cox 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

7
42 18
The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner 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

8
43 21
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

9
52 30
50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd 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

10
34 16
While You Were Sleeping is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Sandra Bullock, Monica Keena, Bill Pullman 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

11
43 24
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles 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

12
37 21
The Hangover is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham 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

13
33 18
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowall 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

14
29 15
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer 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

15
24 11
Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence 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

16
28 17
Hancock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Charlize Theron, Will Smith, Jason Bateman 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. The story was originally ...more

17
31 21
The Bourne Supremacy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Michelle Monaghan 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

18
19 11
Regarding Henry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, J.J. Abrams 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

19
18 12
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh 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

20
18 14
The Number 23 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Jim Carrey, Rhona Mitra, Logan Lerman The Number 23 is a 2007 American psychological thriller film written by Fernley Phillips and directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring Jim Carrey, the film was released in the United States on ...more

21
21 18
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George 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

22
22 20
The Vow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange 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

23
13 11
Still Alice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Moore Still Alice is an upcoming 2015 drama film written by Lisa Genova and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

24
13 11
Jason Bourne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander Jason Bourne is a 2016 American action thriller film directed and written by Paul Greengrass and film editor Christopher Rouse. The fifth installment of the Bourne film series and the direct ...more

25
20 19
Anastasia is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan, Kelsey Grammer Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy drama film produced by Fox Animation Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Directed by former Disney animation directors Don Bluth ...more

26
13 13
Unknown is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Diane Kruger, Liam Neeson, January Jones Unknown is a 2011 thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. "Dr Martin Harris has come to rain-soaked Berlin for a biotechnology conference. But no sooner does he step into a taxi than ...more

27
17 20
Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz Vanilla Sky is a 2001 American science fiction thriller film directed, written, and co-produced by Cameron Crowe. It is an English-language remake of Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 Spanish ...more

28
9 11
Passengers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Anne Hathaway, David Morse, Dianne Wiest Passengers is 2008 American-Canadian thriller film starring Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson, and directed by Rodrigo García. It was released in the United States by TriStar Pictures on ...more

29
11 14
Spellbound is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Alfred Hitchcock Spellbound is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of the new head of a mental asylum who turns out not to be what he claims. The ...more

30
11 15
Moon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year ...more

31
6 10
Collateral Beauty is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Will Smith, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley Collateral Beauty is a 2016 American drama film directed by David Frankel and written by Allan Loeb. When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers from a great tragedy, ...more

32
8 15
Dream House is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig Dream House is a 2011 American psychological thriller written by David Loucka directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and Marton Csokas. It was released on ...more

33
7 14
Away from Her is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Nina Dobrev, Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis Away from Her is a 2006 Canadian film which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and also played in the Premier category at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The feature-length ...more

34
9 17
Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti Paycheck is a 2003 sci-fi thriller film based on the short story of the same name by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The film was directed by John Woo and stars Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman ...more

35
7 15
Fast & Furious 6 is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson Fast & Furious 6 is a 2013 American action film directed by Justin Lin, and the sixth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has Dominic (Vin Diesel) and ...more

36
7 18
The Forgotten is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
Julianne Moore, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard The Forgotten is a 2004 American science fiction psychological thriller drama film, directed by Joseph Ruben and starring Julianne Moore and Dominic West. The film's plot revolves around a woman ...more