We reside in circles, specifically loops! We move from one instant, action, or location to another, only to return to the previous instant, action, or location. In other terms, the world operates in fast-moving, closed, infinite loops. There are always times when you want to pause and reflect on the cycle-like structure of our existence.
Watching a “philosophical movie” is an effective method to perform this mental exercise. However, it is impossible to predict how a film will affect you philosophically, as philosophy is more of a perception than a genre. You can learn about leadership from the ‘Transformers’ films, just as you can learn about the significance of family from the ‘Fast and Furious’ films; however, it is not recommended that you rob banks in order to learn about leadership. However, we are discussing those films that can have a life-altering impact. This list contains some of the best philosophical films that are currently streaming on Netflix. Many of these films are also available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Table Of Content
- 1 6 Balloons (2018)
- 2 A Man Called Otto (2022)
- 3 Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
- 4 Call Me by Your Name (2017)
- 5 Dear Zindagi (2016)
- 6 Eat Pray Love (2010)
- 7 End Game (2018)
- 8 Forgive Us Our Debts (2018)
- 9 Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
- 10 If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)
- 11 I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
- 12 Irreplaceable You (2018)
- 13 Marriage Story (2019)
- 14 Pieces of a Woman (2020)
- 15 Private Life (2018)
- 16 Queen (2014)
- 17 The Dreamseller (2016)
- 18 The Platform (2019)
- 19 The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)
- 20 White Noise (2022)
6 Balloons (2018)
The original Netflix film ‘6 Balloons’ features Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco as a brother-and-sister duo. Katie (Jacobson) begins the film by organising a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Jack. She also decides to pick up her brother Seth (Franco) for the party when she goes to purchase the cake. Seth is a chronic heroin addict who must be admitted to a rehabilitation facility as soon as possible, but the two institutions where Abbi takes him reject him. Seth, who is becoming increasingly impatient, insists that he needs heroin immediately and even compels his sister to purchase it for him. After a considerable amount of time, Abbi realises that it is futile to ask his sibling to change if he does not want it from the bottom of his heart.
A Man Called Otto (2022)
Otto (Tom Hanks) is an elderly, bitter widower who lives alone. The pain associated with losing the person you adored the most and spent the majority of your life with can only be comprehended by those who have experienced it, albeit to some extent. There would be no pleasant sensations in such a world. When a family moves in next door, Otto is welcomed into their world with open arms. As anticipated, Otto is initially unable to deal with it, but as time passes, he begins to adapt. A small gesture, a quick smile, a wave, or a simple salutation gradually begin to affect Otto and transform him positively. Watch Marc Forster’s “A Man Called Otto” if you want to see what can happen when you treat others with kindness.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
“Black Mirror” is without question one of the most enlightening television programmes we have ever seen. Through its distinct stories, this series has opened our eyes to the various horrors that can be spawned by the technologies around us. When the filmmakers released their film ‘Bandersnatch,’ anticipation was through the roof because the film promised a viewing experience unlike any we had ever encountered. The plot of the film revolves around a video game designer who, inspired by the novel Bandersnatch, wants to convert it into a game in which the player decides how the plot develops. As he continues to develop the game, this character realises that he cannot even control his own existence. Who is in charge of his life? It is us, the audience.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
During the summer in Italy, both 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer) explore their emotions for one another. This is the fundamental premise of the Oscar-nominated film directed by Luca Guadagnino. The best part about love is that it becomes more palpable in appropriate settings. There is no location where love cannot flourish, but an attractive location enhances the beauty of love. Therefore, if you wish to’see’ love, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ is currently streaming.
Dear Zindagi (2016)
“Dear Zindagi” is an Indian Hindi film directed by Gauri Shinde and featuring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan. The film examines the philosophy of life from the perspective of relationships. Kaira (Bhatt) is a Mumbai-based cinematographer who becomes bored with her partner and becomes involved with another man. But when this man marries his ex-wife, Kaira is unable to cope. The subsequent events bring her back to her homeland of Goa, India, where she meets the psychologist Jehangir Khan (Khan). From this point on, she discusses her relationships, feelings, emotions, and existential concerns and answers.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Successful modern woman Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is fed up with her post-divorce life and unsure of what she wants, so she embarks on a year-long voyage around the world to focus on things she has never done. She chooses Italy, India, and Bali for this purpose. Italy is for her sustenance, India is for her prayers, and Bali is for her interior peace and self-love. Therefore, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ represents the three fundamental principles of her existence. But does she find what she desires? To learn more about this and her journey, view the film.
End Game (2018)
‘End Game’ is a short documentary directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman that sheds light on palliative care and offers profound insights into the brevity of human existence and the harsh reality of death. ‘End Game’ focuses on terminally ill patients in a San Francisco hospital, following some of the most devoted and visionary medical practitioners who are continually engaged in a conflict between life and death with their patients. In addition to providing individuals with much-needed moral and medical support, some of these physicians have undertaken the daunting task of altering society’s perspective on death and life.
Forgive Us Our Debts (2018)
Antonio Morabito directed and co-wrote the Netflix original film ‘Forgive Us Our Debts’, which is in Italian. This film’s plot revolves around a man who is weighed down by the amount of money he owes to various people and is frantic to escape the mess. With no other option, he resolves to become a debt collector for a loan shark. When he signed up for the task, he did not even consider the depths he would have to stoop to complete it. This circumstance causes him to find himself in situations he has always wished to avoid. “Forgive Us Our Debts” demonstrates that making a bargain with the devil is never a viable option. Because selling our honour is tantamount to selling our own identities. And from there, evasion is virtually impossible.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” is a stop-motion animated reimagining of the classic tale of the marionette magically brought to life to bring a smile to the grieving woodcarver Geppetto, who lost his son Carlo during a bombing in Italy during the First World War. It would be a disservice to the story and the film to disclose more, but we must tell you that it is difficult to describe what the film is able to accomplish thanks to animation, which Guillermo del Toro has stated is not a genre but a medium. Animation is filmmaking.
If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)
This film demonstrates how effective a brief film can be despite its duration. This 12-minute animated sketch was written and directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier. It tells the tale of a grieving mother and father who have suffered the tragic loss of their young daughter. What sort of calamity is it? You would be deprived of its effectiveness if I told you. We can only confirm that it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short at the 2021 Academy Awards.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Charlie Kaufman directed and wrote the psychological thriller ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things,’ which was inspired by Iain Reid’s novel of the same name. The film starring Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley follows a young woman who accompanies her boyfriend on a road journey to the latter’s parents. Due to a snowfall, the couple becomes stranded at their destination, and the protagonist is forced to spend the night with her boyfriend’s family. She begins to doubt not only her own identity, but also her relationship, as a result of this peculiar experience.
Irreplaceable You (2018)
‘Irreplaceable You’ is a film about the relationship between two characters who have been friends since infancy and was directed by Stephanie Laing. Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman) live a happy existence in New York City until Abbie’s cancer diagnosis is revealed one day. Abbie is of the opinion that she needs to locate a new person for Sam to fall in love with as soon as she learns this information. She assumes responsibility for locating this individual. Abbie encounters several people who become significant influences in her life as she pursues this goal. They teach her that regardless of how little time we have, it is essential to live life to the fullest. This film presents a philosophical view of death as something that should not be dreaded and should be accepted as a natural part of life.
Marriage Story (2019)
Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta are featured in this film. Noah Baumbach has directed, written, and co-produced the drama film Marriage Story. It focuses on the complicated relationship between an actress and her accomplished spouse, a stage director. After attempting marriage counselling to resolve their conjugal issues, the couple is unable to resolve their issues, and their problems persist. While ‘Marriage Story’ does not capture the entirety of the complexities of the husband-wife relationship, it does provide an intimate comprehension of the conflicts that frequently arise when a couple falls out of love.
Pieces of a Woman (2020)
Based on Mundruczó and Wéber’s stage play, the drama film ‘Pieces of a Woman’ follows the Boston couple Martha and Sean, who despite the risks, resolve to have a home birth. Unfortunately, the day of delivery goes smoothly, and the couple loses their infant. While Martha’s mother files a lawsuit against the obstetrician, the protagonist, Eva, is overcome with sorrow. The film explores more deeply sensitive topics, such as child loss and its repercussions, and provides a compassionate comprehension of the pain that parents experience when they lose a child.
Private Life (2018)
This Netflix original features Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn and is extremely significant and pertinent in the modern world. Richard and Rachel are desperately attempting to conceive a child after their natural reproductive processes have failed. They attempt everything, including IVF, adoption, and artificial insemination, but nothing seems to work in their favour. They go so far as to approach Richard’s niece for a donation of her eggs for artificial insemination. At that juncture, the process becomes so emotionally taxing for our protagonists that they decide to give up.
While it is natural for a married couple to desire a child, this film teaches us that it is far more essential to pursue your own happiness in whatever endeavour you choose. There are numerous individuals who pursue multiple desires throughout the day. In the process, they are oblivious to the fact that life is passing by without their notice. We should never permit ourselves to experience such a circumstance.
‘Queen’ is an Indian Hindi film in which Rani Mehra (Kangana Ranaut) decides to go on a solo honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam after the groom cancels the wedding on the grounds that his international lifestyle will not allow him to adjust to her conservative nature. The voyage confronts Rani with herself and the world, causing her to realise that her life is much larger than just her wedding. Sometimes it takes a no to make you realise how many yeses are awaiting you. Vikas Bahl is the director of “Queen.”
The Dreamseller (2016)
‘The Dreamseller’ is a Portuguese-language Brazilian film based on a series of novels by Augusto Cury. The narrative centres on two men: the title character and the disillusioned psychologist Jlio César. Mellon Lincoln Filho, one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, is “The Dreamseller.” Throughout the years, he has amassed a vast business empire that includes banks, IT, retail, and construction firms. Mellon, however, vanished after the deaths of his wife and daughter. Years later, he is discovered on the street, endeavouring to teach others about life’s true significance. Jlio has become estranged from his wife and son and is contemplating suicide. When the two males meet, their lives are altered.
The Platform (2019)
“The Platform” is a social science fiction-horror film directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia and written by David Desolo and Pedro Rivero. The film starring Iván Massagué and Antonia San Juan focuses on the inmates of a vertical prison where those residing on the highest level are fed adequately while those surviving on the lower levels are barely provided enough food to survive. The circumstance incites envy and pits the prisoners against one another. With each passing day, the malnourished criminals become increasingly agitated, and their pent-up rage is only waiting to be released. “The Platform” examines human nature by starving and isolating individuals to their absolute limits.
The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)
The philosophy of existence is timeless. This is the reason why a good deed performed over 85 years ago has the same effect on us as it did on the recipient(s) at the time. They may no longer be alive, but their deeds linger on in film. In ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ a Polish couple, Dr. Jan abiski (Johan Heldenbergh) and Antonina (Jessica Chastain), use their zoo to conceal Jews during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. They saved approximately 300 lives. The film is based on Diane Ackerman’s novel of the same name and was directed by Niki Caro. It serves as an agonising reminder of the horrific times our species has endured and survived, as well as the presence of love and humanity even in the darkest of times.
White Noise (2022)
The absurdist drama film ‘White Noise’ was written and directed by Noah Baumbach. The plot centres on Jack Gladney (Adam Driver), who has created “Hitler studies,” the subject he lectures at the university despite having little to no knowledge of German. Jack resides with his wife, Babette, and their combined four children. When Murray Siskind, a colleague of Jack’s, asks for his assistance in devising a unique field of study based on Elvis Presley, Jack agrees. Following a train accident that emits poisonous gases into the air, the authorities order a mass evacuation of the town’s inhabitants. Jack believes he will perish after being exposed to the chemical waste, which influences his subsequent actions.