Movies are more than just entertainment. They serve as a medium for us to gain knowledge about various subjects, including the intricacies of the human mind. In this article, we will explore the top 13 psychological films that offer a captivating insight into the inner workings of our psyche.
The Unmissable Top 13 Psychological Films
Life is a series of experiences, some with a greater emotional impact than others, but all contributing to the person we become every day. Who hasn’t watched a movie and found themselves relating to a particular storyline? The big screen showcases a multitude of events that many people can connect with and feel identified by. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and discover the exceptional psychological films that are a must-watch for personal growth, connection, and critical thinking.
1. A Clockwork Orange
One of Stanley Kubrick’s great classics, A Clockwork Orange, tells the story of a protagonist accustomed to a life of violence and chaos, likely stemming from an antisocial disorder. After being imprisoned, the protagonist’s violent tendencies are suppressed using a behavioral psychology-based method.
2. The Machinist
The Machinist is a disturbing and thought-provoking psychological thriller. The film revolves around a mechanic, played by Christian Bale, who is almost unrecognizable due to his extreme thinness, working in a factory. Suffering from a year-long bout of insomnia, the protagonist experiences physical and mental health problems, rendering him unable to rest or have restorative sleep. Flashbacks of post-traumatic stress disorder blend with paranoia caused by sleep deprivation, resulting in dissociative personality disorder.
Soul is undoubtedly one of the most endearing and thought-provoking films of our time. It delves into the question of what makes us special, our essence, something we often fail to discover due to lack of time or dedication. The story follows a music teacher who, frustrated and disheartened by not achieving his dream, dies in an accident. Upon his death, he travels to the afterlife, called “The Great Before,” where he must help the soul 22 find her true passion in life. And now, can you answer the question: What is your passion?
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
This 1975 film, boasting an exceptional cast, begins slowly but manages to captivate viewers through its emotional connections. Set almost entirely in a psychiatric hospital, the story revolves around Jack Nicholson’s character, who has been admitted to evaluate whether he truly suffers from a mental illness or if he is faking it after being accused of rape.
5. Black Swan
Black Swan, released in 2010, stars Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for her performance, along with Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. The film centers around a young ballet dancer overwhelmed by the pressure and demands of her career, as well as her rivalry with Mila Kunis. Natalie Portman’s character begins to experience physical and mental exhaustion, which eventually leads to psychotic symptoms, revealing her darker side.
6. Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream is a psychological film that explores various themes through the lives of four characters. Their obsessive pursuit of their dreams leads them into addiction and other problems. It is a harrowing and bitter film that sheds light on the personal values that shape and influence society.
7. The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl delicately and insightfully addresses a subject that still presents a multitude of obstacles for many individuals today: gender identity and the process of transgenderism. Starring Eddie Redmayne, the film takes us on a compelling journey of self-construction and deconstruction.
Her tells the story of Theodore, a lonely man who works as a writer, crafting heartfelt letters for people who are unable to express themselves. The film gradually immerses us in a whirlwind reality—a reality where loneliness and love coexist. Can one fall in love with a software system? Her explores this provocative question.
9. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko delves deep into the human psyche, exploring the emotional state that everyone fears to experience at some point in life: loneliness. Sadly, this psychological film highlights the connection between isolation and mental health problems. It gives a voice to those who struggle to be heard. The unsettling tale centers around a troubled young man and his imaginary friend, a rabbit, with whom he embarks on surreal adventures that blur the lines of reality—a manifestation of his schizophrenia.
Nomadland takes us on a vibrant journey of self-discovery as we follow a woman who has lost everything and decides to live a nomadic life in a camper van. Along her journey, she encounters different individuals who make us reflect on life and the freedom to live it on our own terms, even in the face of pain.
Joker portrays the transformation of a clown, driven by the hidden reality of suffering caused by a personality disorder. From a harmless clown, he takes justice into his own hands, crossing the thin line between good and evil. Beyond its captivating storyline, Joker sheds light on mental disorders and prompts us to reflect on the mistreatment faced by individuals with such conditions.
12. A Beautiful Mind
Inspired by the life of mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., A Beautiful Mind details his astonishing discovery early in his career, leading to worldwide fame. However, his rise to success is hindered when his brilliant mind is attacked by schizophrenia. With the unwavering support of his wife, he becomes a legend and is awarded the Nobel Prize in 1994.
13. Inside Out
Inside Out takes us on a fun, enlightening, and amusing journey from a simple move to the depths of the human mind. This remarkable film revolves around an eleven-year-old girl named Riley. Following her move with her parents, the film delves into her mind, which is dominated by five core emotions—joy, disgust, fear, anger, and sadness. It teaches us how human behavior is influenced by the experiences associated with each emotion.
Ready to grab some popcorn and enjoy a great time? Our curated selection of the 13 best psychological films offers both knowledge and entertainment. Learning can take many forms, but there’s something uniquely beautiful about acquiring knowledge through art. Moreover, studies have shown that watching movies and series fuels our creativity, helps us empathize, regulates our mood, reduces stress, and enhances our overall enjoyment and well-being.
So, let’s embrace the power of cinema and embark on a journey into the fascinating realm of the human mind.
To discover more thought-provoking content, visit Ratingperson.