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What To Watch On Netflix If You Love Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas has finally come to Netflix, and fans of the Wachowski Sisters' special blend of heady sci-fi craziness are rejoicing. The ridiculously ambitious film, with its all-star cast featuring the likes of Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, and many more, takes viewers on an odyssey from the 1800's to the far-flung future to explore how history shapes the present, and how the connections between individuals help to shape that history (at least that's what we got out of it). With each main cast member playing up to six distinct roles, it can be quite a task to get your head around the film's unbelievably dense narrative — but if you didn't like your movies challenging, you wouldn't be a fan of the Wachowskis.

Now that you've taken in Cloud Atlas — which we're assuming you have, or you probably wouldn't be here — you might be in the market for more trippy sci-fi that probes deep existential themes, while also delighting your eyeballs with crazy visuals. Well, as you might have gathered, we have a few flicks to share with you — brain-bending, awesome-looking, thematically rich movies that all happen to be available to watch right now on everybody's favorite streamer. Here's what to watch next on Netflix if you loved Cloud Atlas.

I Am Mother poses questions about the nature of humanity

I Am Mother is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller that doubles as a claustrophobic mystery, as from the beginning, the audience has reason to question whether everything they are being told is true. It opens in the aftermath of an extinction level event, which has triggered the activation of a bunker controlled by a robotic, humanoid AI named "Mother," whose purpose is to repopulate the Earth with humanity.

After this is established, the narrative takes us some time into the future, as Mother is now raising a teenage girl referred to only as "Daughter." The girl is understandably curious about the outside world, but her questions are discouraged by Mother, who says that contact with the outside will surely cause the bunker to be contaminated. As you might have guessed, though, Daughter eventually makes contact with a surface dweller, referred to as "Woman" (Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank). Woman has an interesting story to tell — one that gives Daughter cause to suspect that Mother might not exactly be telling the truth of their situation.

I Am Mother is well-acted, suspenseful, and expertly written. Its screenplay, the first feature-length effort from scribe Michael Lloyd Green, made the 2016 Black List. If you're looking for a movie that's a bit smaller in scope but still unafraid to ask big questions, you'll want to give it a watch.

Self/less is a heady thriller with strong visual style

Get ready to see Ryan Reynolds as you have (probably) never seen him before: keeping a straight face in a serious role. The 2015 sci-fi thriller Self/less sees Reynolds taking on the role of billionaire Damian Hale — although when we first meet Hale, he looks a heck of a lot more like Ben Kingsley. The aging Hale has received a cancer diagnosis, but fortunately for him, he lives in a future in which his consciousness can be transferred into an artificially engineered body.

Now looking much younger and a lot more Reynolds-y, Hale relocates to New Orleans to begin a new life. But soon, he's plagued by mysterious dreams — dreams which seem to suggest that his new body might not have been so artificially engineered after all.

We won't spoil all of the craziness that goes down in the movie's third act, but suffice to say that virtually nothing is as it seems. Reynolds and Kingsley anchor a strong cast that also includes Natalie Martinez (The Crossing), Matthew Goode (The Crown), Victor Garber (Alias), and Derek Luke (13 Reasons Why). The flick was directed by Tarsem Singh, an excellent visual stylist perhaps best-known for the 2000 horror flick The Cell — meaning that Self/less is never anything less than gorgeous to look at, and it sports a pretty awesome story, as well.

Minority Report explores the nature of free will

2002's Minority Report is a stone-cold sci-fi classic, and if you've never seen it — or if it's been awhile since your last viewing — then you'll probably be interested to know that it happens to be available on Netflix at the moment. Cinematic pedigrees don't get much more robust: based on a novel by visionary author Philip K. Dick, co-written by Logan scribe Scott Frank, and directed by some dude named Steven SpielbergMinority Report features Tom Cruise at the height of his movie star powers as John Anderton, the chief of an elite police unit which has enlisted the help of "precogs" — psychics who can see the future — in order to prevent crimes before they happen.

Problems arise when Anderton himself is implicated in a future crime by two of the three precogs, but the third produces a dissenting vision — a "minority report" — which indicates that Anderton may be able to head off this event. Blending elements of futuristic sci-fi, police procedurals, fugitive-on-the-run chase flicks, and even film noir, Minority Report remains one of Speilberg's most interesting films, which may have just a little to do with its source material. Other major movies adapted from Dick's work include Blade RunnerTotal Recall, The Adjustment Bureau, and A Scanner Darkly.

Jupiter Ascending is another full-strength dose of Wachowski weirdness

Finally, if you were dazzled by the splendid visuals and labyrinthine plot of Cloud Atlas, you'll definitely want to feast your eyes and brain on the Wachowskis' next feature: 2015's Jupiter Ascending, which is the sisters' take on a classic space opera. Just like Cloud AtlasJupiter bombed mightily at the box office — but, also like Cloud Atlas, it has cultivated a strong fan base in the years since its release thanks to its grandiose visual aesthetic, its totally bonkers story, and the Wachowskis' characteristically assured handling of the material.

The flick stars That '70s Show's Mila Kunis in a rare dramatic role as an ordinary cleaning lady by the name of Jupiter Jones who discovers that she might, in fact, be just as extraordinary as her name. This is due to the timely arrival of Caine, who is — how shall we put this — an intergalactic warrior who looks just like Channing Tatum, and who tells Jupiter that she is actually a space princess. She also happens to be the rightful ruler of Earth, and Caine's here to inform her that her presence is required to head off a conflict over a special serum, refined from the Great Red Spot of Jupiter's namesake planet, which grants the user eternal youth. Hey, we told you the story was bonkers.

Kunis and Tatum are supported by an excellent cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth, Gugu M'batha-Raw, and Doona Bae (who also starred in Cloud Atlas as well as the Wachowskis' late, lamented Netflix series Sense8). Jupiter Ascending is a wild, singular experience — and those who loved Cloud Atlas should find it to be right up their alley.