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Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank - a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure. (Read More)

Themes:insanity, terrorism, fear, politics, religion, suicide, surrealism, revenge
Mood:allegory
Locations:bicycle, school
Characters:psychiatrist, lust, teacher, masturbation
Period:1980s
Story:halloween party, christ allegory, paranoid schizophrenia, halloween costume, school project, preparatory school, real life brother and sister playing brother and sister, object falling from the sky, real life siblings as fictional siblings, reference to the smurfs, defacing property, changing history, the star spangled banner, cellar door, self help guru, catcher in the rye, communist agent, antiseptic, stocking mask, rabbit suit

The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Sci-fi, Thriller

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Evan Treborn grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's friends and mother hardly believe him, thinking he makes it up just to get out of trouble. As Evan grows up he has fewer of these blackouts until he seems to have recovered. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. One day at college he starts to read one of his old diaries, and suddenly a flashback hits him like a brick! (Read More)

Themes:insanity, religion, suicide, surrealism, revenge
Locations:bicycle, school
Characters:psychiatrist, teacher
Story:altering history, child pornography, psychotherapy, hypnosis, fate, psychology, vandalism, destiny, scar, drawing, time travel, reference to jesus christ, reference to god, beer, dream, teenage boy, fire, cult film, knife, cigarette smoking

K-pax (2001)
Drama, Sci-fi

K-pax (2001)

Themes:fear, suicide
Characters:psychiatrist
Period:1980s
Story:enigma, psychotic, time lapse photography, medication, hypnosis, morality, schizophrenia, reference to jesus christ, investigation, dream, cult film, party, title spoken by character, independent film, murder, death, police

Southland Tales (2006)
Comedy, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Southland Tales (2006)

Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. (Read More)

Themes:terrorism, fear, politics, suicide, surrealism
Mood:allegory
Story:christ allegory, paranoid schizophrenia, lynchian, alternate timeline, messiah, alternate history, shot in the eye, prophecy, end of the world, schizophrenia, fate, destiny, scar, no opening credits, police car, time travel, f word, beer, car accident, dream

Carrie (2013) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama, Horror

Carrie (2013)

The outcast teenager Carrie White is bullied by her classmates at high school. Her mother, Margaret White, is a pious and paranoid woman that sees sin everywhere and the need of self-inflicting punishment. When Carrie has her first period, she does not understand what is happening to her and her classmates humiliate her in the changing room. The spiteful Chris Hargensen videotapes Carrie with her cell phone and posts it on the Internet. Their teacher Ms. Desjardin punishes the students, but when Chris challenges her, she is suspended and consequently is banned from the prom. Meanwhile, Carrie discovers that she has telekinesis and learns how to control her ability. Sue Snell, one of the girls that tormented Carrie, feels bad and asks her boyfriend Tommy Ross to invite Carrie to go with him to the prom to make up for what she did to Carrie. But Chris and her boyfriend Billy Nolan plot an evil prank with her friends to seek vengeance for Carrie. (Read More)

Themes:fear, religion, suicide, revenge, surrealism
Locations:school, bicycle
Characters:teacher
Story:teenage romance, death of title character, disturbed individual, closet, teen movie, reverse footage, high school, teen angst, sabotage, tragic event, suburb, police car, f word, supernatural power, car accident, fire, coming of age, knife, title spoken by character, character name in title

Dracula 2000 (2000)
Action, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Dracula 2000 (2000)

In the millenium version of this classic Gothic horror we find Abraham Van Helsing (Plummer), who has tangled with Count Dracula (Butler) in the past, working as an English antiques dealer. Simon (Miller) is a vampire hunter in training under his apprenticeship. Van Helsing and Simon travel from London to New Orleans to rescue Van Helsing's daughter Mary (Waddell) from the family's life long nemesis - Dracula. This is why Dracula 2000 (2000) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:fear, suicide, revenge, surrealism
Locations:school
Story:death of title character, goth, hypnosis, reverse footage, gothic, destiny, directorial debut, good versus evil, f word, reference to jesus christ, hallucination, supernatural power, dream, coming of age, cult film, knife, party, character name in title, gun, death

Power Rangers (2017)
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Power Rangers (2017)

High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vegenance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.

Themes:insanity, terrorism, fear, surrealism, revenge
Locations:bicycle, school
Story:teen movie, vision, end of the world, fate, high school, teen angst, sabotage, destiny, scar, no opening credits, axe, police car, good versus evil, supernatural power, beer, car accident, teenage boy, fire, coming of age, title spoken by character

The Prophecy (1995)
Action, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The Prophecy (1995)

"Some people lose their faith because Heaven shows them too little," says Thomas Daggett. "But how many people lose their faith because Heaven showed them too much?" Daggett nearly became a priest; now he's a cop. He may want to put religion behind him, but one morning a weird, eyeless, hermaphroditic corpse turns up. Suddenly he is on a path that will put him right in the middle of a war in Heaven. And once again, Heaven will show him too much: gore, blood, charred flesh, living corpses and much worse. Even more central to the heavenly war effort is a young girl. This American Indian child has something Gabriel wants. And Gabriel is willing to kill her and anyone in his path - or even reanimate a corpse or two - to get it. (Read More)

Themes:insanity, fear, religion, surrealism
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:goth, soul, prophecy, vision, gothic, police car, good versus evil, hallucination, supernatural power, investigation, car accident, fire, cult film, knife, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, independent film, murder, police, death

The Dead Zone (1983) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

The Dead Zone (1983)

Johnny Smith wakes from a coma due to a car accident, only to find he has lost five years of his life, and yet gained psychic powers. Foreseeing the future appears to be a 'gift' at first, but ends up causing problems...

Themes:fear, suicide, surrealism
Locations:school
Characters:teacher, psychiatrist
Period:1980s
Story:car accident, dark hero, vision, high school, gothic, destiny, tragic event, scar, police car, good versus evil, f word, supernatural power, investigation, dream, fire, cult film, title spoken by character, independent film, murder, kiss

The Guest (2014)
Mystery, Thriller

The Guest (2014)

Themes:revenge
Story:halloween party, halloween costume, homage, high school, no opening credits, halloween, f word, beer, teenage boy, fire, knife, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, kiss, death, murder

Flatliners (1990)
Drama, Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

Flatliners (1990)

Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure. This is why Flatliners (1990) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:fear, suicide, surrealism, revenge
Locations:school
Story:halloween party, halloween costume, virtuality, reverse footage, vision, gothic, tragic event, scar, halloween, f word, supernatural power, hallucination, bathroom, cult film, knife, party, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, death, kiss

Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Teenager Ethan Wate is obsessed with his urge to finish high school and go on to college in order to leave the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina behind, until a mysterious girl begins to inhabit his dreams. When he meets Lena Duchannes, a newcomer who has just enrolled in his school, Ethan knows she is the girl in his dreams. Lena is rejected by the rest of her classmates for being the niece of Macon Ravenwood, whom the town's superstitious residents consider to be a devil-worshiper. But Ethan gives her a ride anyway and they fall in love. Lena reveals to her new boyfriend that she is a witch, and that on her sixteenth birthday she will be claimed by either the forces of light or of darkness. She will remain in the light, but only if she does not remain in love with Ethan. To make matters worse, her evil mother, Sarafine, is casting spells to push Lena to the dark side. Ethan joins her in a search to find a magic spell to save their doomed love. Will the lovers succeed? (Read More)

Themes:fear, surrealism
Locations:school
Story:teenage romance, hypnosis, reverse footage, vision, fate, high school, teen angst, destiny, scar, drawing, no opening credits, good versus evil, supernatural power, car accident, dream, teenage boy, fire, coming of age, two word title, kiss

Midnight Special (2016) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Midnight Special (2016)

Alton Meyer is a boy unlike any other in the world with bizarrely powerful abilities and strange weaknesses. In the middle of the night, his father, Roy, spirits him away from the isolated cult that practically worships him and is determined to regain him at all costs. At the same time, Alton's abilities have been noticed by the US government as well and they are equally insistent on getting to the bottom of this mystery with Paul Sevier of the National Security Agency leading the Federal pursuit with his own questions. These rival hunts force father and son into a desperate run towards a looming date with destiny that could change everything. (Read More)

Themes:fear, religion, surrealism
Story:christ allegory, savior, parallel world, parallel universe, homage, high school, destiny, suburb, no opening credits, police car, reference to jesus christ, supernatural power, reference to god, car accident, fire, knife, two word title, gun, police, murder

Menace II Society (1993)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Menace II Society (1993)

This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA.

Themes:fear, revenge
Locations:school
Story:teen movie, switchblade, high school, directorial debut, no opening credits, cocaine, f word, beer, coming of age, cult film, knife, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, police, gun, murder, death

In The Mouth Of Madness (1994)
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

In The Mouth Of Madness (1994)

With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose...literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane's mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb's End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane's twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent's problems. (Read More)

Themes:insanity, fear, suicide, surrealism
Locations:bicycle
Characters:psychiatrist
Story:parallel world, homage, end of the world, schizophrenia, gothic, drawing, axe, good versus evil, reference to jesus christ, hallucination, bathroom, investigation, car accident, cult film, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, independent film, police, murder, gun

Elephant (2003)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Elephant (2003)

A day in the lives of a group of average teenage high school students. The film follows every character and shows their daily routines. However two of the students plan to do something that the student body won't forget. This is why Elephant (2003) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001).

Themes:fear, suicide, revenge
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:disturbed individual, psychotic, teen movie, high school, bathroom, car accident, teenage boy, fire, independent film, murder, death, gun

The Mummy (2017) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller

The Mummy (2017)

Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Themes:fear, surrealism, revenge
Story:destiny, reverse footage, vision, fate, gothic, scar, no opening credits, axe, police car, good versus evil, hallucination, supernatural power, beer, car accident, dream, fire, knife, murder, police, death

Halloween (1978)
Horror, Thriller

Halloween (1978)

The year is 1963, the night: Halloween. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Ln. only to discover that 15 year old Judith Myers has been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother, Michael. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out on the night before Halloween. No one knows, nor wants to find out, what will happen on October 31st 1978 besides Myers' psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis. He knows Michael is coming back to Haddonfield, but by the time the town realizes it, it'll be too late for many people. (Read More)

Themes:fear
Locations:school
Characters:psychiatrist
Story:halloween, halloween costume, closet, goth, soul, teen movie, high school, teen angst, suburb, good versus evil, teenage boy, cult film, knife, title spoken by character, death, cigarette smoking, independent film, murder, police, gun

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Essentially a prequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost's earlier TV series "Twin Peaks". The first half-hour or so concerns the investigation by FBI Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and his partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) into the murder of night-shift waitress Teresa Banks in the small Washington state town of Deer Meadow. When Desmond finds a mysterious clue to the murder, he inexplicably disappears. The film then cuts to one year later in the nearby town of Twin Peaks and follows the events during the last week in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) a troubled teenage girl with two boyfriends; the hot-tempered rebel Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and quiet biker James Hurley (James Marshall), her drug addiction, and her relationship with her difficult (and possible schizophrenic) father Leland (Ray Wise), a story in which her violent murder was later to motivate much of the TV series. Contains a considerable amount of sex, drugs, violence, very loud music and inexplicable imagery. (Read More)

Themes:surrealism
Period:1980s
Story:year 1988, enigma, vision, schizophrenia, high school, cocaine, supernatural power, hallucination, avant garde, investigation, dream, fire, cult film, cigarette smoking, independent film, death, murder, police

Teeth (2007)
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Teeth (2007)

Dawn grows up in the shadow of a nuclear power plant. In high school, while her biology class studies evolution, she realizes she may have a hidden curse, an "adaptation." She lives with her mom, step-father, and hard-edged step-brother. She likes Tobey, a guy at school, and he likes her. She takes a pledge to remain chaste until marriage, so they date in groups, watch G-rated films, and don't kiss, but the power of teen hormones is great, so temptation beckons. Dawn has an admirer in Ryan, and when when things have an unexpected twist with Tobey, she turns to Ryan for help. Will he be her mythical hero and rescue her? Or can she find her way as her own hero, turning the curse into an asset? (Read More)

Themes:religion, revenge
Locations:school, bicycle
Characters:teacher, masturbation
Story:high school, stepfather, metaphor, soul, morality, scar, drawing, police car, beer, dream, teenage boy, coming of age, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, independent film, murder, death, kiss, police

The Crow (1994) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Action, Drama, Fantasy

The Crow (1994)

A poetic guitarist Eric Draven is brought back to life by a crow a year after he and his fiancee are murdered. The crow guides him through the land of the living, and leads him to his killers: knife thrower Tin-tin, drugetic Funboy, car buff T-Bird, and the unsophisticated Skank. One by one, Eric gives these thugs a taste of their own medicine. However their leader Top-Dollar, a world-class crime lord who will dispatch his enemies with a Japanese sword and joke about it later, will soon learn the legend of the crow and the secret to the vigilante's invincibility. This is why The Crow (1994) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:revenge
Mood:allegory
Story:halloween, death of title character, soul, dark hero, irony, gothic, arson, directorial debut, good versus evil, reference to jesus christ, supernatural power, fire, cult film, knife, title spoken by character, death, character name in title, murder, police, gun

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Drama, Romance

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

A man about forty years of age tells the story from when he was a teenager in upscale suburban Detroit of his and three of his friends' fascination with the mysterious and doomed Lisbon sisters. In 1974, the sisters were seventeen year old Therese, sixteen year old Mary, fifteen year old Bonnie, fourteen year old Lux, and thirteen year old Cecilia. Their fascination still remains as they try to piece together the entire story. The sisters were mysteries if only because of having a strict and overprotective upbringing by their father, who taught math at the girls' private co-ed school, and overly devout Catholic mother, who largely dictated the household rules. The story focuses primarily on two incidents and the resulting situations on the girls' lives. The first was an action by Cecilia to deal with her emotions over her life. And the second was the relationship between Lux - the sister who pushed the boundaries of the household rules most overtly in doing what most teenagers want to do - and Trip Fontaine, he who could have any girl he wanted but wanting solely Lux. (Read More)

Themes:suicide
Locations:school
Characters:psychiatrist, lust, teacher
Story:enigma, time lapse photography, teen movie, american football, first love, high school, teen angst, directorial debut, tragic event, suburb, hallucination, dream, teenage boy, coming of age, cult film, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, death, kiss

Dead Poets Society (1989)
Comedy, Drama

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His roommate, Neil Perry, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each does so in his own way, and is changed for life. (Read More)

Themes:suicide
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:preparatory school, teenage romance, teen movie, dark hero, morality, first love, teen angst, teenage boy, coming of age, title spoken by character

Gothika (2003)
Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Gothika (2003)

Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychiatrist who works in a penitentiary, in the mental institution sector. She is married with Dr. Douglas Grey, the chief of department where Dr. Pete Graham also works. Chloe Sava, a patient of Dr. Miranda formerly abused by her stepfather, claims that she is frequently raped by the devil in her cell. After leaving the asylum in a stormy night, Dr. Miranda has a car accident, and when she wakes up, she is an inmate of the institution, being accused of an horrible crime and having no memory of the incident. (Read More)

Themes:insanity, fear, suicide
Characters:psychiatrist
Story:stepfather, goth, time lapse photography, medication, gothic, axe, police car, hallucination, supernatural power, reference to god, car accident, dream, fire, knife, murder, gun, death, kiss, police

The Craft (1996) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

The Craft (1996)

A new girl moves to a new city with her family to start a new life. She meets up with the girls who are very interested in the occult and together, the four of them have a seemingly unstopable power. They can do anything, from getting thier dream guys to like them to... the possibilities are limitless. (Read More)

Themes:insanity, suicide, revenge, surrealism
Locations:school
Story:virtuality, goth, teen movie, vision, overalls, high school, teen angst, hallucination, supernatural power, dream, fire, coming of age, cult film, knife, party, murder

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

In part six of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, dream monster Freddy Krueger has finally killed all the children of his hometown, and seeks to escape its confines to hunt fresh prey. To this end, he recruits the aid of his (previously unmentioned) daughter. However, she discovers the demonic origin of her father's powers and meets Dad head-on in a final showdown (originally presented in 3-D). This is why Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:insanity, surrealism
Characters:teacher
Story:death of title character, sleepwalking, psychotic, high school, gothic, drawing, good versus evil, supernatural power, dream, fire, cult film, knife, title spoken by character, character name in title, independent film, murder, death

The Uninvited (2009)
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The Uninvited (2009)

After the death of her ill mother in a fire, the young teenager Anna tries to commit suicide and is sent to a mental institution for treatment. Ten months later, Anna still cannot remember what had happened on the night her mother died. Her psychiatric Dr. Silberling, however, discharges her telling that she has resolved her issues. Her father and successful writer, Steven, brings her back home in an isolated mansion nearby the coast. Anna finds that her mother's former nurse, Rachel Summers, is her stepmother now. Anna meets her beloved sister, Alex, swimming in the sea. She discovers that Steven has not delivered the letters and CDs that Alex had sent to her. As time moves on, Anna is haunted by ghosts and she believes that Rachel killed her mother. Alex and Anna decide to look for evidence to prove that Rachel is the murderer and Anna discovers the truth about the fire in the boat house. (Read More)

Themes:fear, suicide, surrealism, revenge
Characters:psychiatrist
Period:1980s
Story:chalkboard, goth, vision, schizophrenia, gothic, directorial debut, tragic event, scar, no opening credits, fire, hallucination, dream, teenage boy, knife, party, death, murder, police, kiss

Critters (1986)
Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

Critters (1986)

A massive ball of furry creatures from another world eat their way through a small mid-western town followed by intergalactic bounty hunters opposed only by militant townspeople.

Themes:fear, surrealism
Locations:bicycle
Period:1980s
Story:deus ex machina, homage, reverse footage, sabotage, arson, axe, police car, supernatural power, car accident, fire, cult film, knife, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, independent film, death, murder

Ginger Snaps (2000) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Is becoming a woman analogous, in some deep psychological way, to becoming a werewolf? Ginger is 16, edgy, tough, and, with her younger sister, into staging and photographing scenes of death. They've made a pact about dying together. In early October, on the night she has her first period, which is also the night of a full moon, a werewolf bites Ginger. Within a few days, some serious changes happen to her body and her temperament. Her sister Brigitte, 15, tries to find a cure with the help of Sam, a local doper. As Brigitte races against the clock, Halloween and another full moon approach, Ginger gets scarier, and it isn't just local dogs that begin to die. (Read More)

Themes:suicide
Locations:school
Characters:teacher, masturbation
Story:halloween party, goth, high school, gothic, suburb, halloween, supernatural power, teenage boy, coming of age, cult film, knife, party, cigarette smoking, character name in title, independent film, kiss, death, murder, police, gun

Pretty In Pink (1986)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Pretty In Pink (1986)

Teenager Andie is one of the not-so-popular girls in high school. She usually hangs out with her friends Iona or Duckie. Duckie has always had a crush on her, but now she has met a new guy at school, Blane. He's one of the rich and popular guys but can the two worlds meet?

Locations:school
Characters:lust
Period:1980s
Story:teenage romance, teen movie, first love, high school, teen angst, teenage boy, coming of age, cult film, independent film, kiss

Near Dark (1987)
Action, Crime, Drama, Horror, Romance, Thriller

Near Dark (1987)

A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. Part of his initiation includes a bloody assault on a hick bar. This is why Near Dark (1987) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:insanity, fear, revenge
Period:1980s
Story:reverse footage, gothic, arson, directorial debut, scar, police car, good versus evil, f word, supernatural power, beer, investigation, car accident, fire, coming of age, cult film, knife, cigarette smoking, independent film, gun, kiss

21 Grams (2003)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

21 Grams (2003)

This is the story of three well-meaning but flawed people: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English emigre; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married homemaker with two young daughters, with hiding a secret past; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to live a law-abiding life and raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will have learnt harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably, forever. (Read More)

Themes:religion, suicide, revenge
Locations:bicycle
Characters:teacher, masturbation
Story:mortality, scar, drawing, cocaine, police car, reference to jesus christ, bathroom, reference to god, car accident, teenage boy, knife, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, two word title, kiss, death, murder, police, gun

Hesher (2010) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Comedy, Drama

Hesher (2010)

T.J., a high school freshman, lost his mother two months before in a car accident: his father pops pills and sits on the couch; his grandmother holds things together, chatting and cooking. T.J. wants the car back from the salvage yard where the owner's son is a bully. By happenstance, Hesher, a foul-mouthed squatter, moves in with T.J's family. T.J. also meets Nicole, a grocery clerk near poverty who helps him once. Hesher involves T.J. in crime, the bully is omnipresent, mom's car is slipping away, dad has checked out, T.J. watches Nicole at work, and his grandma invites him to join her morning walk: the odds are long that T.J. can assemble a family to help him thrive. (Read More)

Themes:revenge
Locations:bicycle, school
Characters:teacher, masturbation
Story:car accident, metaphor, vandalism, high school, arson, directorial debut, suburb, f word, reference to jesus christ, beer, teenage boy, fire, cigarette smoking, character name in title, murder, death, police

Die Welle (2008)
Drama, Thriller

Die Welle (2008)

High school teacher, Rainer Wegner, may be popular with the students, but he's also unorthodox. He's forced to teach autocracy for the school's project week. He's less than enthusiastic at first, but the response of the students is surprising to say the least. He forces the students to become more invested in the prospect of self rule, and soon the class project has its own power and eerily starts to resemble Germany's past. Can Wegner and his class realize what's happening before the horrors start repeating themselves? (Read More)

Themes:politics, suicide
Locations:bicycle, school
Characters:teacher
Story:school project, vandalism, high school, drawing, police car, f word, teenage boy, party, cigarette smoking, kiss, gun, police, murder, death

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)
Drama, Horror, Romance

Lat Den Ratte Komma In (2008)

Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982. (Read More)

Themes:fear, suicide, revenge
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Period:1980s
Story:suburb, dark hero, switchblade, gothic, police car, bathroom, beer, fire, coming of age, cult film, knife, cigarette smoking, police, kiss, murder, death

Hunger (2008)
Biography, Drama

Hunger (2008)

Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit. This is why Hunger (2008) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:terrorism, politics, religion, suicide
Characters:masturbation
Period:1980s
Story:excrement, vandalism, directorial debut, tragic event, f word, reference to jesus christ, hallucination, bathroom, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, kiss, death, murder, gun

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017)

Themes:fear, revenge, surrealism
Story:christ allegory, dark hero, prophecy, reverse footage, vision, sabotage, arson, scar, axe, good versus evil, supernatural power, fire, coming of age, knife, title spoken by character, character name in title, murder, death

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Horror, Thriller

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

On Halloween in 1963, Michael Myers murdered his sister, Judith. In 1978, he broke out to kill his other sister, Laurie Strode. He killed all of her friends, but she escaped. A few years later, she faked her death so he couldn't find her. But now, in 1998, Michael has returned and found all the papers he needs to find her. He tracks her down to a private school where she has gone under a new name with her son, John. And now, Laurie must do what she should have done a long time ago and finally decided to hunt down the evil one last time. (Read More)

Themes:insanity
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:halloween, halloween party, high school, stalker, axe, good versus evil, hallucination, car accident, teenage boy, cult film, knife, party, death, independent film, police, murder

Straw Dogs (1971)
Crime, Drama, Thriller

Straw Dogs (1971)

Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the locals hired to do construction. When David finally takes a stand it escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the locals assault his house.

Themes:fear, revenge
Characters:lust
Story:bottle, closet, irony, switchblade, vandalism, arson, reference to jesus christ, bathroom, car accident, fire, cult film, knife, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, murder, gun, kiss, death

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

Themes:insanity, religion, surrealism
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:fantasy life, teen movie, psychology, teen angst, drawing, reference to jesus christ, hallucination, dream, coming of age, cult film, party, title spoken by character, independent film, two word title, murder, death, kiss

Project Almanac (2015) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Sci-fi, Thriller

Project Almanac (2015)

As a group of friends discover plans for a time machine, they build it and use it to fix their problems and for personal gain. But as their future falls apart with disasters, and they come to realize the irreversible ripple effects caused by their time travels, they must decide to fix this once and for all. This is why Project Almanac (2015) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:fear, revenge, surrealism
Story:changing history, altering history, alternate timeline, time loop, plane crash, teen movie, high school, teen angst, no opening credits, time travel, fire, party, title spoken by character, two word title, police

White Oleander (2002)
Drama

White Oleander (2002)

Astrid Magnussen is a 15 year old girl, living in California. Her mother, Ingrid, is a beautiful, free-spirited poet. Their life, though unusual, is satisfying until one day, a man named Barry Kolker (that her mother refers to at first as "The goat man") comes into their lives, and Ingrid falls madly in love with him, only to have her heart broken, and her life ruined. For revenge, Ingrid murders Barry with the deadly poison of her favourite flower: The White Oleander. She is sent to prison for life, and Astrid has to go through foster home after foster home. Throughout nearly a decade she experiences forbidden love, religion, near-death experiences, drugs, starvation, and how it feels to be loved. But throughout these years, she keeps in touch with her mother via letters to prison. And while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love. (Read More)

Themes:religion, suicide, revenge
Locations:school
Characters:teacher
Story:first love, high school, teen angst, drawing, cocaine, reference to jesus christ, reference to god, beer, dream, teenage boy, fire, coming of age, party, cigarette smoking, two word title, kiss, death, murder, police, gun

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
Comedy, Drama

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

Follows a group of high school students growing up in southern California, based on the real-life adventures chronicled by Cameron Crowe. Stacy Hamilton and Mark Ratner are looking for a love interest, and are helped along by their older classmates, Linda Barrett and Mike Damone, respectively. The center of the film is held by Jeff Spicoli, a perpetually stoned surfer dude who faces off with the resolute Mr. Hand, who is convinced that everyone is on dope. (Read More)

Locations:school
Characters:teacher, lust, masturbation
Period:1980s
Story:high school, reference to led zeppelin, teen movie, american football, first love, vandalism, teen angst, bathroom, car accident, coming of age, cult film

Pulse (2006)
Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

Pulse (2006)

The hacker Josh invades the computer of Douglas Ziegler, who is developing a powerful wireless signal, and accidentally releases a mysterious force that takes the will to live of human beings, generating a suicide epidemic and increasing the force. His girlfriend and student of psychology, Mattie, sees each one of their common friends die and the destruction of the modern world, and together with her new acquaintance Dexter, they try to plan a virus developed by Josh in the network to shutdown the system and save mankind. (Read More)

Themes:fear, suicide, surrealism
Characters:psychiatrist
Story:psychotherapy, goth, teen movie, time lapse photography, reverse footage, end of the world, psychology, hallucination, beer, fire, title spoken by character, death

Ben-hur (2016) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Action, Adventure, Drama, History

Ben-hur (2016)

Themes:politics, religion, revenge
Story:christ allegory, deus ex machina, reverse footage, debate, no opening credits, axe, reference to god, fire, knife, party, title spoken by character, character name in title, death, murder

Videodrome (1983)
Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller

Videodrome (1983)

Max Renn runs a TV channel, and when looking for new material to show--he discovers "Videodrome." His girlfriend, Nicki Brand, goes to audition for the show, and Max gets drawn into the underlying plot that uses the show as its front for a global conspiracy. This is why Videodrome (1983) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001). (Read More)

Themes:insanity, fear, suicide, revenge, surrealism
Characters:psychiatrist, lust, masturbation
Period:1980s
Story:virtuality, goth, gothic, scar, hallucination, dream, fire, cult film, party, title spoken by character, cigarette smoking, independent film, gun, death, murder

Election (1999)
Comedy, Drama, Romance

Election (1999)

Tracy Flick is running unopposed for this year's high school student election. But school civics teacher Jim McAllister has a different plan. Partly to establish a more democratic election, and partly to satisfy some deep personal anger toward Tracy, Jim talks popular varsity football player Paul Metzler to run for president as well. Chaos ensues. (Read More)

Themes:politics, religion, revenge
Locations:bicycle, school
Characters:teacher
Story:teen movie, morality, overalls, high school, teen angst, destiny, teenage boy, coming of age, party, title spoken by character, kiss

American Psycho (2000)
Crime, Drama

American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.

Themes:insanity, fear, revenge
Characters:lust
Period:1980s
Story:disturbed individual, schizophrenia, drawing, cocaine, axe, police car, f word, investigation, car accident, dream, fire, cult film, knife, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, two word title, gun, kiss, murder

The Basketball Diaries (1995) is one of the best movies like Donnie Darko (2001)
Biography, Crime, Drama, Sport

The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad, Jim's life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia, a coach ("Swifty") who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team, teenage sexual angst, and an unhealthy appetite for heroin -- all of these begin to encroach on young Jim's dream of becoming a basketball star. Soon, the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother's mounting concern for her son. He can't go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals, robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie, an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim "picked up a game" now and then, is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity. (Read More)

Themes:religion
Locations:school
Characters:teacher, masturbation
Story:high school, sanity, metaphor, teen angst, dream, scar, cocaine, police car, hallucination, bathroom, teenage boy, coming of age, knife, cigarette smoking, independent film, gun, police, death, murder, kiss

La Science Des Reves (2006)
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

La Science Des Reves (2006)

Following the death of his father in Mexico, Stephane Miroux, a shy insecure young man, agrees to come to Paris to draw closer to his widowed mother Christine. He lands a boring job at a calendar-making firm and falls in love with his charming neighbor Stephanie. But conquering her is no bed of roses for the young man and the only solution he finds to put up with the difficulties he is going through is escape into a dream world... (Read More)

Themes:suicide, surrealism
Story:halloween costume, parallel time, sleepwalking, confusion, reverse footage, schizophrenia, drawing, police car, time travel, hallucination, dream, fire, party, cigarette smoking, independent film, kiss, police, death

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