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List of dystopian films

This is a list of dystopian films. A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia,[1] kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening.[2][3] It is literally translated as "not-good place", an antonym of utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization,[2] totalitarian governments, environmental disaster,[3] or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society.


Title Year Comments
The 10th Victim 1965 In the near future, wars are avoided by giving people a chance to kill in the Big Hunt, which is also the most popular form of entertainment. Based on Robert Sheckley's 1953 short story, Seventh Victim.[4]
12 Monkeys 1995 A convict is sent back in time to gather information about a virus that wiped out most of the human population. Based on Chris Marker's 1962 short film La jetée.[5][6][7]:34
1984 1956 Loosely based on George Orwell's novel about a bureaucrat who falls in love in a futuristic totalitarian surveillance state.[8]
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 [9][10]
A Boy and His Dog 1974 [11]
A Clockwork Orange 1971 Adapted from Anthony Burgess' novella of the same name.[12][13][11]
A Scanner Darkly 2006 Adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name. A dangerous new drug causes the users to begin to lose their own identity.[14]
A.I. 2001 [11][15]
Æon Flux 2005 Adapted from Peter Chungs's animated television series of the same name.Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government.[16]
Akira 1988 [6][16]
Alien 1979 [17][18]
Alien 3 1992 [18]
Aliens 1986 [18]
Alphaville 1965 A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.[19]
The Animatrix 2003 [20]
Another Earth 2011 [15]
Atlas Shrugged: Part I 2011 Based on a novel by Ayn Rand. An alliance forms fight the increasingly authoritarian government of the United States.[21]
Batman 1989 based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton[22]
Battle Royale 2000 Based on the novel and manga of the same name.[6]
Battlefield Earth 2000 film adaptation of the novel, starring John Travolta.[11]
Blade Runner 1982 Loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.[13][23][16][18]
Blindness 2008 [24]
Book of Eli 2010 A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.[25]
Brave New World 1980 In a futuristic totalitarian society, people have no control of their lives and/or destiny.[11]
Brazil 1985 A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.[13][4][26][16][27][7]:39
Cargo 2009 [28]
Casshern 2004 [29]
Cherry 2000 1987 [30]
Children of Men 2006 Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, based on P.D. James' novel. In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.[13][23][10][16]
City of Ember 2008 [31]
City of Lost Children 1995 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.[6]
Cloud Atlas 2012 [32][33]
Cloverfield 2008 [15]
Code 46 2003 A futuristic 'Brief Encounter', a love story in which the romance is doomed by genetic incompatibility.[4]
Colossus: The Forbin Project 1970 [34]
Dark City 1998 A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.[11][6]
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014 [35][36]
The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961 [18]
Dead End Drive-In 1986 [37]
Death Race 2000 1975 The film takes place in a dystopian American society in the year 2000, where the murderous Transcontinental Road Race has become a form of national entertainment.[4]
Death Watch 1980 [34]
Demolition Man 1993 A cop is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent enemy who is loose in a nonviolent future society.[18][38]
District 9 2009 An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.[15]
Divergent 2014 Based on the adaption of Veronica Roth's novels of the same names, In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in.[39][4][40][41][42]
The Divergent Series: Insurgent 2015 After the series of events and death of her parents in Divergent, Tris Prior tries to figure out what the Abnegation were trying to protect and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them.[43][44]
Doomsday 2008 [citation needed]
Downstream 2010 [45]
Dredd 2012 Adapted from the comic book of the same name.[46]
Ellcia 1993 [47]
Elysium 2013 In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.[48][49]
The End of Evangelion 1997 [23]
Ender's Game 2013 Based on the novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card.[50]
Equilibrium 2002 In a fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.[16]
Escape from L.A. 1996 Sequel to the 1981 film, Escape from New York.[51]
Escape from New York 1981 In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant max. security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.[13][11]
eXistenZ 1999 directed by David Cronenberg[41]
Fahrenheit 451 1966 Based on Ray Bradbury's novel of the same name.In an oppressive future, a fireman whose duty is to destroy all books begins to question his task.[11][10][16]
Fantastic Planet 1973 [34]
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions 2004 [52]
The Fifth Element 1997 [53]
Forbidden Planet 1956 [18]
Fortress 1993 A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control.[38]
Freejack 1992 [18]
Futureworld 1976 sequel to Westworld.[9]
Gamer 2009 In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle. A convict controlled by a skilled teenage gamer must survive 30 sessions in order to be set free.[54]
Gattaca 1997 A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.[11][6][16][17]
Ghost in the Shell 1995 [55]
The Giver 2014 A dark, quiet, but powerful futuristic political tale in which a 12-year-old boy must search the truth in the world free of war, crime, disease, poverty, unfairness, and injustice.[39][40][41][42]
The Handmaid's Tale 1990 In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.[42][11][16]
Hardware 1990 [56]
Harrison Bergeron 1995 A cable television movie adapted from the short story of the same name by Kurt Vonnegut.[57]
The Hunger Games 2012 Directed by Gary Ross, Based on Suzanne Collins' novel of the same name. Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.[13][39][40][42]
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013 Directed by Francis Lawrence, Based on Suzanne Collin's Catching Fire.[11]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 2014 Directed by Francis Lawrence, Based on Suzanne Collin's Mockingjay.[39][41]
I Am Legend 2007 [11][58]
I, Robot 2004 Adapted from a series of short stories by Isaac Asimov.[11]
Idiocracy 2006 An average man is selected for a top-secret hibernation program. When he wakes up 500 years later to discover he's the smartest person in a radically dumbed-down society.[59][38]
In Time 2011 In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth.[11][58]
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 [34]
The Island 2005 A man goes on the run after he discovers that he is actually a "harvestable being", and is being kept as a source of replacement parts, along with others, in a Utopian facility.[60][61]
Johnny Mnemonic 1995 [62][63]
Kin-dza-dza! 1986 A 1986 Soviet sci-fi dystopian black comedy cult film.[7]:184[64]
Land of the Blind 2006 [10]
The Last Battle 1983 [65]
The Last Man on Earth 1964 [18]
The Lego Movie 2014 [66][67]
Logan's Run 1976 Depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed by the simple notion of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty.[11][9][16]
Looper 2012 In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.[68]
Mad Max 1979 [11][17][18]
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 1981 [13][11][6][17]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 1985 [41][11][17]
Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 [69]
The Man Who Fell to Earth 1976 [70]
The Matrix 1999 A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.[13][41][11][16]
The Matrix Reloaded 2003 The second installment of The Matrix trilogy.[11]
The Matrix Revolutions 2003 The third installment of The Matrix trilogy.[11]
Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future 1985 [71]
The Maze Runner 2014 Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "Runners" for a shot at escape. Based on the first book of The Maze Runner Trilogy written by James Dashner.[39][50]
Metropia 2009 [72]
Metropolis 1927 A German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang.[11][6][16][18]
Metropolis 2001 animated film by Osamu Tezuka[34]
Minority Report 2002 Based on Philip K. Dick's short story, "The Minority Report".[41][10][17]
Moon 2009 [73]
Natural City 1997 [74]
Never Let Me Go 2010 Based on Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel of the same name.[23][11]
Nineteen Eighty-Four 1984 Based on George Orwell's novel of the same name.[13][11][16][18]
Nirvana 1997 [75]
Oblivion 2013 Based on Joseph Kosinski's unpublished graphic novel of the same name.[76][77]
The Omega Man 1971 [11][18]
On the Beach 1959 [34]
Outland 1981 [17]
Planet of the Apes 1968 [4][11]
Pleasantville 1998 [47]
The Postman 1997 [35]
Priest 2011 [78]
Punishment Park 1971 [34]
The Purge 2013 In a futuristic America plagued by crime, the government sanctions a 12-hour period once a year in which all criminal activity is legal.[79]
The Purge: Anarchy 2014 [79]
Renaissance 2006 [80]
Repo Men 2010 Based on the novel The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia.[81]
Resident Evil series German-British-French science fiction horror franchise written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, based on the video game of the same name.[82]
The Road 2009 [13][11][58]
RoboCop 1987 Centers on a police officer who is brutally murdered and subsequently revived as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer.[16][17]
Rollerball 1975 [9]
The Running Man 1987 Loosely adapted from Stephen King's novel of the same name.[11]
Seconds 1966 [34]
Silent Running 1972 [4][9][18]
Sleep Dealer 2008 [83]
Sleeper 1973 [84]
Snowpiercer 2013 [41][11]
Surrogates 2009 [85]
Southland Tales 2007 [23]
Soylent Green 1973 Based on Harry Harrison's novel Make Room! Make Room!.[11][10][18]
The Stand 1994 [58]
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 2002 [47]
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 2005 [47]
Strange Days 1995 [86][87]
Tekken 2010 [88]
The Terminator 1984 [11]
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 [11]
Terminator 3 2003 [11]
Terminator Salvation 2009 [11]
They Live 1988 adapted from Eight O'Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson.[10][6]
The Thing 1951 [18]
The Thing 1982 [18]
Things To Come 1936 [18]
THX 1138 1971 Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society. Also the first film by director George Lucas.[11][10][38]
The Trial 1962 [34]
Total Recall 1990 Loosely based on Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale".[17]
Total Recall 2012 Remake of the 1990 film of the same name.[89][90][91]
Transcendence 2014 [92]
V for Vendetta 2006 Based on Alan Moore's graphic novel.[11][10][16][22]
Videodrome 1983 [41][93]
WALL-E 2008 [41][47]
Watchmen 2009 [16]
Waterworld 1995 [94]
Westworld 1973 written and directed by Michael Crichton.[9]
When Worlds Collide 1951 [18]
World on a Wire 1973 German television movie (original title Welt am Draht), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.[34][95]
Z.P.G. 1972 [96]
Zardoz 1974 [11][97][18]
The Zero Theorem 2014 [26]

See also


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