15 films about psychology that will change your mind


There are films that we enjoy because of the cinematography or great CGI and visual effects, and there are films that captivate us because they make us think and explore human nature, the mind and the psyche.

, study yourself and your actions.

In this list of films you will find the most interesting, in our opinion, films that will tell about human psychology, strong emotions and desires, and how all of the above affects the psyche.

These films will not scare you with scary monsters or dark basements, but rather with the nature of a person who has very strange things going on in his head, forcing him to do things that are difficult for an ordinary person to understand.

Perhaps, thanks to our selection, you will reveal the secrets of the human mind, and you will be able to better understand why people sometimes do strange things, and why they behave in unusual ways.

My dinner with Andre

My Dinner with Andre

Genre: drama

The viewer experiences a “live” improvisational communication between two old acquaintances who have not met each other for a long time. At first, they don’t even know what to talk about, because they lead such different (even outwardly) lives, but starting with a common professional topic - theater, they move on to the “eternal themes of existence”, realizing as the conversation progresses that in essence they are similar and care they are one and the same.

Psychologists, Russia, 2021

The comedy series “Psychologists” made a splash in the Russian-speaking psychological community. Why? The work of three psychologist friends is shown here with absolutely no touch of sacredness.

Psychologists criticized the series for unreliability and primitivism. However, viewers fell in love with it for its realism and vitality.

Each episode reveals the essence of some psychological concept. At the same time, the movie is extremely light, cheerful and life-affirming.

Why is it worth watching?

The series “Psychologists” was included in the list of films that explode the consciousness, for breaking stereotypes about psychologists.

In the minds of the audience, the psychologist is often a magical elf who has no internal conflicts, is not subject to human weaknesses, and never makes mistakes.

In the series “Psychologists” everything is exactly the opposite.

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Genre: fantasy, drama, crime

The film provided an exhaustive analysis of the causes of crime among young people, the intolerance of the new generation towards the usual moral values ​​and the principles of life of modern society. The ruthless leader of a gang of teenagers who commit murder and rape is sent to prison and undergoes special treatment to suppress the subconscious desire for violence. But life outside the prison gates is such that measures taken to “correct cruelty of character” cannot change anything.


  • Country: Canada, Spain
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent

A mild-mannered college professor played by Jake Gyllenhaal rents a video cassette and accidentally notices an actor in the film who looks exactly like him. After this, he becomes eager to find his double, and this idea becomes obsessive.

Attempts to find a double ultimately lead to very strange events. It’s worth noting right away that the film is ambiguous, and is filled with symbols that will have to be understood and put together in order to finally understand the director’s intention.

Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Genre: thriller, horror film

Clarice Starling, a young graduate of the FBI school, is invited by Special Agent John Crawford of the FBI to participate in solving a mysterious case about a murderous maniac who rips pieces of skin from female victims. Hoping that the cannibal maniac Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist, held in special conditions, will provide a clue to the psychology of the behavior of a criminal who has not yet been caught, Clarice tries to gain Lecter’s trust, has intimate conversations with him, not suspecting that the cunning and dangerous prisoner matured his plan. The peculiar game between them for the sake of fulfilling their own goals makes you nervously and anxiously follow the development of the action, the outcome of which is truly unpredictable and will amaze anyone.

Necessary Roughness, 2011

At the center of the story is the work of a young female psychologist, Dani Santino, who divorced her husband and got a job as a consultant for a football team.

In addition to the psychological procedural, it is also a strong sports drama.

Actress Callie Thorne, who played the lead role, got so used to the role of the sports psychotherapist that she received a Golden Globe.

Why is it worth watching?

The title of the film "Necessary Cruelty" speaks for itself. Psychologist Santino uses provocative methods in his work, sometimes really to the point of foul.

Moreover, in the world of big sports, such a therapeutic approach is absolutely justified.

This is a picture of the healthy narcissistic part of our personality that strives for victory, success and achievement.

There is also a place for conversations about childhood traumas and tender feelings, so this series will satisfy the most demanding viewer.

Professionals may turn their noses up in some episodes, saying that a real psychologist would never do this. But all the flaws are more than compensated for by the main character - a woman sparkling with love for life and her work.



Genre: thriller, detective

Leonard Shelby is elegantly and expensively dressed, drives a brand new Jaguar, but lives in cheap motels. His goal in life is to find his wife's killer.

His problem is a rare form of amnesia, loss of short-term memory; although he remembers everything before the murder, he does not remember what happened fifteen minutes ago. His friends are Teddy and Natalie, and are they really his friends? His companions are a Polaroid camera and tattoos on his body.

The plot is extremely unusual. Requires re-watching.

The Inappropriate Man (Den brysomme mannen)

  • Country: Norway, Iceland
  • Director: Jens Lien
  • Starring: Trond Fausa Aurvaag, Petronella Barker, Per Schaaning, Birgitte Larsen

One morning Andreas finds himself in a strange city, where real purity and idyll reign, but he has no idea how he got there. His boss gives him instructions regarding his job, about which he remembers absolutely nothing. He gets married and settles into a quiet routine without realizing it. Now he has a relaxed job, a good salary, a great home and a wife. But is this enough for happiness?

Gradually, Andreas begins to understand that he is in this idyll, although he can afford everything, but does not feel happy. All these calm, happy and contented city residents are a shell of something else. Everything around seems artificial, plastic.

flying over Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Genre: drama

Having feigned insanity in the hope of avoiding imprisonment, Randle Patrick McMurphy ends up in a psychiatric clinic, where the cruel sister Mildred Ratched is the almost undivided master. McMurphy is amazed that other patients have come to terms with the existing state of affairs, and some even deliberately came to the hospital, hiding from the frightening outside world. And he decides to revolt. By oneself.


Psychological horror films are a rather rare genre, but still in this topic there is something to add to our list of the best. You can find more films on this topic in the selection of the best films with an unpredictable ending - rating list.

Split (2017)

Kinopoisk: 6.8 IMDb: 7.3 +16 Three girls are kidnapped right from the parking lot. The kidnapper is a strange guy, in whose body a couple of dozen personalities coexist at once. Everyone has their own opinion on the kidnapping of the girls, but no one dares to let them go, because there is a dominant personality - the Beast, which everyone is afraid of. And the Beast has only one desire - the death of the girls.

The Shallows (2016)

Kinopoisk: 6.2 IMDb: 6.4 +16 Nancy, a medical student and surfing enthusiast, decides to devote the day to her favorite hobby. However, the monstrous shark also had its own plans near the deserted shore. A girl with a leg injury becomes an easy target for a hungry ocean predator. Deprived of food, medicine and help, the girl promises to be a luxurious dinner for the shark, but Nancy is not going to give up so easily.

The Shining (1980)

Kinopoisk: 7.8 IMDb: 8.4 +16 The not very successful writer Jack Torrance was forced to take a job as a caretaker of the small Overlook Hotel for the winter. His family goes with him. The man hopes to work on his new creation during this period. His little son is endowed with a special gift: he can see everything that is inaccessible to the eyes of normal people. The boy has a hard time in his new place; his mind is tormented by terrible visions. During this period, the main character became very irritable, because his novel was not being written at all, and work stopped.

The Six Demons of Emily Rose (2005)

Kinopoisk: 7.2 IMDb: 6.7 +16 In 1976, a session was held to exorcise a demon from a young girl. It all ended sadly and she died. The priest who performed this ritual was accused of murder, despite the fact that the church approved this ritual. He decides to justify himself and begins his own investigation. He wants to know where the demon came from, who was able to kill the girl in a short time.

Insidious (2011)

Kinopoisk: 6.7 IMDb: 6.8 +16 The spouses Rinay and Josh had to move to a new place of residence. Before they had time to really unpack their things, the couple realized that something unreal was going on here. They noticed that objects were moving and a chilling sound was heard in one of the rooms. Suddenly their young son falls into a coma. The doctors don’t understand what’s happening to the guy and just shrug their shoulders. After useless treatment, his parents take him home, where the mysterious phenomena resume again.

Underworld (2017)

Kinopoisk: 6.7 IMDb: 7.1 +18 A mad preacher with devilish thoughts serves in a remote desert town. Most local residents hide many dark secrets in their past, which are about to surface and radically affect their measured existence. A cruel fate will befall the young girl Lisa, who only at first glance seems sweet and good-natured.



Genre: drama

This story took place in the San Fernando Valley on a rainy day with not a cloud in the sky. Thanks to the intervention of higher powers, as well as a heap of coincidences, accidents, the actions of different people, their lives and destinies will intertwine and penetrate each other within one day, the ending of which will be unforgettable.

The Experiment

  • Country: USA
  • Director: Paul Scheuring
  • Starring: Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Cam Gigandet

The inspiration for this thriller was a real experiment conducted at Stanford Prison. 26 men took part in a cruel psychological experiment. Scientists gave some the role of prisoners, and others - prison guards. It all takes place in an empty prison and starts out innocently enough, but pretty soon things start to get out of control.

Unemployed Travis, played by Adrien Brody (as well as other participants), is promised to be paid $1,000 a day for his role as guards and prisoners. They all thought it would be fun to play their roles, but behind bars, even the most innocent actions and words can make a person crazy. It doesn't take long before the first blood appears.

Excellent German version of the film

  • Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

It is worth noting that there is an earlier but very good version of the film, filmed in Germany. It has the same name (German: Das Experiment), but there are fewer participants in the experiment - 12. They were also divided into prisoners, who are required to follow the rules, and guards, who must maintain order. Things start to spiral out of control when human nature comes to the fore. Scientists watch dispassionately as the “guards” use their power to humiliate the “prisoners.”

Mind games

A Beautiful Mind

Genre: drama, biography

The hero of the film “A Brilliant Mind” (in our release it was released under the not very successful title “A Beautiful Mind”) is a real person, mathematician John Nash, who in his declining years became a Nobel laureate for his early work. And this “bright mind” suffers all his life (after all, he is still alive) from clouding of reason, namely schizophrenia, which during the period of exacerbation of the disease led to a dangerous mania of persecution, in a milder form - to visions taken for reality.

My Boyfriend Is Crazy (Silver Linings Playbook)

  • Country: USA
  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro

In the original, the title of the film can be translated as “Collection of rays of hope.” The plot of the film tells the story of a guy named Pat Solatano, who loses his job and his wife and spends some time in a mental hospital. After everything that happened, he begins to live with his parents.

He behaves very strangely, often walking around in a garbage bag, waking up his parents to complain about life. He wants to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife, whom he is forbidden to approach. Things get complicated when Pat meets Tiffany, who offers him a helping hand in trying to win back his wife. In return, he must do something very important for her. The girl will have a very strong influence on this.

In the wild

Into the Wild

Genre: drama, adventure, biography

After graduating from Emory College, one of its leading students and athletes, Christopher McCandless, leaves all his belongings, donates $24,000 to a charitable foundation, and hitchhikes to Alaska to plunge into the wild. Along the way, Christopher meets different people who influence his life in one way or another.

Mulholland Drive

  • Country: France, USA
  • Director: David Lynch
  • Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring

A dark-haired woman loses her memory after a car accident. After looking at a poster of Rita Hayworth, the girl decides to give herself the name Rita. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a fog until she finally finds refuge in an apartment.

There she meets Betty, a happy blonde who has arrived in the City of Angels to become a famous actress. Together, the girls try to unravel the mystery of Rita’s identity, and also to understand who the two men were with her in the car. The action takes place in an unusual Los Angeles, where there are no traffic jams or smog.

Fight club

Fight Club

Genre: thriller, drama, crime, detective

This film tells about two Americans who met by chance, about thirty years old, who begin to get involved in fighting matches in some underground clubs, where fights are conducted harshly, with virtually no rules, until the moment when someone himself, choking in blood, begs for mercy. .

Experiments on human behavior, The Human Behavior Experiences, USA, 2006

Documentary films about psychology are good because the viewer does not have to doubt the reliability of sometimes stunning psychological experiments.

“Experiments on Human Behavior” is an excellent American popular science film. About what? About manipulation, suggestibility, conformity, susceptibility to propaganda.

Why is it worth watching?

Forewarned is forearmed, and sometimes knowing how, under the influence of authority, we can practically lose our own personality can help us not to succumb to the influence of the crowd.

But most likely, this is an illusion, since most of us are no exception to the rule.

This documentary talks about the basics of social psychology - we are all truly suggestible and cannot resist the power of the group.



Genre: drama, crime, detective

The film takes place in ancient Japan. A woman is raped in the forest and her husband is killed. There are four points of view - each of the four witnesses has his own. Each sheds additional light on what happened, adding additional details to what happened. However, which version is true, if each claims to be the most truthful?

A Dangerous Method, UK, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, 2011

The film “A Dangerous Method” by David Cronenberg was one of the most anticipated for fans of psychological films. Still would!

This is the story of the strange, passionate, sometimes shocking relationship between the founders of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and their patient Sabina Spielrein (played by Keira Knightley).

For fans of psychoanalysis, this is just a Klondike.

Throughout the film, the stunned viewer watches as Spielrein transforms from a hysterical woman with conversion symptoms into Jung's mistress.

The real story of the triangle of Freud, his student (and later rival) Jung and Sabina Spielrein remains a dark place for researchers.

Some feminist sources claim that Jung exploited his patient and subsequently appropriated the fruits of her intellectual labor for himself.

Sabina Spielrein, after treatment, became a psychoanalyst herself and published several monographs that were significant in scientific circles.

Why is it worth watching?

If you don’t know what hysterical disorder is, how women can develop masochistic tendencies, and what feminist theory about the culture of gender violence has to do with it, this film is for you.

The second line in the film is the Oedipal conflict between Jung and Freud. The essence of the Oedipus complex in psychoanalysis is the desire to master the father’s woman, and thereby defeat and surpass him.

Jung does exactly this: he opposes Freud (his teacher and symbolic father), competes for a woman, and even develops his own direction in psychoanalysis.

In addition to its historical value, the film would be included in the “Best Films About Male Psychology” rating for its accurate demonstration of men’s desire to win and compete.

American History X

American History X

Genre: drama, crime

The leader of the local skinhead gang, Derek Vinyard, firmly holds authority in his area. Convinced that he is right, he mercilessly deals with those who do not have white skin color. Derek's independence and courage are admired by his younger brother Danny, who has already made his choice.

But the brutal murder of two black boys committed by Derek divides the brothers' paths: Derek ends up in prison, where there is a balance of power, and Danny, in freedom, successfully continues his brother's work. Until their paths crossed again...

One Hour Photo

  • Country: USA
  • Director: Mark Romanek
  • Starring: Robin Williams

In a small shopping center, a man named Cy Parrish works in a photography studio. He is a true perfectionist who loves his work and respects all the wishes of his clients. He has many regular customers, including one ordinary family led by Will Yorkin.

Over the years, Sai developed their family photographs, watching their relationship develop in the photographs and creating an unhealthy attachment for himself to this family. But when he gets his hands on evidence that Yorkin is cheating on his wife, his already precarious mental state falters.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Genre: fantasy, drama, melodrama

Finally, a machine has been invented that allows you to get rid of any memories. Joel and Clementine decide to get each other out of their minds. But the most tender moments of their feelings are still alive in Joel’s memory. The less he remembers, the more he loves.

Realizing that he simply adores Clementine, Joel tries to find a way to return his beloved memory of the past. It's not too late yet... He must defeat the hated computer brain at all costs!

Something's wrong with Kevin (We Need to Talk About Kevin)

  • Country: UK, USA
  • Director: Lynne Ramsay
  • Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell

Eva writes about travel, but she has to sacrifice her freedom and luxurious lifestyle to have a child with her husband. This is very difficult for the couple, but Eve eventually becomes a mother, giving birth to a boy whom she names Kevin.

Over time, she realizes that it is difficult for her to connect with her child. When Kevin turns from a troublesome child into a sociopath, she has a hard time. And when he does something terrible, Eva begins to blame herself for not loving her son enough and tries to understand how guilty she is for what her child did.

Shutter Island

Shutter Island

Genre: thriller, drama, detective

Two American bailiffs are sent to an island in Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a patient in a hospital for the criminally insane. During the investigation, they will have to face a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly riot by the inhabitants of the clinic.

Patrick Melrose, Patrick Melrose, UK, USA, 2021

In terms of its impact on the viewer, the Patrick Melrose series can already compete with the famous One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Danny Boyle's Trainspotting.

Benedict Cumberbatch's character is a complete drug addict with the trauma of childhood abuse. His inner world is revealed literally in every frame.

Why is it worth watching?

The film has the potential to become a visual aid for psychologists about people with borderline personality and the causes of addictive behavior.

Usually, drug addicts in movies do not evoke sympathy from the viewer.

Here the situation is different: over the fate of the main character, you can shed tears of empathy throughout all five episodes of the mini-series.

This film, which can easily be called one of the best psychological films of the new wave, also lifts the curtain on the horror of incest trauma, boundless parental cruelty and a long list of symptoms.

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

Genre: drama, comedy, crime, biography

Frank Abagnale worked as a doctor, lawyer and airline pilot - all before reaching adulthood at age 21. A master of deception and fraud, he also mastered the art of forgery, which ultimately earned him millions of dollars in fraudulent checks. FBI agent Carl Hanratty would give anything to catch Frank and bring him to justice for his actions, but Frank is always one step ahead of him, forcing him to continue the pursuit.

Lars and the Real Girl

  • Country: USA, Canada
  • Director: Craig Gillespie
  • Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer

A very shy guy named Lars leads a very lonely life. It is extremely difficult for him to make friends and generally fit into society. His brother and sister are worried about him, so when he reveals that he has a girlfriend he met online, everyone is incredibly happy for the guy.

But, in fact, the solution was found by his subconscious, which believed that the girl Bianca was real, although in reality she was a plastic doll. On the doctor's advice, his family and those who know him begin to play along with Lars' delusions.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting

Genre: drama

Will Hunting is a 20-year-old prodigy from Boston who keeps getting into trouble. And when the police arrest him for another fight, the mathematics professor takes him under his wing, but on one condition: Will must undergo psychotherapy. The "re-education" sessions, which begin with mistrust, gradually develop into friendship between Will and his mentor.

Side Effects

  • Country: USA
  • Director: Steven Soderbergh
  • Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum

For four years, Emily Taylor waited for her husband Martin to be released from prison for insider trading. Martin finally comes home, but Emily feels just as bad as when he was imprisoned. Moreover, Emily plunges into deep depression. After a failed suicide attempt, psychiatrist Jonathan Banks prescribed her a number of medications. But when the drugs don't work, the heroine's friend offers her a new medicine.

Interrupted life

Girl, Interrupted

Genre: drama, biography

After Suzanne is diagnosed with a borderline condition, the girl finds herself in a closed psychiatric institution, and in order to rise from the bottom of the abyss to the light, she must overcome the chaos in herself and in the world around her. But it’s so difficult to fight an incorporeal enemy, especially if it’s your own shadow...

reviews taken from the site kinopoisk.ru If you know other interesting
psychological films , share them in the comments.

The Truman Show

  • Country: USA
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Starring: Jim Carrey

Unbeknownst to him, Truman Burbank has been the main character of a reality show for several years now. The whole world is watching his development and maturation. His every move is shown live using cameras hidden throughout the artificially created world.

But when Truman falls in love with a girl who, according to the script, should not become his wife, the director takes measures to remove her. The main character begins to suspect something is wrong about the world around him, and no one and nothing can stop him in his quest to escape and find his love.

Neerja 2021

Genre : biography, thriller, drama

Rating: KinoPoisk – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

The life of the beautiful Neerja is going well - her unhappy marriage is left behind, as is her ex-husband from Qatar; she landed a coveted position as a senior flight attendant at a prestigious airline company. Immediately after the family holiday, the girl is waiting for another flight. Unfortunately, it will be the last for the 22-year-old flight attendant. The plane is hijacked by terrorists, and it is Neerja who manages to warn the pilots about what happened. The pilots hastily leave the ship, as the instructions say, and the angry terrorists are left alone with the brave flight attendant and passengers. Now they demand new pilots, otherwise the people inside the plane risk death.

The film is banned in Pakistan, where the film is set.

The hijacking of a plane en route to New York occurred on September 5, 1986 in Karach. It is unknown whether anyone would have survived if not for Neerja Bhanot. The beauty, ex-model, and at that time senior flight attendant managed to inform the pilots that there were four terrorists on board. The pilots were able to jump out of the cockpit. Later, the shooting of American citizens on the plane followed. Once again, Neerja showed courage by hiding some of the passports. When it became clear that no one would be saved, the flight attendant was able to open the emergency exit and save some of the people. She died, covering her three children with herself. One of the rescued became a pilot when he grew up.

Maternal Instinct (2018)

In Brussels in the 1960s, two ideal families, bound by strong friendship, live next door to each other. Celine and Alice, like their schoolchildren sons, are inseparable. But a tragedy occurs - one of the boys falls off the roof and dies in the presence of another mother, who did not have time to react and save the boy. Will Celine, who lost her son, and Alice, who is going crazy under the psychological pressure of guilt and fear of her friend’s revenge, be able to maintain a semblance of their former relationship?

We recommend watching: 25 best thrillers of 2018

Original title : Duelles Actors : Verle Batens, Anne Cosens, Mehdi Nebbu... Country : France, Belgium Rating : Kinopoisk – 6.3, IMDb – 6.2 Age restrictions : 18+

( 2 ratings, average 5 out of 5 )
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