10 movies where the whole plot was in the head of the protagonist, ranked by IMDb

One of the most used devices to finish a movie, especially if the writers have written in a corner, is to reveal that everything was in the head of the protagonist the whole time, or that it was all just a dream.

RELATED: A Clockwork Orange And 9 Other Movies With Completely Nasty Leads

However, there are movies that play this card well, and given all the clues throughout certain movies, the fact that the events never happened can lead to a spectacular payoff. Whether it’s a sci-fi movie about a billionaire or a drama about a working-class criminal, the “everything in his head” device has been used in some of the most ingenious ways, despite how overused it has become.

10 Click (2006): 6.4 / 10

Adam Sandler Dramatic Click

Of all the movies where it turns out that the whole plot that was based on the heads of the characters or ended up being just a dream, Click it is the most guilty of using the device as pure ex-machina without having to tie anything.

When Michael Newman finds a remote control that allows him to rewind time, fast-forward time, turn off real-life noise, and just about control any aspect of his life, he ends up regretting using it after destroying his life. However, the ending of the film reveals that it was all a dream after he fell asleep on a bed at a convenience store.

9 Vanilla Sky (2001): 6.9 / 10

Although most of the other movies that use the dream twist don’t achieve a satisfying ending, the interesting thing about Vanilla heaven is that it is revealed that David Aames is actually a lucid dream, and has the option of waking up whenever he wants. Instead, he decides to wake up hundreds of years in the future, and it’s a wildly mind-blowing sci-fi movie.

However, knowing the meaning behind the term “vanilla heaven,” which essentially means that when someone has a great love life, all of those dates tend to merge into one, it’s pretty obvious that it reveals itself as a great lucid dream.

8 Triangle (2009): 6.9 / 10


Triangle It is not very well known as it is an Australian production on a micro budget, but it does feature Liam Hemsworth and it is an incredibly well presented psychological horror film that makes audiences think. The movie sees a group of boaters stranded after a storm, only to find a questionably empty cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

Lots of random events happen, including most of the group being captured by a masked assassin. Jess returns home safely, only to find herself waking up the same day with her friends still alive. However, the movie is such a great mystery that it has inspired a ton of theories, including the fact that it may not be a dream, but a tragic time loop.

7 Jacob’s Ladder (1990): 7.5 / 10

Jacobs Ladder Tim Robbins as Jacob Singer in headrest

Jacob’s ladder is another incredibly well known movie that uses this trope. The ladder is a symbol of the connection between heaven and earth, and since Jacob is on his deathbed after fighting in the Vietnam War, all that happens is that he actually goes from one kingdom to another.

RELATED: Darren Aronofsky’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

What is also interesting is that the chemist who reveals the information about Jacob’s ladder is named Michael Newman, the same name as the protagonist of Click. So if the public were aware of Jacob’s ladder before looking Click, they would have quickly predicted the end of the Adam Sandler comedy.

6 American Psycho (2000): 7.6 / 10

With so many differences between the movie and the book, the constant thread in American psycho is Patrick Bateman. He chooses prostitutes and his companions alike in the most hideous way. However, whether or not it actually does is another question entirely, since, as The Pan’s Labyrinth, it is completely ambiguous as to whether or not it really did.

Although there is an admission of guilt at the end, the person to whom it tells laughs like a joke, but looking back at the movie, there are strange sequences that have been edited that make it seem like everything was in his head the entire time. .

5 The Machinist (2004): 7.7 / 10

the machinist christian bale weight loss

The Machinist follows Trevor, a machinist who is dealing with all kinds of trauma, and there is a reason for the insomnia that is revealed at the end of the film. To play the title character, Christian Bale lost 60 pounds for the role.

Most of the movie was in Trevor’s head, as it was his way of dealing with a hit and run he committed the year before that was the source of his sleeping problems. And after he turns himself in at the end of the movie and is thrown into a cell, it’s the first time he’s ever slept in a whole year.

4 Black Swan (2010): 8/10

Natalie Portman in the black dress ready to dance in Black Swan

Nevertheless Black Swan is a terrifying psychological thriller, it is also an interesting and introspective look at how people will do anything to strive for perfection.

In the movie, Nina lost touch with reality in more ways than one, as she not only committed suicide, but imagined everything that had happened with who she thought was her rival, Lily. Everything the viewers saw happen was in Nina’s head, whether it was the relationship she had with Lily or the scene in which she murdered her.

3 The Wizard of Oz (1939): 8/10

Dorothy and the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz

This is no surprise, since The Wizard of Oz it is literally the most popular movie ever made. Dorothy believes that she has been carried to a distant land in a tornado, then encounters talking lions and scarecrows, and becomes the enemy of an evil witch and her flying monkeys. As if it would end in any other way than making Dorothy wake up!

RELATED: Guillermo Del Toro: 5 Reasons Pan’s Labyrinth Is His Best Fantasy Movie (And 5 Why Shape Of Water Is A Close Second)

Even before the reveal at the end, it’s pretty clear that Dorothy is dreaming all the time, as the characters in Oz bear the same resemblance to the people Dorothy meets in Kansas. But the whole journey is still fantastic and colorful, and the ending is part of what makes the movie so timeless.

two Shutter Island (2010): 8.2 / 10

Shutter Island by Martin Scorsese

Like any great horror thriller, there are plenty of questions fans still wonder about. Shutter Island. BBut one of the easiest ways to answer those questions, or rather to hide all those questions under the rug, is simply by knowing that the entire movie takes place inside Teddy’s head.

When audiences think that they are watching a detective movie that follows Teddy visiting an island, it is revealed that he is actually a patient of a mental institution and that he is essentially playing detective all the time. Although there are many loose ends that are not tied up, it is still a gripping movie, and upon hearing the ending, there are some hints upon rewatching it.

one Pan’s Labyrinth (2006): 8.2 / 10

The Pan's Labyrinth

Of all the movies that end up on the character’s mind from the beginning, few do so in a clever and satisfying way. But The Pan’s Labyrinth he carries it out in such an ambiguous way that it is up to the viewers to decide which reality is real.

Being a social commentary on the war, The Pan’s Labyrinth follow a girl with a wild imagination, as she evokes this strange world full of fauns and beasts, and in this world she is a princess. However, in the “real” world, she is the stepdaughter of a war criminal and leads a horrible life. The end of the film sees her die in the real world, only to be reborn in the “fantasy” world, but strongly hints at the possibility that the latter is true.

NEXT: The Wizard of Oz: 5 Things The Movie Changed From The Book (& 5 That Stayed The Same)

Disney Parks: 10 Weird Things About Attractions


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *