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The Best Memory Loss Movies

Updated July 13, 2020 2.5k votes 425 voters 52.1k views45 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.

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  • 1
    Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan.... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    94
    31

    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    80
    28

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst

    Released2004

    Directed byMichel Gondry

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    88
    35

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    50 First Dates

    Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler

    Released2004

    Directed byPeter Segal

    50 First Dates is a 2004 American romantic comedy film directed by Peter Segal. Henry Roth... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Still Alice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    49
    17

    Still Alice

    Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin

    Released2015

    Directed byRichard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland

    Still Alice is an upcoming 2015 drama film written by Lisa Genova and directed by Richard... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Anastasia is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    57
    26

    Anastasia

    Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan

    Released1997

    Directed byDon Bluth, Gary Goldman, Susan Beak, Geoff Beak

    Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy drama film produced by Fox Animation... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    61
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    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Released2003

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

    Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Moon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    46
    20

    Moon

    Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore

    Released2009

    Directed byDuncan Jones

    Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    The Hangover is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    The Hangover

    Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper

    Released2009

    Directed byTodd Phillips

    The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film, co-produced and directed by Todd Phillips and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Spellbound is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    Spellbound

    Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck

    Released1945

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Spellbound is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    12 Monkeys

    Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis

    Released1995

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    50
    30

    The Notebook

    Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling

    Released2004

    Directed byNick Cassavetes

    The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Overboard is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    42
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    Overboard

    Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell

    Released1987

    Directed byGarry Marshall

    Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    36
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    Finding Dory

    Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks

    Released2016

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

    Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    While You Were Sleeping is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    39
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    While You Were Sleeping

    Sandra Bullock, Monica Keena

    Released1995

    Directed byJon Turteltaub

    While You Were Sleeping is a 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub and written... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The Bourne Ultimatum is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    62
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    The Bourne Ultimatum

    Matt Damon, Julia Stiles

    Released2007

    Directed byPaul Greengrass

    The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action spy thriller film directed by Paul... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Hancock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    34
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    Hancock

    Charlize Theron, Will Smith

    Released2008

    Directed byPeter Berg

    Hancock, formerly known as John Hancock and Tonight, He Comes, is an superhero film directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
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    Total Recall

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone

    Released1990

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Forgotten is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    30
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    The Forgotten

    Julianne Moore, Gary Sinise

    Released2004

    Directed byJoseph Ruben

    The Forgotten is a 2004 American science fiction psychological thriller drama film, directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Angel Heart is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    5
    2

    Angel Heart

    Robert De Niro, Mickey Rourke

    Released1987

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Angel Heart is a 1987 American horror mystery film written and directed by Alan Parker, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    27
    23

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Regarding Henry is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    22
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    Regarding Henry

    Harrison Ford, Annette Bening

    Released1991

    Directed byMike Nichols

    Regarding Henry is a 1991 American film drama starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening,... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Dream House is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    23
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    Dream House

    Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz

    Released2011

    Directed byJim Sheridan

    Dream House is a 2011 American psychological thriller written by David Loucka directed by Jim... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Killerman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memory Loss Movies
    5
    2

    Killerman

    Liam Hemsworth, Emory Cohen

    Released2019

    Directed byMalik Bader

    Killerman is a 2019 action drama film directed by Malik Bader. A New York City money launderer... more on Wikipedia
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