10 Movies That Feel Like A Black Mirror Episode 

Black Mirror began as an anthology television series that charts stories of various individuals who find themselves grappling with the aftermath of technology gone terrifyingly wrong. The show harkened back to the classic feeling of The Twilight Zone, exploring morality, technology, and Sci-Fi in an anthology format.


But season after season, Black Mirror carved its own unique style and feeling.Known for its creepy (but plausible) stories about humanity’s relentless march towards progress and modernization, Black Mirror finds triumph in its aesthetic setting and creative use of storytelling.

That said, Black Mirror is not the only one of its kind. Long before the series premiered on Netflix, directors were already exploring stories with a similar tone. Uncertain futures and advancing technologies have helped carve some truly astonishing pieces. These movies blend mind-bending sci-fi concepts with psychological depth and result in something that entertains you but also makes you question reality, much like the best episodes of Black Mirror. These are 10 of the finest films that navigate the same troubling terrain as Black Mirror, and remain just as unforgettable.


10 Arrival (2016)

Arrival

Arrival

Release Date
November 10, 2016

Rating
PG-13

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

A science fiction movie that burns low and slow, Arrival centers around Louise Banks, a linguistics expert who is tasked with communicating with strange otherworldly crafts that have landed around the world. These crafts are manned by alien visitors, whose utterly non-human language prevents the U.S. military from learning their true purpose. As Banks and her team study the alien language, their understanding of the world is put to the test.

How It Compares To Black Mirror

At its core, Black Mirror is about trying to understand a future that is unknown. Arrival falls right in line with that vision. The thought-provoking film by Director Denis Villeneuve is both a cerebral science fiction and an intimate human drama. By making humanity experience first contact, it charts into the vast and unimaginable possibility of the alien world.

Stream Arrival on Paramount+

9 Ex Machina (2014)

Directed by Alex Garland in his directorial debut, Ex Machina stars Oscar Isaac as Caleb Smith, a young programmer who wins a contest and is invited to spend a week at a reclusive, narcissistic, and alcoholic CEO’s home. But the real prize awaits him in the mansion. Caleb is soon asked to evaluate Ava, a humanoid robot built using advanced artificial intelligence. As Caleb becomes more and more fascinated, there begins an eerie dance between man and machine.

How It Compares To Black Mirror

The truth is, Black Mirror episodes have a simple premise and writing. What makes them so mind-bending, twisted and astonishing is the way they’re brought to life. Ex Machina thrives on special effects and unanswered questions about artificial intelligence.

Worth praising is Alicia Vikander’s mesmerizing turn as Ava, a calculative yet confounded creation of the human mind. Moreover, Garland’s idea of having a claustrophobic setting only makes the movie more jarring and unforgettable. Like many Black Mirror episodes, the ending is dark and morally complicated.

Stream Ex Machina on Max

8 Source Code (2011)

In Source Code, Jake Gyllenhaal plays U.S. Army pilot Colter Stevens, who finds himself transported into another man’s body on a commuter train going to Chicago. When the train explodes and Stevens begins receiving instructions about a bomb and bomber, he realizes that he must unravel the mystery before the train explodes again. With each trip only being eight minutes long, it becomes increasingly taxing to solve the puzzle.

Related: Here Are 7 Movies About Being Stuck in the Same Day, Ranked

How It Compares To Black Mirror

Given the decade it was released in, Source Code was one of the few high-concept science-fiction thrillers that truly became pioneers of an idea yet unexplored by writers and directors. The question that director Duncan Jones poses is — is it possible to alter the past and curb terrorism? Do humans really have free will? How can we tell what is real? Like the smartest and most brain-racking Black Mirror episodes, Source Code wrestles with heavy themes of identity, ethics, and the potential of new technologies.

Stream Source Code on Max

7 Her (2013)

her

Her

Release Date
December 18, 2013

Rating
R

Human relationships can be difficult, but what’s harder is to bond with a voice in an augmented world. In Her, Theodore is a lonely man who works as a professional writer, drafting personal essays on behalf of strangers for their loved ones. In order to help curb his loneliness, he buys a new sentient software and names it Samantha. Soon, Theo finds himself drawn to her awareness and sympathy, and the two form an unconventional relationship that turns into something very intimate.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

Like the more lighthearted Black Mirror episode “San Junipero,” Her, directed by Spike Jonze, creates a beautifully poignant story that examines modern relationships in the age of technology. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theo and Scarlett Johannson lends her voice to Samantha. Their tender approach towards identity, romance, and connection makes the film insightful and awe-inspiring. Like the show, Her leaves viewers mulling over whether it is possible to love something that has no physical form.

Stream Her on Max

6 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is perhaps the saddest, most unique romance movie of all time. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in the drama as Joel and Clementine, two former lovers who, after a painful breakup, decide to undergo a new procedure to erase one another from their memories. However, during the process, Joel relives their fiery relationship and finds himself trying desperately to hold onto their moments of joy and pain alike.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

Letting go is always much harder than it seems. Sometimes, all you have left of a person are memories, and having those manipulated can be terrifying. Michel Gondry’s rich and poignant exploration of the concept reminds you of some of the most moving episodes of Black Mirror.

Through its perfect blend of moody atmosphere, surrealism, and heavy ideas, the movie muses on what truly makes us who we are, and how changing the past doesn’t really help. Paired with Jon Brion’s beautiful score, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a psychedelic and creative experience.

Stream Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on DIRECTV

5 A Scanner Darkly (2006)

The only animated science fiction movie on the list, A Scanner Darkly is based on Philip K. Dick’s 1977 novel of the same name. It was adapted for the screen by Richard Linklater, and stars Keanu Reeves as Bob Arctor, an undercover agent infiltrating the local scene of a new drug in the country. In the process, Arctor himself becomes addicted to Substance D. With his identity rotting away and the lines between reality and nightmare fading, Arctor struggles not to succumb to the very thing he’s tasked with controlling.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

A hallucinatory trip into the human psyche, A Scanner Darkly embraces its source material and creates an allegory that feels all too possible as a Black Mirror episode. The heart of the film lies in its animation, which lends some of the most dream-like visuals in order to understand society’s detachment from reality.

The acting by Reeves, as well as Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., and Woody Harrelson (captured by rotoscope technology) is superb. The ambiguous end only makes it more timely and relevant. And the titles of both this film and Black Mirror allude to the ominous metaphor from Corinthians: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

Stream A Scanner Darkly on Tubi

4 The Truman Show (1998)

This one is often branded as a feel-good comedy, but is it really? The Truman Show is a satirical drama about Truman Burbank, an unassuming man living a squeaky clean suburban life in Seahaven. The truth about his world, however, is that his town is a massive TV set, and he is the oblivious star of a popular show, which the world watches and revels in 24/7. When Truman begins to notice little cracks in his routine, his desire for escape knows no bounds.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

Clearly way ahead of its time, The Truman Show expertly creates a premise that is entertaining while giving birth to unsettling questions about personal freedom. Jim Carrey gives his all in a role that wouldn’t have become so iconic if it weren’t for his signature humor and emotional intensity.

As for the movie’s comparison with Black Mirror, we witness how the media cleverly and insidiously shapes, manipulates, and controls the lives of modern human beings. The movie is an allegory for the relationship between man and God, and a creation usurping the will of its creator. But the most Black Mirror-part of it is the creepy feeling of everything and everyone around Truman being orchestrated, and fake.

Stream The Truman Show on Hoopla

3 Nope (2022)

Nope

Nope

Release Date
July 22, 2022

Rating
R

Read Our Review

Jordan Peele’s third directorial film was met with several expectations, and to say that this eccentric neo-Western science-fiction thriller delivered what it promised is only fitting. In Nope, OJ Haywood and his sister Emerald manage a horse ranch in inland California. When a mysterious object is seen in the skies around their farm, they decide to document it as the existence of a UFO. Meanwhile, a neighboring theme park owner, Ricky “Jupe” Park, aims to profit off of the unknown phenomenon.

Related: 10 Reasons Nope Is Actually Jordan Peele’s Most Disturbing Movie

How It Compares to Black Mirror

Despite being light on explaining things, Peele once again manages to deliver a movie richly layered with provocative satire and social commentary. Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, and Keke Palmer are incredible in their roles, anchoring the unforgettable visuals and underlying darkness.

Much like the other films in Peele’s trilogy, Nope toys with the genre to ponder on how humanity reacts to and deals with things beyond its limited comprehension. Another aspect Black Mirror explores in brilliant ways. And the twisted comparison with the plot of the film and the commentary on Hollywood and filmmaking is something Black Mirror also often did, using stories to say something indirectly about an industry or technology.

Stream Nope on Prime Video

2 After Yang (2021)

Just like his feature directorial debut Columbus, director Kogonada captures the meaning of grief through the eyes of his soulful characters in After Yang. The movie is a tender story about Jake, Kyra, and their adoptive daughter Miko. To help Miko bond with her Chinese roots, the family also adopt Yang, an android. But when Yang malfunctions and shuts down, Jake risks everything to repair him and give Miko her “brother” back. However, in the process, he unearths Yang’s memories.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

If Kogonada ever directed a Black Mirror episode, this movie is just what it would look like. The director’s delicate gaze examines weighty themes of sentience, connection, and family in a future where technology will become a part of daily life, in every shape and form. The storytelling struggles to resonate with the mainstream audience, but After Yang infuses wonder and melancholia into its character studies in a way that is rare and stimulating.

Stream After Yang on Prime Video

1 Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Read Our Review

Olivia Wilde’s latest project sees Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as Alice and Jack Chambers, a married couple living in an utopian community called Victory. In the isolated town, the days are uneventful and formulaic. While the husbands commute to a top-secret facility for work, the wives spend idyllic afternoons basking in the beauty and luxury of their community. However, when Alice begins to notice cracks in their perfect lives and demands answers, the idea of a paradise shatters into a million little pieces.

How It Compares to Black Mirror

Instead of being set in the future, Don’t Worry Darling transports you to the 1950s, a time when technology wasn’t as modernized. Despite the limitations of its time, Wilde turns the movie into a psychological thriller that navigates the paranoia of being controlled or being in a simulation. Taking some staple themes from Black Mirror — like hidden social control and unreliable realities — the movie emerges as a stylish throwback. Moreover, the powerhouse of the film is Pugh, who stuns as a woman struggling to hold herself together.

Stream Don’t Worry Darling on Netflix

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