There is a special place in entertainment for secret societies. Throughout history, these organizations have ignited the imagination of writers, filmmakers, and video game designers. Even in real life, secret societies often seem like something out of a movie or comic book. So it’s no surprise that creators of movies just love these groups! And in those cases when the truth isn’t strange enough, screenwriters dream up fictional groups that are even more inconceivable than real-life ones.
You’re reading this article because you are interested in these shadowy organizations and asking yourself questions like “What are their motives?”, “Who are their members?”, “Are they bent on world domination?”, “Are they controlled by politicians, priests, CEOs, criminals… or all the above?”, in short, “Who are they and what do they want?”. Well, you are not alone! There are lots of conscious people asking the very same questions because they find these groups fascinating!
In this article, we run some of the most memorable appearances secret societies have made in the movies.
Now let us share with you 10 best movies about secret societies!
Top 10 Best Movies About Secret Societies
#1 The Da Vinci Code, 2006
The Da Vinci Code is a mystery thriller based on Dan Brown‘s 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. In the movie, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. On the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. Langdon escapes with the assistance of police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, and they begin a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci’s wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wishes to keep the true Grail a secret to prevent the destruction of Christianity.
This movie was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Catholic Church for the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old cover-up concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter, as well as its treatment of the organizations Priory of Sion and Opus Dei.
Many members urged the laity to boycott this movie. In the book, Dan Brown states that the Priory of Sion and all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
#2 Angels & Demons, 2009
Angels & Demons is definitely one of the best movies about secret societies! This mystery thriller is also based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same title. It is the sequel to the 2006 film The Da Vinci Code.
In Angels & Demons, Tom Hanks reprises his role as Professor Robert Langdon, while Ayelet Zurer stars as Dr. Vittoria Vetra, a CERN scientist joining Langdon in the quest to recover a missing vial of antimatter from a mysterious Illuminati terrorist.
William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League, did not call for a boycott this time but requested that Catholics inform others about anti-Catholic sentiments in the story.
The official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano called the film “harmless entertainment”, giving it a positive review and acknowledging that “the theme is always the same: a sect versus the Church, but this time, the Church is on the side of the good guys.” Beforehand, it had stated it would not approve the film, while La Stampa reported the Vatican would boycott it.
Angels & Demons was banned in Samoa by film censor Lei’ataua Olo’apu. Olo’apu stated that he was banning the film because it was “critical of the Catholic Church” and so as to “avoid any religious discrimination by other denominations and faiths against the Church.”
#3 Eyes Wide Shut, 1999
Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic mystery psychological drama. Based on the 1926 novella Traumnovelle (Dream Story) by Arthur Schnitzler, the story is transferred from early 20th-century Vienna to 1990s New York City. The film follows the sexually charged adventures of Dr. Bill Harford, who is shocked when his wife, Alice, reveals that she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier. He then embarks on a night-long adventure, during which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an unnamed secret society. Eyes Wide Shut’s orgy came to stand for a whole complex of elite degeneracy.
This movie definitely worth watching (or even re-watching) due to the current child abuse cover-ups and political scandals, such as Epstein, the Catholic Church, Dennis Hastert, Operation Yewtree, and Westminster’s missing “Paedophile dossier” cases.
#4 The Skulls, 2000
The Skulls is a thriller film based upon some of the conspiracy theories surrounding Yale University. Deep within the hallowed walls of Ivy League’s most prominent campus exists a secret society where power and elite are bred. Only a few are chosen to join where Presidents are groomed, wealthy bloodlines bond, and plots thicken. For Luke McNamara, an invitation to join the prestigious secret college organization, The Skulls, is a dream come true, until murder befalls another student.
The movie claims to rip the lid off a secret campus society named the Skulls, which is inspired by the Yale society known as Skull and Bones. The real Skull and Bones has existed for two centuries and has counted presidents, tycoons, and CIA founders among its alumni. For example, the real Skull and Bones numbers among its alumni former President George Bush and his son. Of course, there’s no connection between Skull and Bones and the fictional Skulls. However, it still worth watching!
#5 SPECTRE, 2015
SPECTRE is a spy film and the twenty-fourth in the James Bond series. The story sees Bond pitted against the global criminal organization SPECTRE and their enigmatic leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who plans to launch a national surveillance network to mastermind criminal activities across the globe.
SPECTRE (an acronym for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) is a fictional organization. Led by criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the international organization first formally appeared in the novel Thunderball (1961) and in the film Dr. No (1962). SPECTRE is not aligned to any nation or political ideology, enabling the later Bond books and Bond films to be regarded as somewhat apolitical. This organization began in the novels as a small group of criminals but became a vast international organization with its own SPECTRE Island training base in the films.
If you love James Bond movies, you will definitely consider SPECTRE to be one of the best movies about secret societies.
#6 National Treasure, 2004
National Treasure is an action-adventure film. In this movie, Benjamin Franklin Gates, a historian and amateur cryptologist searching for a lost treasure of precious metals, jewelry, artwork, and other artifacts that gets accumulated into a huge stockpile and eventually hidden by American Freemasons during the American Revolutionary War. A coded map on the back of the Declaration of Independence points to the location of the “national treasure”, but Gates is not alone in his quest. Whoever can steal the Declaration and decode it first will find the greatest treasure in history.
The fact is that of the 55 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, at least 9 are said to have been Freemasons. President George Washington was also among its members.
Although some Christian leaders have called Freemasons “a secret society bent on spreading evil”, in National Treasure they are seen in a positive light.
#7 Dead Poets Society, 1989
Dead Poets Society is a teen drama film. Set in 1959 at the fictional elite conservative Vermont boarding school Welton Academy, tells the story of an English teacher, John Keating, who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. The story shifts gracelessly from the joys of Keating’s classroom to focus on the theatrics of a group of his students, seven boys who dare to “Carpe diem, seize the day,” as he has bidden them. They form the Dead Poets Society, a secret cabal who read their own and others’ verse in a spooky, dripping cave. Shortly they are defying their parents and the school authorities, becoming not the Metropolitan Club members of tomorrow, but incipient anarchists.
#8 The Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd is a spy film which is all about secrets – from Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale University, to secret agents, danger, and the erosion of idealism in the light of the Cold War. It tells the story of the early days of the Central Intelligence Agency through the life of the fictional Edward Wilson. Edward Wilson is educated at Yale and takes an interest in poetry. Then comes his indoctrination into the notorious Skull & Bones society. Later in the movie, Wilson gets recruited in the early days of the CIA and dedicates his life to his work.
Although it is a fictional film loosely based on real events, it is advertised as telling the untold story of the birth of counter-intelligence in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
#9 The Ninth Gate, 1999
The Ninth Gate is an adaptation of The Dumas Club, a book written by Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte. However, The film has a different title from its source novel, The Dumas Club, because the book is referred to as a major subplot involving a secret society obsessed with serialized novels, such as those written by Alexandre Dumas.
The movie tells the story of Dean Corso who specializes in tracking down rare and exotic volumes for collectors. He’s hired by Boris Balkan, a millionaire collector who owns a copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of the Shadows, published in Venice in 1666 by one Aristide Torchia who, legend has it, adapted the engravings from the work of Satan himself. Two other copies of the book survive, and Balkan wants Corso to track them down and compare the engravings. With The Nine Gates in his possession, Corso soon finds himself at the center of strange and violent goings-on. Not only is his apartment ransacked, but it also appears that he is being shadowed ferociously by others determined to regain the book.
#10 Fight Club, 1999
Fight Club was one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the 1990s.
The movie tells the story of a depressed man suffering from insomnia. He meets a strange salesman named Tyler Durden and soon finds himself living in his squalid house after his perfect apartment is destroyed. The two bored men form an underground Fight club with strict rules. Fight Club is a secret society of men who meet in order to find freedom and self-realization through beating one another into pulp. This secret club is all about freeing yourself from the shackles of modern life, which imprisons and emasculates men. By being willing to give and receive pain and risk death, Fight Club members find freedom.