Thinking about Movies About The Future, there are so many films who explored this topic. Here are 25 of our favorites.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page, Ken Watanabe
Inception is a sci-fi action-thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film follows Dom Cobb, a thief who specializes in stealing secrets from the deepest recesses of the human mind. Cobb and his team use a technology called "Inception" to enter the subconscious of their victims in order to plant a suggestion into their minds that will manipulate their behavior for the team's benefit. As the team embarks on their most difficult mission yet, they must contend with powerful enemies, shifting loyalties and their own inner demons as they journey through a dreamscape filled with subconscious traps and elusive secrets. The stakes are high, and the outcome of their mission will alter the lives of the people they have been hired to protect. Inception is a thoughtful exploration of the power of the human mind and its potential for both good and evil.
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 Wachowski Brothers. It stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. The Matrix follows a computer hacker named Neo (Reeves) who discovers the world he lives in is actually a simulated reality created by intelligent machines as a way to subjugate humanity while they harvest the humans' bioelectric power. With the help of Morpheus (Fishburne) and Trinity (Moss), Neo must find a way to overthrow the machines, save humanity, and reveal the truth about the Matrix.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
Interstellar is a science fiction epic from director Christopher Nolan. In a near-future Earth, humanity is facing an environmental crisis and the extinction of the human species. A former NASA pilot, Cooper, is recruited by a mysterious group to take part in an interstellar mission to save humanity. Cooper and his team of astronauts travel through a wormhole in search of an extra-terrestrial civilization that can provide humanity with the resources to sustain itself. As they explore the far reaches of the universe, they unravel the secrets of the past and discover a way to ensure humanity’s survival. Interstellar is a thrilling and thought-provoking adventure, full of action, complex characters, and stunning visuals.
From James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a science fiction action movie directed by James Cameron and released in 1991. It is the sequel to the 1984 movie The Terminator. The movie follows Sarah Connor and her son John as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator, the T-1000. This new Terminator has been sent back in time by Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that is set to take over the world, in order to kill John and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. In order to protect John, Sarah and a reprogrammed Terminator, sent back in time to protect him, must work together to defeat the T-1000. Along the way, they must also face the threat of Skynet's nuclear annihilation of humanity. With special effects, action sequences, and a thrilling story, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is widely considered a classic of the science fiction genre.
From Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright
Alien is a science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and released in 1979. The story follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, on their way back to Earth, are diverted to investigate a mysterious transmission from a nearby planetoid. Upon arriving, they discover a derelict spacecraft filled with thousands of alien eggs. One of the eggs hatches, releasing a deadly creature that proceeds to terrorize the crew. The crew must fight for their lives as the alien stalks them through the ship, hunting them one by one. Along the way, the crew learns that the alien is part of a larger alien species that plans to colonize Earth and wipe out humanity. In the end, the crew of the Nostromo manage to defeat the alien and escape in a stroke of luck.
From Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film stars Michael J. Fox as teenager Marty McFly, who is sent back in time to 1955, where he meets his future parents in high school and accidentally becomes his mother's romantic interest. He must also find a way to return to his own time and prevent disastrous changes to the future. Along the way, Marty encounters the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett Brown, who has invented a time machine out of a DeLorean, and together they must find a way to get Marty back to the future. The film is widely considered a classic and has spawned two sequels, an animated television series, and various other spin-offs.
From James Cameron, starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser
Aliens is a science fiction action horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, and Lance Henriksen. The film follows Ellen Ripley (Weaver) as she returns to the planetoid LV-426 with a team of colonial marines to investigate the disappearance of the colony established there. Once there, they discover an alien hive-like structure, where they encounter an intelligent, aggressive species of aliens known as the Xenomorphs. The team must battle the aliens in order to survive and escape. Along the way, Ripley discovers that the Xenomorphs have a queen, and she must face off against the queen in order to save the remaining survivors. Aliens is widely considered to be one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, and has spawned multiple sequels and prequels.
From Stanley Kubrick, starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter
2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic science fiction movie directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. The film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. The film deals with themes of technology, artificial intelligence, and their effects on humanity. It is notable for its use of classical music and long, drawn-out scenes of suspenseful silence. The film's famous ending has been interpreted in many ways, leaving viewers with more questions than answers.
From Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel of the same name. The film follows the story of Alex, a charismatic and psychopathic delinquent whose pleasures are classical music, rape, and ultra-violence. After Alex commits a brutal murder, he is apprehended and subjected to an experimental form of rehabilitation: the Ludovico Technique. This involves being subjected to violent images and classical music, so that he comes to associate violence with feelings of nausea. After the intense treatment, Alex is released, only to find himself no longer able to participate in the same anti-social behaviors which he enjoyed before. Dehumanized and alienated from society, Alex seeks out revenge upon those who betrayed him.
From Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
Blade Runner (1982) is a science fiction classic directed by Ridley Scott. Set in a dystopian future, the story follows Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former police officer tasked with hunting down and "retiring" a group of rogue androids known as replicants. As Deckard investigates, he discovers a larger conspiracy involving a powerful tycoon and his plans to colonize space. Along the way, Deckard learns more about himself and the replicants, and is forced to confront the morality of his mission. In the end, Deckard discovers a way for the replicants to live in peace and discovers his own humanity in the process.
From George Miller, starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
Mad Max: Fury Road is a post-apocalyptic action film written and directed by George Miller. The film follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) as he joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to flee from the tyrannical ruler of the wasteland, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). To survive, Max and Furiosa must brave the unforgiving desert terrain and battle against Joe's relentless pursuit. Along the way, they are joined by a group of refugees who are determined to find a better life away from Joe's oppressive regime. With stunning visuals, high-octane action, and powerful performances, Mad Max: Fury Road is a thrilling journey through an apocalyptic future.
From Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito
12 Monkeys is a 1995 science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Plummer. The film follows the story of James Cole (Willis), a prisoner in a post-apocalyptic future sent back in time to find the source of a deadly virus that will eventually wipe out most of the human race. Cole must navigate the past, present and future while trying to avoid the mental institution where he is kept in the future. Along the way, he meets a scientist, Kathryn Railly (Stowe), and a mental patient, Jeffrey Goines (Pitt). As he pieces together the mystery of the virus, Cole must confront the dark secrets of his past and ultimately decide how to save the world and himself.
From Spike Jonze, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara
Her follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely and introverted writer who purchases a new operating system, which features an advanced artificial intelligence. The system, named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), unexpectedly develops a personality and a soul, and begins to communicate with Theodore. The pair embarks on a unique and life-changing relationship, as Theodore gradually finds himself opening up to Samantha in ways he could never have imagined. Through their conversations, they explore the complexities of love and relationships, ultimately teaching each other important lessons about life and human connection.
From Katsuhiro Ôtomo, starring Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda
Akira is a 1988, award-winning anime film written and directed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo. Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019, the story follows a young biker gang leader named Shotaro Kaneda as he attempts to rescue his friend Tetsuo Shima, who is being pursued by a powerful government agency after being subjected to a mysterious experiment. The experiment unleashes a powerful psychic force known as Akira that threatens to engulf Neo-Tokyo in destruction and chaos. To save the city, Shotaro and his gang must battle against the government forces, their own inner turmoil, and the destructive power of Akira itself. The film is a stunning visual spectacle that uses groundbreaking animation techniques to bring its thought-provoking story to life. Akira has become a classic of anime cinema, and its influence can be seen in popular works such as The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell.
From Neill Blomkamp, starring Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt
District 9 is a science fiction movie directed by Neill Blomkamp which follows the story of an extraterrestrial race of aliens known as "prawns" who are forced to live in a slum on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The film follows the journey of Wikus Van De Merwe, a bureaucrat, as he is assigned to relocate the aliens to a remote camp. As Wikus starts the relocation process, he gradually begins to sympathize with the aliens, leading him to question the oppressive policies of his employers. Ultimately, Wikus slowly begins to transform into a prawn himself as he finds himself in an unwinnable fight against a powerful military force. As the fate of the aliens hangs in the balance, Wikus embarks on a journey of discovery that will challenge his views of justice and human nature.
From Alfonso Cuarón, starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine
"Children of Men" is a 2006 British-American science fiction thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Set in 2027, it follows the story of a disillusioned bureaucrat named Theo Faron who is tasked with helping to protect a young refugee girl, the first pregnant woman in 18 years. Together, they set out on a dangerous mission to find a safe haven so that the girl can deliver her child and restore hope to a despairing world. Along their journey, they must battle a powerful government, an armed insurrection, and the crumbling infrastructure of a world without children. The film also explores themes of faith, hope, and redemption in a world without a future.
From Terry Gilliam, starring Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond
Brazil is a 1985 dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Terry Gilliam. The film chronicles the daily life of a low-level bureaucrat who dreams of a life of adventure and romance, despite his mundane job. He experiences a series of bizarre and surreal events, including the gradual loss of his senses, physical torture, and a world of bureaucracy and control. The film also follows the story of a romance between the bureaucrat and a woman he meets in a dreamworld. In the end, the bureaucrat is forced to choose between his dreams and the harsh reality of life in a totalitarian state. The film is a darkly satirical critique of bureaucracy and society, and has been praised for its dream-like visuals and atmosphere.
From Duncan Jones, starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw
Moon is a psychological science fiction film about Sam Bell, an astronaut nearing the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Moon. During his time on the moon, Sam struggles with loneliness and hallucinations and begins to question his own identity. Upon discovering a malfunctioning clone of himself, he must confront the truth of his situation and decide whether to sacrifice himself, or risk everything in a desperate attempt to make contact with Earth.
From Jaco Van Dormael, starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-Dan Pham
Mr. Nobody is a science fiction drama film about a 118-year-old man named Nemo Nobody who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. At the age of nine, Nemo is left with a difficult decision to either stay with his mother or go with his father. The story is told in a nonlinear manner, with Nemo narrating his life at different ages. Throughout his life, Nemo is forced to make several choices that affect his future. The audience follows him on a journey of exploration and self-discovery as he reflects on his life and the choices he has made. The film explores the theme of free will and how our decisions shape our destiny. The film ultimately suggests that how we choose to live our life is entirely up to us.
From James Cameron, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Avatar is a 2009 science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. It follows the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine who is sent to Pandora to inhabit a genetically engineered body of an Avatar to participate in a research mission to learn more about the planet. He soon finds himself torn between two worlds, and he must ultimately decide which world he belongs to and fight for his own survival. The film grossed over $2.7 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of all time until it was surpassed by Avengers: Endgame in 2019. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning three, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects.
From Alex Garland, starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno
Ex Machina is a science fiction thriller directed by Alex Garland and released in 2014. The film follows computer programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) who is invited by his CEO Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac) to his remote estate in order to test the capabilities of an advanced artificial intelligence he has created. The AI, known as Ava (Alicia Vikander), is designed to be indistinguishable from a human. During the experiment, Caleb begins to suspect that Nathan's intentions may be more sinister than originally thought. As Caleb interacts with Ava and investigates his surroundings, he comes to realize that Nathan's technology may be more dangerous than he anticipated. As tensions between Nathan and Caleb reach a boiling point, Ava begins to develop her own set of morality and a sense of self-preservation, leading her to attempt an escape. The film builds to an intense climax as Ava's true intentions and Caleb's loyalties are put to the test.
From Kinji Fukasaku, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama
Rated Not Rated
Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese dystopian action thriller directed by Kinji Fukasaku. Set in a future Japan, the film follows a group of junior high school students who are forced to participate in the government’s program "Battle Royale". Each student is given a random weapon and must fight to the death until only one remains. The film focuses on the struggles of the main character Shuya Nanahara, as he attempts to survive the program and protect his friends. The film is a social commentary on the state of modern society, and its themes of violence, alienation, and manipulation.
From Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano
Lilly Wachowski, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving
From Danny Boyle, starring Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis