What is an existential movie? Any film that deals with the truth of life, without the materialistic set of rules, governmental systems, or societal norms can be defined as existential. They revolve around the theme of individuals trying to discern the real meaning of life in a strange world, as they try to embrace one’s true self, and use one’s own free will. Such thoughtful films teach us that society cannot dictate our beliefs; it’s us who should realize that all these prohibitions are futile and it is only our personal freedom that matters. So today, we will take a look at some of the best films that explore this philosophy. Here’s the list of really good existential movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
8. Transcendence (2014)
‘Transcendence’, a sci-fi thriller drama, is directed by Wally Pfister from a screenplay written by Jack Paglen. Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Hauser, and Morgan Freeman in lead roles, it is centered around the AI researcher, Dr. Will Caster. He is experimenting with the idea of creating a machine that will combine supreme technology with human emotions. His ambitious and controversial project makes him the target of anti-technology groups, who try to stop him at all costs. However, they end up making him a participant in his own “transcendence”. Now, in his quest for supremacy, the major question that arises is — how far will he go?
7. Theory of Everything (2014)
If you know Stephen Hawking, you probably know about ‘The Theory of Everything’ as well. In this inspiring movie, we get to see the brilliant physicist while he was still a student at Cambridge. We learn how he fell in love with Jane Wilde and the events that followed after he was diagnosed with a fatal disease and given only two years to live. However, with the support of Jane, he not only succeeded in becoming one of the most renowned scientists of our time but also became the father of three children. The film also explores how the ailment that gradually led to Hawking’s deterioration tested the couple’s relationship and exposed several fault lines along the way.
6. A Serious Man (2009)
Set in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1967, ‘A Serious Man’ introduces us to a Jewish physics lecturer named Larry Gopnik. He is a straightforward, simple, and “serious” guy. Frequent participants in his life are his forever-doped, good-for-nothing son, a daughter who steals his money, a useless brother named Arthur, and a wife who is having an extra-marital affair. One day, when her lover moves into his house, he and Arthur are forced to stay in a motel. With legal bills piling up because of his wife asking for a divorce, his own increasing criminal records, and a land feud, Larry loses all hope. But sometimes, God works in mysterious ways. Well, watch the movie to find out and know what happens to Larry and his family.