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Best Virtual Reality Movies Of All Times

by Mary McFarren

Movies featuring virtual reality were made way before personal headsets were available to a wide audience. Hollywood producers recognized that reality became dull and overrated. The crowds were yearning for something more unique and imaginative to escape the everyday drill. Here’s the list of some of the best movies where the line between real and virtual becomes a blur.

Matrix

Twenty-two years ago “Matrix” hit the theatres becoming an instant blockbuster. It features Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as the advanced humans fighting against the machines while trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not. The movie went into history, just like flip-phones seen in the film, as one of the must-see features whether you like science fiction or not.

Inception

Hands down one of the best movies in general, not only in the virtual reality category. The 2010 film was written, produced, and directed by Chris Nolan featuring a magnificent cast of Leo Di Caprio, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, and Michael Caine. It’s a story of redemption, where a young speculator with a gift to go into people’s subconscious minds tries to make amends with his own conscience. Watching the movie one might feel like going into the infinite loop, but at the end, every piece falls into place making it one amazing story.

Equilibrium

The movie was released in 2002, featuring Christian Bale and Emily Watson. The story sets in the future where emotions are suppressed by daily shots every citizen has to inject. Bale plays a police officer who makes sure that everyone got their dose. When he forgets to take his shot, he begins experiencing the whole new world that gets him to question the morality of his actions. The movie was unjustly overlooked by many who were still into the “Matrix” reality that came out only three years earlier.

Ready Player One

Warner Bros and Steven Spielberg made this blockbuster that was loved by kids and adults alike. A kid played by Tye Sheridan is fighting in a VR game trying to win a fortune, ownership of the game, and bragging rights. It’s a fun, fast-paced adventure movie perfect for family movie nights.

Total Recall

The 1990 classic was directed by Paul Verhoeven featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The story revolves around an unsuspecting construction worker who ends up on Mars, entangled in an espionage network. Soon, he can’t tell reality from implanted memory.

Free Guy

Ryan Reynolds goes from the good guy to a great guy and ends up as a free guy. The director Shawn Levy came up with a whole new category of movies – science fiction, virtual reality, adventure/action comedy. And it all melts perfectly. The movie was released in August of 2021 grossing over $300 million in one month.

The Cell

What’s it like in the mind of a serial killer? Jennifer Lopez will tell you in this 2000 sci-fi thriller. The pop star plays a social worker who, with some help from the FBI agent played by Vince Vaughn, goes deep into the head of a comatose murderer. At some point, she starts believing that the world she entered is real with no way out. It’s a great flick that doesn’t get old.

Vanilla Sky

Cameron Crowe written, produced, and directed this remake in 2001. The original movie’s title is “Open Your Eyes” by Alejandro Amenabar. One of the main characters in both movies is played by Penelope Cruz. In the American version, the protagonist is Tom Cruise. The movie combines different genres – romance, science fiction, and action.

Serenity

The 2019 movie is a smooth mix of thriller and drama featuring Ann Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey. The story begins when a fisherman is suddenly haunted by his past, which quickly blends with reality taking him in the deepest corners of his mind.

The Thirteenth Floor

In 1999 “The Thirteenth Floor” was overshadowed by “Matrix”. However, this dark thriller follows a story of an assistant that was accused of murdering his boss and the owner of the virtual reality enterprise. To get out of the clinch, he will need to follow the clues left in the virtual reality game his mentor left behind. It’s a story with a lot of unexpected twists that will keep you on the edge till the end.