One thing I’ve learned through studying Myers-Briggs® types and movie tastes is that so far everyone has a wide variety of favorites. After asking the INTJs for their top ten favorite movies, I ended up with a list of 539 movies. After tallying up all the responses, I’ve finally narrowed down a list of the top 25.
INTJs really enjoy movies that make them think – they are intellectuals after all and don’t merely watch films to be entertained. They want a movie that makes them do some mental gymnastics. When it came to laughs, INTJs preferred an intelligent, dark or offbeat comedy to anything slapstick or crude. Romances were hardly ever listed as favorites. Action movies could be enjoyed, but they had to have a complex storyline with a mentally complex idea behind it for it to be listed as a favorite. Overall, after tallying up the genres, these are the categories that came out on top:
INTJ Favorite Movie Genres:
1 – Mystery/Suspense
2 – Science Fiction/Fantasy
3 – Drama
4 – Dark/Off-Beat Comedy
5 – Action Adventure
Disclaimer: I did not choose the movies for this list. These movies were all chosen by INTJs. I’ve gotten some negative response to this list because for every 50 INTJs who love Wes Anderson or Stanley Kubrick, there will always be a couple who don’t. If you’re an INTJ, that does not mean you are guaranteed to love every single one of these movies. All this list shows is what the majority of INTJs prefer. Besides these 25 movies, there were 514 other movies that were listed as favorites.
#1 – Inception
Inception tells the story of Don Cobb, a ‘mind thief’ who has the ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets. His skill has put him in high-demand by the corporate espionage world, but it has also cost him the people he loves most. Cobb gets a chance to start over with his life if he can successfully plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will change everything – but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.
Why INTJs Love It:
INTJs love a complex movie that makes them think about the nature of reality and fantasy. Since INTJs are Ni-dominant, they rely very heavily on abstract thoughts, ideas, and patterns that aren’t entirely focused on the concrete, sensory world. Movies that have an element of fantasy, and ideas that are abstract, like Inception, strike a chord with these highly intuitive types. As one INTJ said, “Inception raises interesting questions about what matters in reality, or what about reality matters to people. It has an unusual villain/antagonist in that she is really just a manifestation of another’s pain/guilt (almost like “Forbidden Planet.”) It asks a slightly different question in the end than what the viewer was likely expecting.”
#2 – The Lord of the Rings Series
The Lord of the Rings follows the adventures of Hobbits, Men, Elves and more as they try to destroy the One Ring, which had been lost for centuries, and is now being hunted by evil forces from Mordor. It’s up to Frodo Baggins and his friends to destroy the ring, fight evil and defeat the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.
Why INTJs Love It: J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, created an incredible world full of beauty, magic and intrigue. Tolkien was also an intuitive personality type, and intuitives seem to be drawn to these fantastical worlds and the element of fantasy itself. Many believe that Lord Elrond, the elvish ruler, is an INTJ figure in the story.
#3 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey tells a story of evolution. When a large black monolith is discovered beneath the surface of the moon, the world believes it was left there on purpose. Later, in the year 2001, the S.S. Discovery and its crew, Captains Dave Bowman, Frank Poole, and their onboard computer, HAL 9000, must discover what alien force is watching Earth.
Why INTJs Love It: Stanley Kubrick was continually mentioned as a favorite director by INTJs. INTJCentral.com lists him as an INTJ, while CelebrityTypes.com lists him as an ISTP. Whatever the case, INTJs love his movies and seem to have a thorough enjoyment of science fiction. Possibly this has to do with the future-oriented mindset of INTJs, and how they like to imagine what the future could hold given various developments and advances in science. Of course, there are some INTJs who aren’t fond of science fiction, but the majority mentioned it as a favorite genre.
#4 – Batman: The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight is a gripping story that follows the efforts of Batman and Lieutenant Jim Gordon as they set out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. While their partnership proves to be effective, they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the citizens of Gotham as The Joker.
Why INTJs Love It: Christopher Nolan’s Bruce Wayne is an INTJ, and perhaps that’s why many INTJs love the Batman movies. Batman: The Dark Knight is smarter and darker than many of today’s superhero movies, and features a complex storyline that keeps you on your toes and constantly guessing about what will happen next.
#5 – A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange tells the story of Britan in the future. A gang of “droogs” rampage the streets at night committing horrendous and violent crimes. Alex DeLarge, the leader, gets caught and has to serve 14 years in prison. There he volunteers as a test subject for a new aversion therapy proposed by the government to make room in prisons for political prisoners. “Cured” of his hooliganism and released, he is dismissed by his friends and relatives. He hates violence now, but the rest of his gang members are still after him.
Why INTJs Love It: A Clockwork Orange deals with intense, controversial subjects like moral relativitism, free will versus determinism, and authoritarianism versus libertarianism. The questions raised about these ideas engage the intuitive mind and keep them thinking long after the movie is over. Again, Stanley Kubrick directed this, and since he was often mentioned as an INTJ favorite, his touch may be a big reason why INTJs often loved this movie.
#6 – The Star Wars Original Series
Star Wars is an epic masterpiece of cinema – telling the story of good versus evil in the unforgettable way only Sci-Fi can. Star Wars follows young Luke Skywalker as he joins forces with a Jedi knight, a reckless pilot, a wookee and two droids on an adventure to save the universe from the Empire’s evil forces.
Why INTJs Love It: Star Wars will probably be a favorite among many personality types, but I think what each type appreciates about it is different. INTJs love the complex, fantastical world created in Star Wars and enjoy how many of the problems can be faced by mastering an unseen, spiritual defense or attack called “the force” instead of merely tactical weaponry.
#7 – Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction tells four stories that are interwoven into one intense, thrilling mystery. The story follows Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, two thieves who, while dining at a coffee shop, decide that the best thing to do is to rob it. Vincent and Jules, two hit men working for mob kingpin Marcellus Wallace, are sent to retrieve a very special and very mysterious briefcase for their boss. Butch Coolidge is an aging prizefighter who is being paid to “take a dive”, but instead, accidentally kills his opponent. These four seemingly unrelated stories come together in one gripping tale.
Why INTJs Love It: Quentin Tarantino was mentioned as a favorite by many INTJs. Pulp Fiction has a non-linear storyline, and intuitives often don’t think in a linear fashion. Where sensors prefer an A to B to C approach in storytelling, intuitives are often intrigued by a storyline that goes from A to G to E to B, etc,.. This non-linear, mysterious type of story is a delight for many INTJs who like something more complex yet quirkily comedic to keep their minds engaged.
#8 – Memento
Memento tells the story of Leonard, an insurance investigator who has lost his short-term memory but is determined to find the murderer of his wife. In order to maintain his search, he takes polaroids and tattoos important facts on his body. The film goes back in time to reveal each little bit of the puzzle as he tries to find out the person who killed his wife. In the process, the audience gets caught up in the same confusing puzzle – becoming just as confused as Leonard is.
Why INTJs Love It: Memento is a mystery that unfolds in a non-linear fashion, keeping you guessing and trying to piece together clues. This type of storytelling captures how the Ni-dominant mind often works – pulling bits of information from many different sources and trying to piece it all together into one complete picture. One INTJ I know said this about memento, “it’s a mind challenging movie and I love this sort of movie. It makes you think and rethink to understand it, even when it’s finished. To conclude, I think that I love all movies that have a twist, and need some kind of intelligence to be understood.”
#9 – The Big Lebowski
There are two men named Jeffrey Lebowski. One is a multi-millionaire and one is a lazy, pot-smoking hippie named “The Dude”. Their paths cross when two thugs confront “the Dude”, thinking he’s the multi-millionaire who’s wife owes their boss a debt. They try to intimidate him to get him to pay the debt owed, and end up ruining his favorite rug. The Dude, wanting payback for his now destroyed rug, seeks out the millionaire Lebowski. What follows is a tale of intrigue, kidnapping, comedy and White Russians.
Why INTJs Love It: INTJs repeatedly mentioned how much they loved Joel and Ethan Coen’s movies, and The Big Lebowski came out on top. This movie is just the type of offbeat comedy that keeps an INTJ entertained. Many typologists even believe that Maude Lebowski is an INTJ character.
#10 – The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is wrongly convicted of a double-homicide he didn’t commit. After he is sentenced to life in prison, he befriends Red, the prison “entrepreneur”. Together, they form an unlikely bond and Andy proves that no chains or cell doors can imprison the power of the mind.
Why INTJs Love It: The Shawshank Redemption is full of deep, well-developed characters that draw you into their story. While Andy and Red may be held behind bars, they fight to keep their minds free, and with that freedom they are able to find happiness and liberation. This mental freedom, and the ingenuity of Andy DuFresne, are sure to captivate an INTJ audience.
#11 – The Prestige
The Prestige is set in London in the 1800’s. It follows the lives of two rival magicians who come across each others diaries which contain the secrets of their magic tricks and their personal lives. We follow them back in time to when their diaries were written, and both magicians become obsessed with their rival’s best trick. The tricks, as shown to the audience, look the same, but neither magician can figure out how his opponent does it.
Why INTJs Love It: The mystery and creativity of the magicians in this story will intrigue many INTJs. Alfred Borden, Christian Bale’s character in the movie is an INTJ, and this may also make the film more enjoyable for an INTJ audience. As one INTJ stated, “I loved the themes of illusion, obsession and secrecy within the film and loved the notion of devoting everything to your art. The lengths at which Borden and Angier went to be the best magician were incredible and made for an incredibly intense and passionate film.”
#12 – Fight Club
Fight Club follows the life of a depressed office worker who suffers from insomnia and a nagging feeling of emptiness in his daily life. He meets the reckless, devil-may-care Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who takes him under his wing and together they start an underground fight club for men who are fed up with their mundane lives. However, this club evolves and becomes much more sinister than our main character ever dreamed.
Why INTJs Love It: INTJs often feel ill at ease in a world that is largely focused on obtaining more and more material possessions. While they usually do well in the corporate world, the INTJ often has more of an intellectual goal in life and feels stifled by a world that focuses highly on sensory and material aspects. Fight Club deals with the issue of men trying to find their true purpose in life…a purpose that doesn’t involve IKEA home furniture, having the perfect hairline, or driving the perfect car. It’s about self-actualization through self-acceptance, and re-thinking your purpose in life.
#13 – V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta is set in the future in Britain after a World War. Tyrrany and oppression are the new norm, and freedom fighter “V” plots to overthrow this tyrrany with the help of a young woman named Evey.
V for Vendetta is the epic story of fighting terror with terror.
Why INTJs Love It: It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie, and since I’m an INFJ I may have a hard time explaining why INTJs are drawn to this movie. I’ll let INTJ Justin Honse, explain: “V for Vendetta is a great film because of how it gets us to align with a terrorist, essentially – the anti-hero, V. And the audience, just like Natalie Portman’s character Evey, slowly starts to see the power of a corrupt government from his perspective, and blurs the lines between what is right and wrong, until we are firmly on his side, despite his murderous rampages and terroristic plot.”
#14 – Alien
Alien follows a commercial crew aboard the deep space towing vessel, Nostromo. They are on their way home when they pick an SOS warning from a distant planet. What they don’t know is that the SOS warning is not like any other ordinary warning call. Picking up the signal, the crew realizes that they are not alone and that there is an alien stowaway hiding on the cargo ship.
Why INTJs Love It: Sci-Fi movies are great for thinking people who want to explore the possibilities of the universe or the future. Alien is a welcome treat for INTJs who often delight in exploring these kinds of possibilities. Ellen Ripley is also believed to be a great example of an INTJ heroine.
#15 – The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline. They have three children who are all extraordinary geniuses. Tenenbaum and his wife separate and after two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums is forgotten. When Royal’s estranged wife becomes engaged to a new man after twenty years of separation, Royal devises a scheme to get his whole family back together again.
Why INTJs Love It: Wes Anderson’s films were a perennial favorite among INTJs who love his offbeat, dry sense of humor and intricate storylines. All of his movies were listed as favorites, but The Royal Tenenbaums got by far the most votes.
#16 – Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko feels out of place among his family and his peers. On top of his isolation and depression, Donnie Darko is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him into committing a series of crimes – through these visions, he learns that the world will soon be coming to an end. Seeking answers, Donnie investigates time travel in an attempt to turn back the clock and prevent the world’s seemingly impending doom… actions which cause bizarre and life-changing results.
Why INTJs Love It: Donnie Darko is another one of those movies that doesn’t follow a linear story pattern. It’s mysterious, complex, and keeps you guessing about its real meaning. As one INTJ stated, “this is one of those lovely movie experiences that forces you to let go of the notion that movie = graspable plot.” Donnie Darko is thought-provoking, subtle, and focuses on Donnie’s struggle with schizophrenia and the question “would the world be better without me?”. One INTJ said that Donnie Darko is a great example of an “INTJ comfort film”.
#17 – Blade Runner
Blade Runner tells the story of Rick Deckard, a policeman of the future who hunts down and terminates replicants – artificially created humans. Although he wants to leave the force, he’s drawn back in when 4 replicants hijack a ship back to earth. While searching for the replicants, Rick is faced with a huge, sprawling, bleak vision of the future. Blade Runner questions what it is to be human, and why every life is so significant.
Why INTJs Love It: Blade Runner is an abstract science fiction masterpiece that engages the imagination and possibility-focused mind of the INTJ. John Olsen, an INTJ, said: ” I think Blade Runner interests me because the story of Rick Deckard’s Fi vs. Ni struggle and how it develops personally resonates with me.”
#18 – American Beauty
American Beauty follows the lives of suburban couple Lester and Carolyn Burnham. On the outside, these two have it all – a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally breaks when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter’s friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a deep friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.
Why INTJs Love It: American Beauty is full of complex people with deep-seated issues that need to be resolved. This film points a finger at American materialism, greed, and the pressure to “fit in”. Like Fight Club, American Beauty points to there being more to life than the quest to obtain wealth and to blend in with society. For the imaginative, intellectual INTJs, this type of story often resonates with them.
#19 – The Princess Bride
This fairy tale adventure tells the story of beautiful, young Buttercup and her one true love, Wesley. After a long separation, Buttercup is forcibly engaged to the evil Prince Humperdink. In Wesley’s attempts to save her, he must battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with her. Based on the William Goldman novel “The Princess Bride” which earned its own loyal audience.
Why INTJs Love It: INTJs love the dry, offbeat sense of humor scattered throughout The Princess Bride and enjoy the verbal sparring between characters. A few INTJs also mentioned that they appreciated that the movie didn’t take itself too seriously. Many even believe that Westley, the main hero, is an INTJ.
#20 – No Country for Old Men
Llewelyn Moss comes across an unexpected fortune when he finds $2 million in the desert where a drug deal has gone wrong. Thinking this is his way to a better life, he takes the money but soon finds himself on the run with a deadly killer looking for him. This killer, Anton Chigurh, has a unique murder weapon at his disposal. Throughout the story, soon to be retired Sheriff Ed Tom Bell attempts to convince Moss, mostly through his wife Carla Jean, that he should turn the money over to the authorities or everything could end in tragedy.
Why INTJs Love It: Joel and Ethan Coen are perennial favorites among INTJs, who enjoy their offbeat, complex stories. INTJ Justin Honse says: “No Country for Old Men sounds like it should be a formulaic suspense-type movie, but it’s in its own category. I went with a group of my friends for a “guy’s night”, and it actually spawned great conversation between about 8 of us in the parking lot for a good hour afterward. The Coen Brothers found evil incarnate in Javier Bardem’s character, and it keeps you wondering what the role of fate and chance are in life. Not just with the coin-flipping scene – but with virtually every scene in the film.”
#21 – Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice tells the story of the five Bennet sisters, who have spent the entirity of their lives being told to marry rich husbands so that they can support their family. They are not from the upper class, and their house in Hertfordshire will be inherited by a distant cousin if Mr. Bennet dies. When the wealthy bachelor Mr. Bingley and his best friend Mr. Darcy arrive in town for the summer, the shy and beautiful Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley, and Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy a snobbish and proud man, and she swears to loathe him forever.
Why INTJs Love It: Pride and Prejudice is the ONLY romance that made the top 25 for INTJs. In fact, in the entire list of 539 mentioned favorites, there were only a few romances listed. Many INTJs are able to connect with and enjoy Mr. Darcy’s character since he is an INTJ. This may play a part in why this movie is such a popular choice. It’s also quite a bit smarter than most romances and captures beautifully the atmosphere of the early nineteenth century.
#22 – The Social Network
One fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer to work out a new idea that will forever change the way we communicate. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network that takes the world by storm. Six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but his success leads to both personal and legal complications.
Why INTJs Love It: The Social Network captures the cunning intelligence of Mark Zuckerberg, whom many believe to be an INTJ. The film brilliantly captures how Facebook has made us a nation of narcissists, and how it’s re-shaped who we are. It’s a smart, funny, absorbing movie that will make you think about how social networking may have affected your own life.
#23 – The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs tells the gripping story of Clarice Starling, a young intelligent FBI trainee who has been sent to the Baltimore state hospital for the criminally insane to interview inmate Dr. Hannibal-the cannibal- Lecter. Once a brilliant psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter transformed into an infamous psycopathic serial killer. She must match wits with Lecter and trust him to give her clues in the search for “Buffalo Bill”, a nickname for another killer who is murdering young women across the Midwest.
Why INTJs Love It: The blog Zombies Ruin Everything captured it perfectly when they said “It’s pretty rare to get more than one INTJ in the same room, in real life or fiction. The so-called “1%” is normally the type pulling the strings behind the scenes and is foiled by the film’s end. Here, we get an INTJ as the protagonist and supporting role.” See more here. One of the reasons that INTJs may particularly enjoy The Silence of the Lambs is that it features two INTJs. It’s also a smart, compelling, edge-of-your-seat mystery/thriller that will keep the NT mind engaged.
#24 – Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Dr. Strangelove tells the story of U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper, a once brilliant general who has now gone completely mad. Without warning, he sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. with a hydrogen bomb. He believes that the communists are conspiring to pollute “the precious bodily fluids” of the American people. The U.S. president meets with his advisors, where the Soviet ambassador tells him that if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a “Doomsday Machine” which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth. Will the bombers be stopped in time? Or will General Jack Ripper succeed in destroying the world?
Why INTJs Love It: Another Stanley Kubrick movie, Dr. Strangelove captures in a satirical way the fear left in the world following WWII. This movie is offbeat, dark, and cynical – with incredible performances by Peter Sellers, who played three parts in the movie.
#25 – There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood tells the story of oil prospector Daniel Plainview and his destructive obsession with money. When Plainview is given information about a possibility of finding oil in Little Boston, California, he travels there and immediately tries to buy all the land he can. He smooth-talks the locals into selling by promising to build roads, schools and churches. He has no intention of doing so, of course. His only purpose is to make money. Over the course of his endeavors, men die, the locals get nothing, and Plainview gets wealthy. In his life he makes few friends and many enemies and eventually even his adopted son H.W. is alienated.
Why INTJs Love It: Having not seen this movie myself, I’m going to let INTJ Justin Honse explain what he loved about it:”I loved There Will Be Blood, not only because of Daniel Day-Lewis’s astounding performance, but for how it captures his character’s descent into madness over chasing money his entire life. The last scene encapsulates where he ended up perfectly.”
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree with this list? What are your favorite movies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!