15 philosophical films that will help you rethink your life

15 philosophical films that will help you rethink your life

15 philosophical films that will help you rethink your life

November 6, 2021

Likbez Kino

“Theorem Zero”, “Stalker”, “The Seventh Seal” and other great works from famous directors.
Photo by Alexey Khromov

Alexey Khromov

Lifehacker Film Critic

15 philosophical films that will help you rethink your life


15. Zero’s theorem

The Zero Theorem

  • USA, 2013.
  • Fantasy, drama.
  • Duration: 106 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6.1.

Computer genius Cohen Leth tries to prove the unsolvable “Zero Theorem” that drove his predecessors crazy. He moves away from the worldly bustle and locks himself in his dilapidated house so as not to miss a call from God, who should tell the hero about the meaning of all things.

Terry Gilliam’s parable is initially built on contradictions. On the one hand, the main character is trying to contact the Creator. On the other hand, he himself proves that the world appeared by chance, without any reason. Moreover, the open ending of the picture not only allows the viewer to independently choose a side, but also makes you wonder whether it is worth spending your life searching for answers to unsolvable questions.

Watch on Google Play →

14. Tree of life

The Tree of Life

  • USA, 2010
  • Drama, fantasy, parable.
  • Duration: 139 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6.8.

While in a midlife crisis, Jack searches for answers to pressing questions in his childhood memories. He grew up with a very tough father who insisted that personal interests come first. At the same time, Mom taught Jack that you need to keep kindness in yourself.

Terrence Malick’s film draws unusual parallels between the growth of one person and the development of life on Earth since ancient times. A significant part of the picture is devoted to philosophical reasoning about the movement of everything that exists towards inevitable death.

13. Bicentennial Man

Bicentennial Man

  • USA, Germany, 1999.
  • Fantasy, drama, comedy.
  • Duration: 126 minutes.
  • IMDb: 6.9.
Frame from the film “Bicentennial Man”

In the future, people are increasingly getting themselves humanoid robots instead of pets. One of these machines, Andrew, gets into the average family and builds relationships with its members. For 200 years, the hero has been trying to understand his loved ones and gradually he himself becomes indistinguishable from them.

Based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Asimov, the picture is primarily devoted to complex philosophical questions: what makes a person a person and from what moment does artificial intelligence approach ordinary thinking? But besides this, the film contains discussions about death and even a story about the struggle for one’s rights.

Watch on iTunes →
Watch on Google Play →

12. Fountain

The Fountain

  • USA, Canada, 2006.
  • Fantasy, drama, parable.
  • Duration: 97 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.2.

Oncologist Tom unsuccessfully tries to find a cure for cancer for his wife. He becomes disillusioned with conventional medicine and searches for the mythical Tree of Life. But the wife, already resigned to her imminent death, asks her husband to finish her book “The Source”.

Darren Aronofsky’s complex picture mixes reality with dreams and the plot of the book. But together all this is a discussion about death, eternal life and reincarnation.

Watch on Google Play →

11. Melancholy


  • Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, 2011.
  • Fantasy, drama.
  • Duration: 130 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.2.

Beauty Justine quarrels with her husband right during the wedding and soon becomes depressed. Her sister Claire helps her cope. But soon personal problems fade into the background, because the planet Melancholia is moving towards the Earth. In the event of a collision, the whole world will perish.

The famous Danish director Lars von Trier has long been known as a provocateur. But “Melancholia” is one of the most calm films of the author. Here he talks about accepting the inevitable and waiting for death.

Watch on Google Play →

10 Dead Man’s Letters

  • USSR, 1986.
  • Fantasy, drama.
  • Duration: 88 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.6.
Frame from the film “Letters from a Dead Man”

After a nuclear war, which began by an absurd accident, Nobel Prize winner Larsen lives in the dungeon of the museum. Communicating with other survivors, he tries to understand the reasons that push humanity to cruelty.

Konstantin Lopushansky made one of the most terrible films of Soviet cinema. But, in addition to the terrible pictures of the post-apocalypse, in the tape you will find reasoning on interesting philosophical questions. For example, what caused the desire of mankind for self-destruction.

9. Awakening life

Waking life

  • USA, 2001.
  • Drama, fantasy.
  • Duration: 99 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

The unnamed protagonist travels through a surreal world. He observes the life of various unusual personalities, and sometimes even the simplest cafe visitors. But gradually the man realizes that he lives in a dream. Then he begins to participate more and more in discussions on everything in the world: cinema, literature, philosophy.

Richard Linklater created a very unusual painting. First, the author filmed real actors, and then the animators turned the whole action into a cartoon. In the course of the plot, the question of perception of life is repeatedly raised. Linklater shows that reality can be one moment, and dreams help to look into infinity.

8. Mr. Nobody

Mr. Nobody

  • Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, 2009.
  • Drama, fantasy.
  • Duration: 138 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

Far away…






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