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Smartest Sci-Fi Movies That Only Make Sense If You Watch Them Twice

The best science fiction movie is the one that challenges you to think. It’s layered composition forces you to turn your mental cogwheels to find an answer. These sci-fi movies take this concept up a notch.


People have literally written entire research papers and done thesis projects on the plot of Primer. None of them have been able to truly decipher the time travel physics of Primer. Two inventors accidentally create a device that allows for a form of time travel. But the underlying concept of the movie is that true time travel does not exist and what the duo ended up creating was a time loop of multiple parallel timelines working in tandem. It is the most confusing science fiction movie to have been ever made.


It’s pretty natural that the most complicated sci-fi movies of Hollywood are based on one of the most sophisticated concepts of science – time travel. And Predestination is one of the crown jewels of this genre. Ethan Hawke plays Dr. Doe, who strikes up a conversation with a seemingly benign stranger. What follows next is a story that concludes with a mother of all paradoxes. We bet when this Australian movie ends, you would scratch your head so hard out of utter confusion you just might start bleeding.


Timecrimes is a hidden gem of a movie. Many science fiction lovers haven’t even watched it. The Spanish time travel thriller involves a man who finds himself in a time loop. As the loop keeps reiterating, he finds future versions of himself popping up. It’s a movie that is all about addressing the concept of anomalies created by time travel tampering with the space-time continuum. The plot itself takes multiple viewings to be fully understood.


Sunshine is a serious movie with a serious premise. Humanity has managed to live for centuries. The Earth and its human civilization is now self-sustaining. But the Sun is dying. A group of scientists are sent to reignite its core with the world’s most powerful hydrogen bomb. The movie sometimes dives deep into complex social allegories and bizarre implications push the boundaries within the realm of science fiction. But it is a movie that’s a must-watch for fans of the genre. Danny Boyle’s directorial venture is unique and certainly an intriguing experience.

The Quiet Earth

The Quiet Earth is a powerful movie the relies on the spaces between dialogues to deliver the majority of the plot to the viewers. The 1985 movie deals with a scientist waking up to find an experiment has destroyed all life on Earth. Known simply as “The Effect”, the phenomenon’s origin and aftermath are more complex than it sounds. The Quiet Earth paves way for a multitude of interpretations. If you watch it, then you are in for incredible mental leg work.


Moon is directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie. The story is about a lone astronaut played by Sam Rockwell. The astronaut is stationed to operate a lunar base. He suddenly starts seeing unexplainable visions. Moon’s bizarre take on human isolation in the cold vacuum of space and its after effects on the human mind are something to take note of. The visions that Rockwell’s character sees in particular have a deeper meaning than you think.


There is no movie that is as grand and yet so complicated and beloved like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. This movie transcends the fabric of space and time – quite literally in fact. The Earth is dying. Mathew McConaughey is chosen by NASA to be sent across the universe via a mysterious wormhole. What follows next is truly an epic adventure of interstellar proportions. Nolan’s other mind-bending work was Inception, which made us question what’s real and what’s not. Interstellar on the other hand, makes us redefine the very concept of time.