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12 Movies Like The Prestige To Show The Blurred Lines Between Reality And Illusion

Movies like The Prestige

The Prestige is a movie that shows what an inane obsession can do to one’s mind. Nomatter how great. And if you are searching for movies that will bring you a similar sense of awe, then check out our list of movies like The Prestige.

The Prestige is a psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, and based on the novel of the same name written by Christopher Priest. This movie tells the story of two magicians, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden. These two magicians initially start out as friends, but their professional rivalry soon turns personal, and turns into a bitter one. When an accident kills Angier’s wife, he blames Borden, with the two never seeing eye to eye from that day again. If this tale of revenge and magic is what gets you excited, then here are 12 Movies Like Prestige.

List of Movies like The Prestige

1. The Illusionist (2006)

The Illusionist is a period drama which tells the story of a brilliant illusionist who puts in some of the most dazzling magic shows for his audience. However, his world is turned upside down when he falls in love with a woman. This woman is Sophie, and she is betrothed to Prince Leopold, a ruthless dictator.

Full of entertaining scenes, and with powerful acting across the board, The Illusionist is an exciting watch. Just like the audience in the movie, those watching this movie will be left with their heads turning due to surprising twists and turns. If you’re looking for movies like The Prestige, The Illusionist is then a must watch.

2.  Inception (2010)

Inception is a sci-fi heist film and psychological thriller. In this Leonardo DiCaprio gives a great performance as Dom Cobb who is skilled at extracting and implanting information out of and into people’s minds through dreams. This time he has the job of planting an idea into the mind of a wealthy businessman.

One of the most impressive aspects of Inception is its unique and complex storytelling. The movie is a thrilling heist film, but also is quite emotionally moving and finds the time to be character focused. Inception is an exceptionally intelligent film that I highly recommend you watch after films like The Prestige.

3. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

The Da Vinci Code is a mystery thriller, similar to movies like The Prestige. This film begins with the murder of Jacques Saunière, the curator of the Louvre Museum. Robert Langdon is played by Tom Hanks, and searches through the clues left behind at the murder scene, leading him to discover the existence of a highly secretive but powerful religious cult.

The secrets which he gets access to are some of which may have him killed. It all culminates into a thrilling movie from start to finish, which is elevated further by its stunning visuals and beautiful location choices although those were somewhat necessitated by the book it is adapting to the big screen.

Also Read: Movies About Secret Societies

4. The Game (1997)

The Game is a story about Nicholas Van Orton, a successful investment banker who is given a mysterious gift by his younger brother. The gift grants Nicholas access to a game. This game begins to invade his life more and more, as he begins to grow paranoid by the day.

He begins to realize that he might not be able to win this game or even leave it alive or with his secrets intact. Its gripping and suspenseful ride keeps the audience guessing until the very end, and is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys good mystery or psychological thriller movies just like The Prestige.

5. The Machinist (2004)

Trevor Reznik is a machinist, who has lost the ability to sleep. But this is no ordinary insomnia. Trevor has not slept in a year. Fatigue has led to a shocking deterioration of his physical and mental health. Suspicious of his appearance, Trevor’s co-workers grow increasingly wary of him.

Plagued with guilt after being blamed for an accident, Trevor’s shame becomes suspicion, then paranoia, when it appears his workmates are conspiring to have him fired, or worse, killed. Similar to films like The Prestige, this will be a delight for fans of psychological thrillers and those who appreciate intricate storytelling and layered characters.

6. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects is set after the conclusion of a shootout on a boat in San Pedro Bay. The only survivor of this event is Roger Kint. The more they hear, the more they realize that things may not be as it seems, and that a mystery runs beneath all of the night’s events

The Usual Suspects is yet another of the movies similar to The Prestige, and its complex narrative structure and non-linear storytelling will keep you guessing until the very end, as they try to piece together the truth behind the events of the heist. The Usual Suspects is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good mystery or crime thriller, and its legacy has made it a classic in the genre.

7.  Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club follows an insomniac, simply known as The Narrator tired of living an unexciting life, buried deep beneath paperwork in corporate America, and aims to escape it. He meets Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt, on a commercial flight played by Brad Pitt, he introduces himself as a soap salesman, and also makes it known to The Narrator that he runs a fight club just happens to run a fight club.

The Narrator finds himself not knowing what is real anymore, a theme that will be familiar to fans of movies like The Prestige. And although he begins to improve with the help of the Fight Club which he joins, it tornadoes into something that he can’t control, as it morphs into a terrorist organization, with anarchist tendencies. A psychological drama similar to American Psycho, this movie is a certified classic.

Also Read: Movies Like Fight Club

8. The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense is a film about life, death and life after death. Bruce Willis is Dr Malcom Crowe, a child psychologist who encounters a child and tries to help him deal with the visions and hallucinations which the child tends to have, especially of dead people.

The Sixth Sense is a movie that still finds a way to surprise the audience even after it seems that all its mysteries have been solved. It is simply a classic of the horror/thriller genre, and remains influential on modern cinema. Similar to films like The Prestige, The Sixth Sense is a great watch that I highly recommend.

9. American Psycho (2000)

Starring Christian Bale and also similar in terms of themes to movies like The Prestige, American Psycho is a film directed by Mary Harron and based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. The film stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and successful investment banker who is also a sadistic serial killer, or is he just imagining it all?

The film, although with a serious subject matter, tries its best to be a satire, acting as commentary on the excess and superficiality of the 1980s, which in turn rid people of their humanity. American Psycho is known for its dark humor, graphic violence, and Christian Bale’s portrayal of a sinister and charismatic serial killer.

Also Read: Movies like American Psycho

10. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Butterfly Effect tries to put into action the theory that small changes can make a huge difference in the universe and greatly affect the future. The main character Evan experiments with this theory by making changes to his past, which as expected have a huge impact on his present and his future.

The Butterfly Effect is a dark film which shows that we will all have to face the consequences of our actions no matter what, and we can’t just avoid them, making it similar to movies like The Prestige and many of the other movies on the list. Its nonlinear narrative structure adds to the sense of disorientation, and keeps the audience on edge throughout.

11. The Departed (2006)

The Departed is a crime thriller directed by Martin Scorsese, and features huge stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. The film is all about two moles trying to infiltrate opposing organizations. The movie tells us a lot about trust, deception and betrayal, even when it is done for good reasons.

Similar to films like The Prestige, The Departed is a great watch.. The Departed has a top-notch cast, expert direction, and a gripping storyline that makes it well suited for any fan of crime thrillers or mysteries like The Prestige.

12. Now You See Me (2013)

Now You See Me follows a group of illusionists who call themselves ‘The Four Horsemen’ who pull off a series of magical stunts with the aim of garnering as much acclaim and attention as possible, while they carry out their actual plan. The magic tricks are impressive and are not simply shoved into the plot, but rather made to flow quite well with it.

Similar to movies like The Prestige, the film’s plot twists and turns keep the audience engaged throughout, and the final reveal is both surprising and satisfying. Its likable cast and impressive set pieces make it an entertaining watch, while its underlying themes give the film some unexpected depth.

Also Read: Movies like Now You See Me

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few Movies like The Prestige that didn’t make the list that you can also check out:

  1. Triangle
  2. Sleight of Hand
  3.  Memento
  4. Identity

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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