most confusing films

These are officially the 10 most confusing movies in the UK, and looks like we’re all dumb

Half the list being Christopher Nolan films is hilarious


There’s a fine art to making a puzzling and mysterious film that confuses and then resolves satisfyingly to make audiences feel clever, like they’ve put the pieces together in their own brains even when the director has done it for them really. Hardcore film fans don’t care if a film is confusing because we’re there to watch the art – but the Molly Maes of this world can’t hack a confusing film. But what film do we as a nation generally concede is the most confusing? A study by Amazon Slots ran through the last two years of searches on IMDb to find the average monthly search for the word ‘explained’, and the results are absolutely classic. Here are the 10 most confusing films for UK audiences.

10. Memento (2000) – 1,280 searches

Most confusing films

Christopher Nolan makes his first appearance as a director on this list – he occupies five of this top 10. Memento is Nolan’s second film and centres around a man who suffers from short term memory loss and uses a series of elaborate pictures to piece together who caused the condition for him. Like a lot of Nolan films, its non-linear structure can be a bit confusing.

9. Tenet (2020) – 1,653 searches

most confusing films

This should be number one because Tenet is one of the most confusing films I’ve ever seen. I would struggle to even tell you what it’s about – something to do with an agent having to work out why some objects are going backwards through time… Don’t know. Don’t care. Just nonsense – Nolan’s worst film. Elizabeth Debicki is great, though!

8. The Platform (2019) – 1,874 searches

Erm, WOW. What a film, by the way. Didn’t find this one super confusing but I’m guessing maybe because it’s Spanish language some of the plot got lost in translation for those who weren’t paying attention to the subtitles. It’s a disturbing dystopian film about a holding facility where prisoners can only eat when a platform is lowered to their level – those at the top can feast and those at the bottom starve. It’s deeply harrowing but a great watch – maybe people were searching for more information on the world it’s set in?

7. Us (2019) – 1,925 searches

most confusing films

Back to Christopher Nolan once again with his best picture, and one of my favourite films of all time – but is it the most confusing? I think it’s a big brain film with a lot of moving parts and existential questions, but this last ditch attempt to save then planet makes a lot of scientific sense and opens up fascinating dialogue. Love it. Makes me cry so much.

5. Inception (2010) – 2,333 searches

Nolan AGAIN. Fair play, this one’s a mind bender.

4. The Shining (1980) – 2,560 searches

The best horror film of all time, I know that’s right! And the oldest film in the top 10. The spooks at The Overlook Hotel aren’t that confusing in my opinion, but obviously the horror imagery is quite disorientating and that final shot of the party is going to get a fair few “explained” searches going.

3. Donnie Darko (2001) – 2,934

most confusing films

This is the only film in the top 10 most confusing films in the UK I’ve not actually seen, so sorry I don’t have much analysis to offer here but I’ll take everyone’s word for it I guess. It’s a sci-fi thriller about a lad who escapes an accident by sleepwalking and then has apocalyptic warnings in visions from Frank the rabbit.

2. Oppenheimer (2023) – 4,538 searches

My divas, who was confused by Oppenheimer? It’s just history! Read some books, maybe!

1. Shutter Island (2010) – 5,275 searches

Really going to need everyone to get a grip. How is this number one? It’s been 14 years, you guys! It’s not that big of a twist!!!!

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