Here at DystopianMovies.org we celebrate an enduring and much loved genre. Dystopian movies are filled with political intrigue, satire, social commentary, apocalyptic portents, scary futuristic technology, uber-villains and eclectic heroes. What’s not to love?!
These are films to make you think; films with agendas, subtexts, ideals, dangerous philosophies, propaganda; films that challenge the traditional views on how the world works, that question where society is going and how it will get there; films designed to provoke a reaction, to make you question your values, to make you question their values. If this is what you’re looking for, you may find something here that will be ideal for your next film night.
- An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.
- A work describing such a place or state.
A Clockwork Orange is a brutal Stanley Kubrick film, based on the Anthony Burgess novel. In the near future society is in decay, and the streets are overrun by violent gangs. The government has a new heavy-handed test project, designed to re-program these renegades, in order to free up the overcrowded prisons to make space for political prisoners.
Malcolm McDowell as Alex in A Clockwork Orange: "What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolent." Aubrey Morris as Deltoid in A Clockwork Orange: "What gets into you all? We study the problem. We've been studying it for damn well near a century, yes, but we get no further with our studies. You've got a good home here, good loving parents, you've got not too bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside of you?" Anthony Sharp as Minister of the Interior in A Clockwork Orange: "Public opinion has a way of changing."
Detective Sergeant John Spartan, also known as the 'Demolition Man', is awakened from cryo-sleep, in the year 2032, to a strange totalitarian utopia ruled over by the sinister Dr. Raymond Cocteau. Spartan is re-enlisted to deal with a mass murderer who is on the rampage. As he investigates the case, he discovers there is more to this regime than initially meets the eye.
Sylvester Stallone as John Spartan in Demolition Man: "Somebody put me back in the fridge." Sandra Bullock as Lenina Huxley in Demolition Man: "Ahh... smoking is not good for you, and it's been deemed that anything not good for you is bad; hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat... " Wesley Snipes as Simon Phoenix in Demolition Man: "Wait a minute, this is the future. Where are all the phaser guns?"
Metropolis is the classic silent-movie industrial dystopia from 1927. It portrays a futuristic city comprising a two-tier society of haves and have-nots who are kept unaware of each other's existence.
Gustav Frohlich as Freder in Metropolis: "I wanted to look into the faces of the people whose little children are my brothers, my sisters... Your magnificent city, Father - and you the brain of this city - and all of us in the city's light... And where are the people, father, whose hands built your city ---?" Brigitte Helm as Maria in Metropolis: "HEAD and HANDS need a mediator! The mediator between HEAD and HANDS must be the HEART!!" Alfred Abel as Joh Fredersen in Metropolis: "Beginning today, I wish to be kept informed of every step taken by my son."
Serenity is the conclusion to the TV series 'Firefly'. The movie pits Malcolm Reynolds and his crew against the ruthless and powerful Alliance that rules the 'inner planets' with an iron fist.
Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds in Serenity: "I aim to misbehave." Summer Glau as River Tam in Serenity: "You take care of me, Simon. You've always taken care of me. My turn." Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative in Serenity: "I have to say, Captain: I'm impressed that you would come for her yourself. And that you would make it this far...in that outfit."
What is The Matrix? The movie explores the nature of reality, in a distant dystopic future in which man's mechanical creations have been become unmanageably powerful and rebelled against their creators. It follows the path of one man's quest for the 'truth'.
Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix: "I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life." Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix: What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in The Matrix: "I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."
V For Vendetta is set in a near-future totalitarian British state. Starring Hugo Weaving as the masked character 'V', and Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond.
Hugo Weaving as 'V' in V For Vendetta: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond in V For Vendetta: "Artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up." John Hurt as Adam Sutler in V For Vendetta: "I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want everyone to remember why they need us!"
Blade Runner is set in Los Angeles A.D. 2017, based on the Philip K. Dick novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?'. It follows the trail of police assassin Deckard, who's job is to track down and kill 'replicants', who are banned from planet earth.
Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner: [narrating] "The report read 'Routine retirement of a replicant.' That didn't make me feel any better about shooting a woman in the back." Sean Young as Rachael in Blade Runner: "I’m not in the business… I am the business." Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner: "Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."
Gattaca is a future dystopia in which everyone is strictly controlled according to their genetic profile. Only those with superior genes can fulfill superior roles in society. Vincent Freeman, a genetic misfit, attempts to trick the system in order to acccess the life he is forbidden from having.
Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman in Gattaca: "I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science." Uma Thurman as Irene Cassini in Gattaca: " 'Unacceptable likelihood of heart failure.' I think that's what the manual says. The only trip I'll take in space is around the sun on this satellite right here. Jude Law as Jerome Eugene Morrow in Gattaca: "I got the better end of the deal. I only lent you my body - you lent me your dream."
Fahrenheit 451 is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, by Ray Bradbury. It is a tale of an oppressive future where books are blamed as the unsettling force that makes people discontent with their lot, and undermines the stability and smooth running of society. So the books have to be burned.
Cyril Cusack as The Captain in Fahrenheit 451: "Listen to me, Montag. Once to each fireman, at least once in his career, he just itches to know what these books are all about. He just aches to know. Isn't that so?" Oskar Werner as Montag in Fahrenheit 451: "Behind each of these books, there's a man. That's what interests me." Julie Christie as Clarisse in Fahrenheit 451: "Is it true that a long time ago, firemen used to put out fires and not burn books?"
Alien the movie: The deep space mining ship Nostromo intercepts an unidentified transmission on its way home from a distant prospecting mission. The crew are awakened prematurely from cryo-sleep and sent to investigate.
Sigorney Weaver as Ripley in Alien: "Wait a minute. We let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedures: 24 hours for decontamination." John Hurt as Kane in Alien: "The pit is completely enclosed. And it's full of leathery objects, like eggs or something." Ian Holm as Ash in Alien: "Bring back life form. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded."
The Fifth Element is a crazy-ass sci-fi extravaganza set in a neon-ballroom universe full of lunatics. Korben Dallas is on a mission to protect the supreme being, so that she can save mankind from the ultimate evil.
Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element: "I was just on my way over to see you, when this big fare fell in my lap. You know, one of these really big fares that you just can't resist?" Milla Jovovich as Leeloo in The Fifth Element: "Me: fifth element - supreme being. Me protect you." Gary Oldman as Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element: "You see, father, by causing a little destruction, I am in fact encouraging life."
Nineteen Eighty-Four is based on George Orwell's novel of the same name. The population are subjected to psychological and physical slavery under the draconian rule of a global fascist one-party state.
John Hurt as Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four: "Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four. If that is granted all else will follow." Suzanne Hamilton as Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four: "It's the one thing they can't do. They can torture you, make you say anything. But they can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you. They can't get to your heart." Gregor Fisher as Parsons in Nineteen Eighty-Four
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Gattaca is a future dystopia in which everyone is strictly controlled according to their genetic profile. Only those with superior genes can fulfill superior roles in society. Vincent Freeman, a genetic misfit, attempts to trick the system in order to acccess the life he is forbidden from having.Read More →
A Clockwork Orange is a brutal Stanley Kubrick film, based on the Anthony Burgess novel. In the near future society is in decay, and the streets are overrun by violent gangs. The government has a new heavy-handed test project, designed to re-program these renegades, in order to free up the overcrowded prisons to make space for political prisoners.Read More →