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10 Movies Like ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ You Must Watch

July 20, 2018
7 min read
most rewatchable films

Lush with beautiful images and inventive score similar to silent-era-esque soundtrack, it’s impossible to explain everything about ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. No doubt the film is layered with a difficult to follow narrative — though actually, it’s simple once you start following — it’s one of those films which is richly rewarding simply because you can’t stop yourself from swooning over the highly thoughtful concept and deeply moving film that it is.

There are movies that you watch, get entertained, and then forget as soon as you come out of the theater. Then, there are movies that just linger on your mind days after you have watched the film. You can’t stop thinking about the choices or the decisions that you made in your own life. Personally, I enjoy the “thinking” movies the most. When I get a lingering feeling that I can’t brush off my mind is when I know I have watched a great film. ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is one such film. And this list comprises of films similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that are our recommendations. These films will will make you think about life, and how you can improve it. You can watch some of these movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

10. Lost in Translation

‘Lost in Translation’ is the single greatest movie ever made about what it feels to feel nothing — or what we commonly refer to as “ennui”. Based on an exquisitely rich screenplay by Sofia Coppola, the film is a deft balance of humor, poignancy and melancholy. Rarely, will you see film that rests with you for days. In ‘Lost in Translation‘s’ case, it has never left me since I first watched it — and later re-watched it several more times. Every once in a while, a moment or an expression or a line from the film crops up in my head, just like that, out of nowhere, mostly, in my own moments of … ennui.

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9. Synecdoche, New York

‘Synecdoche, New York’ is a difficult movie to watch, and even stomach. It is not something which needs to be understood; movies like this need to be observed, felt and reflected upon. Intensely cerebral, often-times shocking, ‘Synecdoche, New York’ would not appeal to everyone; it is a celebration of everything an artist aspires to be, and yet it is ultimately a tragedy, showing the flip-side of artistic ambition, where the real meets the unreal, plunging the artistic mind into the dark depths of uncertainty and depression.

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8. The Mirror

Roughly autobiographical in nature, ‘The Mirror’ is a moving tale of the various emotions punctuating the consciousness of a forty-something dying poet. The film, arguably Andrei Tarkovsky’s best work, makes a sublime effort at redrawing the memories of a person. The movie is also considered to be an excellent commentary on the then existing Soviet society and politics. Known for its non-linear structure and unique cinematography, ‘The Mirror’ still remains one of the most intriguing pieces of cinematic art.

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7. Chungking Express

When was the last time Wong Kar Wai made a movie that wasn’t breathtakingly stylish and outrageously humane? Chungking express lit me on fire with its deep understanding of the human nature and the fragility of hearts. It takes a second to fall in love and years, maybe lifetimes to cope with breakups. Matters of the heart and love are extremely complex. So much that one whole month you could be eating jars of pineapple, the next day you will be in love with a woman wearing a blonde wig. Every character in the movie is broken deep down and is a pawn in the great game of love. Yet it is so much fun to watch as they fail and pick themselves up. Her is a movie snuggled up in people’s heart for the way it makes them feel about relationships and human connections. Chungking Express too, irrevocably makes you pat yourself on the shoulder for acting the way you did when in love and will revoke nostalgic memories. Each scene will take you closer to Hong Kong. Wai never fails to amaze with his ability to make great movies with simple scripts. Chungking Express made me weep through smiles at the end, I’m sure you will too. You will also never see the song ‘California dreamin’ ‘ the same way again.

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6. The Tree of Life

‘The Tree of Life’ is a cinematic poem of extraordinary scope and ambition. It doesn’t just ask its audience to observe, but also, reflect and feel. At its simplest, ‘The Tree of Life’ is a story of the journey of finding oneself. At its most complex, it is a meditation on human life and our place in the grand scheme of things. In the end, ‘The Tree of Life’ might change the way you look at life (It changed me). How many films have the power to do that?

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5. 8½

‘8½’ is a film about filmmaking itself and more specifically about the much dreaded ‘director’s block’. Known for its uniquely creative title and autobiographical references, it represents Fellini’s 8½th directorial venture. As simple as it sounds; the movie is a masterful juxtaposition of reality, imagination, memories and dreams. It marked a distinct departure from Fellini’s neorealist roots and is deeply contemplative in nature.

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4. Stalker

Call it allegorical, call it enigmatic or call it deeply contemplative; when you delve into the dark and sinister world created by Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ (1979), you can’t help getting enamoured by it! The film is nothing short of a journey into the dark alleys of uncertainty; one that is marked by hope, despair, narcissism, nihilism and above all a quest for what is ultimately humane. Let us all face it. The world demands a constant vindication of one’s existence. Tarkovsky, through this film, makes a subtle attempt at proving the futility of these vindications.

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3. In the Mood For Love

‘In The Mood For Love’ is not just a film; it is a poetry in motion. With beautiful, captivating images and equally exquisite, soul-piercing music, ‘In The Mood For Love’ tells the complex story of two simple and intrinsically beautiful individuals who are caught together in circumstances that ever-so-unpredictable life can pose. Two individuals who go through the simultaneous fear and lure of falling in love, and once in love, the sheer pain of leaving it incomplete. ‘In the Mood for Love’ has so much of love and longing simmering underneath the surface, that it will linger on your mind for days after you have watched the film.

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2. Upstream Color

Thematically rich and layered, ‘Upstream Color’ is a twisted examination of love and relationships – how do we function in it, what our love does to one another, and eventually how that’s connected to the nature and bigger schemes of things. Lyrical, mystifying and at the same time, deeply philosophical, ‘Upstream Color’ is as much a technical wizardry as it is a meditative and contemplative piece of art. If ever the art of cinema required a reason or a proof to corroborate that its purpose of existence is much more than mere entertainment, then you don’t have to look any further than this film.

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1. Before Sunset

What makes Before films so great is that each of the three films apart from being romantic, funny, enlightening and heart wrenching, are about us and who we are: love seeking and insecure, figuring out all our lives whether what we did, the choices we made, the paths we relinquished, were they right or not. ‘Before Sunset’ is an emotional, thought-provoking take on love, longing and missed opportunities in life. It is such a masterful work that it, ultimately, becomes a mirror, by looking into which, you can judge your own past and present.

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