Last Friday, we had our inaugural kickoff for Atom Movie Club. Our first movie chosen was Christopher Nolan’s Inception. We had fun live-tweeting along with the movie, but one question I asked generated an overwhelming response from people:

Naturally, that wasn’t the only movie to ever wow me with a high concept done well or to blow my mind with elevating what I thought possible in a movie. But I do remember sitting there and wondering how the hell Nolan managed to keep it all straight in his head when writing the script and, beyond that, how incredibly well done and dynamic every single visual sequence was. I walked out knowing that I had seen just a well-crafted, nearly flawlessly-executed film and appreciating it simply for that reason, alone.

As it was Friday night, I expected only a handful of responses to my question, but the answers poured in and they told a pretty fascinating story.

Christopher Nolan Topped A Lot Of Lists

Naturally, thanks to his cerebral, twisty storytelling, quite a few Nolan movies – namely Memento and The Prestige, made the list.

And while there were plenty more votes for various Nolan films, the next movie shouldn’t surprise anyone to see…

‘The Matrix’ Topped The Lists Of Plenty Of People

The Matrix is another film that blew my mind when I saw it in theaters. The Wachowskis reinvented what was possible with visual storytelling, and it’s the reason plenty of people grew up wanting to be filmmakers.

One of the Wachowskis’ other films also got some love, too, even if it didn’t do well in theaters.

‘Cloud Atlas’ Was A Sprawling Epic That Hit People Hard

There were a few movies that kept popping up in the comments, including Vanilla Sky, Annihilation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Requiem for a Dream and Cabin in the Woods.

These Movies Also Got Some Love

And people are still trying to figure out the ending of one particular 2004 movie to this day…

‘Primer’ Messed People All The Way Up

There were a number of one-off answers that I never would have expected and now I either want to go back and rewatch those movies or watch others for the first time.

Others Chose A Movie Out Of Left Field

But the one movie that appeared the most in the comments was one not everyone might expect. In fact, it appeared so many times thatย a few people were going to choose it only to see that everyone had already beaten them to it…

The Shocking Reveal In ‘Arrival’ Floored Just About Everyone

…we’ll just ignore Neil DeGrasse Tyson being a killjoy.

It was 2016’s Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and written by Eric Heisserer and based on a short story by Ted Chiang, that won in a landslide.

So if you’re looking for a list of brain-bending movies to watch, here you are:

  1. Arrival
  2. The Matrix
  3. Primer
  4. Cloud Atlas
  5. Annihilation
  6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  7. Cabin in the Woods
  8. Vanilla Sky
  9. The Prestige
  10. Memento

But the whole list of movies is worth skimming through so I encourage you to read through the comments.

Would your choice be on the list above? Or would you choose a completely different movie?

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