Are you searching for movies with a character who is the puppet master behind other characters' actions? We got you covered. Recently someone asked for these kind of movies in an online forum — here are the top picks!
1. Being John Malkovich (1999)
One man discovers how to enter the mind of John Malkovich through a portal. If you’re looking for movies where a puppet master is behind another character, this tops the list.
2. The Truman Show (1998)
Truman Burbank lives a “normal” life until he realizes he doesn't. His world crashes when he realizes he is living a reality show.
Who knew the show's plot would become mainstream, and we would start watching shows about people's lives (Hello, Keeping Up With the Kardashians)?
3. Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl is a book-to-movie adaptation, psychological thriller, and postmodern mystery. The plot follows a man (Ben Affleck) becoming the prime suspect in his wife's (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. It also stars Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry.
4. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Law Abiding Citizen is a vigilante action thriller that keeps your heart thumping. It follows a man (Gerard Butler) targeting the man who killed his family and all the people involved in the case in a corrupt criminal justice system. It also stars Jamie Foxx.
5. Fresh (1994)
Fresh is a crime drama story following a boy nicknamed Fresh (Sean Nelson), running drugs for gang members. His father (Samuel L. Jackson) is a master speed chess player and an unfortunate alcoholic who inspires him to do better. So he creates a plan to save himself and his crack-addicted sister from life in the New York City projects.
6. Paycheck (2003)
Paycheck is a science fiction action-packed film following a brilliant reverse engineer (Ben Affleck) for hire who cracks competitor secrets. After succeeding, he has his memory erased. So one day, he wakes up to various agencies chasing him but can't recall his last mission. He soon realizes he may hold the world's fate in his hands.
7. Saw (2004)
Saw is a psychological horror that's spawned nine additional films. The first one is original and captivates your attention. It centers around a notorious Jigsaw Killer who kidnaps people and puts them in life-or-death situations where the only way to survive is by inflicting immense pain upon themselves.
8. Snowpiecer (2013)
Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction action movie centering on a train carrying humanity's remnants after climate engineering to stop global warming fails. The Snowpiercer train travels the globe on an encircling track in a new Snowball Earth. Ultimately, the lower-class passengers and their leader (Chris Evans) rebel against the elite in the front of the train.
9. Monster Maker (1944)
The Monster Maker is a science-fiction horror story following a Mad scientist (J. Carrol Naish) obsessed with the daughter (Wanda McKay) of a concert pianist (Ralph Morgan). When the father attempts to keep him away, the doctor injects him with a serum causing grotesque distortions of his features. Then, the doctor proposes he will change the pianist back if he forces his daughter to marry him.
10. Needful Things (1993)
Needful Things is a horror film based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. It follows the devil in disguise (Max von Sydow) opening a shop in a small town called Needful Things.
The shop has something for everyone; all they need to do is pull a few nasty pranks. However, unbeknownst to them, they've sold their souls to the devil, and the pranks quickly escalate to murder. It stars Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, and J. T. Walsh.
11. Cruel Intentions (1999)
Cruel Intentions is a romantic drama following an unwitting virgin (Reese Witherspoon) that becomes the conquest end of a wager between wealthy prep school brats (Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar).
12. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate is a neo-noir psychological, political thriller following a platoon of U.S. soldiers brainwashed by communists and returning home. While one Sergeant is celebrated as a hero, the platoon commander and another soldier aren't convinced and race to unearth a deadly plot in a communist conspiracy. It stars Laurence Harvey, Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, and James Edwards.