No searches for this movie turn up anything amongst all the usual lists of "Top 100 mindbending movies" etc. My memories of it are vague. I would say this movie would appeal to fans of indy/arthouse cult scifi, Lynch, Kronenberg, Twilight Zone, Dark City, Matrix, Adjustment Bureau, Sourcecode, Eternal Sunshine, Groundhog Day, Vanilla Sky, The Game.

Here's what I can sort of recall:

The tone of the movie is cerebral and dystopian/downbeat, on edge. It is not a summer blockbuster scifi movie. Possibly it was on a streaming service only (I did not watch it on DVD.)

  • It's a modern film, most likely made after the 2000s.
  • The main protagonist is a white male. Possibly he is an aspiring actor struggling to hold onto his sanity
  • Possibly there are time loops involved
  • Possibly he is given a weird movie script
  • Possible he struggles to tell real life from the script/fantasy or alternate reality
  • Possibly he is some sort of jeopardy (a murder scene?) but the jeopardy may or may not be real or may reset every time he wakes up.

Two scenes stand out:

  • Inside some sort of house/complex/chambers he is able to see/hear people on the other side through a tube or hole or portal.
  • At the end of the film, the camera zooms out to reveal lots of things in an infinite grid in space (possibly television screens or maybe houses containing parallel lives or alterantive worlds.)
  • de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity_(2015) comes to my mind, but it only fit's some of your points.
    – Hothie
    Commented Feb 22 at 10:10
  • I'm also remembering a short film we had here a few years ago with a guy waking up in a room, and dodging strange researchers in a series of rooms/corridors with an eventual reveal that they're all him, culminating to him making it to the roof, and realizing that the buildings themselves are repeated, and he's staring at himself across the street below.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:22
  • Ah, Mouse X is the one I'm thinking of.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:24
  • @Dean - Someone using a different account with the same name as yours has attempted to edit this question to state that The Nines is not the correct answer. If that person is you, please merge your new account with the one you used to post this question by following the instructions provided here. In doing so, you will regain the ability to edit this question without approval from other users, post comments within this thread, and mark an answer as accepted, if you wish to do so. Commented Feb 22 at 14:00
  • Some thematic similarities to Dark City.
    – Lexible
    Commented Feb 22 at 18:10

3 Answers 3


Partial match for The Nines, a 2007 film starring Ryan Reynolds.

The film is broken into three chapters centred around three men (all played by Ryan Reynolds) who try to uncover the secret about strange happenings in their, at times overlapping, lives.


Gary is a troubled actor who is wearing a green bracelet on his wrist, under house arrest living in another person's house because he burned down his own. The owner of the house is described as a TV writer away on work. While living in the house, he is befriended by both a P.R. "handler", Margaret, and the single mom next door, Sarah, who may or may not be interested in him romantically. Over the course of his house arrest, Gary becomes convinced that he is being haunted by the number nine, including finding a note in his own handwriting saying "Look for the nines". He encounters many occurrences of the number nine: while playing backgammon, he rolls nines; while reading newspaper advertisements, he becomes obsessed with finding nines. Asking Sarah about the number 9 worries her, and she cryptically tells him: "I can get you out of here". He sees different versions of himself around the house, which unsettles him, causing him to break out of his house arrest barrier which in turn destroys reality in a blinding flash.


A television writer Gavin is trying to get his pilot produced. He leaves home to work on his TV show, Knowing, about a mother and daughter who are lost, which stars his friend Melissa McCarthy as the lead actress. In a conversation about reviews and critics Susan, a television executive and producer of the show, tells Gavin to look for the nines, which he then writes on a piece of paper, the same piece that Gary found in Part One. He also tells Melissa that he thinks he is haunted by himself. During the process of post-production, Susan pushes for Gavin to ditch his friend Melissa as the unconventional lead of his project in favor of a more attractive, well-known actress. This causes an argument between him and Melissa. He then finds out that the well-known actress was actually cast in another show, which Susan knew before suggesting her. Since the well-known actress is now unavailable, and Melissa won't answer Gavin's calls, he confronts Susan about her knowing that his show would never get picked up and about him only being a subject on a reality television show. After a heated exchange, he snaps and slaps her. Seemingly insulting his manhood for hitting a woman, she scoffs: "Do you feel like a man?" and walks away, which leads to him telling the reality TV cameraman to leave him alone. A pedestrian then asks him to whom he is talking, and it is shown that the reality television cameraman does not exist. He looks around and notices that everyone has a "7" floating above their heads and also that he has a "9" floating above his own.


Acclaimed video game designer Gabriel, whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, leaves his wife, Mary, and young daughter, Noelle, to try to get a better signal on his phone. He meets a woman, Sierra, who leads him off into the woods to her car, so she can give him a lift to the gas station. Meanwhile, back at the car Noelle watches a video on a digital camera showing Gavin talking to Melissa from Part Two and Margaret talking to Gary in Part One. She is confused and shows her mom, who appears confused as well.


Gabriel returns to the car and the family goes home. Mary deduces that Gabriel has remembered his reality and needs to leave. Gabriel tells her that there were ninety different variations of the universe, and this is the last one. Gabriel removes the green string from his wrist and the universe morphs into something else. The film ends with Melissa McCarthy's character married to Ben, to whom she had been married in Part Two, with Noelle as their daughter. Noelle tells her mother that "He's not coming back" and that "He put all the pieces together", and her mother finishes her sentence that this is "the best of all possible worlds."


As far as I can tell from the Wikipedia summary, there's no dystopia or murder charge, but it matches on the aspiring actor part, and the confusion between what's reality and what's a show.


Posting another partial answer on the off chance that you're remembering details from more than one movie. Mouse X is a 2014 short film.

Mouse-X is a mystery/sci-fi story about Anderson, a man who wakes in a building with no idea where he is or how he got there, before slowly discovering that in each of the rooms around him are a thousand clones of himself, all of whom woke into the same mysterious scenario. To escape he needs to outwit his 'selves' whilst overcoming the realisation that he is not the only Anderson...

One of the ways he gets between rooms is via holes in the walls, through which he sometimes observes his other selves.

Anderson looking through one of the holes

And the end has him realizing he is among a vast expanse of buildings, including one just opposite him with another him looking out, having "escaped".

Anderson's view of the multiple buildings

Full film on YouTube

However, there's no plotline of him maybe being an actor, or a time loop.


Just gave your explanation to ChatGPT and it answered with this movie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nines.

It came out in 2007 and stars Ryan Reynolds. It's not a very well-known movie judging by its box-office performance. It is a sci-fi psychological thriller so that matches with the tone of the movie that you described.

The are three interconnected stories shown in the movie, they presumably take place in alternate realities and all of them feature a character who is played by Reynolds.

The second part of the movie, which is called Reality Television, is about a TV writer who is trying to produce a pilot for his show. As it is described in the plot, this character has the feeling of being a subject of a Reality TV show. This may be what you remember about the MC not being able to tell real life from fantasy/script.

  • I saw The Nines and a lot of the question matches, except I wouldn't think dystopian. Do you remember any of the actors or what they looked like?
    – ArlettaS
    Commented Feb 22 at 12:36
  • 1
    Thank you for coming back and editing details into your answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 22 at 15:31

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