12 Sci-Fi Movies That Purposefully Mess With Your Head

11. 2001: A Space Odyssey


The granddaddy of psychedelic sci-fi, Kubrick’s classic almost defies genre categorisation by the time it reaches its trippy conclusion. Sure, the spaceship-set thriller element of the story is very much rooted in hard sci-fi traditions, and the out-of-control onboard computer H.A.L can be seen as another cautionary tale of unchecked artificial intelligence outgrowing its intended use.

But once the flick reaches Jupiter, our preconceived ideas of where all this is going go out the window in favour of increasingly trippy visuals and a trip into psychedelic time-and-space warping inter-dimensional travel. Believe it or not, everything from the significance of the monolith in the film’s opening to the enigmatic image of the star child is explained in the novel Kubrick was adapting, and canny viewers can actually decipher the existential journey depicted in the film.

Guess we better list this one alongside Stephen King’s The Shining and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange as another Kubrick literary adaptation wherein the director took as many liberties as he liked with the source text.

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