10 Movies That Were Designed To Mess With Your Head

9. 2001: A Space Oddyssey

Mulholland Drive

Few films have been as widely debated as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s perhaps one of the most culturally significant films of all time, a visionary sci-fi epic that impacted the genre like few other movies have. Its DNA can be found in other classics like Alien, Star Wars, Moon, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but whereas those films are attempting to tell fairly straightforward stories, 2001 is much more complex in its intent.

The film is loosely about space exploration and the discovery of a large black ‘monolith’, but individual parts of 2001 - particularly its psychedelic ‘Star Child’ ending - are left open to interpretation. Very little is explained through dialogue, and Kubrick himself has refused to elaborate on the meanings contained within 2001, unwilling to provide a definitive reading at the expense of viewers developing their own interpretations.

Is it a movie about evolution? War? The transcendence of alien life? Post-humanism? Is it just a laser light show with apes and spooky computers? All of the above? None of the above?

Either way, 2001 was even more mind-blowing when it released back in 1968. It depicted fairly realistic and scientifically viable space travel, as well as tablet-like devices that wouldn’t be invented for another forty years.

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Liam is a writer and cranberry juice drinker from Lincolnshire. When he's not wearing his eyes away in front of a computer, he plays the melodica for a semi wrestling-themed folk-punk band called School Trips.