18 Movies That Left Audiences Completely Confused

Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Inception was nearly as mind-boggled as viewers were.
Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Inception was nearly as mind-boggled as viewers were.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Some convoluted films culminate with a confessional speech, an expository epilogue, or a different method of clarifying what just went down. Others leave viewers with furrowed eyebrows, a racing brain, and the inclination to hop on the internet and hunt for their own answers.

By analyzing search data for film titles paired with terms like explanation, breakdown, meaning, plot, and ending explained, UK-based online retailer OnBuy.com compiled a list of 18 movies that utterly puzzled—and continue to bewilder—audiences. Most of the films are science fiction, psychological thrillers, or some combination of the two, with a few neo-noir mysteries and metaphysical dramas thrown in. And if there’s one director known for baffling sci-fi fans, it’s probably Christopher Nolan; an average of 80,090 people ask the internet to explain 2010’s Inception every month, and his films Interstellar and Memento also made the top 10.

Nolan is far from the only repeat filmmaker on the list. Mulholland Drive (2001) and Blue Velvet (1986), both written and directed by David Lynch, leave enough loose ends to send viewers straight to Google, and sisters Lana and Lilly Wachowski landed on the list for 1999’s The Matrix and 2012’s Cloud Atlas. It’s a testament to Stanley Kubrick’s ongoing popularity that 1980’s The Shining and 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey—both released decades before the rise of the internet—are still confounding audiences.

Certain actors seem to gravitate toward confusing movies, too. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in the top two films on the list, Inception and Shutter Island (both released in 2010), and Jessica Chastain appeared in both Interstellar and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011). Brad Pitt, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Michael Caine, and Joe Pantoliano also feature in at least two films below.

Scroll on to see which other movies made the list, along with their average monthly search volumes.

  1. Inception (2010) // 80,090
  1. Shutter Island (2010) // 55,700
  1. The Shining (1980) // 48,950
  1. Interstellar (2014) // 47,060
  1. Ex Machina (2014) // 32,440
  1. Donnie Darko (2001) // 32,310
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) // 31,260
  1. The Matrix (1999) // 27,120
  1. Citizen Kane (1941) // 25,480
  1. Memento (2000) // 24,060
  1. Vanilla Sky (2001) // 22,479
  1. Cloud Atlas (2012) // 22,250
  1. 12 Monkeys (1995) // 19,990
  1. Mulholland Drive (2001) // 18,990
  1. Adaptation (2002) // 18,920
  1. The Fountain (2006) // 15,420
  1. Blue Velvet (1986) // 15,380
  1. The Tree of Life (2011) // 14,440

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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Larry David Shared His Favorite Episode of Seinfeld

Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Last week, Seth Meyers hosted a virtual Seinfeld reunion with Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander to benefit Texas Democrats. Amid all the other reminiscing, the sitcom veterans got to talking about their favorite episodes of the show.

Louis-Dreyfus answered with “The Soup Nazi,” in which her character Elaine inadvertently causes the greatest (and most high-strung) soup chef in town to shut down his shop. For Alexander, it was “The Marine Biologist,” where his character George masquerades as a marine biologist on a date and ends up rescuing a beached whale.

Larry David’s response, “The Contest,” generated almost as much conversation as the episode itself did when it aired during season 4. In it, the show’s four main characters compete to see who can abstain from self-pleasure the longest, proving themselves to be the “master of their domain.” Though the actors managed to skirt around the word masturbation for the entire episode, the concept was still pretty provocative for network television.

“This one, I didn’t even put on the board because I didn’t want them asking. I just wanted them to come and see the read-through,” David said, as InsideHook reports. “[When they did] I had worked myself up into a lather because the read-through really went great. I was watching [the network executives] and I couldn’t tell how much they liked it. But I was ready to pack the whole thing in if they didn’t let us do this show: ‘I’m quitting. I’m quitting. I’m gonna quit.’ Fortunately, they didn’t say a word. I was shocked.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Louis-Dreyfus’s trepidation about the episode lasted through the shoot. “When we were making this episode, I was convinced we were going to be shut down. I was convinced that the network was going to come in and say, ‘This is not going to work out,’” she said. Needless to say, they never did, and Louis-Dreyfus now looks back on Elaine’s participation in the contest as “a very important cultural moment for women.”

David went on to explain that “The Contest” not only helped popularize Seinfeld among viewers, but it also helped its creators carry more clout in the industry. “That show changed something about how we were perceived in television land,” he said. “It really catapulted us to another place. It moved us to another level, I think.”

[h/t InsideHook]