The best movies about identity


Identity is such a broad and vague concept, that when compiling this list of films we found many that we could have included. But we wanted to focus on movies that include themes of identity crisis, and that make you question your own identity. It's such a popular topic to explore within film that unsurprisingly, some of the best movies ever made are about identity. Let's get into the list:

Shutter Island (2010)

In Scorsese's 'Shutter Island', DiCaprio plays a mentally scarred detective who heads to an asylum on an island to investigate a murder. However, it turns out that this detective might be a little more familiar with this asylum than we first expect. The film blurs the line between what is real and what is not, and explores the identity of DiCaprio's character. We love it and think it is one of Scorsese's best, definitely check it out. You can stream this movie via Netflix.

Enemy (2013)

Denis Villeneuve is known for his intelligent films, and Enemy is no exception. A man spots his lookalike, but throughout the runtime, the film doesn't tell the viewer which man is which. This movie explores the theme of duality and identity, and is both fascinating and entertaining. Plus, there is a great performance from Gyllenhaal at the heart of the film. You can stream this movie via Kanopy.

Fight Club (1999)

A sleep-derived man in a corporate job decides to join an underground fight club run by a soap salesman - it might not sound like a movie about identity, but it's actually one of the best to ever explore the topic. The protagonist is suffering from lack of sleep and anxiety, which leads him to invent a life outside of his corporate job. His identity is completely lost the song at the end completely sums up the theme of the film, 'Where is my mind?' by Pixies.

Under The Skin (2013)

Scarlett Johansson plays a mysterious woman that picks up men and lures them to an unknown location. She has no emotions and doesn't appear to be human, and it is her journey of self-discovery that runs throughout the movie. She is trying to come to terms with her own identity throughout the movie.

Split (2016)

Split is about, you guessed it, split identities. James McAvoy plays Kevin, a man with 23 different personalities. The film explores each of his identities as he tries to wrestle with himself to keep his most violent and dangerous identity at bay. It's a great movie and the performance from McAvoy is wonderful.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

No list like this would be complete without a mention of The Bourne Identity, possibly the first film you think of when you think of movies about identity. A man wakes up with no idea who he is, all that he knows is that he can fight well, can speak multiple languages, and has a range of lethal skills. The movie is all about the main character trying to figure out who he really is, so it is absolutely about identity.