The Netflix film God’s Crooked Lines is a 1979 Spanish psychological suspense mystery film set in a mental institution. Directed by Oriol Paulo, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Torcuato Luca de Tena. In the film, Alice Gould is committed to a psychiatric institution under the guise of a mentally ill person. Alice is a private investigator who wants to solve the alleged murder of a former patient.
As the story progresses, she realizes that her own credibility as a private investigator is in question because of her potentially unstable mind. Alice sets out to prove her sanity, only to uncover dark conspiracies that will soon determine her fate. God’s Crooked Lines is a gripping film that contains several classic tropes of the psychological thriller genre. But he also has philosophical and spiritual facets that add more layers to the story. If you’re into stories like this, we’ve put together a list of movies for you. You can watch most of these God’s Crooked Lines-like movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Secret Window (2004)
Based on Stephen King’s novella Secret Window, Secret Garden, Secret Window is a mystery thriller directed by David Koepp. In the film, Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) retreats to a secluded cottage while struggling with the ongoing divorce proceedings to find peace. But his plans to find peace are disrupted by a stalker who accuses Mort of plagiarizing his work.
‘Secret Window’ and ‘God’s Crooked Lines’ have different voices and depict mental illness. The former has undertones of satire and dark humor, while the latter is serious and attempts to make a statement about people suffering from disorders. In a way, David Koepp’s directorial work seems comparable to The Machinist, as the two main characters are pursued by men they don’t know. Directed by Oriol Paulo, Alice carries a certain level of confidence that we see in Mort Rainey. We see both characters confident about what they see and know, but occasionally questioning themselves, creating uncertainty and intrigue in audiences.
7. Black Swan (2010)
Black Swan by Darren Aronofsky is a psychological drama that depicts a ballerina’s quest for perfection in her art form. Although Black Swan and God’s Crooked Lines differ greatly in terms of premise, they do have one thing in common when it comes to the portrayal of mental illness. Nina’s desire to get the lead in a musical turns into a slow descent into insanity.
The way Nina (Natalie Portman) spirals down is reminiscent of how Alice seems to lose herself when confronted with certain facts. While Nina’s goal is to play the lead role, Alice’s goal is to get out of the asylum while ensuring that she is seen as sane. Additionally, both films use symbolism to represent concepts such as narcissism and obsession, adding significant depth to the stories.
6. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
‘Jacob’s Ladder’ is a fascinating case study of what happens to war veterans and soldiers suffering from extreme PTSD. Directed by Adrian Lyne, the film follows Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) as he mourns the loss of his child while trying to overcome his severe dissociation.
The psychological horror film has eerie elements that send shivers down the viewer’s spine. In God’s Crooked Lines, Alice’s struggles to understand what is real and what isn’t seem like a heavily diluted version of what Jacob is going through. We also see subtle signs of extreme paranoia on Alice’s face, reminiscent of Jacob’s. Another facet that connects these films is the authentic portrayal of paranoia. The innate realism in the depiction of the disease captures the attention of the audience, who can empathize with the characters.
5. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
‘A Beautiful Mind’ is a biographical drama about mathematics Nobel laureate John Nash (Russell Crowe) and his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. Directed by Ron Howard, the film is based on Sylvia Nassar’s biography of the same name. Unlike God’s Crooked Lines, A Beautiful Mind tells the entire life of John Nash rather than focusing on a specific part.
But both films, in their own way, portray mental illness with the greatest possible authenticity and respect. On the one hand, Ron Howard’s direction is about life with schizophrenia, on the other hand, Oriol Paulo’s film adaptation sheds light on how therapy and psychiatry worked back in 1979. In addition, some scenes in which Alice Gould tries to understand what is happening around her are reminiscent of John Nash trying to distinguish between reality and imagination. Although both films belong to different genres, they captivate the audience and keep them engaged until the end.
4. Identity (2003)
‘Identity’ is a horror thriller loosely inspired by Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None.’ Directed by James Mangold, the story follows a group of 10 strangers who are stuck in a motel because a storm is raging outside. Chaos ensues as one by one dies and the survivors begin to turn against each other. One of the intriguing aspects of Identity is the storytelling style, which is similar to God’s Crooked Lines.
The chronology of events plays an important role in understanding the story unfolding before the viewer’s eyes. The James Mangold direction combines the classic whodunnit format with a mental disorder and uses it to heighten the film’s enigmatic nature. God’s Crooked Lines seems to follow a similar narrative style, with the disease and its explanation driving the plot forward.
3. Fight Club (1999)
‘Fight Club’ is one of the most fascinating psychodramas that has now achieved cult status. Directed by Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s book of the same name, David Fincher follows an insomniac who forms an underground fight club with Tyler. But what begins as a harmless activity turns a lot darker.
Although the David Fincher directing and God’s Crooked Lines focus on different mental disorders, both share similar narrative patterns. The story seems to be going in a certain direction, and just when the viewer thinks they know what’s going to happen, they witness a twist. Another common aspect of both films is the fact that the main characters seem to believe in one goal until their true nature is revealed.
2. The Machinist (2004)
The film The Machinist is widely known for Christian Bale’s body transformation and how skinny he got for the role. But the film, directed by Brad Anderson, is a profound portrayal of mental disorders. The film revolves around Trevor Reznik, an insomniac who is being pursued by a man who is only visible to him everywhere. As the film progresses, Trevor grows thinner and thinner until he finds the truth behind his condition and seemingly almighty figure.
Although Trevor in The Machinist is very different from Alice in God’s Crooked Lines, both characters leave the viewer wondering what is real and what is not. The two main characters have unique quirks and traits that the audience tries to understand and come to a conclusion. Trevor and Alice immerse us in the film in a way, letting us search for answers as the story progresses.
1. Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese, is based on Dennis Lehane’s book of the same name. The film is arguably one of the best psychological thrillers of the last two decades. God’s Crooked Lines is similar to Martin Scorsese’s directing in several ways. In the latter, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a police inspector who breaks into a mental institution to investigate an alleged crime. In the first film, Alice is a private investigator who checks herself into a medical facility to solve the death of a former patient.
Both characters exhibit odd behavior that makes the others in the story question their sanity. In addition, dr. John Cawley’s (Ben Kingsley) unconventional way of treating patients, comparable to Dr. Samuel Alvar’s reforms in his institution. Overall, the two films have a lot in common, also in tonality and storytelling.