Since the emergence of cyberpunk in the 1980s, there have been a slew of excellent tech-noir films released. Here are a few films that should be on your radar.
Tech noir is a genre that few moviegoers are familiar with, but it comes from a larger one called cyberpunk, which almost everyone has heard of. Both belong to the sci-fi genre and have influenced it for many years now.
Since the dawn of cyberpunk in the 1980s, there have been a slew of influential tech noir films released. Some of these films are considered classics, while others are still relatively unknown, but they’re all worth seeing if you’re a sci-fi fan.
10. Strange Days (1995)
Strange Days, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is a little-known gem in the tech-noir and cyberpunk subgenres, but it’s a must-see nonetheless. More attention from fans of the subgenre is due to its grimy atmosphere and dark plot.
If you’re wondering what happened to that sex worker who was murdered in 1999, this is where you’ll find out.
9. The City Of Lost Children (1995)
The City of Lost Children is frequently regarded as a science fiction film, but because of its use of technology and its noirish aesthetic, some have dubbed it a tech-noir (while others classify it as a steampunk movie).
The story takes place in a futuristic society with surrealist elements, and it centers on a scientist who kidnaps children and steals their dreams, which he then uses to slow his own aging process.
8. Dark City (1998)
Dark City, a neo-noir sci-fi film, is a great illustration of a tech-noir film. It’s been compared to films like The City of Lost Children, The Matrix, German expressionist films like Metropolis, and the tech-noir film Brazil stylistically.
The plot revolves around a man who has no recollection of what happened but is being investigated for a murder. As he flees from the police and the “Strangers,” he tries to figure out who he is and prove his innocence.
7. Minority Report (2002)
The most recent tech-noir film on this list, Minority Report, stars Tom Cruise and is directed by Steven Spielberg. Because it relies heavily on action rather than dialogue like many other tech-noir films,Minority Report will appeal to those who prefer a faster pace.
PreCrime, the special police unit in this 2054 crime thriller based on a 1956 short story, has a track record of catching would-be killers after they’ve seen visions of their crimes. Captain at PreCrime receives a prediction that he will commit a murder unexpectedly and goes on the run to discover the truth.
6. Gattaca (1997)
Gattaca is a dystopian sci-fi film that has been mislabeled as a biopunk film, despite the fact that it has many of the characteristics of a tech-noir film.
It’s set in a future society where eugenics is king, and parents use genetic selection to pick their children. The main character, on the other hand, was born naturally and now has to deal with prejudice from the society in which he now lives.
5. Brazil (1985)
Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam, is considered a seminal work of tech-noir and cyberpunk cinema. Hyper-surveillance, corporatism, and bureaucracy are just a few of the themes explored in this dystopian thriller.
A low-ranking bureaucrat in a futuristic society dominated by machines sets out to find the woman who appears in his dreams while working a job he despises.
4. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
The anime Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk masterpiece that doubles as a tech-noir film. The Wachowskis and James Cameron were inspired by it, despite the film’s initial box office failure. It went on to become an extremely influential cult film.
It’s set in 2029 Japan and follows a female public-security agent who is a complete cyborg with human consciousness, based on the manga of the same name (“ghost”). The cyborg agent is on the lookout for the hacker known as the Puppet Master with the help of her colleagues.
3. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
With Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt in the lead roles, Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys is yet another impressive film. The film has been classified as a sci-fi film noir or even a tech-noir due to its gloomy atmosphere and themes of technology, time, and memory.
In this remake of a 1962 French short film, the year is 2035, and a deadly virus that swept the globe in 1996 has nearly decimated the human population. A prisoner from the year 2035 is transported to the year 1990, where he embarks on a quest to discover the source of the virus outbreak and stop the impending catastrophe.
2. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator, directed by James Cameron, is credited with coining the term “tech-noir,” which he used to describe a nightclub in which a pivotal scene takes place. Despite the fact that it is not the first of its kind, The Terminator exemplifies what a tech-noir film is by combining elements of futuristic sci-fi with film noir.
A young woman named Sarah Connor is stalked in 1984 by the Terminator, a cyborg sent from the year 2029 to kill her because she will be the mother of a boy who becomes the rebel leader against the machines, according to the story.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
A cyberpunk masterpiece and a tech-noir classic, Blade Runner by Ridley Scott was a pioneer in both subgenres. Although the film had a mediocre box office and received mixed reviews upon its release, it eventually became a cult classic and had a significant impact on the sci-fi genre in general.
It’s set in a dystopian version of 2019 Los Angeles, where corporations have taken over the world. The setting is inspired by a 1968 novel. A humanoid called “Blade Runner” is sent to track down and “retire” escaped replicants who have illegally returned to Earth. The story follows the “Blade Runner,” who must now be permanently “retired.”