Home Entertainment 17 Movies Like Inception to Watch in 2021 (Best List)

17 Movies Like Inception to Watch in 2021 (Best List)

Movies Like Inception

Writing the screenplay of Inception is said to have taken Christopher Nolan ten years- (yes you read that right). This masterpiece involved prodigious devotion and concentration which clearly paid off when a worldwide audience received the movie with nothing but praise and positive reviews- something that movies similar to Inception have struggled to achieve.

This is a movie that lures the audience into a dream-like state through its concept of “disorientation”- only affording little hints, to help the viewers get a grip on the movie’s reality.

‘Rotten Tomatoes’ has called this movie- smart, thrilling, and innovative- a rare blockbuster that is successful viscerally and intellectually. We cannot blame you for wanting more once you have watched this heist thriller- however; it is rather difficult to find movies like Inception which match up to its genius in an agreeable fashion.

Many films have tried to introduce twisted psychological concepts in their plotline, but only a rare few have succeeded in juggling minds through their artistic philosophies.

Nolan’s labyrinth, which is a highly gratifying tale- continues to hold the 14th place on IMDb as one of the best movies that have been made to date. Below we have given some movies to watch like inception. Go through the list and find your favorite-

Here are the Best Movies Like Inception:

Shutter Island

Shutter Island: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Shutter Island

From its very first musical note, Shutter Island begins to work its magic on us. These notes successfully introduce us to a movie which I going to be ominous and suspenseful with a host of secrets.

This movie is Martic Scrosese’s summoning of the shuddering fright we feel when a thriller does not rely merely on action scenes.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, the movies are set in 1954 on an island which provides asylum to people of unsound mind. The actors play two marshals who are called to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a child murderer.

However, things are not what they seem with the Marshals growing wary of the people who run this organization.

Source Code

Source Code: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Source Code

The movie -Source Code- is an ingenious thriller which is popularly billed as a “science-fiction” that some people might call a little ambitious, but riveting nonetheless.

The movie tells the story of a man who suddenly finds himself in the body of one- Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) , talking to a woman- Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan), even though he doesn’t recall ever meeting her or initiating the conversation.

Things turn even stranger when he looks into the mirror and finds himself looking at a man whose face he has never seen before. From these very confusing beginnings, the movie reels us in and gives us a chance to have the pleasure of unraveling this mystery.

Colter drifts in and out of consciousness, only to realize that he is nothing more than the scientifically harvested brain of a man who died in a train explosion. Sounds far-fetched, but the movie has been made very believable by Duncan Jones and his team.

Fight Club

Fight Club: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Fight Club

This is David Fincher’s fourth feature which has been made with impeccable details and a slight Fascist overtone, which is easy to overlook.

Uncompromising and Nihilistic, the movie is absolutely fascinating through the brazen and hypocritical denunciation of utilizing glamorous stars or new technologies to attain popularity.

If you’re looking for a mind-bender like inception then you should give Fight Club a try. The movie is told in flashback and tells the story through Edward Norton- called The Narrator- who is a rather depressed urban loner filled with angst.

He happens to meet two strange individuals- Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who turn his life upside down. Our hero becomes a part of an underground fight club that wants to break some ground rules of society.

The movie now becomes slightly violent and reveals some staggering truths at the end- definitely a must-watch.

Related: Movies like Fight Club

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of The Sixth Sense

 The Sixth Sense is not just a ghost story which flourished years ago- it is all also a modern thriller, which explores a number of hidden dimensions. The movie plays with the concept that children are more vulnerable to the supernatural.

A little boy is seen solemnly telling his psychologist “I see dead people. They want me to do things for them.” The psychologist is Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) who treats the young boy because he has the same disorder as the patient who shot him a year ago.

It is one of those rare movies where you get to see Willis in a restrained role, without any torn clothing, a battery of firearms, and other equipment.

The direction by Shyamalan is superb, and the writing wonderfully mystical. Exactly when you feel spooked, the movie introduces the right amount of humor. Moreover, the movie has a very interesting plotline which keeps you hooked throughout.

 Gone Girl

Gone Girl: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of  Gone Girl

Gone girl is entertainment and art mixed together. It is a film which is able to shift emphasis and perspective so often that it almost feels like you are watching  five different movies that are strung together.

At first the movie talks about Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) who might or might not have killed another person, who alienates himself to such an extent that most people cannot believe in his innocence.

His wife- Amy (Rosamund Pike) disappears all of a sudden, which leads to the opening of a missing person case that turns to a murder investigation when they don’t hear from her for three days.

Amy and Nick seemed to be a rather happy couple but snippets from Amy’s diary reveal that they had their differences.  Can we trust what Nick has to tell the homicide detectives? Can we trust what Amy has to say through her diary? Surely, there’s a lot more than appears on the surface.


Memento: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Memento

This masterpiece by Christopher Nolan is an indie mystery that stars Guy Pearce as a man from San Francisco, who finds himself lost in Los Angeles while suffering from anterograde amnesia, popularly known as short term memory loss.

In a matter of seconds Leonard Shelby is unable to keep a thought in his head, from where memory turns to vapor like cotton candy. To have a semblance of memory, Leonard writes down notes and checks various tattoos in his body that carry hints from his life.

In this landscape- one clear thing is that someone has been killed, and while the man investigating this murder is suffering from a major mental disorder, we cannot help but trust him and root for his success.

Each scene in the movie is an episode flipped backwards and by the time it concludes we are one step closer to the beginning of the story and the end of the movie- a gripping take on the direction of a crime-thriller, making it a must watch.

The Matrix

The Matrix: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of The Matrix

The seventh entry on our list of films like inception is another movie that stars one of our favorite sci-fi leads- Keanu Reeves. The Matrix is a fantasy/ sci-fi movie which contains action sequences you simply cannot forget.

The movie is a story of a newly found hero- The One- who seeks to free his fellow humans from the clutches of a fabricated world. The idea of the movie is the opposite of inception, where a person finally stops ‘dreaming’ in the matrix and enters the real world once plugged out of their machines.

Although the plot base of the two movies seems entirely different, you will not be disappointed once you hook into the film.

The stoic yet expressive performance by Keanu Reeves and his co-stars transports you to the world of master-fighters and stealthy defenders, who deliver some of the best fight scenes that cinema has seen in a while.

The Prestige

The Prestige: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of The Prestige

Another entry from Christopher Nolan- The Prestige has been touted as one of the most mind-bending movies in the past years. The movie takes place in Victorian London, at a time and place when séances as well as black magic were almost credulous.

We come across two novice magicians- Robert Angrier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) who work as fake “volunteers” for the magician Milton- (Ricky Jay).

A mistake on Borden’s part leads to the death of Robert’s wife which sets off a lifelong enmity between the two. The miserable Alfred is reduced to rags and performs in small markets.

However, he is unable to gather much of an audience, eventually he comes up with a magic trick that no one can decipher-not even Angrier himself, who makes it the mission of his life to revealing the secret’s trick and bring Alfred to shame.


Predestination: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Predestination

Predestination is one of the most impressive movies that have been created in recent years. It is filled with twists, turns and unexpected plot developments which are all so crucial to the plot that revealing even a little bit of them could bring us to a spoiler.

The movie shows- Temporal Agents- these are an elite group of people who are capable of traveling through time to prevent the horrible crimes even before they have occurred.

The movie might be slightly illogical but it offers you a taste of something rich, strange and fairly toxic. The movie is based on the 1958 short story by Robert Heinlein, and starts with Ethan Hawke as a worker of the top-secret government organization mentioned above. While posing to be a barman, Hawke meets a mysterious trans man (Sarah Snook) who tells him an extraordinary story.

There is no other way of knowing how good this movie is, except by giving it a good watch- we are not revealing too much to keep the story safe, but we can assure you that you will not be disappointed.


Looper: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Looper

Looper by Rian Johnson is smart, tricky and a must-watch sci-fi which avoids the paradox of time travel by embracing them fully. Many time travel movies are unable to avoid trouble in the final scenes, when impossible things happen one on top of the other.

However, this movie creates such a startling conclusion that the paradoxes in the story are wiped out like they never happened.  The screenplay by Johnson is absolutely incredible.

The movies takes place in 2044 and 2074, both of which show variations of the American present, there are also a few scenes set in futuristic Shanghai.

We are informed that time travel has been declared illegal soon after its discovery, however a crime syndicate still cheats and uses this method to dispose its enemies.

A man stands by himself in a field and shoots another man who enters the scene by materializing from thin air. Both the guys are the same person- from different times, with the younger one having been assigned to kill his older self.

This is a loop that must be accomplished, but a hitch stops it from occurring. The story continues thereon and completely riles you in with its intricate plot.

Upstream Color

Upstream Color: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Upstream Color

Upstream Color is a romantic, sci-fi, mystery-thriller. It is Shane Carruth’s second feature- brought to the screen nine years after his wonderful ‘Primer’.

Upstream Color examines the basic idea of sensibility0 identity memory, perception with the focus and detail of a microscope. The movie has been designed as an enigmatic experience that has to be felt, puzzled over, absorbed and reconsidered after you have watched it.

If you look at Upstream Color as a romance, it will turn out to be a story about a new identity that is formed when two people blend to form a “couple”. If you only look at it as science fiction then you can concentrate on the roles given to worms and pigs as well as the pig farmer.

Just like inception, there is no other way to understand the movie except thoroughly watching it, which we highly recommend.


Primer: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Primer

Shane Carruth’s Primer starts with four tech-heads who are seen addressing some envelopes to potential investors. They are seeking capital for the machine being built in their garage.

They are not very sure about the function of this machine although, it certainly does something. The dialogue is slightly difficult to understand but completely sucks us in.

The machine is something of a time machine, with one minute in the garage equaling 1,347 minutes in the machine. The two main characters- Aaron and Abe- even see their own doubles traveling back in time to reach the present.

Thus, there are times when there are two of them; it is not made very clear to the audience which one is the real Aaron and we keep wondering what would happen if the two decided to speak.

“Primer” is a puzzle film that will keep you wondering about loose ends, loopholes, paradoxes, and unexplained events that somehow still come together in the movie.

 The Adjustment Bureau

 The Adjustment Bureau: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of  The Adjustment Bureau

The adjustment bureau is mainly about the conflict between free will and predestination- that right there, is the whole dilemma of life. These questions are raised in a science fiction which has romance at its core.

Written and directed by George Nolfi, this movie is based on a story by Philip K. Dick on “adjusters” whose job is to move things around to make sure things proceed as per the higher plan.

When David Morris (Matt Damon) enters a men’s room, instead of finding it empty as he expected, he instead runs across Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)-following which a series of events unfold.

Morris meets Mitchell and Richardson from the bureau who are here to correct the fault which arose in a time when Elise and David met. However, the two are deeply in love and decide to evade these officers of life.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

When talking about brain games- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the best works out there. If you’re only looking for something thrilling, then you might want to skip this movie which is a sweet romance at its core.

The movie imagines a scenario which allows a person to obliterate complete fields of memory- for instance, Clementine (Kate Winslet) forgets that she has ever met Joel (Jim Carrey), including the fact that they were ever in love.

This movie is a typical example of Maze Cinema which includes storylines that coil back upon themselves. Before the technical beginning of this movie, Joel and Clementine were in love with each other, but their affair ended badly.

This caused Clementine to seek Dr. Howard Mierzwiak and erase him out of his memory, angering Joel to do the same. However, the two meet again (lured by routine and past) and even though they cannot remember each other, there is an instant connection which draws them together.

The movie unfolds events of the past and present, forming an intricate plot which engrosses the audience.

The Machinist

The Machinist: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of The Machinist

This movie tells the story of Trevor Reznik, who now weighs only 121 pounds, making you wince when looking at him. Christian Bale took it upon himself to lose 60 pounds in order to play this role. Trevor works as a machinist, in a workshop where his co-workers find him frightening and strange.

A mistake on his part causes one of his co-workers to lose a hand in an accident, following which incident Trevor starts noticing little games that his own brain has started to play with him- or is it actually happening?

The Machinist comes with an ending which is a good enough explanation for the contradictions and mysteries occurring throughout the movie. The movie is not as much about the plot as it is about the depiction of it.

The aim of director Brad Anderson is to show the audience a state of mind, which is successfully pulled off by the whopping skills of Christian Bale. If you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary, then this is the movie for you.

 Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of   Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive is the absolute masterpiece of David Lynch, who seems to have been working towards this movie all his life. The movie shows two-character- Betty and Rita who are followed through the movie by means of mysterious plot loops.

However, at the end of the story, we can’t even say for sure if they’re different characters, with Rita, wondering if she’s actually Diane Selwyn- a simple waitress with her name on a tag.

The movie is hypnotic and draws you in through one thing then another. It seems to be leading nowhere and this is even before the characters begin to merge into each other like something caught in a kaleidoscope.

Mulholland Drive is not a movie that will let you solve its mystery easily, you might even begin to wonder if there is a mystery at all. However, the sequence is absolutely enthralling and has been loved by many viewers across all these years.

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect: Movie Like Inception

Watch Trailer of The Butterfly Effect

The Chaos theory teaches that small events can lead to enormous consequences. The opening title of the movie tells that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa could cause a storm halfway around the world.

“The Butterfly Effect” has applied this theory to the lives of four children whose early lives have been marred with tragedy. When one of them discovers that he has the ability to go back in time and change things, he tries to alter the past to improve the present.

The movie stars Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, William Lee and Elden Henson, with the director- Eric Bess and Matthew F. Leonetti as the cinematographer.

Kutcher and his co-stars have delivered convincing performances, with the plot providing the actors an opportunity to live different moods of their role. The movie showcases very powerfully that although you can make plans, you cannot make results.


Many of us love mind-bending, surprising movies such as Inception. They give our brains the fodder which they need after viewing relentless numbers of mediocre movies that do not come close to being the blockbusters we deserve.

It isn’t surprising that inception turned out to be one of the biggest of the decade soon after its release. The movie also received stellar reviews and Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece was considered an unmatched enigma that had some of the most successful runs in cinematic history.

Through this movie, Nolan mixed a summer blockbuster with a thought-out science fiction, as a result, creating one of the most awe-inspiring and exhilarating movie experiences in the world.

The movies mentioned above come close to Inception – you can easily catch them on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, maybe you even find one which impresses you more than inception.

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