8 Of The Most Mind-Melting Sci-Fi Movie Moments Source:

More so than any other genre, science fiction has a tendency to make us think. It prompts us to contemplate all the tough questions and consider the hypothetical outcomes that might result from messing around with science, technology, space, and even politics. Some of the best science fiction movies address ideas that are beyond the scope of our current understanding and expand our concept of fundamentally accepted paradigms. But sometimes, those ideas are just so overwhelmingly different from our established understandings, that it melts our brains just to think about them. Here are 10 moments from science fiction that did just that. Caution! Spoilers Ahead!

8. Disposable Clones – Moon (2009)

Written and directed by Duncan Jones, who also happens to be the son of David Bowie, Moon is the story of a lone astronaut stationed on a moon mining facility with nothing more than the artificially intelligent voice of Kevin Spacey to keep him company. The film’s real ingenuity stems from the way it subverts audience expectations when the astronaut discovers he’s a clone manufactured with artificial memories who’s going to die very soon. From there, it delves into all sorts of complicated existential conundrums that fans of science fiction often enjoy debating.

Moon is a beautiful homage to sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running that manages to perfectly capture the absorbing themes and provocative nature of those films. Source:

7. Soylent Green is People – Soylent Green (1973)

Soylent Green is set in a dystopian future where mass industrialization has led to over population and food shortage. In these troubled times, the Soylent corporation miraculously comes up with a nutritious new wonder-food that promises to save the world from starvation. Unfortunately, it’s later discovered that the palatable wafer product known as Soylent Green is actually made through the process of recycling human corpses. This movie really gave new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat.” Source:

6. Blurred Boundaries Between Man and Machine – Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Even 20 years after its release people are still having trouble wrapping their heads around the melancholy cyber-punk action movie that is Ghost in the Shell. This film is so densely layered and crammed full of profound ideas about what it means to be human that you might feel you need a degree in philosophy just to get a handle on it.

It’s long been regarded as an anime masterpiece for its interesting, and perhaps not so far flung, vision of a near future where merging human consciousness with robotic bodies marks the next step in human evolution. One of the movie’s central themes is echoed in by Major Kusanagi, the android protagonist, as she comes to uphold the notion that artificially intelligent beings have just as much a right to a human existence as those who are born of flesh and blood. This is a movie that revels in its own elaborate complexities and begs multiple viewings just to pick up on all of them. Source:

5. The Soul is Reincarnated and Endures Through Time – Cloud Atlas (2012)

Possibly the most ambitious science fiction movie ever created, Cloud Atlas is an epic the spans multiple centuries with story threads criss-crossing between past, present, and future. The premise, which tries to convey that the actions of individuals have an effect that ripples through time, is so eloquent and so abstract that, just as you feel you’re starting to make sense of it, Hugo Weaving shows up playing a female nurse in a retirement home.

The fact that all the actors in the core cast play multiple roles, genders, and ethnicities makes you feel like the Wachowskis actually set out to break our brains when they made this movie. However, if, after watching Cloud Atlas in its entirety, you’re able to take a step back, examine all the plot lines and see the various ways they fit together and tie into the overarching theme, it’s actually a very rewarding experience. Source:

4. The Temporal Agent Paradox – Predestination (2014)

Predestination is a crazy time travel movie that managed to slip under a lot of people’s radar when it was released in 2014. It stars Ethan Hawke as a temporal agent on a mission to prevent crimes before they happen. Although it might sound a bit like Minority Report, that’s where the the similarities end. The film revolves around a perplexing time travel paradox that requires a high level of concentration if you hope to make any sense of all the time travel talk and causality loops. It’s difficult to talk about the story without giving away important plot points. Suffice it to say, the temporal agent’s job is to travel through time using a portable time machine and track down an elusive terrorist. Along the way, while he’s undercover trying to gather information as a bartender, he encounters a man (played by Sarah Snook) who has a remarkable story to tell him.

You might find it difficult to understand the first time around, and there are no doubt a few plot holes lurking in there, but it’s hard to find another sci-fi movie in recent memory with as much brain-melting potential as Predestination. Source:

3. Reality or Game? – eXistenZ  (1999)

One sure fire formula for a messed up sci-fi movie is if you mix David Cronenberg with video games. In eXistenZ, a world famous game designer wants to test their new immersive virtual reality game with a small focus group. But things get really confusing when you try to unravel who the real game designer is and what character they might be playing in the game. The movie is full of WTF moments involving bio-ports and weapons made out organic looking bones and flesh, but the central theme explores the shared relationship between people and video games. Cronenberg seems to derive a sick sort of pleasure from toying with the viewer’s perception of reality in this film, and it’s an approach that makes watching eXistenZ as incredibly entertaining as it is terribly frustrating. Source:

2. It Was Earth All Along – Planet of the Apes

In the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, Charlton Heston and his crew of astronauts crash land on what they believe to be a distant alien world inhabited by ape-like creatures who have enslaved humans. After surviving an ordeal in captivity, Charlton Heston’s character manages to escape, but he soon discovers the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the shores of a sandy beach and comes to the shocking realization that he’s been on Earth the whole time. Somehow the fall of mankind had taken place while he was in cryo-sleep aboard his spaceship. Better get used to those “damn dirty apes,” buddy. Source:

1. The Extra-Dimensional Tesseract – Interstellar (2014)

Christopher Nolan is known for making movies that get the gears in your head spinning–just look at Inception, or Memento. But Interstellar is the movie that offers up his most psychedelic conception.

After the astronauts journey through the wormhole to search for another planet that can sustain human life, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) sacrifices himself to ensure that Brand (Anne Hathaway) survives. As a result, he gets pulled through a black hole and ends up getting sent back in time through an extra-dimensional tesseract, supposedly created by beings living outside the universe, which allows him to communicate the secret of Brand’s equation to his daughter.

It’s more than a little hard to understand with all the quantum physics-related jargon being tossed around in the movie, but the thought that much of the concept is based on real life science, albeit speculative in nature, is what makes this moment truly mind-melting. Source:
Wes Walcott

Wes Walcott

Wes is a devourer of media. He ravenously consumes podcasts, books, and TV shows with seemingly no regard for review scores or subject matter. If encountered in the wild, Wes is said to respond positively to verbal cues relating to X-Men or the SNES. The subject can be easily captured and tamed using Transformers or Gundam models.