What is it about an “end of the world” scenario that makes it so appealing? Since the invention of cinema until the present digital age, stories about great social injustice and widespread suffering have always captured the attention and imagination of moviegoers in general. For every generation, there is a quintessential dystopian film that encapsulates the social fears and anxieties of that generation. In this post, we’ll be featuring the top 10 best dystopian movies of all time:
5 Dystopian Movies You Need to Watch
5. Idiocracy (2006)
This film is director Mike Judge’s satirical tale about the deterioration of American intelligence, and it follows its protagonist Joe Bauers, played by Luke Wilson, as he participates in a government-organized hibernation program and wakes up several years to an America that has grown dumber and resources that have dwindled so much so that people have to depend on a green sports drink for sustenance.
4. WALL-E (2008)
Produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Andrew Stanton, this film features an interesting protagonist, a waste-collecting robot named WALL-E, who has been relegated to roaming an empty, garbage-filled Earth. He finds his way aboard a spacecraft, which is said to contain all the human beings that have escaped Earth. The film shines a spotlight on the possible bleakness of mankind’s nature if human beings continue to give in to the worst aspects of their nature.
3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
This movie, which is an adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel of the same title, can be considered as a cinematic discourse on the consequences of violent punishments, no matter how well-deserved and “lawful” they are. A notorious gang leader, played by Malcolm McDowell, gets arrested and serves time in jail for his crimes. He is given the opportunity to sign up for a radical experiment that will correct his sociopathic tendencies in return for a shorter prison sentence.
2. Brazil (1985)
This film by director Terry Gilliam gives its audience a bleak look into the future should technocrats and bureaucrats gain absolute power over society. It revolves around Sam Lowry, played by Jonathan Pryce, who works a mind-numbing job in a society that has been overrun with machines. When he tries to correct an error that led to the arrest of an innocent man, he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a criminal investigation—that of his own. Brazil is cinematic satire at its best, and it is reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel 1984. It has been praised by critics for its absurdist and Kafkaesque elements.
1. The Matrix (1999)
This is perhaps one of the most well-known dystopian movies of all-time. It turned superstar Keanu Reeves, who was already a well-known action hero, into a bonafide sci-fi icon, brought cyberpunk dystopian films to the forefront of the movie industry, and revolutionized the use of special effects and CGI in films. Up to this day, its influence on modern filmmaking and storytelling cannot be forgotten, and people still talk about The Matrix as the one film that reinvented modern kinetic cinema.
The Top 5 Best Dystopian Movies of All Time by George