Movie: The Prestige (2006)
Writer: Christopher Priest (original novel); Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan (screenplay)
When he's not making superb Batman flicks, Christopher Nolan spends his time crafting intelligent and complex thrillers that never fail to leave our brains feeling like Silly Putty. And if you thought Inception's multi-layered action and ambiguous conclusion were mind-bashing enough, wait until you get a load of The Prestige, assuming you've yet to see it, of course.
Full of twists, turns, and identity tweaks, The Prestige packs a dense story that's tough to encapsulate in such a short space, but we'll give it the old college try: Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman) are dueling magicians carry out their dramatic lives under the sole guises of one-upping the other through dangerous, possibility-defying tricks, the greatest of which is a risky teleportation device that leaves a dead Angier in its wake after every use and, consequently, a new Angier clone to go on breathing.
The public thinks that one of the dead Angier's was killed by Borden, who's eventually hanged for the crime (after being framed by Angier). But then Borden's (previously unheard of) twin appears, shoots a shocked Angier, and sets his dying opponent's body ablaze in a room full of Angier-clone-filled water tanks. Convoluted encapsulation complete.