Brilliant Movies that Made No Sense

Films are a huge accomplishment for humankind when it comes to creative expression. As a work of art; films can stimulate more of our senses than any other medium. 

As humans, it’s our nature to decode our reality and find meaning in everything, even if there is no relatability. In most films, there is usually a climax to the story bringing closure to the audience who have been on the journey with the characters from the start.

For some viewers, it is important to understand the story; avoid spoilers before they reach the end because the experience of watching the film goes side by side by forming connections and theories that result in a guaranteed explanation. 

However, some films are cinematic adventures created to be visually experienced and stir up feelings in viewers that aren’t always pleasant. This is because art can also cause a sense of discomfort and intrigue curiosity in the viewer’s minds. With that said, Libas Now has rounded up some of the greatest films that were visually magnificent but made no (or very little) sense.

Donnie Darko

This sci-fi movie directed by Richard Kelly stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie, a lonely and angsty teenager who is informed by a freaky man in a bunny suit that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. The movie was released in the 90s but continues to be watched and discussed as it is one of the most creative expressions of psychological anxieties. Nothing about the events in the movie makes sense, but the main hunch is that it is all a fragment of Donnie’s imagination even, though the supporting characters are either out to get him or help him in stopping the accident that will end the world. 

The Lighthouse 

Robert Pattinson plays a young, hard-working man experiencing extreme emotional turbulence while working at a lighthouse on a remote island under the supervision of the senior caretaker, played by the magnificent Willem Dafoe. It is undoubtedly a horror film that uses psychological tricks of triggering fear and anxieties, feelings of suffocation, and sounds causing sensory overload and sudden silences. Based on sailor myths and tales of superstitious curses, the movie is not to be watched for entertainment but for a thrilling trip that alarms one’s senses and brings extreme reactions. The effect of black and white colour with a square frame gives it the look of an old-school film. 

The Shining

It is one of the most popular horror thrillers of all time. Jack Nicholson plays a writer working on his manuscript while stranded in a deserted hotel with his wife and child. Is the hotel haunted? Is the writer reliving all of the horrific and crazy events that happened in the past? Is it loneliness or some illness? The questions have many theories, but one thing is undoubtedly true this cult classic is Stanley Kubricks’ best work.

Black Swan 

The film is tragic yet eerily beautiful, starring Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer, playing the role of an introvert with extreme social anxiety but devoted to her craft. The obsessiveness about her role as the Black Swan in a musical leads her into a spiral of chaotic emotions and psychological distress bringing out her deepest insecurities and fears. Her mother seems to be the trigger source. While watching the film, it feels like one is experiencing a headache but trying to fight it to make it to the end because of Natalie Portman’s performance. 


There are countless sci-fi movies about post-apocalyptic futures, but none as mysterious and stunning as this one. It’s hypnotic and cryptic and stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who is on a secret mission to uncover the dangers of a mutated landscape where the laws of nature of our world do not apply and are full of threatening creatures. The movie is a kaleidoscopic visual experience; there are a few scientific errors, but the dazzling effect of the composition of science and the unknown phenomenon of spiritual transcendence makes it a work of art.


Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg bring their chaotic energy to this thriller about a couple on the lookout for a new home, except they are trapped in a maze of utopian houses and can only escape once they raise the baby delivered at their doorstep. The movie is more of a critique of the modern suburban lifestyle that entraps people in the mundane routine. It is also a psychological perspective on our past traumas and personality traits becoming tools of self-destruction.


If anyone claims to have understood this film, they probably watched it at least five times before landing on a theoretical explanation. Starring Robert Pattinson, Tenet is another masterpiece by Christopher Nolan after Inception and Interstellar. Like his other films, the main confusion in this film is also around the relativity of time; this film is more intellectually intriguing and mysterious than the rest. 


It is one of the best movies about time travel. Ethan Hawke plays a secret agent who must travel back in time to prevent an attack. Simultaneously, we also see the story of John Doe, an intersex person who was born a woman, gave birth to a child but transitioned into a man later. The character’s back story is a recap of all the pain and injustice she endured and sets the theme for the film, while Ethan Hawke’s action-packed mission runs parallel to the story. It is mind-bending and full of mind-blowing twists that reveal the connection between the two main characters. 

The Butterfly Effect 

A college student played by Ashton Kutcher discovers that he can travel back in time and fix some events in his past by altering small instances. But as chaos theory ensues, every small action taken in the past can lead to a turn of events in the future. Despite a low-budget production and a few plot holes in the film, the story leaves an impact as it becomes a lesson in understanding the laws of nature and the consequences of every small action.

The Tree of Life 

A confusing but visually astounding cinematic masterpiece. The film stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain as parents to three boys in the 1950s. The story of the family and the interconnectedness of the universe is presented beautifully in the film. Although it starts with a small explanation, Sean Penn is playing one of the boys as an adult trying to find the meaning of life in modern society. It gives no other depth to the story except about love and family values. Nonetheless, the experience of watching the film is like visualising a prayer.


A Darren Aronofsky story that is a vision of unique genius powers turning into madness. A lonely mathematician suffering from schizophrenia and anxiety disorders comes across a mysterious number and believes it to be mystical. He believes that numbers have a language of their own and obsesses over the figures, but his condition makes him paranoid and frustrated. The film is an abstract psychological thriller that produces intense feelings of anxiety and numbing dizziness, exactly how a person would feel when they don’t get the math right. But the underlying message seems to be that universal laws of nature remain inexplicably unsolved. 

The Fountain 

Another movie by Darren Aronofsky is a heartbreaking story about eternal love. Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, and Ellen Burstyn are on a hunt for the tree of life to find the elixir for immortality and keep their loved ones alive. But the characters are simultaneously in different dimensions. In one dimension, Hugh Jackman plays a scientist discovering the cure for his wife, Rachel Weisz’s illness, whereas, in another he is the knight on a quest to serve his queen and find the answer to eternal life. In another universe, he is a man on a 1000-year-old journey to find the source of life. The film is about death and life and how they are a complete circle without a beginning or an end. The magical storyline with a brilliant soundtrack makes this movie one of the most-powerful films to watch.


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