7 Films to Watch When You Want to Contemplate Life

7 Films to Watch When You Want to Contemplate Life

A collection of some of the deepest, most thought-provoking pieces of film out there (don't worry, there's no spoilers!).


Is it 4 A.M. and you can't sleep? Did you just hop out of the shower after having a long, deep, internal monologue? Are you ready to get your philosophy on? Well throw some popcorn in the microwave and look no further because these movies are guaranteed to leave you staring at your screen as the credits roll wondering what it really was that you just watched.

"Donnie Darko" (2001)


A cult classic film by writer and director Richard Kelly staring the one and only Jake Gyllenhaal, Donnie Darko follows the tale of a young boy whose monster rabbit friend "Frank" informs him that the world is ending. Although the premise of the film seems rather obscure, the main character, Donnie Darko, is simply an ordinary teenage boy who finds himself caught in an anything-but-ordinary situation. If you're looking for a movie that's going to leave you sitting on your couch for hours afterward wondering what just happened, this is definitely the film for you.

"Cloud Atlas" (2012)


This is one of those movies where you can't look away. Literally. Directed by the Wachowskis, Cloud Atlas weaves together six different stories from different eras, but each separate tale contains so many aspects of the one before that you could miss something just by blinking. The film is so beautifully put together that each individual plot could have been made into its own movie. Based on the novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas places its six protagonists in dilemmas that at the surface appear dramatically different but are ultimately connected in every way. The best word to describe the film is elegant, and it is a must-see for any philosophy geek.

"Interstellar" (2014)


One of the more recent movies on this list, Interstellar is a space-centered science-fiction movie directed by Christopher Nolan which contemplates the situations that humanity may find itself in some time in the future. Although the movie aims to move across dimensions and place space exploration and all it entails in a truly extravagant light, it mainly focuses on one family and contains extremely relatable characters that cause the viewer to understand the characters' pain despite being years away from them. The movie is nearly three hours long, but those searching for an emotional take on the human condition with a sci-fi spin will certainly enjoy Interstellar.

"The Twilight Zone: Eye of the Beholder" (S2E6) (1960)


Yes, I know that this isn't a movie, but it certainly deserves the merit of one. The Twilight Zone is a TV series from the 1960s that essentially tells twisted, mind-boggling tales. If you've ever heard someone say "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity," it was probably a reference to The Twilight Zone's introduction. This episode specifically contemplates human existence and more specifically human perspective. It's a very short episode, but if you enjoy it be sure to watch more of the series as well!

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013)


I never thought that I would see a Ben Stiller movie on a list like this, but The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (based on James Thurber's novel of the same title) just hit too close to home for me to not include it. The movie follows your everyday average Joe as he goes to work at Life Magazine. Everything about his life seems ordinary, except for his excessive daydreaming. The film follows Walter Mitty through his mid-life crisis as he follows his path to a sort of "modern-day enlightenment." The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a movie for everyone and is a great choice when you're down in the dumps and need a pick-me-up.

"Black Mirror: San Junipero" (S3E4) (2016)


Yes, I know that this one isn't a movie either, but it DEFINITELY deserves the merit of one. Black Mirror is a British series that has been referred to as the "modern-day Twilight Zone" (hence it's inclusion on this list). This episode is truly a 1980s old-school love story between the two main characters Yorkie and Kelly. However, as the episode evolves, the reality of the existential dilemma that these characters find themselves in begins to present itself to the viewer in one of the most aesthetically pleasing visuals of our time.

"Contact" (1997)


Finally, a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's novel of the same title, Contact is a science-fiction film about a woman (Dr. Arroway played by Jodie Foster) who uses radio frequencies to search for and interact with life on other planets. The two and a half hour movie is filled with emotional twists and turns as you root for the protagonist, but it also allows the viewer to sit back and truly understand their place in a universe so much bigger than they are. Fans of space, science-fiction, and philosophy will all enjoy Contact.

Popular Right Now

The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!


We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness


What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst


It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen


Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad


Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin


Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate


Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny


More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body


Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 


Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.


I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Tweets About La Croix That Will Make You Snort Seltzer Right Out Of Your Nose

Who knew carbonated water could be so funny?


Who knew carbonated water could be so funny?

1. Using La Croix for something other than a drink.

2. It keeping you sane at the workplace.

3. La Croix as white people's drink of choice

4. Just feeling it


6. Not buying into the hype

7. Another hater

8. OK, this is just good content

9. Things are getting dark

10. Classy AF

Related Content

Facebook Comments