Movies

Archives New Zealand from New Zealand [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Archives New Zealand from New Zealand
[CC BY-SA 2.0]

German filmmaker Fritz Lang can be considered the grandfather of cinematic dystopias. While not his first attempt, his 1927 film Metropolis set the standard for utopias-that-are-really-dystopias. While the film industry has always had an interest in exploring dystopias, the last decade has seen a boon in the genre.

As with the Books page, what follows is an incomplete but growing list of movies about dystopias. For the most part, we’ve left sequels and reboots off the list (if for no other reason than that the originals are usually the best (with the notable exception of Mad Max: Fury Road)). Here, perhaps even moreso than with the books, making the distinction between the dystopian and the merely post-apocalyptic can be a challenge. If you have a suggestion for the list, please leave a comment below.

An Incomplete List of Dystopian Films

  1. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, 1922
  2. Metropolis, 1927
  3. Things To Come, 1936
  4. The Moon Is Down, 1943
  5. The Time Machine, 1960
  6. The Trial, 1962
  7. The 10th Victim, 1965
  8. Alphaville, 1965
  9. Fahrenheit 451, 1966
  10. Planet of the Apes, 1968
  11. No Blade of Grass, 1970
  12. A Clockwork Orange, 1971
  13. Punishment Park, 1971
  14. THX 1138, 1971
  15. Silent Running, 1972
  16. Z.P.G., 1972
  17. Fantastic Planet, 1973
  18. Soylent Green, 1973
  19. World on a Wire, 1973
  20. A Boy and His Dog, 1974
  21. Zardoz, 1974
  22. Death Race 2000, 1975
  23. Rollerball, 1975
  24. Logan’s Run, 1976
  25. Mad Max, 1979
  26. Brave New World, 1980
  27. Escape from New York, 1981
  28. Blade Runner, 1982
  29. Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1984
  30. The Terminator, 1984
  31. Brazil, 1985
  32. Dead End Drive-In, 1986
  33. Kin-dza-dza!, 1986
  34. RoboCop, 1987
  35. The Running Man, 1987
  36. The Handmaid’s Tale, 1990
  37. Total Recall, 1990
  38. Freejack, 1992
  39. City of Lost Children, 1995
  40. Ghost in the Shell, 1995
  41. Harrison Bergeron, 1995
  42. Judge Dredd, 1995
  43. Strange Days, 1995
  44. Tank Girl, 1995
  45. Gattaca, 1997
  46. The Postman, 1997
  47. Pleasantville, 1998
  48. The Matrix, 1999
  49. Battle Royale, 2000
  50. Equilibrium, 2002
  51. Minority Report, 2002
  52. Code 46, 2003
  53. Natural City, 2003
  54. I, Robot, 2004
  55. Æon Flux, 2005
  56. The Island, 2005
  57. Children of Men, 2006
  58. Idiocracy, 2006
  59. Land of the Blind, 2006
  60. V for Vendetta, 2006
  61. District 9, 2009
  62. The Inhabited Island, 2009
  63. Watchmen, 2009
  64. Downstream, 2010
  65. Never Let Me Go, 2010
  66. Radio Free Albemuth, 2010
  67. In Time, 2011
  68. Antiviral, 2012
  69. The Hunger Games, 2012
  70. The Congress, 2013
  71. Elysium, 2013
  72. The Purge, 2013
  73. Snowpiercer, 2013
  74. Automata, 2014
  75. Divergent, 2014
  76. The Giver, 2014
  77. The Lego Movie, 2014
  78. The Maze Runner, 2014
  79. The Lobster, 2015
  80. Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015
  81. The Thinning, 2016
  82. What Happened to Monday, 2017
  83. Ready Player One, 2018

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