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The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation 

Ranker Film
Updated September 27, 2019 885 votes 154 voters 14.7k views 28 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.

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1
Memento is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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
Inception is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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3
Eternal Sunshine of the ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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4
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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

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5
Shutter Island is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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6
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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7
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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8
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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9
The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman

Released: 2004

Directed by: J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress

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

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10
Moon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario

Released: 2009

Directed by: Duncan Jones

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

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11
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

Released: 1998

Directed by: Alex Proyas

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

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12
The Island is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi

Released: 2005

Directed by: Michael Bay

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

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13
Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti

Released: 2003

Directed by: John Woo

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

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14
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

Released: 1997

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

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

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15
Secret Obsession is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Brenda Song, Mike Vogel, Dennis Haysbert

Released: 2019

Directed by: Peter Sullivan

Secret Obsession is a 2019 Amerian drama thriller directed by Peter Sullivan.
16
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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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17
Existenz is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Cronenberg

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

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18
10 Minutes Gone is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Bruce Willis, Michael Chiklis, Meadow Williams

Released: 2019

Directed by: Brian A. Miller

10 Minutes Gone is a 2019 Canadian American mystery-thriller film directed by Brian A. Miller. A man loses 10 minutes of his memory after a bank heist goes wrong and must recover his memory to ...more
19
50 First Dates is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 2004

Directed by: Peter Segal

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20
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Colin Farrell

Released: 2012

Directed by: Len Wiseman

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

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21
The Manchurian Candidate... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Vera Farmiga

Released: 2004

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

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

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22
The Forgotten is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Julianne Moore, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard

Released: 2004

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

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23
Unknown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
wiabux added Diane Kruger, Liam Neeson, January Jones

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra

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24
The Cell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio

Released: 2000

Directed by: Tarsem Singh

The Cell is a 2000 horror film directed by Tarsem Singh, and starring Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio.

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25
Pandorum is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Memory Manipulation
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Released: 2009

Directed by: Christian Alvart

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