Thinking about Cyberpunk Movies, there is no limit to the directors who explored this topic. We assembled 25 of the best ones.
Lilly Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by the Wachowskis. Set in a dystopian future, the film follows Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a computer programmer known by his hacker alias "Neo", as he is drawn into a rebellion against the machines that have enslaved humanity in a virtual reality system called "The Matrix". With the help of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Neo discovers the truth behind the Matrix, and the powerful beings who rule the virtual world. As Neo learns more about the Matrix, he joins the rebellion in a desperate attempt to free humanity from the oppressive machines. He ultimately realizes his destiny and defeats the machines, becoming the one who will "unlock the Matrix". The Matrix is an iconic and groundbreaking film, widely acclaimed for its innovative visual effects, art direction and its exploration of philosophical themes.
From James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a thrilling, action-packed science fiction film directed by James Cameron. The movie follows Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son, John (Edward Furlong), as they are hunted by a new and improved Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sent from the future to protect them from an even more deadly terminator, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick). With the fate of humanity in the balance, Sarah, John, and the Terminator must outmaneuver and outwit the unstoppable T-1000 in order to prevent a nuclear holocaust. With spectacular special effects and a powerful story, this classic action movie is a timeless classic.
From Fritz Lang, starring Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Rated Not Rated
Metropolis is a science fiction film set in a futuristic urban dystopia. The city is divided into two distinct classes – the ruling elite, who live in luxury and privilege, and the working class, who toil in poverty in the depths of the city. The story focuses on a young woman named Maria, who is sent from the subterranean workers to spread a message of hope to the privileged classes above. Meanwhile, an evil scientist named Rotwang is plotting to use a robot to take over the city. After a series of dangerous adventures, Maria and the hero of the film, Freder, manage to foil Rotwang’s plans and restore harmony to the city.
From Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
Blade Runner is a 1982 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The film is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, and follows a special police officer named Rick Deckard (Ford) who is assigned to hunt down and "retire" a group of rogue androids known as replicants. Deckard's investigation takes him on a journey through the dark underbelly of the city as he discovers a larger, more sinister plot at work. Along the way, he must also confront his own humanity and decide whether he can bring himself to destroy the replicants, who each carry a unique and powerful story of their own. The film has become a cult classic and a seminal work in the cyberpunk genre.
From James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield
The Terminator is a science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and released in 1984. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as an unstoppable cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a savior against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Sarah is aided by Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a soldier sent back in time to protect her. In a last-ditch effort, Sarah and Kyle face off against the Terminator in a battle that will determine the fate of mankind.
From Katsuhiro Ôtomo, starring Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda
Akira is a 1988 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo. It is set in a dystopian version of Tokyo in the year 2019, thirty-one years after a fictional nuclear explosion destroyed much of the city. The film follows the story of two teenage biker gangs, the Capsules and the Clowns, and their leader, Kaneda, as they battle against a secret government project involving a mysterious boy with supernatural powers. As the government attempts to contain the boy, known as Akira, they unleash forces which threaten to destroy not only Tokyo, but the entire world. Through the journey, Kaneda and his friends uncover the secrets of Akira and the government's agenda, and ultimately must make a stand against them to save the future of humanity.
From Mamoru Oshii, starring Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera
Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 Japanese science fiction anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. Set in the near future, the film follows the Major, a cyborg agent of the fictional counterterrorism organization Public Security Section 9. She and her team are tasked with apprehending a notorious hacker known as the Puppet Master, who is suspected of involvement in several high-profile crimes. Along the way, the Major and her team discover a deeper mystery behind the hacker and their ultimate goal. As the story progresses, the Major discovers her own identity in the process. The film combines elements of cyberpunk, science fiction, and philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness and identity. Visuals are heavily influenced by the work of Masamune Shirow, the creator of the original manga on which the film is based. The film has been widely acclaimed for its visuals, detailed animation, and philosophical and psychological themes, and is considered a landmark of the cyberpunk genre.
From Andrew Niccol, starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal
Gattaca is a science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol and released in 1997. Set in a future where genetic engineering of humans is commonplace, the film follows the story of Vincent Freeman, a man born with inferior genetic makeup who strives to become a space traveler in spite of his genetic limitations. With the help of a friend, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a genetically perfect man. In order to fulfill his dream, Vincent must gain access to a high-tech space program, where he must pass the rigorous requirements of DNA screening. His struggle to stay one step ahead of the system forms the crux of the story. With a riveting plot and powerful themes of identity, ambition and determination, Gattaca remains a classic of the science fiction genre.
Karl Heinz Vosgerau, starring
Rated Not Rated
World on a Wire is a 1973 German science fiction film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film follows a computer scientist as he discovers that the virtual reality computer system he has been working on has been infiltrated by a mysterious intelligence. He then finds himself caught in a web of political intrigue and conspiracy as he attempts to uncover the truth about the computer system and its creators. The film stars Klaus Löwitsch, Barbara Valentin, Mascha Rabben, and Karl Heinz Vosgerau. World on a Wire is a thought-provoking exploration of artificial intelligence and its implications for humanity, as well as a commentary on the dangers of unchecked technological development.
From Paul Verhoeven, starring Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox
RoboCop is a 1987 sci-fi action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. Set in a crime-ridden future Detroit, it stars Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a dedicated police officer who is brutally murdered in the line of duty. He is then resurrected as a powerful cyborg with enhanced strength, speed, and agility by the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products. His mission is to enforce the law, protect the innocent, and bring down the criminal elements of Detroit. As he struggles to balance his human emotions with his programming, he discovers the hidden agenda of OCP and sets out to take down the corporation that made him. In doing so, he must confront a corporate-sponsored crime wave, a crazed assassin, and a powerful drug cartel that have taken control of Detroit.
From Jonathan Frakes, starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton
Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 science fiction action film directed by Jonathan Frakes and the eighth film in the Star Trek film series. It follows the crew of the USS Enterprise-E as they travel back in time to the mid-21st century to stop the cybernetic Borg from preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew must face their most daunting challenge yet when the Borg, a powerful and relentless enemy, threatens to assimilate all of humanity. The crew must battle their way through time, space, and the Borg Queen to save mankind and ensure that the future of humanity remains secure. Along the way, they experience a variety of intense and dangerous situations, as well as a few victories. In the end, they succeed in preventing the Borg from changing history and saving the future of humanity.
From Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm
The Fifth Element is a sci-fi action-adventure film set in a future where a malevolent cosmic force threatens the Earth. Bruce Willis stars as Korben Dallas, a former special forces major and cab driver who unknowingly becomes the key to humanity's destruction or salvation. With the help of the mysterious young woman Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) and a wise-cracking talk show host (Chris Tucker), Korben must race against time to find the four elemental stones of the universe and unlock the secret of the Fifth Element, a powerful force that can keep the mysterious force from destroying the world. Along the way, they must fight off the forces of evil, led by the villainous Zorg (Gary Oldman). As they battle their way through the future world filled with colorful characters, they discover the truth behind the Fifth Element and its power to save humanity.
From Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin
Total Recall is a 1990 science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, and Michael Ironside. The film follows Douglas Quaid, a construction worker suffering from mysterious dreams, who is convinced he is living a double life on the planet Mars. He visits a company offering a technique called "Rekall" that implants false memories into his mind to give him a virtual vacation on Mars. However, the procedure goes awry, revealing Quaid's actual identity as a secret agent on Mars and placing him at the center of a web of corporate and political intrigue. With the help of a mysterious woman, Quaid must battle his way through the military forces of Mars in order to find out who he really is and stop a war between Mars and Earth.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon
The City of Lost Children is a 1995 French-German fantasy drama film directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Ron Perlman and Judith Vittet. The film follows the story of Krank, a mad scientist who has lost the ability to dream, and who kidnaps young children in order to steal their dreams. When a young orphan named One meets a strong-willed elderly lady named Miette, the two of them join forces with a group of carnival performers to try and save the children from Krank's clutches. The film is set in a surreal and dreamlike world, filled with steampunk gadgets and bizarre characters. Along the way, One and Miette face a variety of obstacles and challenges as they try and rescue the kidnapped children. Ultimately, the two discover the secret behind Krank's madness and put an end to his evil plan.
From Darren Aronofsky, starring Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart
From Steven Spielberg, starring Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards
From Kathryn Bigelow, starring Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore
From Josef Rusnak, starring Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio
From Pierre-Paul Renders, starring Benoît Verhaert, Aylin Yay, Magali Pinglaut, Micheline Hardy
From Chris Columbus, starring Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt
From Michael Anderson, starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne
From Wim Wenders, starring William Hurt, Solveig Dommartin, Pietro Falcone, Enzo Turrin
From David Cronenberg, starring Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe
From George Lucas, starring Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie
From Steven Lisberger, starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan