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50 Best Movie Dream Sequences

Fletch (1985)

The Dream Sequence: Fletch dozes off in front of the LA Lakers and sees himself play in the game, scoring a winning basket while sporting the most ridiculous afro.

What It Probably Means: Fletch wishes he had more athletic prowess and dreams of one day being the man of the moment. He may also be thinking about an image change.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

The Dream Sequence: We’re obviously on sketchy ground to list just one sequence from this film, but the horrific party scene stands out. As Jacob watches his girlfriend Jezzie dance with a stranger, a paranoid hallucination sets in as he sees a demon in the corner and flying monsters overhead. Soon enough, the stranger appears as a horrific creature, caressing Jezzie with tentacles, before killing her with his sharp claws.

What It Probably Means: On the face of it, Jacob is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Dare to read into it, though and maybe it’s not a dream after all...

Romy And Michele's High School Reunion (1997)

The Dream Sequence: Michele has a dream of being 70 years older who and calling to speak to estranged friend Romy who is on her deathbed. The conversation quickly descends into the same argument they have just been having in real life, and Romy goes to great effort in her bed-ridden state to flip her the middle finger.

What It Probably Means: Michele is scared of losing her friendship with Romy and for the argument to remain unresolved for the rest of their lives. There’s also a degree of wish fulfilment there as Michele looks to be a very feisty, sprightly 90-something year-old.

Trainspotting (1996)

The Dream Sequence: During a stint of going cold turkey, junkie Renton has feverish nightmares which sees a baby crawl towards him on the ceiling before rotating its head all the way around to stare at him and then falling on his bed.

What It Probably Means: It’s guilt over his association with the death of friend Allison’s baby, who died through neglect by the heroin-addicted gang, It is also pure nightmare fuel.

Brazil (1985)

The Dream Sequence: After flying around among the clouds in a shiny suit of armour, Sam Lowry finds himself grounded among dark city blocks and forced to fight a giant samurai warrior to help free a floating damsel in distress.

What It Probably Means: The frequent flyer dreams suggest a desire for escape, to be free of his daily grind, while his need to defeat a villain in battle in order to save a woman suggests a larger hero complex at play and a need to prove his own worth and stand out from the crowd.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

The Dream Sequence: Rosemary eats some spiked chocolate mousse and passes out to dream about the Sistine Chapel, being on a cruise ship and then getting tied to a bed while a demonic creature brutally rapes her.

What It Probably Means: The first part of her dream suggests an aspiration for beauty and freedom. The second part of her dream... er... might not actually be a dream at all. It just means that terrible mojo is afoot.

Dumb & Dumber (1994)

The Dream Sequence: Lloyd fantasises about getting the girl of his literal dreams, winning her heart, being the hit of the Christmas party with his hilarious jokes and protecting her honour on a restaurant date. The latter sees some unusual martial arts moves culminating in him ripping the chef’s heart out of his chest and serving it back to him in a doggy bag.

What It Probably Means: He fears that Mary is out of his league so these dreams hint at him being the best possible version of himself he would like to be. No matter how delusional.

Vanilla Sky (2001)

The Dream Sequence: David Aames sees himself driving a Ferrari along the streets of New York, getting increasingly concerned that there are no other people in sight. Eventually he reaches the busy centre of Time Square, stops his car and run along the astonishingly empty road.

What It Probably Means: David is scared of being alone. He feels isolated and insecure about being left completely abandoned. Either that, or he hates the thought of there being no tourists in the world.

Shutter Island (2010)

The Dream Sequence: Teddy speaks to his dead wife Dolores in their old apartment. During their confrontation, they are surrounded by floating ash, Dolores shows her back has become caved-in embers and then eventually disintegrates in Teddy’s arms. The apartment then catches fire.

What It Probably Means: Teddy has a preoccupation with fire thanks to a past traumatic event, and these estranged memories are encroaching on his dreams, becoming a representation of his fears over a great loss in his life. Plus fire's always pretty cool.

A Christmas Story (1983)

The Dream Sequence: Ralphie uses his desired Red Ryder B. B. gun to prove his worth as an excellent sharpshooter, protecting his family from Black Bart’s gang of thieves.

What It Probably Means: It’s the perfect justification for owning the gun despite the many dangers that it represents. It’s a defiant show of proving everybody else wrong and becoming a hero in the process.