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Virtual Reality Adventures: Movies That Will Make You Question Your Reality

These amazing movies take us to incredible virtual worlds where the line between pixels and reality gets wonderfully blurry.

By Alaa Bahaa Last updated

Ready Player One (2018)

From futuristic utopias to dystopian nightmares, these movies immerse audiences in the thrilling dance between digital and physical realities.

The Matrix (1999)

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Rotten tomatoes83%
iMBD73
Metacritic8.7
Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne

Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss

Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving

Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano

Marcus Chong

Marcus Chong

Anthony Ray Parker

Anthony Ray Parker

Matt Doran

Matt Doran

Gloria Foster

Gloria Foster

Belinda McClory

Belinda McClory

Paul Goddard

Paul Goddard

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

Directed by Lilly Wachowski

'The Matrix' is a pioneering virtual reality movie that shaped the sci-fi genre. In this dystopian world, humans are unknowingly trapped in a simulated reality, the Matrix, while serving as an energy source for machines. The film introduces the concept of plugging into this virtual world, where protagonist Neo must navigate life-and-death stakes.

The Matrix (1999) - Blue Pill or Red Pill

With its expertly choreographed action and philosophical depth, The Matrix is a must-watch for VR enthusiasts, showcasing the ominous potential of virtual reality to alter human perception. A cultural touchstone since its release, The Matrix remains a cornerstone in the exploration of the dark side of immersive technologies.

Ender's Game (2013)

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Rotten tomatoes63%
iMBD51
Metacritic6.6
Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Asa Butterfield

Asa Butterfield

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley

Abigail Breslin

Abigail Breslin

Aramis Knight

Aramis Knight

Moisés Arias

Moisés Arias

Nonso Anozie

Nonso Anozie

Suraj Partha

Suraj Partha

Khylin Rhambo

Khylin Rhambo

Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak

Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak

Directed by Gavin Hood

'Ender's Game' takes you into a future where gifted children train for war through intense virtual reality simulations. This VR movie, adapted from Orson Scott Card's acclaimed novel, explores the convergence of virtual and physical realities.

Ender's Games (2013) - 'Final Test' Scene

With stunning visuals and gripping VR simulations, 'Ender's Game' is not just a sci-fi adventure—it's a journey into the immersive realm of virtual reality. So, strap in for a thrilling experience that showcases the power of VR in shaping the fate of civilizations.

Ready Player One (2018)

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Rotten tomatoes72%
iMBD64
Metacritic7.4
Tye Sheridan

Tye Sheridan

Olivia Cooke

Olivia Cooke

Ben Mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn

Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe

T.J. Miller

T.J. Miller

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance

Philip Zhao

Philip Zhao

Win Morisaki

Win Morisaki

Hannah John-Kamen

Hannah John-Kamen

Ralph Ineson

Ralph Ineson

Susan Lynch

Susan Lynch

Directed by Steven Spielberg

'Ready Player One' catapults you into a future where VR technology dominates daily life. In this sci-fi adventure, a vast virtual universe, the OASIS, becomes an escape from the harsh realities of 2045. The film's core revolves around a high-stakes treasure hunt within this digital realm, offering a visually captivating exploration of a society immersed in VR.

Ready Player One (2018) - The OASIS Scene

As Wade Watts delves into pop culture-infused challenges, the movie delves into the consequences of a world where reality blurs with the virtual. Beyond the action, 'Ready Player One' raises thought-provoking questions about the impact of virtual spaces on our lives.

Free Guy (2021)

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Rotten tomatoes80%
iMBD62
Metacritic7.1
Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds

Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer

Joe Keery

Joe Keery

Lil Rel Howery

Lil Rel Howery

Utkarsh Ambudkar

Utkarsh Ambudkar

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

Aaron W Reed

Aaron W Reed

Britne Oldford

Britne Oldford

Camille Kostek

Camille Kostek

Mark Lainer

Mark Lainer

Mike Devine

Directed by Shawn Levy

'Free Guy' offers a fresh take on virtual reality movies, where a bank teller discovers he's a background player in an open-world video game. Determined to be the hero of his own story in a limitless virtual world, the film explores the protagonist's quest to rewrite his destiny and challenges the predefined narrative.

Free Guy (2021)

With a blend of action and humor, 'Free Guy' engages viewers in a unique virtual adventure, questioning the boundaries between reality and the gaming world. The movie brings a playful perspective to the evolving landscape of movies about virtual reality, offering an entertaining exploration of the blurred lines between the real and the virtual.

Gamer (2009)

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Rotten tomatoes29%
iMBD27
Metacritic5.7
Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler

Amber Valletta

Amber Valletta

Michael C. Hall

Michael C. Hall

Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick

Logan Lerman

Logan Lerman

Alison Lohman

Alison Lohman

Terry Crews

Terry Crews

Ramsey Moore

Ramsey Moore

Ludacris

Ludacris

Johnny Whitworth

Johnny Whitworth

Dylan Kenin

Dylan Kenin

James Roday Rodriguez

James Roday Rodriguez

Directed by Brian Taylor

'Gamer' flips the script on virtual reality movies by placing real-life death-row inmates in the gaming spotlight. In the film, players control these inmates in the intense online game, Slayers. The movie delves into the ethical implications of blurring the lines between simulated violence and real-world consequences, offering a gritty and visceral experience.

Gamer (2009) - Kable Interacts With His Controller Simon Through A Computer Mod

While not aiming for cinematic acclaim, 'Gamer' provides a thrilling ride for those seeking a dose of action in the world of virtual reality. The movie shows a reality where the game isn't just a simulation but an immersive exploration of the darker side of VR gaming.

Total Recall (1990)

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Rotten tomatoes82%
iMBD60
Metacritic7.5
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Rachel Ticotin

Rachel Ticotin

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone

Ronny Cox

Ronny Cox

Michael Ironside

Michael Ironside

Marshall Bell

Marshall Bell

Mel Johnson Jr.

Mel Johnson Jr.

Michael Champion

Michael Champion

Roy Brocksmith

Roy Brocksmith

Ray Baker

Ray Baker

Rosemary Dunsmore

Rosemary Dunsmore

David Knell

David Knell

Directed by Paul Verhoeven

'Total Recall' thrusts you into a sci-fi journey where the concept of virtual reality vacations takes a mind-bending turn. Viewers are immersed in a world where distinguishing between the virtual and the tangible becomes a thrilling challenge. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film explores the consequences of memory implantation, blurring the line between reality and virtual experiences.

Total Recall (1990)

'Total Recall' stands as a riveting example in the genre of movies about virtual reality, offering a glimpse into a future where technology manipulates the very fabric of our memories. With its captivating blend of suspense and groundbreaking visual effects, the film leaves an indelible mark on the exploration of the virtual realms.

Tron (1982)

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Rotten tomatoes73%
iMBD58
Metacritic6.8
Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges

Bruce Boxleitner

Bruce Boxleitner

David Warner

David Warner

Cindy Morgan

Cindy Morgan

Barnard Hughes

Barnard Hughes

Dan Shor

Dan Shor

Peter Jurasik

Peter Jurasik

Tony Stephano

Craig Chudy

Sam Schatz

Michael Dudikoff

Michael Dudikoff

Directed by Steven Lisberger

'Tron' stands as a pioneering force in the realm of virtual reality movies. Jeff Bridges portrays Kevin Flynn, a computer programmer thrust into a neon-lit cyber universe. In this groundbreaking film, Flynn, alongside security program Tron, navigates a digital realm to dismantle the oppressive Master Control Program.

Here's a technological sound-and-light show that is sensational and brainy, stylish, and fun. Chicago Sun-Times

While the special effects may not meet today's standards, Tron's revolutionary use of computer graphics in 1982 set new benchmarks in visual effects for movies about virtual reality. The film immerses audiences in a unique blend of science fiction and action, offering a glimpse into a digital metaverse that remains a defining classic in the exploration of virtual realms.

EXistenZ (1999)

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Rotten tomatoes74%
iMBD68
Metacritic6.8
Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jude Law

Jude Law

Ian Holm

Ian Holm

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Don McKellar

Don McKellar

Callum Keith Rennie

Callum Keith Rennie

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

Sarah Polley

Sarah Polley

Robert A. Silverman

Robert A. Silverman

Oscar Hsu

Oscar Hsu

Kris Lemche

Kris Lemche

Vik Sahay

Vik Sahay

Directed by David Cronenberg

'EXistenZ' plunges you into a virtual reality nightmare that challenges the boundaries between the digital and the tangible. In this sci-fi horror VR movie, Allegra Geller designs 'eXistenZ,' a game interfacing directly with users' nervous systems. As Geller and Ted Pikul navigate the game's complex layers, the distinction between reality and the virtual world blurs, leaving viewers questioning their own existence.

EXistenZ (1999)

This cinematic journey, although bizarre and gruesome, offers a unique exploration of the immersive and disorienting nature of virtual reality. EXistenZ offers an unsettling yet captivating experience that challenges the very fabric of reality.

The Island (2005)

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iMBD50
Metacritic6.8
Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou

Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Steve Buscemi

Steve Buscemi

Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan

Ethan Phillips

Ethan Phillips

Brian Stepanek

Brian Stepanek

Noa Tishby

Noa Tishby

Siobhan Flynn

Siobhan Flynn

Troy Blendell

Troy Blendell

Jamie McBride

Jamie McBride

Directed by Michael Bay

'The Island' immerses viewers in a gripping sci-fi thriller that transcends the typical boundaries of science. The narrative revolves around Lincoln Six Echo, played by Ewan McGregor, discovering shocking revelations about his reality. The film introduces audiences to a world where individuals yearn to win a lottery, granting them access to the Island—a supposed sanctuary untouched by a catastrophic event.

The Island (2005)

The story delves into the deceptive nature of this utopia, unraveling a complex web of artificial memories and the cloning of humans. The cinematic experience, rich in suspense, challenges perceptions and leaves a lasting impact within the realm of movies about virtual reality.

The Cell (2000)

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Rotten tomatoes45%
iMBD40
Metacritic6.4
Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn

Vincent D'Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio

Catherine Sutherland

Catherine Sutherland

James Gammon

James Gammon

Colton James

Colton James

Dylan Baker

Dylan Baker

Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Gerry Becker

Gerry Becker

Musetta Vander

Musetta Vander

Patrick Bauchau

Patrick Bauchau

Jake Weber

Jake Weber

Directed by Tarsem Singh

In 'The Cell,' Jennifer Lopez delves into the unnerving realms of virtual reality as child therapist Catherine Deane. The film explores an experimental therapeutic technique where Deane immerses herself in the minds of her patients. When faced with the opportunity to enter the comatose mind of a serial killer, she must navigate a nightmarish landscape to unveil crucial information.

Riveting in its low way. It traffics in imagery profoundly disturbing. Washington Post

While the movie offers striking VR visuals, critics note its narrative shortcomings. 'The Cell' uniquely blends psychological thriller elements with the intriguing use of virtual reality, showcasing the darker implications of entering the subconscious.

Videodrome (1983)

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Rotten tomatoes83%
iMBD58
Metacritic7.2
James Woods

James Woods

Sonja Smits

Sonja Smits

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Peter Dvorsky

Peter Dvorsky

Leslie Carlson

Leslie Carlson

Jack Creley

Jack Creley

Lynne Gorman

Lynne Gorman

Julie Khaner

Julie Khaner

Reiner Schwarz

Reiner Schwarz

David Bolt

Lally Cadeau

Lally Cadeau

Henry Gomez

Directed by David Cronenberg

In 'Videodrome,' virtual reality serves as a tool for torture, blurring the lines between inflicting pain in a simulated world and the tangible one. The film, an exploration of media manipulation, hallucination, and technophobia, has become an iconic piece in the body horror genre.

Videodrome (1983) - 'Flesh Gun' Scene

Videodrome's unsettling narrative delves into the dark intersections of virtual and real experiences, creating a lasting impact within the realm of movies about virtual reality.

Brainstorm (1983)

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Rotten tomatoes57%
iMBD57
Metacritic6.4
Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken

Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood

Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher

Cliff Robertson

Cliff Robertson

Jordan Christopher

Jordan Christopher

Donald Hotton

Donald Hotton

Alan Fudge

Alan Fudge

Joe Dorsey

Bill Morey

Bill Morey

Jason Lively

Jason Lively

Darrell Larson

Darrell Larson

Lou Walker

Lou Walker

Directed by Douglas Trumbull

'Brainstorm' is an underrated gem in the realm of virtual reality movies, featuring Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. The film explores a brain-computer interface that records sensations and brain activity for later experiences, offering a unique perspective on tech development. What sets it apart is its accurate portrayal of the challenges faced when powerful forces interfere with innovative projects.

Brainstorm (1983)

'Brainstorm' delves into the consequences of recording intense experiences and the ethical dilemmas surrounding the military's attempt to exploit the technology. This hidden gem contributes to the exploration of virtual reality, combining scientific innovation with ethical complexities, making it a noteworthy addition to the genre.

The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

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Rotten tomatoes29%
iMBD36
Metacritic7
Craig Bierko

Craig Bierko

Armin Mueller-Stahl

Armin Mueller-Stahl

Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol

Vincent D'Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio

Dennis Haysbert

Dennis Haysbert

Steven Schub

Steven Schub

Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts

Rif Hutton

Rif Hutton

Leon Rippy

Leon Rippy

Janet MacLachlan

Janet MacLachlan

Brad William Henke

Brad William Henke

Burt Bulos

Burt Bulos

Directed by Josef Rusnak

'The Thirteenth Floor' invites viewers to question the boundaries between reality and virtual reality. This sci-fi thriller explores the unsettling idea of computer-simulated universes, where characters grapple with the blurred lines of existence.

The Thirteenth Floor (1999) - 'Transcending Into Another Reality' Scene

As programmers delve into creating a virtual reality version of 1930s Los Angeles, the film prompts contemplation on whether our own reality could be a simulation. It adds a thought-provoking layer to the genre of movies about virtual reality, delving into the depths of the impact VR can have on our perception of what is real.

Hackers (1995)

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Rotten tomatoes33%
iMBD46
Metacritic6.2
Jonny Lee Miller

Jonny Lee Miller

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Jesse Bradford

Jesse Bradford

Matthew Lillard

Matthew Lillard

Renoly Santiago

Renoly Santiago

Fisher Stevens

Fisher Stevens

Alberta Watson

Alberta Watson

Lorraine Bracco

Lorraine Bracco

Laurence Mason

Laurence Mason

Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Michael Gaston

Michael Gaston

Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony

Directed by Iain Softley

In 'Hackers,' the rebellious world of teenage hacking takes center stage as Dade Murphy, aka Zero Cool, battles against framing for a multi-million-dollar theft. This '90s classic doesn't just dive into computer hacking; it catapults into the cheesy and over-the-top culture surrounding it.

Hackers (1995)

From the ban on Murphy's keyboard access to virtual reality boxing game showdowns, 'Hackers' captures the spirit of an era when the digital realm was both mysterious and flamboyantly portrayed on the big screen. The film offers a nostalgic trip into the cyberpunk world of hacking, where every keystroke has consequences, and virtual reality serves as an unexpected battleground.

Virtuosity (1995)

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Rotten tomatoes32%
iMBD39
Metacritic5.5
Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe

Kelly Lynch

Kelly Lynch

Alanna Ubach

Alanna Ubach

William Forsythe

William Forsythe

Stephen Spinella

Stephen Spinella

Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher

William Fichtner

William Fichtner

Costas Mandylor

Costas Mandylor

Kevin J. O'Connor

Kevin J. O'Connor

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

Una Damon

Una Damon

Directed by Brett Leonard

'Virtuosity' stands out in the world of virtual reality movies by flipping the narrative—this time, it's a VR character infiltrating our reality. Starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the film explores the consequences when a VR simulation, fueled by the minds of serial killers, breaks into the real world.

Virtuosity (1995)

Unlike conventional VR movies, 'Virtuosity' delves into the blurred boundaries between the digital and tangible, presenting a unique take on the impact of virtual entities on our reality. With its action-packed narrative, the movie adds an intriguing dimension to the genre of movies about virtual reality, posing thought-provoking questions about the intersection of virtual reality and real life.

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