movies about dystopias Update 04/2024

movies about dystopias

Don’t get me wrong, feel-good movies are great when you’re in the mood for something light. But what about when you’re in the mood for a dystopian flick with an imaginary future society that’s utterly frightening? Like the human race being enslaved by intelligent machines, environmental destruction, pandemics, government control or the zombie apocalypse – sounds uplifting doesn’t it?

Believe it or not, dystopian themed movies have been popular for some time now. And if you’re not a fan, you may be asking yourself – why? Dystopian stories actually have a lot going for them. They include interesting storylines, complex characters and their thought-provoking nature really feeds the imagination. And even with the dark themes, dystopian stories tend to circle back to humanism. The idea that most human beings are interested in the ultimate good is a common theme. Good triumphs over evil and we’re all going to be okay – that’s the takeaway – it’s what makes this genre so compelling and keeps audiences coming back for more.

Dystopian-Themed Movies

1. Elysium


In the year 2154 two groups of people remain; the extremely wealthy who reside on an immaculate man-made space station named Elysium, and the rest, who occupy an overpopulated, destroyed Earth. Max decides to embark on a mission that could bring equality to the opposed worlds.

2. Dark City

A lady claiming to be John Murdoch’s wife, police, and a mystery group of pale men are all searching for him after Murdoch wakes up at the scene of a brutal murder with no recollection.

3. Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

At a prestigious English boarding school, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy develop a dark family secret. When they discover they are genetically modified clones created solely for the purpose of being organ donors, they seize the opportunity to live and love fully.

4. Minority Report

As a result of groundbreaking technology that can identify a killer before they do their crimes, Washington, DC, is currently murder-free. Pre-crime unit chief is accused of a future murder and has only 36 hours to find out who set him up.

5. Blade Runner

Blade Runner

The LAPD’s Blade Runner team, led by Rick Deckard, patrols the steel and microchip jungle of the 21st century. His mission is to find and eliminate’replicants,’ which are supposed to be humanoids. During a revolt on an Off-World Colony, Replicants were declared illegal and will be destroyed upon detection. When six “skin jobs,” the term for replicants, seize a ship returning to Earth, he is compelled to return to the force. It is a big, expansive, desolate image of the future in which Deckard must hunt for his prey.

6. Alphaville

On an intergalactic journey, Lemmy Caution finds himself in an emotionless world that is dominated by computers.

7. The Matrix

The Matrix

Morpheus and the warrior Trinity seduce Neo (Keanu Reeves), a mild-mannered software author by day and a feared hacker at night. They’ve discovered that the world doesn’t actually exist. Mega-computers preserve, defend, and recycle human life in this shady utopia. Because of his access to luxuries not seen in the post-apocalyptic real world, Cypher betrays his allegiance to the government while Agent Smith views humans as “a plague” for which non-organic life is the “solution.”

8. The Lobster

In a dystopian near future, single people are brought to The Hotel, where they must find a romantic spouse within 45 days or they would be converted into animals and banished to The Woods, according to the laws of The City.

9. The Hunger Games

The Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger games every year in the ruins of what was once North America. Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old tribute, is matched against Tributes who have spent their whole lives training for this momentous day. In the arena, she is forced to make life-or-death decisions that pit her humanity against her own survival.

10. City of Ember

City of Ember

In the underground City of Ember, inhabitants have thrived for generations in an incredible environment of glistening lights and peaceful tranquility. When the city’s gigantic power generator starts to fail, the streetlamps go out, and so do the residents’ hopes. For now, it’s up to two brave adolescents to follow the ancient builders’ trail of clues and escape Ember before the world goes black.

11. Metropolis

This is one of the most well-known and important silent films ever made. It’s 2026, and the society is divided between those who must live underground and those who may enjoy a future metropolis of grandeur. Among the most iconic images of the 20th century, many of which foreshadowed such sci-fi classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, the tight balance between these two societies is depicted in these photographs In terms of lavishness and spectacle, Metropolis is the pinnacle of German silent cinema, with its lavish sets and futuristic science fiction aesthetic.

12. The Congress

After more than two decades in the limelight, an aging actress (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) chooses to take her final job: archiving her digital likeness for future generations of actors and actresses in the industry.

13. 1984


In a dystopian world where all actions, words, and thoughts must comply to the dictates of Big Brother, George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984, takes place. The year is 1984, and the world is divided into three huge states, each with a government in charge of its citizens. As a result of his illicit relationship with Julia, Winston becomes a target of an anti-conformist brainwashing effort.

14. Young Ones

Few people will be able to survive in the post-apocalyptic future if water is no longer a valuable resource. Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) is fed up with battling off invaders to maintain what he has, so he makes a move to build a water pipeline to his family’s land… Nevertheless, when those closest to him betray him, a vicious cycle of greed sets up, leading to the murder and retribution of those who betrayed him.

15. Synchronicity


a brilliant physicist who has unlocked the secret of time travel, and a corporate mogul who will stop at nothing to grab it is the subject of this mind-bending sci-fi thriller. To keep his discoveries safe, he must go back in time, but this puts his life and the fabric of reality at peril.