Top 77 Hollywood Movies on Existential Crisis

There comes a phase in life when we search for the ‘meaning’. When you are tied to an emotionally clinging situation, you question your life’s meaning. Hola friend! Welcome to the club. But what better than a weekend, a good movie on your laptop, that provides your life with meaning and helps fight the feeling of being into an existential crisis. 

If you’re dealing with some existential crisis shit right now, just hold on, everything’s gonna work out sooner or later. This is what these movies will help you realize. Every roller coaster ride ends with great laughter and memories after numerous ups and downs. So Grab a large bucket of popcorn, some tissues, and perhaps, chocolate (you know, just in case) right after you are through this article.

Dead Poets Society

It’s the fall of 1959, Todd Anderson is a newbie in Welton Academy, an all-male school. Neil Perry, a bright young student of Welton, is Todd’s roommate. Welton Academy is known for its strict rules and discipline but on the first day of their class, everyone is surprised with the teaching method of John Keating, the English teacher who is an alumnus of Welton. He encourages the students to develop their own personalities and have a different perspective on life, and to live by the idea of ‘carpe diem’, meaning ‘seize the day’. He inspires them to have faith in themselves and uses poetry to teach the importance of individuality and nonconformity.The young English teacher helps his students find their life’s meaning and shows the different faces of life to make it extraordinary in its own way.

Students love this philosophy as it gives them freedom of being their true self. But soon things start to go south for them and for Keatings as well. Neil’s father takes him out of Welton when he came to know about Neil’s acting persuasion. Charlie is given a corporal punishment when he publishes an article in the school newspaper about admitting girls in Welton. John is removed and Headmaster Gale replaces him as the new English Teacher. But what is Dead Poet Society? And how are things gonna turn out in the end? Watch this awesome movie and find out.

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Slumdog Millionaire

Brothers, Jamal and Salim, run away from their slum in Dharavi at the age of 10 after their mother’s death in Bombay riots. On their way to nowhere, they meet Latika, a girl from their slums. The three are captured by Maman, a local gangster who turns kids into beggars. They flee from there on a train but Latika fails to climb onboard and is captured back by Maman. After a few years of struggle, Salim and Jamal return to Mumbai to find Latika who is now a prostitute working under the captivity of Maman. Salim rescues her and joins hands with Maman’s arch-rival Javed to keep Latika with him.

Jamal moves on and becomes a teaboy at a Call Center. To contact Latika, Jamal participates in a show named as ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ as Latika watches the show regularly. This Slumdog reaches the final question worth 20 million dollars and becomes a wonder boy in India. But he gets stuck on the last question. Will he be able to answer that? How come a slumdog street boy chance to answer all the questions.

Before the last question worth 20 million rupees, he is taken into custody to be questioned for cheating. He narrates his life stories that lead him to answers. If you think life is unfair, you need to see this movie. No wonder it won 8 Oscars. The movie makes you question life and retrospect your actions. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

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The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardener invests his life savings in a bone density scanner which he sells to manage his family. Chris has a wife, Linda, who works as a hotel maid and a five-year-old son, Christopher Jr. Because of his intelligence and aptitude, Chris lands himself an unpaid internship at a stockbroking company. The tough financial situation erodes their marriage and Linda leaves him and his son. His conditions worsen with his last bone density scanner lost, homeless and bankrupt when IRS withdraws the last chunk of money in his bank account. He continues with the internship and focuses on maximizing his clients & profits.

The movie is about the hardships and perseverance of Chris Gardener and how he figures out his way in the most difficult times.

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The Postman

In a post-apocalyptic world, a man dresses up as a postman and sets to deliver the undelivered mail to the people. He poses as a postman only to get fed. Despite having no authenticity, the postman becomes a beacon of hope of how the world was before the apocalypse occurred. It gives hope to stand up to tyranny and lawlessness while presenting the big picture as to what can happen to us at any moment – that earth with cease to exist and the universe won’t even bother to ask why.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a movie about love’s strange habit to come back in life, time and again. Joel Barish, an introvert guy meets Clementine, a care-free girl on his way from Montauk to Rockville Centre, in a train. They both immediately feel a spark and attraction towards each other. But what they don’t realize is that they were in a relationship together in the past for 2 years. At that time, after a fight, Clementine decided to erase all of her memory about Joel with the help of a New York firm, Lacuna, Inc. When Joel came to know about this, in shock and sadness, he also decided to undergo the same procedure.

As he is going under the memory-erasing process, he recalls all the bits and pieces of the moments that he spent with Clementine. The whole movie is actually these fragments of memories that Joel’s brain recall as they get erased. The movie returns to present as they both are looking forward to an exciting new relationship. The excitement soon turns into shock and disturbance as they receive their Lacuna records in the mail. Will they get into the relationship? Watch this beautiful poetic movie and find out.

Poetry at its finest, this movie is a mind-bending romance leaving with a strong sense of being careful what they wish for.

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We cannot call this movie as one that depicts existential crisis but when you are down, and you need someone to prove you that love exists. It could be a wagging tail on four legs, but it exists, yes it does. Based on a true story of Akita Inu, the film reminisces the story of a dog named Hachiko who is transported from Japan to America and is later separated from his owners. A professor sees him at the train station and decides to adopt him. It showcases an unbreakable bond between an animal and a human as they go about their lives until the end. The film shows the resilience of the dog and its love for the professor as it waits for him every day at the train station as he returns from his class. This movie is going to leave you in a pool of tears and an undying desire for owning a dog.

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V for Vendetta

Set in an alternative future of post World War Britain having a totalitarian government regime, V, an insurgent makes terrorist attempts to establish anarchy in the state to curb the oppressors of England. When V saves a young lady named Evey from the secret police, he teams up with her to fight the cause. It is a long movie that opens nothing till the end. The movie is a set exactly over a year, starting from 5th of November. The creation of a man by the fascist government that becomes the same reason for the destruction of the tyranny.

V will forever be a beacon of hope for you when you lose the interest in life and his monologue, one of the best, will keep resonating through a long time.

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Set in Paris, Amelie is a story of a young girl who had a difficult childhood due to a misdiagnosed heart disease. Her suppressed and lonely childhood leads Amelie to develop an overactive imagination. Despite her troubles, she grows up to be a healthy young woman who embarks on a journey to bring joy to other lives as well as find her true love.

Amelie is a little girl when her parents wrongly believe that she has a heart condition and begin to home school her. Devoid of human interaction, she develops an overactive imagination. When she grows up, she leaves her home and takes up a job. In her house, she finds a box of memories and makes it her life ambition to return it to the person who lived in this house before her. One incident leads to another and she becomes the reason for helping out many people find their life goals. When she falls in love with Nino, who is a distant person, she finally finds her own happiness as well. People who are a part of the pressure exerted like that on a spring, either succumb to it or mostly find a way out. Amelie does too. From a fantasy world of her own to righteousness in the real world, Amelie discovers life’s meaning for her.

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Life of Pi

The film narrates the life of Pi Patel, as he recounts all the events that lead to his fame in the present day. He starts off from his childhood days, when his family owned a zoo in India, to the time when they were moving to Canada with the animals after selling the zoo. Their freighter meets with an accident on the voyage, and Pi finds himself stranded on a lifeboat, with only wild animals for company. What follows is a beautiful story of courage, love, and struggle, as Pi fights his way against the odds, befriending the animals on the way. Pi fights the animal, the sea, hunger and hallucinations to live to tell a tale so beautiful it makes you.

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The Shawshank Redemption

Banker Andy Dufresne is charged for the murder of his wife and her love despite his claim of innocence. He is sentenced to life imprisonment and transferred to the Shawshank State Penitentiary. Over several years, a friendship brews between him and another inmate Ellis “Red” Redding. Andy believes in hope. But Red believes otherwise. He tells Andy it is good and bad to have hope. The film is based on Stephen King’s novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. 

The movie conveys a simple idea: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” The movie is worth all your time and it uplifts in the ways that no movie today can and it will tell you, nay, shout at you that if you are right, just know that you are. You’ll find a way.

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Fight Club

Fight Club begins with an unnamed narrator utterly dissatisfied with his life and his job. He has earned himself a regular dosage of insomnia. The narrator attends a support group and there he meets another sufferer like him, Marla. Both of them seem to connect with each other very well. The story goes on and the narrator meets a soap salesman, Tyler, and from here the story takes a turn. The two men fight with each other to release their aggression and this ultimately gives birth to a ‘Fight Club’ at the basement of a bar. This incident gathers a lot of public attention and frustrated men start coming there to fight each other off, as a form of recreation. Soon enough, a lot of such fight clubs open up all across the country, wh9ich paves way for a new kind of revolution against the establishment.

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Freedom Writers

A school teacher Erin Gruwell takes on the task of teaching the freshman class at Wilson High School. Erin’s class comprises of underprivileged children. Gruwell is an enthusiastic woman and she finds out and innovates new methods of teaching her students, empowering them to face the world.

Amidst racism, Erin Gruwell teaches her students about racism and the Holocaust. She ignites respect and integrity among the students only to fight her own marital status. The movie gives you hope and strength.

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An award-winning animated movie Up begins with showing the monotonous life of Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year old man, living in his old-fashioned house amongst a developing metropolis. A flashback of his life shows a young adventurous boy, a dedicated fan of Charles Muntz who meets a girl named Ellie, an adventurous woman. They instantly connect and become friends with her as they have a common love for adventure, and the two end up marrying each other. Ellie has a childhood dream of having a house on the Paradise Falls but life doesn’t allow for it. Fast forward, after the death of Ellie and ultimately frustrated with the constant threats from a builder, Carl flies away with his house (tied with balloons) and embarks on a journey to Paradise Falls. The movie shows how love is never lost and happiness is just a smile away.

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It’s a wonderful life

Tragedies are what make life intriguing. Tragedies teach you life’s essence and the one who cannot cross this pool of problem… will always be helped (Thought I’d be a sad poet?) Well no. “It’s a wonderful life” taught me otherwise. It will teach you otherwise as well.

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Stranger than Fiction

Life is a story what if a whole story written by an author depicting your life and taking actual turns as the narrator keeps on shouting the things that are about to happen? Scary. Damn scary. The movie revolves around an IRS Agent finding the author to ask her help to change the end of his story.

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The King’s Speech

A stammering King George VI is suddenly ascended to the throne. He findas a speech therapist to help him overcome this setback and an exceptional bond develops between them. The movie is outstanding and the abundant humour will make you realize that life is to be appreciated and our own self, however faulty, is one that should be made best.


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Life is Beautiful

Many people had a difficult life during the Holocaust. This movie is based on one of those survivor stories. A man and his son are trapped as they are Jews and his trials of keeping his son sane and mentally unaffected during the bad phase are remarkably beautiful. This movie really teaches us that Life is Beautiful, no matter what.

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Pay it forward

What happens when someone does well to you? You try to pay it back. This movie inspires us to pay it forward. To conduct a good deed to another just to return the goodness back to the world. 11-year-old Trevor takes up a revolution to not only change his but everyone’s world around him.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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The Matrix

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Peaceful Warrior

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Groundhog Day

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Cloud Atlas

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A Clockwork Orange

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2001: A Space Odyssey

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Donnie Darko

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The Lobster

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Defending Your Life

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Don Juan DelMarco

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Requiem for a Dream

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Werckmeister Harmonie

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The Legend of 1900

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Hector and the Search for Happiness

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It’s Such a Beautiful Day

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When Nietzsche Wept

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Dark City

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Jacob’s Ladder

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The Elephant Man

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About Schmidt

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