10 Movies That Take Place Inside a Character’s Head

Pixar’s latest film Inside Out opens in theaters this weekend. The 3D-animated movie is set inside the mind of a young girl named Riley, whose emotions are personified by an all-star voice cast, including Amy Poehler. “The film reinforces a white-bread and hetero-normative version of family, while also creating a wild, female-centric road-trip adventure story, a groundbreaking Thelma and Louise for kids that celebrates difference,” writes our own Sarah Seltzer. Inside Out is hardly the first film to use the mindscape as a place of dramatic action. Here are ten other films, including a few that might make you question how sane a character truly is.

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Eyes Wide Shut

In Eyes Wide Shut, a successful New York City doctor, Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) discovers that his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman) had previously contemplated an affair. The confession sparks a nightlong sexual odyssey that leaves viewers wondering if Bill imagined the evening of debauchery. Bill also imagines a torrid affair between his wife and a naval officer she took notice of during one of their vacations, which fuels his irrational thinking (or dreaming). Stanley Kubrick’s movie was based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 novella Traumnovelle (Dream Story), which helps support the dream theories surrounding the surreal narrative.