Since George Orwell’s penultimate novel 1984, the dystopian genre grew progressively until recently hitting its peak. Some of the key ingredients include oppressive regimes, near future technology, or wealthy bureaucracies, dark tones, and the unlikelihood of a happy ending. Various filmmakers have put their own spin on this, creating some of the most compelling narratives and worlds. It’s hard to put a finger on why dystopias are so fascinating. They’re dour, depressing, and not likely to put anyone in a good mood. However, the stark contrasts and underlying subtext and social commentary bring up plenty of topics to discuss and think about. It provides a new perspective and point of view, shining a light on our own societal shortcomings. With all that said, there are some great dystopian movies out there, but which top them all? Here are the 25 Best Dystopian Movies You’ll Want To See.
Despite its 70’s camp, Logan’s Run is a compelling utopia turned on its head. Everyone lives in a paradise world, but what they don’t know is life ends at the age of 30. It asks the question: Would we want paradise if it meant we could only have it for a short time?
In Soylent Green, Charlton Heston plays an NYPD detective in a world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation. With little food to go around, most of the world eats a mass-produced product called Soylent Green. While he’s investigating a murder, he discovers something disturbing. It questions how far society might go when pushed against a corner and doesn’t have a comforting answer.
Released in 1927, Metropolis is a black-and-white classic about city planners and the working class of the city. A prophet tells of a coming savior to figure out their differences. The beauty of the film is its visionary set and costume design. Plus, the story is an eerie depiction of futuristic class warfare.
V for Vendetta
Taking many of its cues from 1984, V for Vendetta is about a totalitarian government in England and a terrorist named “V” out to inspire the people to bring it down. Many of themes in this film revolve around individual freedom versus security and how eventually people will want freedom.
District 9 is arguably more of a science fiction than a dystopian film. Still, it has dystopian elements. When an alien spaceship hovers over the city of Johannesburg, humanity must find a place for the millions of aliens on board to stay. The result is a large, unsanitary ghetto. Much of the film is a critique on South African apartheid.