Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Best Paranoia Movies

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Best Paranoia Movies

Old 03-18-18, 10:32 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Best Paranoia Movies

Hi All,

Not really sure the exact definition of a "Paranoia Movie", but I believe these movies fit the bill...In no particular order...

1. The Conversation - Obviously one of Coppola's best (and he's done a lot of great movies). Gene Hackman excels in this movie, as does the late great John Cazale. Very melancholic mood, and I love Harrison Ford's brief appearance. The jazz score is great, too...Just an all-around classic...Can't believe he made this and The Godfather II in the same year...

2. The Parallax View - One of Alan Pakula's best movies, featuring a great performance by Warren Beatty...The scene where Beatty's character is made to watch some sort of propaganda reel remains one of my favorite scenes...Very pessimistic ending...Really powerful stuff if you've ever had the displeasure of working for a gigantic, monolithic corporation...

3. State of Siege - Costa-Gavras directed this and the next two movies listed...He excels at making paranoid movies...Very political...

4. The Missing - I've said this in other threads, but Lemmon and Spacek are phenomenal in this thriller...Does a great job of pointing out that you should never trust a politician's motives...Very heady movie...

5. The Confession - Very heart-breaking movie about an essentially totalitarian state and the apparatus involved...Yves Montand gives a great performance...

6. The Fugitive - Not sure if this necessarily counts, but I feel Ford's character is rightfully paranoid in this movie, trying to get to the bottom of who framed him for killing his wife...A great '90s thriller/suspense movie, which I originally saw at the Drive-In movie theatre...

7. Frantic - Not nearly Polanski's best work, but it's a solid movie where Ford is desperately looking for his missing wife, and not getting much help from the authorities...

8. All the President's Men - One of the greatest movies of all-time. The paranoia vibe that runs throughout this movie is all the more shocking because the events are all true...Love this movie, love Redford and Hoffman, and direction was superb...Hal Holbrook was great as Deep Throat...

9. Repulsion - Another Polanski movie, in which the prime character seems to go increasingly mad, but the viewer at first is unsure if she's seeing things...This movie has really grown on me, and I prefer it to the next movie...

10. Rosemary's Baby - One of the view "demonic possession" movies that I actually like...While not as good as Replusion, I feel this movie has a lot to offer...Cassavetes' creepy performance, and the neighbours in the movie always creeped me out...Mia Farrow was really good in this...Very gothic...The apartment setting was very creepy...

11. The Tenant - Another Polanski, starring Polanski in the lead role...Hoping Criterion eventually releases this, as it deserves to be more widely seen...

12. The Ghost Writer - Yes, another Polanski, and my favorite of his. Great "mystery" movie, and for whatever reason I love the setting at the house that most of the movie is set in...Love the rain, and the walk on the beach...

13. JFK - Great conspiracy movie. Cast is outstanding. Direction, camera-work, and editing are some of the finest I've ever seen. Especially powerful and interesting if you've read up on the various conspiracies...Everytime I read another book about JFK and the assassination, I find the urge to rewatch this...

14. Nixon - I'm including this because obviously Nixon was a paranoid asshole. That said, I have to preface that by saying that I'm actually not a giant fan of this movie. I felt Hopkins performance was very "hammy", and yet some of the supporting cast was good. It's just that after seeing JFK, I expected a lot more from this movie...If anyone was going to make the ultimate Nixon movie, I figured it would've been Oliver Stone, but I don't feel like he delivered in this one...

15. Persona - Bergman movie. Becomes more rewarding after several viewings...Another movie that leaves the viewer in the dark a lot of the time...Why is this character doing this? Why is that character doing that? A really odd movie but also really influential...

16. Day of the Dead - I'm including this because of the way the totally stressed out characters act in the bunker setting. They're almost all seemingly pissed at each other, and are clearly frightened about what's going to happen to them...Makes for some tense scenes (along with some hilariously over-the-top acting by Joe Pilato...which I feel adds to the movie)...

17. Paranoid Park - The title alone says it. Really good, underrated Gus Van Sant movie about a skateboarder who...well, I won't spoil it, but he's a little guilty over something that happens in his life, and spends the movie trying to avoid answering questions about the event...Awesome score, too, by the way...The acting, mostly by amateurs, is also fantastic...

18. The Last Days - Not one of my favorite Van Sant movies, but to see Kurt Cobain's final days is pretty sad (I don't think they ever mention him by name, but the inference is that the story is based on Cobain)...Pretty slow at times, but some of the scenes will really punch you in the gut...

19. They Live - A hilarious paranoia movie by the great John Carpenter. Roddy Piper tries to hopelessly convince everyone that things on Earth are not as they seem...Not as dour as the other movies listed, this is more of a light-hearted movie...Filled with great scenes and another great score...The fight scene between Keith David and Piper is an all-time classic...

20. Blow Out - De Palma's masterpiece. Influenced by the Chappaquiddick incident (not sure if the spelling is correct) involving Ted Kennedy...Travolta's best performance, in my mind...De Palma does with sound what Antonioni did with pictures (his Blow-Up obviously influenced this film)...

21. Taxi Driver - Can't really complete a list like this without including Taxi Driver. Travis Bickle remains one of the craziest characters in cinematic history...Just a classic movie...Have the poster hanging up in my house...

22. Chinatown - More of a thriller, but there's definitely a lot of paranoia in this picture, with Jake Gittes doing his best to solve the mystery...I still feel this is overrated, but I'll agree with everyone that raves about the screenplay...Definitely one of the best written movies ever...

23. Serpico - With Pacino's character always having to look over his back, this definitely qualifies...And based on a true story...Still think the direction could've been better and more compelling, but it's a good movie...

24. Marathon Man - Dustin Hoffman's character becomes entangled in something he never wanted to get involved in...Awesome movie...

25. Ronin - While the third act pretty much sucks, the rest of the movie is great, especially the widely acclaimed chase scenes...Awesome direction...Wish the writing would've been better (I know David Mamet took his name off the movie and used an alias, as reportedly he was unhappy with the various changes they made...including the ending...)

Anyway, those are the big ones...Some that probably just missed the cut would include Cronenberg's Videodrome and Dead Ringers and Spider (I don't like Spider, but Ralph Fiennes gives a good performance), Clean, Shaven (which features a great Peter Greene performance)...Narc...Joe (just recently announced that Olive Films will release this on Blu-Ray...it's about time)...Affliction (Nolte and Coburn kick ass in this Schrader movie)...

Thanks
Old 03-18-18, 10:32 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Forgot some other ones...

Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion - Had never about this movie before it was released by Criterion a couple years back. Bought it but didn't end up watching it until a few months later. Phenomenal movie. The music at the beginning really hooks you...Basically about a police officer/detective that winds up investigating a crime that he had some involvement in...Really great movie that I would highly recommend to everyone...I've been meaning to look further into what else this director has done...

The Lives of Others - A foreign movie from several years ago that deals with the surveillance state that existed in East Berlin during the height of the Cold War...the secret police are terrifying in the vast methods that they will go to in order to ensure that there is no dissent...Too bad the director went on to remake that horrible version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (it was the Nicole Kidman movie simply titled Invasion)...

Cache - Michael Haneke's best movie. A man and his wife are being secretly surveilled and they find out and have no idea why...Haneke has a lot of camera tricks and the viewer must really pay attention in order to follow along...The ending is very ambiguous...And great...

Below - Awesome David Twohy submarine movie where the crew really isn't sure what is going on...Kind of a ghost story...Great performances all-around, with a wonderful surprise ending...Great stuff...

The Wicker Man - Can't say I'm a giant fan of this, but I understand why it has a certain following...Christopher Lee is bizarre in this, although you could say that description would apply to the entire movie...Still not sure about the level of acclaim the film gets, but maybe that's just me...

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans - Frankly bizarre Herzog movie that has little to do with the original Bad Lieutenant, aside from the title. Cage gives one of his most unhinged performances, and that's really saying something...Val Kilmer is also great in this...The scene with the lizard always leaves me in stitches...Love this movie...(I guess you could also say that most of the movies that Herzog did with Klaus Kinski involved a lot of paranoia...especially Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo...And Kinski was clearly paranoid in real life as well, if you've ever seen or read an interview that he has done...)...

The Long Good Friday - Bob Hoskin's character trying to figure out who has betrayed him. One of the all-time best endings...with a very special cameo, at that...

Pandorum is another movie involving a healthy sense of paranoia...It's a pretty good sci-fi movie, at that...And you could maybe include Total Recall as another paranoid movie, with Arnold's character (Quaid) not sure what is real and what's not...Trippy movie...

I might post more as I think of them...Feel free to comment on my selections or post some of your own...

Thanks
Old 03-18-18, 10:33 AM
  #3  
TGM
DVD Talk Legend
 
TGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,973
Received 401 Likes on 250 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Jacob's Ladder
Old 03-18-18, 10:39 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by TGM
Jacob's Ladder
Good call. That's a good one...Loved Tim Robbins in that...
Old 03-18-18, 10:44 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,295
Likes: 0
Received 49 Likes on 38 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

How on earth could you forget Arlington Road...
Old 03-18-18, 10:46 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
How on earth could you forget Arlington Road...
That's a pretty decent movie, but the ending is a little contrived...I loved it when I was younger but tried to rewatch it recently and didn't think it held up that well...Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins were great in it, though...
Old 03-18-18, 10:48 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,295
Likes: 0
Received 49 Likes on 38 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Manchurian Candidate?

Always liked Conspiracy Theory too even though its a bit more of a comedy-drama.
Old 03-18-18, 10:49 AM
  #8  
TGM
DVD Talk Legend
 
TGM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,973
Received 401 Likes on 250 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

The Thing
Eagle Eye
A Scanner Darkly
Enemy of the State
Bug
Conspiracy Theory
Disturbia
The Game
Old 03-18-18, 10:49 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,295
Likes: 0
Received 49 Likes on 38 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by Goonies85
That's a pretty decent movie, but the ending is a little contrived...I loved it when I was younger but tried to rewatch it recently and didn't think it held up that well...Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins were great in it, though...
The ending MAKES the movie. It's not contrived at all, it demonstrates the effectiveness of the long con on Bridges character. It's no less contrived than Parallax View which is basically the same exact thing.
Old 03-18-18, 10:50 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
The ending MAKES the movie. It's not contrived at all, it demonstrates the effectiveness of the long con on Bridges character. It's no less contrived than Parallax View which is basically the same exact thing.
Okay, okay...I just had a different reaction...I loved it when I originally saw it...I appreciate the feedback...
Old 03-18-18, 10:51 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Manchurian Candidate?

Always liked Conspiracy Theory too even though its a bit more of a comedy-drama.
Good call on Conspiracy Theory...I forgot about that one...I actually liked the chemistry between Gibson and Roberts...And Patrick Stewart was great in that one...
Old 03-18-18, 10:52 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by TGM
The Thing
Eagle Eye
A Scanner Darkly
Enemy of the State
Bug
Conspiracy Theory
Disturbia
The Game
Agree with A Scanner Darkly and The Game...The Thing is also a good call...can't believe I missed that one...One of John Carpenter's greatest...
Old 03-18-18, 10:54 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,295
Likes: 0
Received 49 Likes on 38 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by Goonies85
Okay, okay...I just had a different reaction...I loved it when I originally saw it...I appreciate the feedback...
Sorry my friend, I just really love that movie I'm probably being too defensive about it. I'm a sucker for a great twist ending.
Old 03-18-18, 10:56 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Sorry my friend, I just really love that movie I'm probably being too defensive about it. I'm a sucker for a great twist ending.
No worries, bro, I just like the feedback...Your views are just as relevant as mine...Have a great day, bud...
Old 03-18-18, 11:01 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 25,295
Likes: 0
Received 49 Likes on 38 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Some others:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Pi
Requiem for a Dream (the Ellen Burstyn character alone)
Jaws!
Total Recall
Dark City
Shutter Island
Fight Club
Old 03-18-18, 11:04 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1,893
Received 92 Likes on 88 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Some others:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Pi
Requiem for a Dream (the Ellen Burstyn character alone)
Jaws!
Total Recall
Dark City
Shutter Island
Fight Club
Definitely missed Invasion of the Body Snatchers...My favorite is the 1978 version by Philip Kaufman...

Thanks,

E
Old 03-18-18, 12:18 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Paul_SD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hiking the Sisyphian trail
Posts: 8,693
Received 75 Likes on 56 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

L'Enfer
Old 03-18-18, 05:42 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,627
Received 277 Likes on 212 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

When I saw the thread title, my first thoughts were THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and SEVEN DAYS IN MAY.

There were plenty of anti-communist films in the 1950s that raised paranoia to a new art, e.g. THE WHIP HAND (1951), I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI (1951) and RED NIGHTMARE (1962), plus all those sci-fi films where aliens keep taking over the townsfolk, e.g. INVADERS FROM MARS (1953), INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956), and IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (1956).
Old 03-18-18, 05:45 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 50,673
Received 182 Likes on 120 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Eyes Wide Shut
Diabolique
Tell No One
Take Shelter
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Klute
North By Northwest
Ministry of Fear
Flashpoint
Twilight’s Last Gleaming
Zodiac
Rear Window
Cutter’s Way
Z
It Comes At Night

Last edited by inri222; 03-18-18 at 05:53 PM.
Old 03-19-18, 05:54 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,983
Likes: 0
Received 246 Likes on 175 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Capricorn One
Cassandra Crossing
Executive Action
Trial of Billy Jack
The Gauntlet

Last edited by rw2516; 03-19-18 at 06:00 AM.
Old 03-19-18, 10:09 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,673
Received 608 Likes on 447 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Three Days of the Condor
Old 03-19-18, 10:19 AM
  #22  
Dan
DVD Talk Hero
 
Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In the straps of boots
Posts: 27,997
Received 1,181 Likes on 834 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Nice to see a small shoutout to Spider in the OP, even if he didn't like it. I recall loving the book and enjoying the movie for what it was.

Speaking of Cronenberg, eXistenZ might fit the bill as well.
Old 03-19-18, 11:35 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,326
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 10 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Been awhile since I've seen it, but I really enjoyed Unknown with Liam Neeson. Also 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Fright Night. lol
Old 03-19-18, 12:17 PM
  #24  
RIP
 
EddieMoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paradise, USA
Posts: 9,904
Received 54 Likes on 41 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by inri222
Eyes Wide Shut
Diabolique
Tell No One
Take Shelter
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Klute
North By Northwest
Ministry of Fear
Flashpoint
Twilight’s Last Gleaming
Zodiac
Rear Window
Cutter’s Way
Z
It Comes At Night
It Comes At Night is one of the most severely underrated films in recent memory, IMO.

And Michael Shannon should have been nominated for and won an Oscar for Take Shelter. That is one of the greatest performances by an actor I have ever seen.
Old 03-19-18, 01:35 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 50,673
Received 182 Likes on 120 Posts
Re: Best Paranoia Movies

Originally Posted by EddieMoney
It Comes At Night is one of the most severely underrated films in recent memory, IMO.

And Michael Shannon should have been nominated for and won an Oscar for Take Shelter. That is one of the greatest performances by an actor I have ever seen.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.