10 Most Confusing Movies Ever Made, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

Redditors have listed the most confusing movies they have ever seen, including the likes of Enemy and Tenet.
Movies are meant as an escape for people from their hectic lives. Some would argue that this is best done by turning off one’s brain and just enjoying what is on screen. Oftentimes, directors aren’t crystal clear in the point they are trying to make, which results in audiences scratching their heads in confusion.
A confusing film means that even if the viewer pays close attention, they are still lost. This confusion continues even after looking at YouTube or Wikipedia for clarification. Films like Inception or Memento may seem confusing but can be understood after multiple viewings. However, Redditors have shared various films which they feel can never be solved.
Nearly a decade after wrapping up The Matrix Trilogy, the Wachowskis made another mind bender in Cloud Atlas. Viewing the film was too much for BlankCheckMatchmaker and maybeCheri agrees, adding that “I don’t want to hurt my brain like that again”.
Related: 10 Confusing But Brilliant Movies Everyone Should See, According To Reddit
This is an example of needing to read the book first to better understand the movie, but that doesn’t always work. Complex books often lead to complex adaptations. The film focuses on the past, present, and future of its main characters, yet it feels disjointed because there is very little connecting these time jumps, and lacks a tie-in at the end.
Zack Snyder’s fantasy film Sucker Punch is about an abused girl who is sent to an asylum for a lobotomy and uses her imagination to escape reality. The movie is a guilty pleasure for some, but willlangford begs to differ.
The protagonist, Baby Doll, imagines the asylum as a brothel. She must hate this because then she envisions different fantastical scenes (which makes one question why she envisioned the brothel in the first place) while she “dances” for clients. The dancing is never shown, which limits its effectiveness. These scenes have no connection to one another, more feeling like a video game than a movie. The ending makes the least sense as viewers are left to wonder if this is Baby Doll’s story or someone else’s.
Southland Tales causes confusion based on its premise alone – an action star with amnesia crosses paths with an adult film star, as well as a police officer who holds the key to a huge conspiracy.
DangerousVoice4273 feels that it’s more than just the premise which makes the film confusing. “It was strangely disjointed. Scenes didn’t line up. I really had no idea what it was about”. Such a complex premise with intersecting storylines requires continuity to keep audiences from scratching their heads. This is something that movies such as Pulp Fiction do very well, and something that Southland Tales should’ve taken into consideration.
After seeing his exact look-alike in a movie, a man attempts to track him down in EnemyDespite this being one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s filmsOrisitfris feels that the movie’s ending was the most confusing part.
Denis Villeneuve is a masterful director, but even the greats aren’t always clear when trying to explain what their movie is about. This movie deals heavily with symbolism, which itself can be confusing. In this case, the ending involves a giant spider, one of Villeneuve’s trademarks. Not only is this ending an unexpected scare, but it also leaves the viewer pondering what the spider represents.
In Darren Aronofsky’s film Mother!seemingly happy couples’ lives are thrown into turmoil when uninvited guests arrive at their country home. “Mother! had me racking my brain after I finished watching it”, states a deleted Reddit user.
Related: Every Darren Aronofsky Movie, Ranked According To Metacritic
“I had no clue what was happening the entire time ” admits OccassionallyGassy. “After looking it up, I pretended I understood all along though”. Many of Aronofsky’s films are hard to understand, and Mother! is no exception. The film does have a religious undertone, with many metaphors and references to the Bible. However, this makes the film much more confusing for those who aren’t familiar with these metaphors and might leave them frustrated as a result.
If opening a box could grant someone a million dollars, yet cause the death of someone they don’t know, would they still open it? That’s the premise of The Box, but rookiebatman argues that the movie was “trying too hard to be deep”.
That’s probably the easiest way for a film to be confusing – it tries to be something it isn’t. The Box is trying to use a moral dilemma to make a statement about humanity, but it backfires. Another Redditor, _under_scored_, points out a specific scene that turned them off the film. It goes to show that no matter how philosophical a movie tries to be, a confusing scene can stuff that philosophy in its box.
Redditor webhyperion strongly believes that Mulholland Drive is one of the most confusing movies they’ve ever seen. They even had to consult Wikipedia afterward.
David Lynch is known for making confusing movies, and Mulholland Drive certainly fits that description. It’s meant to be a harsh look at the Hollywood entertainment industry. However, Lynch uses dream sequences and at times it’s difficult to discern fantasy from reality. Another issue is that a lot of storylines don’t have much to do with each other, making everything tough to follow.
The analogy that Redditor vverse23 gives when watching Tenet is far less confusing than the movie itself. Not only was it next level confusing, but it “was like someone dumped the puzzle box on the floor and lit it on fire”.
Related: 10 Movies Movie Buffs Of Reddit Have Had To Watch More Than Once To Understand The Plot
Christopher Nolan puts so much detail into his movies which means that viewers have to pay close attention to get the full experience. However, there is so much going on in Tenet that it’s difficult to keep track of. Because the movie deals with time, it forces the audience to understand the concept of “inversion” and how it affects other characters. The inversion concept is confusing in and of itself.
Many of Terrence Malik’s films are philosophical, which leads some to consider them confusing. This is certainly the case for Redditor Connect_Stay_391, who claims that “Sean Penn didn’t even know what it was about”. Sean Penn did express his opinion of the film in an interview after its release (via The Guardian).
Despite breathtaking visuals, many scenes in The Tree of Life progress longer than needed, further complicating the point Malik is trying to make. Because it’s supposed to be philosophical, there isn’t much of a story, which makes the connection between the universe and the family challenging to interpret.
Redditor hollomaphone has seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy three times and still doesn’t understand it – the essence of a confusing movie. Another Redditor, readwhite_blue, argues that the book the movie is based on should be read beforehand stating that it “will only make sense if you know the whole plot already.”
A third Redditor, fennesz, points out that one must pay attention to Gary Oldman’s glasses otherwise “it’s really hard to figure out when things happen”. While this creative idea seems great in theory, there are a few people who might find it to be a little bit pointless since they don’t understand why they have to rely on something so specific to understand the film.
Next: The 10 Most Confusing Movies Ever Made, According To Ranker
Sean McDade is currently a Movie/TV List writer for Screen Rant. He graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State University, Northridge. Based near Los Angeles, Sean loves writing about movies as well as for them. He has written and directed short films (currently in pre and post production) including one that won the CHC Air Quality Short Film Contest in 2020. Sean loves to immerse himself in anything DCEU, MCU, Star Wars, and especially Lord of the Rings. In fact, his favorite movie is The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King followed by Jurassic Park and The Dark Knight. Nothing beats getting lost in a movie on the big screen.


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