It requires some bizarre imagination to create a film about the mind of John Malkovich. American filmmaker Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman did just that. A fantasy comedy, ‘Being John Malkovich’ follows a failing puppeteer who discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of the movie star John Malkovich. On the surface, there is no connection between the character of a puppeteer, some curious portal and John Malkovich’s mind. However, with the screenwriting dexterity and bizarre imaginative powers of Charlie Kaufman, the film turns into a truly unforgettable, surreal experience.
The movie combines the most bizarre idea with the post-modernist self-referential narrative to make it such an engaging watch. Cited as the “best film of 1999” by Roger Ebert, it is a must watch for fans of existentialist philosophy and surrealism. With all that said, here’s the list of best movies similar to ‘Being John Malkovich’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Being John Malkovich’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. The Lego Movie (2014)
Who knew a movie built from a toy company can be a well-constructed piece of work? Well, American directorial duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller managed to do exactly that. A 3D computer-animated film, ‘The Lego Movie’, set in the Lego universe, is the story of an ordinary Lego mini-figure who finds himself inexplicably leading a resistance to stop a tyrannical businessman from glueing everything in the Lego world into what he believes is perfection. With high levels of self-awareness, ‘The Lego Movie’ satirizes the government and its autonomy over how the state functions. Filmmaker Edgar Wright named it as his favourite film of 2014, which is a testament of the film’s witty humour. Among its many nomination and wins, ‘The Lego Movie’ went on to win a BAFTA Award Best Animated Feature Film.
9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Adapted from ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ written by American author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson, published in 1971, this Terry Gilliam adaptation is a psychedelic satirical follows two friends – Raoul Duke, a journalist and Dr Gonzo, a lawyer – as they travel through Las Vegas under the pretence of work. Their journey quickly turns bizarre as they consume psychoactive drugs which lead to a series of psychedelic experiences. A financial failure at its time of release, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ was met with complete distaste from critics and audience alike. Roger Ebert called the film “…a horrible mess…” and many criticised the film’s senseless narrative. However, the movie has garnered a more positive reaction over the years, with Terry Gilliam’s direction and the performances of Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro receiving special appreciation.