25 Movies Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is an illustration of the scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a unique movie for one belonging to the romance film genre. For one, it is a science-fiction romantic drama film with elements of romantic comedy. It was released in 2004 with excellent praise, especially for its screenplay, performances, and direction. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is regarded by many, including the BBFC, as one of the best films of all time.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was written by one of the masters of screenwriting, Charlie Kaufman. His films often deal with love, regret, and the human experience. It was directed by Michel Gondry, known for his very distinctive and unique visual style in his body of work.

The movie follows Joel, an introverted and compulsive man, who goes through a procedure to erase his memory of his ex-girlfriend Clementine, an extroverted woman, after finding out that she went for the same operation after their painful breakup. During the procedure, Joel finds himself falling for Clementine again and fights to keep scraps of his memory with her in-tack.

The film stars Jim Carrey as Joel, who exchanges his typecast to play an energetic, loveable fool to a more reserved but equally captivating person. He outdid himself in this role. It also stars Kate Winslet as Clementine, who received an Academy Award nomination for her breathtaking performance as Clementine.

Charlie Kaufman received The Academy Award for Best Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind include but are not limited to Adaptation, Her, and Lost in Translation. These movies explore love, heartbreak, memory, the complexities of relationships, and ideas of what defines us as humans. Most of these films also sport a unique visual style.

More films than just those listed above follow below. All these movies will crawl deep into your mind and will stay there for long after you have watched them.

Table of Contents

1. Adaptation

Adaptation

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Adaptation is a 2002 comedy-drama movie written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze.

It follows a fictionalized version of Kaufman, the film’s screenwriter, attempting to adapt the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean while battling with writer’s block, self-esteem, and love. His life soon goes from boring to bizarre as he seemingly writes himself into the screenplay. It also follows the developing relationship between Susan Orlean and John Laroche, the subject of the book.

The cast includes Nicholas Cage as Kaufman, Meryl Streep as Orlean, and Chriss Cooper as Laroche.

Adaptation grossed $32,801,173 worldwide over a budget of $19,000,000. Chriss Cooper also earned The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.

Adaptation examines Kaufman’s fictionized version need to embrace the human experience and find love to complete his screenplay, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

2. Her

Her

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The movie Her is a science-fiction romantic drama film written and directed by Spike Jonze. It was released in 2013.

It is set in the distant future. The movie follows Theodore, a professional, personalized letter writer, who falls in love with Samantha, an operating system, who treats him with kindness after being left heartbroken by a divorce.

The film Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore and Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha.

The movie grossed $48,517,427 worldwide against a budget of $23,000,000. 

Spike Jonze earned The Academy Award for Best Screenplay for this film.

The movie sports a striking visual style and a unique experimental narrative that explores love like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

3. Lost In Translation

Lost in Translation

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Lost in Translation is a 2003 comedy-drama movie written and directed by Sofia Coppola.

The movie, set in Tokyo, follows a deep and meaningful relationship between two people who finds an unlikely kinship and love amongst the confusion and bizarreness of a foreign society. This relationship is between Bob Harris, an old movie star, and Charlotte, a newlywed from a loveless marriage. 

The film stars Bill Murray as Bob and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte.

Lost in Translation grossed $118,686,937 worldwide against a budget of $4,000,000. It earned The Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical Film.

The essence of the film is about the human experience and beauty of a bond that transcends stereotypical love, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

4. The Truman Show

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The Truman Show is a comedy-drama movie written by Andrew Niccol and directed by Peter Weir. It was released in 1998.

The movie follows Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman who discovers his entire life is a lie. His life is a reality television show. 

It stars Jim Carry as Truman.

The Truman Show grossed $264,118,201 worldwide against a budget of $60,000,000. Jim Carrey earned The Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance.

Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this movie sees Jim Carrey take on a more reserved and serious role instead of his typecast comedic roles.

5. 500 Days Of Summer

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500 Days of Summer is a 2009 drama and romantic comedy written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Marc Web directed it.

The movie follows Tom, a hopeless romantic who works as a greeting card writer, shocked when his girlfriend, Summer, suddenly dumps him. Tom reflects on the 500 days of the relationship and, in doing so, goes on a journey of self-discovery.

500 Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom and Zoey Deschanel as Summer.

500 Days of Summer grossed $60,800,444 worldwide over a budget of $7,500,000. It earned a spot on The National Board of Review’s Top Ten Films of 2009.

This movie is a breakup film where the protagonist, too, goes on a journey of self-discovery within an experimental narrative structure, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

6. Palm Springs

Palm Springs

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Palm Springs is a science-fiction romantic comedy with elements of the drama genre, directed by Max Barbakow and written by Andy Siara. It was released in 2020 on Hulu.

The movie sees a young man, Nyles, stuck in a time loop of reliving the same wedding every day, accidentally getting Sarah, the bride’s sister, stuck in a time loop with him. Nyles and Sarah fall in love as they struggle to come to terms with their abnormal situation.

Palm Springs stars Andy Samberg as Nyles and Christin Milioti as Sarah. 

Palm Springs, too, is a romance film in the science-fiction genre that examines the beauty of true love by accepting the good and bad qualities, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

7. Let The Right One In

Let the Right One In (English Subtitled)

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Let the Right One In is a coming-of-age drama horror movie with elements of romance. It was released in 2008 and directed by Tomas Alfredson. It is based upon the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the movie.

Set in Sweden, it follows a young bullied and lonely boy, Oskar, who befriends Eli, a peculiar young vampire girl. Eli encourages him to take revenge against his bullies as they fall in love with one another.

It grossed $11,227,336 against a budget of $4,000,000. It received a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

This movie examines the complexities of a developing relationship through striking visual metaphors, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

8. Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction

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Stranger than Fiction is a 2006 comedy-drama movie written by Zach Helm and directed by Marc Foster.

The movie follows an IRS auditor, Harold, who finds his boring life turned into a work of fiction that includes his love life and his supposed death, through a narration by an author, Karren Eiffel, who only he can hear.

The film stars Will Ferrell as Harold and Emma Thompson as Karren.

It grossed $53,653,224 against a budget of $30,000,000. Will Ferrell received The Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy or Musical Actor.

The movie features a surreal narrative on the human experience and sees a famous comedy actor playing against his typecast like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

9. Ex Machina

Ex Machina

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Ex Machina is a science-fiction thriller written and directed by Alex Garland. It was released in 2014.

The movie follows a young programmer, Caleb Smith, selected to evaluate the human qualities of a beautiful artificially intelligent robotic woman, Ava, created by his boss Nathan Bateman. Problems arise when it turns out Ava is more self-aware than they thought.

Ex Machina stars Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith, Alicia Vikander as Ava, and Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman. 

Ex Machina grossed $36,869,414 worldwide against a budget of $15,000,000. It earned The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

In a science-fiction narrative, Ex Machina asks us what defines us as human, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

10. I Lost My Body

I Lost My Body (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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I Lost My Body is an Animated Drama Fantasy movie co-written and directed by Jérémy Clapin. He co-wrote it with Guillaume Laurant. It was released on Netflix in 2009.

It follows a severed hand, who escapes from a dissection lab, who goes to look for his lost body, Naoufel, and begins to remember his story of self-discovery while falling for a woman called Gabrielle.

It stars Hakim Faris as Naoufel. 

I Lost My Body was nominated for The Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

This movie tells a human story of love and self-discovery through a surreal narrative, this time through a severed hand remembering his body’s life, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

11. American Beauty

American Beauty

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American Beauty is a 1999 drama movie written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes.

It follows a depressed middle-aged man, Lester Burnham, who decides to better his life and live it the way he desires after growing infatuated with his teenage daughter’s best friend, Angela. It follows his family, prominently his daughter, journey of self-discovery too.

The movie stars Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham.

American Beauty grossed $356,296,601 worldwide against a budget of $15,000,000. It earned The Academy Award for Best Picture.

This movie is a peculiar narrative on the human experience similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

12. Anomalisa

Anomalisa

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Anomalisa is a stop-motion drama written and co-directed by Charlie Kaufman. 

He co-directed it with Duke Johnson. It was released in 2015.

The movie follows Michael Stone, an customer service expert whose dull life is shaken up when he makes a human connection with a woman called Lisa.

It stars David Thewlis as Michael and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lisa.

It grossed $5,659,286 against a budget of $8,000,000. Anomalisa was nominated for The Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.

Anamolisa is written by Charlie Kaufman and examines the beauty of the human connection like his movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

13. The Tree Of Life

The Tree of Life (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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The Tree of Life is a drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick. It was released in 2011.

It follows Jack O’Brien, who reflects on the meaning of life through looking back at his childhood and his distant relationship with his father, Mr. O’Brien, and close relationship with his beautiful mother, Mrs. O’ Brien.

The movie stars Sean Penn as the adult Jack O’Brien, Brad Pitt as Mr. O’Brien, and Jessica Chastain as Mrs. O’ Brien.

The Tree of Life grossed $58,409,247 worldwide against a budget of $32,000,000. It received The Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

This movie follows a man searching for the meaning of the human experience, as seen in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

14. Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

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Being John Malkovich is a 1999 comedy-drama fantasy movie written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze.

It follows a puppeteer, Craig Schwartz, who takes a temporary job and finds a portal in his office that leads to the head of the renowned actor John Malkovich. He and his attractive business partner soon create a successful business out of it.

The movie stars John Cusack as Craig Schwartz and John Malkovich as a fictionalized version of himself.

It grossed $23,106,667 worldwide against a budget of $13,000,000. Charlie Kaufman earned the BAFTA for Best Screenplay for the film.

This film is a surreal journey on human identity written by Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

15. Amélie

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Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy co-written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. He co-wrote it with Guillaume Laurant.

The movie is set in Paris. It follows Amélie, a sweet and innocent young woman who goes out of her way to make life a joy for others. Along the way, Amélie discovers the beauty of love.

Amélie stars Audrey Tautou as the title character.

It grossed $174,026,943 worldwide against a budget of $10,000,000. Amélie earned the BAFTA for Best Screenplay.

This movie sports striking visual scenery and focuses on a story on the beauty of human connection like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

16. Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York

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Synecdoche, New York is a 2008 psychological drama movie written and directed by Charlie Kaufman.

It follows a struggling theatre director, Caden Cotard, who creates a life-size version of the city of New York inside a large warehouse where he employs actors to live their lives within the constructs of his creation.

The movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Caden Cotard.

It grossed $4,658,401 worldwide against a budget of $20,000,000. It earned Best First Feature Film at The Film Independent Spirit Awards.

This movie is written by Charlie Kaufman and tells a story that blurs the line between its world’s reality and fiction like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

17. Shutter Island

Shutter Island

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Shutter Island is a 2010 psychological thriller movie directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis. It is based upon the novel by Dennis Lehane.

The movie is set in 1954, post World War II. It follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who comes to a remote island that houses a psychiatric hospital to investigate the mysterious escape of a patient, Rachel, who drowned her children. While there, Teddy has to confront his past and confused reality.

It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy.

Shutter Island grossed $294,805,697 against a budget of $80,000,000.  

The movie is set mainly within the distorted reality of its protagonist, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

18. Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner 2049 is a science-fiction mystery movie directed by Denis Villeneuve. Hampton Fancher and Michael Green wrote it.

The film is set in the bleak future of the year 2049. It follows a human replicant blade runner (a hitman that goes after rouge human replicants), Officer K., as he unearths a secret of replicants which could throw himself and his entire society into disarray. He sets out to find veteran blade runner Rick Deckard for help.

The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Officer K. and Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard.

It grossed $259,334,548 worldwide against a budget of $150,000,000. It earned The Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

This movie, too, plays with the idea of how human memory makes us like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

19. Fight Club

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Fight Club is a mystery-thriller movie directed by David Fincher and written by Jim Uhls. It is based upon the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It was released in 1999.

The movie follows an unnamed narrator who struggles with depression and insomnia. He forms an underground and strict fight club with Tyler Durden, an eccentric soap salesman. This event soon spirals into something much crazier.

It stars Edward Norton as the unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden.

Fight Club grossed $101,209,702 worldwide against a budget of $63,000,000.

This movie is a surreal journey that questions reality like Eternal Sunshine of the Spottles Mind.

20. Punch-Drunk Love

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Punch-Drunk Love is a romantic comedy-drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It was released in 2002.

It follows Barry Egan, an introverted man who struggles with his temper, who works as a bathroom supply business owner who finds unexpected love while finding himself at the helm of an extortionist.

The movie stars Adam Sandler as Barry Egan.

Punch-Drunk Love stars Adam Sandler as Barry Egan. Adam Sandler earned a nomination for The Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical actor.

The film sees a comedic actor taking on a much more grounded role in a love story like Eternal Sunshine of the Spottles Mind

21. What Dreams May Come

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What Dreams May Come is a 1998 fantasy romantic drama written by Ronald Bass and directed by Vincent Ward. It is based upon the novel by Richard Matheson.

The movie follows Chriss Nielson, who enters heaven after dying in a car accident. Unfortunately, his wife commits suicide, as of her grief, and goes to hell. Chriss takes it upon himself to journey to hell to save his wife.

The film stars Robin Williams as Chriss.

The movie What Dreams May Come grossed $55,382,927 worldwide against a budget of $85,000,000.

This movie sports a beautiful visual style like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

22. Soul

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The movie Soul is a 2020 animated fantasy comedy-drama directed by Pete Doctor. He co-wrote it along with Mike Jones and Kemp Powers.

The movie follows Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher, who dies on the same day he achieves his dream – to play in a professional jazz band. Upon arriving in the afterlife, he reaches The Great Before, where he begins to help prep an unborn soul for life and discovers that being human is more than just having a passion.

It stars Jamie Foxx as Joe.

Soul grossed $120,957,731 worldwide at the box office. Soul earned The Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

This movie sports a surreal narrative on the beauty of human nature like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

23. Still Alice

Still Alice

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The movie Still Alice is a 2014 drama written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. It is based upon the book by Lisa Genova.

It follows Alice, a renowned linguistic professor, who holds on to the last bit of memory she has as she begins battling with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

It stars Juliane Moore as Alice.

Still Alice grossed $44,779,195 worldwide against a budget of $5,000,000. Juliane Moore earned The Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Alice.

This movie puts into question whether our memories define us like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

24. The Father

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The Father is a drama movie co-written and directed by Florian Zeller. He co-wrote it with Christopher Hampton.It was released in 2020.

It follows a man struggling with dementia, Anthony, who battles to hold onto his fading memory and ability to provide for himself despite his daughter, Anne, insistence on helping him.

The Father stars Anthony Hopkins as Anthony.

It grossed $23,594,908 at the worldwide box office. The film earned The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

This movie questions whether the memories we hold unto define us as individuals like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

25. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 fantasy romantic drama movie directed by David Fincher and written by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord.

It follows the story of a man who ages backward, Benjamin Button, as he falls in love with Daisy, a dancer.

It stars Brad Pitt as the title character.

It grossed $335,802,786 worldwide against a budget of $150,000,000.

This film is a surreal love story like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

(Note: This article received a 1% plagiarism score as of the film titles and the post’s title.)

Sources:

Reel Rundown: Movies Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

ScreenRant: Movies Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The Cinemaholic: 10 Movies Like ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ You Must Watch

BBC: The 21st Century’s 100 Greatest Films

IMDB: The Truman Show

IMDB: The Truman Show Awards

IMDB: Being John Malkovich

IMDB: Being John Malkovich Awards

IMDB: What Dreams May Come

IMDB: Fight Club

IMDB: Fight Club Awards

IMDB: American Beauty

IMDB: American Beauty Awards

IMDB: Amelie

IMDB: Amelie Awards

IMDB: Adaptation

IMDB: Adaptation Awards

IMDB: Punch-Drunk Love

IMDB: Punch-Drunk Love Awards

IMDB: Lost in Translation

IMDB: Lost in Translation Awards

IMDB: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

IMDB: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Awards

IMDB: Synecdoche, New York

IMDB: Synecdoche, New York Awards

IMDB: Stranger Than Fiction

IMDB: Stranger Than Fiction Awards

IMDB: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

IMDB: Ex Machina

IMDB: Ex Machina Awards

IMDB: The Tree of Life

IMDB: The Tree of Life Awards

IMDB: 500 Days of Summer

IMDB: 500 Days of Summer Awards

IMDB: The Father

IMDB: The Father Awards

IMDB: Shutter Island

IMDB: Shutter Island Awards

IMDB: Let the Right One In

IMDB: Let the Right One In Awards

IMDB: Her

IMDB: Her Awards

IMDB: Blade Runner 2049

IMDB: Blade Runner 2049 Awards

IMDB: Anomalisa

IMDB: Anomalisa Awards

IMDB: Soul

IMDB: Soul Awards

IMDB: Still Alice

IMDB: Still Alice Awards

IMDB: Palm Springs

IMDB: Palm Springs Awards

IMDB: I Lost My Body

IMDB: I Lost My Body Awards

Looper: Movies Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Roger Ebert: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Movie Review

Rotten Tomatoes: Adaptation

Rotten Tomatoes: Shutter Island

Rotten Tomatoes: 500 Days of Summer

Rotten Tomatoes: Amelie

Rotten Tomatoes: American Beauty

Rotten Tomatoes: Anomalisa

Rotten Tomatoes: Being John Malkovich

Rotten Tomatoes: Blade Runner 2049

Rotten Tomatoes: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Rotten Tomatoes: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Rotten Tomatoes: Ex Machina

Rotten Tomatoes: Fight Club

Rotten Tomatoes: Her

Rotten Tomatoes: I Lost My Body

Rotten Tomatoes: Let the Right One In

Rotten Tomatoes: Lost in Translation

Rotten Tomatoes: Palm Springs

Rotten Tomatoes: Punch-Drunk Love

Rotten Tomatoes: Still Alice

Rotten Tomatoes: Stranger than Fiction

Rotten Tomatoes: Synecdoche, New York

Rotten Tomatoes: The Tree of Life

Rotten Tomatoes: The Truman Show

Rotten Tomatoes: What Dreams May Come

Scary Mommy: 19 Movies Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Lost in Memories

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