Seven Movies That Will Change How You See the World

May 17th, 2024

By Paul A. Philips

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Some movies leave you well and truly astounded. Some leave you wondering, having more questions than answers, providing insight, or having you profoundly touched, seeing things differently.

Having said all that, I’ll jump straight to it. This is not an attempt at the most definitive list or in any order, but here are the 7 most life-changing must-see movies that have affected me in the above ways.

1. The Matrix

The Matrix is indeed an adeptly crafted movie with stunning action scenes and thought-provoking, mind-twisting philosophy.

Main character Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) leaves the hum-drum existence of his daytime office job to become a computer hacker by night where he encounters Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) from the underworld. Morpheus turns Neo’s perception of reality upside down when he reveals that the world we live in, believed to be real, is nothing more than a manipulated illusion while unknowingly imprisoning.

In and amongst the complexity, The Matrix has a simple, loud and clear message:

It’s an allegorical film. It’s our wake-up call: It symbolizes how, like Neo, we have been unknowingly imprisoned and enslaved in an illusory controlling matrix system.

Like Neo, in our awakening, will the realization that we are powerful beings with creator-God-like capabilities set us free from the matrix enslavement?  

2. They Live!

John Carpenter’s prescient 1980’s science fiction movie They Live has become a cult classic. More and more people are realizing that it can be used as a metaphorical reference to what’s going on in the world today.

Basically, set against the backdrop of harsh Reaganomics, gross economic inequality, main character Nada (Spanish for nothing, played by recently deceased Roddy Piper) a half-homeless labourer stumbles on a pair of ‘special’ sunglasses. Trying them on, Nada discovers, much to his dismay, that the world has been infiltrated and taken over by aliens.

He goes on to discover that the wealth and planetary resources are under the ownership and control of these aliens while they’ve bought off the human leaders to do their dirty work and keep the exploited masses unaware.

Through encountering Frank (David Keith), Nada is introduced into the resistance movement to fight against the alien overlords.

Those of us in the awakening process, finding out what’s really going on in a grossly deceptive manipulative world, will duly relate to the ‘They Live’ glasses. This is how it works:

  1. You must want to wear the glasses
  2. When worn, there’s no going back. Following your heart, you cannot stop wearing them as more and more truth is revealed.
  3. You want others to try on the glasses but cannot make them.

3. Network

Although it was released as far back as 1976, Network still serves as a thought-provoking expose of the mainstream media. Those supporting the alternative/independent media will know only too well that the mainstream media, with its cover-ups, lies, disinformation, filtering, and biased reporting—all done under the controlling thumb of corporations, banks, and gofer politicians—is far from enlightening.

Highly unstable, self-proclaimed madman newscaster Howard Beale (brilliantly played by Peter Finch) declares, “…I’m not going to take it anymore.” Live on air; he calls upon viewers to take back their power by standing up for true democracy instead of having to answer to corporate/banker-sponsored dictates with their mass media manipulation.

4. Into the Wild

A beautiful, well-made film directed by Sean Penn, it is bursting with humanity. Based on a true story, the film centres on Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). Much to the shock of his parents, he gives away his $24,000 fund for law school to Oxfam. Not only does he abandon law school, unsullied by consumerism/materialism, but he forgoes all homely possessions and creature comforts to become one with nature in the vast North Alaskan wilderness.

It was in the Alaska backwoods where he was discovered dead in 1992 in an old rundown bus he had used as shelter. The 24-year-old had accidentally killed himself, mistaking some poisonous berries he ate for harmless.

However, from his journals, we could see how ecstatically passionate he was about the North American natural world. His experiences in this wilderness were adapted into a best-selling book written by Jon Krakauer and then came the movie scripted by Sean Penn.

Besides the movie’s beautifully filmed backdrop and enriching account of life in the wilderness, wordless scenes so well segued in the character’s search for freedom, there are excellent cameo performances, such as the 2 hippies played by Brian Dierker and Catherine Keener, whom our main character briefly encounters along the way.

But what made this movie such a hit was the fact that so many people identified with the main character.

Chris McCandless is regarded as a hero because he escaped his comfort zone, left the consumerist/materialist rat race behind, and chose to do what he really wanted in life. 

Some people who’d been tied to a job they didn’t like doing got inspired enough by this film and, like Chris, changed their circumstances. They ended up doing what they really wanted to do with their lives in their own ways…

Proof of this can be found in Chris’s sister Carine and the letters she has received from enlightened readers of her published memoirs about her brother.

5. Donnie Darko

It is a head-spinning classic 80’s cult movie, touching on the ideas of alternative realities, multiple parallel universes, black holes, and different timelines.

It centres on a disturbed, sleepwalking, lonely, and isolated teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) who needs to challenge authorities. While trying to reach out for companionship, he gets the occasional visit from Frank, a hideous human-sized rabbit with a penchant for playing perilous pranks, to which he encourages Donnie’s involvement.

Richard Kelly’s movie is great to watch more than once and has been subject to a number of varying interpretations.

6. Time Machine

The 1960 first movie adaptation of HG Wells’ science fiction novel ‘The Time Machine’ enthralled many audiences with escapism using time travel adventure.

Using his time machine invention, George (Rod Taylor) travels into the future only to discover that despite the world growing and changing, it is mostly consumed by war. Going further in time, some 800,000-odd years AD, he discovers that Earth’s inhabitants have been split into 2 races:

The Eloi are living on the surface, emotionless, apathetic, and lacking curiosity, and the monstrous Morlocks, a race that survived and mutated into a hideous form from dwelling underground to survive a long-ago nuclear holocaust.

Much to George’s horror, he finds that during a siren call, the Eloi hypnotically allow themselves to become entrapped and then led like livestock down into the subterranean caverns to be cannibalized by the Morlocks.

However, as the film goes on, George persuades, encourages, and helps the Eloi to fight, leading to a triumphant uprising against the Morlocks.

HG Wells was well in with the world’s ruling elite. He was privy to insider information. Like other science fiction works, the books or adapted movies serve as predictive programming pieces. Most people are unaware that the ruling elite wants us subconsciously conditioned to the idea of underground bases where there are, in fact, those taken and led into the monstrous archontic maw to be devoured.

It’s a way of hiding the truth out in the open. Anyone who then claims that this is really happening will be ignored, invalidated, or ridiculed, accused of outlandish fantasy, getting the claim from a science fiction story.

7. Her

Set in futuristic times, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a middle-aged, lonely, and isolated man who has been separated from his wife and decides to buy the latest computer technology, the operating system OS1. Theodore soon becomes romantically involved with OS1 (charmingly and wittily voiced over by Scarlett Johansen).

The romance progresses, with the computer taken on dates and the OS1 introduced to friends. What sounds on the surface like a ridiculous, outlandish story is actually a well-written, well-made, convincing science fiction film.

This movie, however, raises a number of issues/concerns about our technology-obsessed culture. Have we become the ‘Planet of the Apps’, where our fixation with laptops, tablets, and cell phones is causing us to withdraw from reality and lose touch with real-life social interaction?

That concludes my 7 must-see, most life-changing movies. How about yours?

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About the Author:

My blogs, along with the related alternative news website, are about my belief that we can create a world that makes a difference for everyone.

I had graduated in biomedical sciences and worked for a number of years in healthcare. I am now a retiree. My website is slanted on health matters.

However, over the years, I have come to the firm conclusion that practically every subject under the sun needs redefining using more truthful, honest, and integral approaches in theory and practice, hence the website’s name ‘New Paradigm’

From these new approaches, from the ‘imagination of ourselves,’ from our visions… a ‘new era’ in humanity can result!

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