Entertainment The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation  

Ranker Film
731 votes 133 voters 13.5k views 26 items

List Rules Films in which characters are implanted with false memories or have their thoughts erased or zapped

List of the best movies about memory manipulation, as ranked by movie fans and critics. Memory is a very powerful thing. It controls how we feel about ourselves and others. So when somebody has the power to manipulate a person’s memory, they have the power to control their thoughts and how they act around others. It’s a power that can be abused and end up hurting people greatly. That’s why memory manipulation is an interesting concept for a film.Characters who can manipulate memories are fascinating villains, while those who have been implanted with false memories are dangerous because there’s no telling who they are really.

The movies on this list feature characters that don’t know anything is wrong with their memories, those who are fighting to understand why their memories seem wrong, and even those who are manipulating their own minds,like in Memento. In movies like Inception, it’s the main characters who are doing the mind manipulation. In other films, like Overboard, characters are abusing somebody’s amnesia for personal gain.

What are the best movies about memory manipulation or false memories? This list features the best movies where characters cannot trust what they remember and those who enjoy messing with other’s memories.

list ordered by
1
33 9
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
2
38 14
Memento is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
3
39 16
Inception is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard
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
4
33 12
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
5
28 10
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more
6
20 7
The Island is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi
The Island is a 2005 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Michael Bay, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. It was released on July 22, 2005, in the United States ...more
7
25 12
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
8
17 6
Moon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
9
20 9
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
10
20 9
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George
Dark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. The film stars Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, ...more
11
20 10
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
23 13
The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman
The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 American psychological thriller film that was written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The title refers to the butterfly effect, a popular ...more
13
20 12
Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added 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
14
16 10
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
15
22 17
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg
Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. ...more
16
12 7
Existenz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Existenz is a 1999 Canadian science fiction body horror film written, produced, and directed by Canadian director David Cronenberg. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law. As in Videodrome, ...more
17
10 6
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Vera Farmiga
The Manchurian Candidate is a 2004 American thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The film, based on Richard Condon's 1959 novel of the same name and a re-imagining of the previous 1962 ...more
18
19 17
50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
19
10 8
The Forgotten is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added 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
20
16 15
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Colin Farrell
Total Recall is a 2012 American science fiction action film directed by Len Wiseman. It is the second adaptation of the 1966 short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" by ...more
21
6 5
Pandorum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Dennis Quaid, Norman Reedus, Ben Foster
Pandorum is a German-British 2009 post-apocalyptic science fiction film, with elements of locked room mystery, horror, and survival adventure. The film was directed by Christian Alvart and ...more
22
5 5
Unknown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added 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. The taxi driver, Gina, succeeds in saving ...more
23
8 10
The Cell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio
The Cell is a 2000 horror film directed by Tarsem Singh, and starring Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio.
24
2 7
Trance is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Rosario Dawson, James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel
Trance is a 2013 British psychological thriller film directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge from a story by Ahearne. The film stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, ...more
25
1 6
Ararat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Christopher Plummer, Bruce Greenwood, Charles Aznavour
Ararat is a 2002 Franco-Canadian drama historical film written and directed by Atom Egoyan and starring Charles Aznavour, Christopher Plummer, David Alpay, Arsinée Khanjian, Eric ...more