10 Movies Like ‘Tenet’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

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There aren’t many films like Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s latest time bending thriller serves up a great dose of heady sci-fi that’ll almost certainly have you itching for more when you’re done.

Only, given the wealth of movies out there, where do you start? Well, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks.

To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.

Of course for all the movies we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.

So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Tenet.


Inception

Similarities – Chris Nolan & Time

Tenet borrows many elements from Inception, including its thought provoking ideas on time and basic story structure. Out of all the Nolan films, this is the one that plays on the ideas of dreams and time being intermittently linked.

The story is simple(ish) and revolves around a man named Hob who launches a dream-heist to plant an idea inside a CEO’s mind. It sounds complicated but Inception does well to lay out its ideas as simply as possible.

Ironically, Tenet’s big action set pieces do feel like something ripped right from a dream. Much like those set pieces, Inception’s are just as awe inspiring and jaw dropping, making for quite the spectacle.


Coherence

Similarities – Warrants Repeat Watches & Sci-Fi

Just like Tenet, Coherence is a film that rewards you for repeat watches. The premise is simple – a group of friends sit down to eat dinner when a black-out plunges them in darkness. With a comet flying overhead, the only lights in the neighbourhood originate from a house down the road.

While this sounds simple, the movie soon turns into a puzzle box labyrinth that plays with the idea of time in a very clever way. I won’t spoil anything here but suffice to say this is a really great Indie.

As a fun fact too, the first 20 minutes were completely improvised so the dialogue feels very organic.

You can read our thoughts on Coherence in our movie review here!


The Butterfly Effect

Similarities – Time & Action

You could easily poke holes in The Butterfly Effect’s logic but there’s no denying that the film makes for an enthralling watch. Like Tenet, this movie takes an idea and completely runs with it, producing a whole world around our protagonist that’s incredibly rewarding to watch.

The story itself revolves around Evan Treborn who suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he starts to remember these key moments and it completely shapes the man he becomes.

Thrilling, exciting and full of neat ideas, this is the quintessential thriller for a real mind-bending ride.


Time Trap

Similarities – Time Travel & Tone

Time Trap revolves around a professor who enters a cave and goes missing. When his students go searching, they too wind up trapped. The concept and ideas are absolutely fascinating and if you can look past some of the idiocy oozing from these characters, there’s lots of fun to be had with this.

The sci-fi elements are well realized and this Indie is yet another example that low budget doesn’t automatically equate out to bad movie. If you fancy something a little different, this one is definitely worth a watch.


Cloud Atlas

Similarities – Convoluted Plot

Cloud Atlas weighs in at nearly 3 hours and it’s one of those movies that consistently impresses. It’s not a particularly easy movie to follow in its entirety, with 6 different timelines and a pretty convoluted story to boot. However, it’s unlike many other films out there.

This originality serves Cloud Atlas well and much like Tenet, this is a movie that the big screen could really do with more of. In a sea of remakes, prequels, sequels and re-releases, Cloud Atlas delivers something wholly unique.


Edge Of Tomorrow

Similarities – Time & Big Action Set Pieces

Edge Of Tomorrow is a simple idea on paper that’s brought to life in a pretty clever way. The basic premise revolves around a soldier fighting aliens who has to to relive the same day over and over again. This restarts every time he dies.

It’s clever, well-written and thrives on the big action set pieces around it. This is a real sci-fi spectacle and the big budget really helps to keep this one as watchable as it ultimately ends up becoming.


Memento

Similarities – Chris Nolan & Story Structure

Another Nolan classic, Memento is a story that plays out in reverse. This isn’t just a gimmick though, especially given the main protagonist of the piece has a severe case of short term memory loss. As the movie progresses, we shift backwards to uncover exactly what’s going on and what’s led our main character to the end.

With black and white segments along with colour being used to show time being played out in both directions, Memento is a stunning achievement and definitely one of Nolan’s best films.


Twelve Monkeys

Similarities – Time Travel

12 Monkeys has certainly been usurped by its small screen brother in terms of quality. However, that’s not to say the original movie is bad. 12 Monkeys plays on the idea of rewriting history and revolves around a man sent back through time to stop a viral outbreak from dooming humanity.

It’s a simple idea and one that works well to produce a decent 90’s thriller. If you really want to get invested in this, the series is the better option but the movie remains an enthralling watch nonetheless.


Looper

Similarities – Time Travel & Story

Looper is another of those films that warrants repeat watches and does some pretty neat tricks with time. Set in 2074, the rules of the world revolve around the mob sending their target to the past when they want to get rid of them. When the protagonist of this tale is sent back to kill himself, it brings with it a twisty-turny story well worth watching.

This is one of those movies that plays better with its themes and tone than it does the sci-fi elements. That’s not to say it’s bad though and the movie makes for an enthralling watch that should definitely be on your radar if you’re a fan of Tenet.


Primer

Similarities – Time Travel & Warrants Repeat Watches

Where do you start with Primer? Trying to understand and explain Primer is  difficult without giving anything away. The movie itself revolves around four friends who have each built a device. Now, the movie itself is intentionally confusing with the way it’s edited and that will almost certainly frustrate people. This is likely to be one of the more polarizing options on this list and it definitely won’t be for everyone.

Given the movie was shot on a budget of under $10,000 though, this one is a pretty impressive venture and if you’re up for a challenge, this one is worth checking out.


So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Tenet in the cinema.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!


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