As an INFJ, one of the things I like to do for fun is to study patterns in human behavior and human interests. Recently I decided it would be really interesting to see if there are any common themes that different Myers-Briggs® personalities prefer in movies. I decided to start with the INFJs. I asked other INFJs for their top ten favorite movies, and I got over 781 responses on facebook groups, forums, and email. After sorting through them all, I was able to make a list of the 25 highest-ranked favorites.
Here’s what I found out: INFJs have very eclectic taste, but out of all the genres, they seem to have very obvious favorites.
INFJ Favorite Movie Genres:
1 – Dramas
2 – Epic fantasies
3 – Psychological thrillers
4 – Family movies
5 – Romances
While INFJs can enjoy a good action movie or comedy as well, most INFJs wanted a deeper emotional context for the movie to be enjoyable. Shoot-em-up action blockbusters or crude comedies rarely came up as preferred films – and neither did slasher horror flicks, although a good psychological horror movie was often enjoyed.
So without further ado, here are the top 25 favorite movies as voted for by INFJs.
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#1 – Amelie
Amelie is a comedy-drama that follows the life of a young Parisian girl who has lived a rather solitary, quiet existence. She has an incredible imagination and wants to know what the meaning of life is and how to find happiness (sound familiar, INFJs?) After returning a long-lost childhood treasure to a former occupant of her apartment and seeing how happy it made him, she decides to spend her life devoted to helping others and spreading joy and happiness – along the way, she discovers love with a quirky man who collects discarded photo booth pictures.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs are quirky and often misunderstood. They have a deep desire to help the human race, but often can’t figure out how to do it. Along with this, they have a nagging desire to understand the meaning of life and what true happiness is. The character of Amelie is a quintessential INFJ, and the movie gets into the INFJ perspective in a way few other movies can.
#2 – The Lord of the Rings Series
Lord of the Rings follows the adventures of Hobbits, Men, Elves and more as they try to destroy the One Ring, which had been lost for centuries, and is now being hunted by evil forces from Mordor. It’s up to Frodo Baggins and his friends to destroy the ring, fight evil and defeat the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love the depth of the characters in this story, and the fight for good to triumph over evil. There are also two prominent INFJs featured in the movie; Gandalf the Grey and Galadriel the elf ruler. Lord of the Rings is filled with symbolism and stunning visuals, both things that appeal to Ni-dominant/Se-inferior types like INFJs and INTJs.
Johnny Thm, an INFJ movie buff says Lord of the Rings is “The adventure you seek when its raining outside and you smell a lost experience.”
#3 – The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When Joel and Clementine’s relationship starts disintegrating, they both look into a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. However, as Joel’s memories gradually disappear, he realizes he can’t live without his memories and love for Clementine and fights to hold on to each memory before it is gone forever.
Why INFJs Love It: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a movie full of depth and layers that truly explores the human experience of love and loss. We see how even our worst memories make us who we are, and how there is humanity and beauty in even our worst relationships and most terrible moments. Each character has depth and each moment has significance – this depth and beauty is what draws INFJs into this comedy-drama-sci/fi-romance. Plus, how can you dislike a movie that fits into so many categories?
#4 – Fight Club
Fight Club follows the life of a depressed office worker who suffers from insomnia and a nagging feeling of emptiness in his daily life. He meets the reckless, devil-may-care Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who takes him under his wing and together they start an underground fight club for men who are fed up with their mundane lives. However, this club evolves and becomes much more sinister than our main character ever dreamed.
Why INFJs Love It: Fight Club is full of twists and turns and psychological thrills, and that appeals to INFJs. Movies with an element of psychological turmoil seemed to dominate the most-loved INFJ movies. As INFJ Trude Eirin Velsvik-Ruger said, Fight Club “makes you have to think, and question what is reality, if there is any.” INFJs spend much of their time focused on the unseen world of thoughts, patterns, and meanings and often approach physical reality and the practical world with some skepticism. For these people, Fight Club is a welcome treat that appeals to this skepticism and wonder.
#5 – V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta is set in the future in Britain after a World War. Tyrrany and oppression are the new norm, and freedom fighter “V” plots to overthrow this tyrrany with the help of a young woman named Evey. V for Vendetta is the epic
story of fighting terror with terror.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs are incredibly passionate about changing the world, and vehemently despise any kind of abuse of power. Championing is something that may NF personality types believe in, and “V” exemplifies this perfectly. As INFJ FaithAnne Crane says, “V for Vendetta exemplifies that idea that justice is not for sale…sometimes we NEED to give karma a helping hand in order to make an example out of doing the right thing. How much injustice are we as human beings willing to tolerate in the name of peace? “Go along to get along” is not an INFJ motto.”
#6 – The Original Star Wars Trilogy
Star Wars is an epic masterpiece of cinema – telling the story of good versus evil in the unforgettable way only Sci-Fi can. Star Wars follows young Luke Skywalker as he joins forces with a Jedi knight, a reckless pilot, a wookee and two droids on an adventure to save the universe from the Empire’s evil forces.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love good versus evil stories. They love the idea of an unseen ‘force’ that can be bent to one’s will – but should only be used for good. Star Wars deals with a lot of spirituality and unseen forces; things that delight the intuitive mind. While Star Wars is probably going to wind up in many ‘top 25’ lists, I think that the reasons that each type loves this story will be different. As INFJ blogger Marissa Baker writes, “Star Wars was my “gateway” into science fiction obsession, which I’m attracted to because of the limitless “what if?” For Star Wars specifically, I like how so many characters with different backgrounds and personality types pull together fighting for a common good. Also, the spiritual aspects are attractive – that power isn’t found in physical strength, but in something outside ourselves that is bigger than us.”
#7 – The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is wrongly convicted of a double-homicide he didn’t commit. After he is sentenced to life in prison, he befriends Red, the prison “entrepreneur”. Together, they form an unlikely bond and Andy proves that no chains or cell doors can imprison the power of the mind.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love a good character story, and the Shawshank Redemption is most definitely that. We are able to see how a powerful imagination and sense of innovation can make anyone free – and how our state of mind doesn’t have to be prescribed by our circumstances.
#8 – Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but high goals and intentions. The movie follows his many adventures, from being a college football star, to fighting in Vietnam, captaining a shrimp boat, and falling for his lifelong friend, Jenny.
Why INFJs Love It: Strong characters and life stories seem to be a favorite among INFJs. Forrest Gump proves that you don’t have to have a high I.Q., be perfectly popular or perfectly intelligent to make a difference in someone’s life or a difference in the world. One fellow INFJ told me; ” Forrest Gump is my all time favorite movie and I think it’s because it’s such an intimate look into his life. It’s not just one surface story, but many long in-depth stories. It’s about family, friendships of all kinds, love, war, journey, the finding of oneself, etc. I’ve probably watched it over 200 times in my life.”
#9 – Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko feels out of place among his family and his peers. On top of his isolation and depression, Donnie Darko is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him into committing a series of crimes – through these visions, he learns that the world will soon be coming to an end. Seeking answers, Donnie investigates time travel in an attempt to turn back the clock and prevent the world’s seemingly impending doom… actions which cause bizarre and life-changing results.
Why INFJs Love It: Donnie Darko is a movie with many underlying themes and meanings that you have to pay attention not to miss. INFJs love a deep, complex storyline that really makes them think. Fun, light-hearted amusement, while enjoyable, will almost always take a backseat to a movie that makes the mind do some hard thinking. Donnie Darko is one such movie.
#10 – Inception
Inception tells the story of Don Cobb, a ‘mind thief’ who has the ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets. His skill has put him in high-demand by the corporate espionage world, but it has also cost him the people he loves most. Cobb gets a chance to start over with his life if he can successfully plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will change everything – but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.
Why INFJs Love It: Like many of the movies here, Inception shows the power of the imagination. You have to think hard to follow the complex storyline – and with that story you will find incredible characters, a tragic love story, and a meaningful message. INFJ blogger Marissa Baker says, “This is how my brain works. Layers and layers of dreams. It’s also what my sister and I call “a thinking film” – a movie that engages our intuitive minds and encourages thoughtful discussion after watching it, rather than just entertaining us.”
#11 – The Princess Bride
This fairy tale adventure tells the story of beautiful, young Buttercup and her one true love, Wesley. After a long separation, Buttercup is forcibly engaged to the evil Prince Humperdink. In Wesley’s attempts to save her, he must battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with her. Based on the William Goldman novel “The Princess Bride” which earned its own loyal audience.
Why INFJs Love It: I think this movie is probably a favorite among many personality types, but INFJs seem to have a particular love of the dialogue and sweeping imagery. The Princess Bride gives us an entertaining adventure story with some memorable quotes and laughs along the way. The verbal sparring and tongue-in-cheek attitude make this a favorite piece of entertainment for INFJs.
#12 – The Matrix
Computer programmer Thomas A. Anderson is made to question reason and reality when he learns he has been living in a program created by gigantic machines who feed off of human beings body heat and electrochemical energy. In order to set humanity free, he will have to face many enemies by using technologies and self-trust.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love a movie that will make them question reality – like many other INFJ favorites, the Matrix tells a gripping story about the state of humanity, the power of the mind, and a triumph of good over evil.
#13 – Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go is a heart-wrenching film set in a dystopian world in which human clones are created so that they can donate their organs as young adults. The novel follows the life story of Kathy, a clone who is raised at a boarding school for future “donors.” Her story is related in flashback: Kathy is now thirty-one and about to start her first donations. For the past eleven years, she has worked as a “carer,” a nurse and companion to clones who are in between donations.
Why INFJs Love It: This thought-provoking dystopian tale gives a deeper look at the downside to seeking immortality at all costs. It is filled with emotion yet is never over-the-top or manipulative.
#14 – Spirited Away
Spirited Away is a magical fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon a courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.
Why INFJs Love It: Spirited Away is deep and complex, filled with visual intelligence while pointing a finger at materialism and greed. Spirited Away takes you on an adventure that proves the power of the spirit, and the importance of words and love.
#15 – Arrival
In Arrival, the world is in a state of panic when gigantic spaceships touch down in twelve locations around the world. Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators to try to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery of their coming, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.
Why INFJs Love It: This movie is steeped in complexity and layers of meaning. The empathy Banks feels for the newcomers, along with her personal story will be moving to INFJs.
#16 – The Lion King
The Lion King tells the story of young Prince Simba, who is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who makes Simba believe his father’s death is his fault. While the uncle rules and threatens the very existence of the pride, the prince grows up beyond the savannah. He tries to forget the pain of his father’s death by living without worries or care. But when his past comes back to haunt him, the young Prince must decide his fate: will he remain an outcast, or face his demons and become the king he needs to be?
Why INFJs Love It: The Lion King is surprisingly deep and meaningful for a children’s story. It deals with the struggle for redemption, the inner turmoil of living with guilt, and the epic battle of good triumphing over evil. When faced with the horror of our own failures do we live to forget – or do we fight to overcome?
#17 – The Green Mile
The Green Mile tells the story of Paul Edgecomb, a veteran penitentiary guard who is starting to become cynical about life after watching so many men live and die. When the huge prisoner John Coffey is sent to Green Mile prison for an atrocious crime, Paul Edgecomb is surprised to find that Coffey is incredibly kind and gentle. Coffey seemed to possess a prodigious, supernatural gift. Paul began to question whether Coffey was truly guilty of his crime.
Why INFJs Love It: The characters in the Green Mile are deep and complex- and the story captures how often we judge a book by its cover without looking deeper. This is an emotionally resonant movie that captures the attention of the emotionally-rich INFJ personality.
#18 – Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation follows the life of lonely, aging movie star Bob Harris and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte. The two meet in Tokyo and find escape, trust, and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights. While they feel at odds with the rest of the noisy world – with each other they find a heartfelt, meaningful friendship.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love the quiet, subtle intensity of Lost in Translation. They can easily relate to the two main characters who feel somewhat distant and misunderstood in the commotion and chatter of modern life. One INFJ I know said, ” I love Lost in Translation, mostly for its melancholic but quirky atmosphere. I guess I also strongly relate to the characters because I sometimes feel as lost as they are in this strange, fast-paced world.”
#19 – The Harry Potter Series
The Harry Potter series follows the daring adventures of wizarding wonder, Harry Potter, and his delightful friends and intriguing mentors. Going from a miserable, lonely existence as a mistreated orphan to a famed wizard at Hogwarts, Harry discovers the meaning of honor, friendship, and selflessness as he faces his dangerous enemy, Lord Voldemort.
Why INFJs Love It: Harry Potter is a gripping adventure that delves deep into the world of heroes and villains. INFJs love the good versus evil storyline and enjoy the analogies, rich characters, and beautiful visuals that fill the Harry Potter world. Many typologists even believe that Professor Albus Dumbledore is an INFJ character!
#20 – The Fountain
The Fountain tells the story of modern-day scientist, Tommy Creo, who is desperately searching for a medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi. Searching for the secrets of eternal life, he embarks on three parallel quests, in three lives, in three millennia, in order to unlock the mysteries of life that have consumed him for centuries.
Why INFJs Love It: Since I haven’t seen this movie myself (yet) I’m going to let fellow INFJ Sven Gins explain why he believes INFJs enjoy this movie “I love how it challenges me (as an INFJ) to seek patterns in different -and yet similar- stories. There’s this vibe of everything being connected and important; like in Cloud Atlas. I love how despite it being coloured by an intrinsic sadness and loss, the film leads up to this glorious celebration of life itself. In terms of content, soundtrack, and cinematography, this film has it all. I find new things every time I watch it, and each time I am still as fascinated as the first time I saw it.”
#21 – Gladiator
Gladiator follows the life of Maximus Decimus Meridias, a powerful Roman general, who was chosen by emperor Marcus Aurelius to be heir to the throne instead of his own son, Commodus. In anger, Commodus kills his father and sets out to destroy Maximus and his family – sentencing them to death. Maximus escapes execution, but is sold into slavery and is forced to become a gladiator. Eventually, Maximus and his fellow gladiators are sent to Rome to perform for Commodus. Through his bravery, he wins over the masses and reveals his true identity, much to the dismay of Commodus.
Why INFJs Love It: Gladiator is an epic tale with rich characters, stunning visuals, and an unforgettable fight for good to triumph over evil. INFJs love a good hero story and enjoy the depth each character is given by the screenwriters. This movie has action, romance, drama, and a haunting soundtrack to top it all off.
#22 – Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is the story of a wayward young man who struggles to find his identity while grappling with memories of a traumatic childhood. He lives in a world where he can solve any problem, except the one hiding deep within himself. Finally, one day he meets Sean, a therapist who will change his life and helps him come to terms with the blows life has dealt him.
Why INFJs Love It: This is another movie I haven’t personally seen yet – however, fellow INFJ FaithAnne Crane has some insights into why INFJs love this movie:
“Good Will Hunting is about survival and finding your place in this crazy mixed up world. It captures the whole catapult of emotions and the loyalty of friendship. This story has a desired affect of doing the hard needed soul-searching to get to the root cause of motivation. All INFJs know everything is emotional. We can see it clearly in others but fight with our own souls to know, to be, and to love it.”
#23 – Batman: The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight is a gripping story that follows the efforts of Batman and Lieutenant Jim Gordon as they set out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. While their partnership proves to be effective, they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the citizens of Gotham as The Joker.
Why INFJs Love It: The Dark Knight is one of the darkest superhero films around. It goes deeper into the emotional chaos of heroes and villains and offers a richer dimension to the characters than you’ll find in most other superhero movies. It’s surprisingly thought-provoking and deep, and you’ll find yourself thinking about its questions long after you’ve finished the movie.
#24 – Interstellar
Earth’s future has been corrupted by disasters, famines, and droughts. There is only one way to ensure mankind’s survival: Interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the vast reaches of our solar system allows a team of astronauts to venture to a planet that may have the right environment to sustain human life.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love the abstract nature of Interstellar and the layers upon layers of conceptual meaning and complexity. This movie is visually and conceptually stunning with a lot of ideas and impactful meanings for INFJs to analyze long after the movie ends.
#25 – The Shining
The Shining tells the terrifying story of a family who become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel. Danny, the son, begins seeing disturbing visions of the hotels past using a telepathic gift known as “the Shining”. The father, Jack Torrance, is working on a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and the influence of ghosts belonging to the former guests. After being convinced by a waiter’s ghost to “correct” the family, Jack goes completely insane and tries to murder them.
Why INFJs Love It: INFJs love a movie with a psychological mystery behind it – and the Shining gives them that. Along with this, there are mysterious visions that the viewer has to try to figure out. INFJs are deeply affected by symbolic images and patterns, and so the Shining gives them a mental puzzle to figure out.
What are your thoughts?
I’d like to do this with each of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types. What do you think of these movies? Which movies are your favorites? If you would like to vote on your favorite movies, just contact me and let me know your type and your top ten favorites! You can contact me via my facebook page, or leave a comment below!
Want to discover the unique joys and struggles of the INFJ life? Check out The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic
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