The Oxford English Dictionary defines dystopia as: ‘The imagined state or society where great injustice is suffered or post-apocalyptic.’ At the same time, the second definition of “anti-utopia” is offered by Merriam-Webster. The Greek word origin, which loosely refers to the “not good place,” should also be considered. You can develop endless interpretations of what constitutes a dystopia and a dystopian movie by extension. Societies are in great misery or injustice in the best dystopian films, and one comes from the collective well of human experience with its over-realization of a potential reality. Those dystopian movies cultivate a feeling of disturbing acquaintance.
Which Dystopian Movies are currently streaming on Netflix?
- A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick – 1971)
- Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve – 2017)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick – 1968)
What is the name of the first Dystopian Movie?
Which is the highest-grossing Dystopian movie of all time?
Without notable ado, here are the best dystopian films of all time. May they forever be the essence of imagination.
15. Planet of the Apes (1968)
|Director:||Franklin J. Schaffner|
|Release Date:||April 3, 1968 (United States)|
|Starring:||Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans|
|Box Office:||$33.4 million|
Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction movie directed in 1968 by Franklin J. Schaffner based on the French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. In the film, a crew of astronauts crashed on a weird planet in the distant future. Although the planet seems desolate, a society in which apes have developed into human-like creatures struggles the surviving crew. The world’s smallest animal monkeys have taken over the dominant species’ role, and people are silent creatures of animal skin. The film earned $33.4 million gross dollars for the whole of his life.
14. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
|Director:||Denis Villeneuve(Dune director)|
|Release Date:||October 6, 2017 (United States)|
|Starring:||Bridgerton star- Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford|
|Box Office:||$260.5 million|
Blade Runner 2049, an American science fiction movie is produced in 2017 by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and directed by Denis Villeneuve. Ford and James Edward Olmos take over their original roles. Gosling plays K, a blade runner Nexus-9 replicant, which reveals a secret to society and its civilization. Blade Runner 2049 has won several honors: Best Sound Edition, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Production Design. The film has received the best cinematography in the 90th Academy Awards and the Best Visual Effects. Eight nominations, including Best Director at the 71st British Academy Film Awards, also received this movie.
13. 12 Monkeys (1995)
|Release Date:||December 29, 1995|
|Starring:||Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe|
|Box Office:||$168.8 million|
The 1995 American Science fiction movie Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, directed by Terry Gilliam, is inspired by Chris Marker’s La Jetée book of 1962. Following Universal Studios’ rights to remake the full-length La Jetée, the script was written by David and Janet Peoples. The filmmakers received a budget of $29.5 million from Universal Pictures for filming that lasted from February to May 1995. The movie was mostly shot in Philadelphia and Baltimore. The story is about James Cole, a convict who decides to work on a mission to learn about the virulent holiday outbreak’s main reason.
The film was made available for critical acclaim and totaled 168.8 million dollars worldwide. Pitt was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, and also it won a Golden Globe Award. The film was also nominated for the Saturn Awards for several categories.
12. The Terminator (1984)
|Director:||James Cameron(Alita Battle Angel 2 Producer)|
|Release Date:||October 26, 1984|
|Starring:||Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn|
|Box Office:||$78.3 Million|
In 1984, James Cameron directed a scientific fiction film, The Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was sent back to death between 2029 and 1984 as the Terminator, was the cyborg murderer who one day, by a hostile artificial intelligence in the post-apocalyptic future, would save humanity from extinction. He is a star of the cyborg murderers. Kyle Reese, a soldier, was sent out to protect Sarah in time, played by Michael Biehn. For two weeks, the Terminator was at the top of the US box office. It helped to launch the film career of Cameron and strengthen the status of Schwarzenegger as the leader. The Terminator was performed at 1,005 theatres during the opening week and was awarded $40 million, the number one at the box office. In its second week, the film remained at number one. Cameron noted that The Terminator is a hit on the market from the summer to the Christmas blockbuster.
11. Logan (2017)
|Release Date:||March 3, 2017|
|Starring:||Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart|
|Box Office:||$619 million|
Logan is the titular character of a 2017 American superhero Hollywood film with Hugh Jackman. The 10th film in the X-Men series and the third and final part of the Wolverine Trilogy after X-Men: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013). An elderly Wolverine and an extremely ill Charles Xavier who defends a young mutant named Laura from the vile reavers led by Donald Pierce and ZanderRice followed this movie, based on the inspiration from “Old Man Logan” created by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven in an awkward future. Logan made its first appearance in the US at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2017. The film was critically acknowledged with love for its screenplay, acting (especially Jackman and Stewart’s films), directing, and leaving the traditional superhero films.
10. Blade Runner (1982)
|Director:||Ridley Scott(The Last Duel)|
|Release Date:||Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer|
|Starring:||June 25, 1982|
|Box Office:||$41.5 Million|
The religious sci-fi classic, which is known as The Blade Runner follows Rick Deckard. The response to the franchise “Star wars,” between the visuals and the rich soundtrack, plays an atmospheric response. Several variants have been published over the years, but most agree that the Final Cut is the one to see. The ex-police officer Rick Deckard is responsible for exterminating an android group. A special agent revolves around the floor. He is questioning his own identity as he gets deeper into his mission. It was later a popular cult movie which was considered one of the best science fiction movies ever. Blade Runner is the first example of neo-noir cinema and welcomes the production design that depicts a declining future.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
|Release Date:||Tom Hardy(Venom 2), Charlize Theron(Addams Family 2)|
|Starring:||May 14, 2015|
|Box Office:||$375.4 Million|
Mad Max: Fury Road is a post-apocalyptic film from Australia produced by George Miller and co-written and directed in 2015. Miller has been working on the screenplay with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris. Miller came up with the idea in 1987 for the Fury Road; nevertheless, it was in development for many years before the idea came to light in 1998. In both 2001 and 2003, attempts to shoot the film were delayed due to the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war. Fury Road has received numerous accolades, among which ten nominations for academic awards at 88th Academy awards, as one of the greatest action movies of all time and one of the best of 2015.
8. The Truman Show (1998)
|Release Date:||June 5, 1998|
|Starring:||Jim Carrey, Laura Linney|
|Box Office:||$264.1 Million|
The Truman Show was produced in 1998 by Scott Rudin, Andrew Nicol, Edward S. Feldman, and Adam Schroeder and directed by Peter Weir, an American psychological comedy-drama. The film stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man who grew up living an unknown ordinary life on a big stage with actors in a TV show about him. He eventually discovers the truth and decides to flee. Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Ed Harris, Paul Giamatti, and Brian Delate are also responsible for additional roles. The Truman Show was originally a Niccol script inspired by an episode from 1989 called “Spe,” the Twilight Zone. It was a scientist’s thriller, with a story set in New York City. From January, this film is streamed on Amazon Prime and Hulu. This movie was also honored as an acclaimed film in the 71st Academy, 56th Golden Globe Awards, 52nd British Academy Film Awards, and The Saturn Awards.
7. Stalker (1979)
|Release Date:||May 25, 1979|
|Starring:||Jim Carrey(Ace Ventura 3), Laura Linney(Ozark Season 4)|
|Box Office:||4.3 million tickets|
Stalker is a Soviet science fiction film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1979, which is based loosely on his 1972 novel Roadside Picnic and is a screenplay by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The film combines science fiction elements with dramatic subjects of philosophy and psychology. The film is about an expedition led by Alexander Kaidanovsky, a figure who takes his clients and inspiring melancholic author and a professor, Nikolai Grinko, who wants to learn the world of science, to a mysteriously reserved space that is called the “Zone,” where there is an alleged space that gives people the most innermost desires of their life. The film tells a story about an expedition. The movie was featured in several mixed reviews but was recognized in the following years as a world movie classic, ranked #29 on its “50 Greatest Films of All Time” by the British Film Institute. The movie sold more than 4 million tickets for a budget of 1 million rubles, mainly in the Soviet Union.
6. V for Vendetta (2005)
|Release Date:||March 17, 2006|
|Starring:||Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving(The Matrix)|
|Box Office:||$132.5 million|
V For Vendetta, a 2005 dystopian film, is a political action directed by James McTeigue and produced by the Wachowskis based on an Alan Moore and David Lloyd 1988 DC limited series. The film is placed in an alternative future, in which the United Kingdom has been subjected to a Nordic and neo-fascist totalitarian rule. The focus is on Five, a masked liberty fighter trying to ignite a revolution using elaborate terrorism. Evey Hammond, a young working-class woman on V’s mission, is portrayed by Hugo Weaving and a masked freedom fighter. Stephen Rea depicts a detective who desperately tries to stop V. The film was also successful concerning merchandise sales of Fawkes masks, with every year since the movie was released in 2011.
5. Metropolis (1927)
|Release Date:||January 10, 1927|
|Starring:||Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm|
|Box Office:||75,000 Reichsmarks|
Metropolis is a German expressionist film by Fritz Lang directed by science fiction in 1927. Written in conjunction with Lang by Thea von Harbou, the silent film is seen as one of the first science-fiction films of the genre. In 1925-26, movies were carried out over 17 months at the cost of over 5 million Reichsmarks. Made in Germany in the period of Weimar, Métropolis follows Freder, the rich son of the master of the town, and the holy figure of Maria, who overcomes the vast gulf between city classes and the workers, and Joh Fredersen, the mast of the town, who works in Germany during the period of Weimar. The final intertitle of this movie’s message is “The Mediator Entre the Head and Hands Must Be the Heart.” Metropolis is now well-established in Sight & Sound’s 2012 poll as one of the biggest and most influential films ever made.
4. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
|Release Date:||December 19, 1971|
|Starring:||Malcolm McDowell(Truth Seekers), Patrick Magee|
|Box Office:||$26.6 million|
The dystopian crime film A Clockwork Orange was created in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess’s novel from the same name in 1962. It uses disturbing, violent images in a dystopian near-future of the country to comment on psychiatry, youth crime, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic matters. Alex, a psychopathic criminal, is arrested for killing and rape. He volunteers for the government’s experimental therapy to reduce his sentence. He was nominated for several honors, including four nominations to the 44th Academy Awards. In 2020, the Library of Congress chose the film as “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” to be preserved in the National Film Registry.
3. WALL-E (2008)
|Release Date:||June 27, 2008|
|Starring:||Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin(The Goldbergs season 8)|
|Box Office:||$521.3 million|
WALL-E is a romantic comedy film by Pixar Animation Studios produced by Walt Disney Pictures in 2008, animated by computer. It was directed and co-written by Jim Morris and co-written by Andrew Stanton. The company’s 9th film, WALL-E, follows the lonely robot to clean up waste on a future, uninhabitable wasteland. However, he is visited by a sample sent by the starship Axiom, an EVE robot he loves and travels throughout the galaxy. For a total of US$ 521.3 Million worldwide, the Wall-E has grown to $223.8 million in the United States and Canada and $297.5 million in the outside world.
2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
|Release Date:||July 3, 1991|
|Starring:||Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton|
|Box Office:||$520.9 million|
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is an American film produced and directed in 1991 by James Cameron, co-writer of William Wisher’s script. The Terminator is the second installment in the Terminator franchise. Terminator 2 is followed by a new, more advanced Terminator from Sarah Connor (Hamilton) to her ten-year-old son John (Furlong): the liquid metal shapeshifting T-1000 (Patrick). It has been re-enjoyed in time to kill John Connor, preventing him from becoming a human resistance leader. A “Resistance” is also sent back in time by the second less advanced Terminator (Schwarzenegger). This is the biggest film in 1991 and the most rated R-film ever in Schwarzenegger’s career. This movie was also honored for its Best Sound Effects, Best Sound, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
1. Interstellar (2014)
|Release Date:||November 5, 2014|
|Starring:||Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway|
|Box Office:||$701.8 million|
Christopher Nolan’s scientific epic demonstrates a not too distant future, and climate change pushes humanity to the brink of extinction. Through their company Syncope and Lynda Obst through Lynna Obst Productions, Christopher created Interstellar with his wife, Emma Thomas. He is also renowned for his Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 as Caltech theoretical physicist. He worked as a scientific advisor and wrote a book of interrelations: The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne is a managing producer. The story is about a pilot spacecraft and a team of researchers who will find a new planet for people when the earth in the future will become uninhabitable.
We have been using advanced IMDb searches, thorough film journalism, and academic research to compile a list of all-time’s best dystopian films. Intentionally, zombie movies and isolated post-apocalyptic films were excluded. Though they are a large selection of the most popular dystopian films, we have sorted to give you the best 15 films of all time that you can enjoy watching on Hulu Plus, Amazon, or Netflix.
The opinion is purely subjective, but we think that many of the picks on this list would agree. However, if you haven’t, then comment on your favorite dystopian film in the comment section below?