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7 Highly Conceptual Movies


Most movies these days have a pretty set pattern to them: main character runs into problem, main character is down on their luck, main character conquers problem and reaches goals. It’s a tried-and-true formula that can adapt itself to any genre.

Some movies decided to go above that, however. They may stick to the general plot layout, but they bring a conceptual story with them that makes you think a lot more than you were planning to. Let’s take a look at some highly conceptual movies.

The Truman Show

This is probably the first movie (at least the first big one) to illustrate the concept of a false reality. And while it is a classic Jim Carrey comedy movie, you can’t help but wonder at the end of the movie why you were laughing in the first place.

Donnie Darko

If you’ve never heard of Tangent universe theory like normal mortals, this movie is exactly about that. A Tangent universe is a parallel universe that pauses the main universe until it ceases to exist, after which the main universe will unpause. It’ll make more sense once you’ve seen the movie. I hope.

The Butterfly Effect

The main character – played by Ashton Kutcher – in this movie has the ability to go back in time and change events as they unfold. In doing so, he can change the future. You can probably guess at this point that the effects of his actions don’t always have the outcome he hoped for, and it really becomes a deep rabbit hole very fast.

The Matrix

There’s no way we were having a high concept movie list without adding this one in. A movie where the “real” world is just a simulation and you can escape it and hack back into it with and endless supply of hair gel and the ability to use kung fu? Yes, please!

Groundhog Day

Living the same day over and over again until you finally get it right – that’s basically the concept of this movie. And while it does fit the general structure of plotlines the most of all the movies on this list, it brings something fresh to a boring concept. And it has Bill Murray in it, which is always nice.

Minority Report

What if we could determine crimes before they happen? Well, in the world of Minority Report, we’d still put the future criminals in jail. If that makes no sense to you, it didn’t make much sense to Tom Cruise either. The movie does raise some ethical questions about the point at which a person does become a criminal and a danger to society.

Source Code

Imagine having eight minutes inside a victim’s body to find out who caused a bombing and prevent it from happening again. This is another recent sci-fi movie that pushes the boundaries of the limitations between man and machine and how they interface together, and it’s good fun.