Dystopian Films

Lately I have seen the news and is really worrying the way our reality is; it is scary how some things that seem to happened only in dytopian films are now a reality. Imagine how similar are the sweatshops in the third world similar to the condition of the workers in Metropolis, or the idea of surveillance in 1984 to the way we are living.

What is a dystopian Film?

Well, a dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the disguise of being an perfect society. Dystopian societies are often imagined as a police states with unlimited power over the citizens . To exemplified I choose my favorite 10 dystopian films.

10. Logan’s Run (1976)

Directed by Michael Anderson and Written by David Zelag Goodman and based in the book Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.

It’s 2274 and on the surface, it all seems to be an idyllic society. Living in a city within an enclosed dome, there is little or no work for humans to perform and inhabitants are free to pursue all of the pleasures of life. There is one catch however: your life is limited and when you reach 30, it is terminated in a quasi-religious ceremony known as Carousel. Some, known as runners, do try to escape their fate when the time comes and it’s the job of a Sandman to track them down and kill them. Logan is such a man and with several years before his own termination date, thinks nothing of the job he does. Soon after meeting a young woman, Jessica-6, he is ordered to become a runner himself and infiltrate a community outside the dome known as Sanctuary and to destroy it.

9.- Soylent Green (1973)

Directed by Richard Fleisher, Written by Walter Seltzer and Russel Thacher and based in the book Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

A tale of Earth in despair in 2022. Natural food like fruits, vegetables, and meat among others are now extinct. Earth is overpopulated and New York City has 40 million starving, poverty stricken people. The only way they survive is with water rations and eating a mysterious food called Soylent. A detective investigates the murder of the president of the Soylent company. The truth he uncovers is more disturbing than the Earth in turmoil when he learns the secret ingredient of Soylent Green.

8. Nineteen Eighty Four (1984)

Directed and Written by Michael Radford and based in the book Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell.

In a futuristic, state-run society controlled by “Big Brother” in which love is outlawed, employee of the state Winston Smith falls for Julia, and is tortured and brainwashed for his crime.

7. Twelve Monkeys  (1995)

Directed by Terry Gilliam, Written by David and Janet Peoples and based in the short film La jeete by Chris Marker.

An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out five billion people in 1996. Only 1% of the population has survived by the year 2035, and is forced to live underground. A convict, James Cole, volunteers to be sent back in time to 1996 to gather information about the origin of the epidemic and locate the virus before it mutates so that scientists can study it. Unfortunately Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990, six years earlier than expected, and is arrested and locked up in a mental institution, where he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly, a psychiatrist, and Jeffrey Goines, the insane son of a famous scientist and virus expert.

6. The city of Lost Children (1995)

Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Gilles Adrien

The evil Krank and his henchmen have been made by a mad scientist. Krank’s problem is that he is tormented by his inability to dream. He finds it necessary to try to steal the dreams of children, but since they fear him, he only gets their nightmares. When a circus strongman’s little brother is kidnapped, the strongman, One, tracks him down and he soon arrives in La Cite des Enfants Perdus, with the help of some other eccentric characters, tries to put an end to the evil reign of Krank and his Cyclops army

5. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, Written Michael Wilson and Rod Serling and based in the book  La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle

In the year 3978A.D. a spaceship with a crew of 4 crashes down on a distant planet. One of the crew members had died in space and the other 3 head out to explore the planet. They soon learn that the planet is much like their own. They then find the planet is inhabited by intelligent apes. One of the men is shot and killed and the others are taken to the apes’ city. There, one undergoes brain surgery and is put into a state of living death. The other befriends some of the apes but is feared by most. After being put through ape trial he escapes with a female human native to the planet. After helping his ape friends escape a religious heresy trial he escapes out into the wilderness with the female. There he learns the planet might not be so distant after all…

4. Children of Men (2006)

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, Written by Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby based in the book The Children of Men by P. D. James.

Set in 2027, when no child has been born for 18 years and science is at loss to explain the reason, African and East European societies collapse and their dwindling populations migrate to England and other wealthy nations. In a climate of nationalistic violence, a London peace activist turned bureaucrat Theo Faron, joins forces with his revolutionary ex-wife Julian in order to save mankind by protecting a woman who has mysteriously became pregnant.

3. The Trial (1962)

Directed and Written by Orson Wells and based the book The Trial by Franz Kafka.

Josef K wakes up in the morning and finds the police in his room. They tell him that he is on trial but nobody tells him what he is accused of. In order to find out about the reason of this accusation and to protest his innocence, he tries to look behind the facade of the judicial system. But since this remains fruitless, there seems to be no chance for him to escape from this Kafkaesque nightmare


2. Alphaville (1965)

Directed and Written by Jean-Luc Godard

Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city’s ruler, an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression.





1. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Directed by Fraçois Truffat, Written by François Truffat and Jean-Louis Ricard and base in the Book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Guy Montag is a firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag’s wife are drugged into compliancy and get their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government’s motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured.


9 thoughts on “Dystopian Films

  1. I think the 1984 film version of 1984 is a HIGHLY underrated film. Great list — I agree with all of them except Logan’s Run — shudder…. Have you seen the 1956 version of 1984 dir. by Michael Anderson? I wonder if it’s worth watching…

    • Thanks, I’m really happy you like this list and I recommend you to keep checking this blog perhaps you may find interesting the post about mindfucking films.
      About Anderson’s version of 1984 is great visually because the perspective of the 50 about the future, but the adaptation is really poor (change names and places).

  2. I’ll probably track down a copy soon…..

    Truffaut’s version of Brabury’s great book is another underrated gem. I’m glad you have it first on your list…

    BUT, you’re missing by far the best dystopic film out there — Gilliam’s Brazil. MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the very average 12 Monkeys. hehe

    • I like 12 monkeys because is like the americanization of la jetee a great French sci-fi film really unknown.
      Brazil was in my short list but you have to see the resemblance to 1984, that is the reason is not in the list because I prefer 1984.

    • 9000 votes in a community of millions don’t make it known, and most of them are hard core scifi fans or real movie buffs. It’s fairly unknown.

  3. Pingback: Birthday movies «

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