8 Multiverse Movies To Watch That Aren’t Marvel

The concept of the multiverse offers a realm where infinite possibilities unfold, where alternate realities and divergent timelines intertwine, and where our wildest fantasies can come to life. While Marvel Studios has undoubtedly made a tremendous impact with its multiverse-centric narratives — especially with its ongoing Multiverse Saga — there exists a vast and diverse landscape of multiverse movies beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Venture beyond the familiar superhero narratives and discover the untapped potential of the multiverse, as we dive into this compilation of must-watch movies that will transport you to awe-inspiring and mind-expanding adventures, far beyond the boundaries of the Marvel universe.

1) Another Earth

Another Earth goes beyond being a mere multiverse narrative and delves into the realm of moral introspection. The initial sequence, wherein the 17-year-old protagonist, Rhoda, loses her place at MIT and faces imprisonment due to a tragic accident caused by drunk driving, serves as a poignant reminder of the consequences of such actions.

As the story progresses, it transforms into a tale of atonement and redemption. Upon her release from prison, the protagonist participates in a contest offering a chance to travel to a parallel Earth. Despite winning the opportunity, she selflessly bestows it upon the man whose family she unintentionally took the lives of in the accident. In doing so, he is given the opportunity to encounter an alternate version of his loved ones, offering a pathway to closure and healing.

2) Coherence

Coherence takes what initially appears to be a heartfelt reunion drama and skillfully transforms it into a suspenseful sci-fi experience. When a comet streaks across the sky, an unexpected phenomenon occurs, and reality is split into two. The second reality, it is believed, will eventually collapse once the comet passes. As such, the main characters become consumed by an intense urgency to eliminate their counterparts from the alternate reality. This frantic pursuit unfolds, as they embark on a race against time to ensure their own continued existence.

This complex film ponders how dangerous alternate versions of ourselves could really be. As characters interact with one another across various plotlines, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell which universe the individual characters hail from, thus ramping up the suspense.

3) Coraline

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The dazzling surrealism on display in Coraline is proof of a great multiverse movie. The film follows the titular Coraline as she tires of her workaholic parents and stumbles upon a magical door to an alternate universe. After crossing over, she finds a “cooler” version of her parents with buttons for eyes.

As a result, direct contrasts are drawn to illustrate the stark differences between good and bad parenting. Nevertheless, the situation proves to be more complex than initially perceived, as unexpected and unsettling turns of events surface during the course of this stop-motion animated feature.

4) Everything Everywhere All At Once

Oscars 2023 Michelle Yeoh

With over US$100 million at the worldwide box office and over a hundred accolades under its belt, it’s hard to think of multiverse movies without mentioning Everything Everywhere All At Once.

In the film, Evelyn Wang — portrayed by Michelle Yeoh — encounters an alternate version of her husband, who reveals the existence of the multiverse and alerts her to an impending peril. Empowered with newfound abilities gained through her multiversal counterparts, Evelyn works to safeguard the future of her own world. This movie combines elements of various genres, including science fiction, Hong-Kong-style drama, martial arts, and comedy, each of which leaves its imprint on the diverse realities we see in the film.

5) Happy Death Day 2U

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The sequel to the Groundhog Day-esque Happy Death Day expands on the concept of its predecessor by introducing parallel universes into the mix. In Happy Death Day 2U, the protagonist from the first movie, Tree Gelbman, suddenly wakes up in an alternate reality where she’s once again tasked with unmasking a serial slasher.

The use of the multiverse not only takes the series to more mysterious and thrilling directions, but it also helps to elevate the first movie by explaining many unanswered questions.

6) Sliding Doors

This rom-com classic boasts dual storylines, showing the two paths the protagonist’s life could take depending on whether she catches a train. Sliding Doors alternates between the two stories, effectively demonstrating branching realities and parallel universes, while begging the question: is either universe better than the other?

7) The Lego Movie

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The Lego Movie differs from other movies in the way it approaches its multiverse concept – instead of multiversal doppelgangers and branching storylines, The Lego Movie shows off the infinite possibilities of its building blocks through multiple dimensions that are home to pirates, cowboys, magical creatures, and more. The film also sees other worlds and universes that exist within the Lego Multiverse, including franchises ranging from The Lord of the Rings to DC Comics, and more.

Truly, The Lego Movie demonstrates the fun and brilliance of multiversal crossovers. What’s more, its sequel — The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — adds more multiversal hijinks while staying grounded in relatable concepts and thoughtful messages.

8) The One

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The core premise of The One is rooted in the multiverse — a rogue multiversal agent, played by Jet Li, travels through parallel realities to kill off his counterparts in order to become a super being known as “The One”. Meanwhile, a kinder version of him from another universe is tasked with stopping him.

True to the multiverse, many actors in the film play multiple roles. As a result, this is the film where you can watch Jet Li fight himself. In a nice touch, each multiversal variant uses a fighting style that matches their distinct personality.

While the MCU’s Multiverse Saga continues cruising on immense popularity, it is essential to remember that the concept of multiple universes predates the superhero franchise. Films from different genres have long been delving into the realms of parallel realities, time travel, and the cosmic unknown. By widening our scope beyond Marvel, we can discover hidden gems and cult classics that have laid the foundation for our current fascination with the multiverse.