Top 7 Best Movies Like Memento

For some exciting and mind-boggling watch

by Marijim Dy Timkang
Image: Summit Entertainment

Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie’s script was based on a short story, “Memento Mori,” written by Jonathan Nolan. The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories), who is tracking down his wife’s murderer.

The nonlinear narrative structure of Memento has led to it being discussed as an example of reverse causation. The film has been ranked by many critics as one of the best films of its decade and is particularly praised for its originality, clever writing, direction, and performances.

If you’re looking for more movies like Memento, check out our list below. We’ve included a variety of films that share similar themes and elements with Nolan’s masterpiece:

The Machinist (2004)

Image: Paramount

The Machinist is a psychological thriller starring Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik, a factory worker who starts to experience severe insomnia and hallucinations after an accident at work. As Trevor’s mental state deteriorates, he becomes obsessed with finding out the truth behind his co-worker’s mysterious death.

It’s directed by Brad Anderson and also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian, and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón. It’s similar to Memento in that it’s a mind-bending thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Shutter Island (2010)

Image: Paramount

With an eerily similar opening to Memento — a man wakes up in a hospital with no memory of how he got there — Shutter Island is another psychological thriller that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is sent to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Shutter Island’s mental hospital. But the more Teddy investigates, the more he realizes that there is much more going on than meets the eye.

12 Monkeys (1995)

Image: Universal Pictures

Directed by Terry Gilliam, this mind-bending sci-fi thriller stars Bruce Willis as a time traveler from the future who’s sent back in time to save the human race from a deadly virus. Brad Pitt co-stars as a fellow inmate at a mental institution who may or may not be able to help him.

It’s a complex and confusing story, told in a non-linear fashion that will leave you guessing until the very end. If you’re looking for a movie that’s similar to Memento in terms of its mind-bending plot, 12 Monkeys is definitely worth checking out.

Oldboy (2003)

Image: Show East

Oldboy is a South Korean revenge thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook. The film stars Choi Min-sik as the protagonist, Oh Dae-su. After being inexplicably imprisoned for 15 years, he is released and sets out to find his captor to get revenge. It’s critically acclaimed, and like Memento, features non-linear storytelling.

The Jacket (2005)

Image: Warner Pictures

Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) is a Gulf War veteran who returns home to Vermont suffering from amnesia. His doctors believe that Jack’s memory loss is the result of a trauma sustained during the war and that if he can remember what happened to him, his condition will improve.

To this end, they subject him to a controversial treatment in which he is placed in a jacket that constricts his body and limits his movement. The hope is that by doing this, Jack will be forced to confront his memories and hopefully regain his lost memories.

The Jacket is a psychological thriller that is similar to Memento in its use of non-linear storytelling and its focus on memory and its role in our lives. Both movies are also visually striking, with The Jacket making use of some interesting camera techniques to disorient the viewer and add to the sense of confusion that Jack is feeling.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

This famous thriller has garnered critical acclaim for its plot twists and shock value. Starring Bruce Willis as a child psychologist who tries to help a young boy who claims to see dead people, the film features some truly eerie moments.

If you’re a fan of Memento’s non-linear storytelling, then you’ll definitely enjoy The Sixth Sense, which features a similar structure with a huge twist at the end.

The Prestige (2006)

Image: Warner Bros.

This Christopher Nolan classic tells the story of two magicians in Victorian England who engage in a deadly battle with one another after one steals the other’s secrets. Like Memento, The Prestige features a complex plot with multiple timelines that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman‘s performances are both magnetic, and the film’s stunning visuals will leave you spellbound. If you’re looking for a mind-bending thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The Prestige is a must-watch.

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