Hot nihilism. That’s the best way to describe the general Gen X aesthetic, and few flicks encapsulate the feeling more than Fight Club, the iconic 1999 David Fincher-directed ode to giving zero f-bombs and looking fantastic doing it. But it’s not alone! There are tons of movies like Fight Club for when you’re in the mood to reject the superficial absurdity of modern life. And while it’s not quite as action-heavy as movies like John Wick, a psychological thriller like Shutter Island, or a runaway mystery like Gone Girl, it does hold elements of all three.
Starring Generation X-er royalty Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, the cult classic follows a corporate drone through chronic, crippling insomnia. We see the explosion of all his carefully collected and curated things and his twisted transformation into the tough-guy leader of a group of dudes who reclaim their animal masculinity by beating the snot out of each other. Fight Club is both an important and entertaining film for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is Helena Bonham Carter’s relatable hot mess performance as love interest Marla Singer, who, you know, needs a bath, but somehow makes it work.
The entire movie is about embracing the dirty underbelly of life and even suggests that’s where life itself is best lived. Life shouldn’t be about sterile cubicles and tidy apartments, they argue; movies like Fight Club are begging the audience to see how futile trying to maintain order in a chaotic world really is. If you’ve ever asked yourself what is the point of life, this movie will bring up those existential queries all over again.
Here, we’ve collected a list of movies like Fight Club that try to obliterate the banality of existence by indulging in destructive forces, each with its own varying degrees of success. So whether the hero wants to blow up credit bureaus, escape the corporate hamster wheel, solve a crime or commit one, there’s a movie steeped in the same steamy hot nihilism movies like Fight Club are all about.
Movies Like Fight Club
To pay for his mother’s hospital bills, Victor, who works at a theme park decides to fake choke on food in restaurants, prompting someone to “save” his life. He uses that introduction to con them out of money. Is he a victim of his mother’s illness deserving of sympathy or just a terrible human being? Maybe it’s both.
Office Space (1999)
Flair, hypnosis, and a desperation to escape his Initech cube lead Peter Gibbons to pull off a caper so he never has to work again. He, along with his coworkers plant a software virus to steal money from the company and it all goes horribly wrong and hilarity ensues. The entire movie follows Peter as he navigates moral and emotional dilemmas to try and figure out what he really wants from life. Spoiler: it’s Jennifer Aniston who plays Joanna.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
This classic crime thriller is stuffed full of stars playing a collection of crooks trying to pull off a huge caper. It’s hard to know who to root for and no matter who you pick, you’re probably wrong. Turns out, maybe there is some honor among thieves and morality is more complicated than it seems.
Every Gen-X girl’s dream boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb in this sci-fi thriller where he travels into the dreams of powerful people to steal their corporate secrets. When he’s given the job to do the opposite and plant an idea in someone’s head he takes the challenge and the chain reaction which follows will test all of his skills.
The Matrix (1999)
Truly a generational touchstone film, the Matrix drops any pretense and just tells the audience everything around them is manufactured BS, in a masterful stroke of storytelling. Keanu Reeves plays hacker Neo who is recruited to help the human rebellion against the machines.
A ragtag group of junkies and questionable characters in Edinburg is led by Mark Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, who attempts to kick his heroin habit despite the strain it puts on his relationships with his friends. What kind of future does he want? And is a house and insurance really better?
Other Movies Like Fight Club
- Donnie Darko
- Pulp Fiction
- The Game
- The Machinist
- Lost Highway
- American Psycho
- Eyes Wide Shut
- A Simple Plan
- Vanilla Sky
- Requiem for a Dream
- The Departed
- V for Vendetta
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