10 movies like 'Tenet' you can watch on Netflix if you're worried about going to the theater

jsarkisian@businessinsider.com (Jacob Sarkisian)
·5 min read
GoldenEye, Inside Man, Extraction
If you don't want to risk going to the theater, these flicks are here to help.
  • Christopher Nolan's new movie "Tenet" hits theaters on August 12, but many people may still feel too nervous to watch it in a room full of people.

  • "Tenet" is about an intelligence agent tasked with saving the world from a villain with time-inverting technology.

  • Insider's review states that while the movie is a technical marvel, the movie is too confusing to keep up with and leaves you feeling uninvested in the stakes.

  • We've compiled a list of movies available to watch on Netflix, listed chronologically by year of release, that can fill the void of "Tenet" if you don't feel comfortable going to see it.

  • "Time Trap" and "See You Yesterday" are both clever movies that deal with time travel, while "GoldenEye" and "Inside Man" are solid spy action movies.

  • Meanwhile, "The Core" is a sci-fi thriller, which is usually a good way of describing every one of Nolan's movies, while "Extraction" is an action-fuelled romp with flashy set pieces.

  • Insider has many movie and TV show lists to keep you occupied. You can read them all here.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

'GoldenEye' (1995)

"GoldenEye" is directed by Martin Campbell.

"GoldenEye" is a classic spy movie featuring suave British gentleman Pierce Brosnan in his first outing as James Bond. 

"GoldenEye" sees Bond face off against Alex Trevelyan (played by another smooth Brit, Sean Bean), an old colleague presumed dead turned into arch nemesis.

Nolan's "Tenet," meanwhile, will also feature slick action set pieces, plus its own suave British gentleman in Robert Pattinson.

'The Core' (2003)

The Core
"The Core" is directed by Jon Amiel.

Like a couple of Nolan's movies, this one features a team of specialists banding together in order to save the world from a dire future, or certain destruction.

"The Core" follows a team of scientists who are faced with the unenviable task of drilling down into the center of the earth to set off several nuclear bombs in a desperate attempt to get the earth's core to rotate again after it has stopped.

The movie also features two Nolan alumni: Hilary Swank, who worked with Nolan on 2002's "Insomnia," and Aaron Eckhart, who starred as Harvey Dent/Two-Face in 2008's "The Dark Knight."

'Inside Man' (2006)

Inside Man
"Inside Man" is directed by Spike Lee.

Spike Lee's movie is an underrated, intelligent thriller starring Clive Owen and Denzel Washington. 

"Inside Man" follows a bank robber (Owen), whose heist becomes way more than that when he takes a hostage — leading to some tense negotiations between him and Washington's detective.

Washington's son, John David, stars in "Tenet," and also worked with Lee on 2018's "BlacKkKlansman."

'The Town' (2010)

The Town
"The Town" is directed by Ben Affleck.

Ben Affleck's second movie as a feature film director was a gripping thriller starring himself and Jeremy Renner. 

"The Town" follows a thief planning his next heist, but having doubts connected to a woman, his crew, and a dogged FBI agent.

"Tenet" will undoubtedly be very different, but there seems to be a heist-type quality to the trailer of the movie.

'Cloud Atlas' (2012)

Tom Hanks Cloud Atlas
"Cloud Atlas" is directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer.

"Cloud Atlas" is a mind-bending (and at points confusing) movie with a star-studded cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, and Hugh Grant. The intertwining narratives set in different times of the world demands you to keep up with the complex plot, as we're sure "Tenet" will, too.

'Time Trap' (2017)

Time Trap
"Time Trap" is directed by Mark Dennis and Ben Foster.

"Time Trap" is one of the weirder entries on this list. This movie follows a group of students searching for their professor and stumbling upon a strange cave that leads to some pretty trippy time and space distortion.

'The Cloverfield Paradox' (2018)

The Cloverfield Paradox
"The Cloverfield Paradox" is directed by Julius Onah.

This franchise grows stranger and stranger with every new movie, yet still remains pretty intriguing. "The Cloverfield Paradox" features an all-star cast including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, and Chris O'Dowd. 

It follows a space crew trying to solve Earth's energy crisis, but who end up causing the entire planet to disappear and must somehow find their way home.

'In the Shadow of the Moon' (2019)

In The Shadow of the Moon
"In The Shadow of the Moon" is directed by Jim Mickle.

Another trippy Netflix movie starring Boyd Holbrook (of "Logan" fame) and Michael C. Hall sees Holbrook as a determined and unravelling police officer who begins a lifelong obsession to track down a killer.

The murders are all pretty much unexplainable, and while occasionally gruesome, it will keep you as hooked on solving them as Holbrook's detective is.

'See You Yesterday' (2019)

See You Yesterday
"See You Yesterday" is directed by Stefon Bristol.

"See You Yesterday" is kind of a like a modern version of "Back to the Future." However, it's much more concerned with social issues, too.

A young scientist, who has invented time travel, tries to head back into the past to stop her brother's death at the hands of cops. But, inevitably, as with all time travel movies, this means she will have to face the potential consequences. It was produced by Spike Lee.

'Extraction' (2020)

"Extraction" is directed by Sam Hargrave.

"Extraction" is a well-made action thriller starring Chris Hemsworth. Its set pieces are slick, and its fight scenes expertly choreographed and thoroughly entertaining to watch. 

"Extraction" follows Hemsworth as a black ops mercenery tasked with tracking down the kidnapped son of a drug lord in Bangladesh.

"Tenet" is sure to have this expert level of stunt coordination, too, as Nolan's movies are always a cinematic spectacle.

To watch the movies on this list you'll need to sign up for a Netflix subscription. The basic plan costs $8.99 per month, while the standard plan costs $12.99 per month, and the premium plan costs $15.99 per month. (When you subscribe to a service through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners.)

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