Best 10 Philosophical Movies that every Philosophy Student should Watch!

It’s the end credits and you’re slowly moving across the black screen. A person who just sat next to you throughout the movie must be moving towards the exit after waking up. Mumbling to himself about the movie, you might not have understood which part of the movie hasn’t he liked when you’re just sitting there, staring into the abyss like nothing have changed. Everything in your life is not a mess, the ideas, the thoughts, the phrases and the fragments of the imaginations that you just got from the movie. Yes, this is the exact thing one will experience on watching a movie. While the aftertaste of the movie might seem extremely strange and beautiful, here’s a list of Best 10 Philosophical Movies that everyone should watch.

List of Best Philosophical Movies:

#1 ZIZEK! (2005):

Zizek is a 2005 Canadian documentary made by Astra Taylor. The subject of the film revolves around the famous psychoanalyst and philosopher, Slavoj Zizek. A former candidate and the author for the Presidency of Slovenia; this movie explains the superstitious and as well as the thinking ability of him.

According to the New York Times, “Ms. Taylor, clearly thrilled by her proximity to her hero, seems incapable of the analytical distance that would provide insight into either his ideas or the cultural phenomenon he represents. On the basis of this film, it is hard to know whether Mr. Zizek’s superstar status is merited or to say what his cult says about the state of contemporary thought. Zizek! is entertaining without being especially illuminating.”

The film is a verbose profile of the philosopher and it contains many eccentric and esoteric theories that form the context of the film as well as explaining his globetrotting life. Though the film has been graded B, you will surely be introduced to a new ideological philosophy and you will have a great time in making the attempt. You will also be introduced to many accessible and practical terms of Zizek by this movie as it shows the interest and focuses on weird philosophical ideas making it the first film to watch among the list of Best Philosophical Movies.


By the title, you would expect the movie to be a perverted guide and there is no shock that after watching the movie, you won’t find it either typical or a cinematic guide as well. The movie has fidelity spread all over it and it has omitted the directorial deviants like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen as well. Technically a film, this can also be termed as a video essay as it lacks the rhetorical format of the film and the spontaneity that we usually find in a video essay. However, Zizek takes us through the collection of whiskering movie clips and aligns the language of film for us through philosophical narrative and therefore, the clever dynamics in the film are something that you shouldn’t miss. Sophie Fiennes, who acted as the director as well as the camera person for the movie has borrowed the clever dynamics of the film and the pieces of the sets in this film and the shooting locations are conveniently recreated to keep the camera in the context to explain the standards of the film.

#3 DERRIDA (2002):

Jacques Derrida usually is not a clever choice, when you’re making a biographical documentary. Derrida is referred as the acclaimed philosopher who has the frivolity and the austere of a celebrity when you look at him through the camera lens. Born in the 1930s, Derrida has an academic career both in America and France that had a provocative impact on philosophy and literature. It has challenged the conventional modes of metaphysics as well. However, Derrida has managed to give an interview even after knowing that only a fool will attempt a biography but somehow managed to succeed at it. While Amy Kofan and Kirby Dick follow the philosophy through seminars, lectures with Derrida’s family, they give us a side that we least expect to see.

“Have you read all the books in here?” Kofman asks Derrida as they wander through his library. “No,” he replies impishly, “only four of them. But I read those very, very carefully”.

An obtuse moment in the entire documentary category, this film is fascinating and provokes you through philosophy where they compare the deconstruction art movement with Derrida’s personal life and as a philosophical student, you will definitely be amused by the movie.

#4 THE ISTER (2004):

“The Ister” is straightforward and simple. Beginning at the Danube, the filmmakers Daniel Ross and David Barison upstream towards Germany as they glean us up with the images that are taken through their digital camera. These riverbanks are shown with old bridges, industrial equipment, boatmen silhouetting in the dusk, hydroelectric dams, tourists, plants, a flock of geese and Roman ruins as well. A travelogue as it is, this audiovisual has fine motif with placid and spectacular views along with the ripplings of the river. The makers of the video film are not present in this movie and therefore, we can pass a great time observing the interviewed subjects, the singular speed, the singular men as Ister is the title of the poem written by Holderlin, and is the Greek word for the Danube. “The Ister” is a lecture course delivered back in 1942 by Heidegger. The subject of this video film as shown deals with the hymn and compromises the philosophic talk ranging over different inquiry fields, right from the poetry to the politics, the technology to the Sophocles. Mr. Ross and Mr. Barison have extensively spoken in the lecture using the verbal chunks and the screen titles processed by the brain as the camera goes through the unfathomable shots.

#5 EXAMINED LIFE (2008):

The Examined life is indeed a loose title coming from Plato as we are reminded. This film is modest and intermittently engaging. Written by Astra Taylor, Examined Life is the second documentary film followed by Zizek, as listed above. In this film, the frame of life gets expanded in this film and it also includes the seven contemporary prominent philosophers. The film is about the departmental training and all the philosophers speaking about the academic training. The entertainers, as well as the talkers, will talk about the examined life as we see intelligent people trying to make life appear as intelligible. However, unlike other documentaries, this movie is fun without any limits. Taylor draws all her subjects from a narrow precinct where the speculations and the agendas of the politics appear to be congruent. Mr. Zizek started uttering words like consecutive as a synonym for pernicious, unthinking and he gives voice to the shared and the unexamined beliefs of life. If you’re a Karl Marx fan this movie is a perfect fit for you despite the confusion as it takes you through a particular path. Mr. Zizek is illuminating than a rowboat happening with Michael Hardt, the co-author of the Empire which dwells on the incongruity of the revolutionary politics.

#6 CARTESIUS (1974):

Rossellini’s staged historical show is a biopic made for the Italian TV. The film is a biopic of Descartes and therefore, it charts the restlessness of the ambitious mind chambering in the place and time. With the disparity situated at the heart, the focus is on the grounded realism juxtaposing with artifice and the dialogue as the transparent lessons delivered by the appropriate non-actors. Rossellini limits the histories of the view, the perspective and is entirely uncinematic focusing on the types of the formalism surrender. Cartesius is a one-way thing that queries the responsibilities of the representation. The movie has patterns and the plays on the harpsichord plays. Through the narration, a bell has rung shifting on the pitch accompanying the never-ending shift in the path with the arrival and it has various conditions, close to the proximity where things run outside the scope of faith, punished by the death. The directness of the chaos focuses on the reservation of the genius and works instead of the customer’s life. His wife also speaks of his clean aphorisms and as a result, it builds a defense with the extension of the work providing the understanding and ease.

#7 BLAISE PASCAL (1972):

“Cinema is dead,” says Roberto Rossellini that got declared in 1958, reaching the artistic crossroads. He found the films utterly disappointing as he squandered through the potential that affects the social change. The director-writer has written this beautiful narrative of the documentary and it even got nominated for the Academy award, the Cannes Film Festival, The Open City, The Paisan Postwar Chronicle as well. Over the next twenty years, Rossellini has managed to complete around 50 hours of television devoting himself to science, history, art, and religion. His efforts are well pictured in this documentary Blaise Pascal. It has been televised in different parts of Italy in the year it is released and because of this, the enjoyment index has been hiked to just 50%. The film, however, has received warmth from other parts of the country calling it a beautiful success. It is because of the benevolence it holds while coming to the details making the movie beguiling and entirely complex in the world of cinema. A biography of the inventions and other details, this movie is suited for the philosophy students who are interested to know about him.


Wittgenstein is a terribly written arch and a clever portrait of the famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The movie contains a detailed analysis of language and meaning hat helps the audience find the film interesting. If you’re one of those philosophical mudheads, the outlook of the director will seem appealing to you as you share a contextual and playful approach with the meaning of language and if you’re one of those people who has been amused by Ken Russell’s biographical films, you can as well try this film. Mr. Jarman has taken an indeed serious approach to the film with no overheat and made it experimental that at times, it might as well look spare. Set against the black background, the usage of colorful props and costumes will confuse you and take you somewhere where the giddy tricks will detail the biographical highlights, beautifully with a fool-proof clairty for people who has an eye for little things.


The role of Friedrich Nietzsche played by Erland Josephson, this movie can be seen on a wonderful evening where you can spend time with each other without any seclusion.

Fritz dares Lou to take a vase off the piano and use it as a chamber pot; Lou, the oft-proclaimed free spirit of the three, calmly obliges. Then Lou and Paul couple on the floor, with an anguished Fritz looking on and finally grasping Paul’s hand. At last, weary of all the merriment, Lou pauses. ”Intellectuals!” she says.

You can give this film the benefit of doubt, as it is one of the most interesting and less seen movies but it has kind of overexaggerating editing about it. Apart from the sexual explicitness, the movie contains; Beyond Good and Evil is a movie that has choppiness about it for the curiosity seekers. The cast in this movie is apparently good and therefore, you can feel related to the historically significant characters as well.

#10 MINDWALK (1990):

Mindwalk is a cerebral film and the reason why it loses most of the audience who starts the film is that of the first half. Apart from that, the movie is spectacular and one can be super ready to enjoy the movie, given the interesting things. The movie has Jack Edwards as a politician with Thomas Harriman acting as his writer friend, both of them going to visit a France castle. On the way, they talk about a couple of things till Sonia Hoffman comes and ruins the things for them. While it is impossible to follow Hoffman through her dialogue, the movie has so much else than it shows and if you can interlink the things in between, this movie is a perfect fit for you to watch.

Jeevana Mounika

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