Movies recommended in the book Brain Changer by David DiSalvo


Jedi Council Member
Since there was a topic about the book called "Brain Changer - How Harnessing you Brain's Power to Adapt can Change your Life", I wanted to make a thread here with the movies listed as recommended in this book. But firstly I would like to also share one of the tools(to enhance thinking and catalyze action) called:
Tool 24. Begin an Enriching Routine of Reading Challenging Literature and Watching Challenging Movies
A truly good book...teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down and commence living on its hint....What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.(Henry David Thoreau)
"...when you read challenging fiction or watch well-made movies, the messages are received more powerfully, because they aren't delivered with an intellectual syringe-they move you both intellectually and emotionally. It is useful to engage this tool as part of your "routine"-in the best sense of the word. Make it a regular part of your day; particularly reading, since you can read during lunch breaks, before work, after work, before bed, or whenever you can make time.

The recommended movies are:
- Adaptation(2002), director Spike Jonze
A love-lorn script writer grows increasingly desperate in his quest to adapt the book 'The Orchid Thief'.

- Barcelona(1994), director Whit Stillman
Ted, a stuffy white guy from Illinois working in sales for the Barcelona office of a US corporation, is paid an unexpected visit by his somewhat less stuffy cousin Fred, who is an officer in the US Navy. Over the next few months, both their lives are irrevocably altered by the events which follow Fred's arrival, events which are the trivial stuff of a comedy of manners at first but which gradually grow increasingly dramatic.

- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly(2007), director Julian Schnabel
The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

- Factotum(2005), director Bent Hamer
This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.

- The Grey(2011), director Joe Carnahan
After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.

- The Insider(1999), director Michael Mann
A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

- The Salton Sea(2002), director D.J. Caruso
After his wife is murdered, a man drifts into a world populated by thugs and speed junkies.

- The Spanish Prisoner(1997), director David Mamet
An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

- There Will Be Blood(2007), director Paul Thomas Anderson
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

- Vanilla Sky(2001), director Cameron Crowe
A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover.

- American Beauty(1999), director Sam Mendes
Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation for his daughter's attractive friend.

- As Good As It Gets(1997), director James L. Brooks
A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is in an accident.

- The Big Kahuna(2000), director John Swanbeck
Two veteran salesman dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protege.

- Brazil(1985), director Terry Gilliam
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.

- Citizen Kane(1941), director Orson Welles
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

- The English Patient(1996), director Anthony Minghella
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(2004), director Michel Gondry
A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

- Eyes Wide Shut(1999), director Stanley Kubrick
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

- Fight Club(1999), director David Fincher
An insomniac office worker looking for a way to change his life crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more...

- The Fisher King(1991), director Terry Gilliam
A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

- Girl, Interrupted(1999), director James Mangold
Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

- Good Will Hunting(1997), director Gus Van Sant
Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

- Heavenly Creatures(1994), director Peter Jackson
Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

- A History of Violence(2005), director David Cronenberg
A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

- Kumare(2011), director Vikram Gandhi
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

- The Life of David Gale(2003), director Alan Parker
A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

- Lost in Translation(2003), director Sofia Coppola
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

- 127 Hours(2010), director Danny Boyle
A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

- On the Waterfront(1954), director Elia Kazan
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

- The Others(2001), director Alejandro Amenabar
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

- The Perks of Being a Wallflower(2012), director Stephen Chbosky
An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

- Pontypool(2009), director Bruce McDonald
A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

- The Reader(2009), director Stephen Daldry
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

- The Sea Inside(2004), director Alejandro Amenabar
The real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

- The Shawshank Redemption(1994), director Frank Darabont
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

- Taxi Driver(1976), director Martin Scorsese
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

- 12 Monkeys(1995), director Terry Gilliam
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

- Up(2009), directors Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years younger, inadvertently becomes a stowaway.

- The Usual Suspects(1995), director Bryan Singer
A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup.

- Warrior(2011), director Gavin O'Connor
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.

Hope it will be useful for someone here!


Jedi Council Member
Thanks edgitarra. I've watched some of these movies, but I'll be checking out the ones I haven't.


Dagobah Resident
Paddyjohn said:
Thanks edgitarra. I've watched some of these movies, but I'll be checking out the ones I haven't.

Yeah, me too. I've seen a lot on that list, but I'll go over them again in light of those recommendations. Currently, the best on that list for me are "There Will be Blood", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Vanilla Sky", "Girl, Interrupted", "Good Will Hunting" & "The Shawshank Redemption." The others that I've seen are good to, but these ones I found particularly powerful. My thanks as well. :)
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