22 Best Movies Like Inception Worth Watching

Even though it’s over a decade since Inception was released, it still is an internet sensation. The mind-blowing movie has viewers talking about it everywhere. The Sci-Fi movie was an action/thriller with elements of mystery and adventure.

If you loved Christopher Nolan’s Inception and want to watch a film similar to it, here are 22 movies that would give you the same thrill Inception did.

What Is Inception About?

What Is Inception About

Inception bothers on a thief with the ability to steal people’s secrets from their dreams.

It follows the story of the protagonist, Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a fugitive and runaway trying to clean up his record and go back home to his family.

Dom finds a way to redeem himself when he has to carry out one last job. Although he has to infiltrate someone’s dreams in this job, the mission is not to steal a secret but to plant an idea in a CEO’s subconscious.

This last job was somewhat dangerous, but he is ready to risk it all due to the guilt of his past eating him up. He hopes to rectify his mistakes and return to the US and his children.

He completes the job, but before he gets his reward, he wakes up from sleep, giving viewers the impression that it might all have been a dream.

Christopher Nolan’s Inception was his way of relaying how much dreams deceptively seem real for as long as they happen. With Inception, viewers are left wondering what wasn’t real as opposed to what is.

Nolan made sure to put a not-so-clear separation between dreams and reality. Theft, manipulation, guilt, time, etc., were only a few of the elements thrown into the movie to make the audience contemplate it repeatedly.

Tenet (2020)

English 2h 30m IMDb

movies like Inception-Tenet

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki

Many believe that Tenet is a sequel to Inception because of how closely alike both movies seem.

Tenet is a Sci-Fi/Action and thriller movie that revolves around the character ‘Protagonist’ recruited by an organization called Tenet to help prevent a potential world war.

The Protagonist, who was a CIA agent, has to stop a vital weapon from getting into the wrong hands, or he risks awful destruction.

Like its name, the movie is a palindrome with its characters moving forward and backward in time. It also has the audience contemplate different ideas like time and inversion.

Paprika (2006)

Japanese 1h 30m IMDb

what is the movie Inception about-Paprika

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara(voice), Tôru Emori(voice), Katsunosuke Hori(voice)

Satoshi Kon’s Paprika is a Japanese animation and Sci-Fi released in 2006. The Protagonist is Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a scientist by day and a dream detective by night.

With the help of her colleagues and a machine known as DC Mini, she can enter people’s dreams as her alter ego, Paprika. DC Mini is a machine that allows access to people’s intents, and Dr. Atsuko uses it to perform dream therapy.

However, in the wrong hands, terrible things could happen. When the device prototype is stolen, only one person can find it, bring it back and save the day – Paprika.

Transcendence (2014)

English 1h 59m IMDb

movies similar to Inception-Transcendence

Director: Wally Pfister
Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman

Dr. Will Caster is a scientist obsessed with the idea of sapience and artificial intelligence. As he tries to find out just how far Artificial Intelligence can go, some people try to stop him.

To stop him, they shoot him. Desperate to keep him alive, his wife and friend put his consciousness in a quantum computer.

When he requests to be connected to the internet for vast knowledge, his best friend backs out of the plan while his wife goes ahead. Issues begin to arise when it seems Will’s endless sea of knowledge and abilities is no good in his hands.

Source Code (2011)

English 1h 33m IMDb

movie like Inception-movie like Inception

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

This movie is a race against time as a soldier has only limited time to find a bomber. Steven(Jack Gyllenhaal) is a soldier who died at the war front but wakes up to find himself in someone else’s body, a teacher.

He finds himself on a train and realizes that he is part of a secret government operation, Source Code. He has only eight minutes to find a bomber on a train in Chicago before the bomber causes significant damage and fatalities.

Even after finding the bomber, he finds out that he still won’t live. After he finds the bomber, he soon realizes that Source Code is not only a simulation as he once thought but also a means to alternate realities.

Anon (2018)

English 1h 40m IMDb

Inception similar movies-Anon

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Clive Owen, Afiya Bennett, Morgan Allen

In a futuristic dystopian city, where crimes are almost non-existent, a series of murders and a new girl in town are enough to dishevel a detective.

Detective Frieland lives in a time where everyone’s private memories are kept on record, making it almost impossible for anyone to commit a crime and go free.

However, when a new girl with no records of her past or memories comes to town while the city experiences some new crimes, Detective Frieland sees her as a threat to the town and goes on a mission to figure her out.

Anon is a top movie in the Sci-Fi and Thriller genres.

Gravity (2013)

English 1h 31m IMDb

movies like Inception-Gravity

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Stars Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris(voice)

This movie tells the story of an astronaut and medical engineer who get stranded in space. On her first space mission, Ryan Stone is a medic engineer, with Kowalsky, an astronaut on his last mission.

As they travel to space in their space shuttle, they are informed of a cloud of debris approaching them before they can do anything. Their shuttle is destroyed, and their link to Earth is lost, which leaves them alone in space.

The duo has to work together, traveling deeper into space to survive and return home, something they are not so sure is possible.

Shutter-Island (2010)

English 2h 18m IMDb

if you liked Inception-Shutter-Island

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, Shutter Island is set in 1954 and tells the story of a U.S. marshal, Teddy. Teddy is sent with his partner to Ashcliffe Hospital, a place for the criminally insane.

They are to investigate the escape of a murderer, but Teddy also goes there in the hopes of finding and confronting the person he believes killed his wife.

However, the more they investigate, the more Teddy realizes that he and his partner may be part of an experiment on that Island.

When the curtains draw, Shutter Islands has the audience question what was real, and when they do figure that out, it leaves them contemplating the power of the mind in tricking a person.

Memento (2000)

English 1h 53m IMDb

similar movies to Inception-Memento

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Memento was released in 2000, and it follows the story of a man who, after being beaten by his wife’s murderer, suffers an untreatable loss of memory.

Trying to find the answer to his questions, even as he has no recollection of anything, he begins to take pictures of everything to remind himself of everything.

Christopher Nolan’s Memento is a Mystery Thriller that draws the audience in an attempt to solve the mystery along with the protagonist.

Like in Shutter Island, the plot twist at the end would leave viewers wondering just how far the mind would go to prove itself right.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


English 1h 53m IMDb

Inception similar movie-Edge of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Edge of Tomorrow is a Sci-Fi action and adventure movie that focuses on a war between aliens and humans.

After an Alien Invasion by The Mimics leaves Earth’s defense forces useless, William Cage  (Tom Cruise), a soldier with limited experience and abilities, is recruited to fight in the war against the aliens.

He is then stuck in a time loop after being killed, starting the same day he died again.

However, he realizes that his abilities improve every time he comes back to relive the day, and he only gets closer to defeating The Mimics. With the help of Rita Vrataski and the time loop, he can beat the aliens.


English 1h 59m IMDb

movies like.Inception-Looper

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

In 2074, the security and tracking system is so improved that it is almost impossible to dispose of a body without the authorities knowing.

However, the syndicate with enough money devised a way to do so without getting caught successfully. To kill a person, they send them to the past, where a looper like Joe kills them.

To avoid being connected with the loop, members of the mob would send a looper back in time to be killed by his younger self.

When Joe finds out that his bosses want to ‘close the loop’ by sending his older self to the past to be killed, he sets out to save himself.

Arrival (2016)

English 1h 56m IMDb

mystery movies like Inception-Arrival

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

The movie is a Sci-Fi/drama about a linguist who is called to work with an elite team and the military to communicate with aliens.

After unidentified spaceships appear at 12 different locations on earth, Louis Banks is employed by the military to help communicate with the aliens before time runs out.

Her job is to learn the aliens’ language to know if they are friends or foes before any move.

With other countries where other spaceships landed getting agitated and ready to attack, learning a new language from two aliens never proved more difficult.

Mr. Nobody (2009)

English 2h 21m IMDb

what to watch if you liked Inception-Mr Nobody

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger

In 2092, when health advancement has made it possible for humans to become immortals, the last mortal man to be alive narrates his life story. Jared Leto plays Nemo, a 118 years old man who explains to a reporter everything that has happened in his life, recounting all he has done and the different lives he has led.

However, the story he relays is incoherent as he seems to be in different places at the same time, and the details he gives are not consistent. The Sci-Fi movie was released in 2009 and has gotten critics and the audience talking since then.

The Congress (2013)

English 2h 2m IMDb

movies like Inception-The Congress

Director: Ari Folman
Stars: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm(voice)

To preserve her beauty and still make money, an aging actress decides to sell her digital likeness to a movie-producing company. The main character is an unreliable actress who is described as irresponsible and way past her glory days.

She is approached with this opportunity to make enough money to care for her sick son, whose body and senses deteriorate day by day.

Twenty years after accepting the contract, she comes back to renew the contract but is invited to join the congress. The Congress is a Sci-Fi/Drama which explores the idea of an alternate world.

Time Lapse (2014)

English 1h 44m IMDb

what is the movie Inception about-Time Lapse

Director: Bradley King
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary, George Finn

Three friends find a time machine in a dead neighbor’s house and begin to use it for their gain.

Starring Daniella Panabaker, Time lapse relays the story of three friends who, after checking on their neighbor, find in his house his corpse and a machine that takes pictures 24 hours into the future.

Knowing that the device can tell the future through images, the friends take advantage of this. However, their greed and deceit come in the way when things seem to be going great.

They soon become obsessed and uncontrollable with using the machine, leading to their waterloo.

Time Crimes (2007)

Spanish 1h 32m IMDb

movies similar to Inception-Time Crimes

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernández, Bárbara Goenaga

Time crimes is a Sci-Fi/Thriller that revolves around the concept of time travel. Hector watches as a woman undresses in the woods. When he goes to check it out, he sees that she had been the lady has been assaulted.

He is then attacked by a man whose face is wrapped in bandages. To save himself, he runs away and finds himself at a scientist’s lab who hides him in a time machine.

The machine is turned on and takes him back in time, a few hours before he was attacked. Here, he can observe the scene himself.

Coherence (2013)

English 1h 29m IMDb

movie like Inception-Coherence

Director: James Ward Byrkit
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon

This Sci-Fi /Mystery explores the idea of an alternate universe. When a comet passes over the earth during a dinner party among eight friends, strange and scary things happen.

After the comet passes, the lights in the neighborhood go out, and they notice that the only house not affected is one identical to the place they are in. Along with the house are lookalikes from another universe.

They try to figure out just how dangerous their lookalikes might be and realize that the comet opened doors to more than one alternate universe. They find out as they begin to mix up.

Primer (2004)

English 1h 17m IMDb

Inception similar movies-Primer

Director: Shane Carruth
Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden

Aaron, Abe, Robert, and Philip, four friends, work together to build an error-checking device.

After building, Aaron and Abe, who initially owns the idea and machine, figure out that the machine they have created might be something more significant than an error checker.

At first, they plan to hide it from the other engineers and family and sell it to a bigger market, but soon they become obsessed with the machine, intending to build a better version.

To do this, they hold risky experiments to show themselves how far they’ve gotten. They soon start to realize the consequences of their actions when things begin to go dark.

The Matrix (1999)

English 2h 16m IMDb

movies like Inception-The Matrix

Director: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

In this Sci-Fi/Action, Thomas Anderson, or Neo as many know him, is a computer programmer and hacker who wishes to meet with Morpheus.

Morpheus is considered the most dangerous person alive, and Neo (Keanu Reeves), is the only one who can answer his question about ‘The Matrix,’ a phrase he repeatedly comes across online.

He is introduced to Morpheus and a dangerous underworld by the beautiful Trinity.

Together, he, the gorgeous stranger, and Morpheus have to fight against an elite team of secret agents to save their lives and still figure out what precisely The Matrix is.

Upstream Color (2013)

English 1h 36m IMDb

if you liked Inception=Upstream Color

Director: Shane Carruth
Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth

This Sci-Fi/Drama and an experimental movie is about free will, as the protagonists fight to get control of their worlds from a seemingly higher force and ageless organism.

A woman who has gone through a series of awful experiments at the hands of The Sampler meets a man who has possibly gone through the same experiments.

Together, they try to piece their lives back together. Kris and Jeff are wrecks, The Sampler made them that way, but when they find themselves, they also find comfort and a possible road to freedom, not just for them but also for the others that have been experimented on.

Self/less (2015)

English 1h 57m IMDb



Director: Tarsem Singh
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode

Self/less portrays a dying rich man seeking to prolong his life and contacts a company that agrees to transfer his consciousness to an artificial but young and healthy body.

After his consciousness is moved, he soon begins having ‘flashbacks’ of a life he never lived, making him understand that not everything the company portrayed to him was as it seemed.

A business card leading to Professor Albright finds Damian, a man struggling to live and make up with his daughter. He takes up the opportunity to live again, but it isn’t all as he thought it was

Interstellar (2014)

English 2h 49m IMDb

similar movies to Inception-Interstellar

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

In the future, when the earth becomes inhabitable to humans, a team of explorers is sent on a  space mission to find a new planet safe and habitable to humans.

As the earth slowly becomes dangerous to humans, a NASA physicist comes up with a plan to transport humans to another planet but first has to figure out which planet is safe for humans. Joseph Cooper, a former NASA pilot turned farmer, has to lead the team to find a new home.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which was released in 2014, is a Sci-Fi/Adventure and, like his other films, has managed to intrigue and draw the audience in.

The Cell (2000)

English 1h 47m IMDb

Inception similar movie - The Cell

Director: Tarsem Singh
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio

The Cell is another thrilling Sci-Fi adventure that explores mind control and reading. A social worker, Catherine, ventures into the mind of a comatose psychopath to find out where he has hidden a child.

Carl Rudolph locks his victims in a cell that slowly fills with water as he watches them drown to death. Catherine has to navigate her way in the mind of this serial killer and find this child before she drowns to death.

However, time is not the only thing against her, as his twisted mind proves to be a difficult hurdle to cross. She has to find the child in time and come outside in a good state of mind.


If you are a fan of thrilling science fiction and adventures, then undoubtedly, this list of movies similar to Inception is something you should see.

From time travel to mind control, these movies would keep you entertained, leave your mind blown and challenge your thought process even after the curtains close.

Movie Like Inception

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