Movies

Old newspaper advertisement for the movie Metropolis: Watch for it. See it. Try to describe it.
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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. Brave New World, 1980
  26. Escape from New York, 1981
  27. Mad Max 2, 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. Akira, 1988
  37. They Live, 1988
  38. The Handmaid’s Tale, 1990
  39. Total Recall, 1990
  40. Freejack, 1992
  41. City of Lost Children, 1995
  42. Ghost in the Shell, 1995
  43. Harrison Bergeron, 1995
  44. Johnny Mnemonic, 1995
  45. Judge Dredd, 1995
  46. Strange Days, 1995
  47. Tank Girl, 1995
  48. Twelve Monkeys, 1995
  49. Gattaca, 1997
  50. The Postman, 1997
  51. Dark City, 1998
  52. Pleasantville, 1998
  53. The Matrix, 1999
  54. Battle Royale, 2000
  55. Equilibrium, 2002
  56. Minority Report, 2002
  57. Code 46, 2003
  58. Natural City, 2003
  59. I, Robot, 2004
  60. Æon Flux, 2005
  61. The Island, 2005
  62. Children of Men, 2006
  63. Idiocracy, 2006
  64. Land of the Blind, 2006
  65. V for Vendetta, 2006
  66. District 9, 2009
  67. The Inhabited Island, 2009
  68. Watchmen, 2009
  69. Downstream, 2010
  70. Never Let Me Go, 2010
  71. Radio Free Albemuth, 2010
  72. In Time, 2011
  73. Antiviral, 2012
  74. The Hunger Games, 2012
  75. The Congress, 2013
  76. Elysium, 2013
  77. The Purge, 2013
  78. Snowpiercer, 2013
  79. The Zero Theorem, 2013
  80. Automata, 2014
  81. Divergent, 2014
  82. The Giver, 2014
  83. The Lego Movie, 2014
  84. The Maze Runner, 2014
  85. The Lobster, 2015
  86. Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015
  87. The Thinning, 2016
  88. What Happened to Monday, 2017
  89. Ready Player One, 2018

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