Dystopian

Films where society is unfairly governed, where civilisation has somehow taken a turn for the bleak and infinitely depressing. Rebellion and revolution are necessary, good must fight evil and the underdog struggles to right the wrongs of the world. Or the characters spin in an infinitely miserable cycle of despair.

best dystopian filmsTitle: Blade Runner
Director: Ridley Scott
Year: 1982
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer
What it’s all about: In a cyberpunk film noir setting, Deckard has to hunt down 4 replicants searching for their maker. Based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
films listTitle: Children of Men
Director: Alfronso Cuaron
Year: 2006
Stars: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore
What it’s all about: In a world where all the women have been made infertile, a former activists strives to protect a miraculously pregnant young lady.  
logans runTitle: Logan’s Run
Director:
Year: 1976
Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter
What it’s all about: An idyllic future, an apparent utopia, where everyone ascends to the Carosel when they reach 30. Except Logan, who doesn’t want to die and goes on the run. Based on the book by Ray Bradbury.
equilibriumTitle: Equilibrium
Director: Kurt Wimmer
Year: 2002
Stars: Christian Bale, Taye Diggs
What it’s all about: In a fascist future reminiscent of 1984, clerics are charged with stopping people who demonstrate emotions. One man, trained to protect the regime, decides he doesn’t like it so much any more.
dystopian filmsTitle: 1984
Director: Michael Radford
Year: 1984
Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton
What it’s all about: Classic adaptation of Orwell’s novel about a totalitarian society and a single man who tries to rebel. 
the hunger gamesTitle: The Hunger Games
Director: Gary Ross
Year: 2012
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci
What it’s all about: Katniss Everdeen takes her sister’s place in a televised game of death designed to keep the workers of the Disctricts in line. Blockbuster adaptation of the novel.
Title: Aeon Flux
Director: Karyn Kusama
Year: 2005
Stars: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand
What it’s all about: Four centuries after an apocalyptic virus, an assassin fights to overthrow the oppressive Goodchild regime, but uncovers conspiracies along the way. A glossy adaptation of a madder MTV animation from the early 90s. 
delicatessen filmTitle: Delicatessen
Director: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Year: 1991
Stars: Dominque Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac
What it’s all about: A group of eccentric survivors coinhabit a surreal apartment building, in a post-apocalypse where food is a commodity and cannibalism is more than likely.
dystopian filmsTitle: Soylent Green
Director: Richard Fleischer
Year: 1973
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson
What it’s all about: In an overpopulated future, a detective finds himself in trouble when he starts uncovering a state secret linked to a series of murders.
Title: Death Race 2000
Director: Paul Bartel
Year: 1975
Stars: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone
What it’s all about: Contestants race and fight across a dystopian America, in a game of death where points are scored for death and destruction caused. A cult classic, which has spawned some weak modern homages.
battle royaleTitle: Battle Royale
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Year: 2000
Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda
What it’s all about: The Japanese government, relenting the troubled youth of the future, pit groups of school students against each other in a tournament where only one can survive. Based on the novel. 
film listTitle: Mad Max
Director: George Miller
Year: 1979
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel
What it’s all about: Before the apocalypse of its iconic sequels, Max was a cop facing off against an increasingly barbaric society, terrorised by a local biker gang.
brazil dystopiaTitle: Brazil
Director: Terry Gilliam
Year: 1985
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Robert de Niro
What it’s all about: In a totalitarian future with overabundant technology, Sam Lowry makes a clerical error that puts him in contact with a ring of terrorists.
dreddTitle: Dredd
Director: Pete Travis
Year: 2012
Stars: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
What it’s all about: In a future city so violent that the police have capital authority, two judges are trapped in an enormous housing complex under siege from drug dealers.
dystopian filmsTitle: The Island
Director: Michael Bay
Year: 2005
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson 
What it’s all about: Living in a perfect utopian soceity, a man and his female friend discover they are being housed there for a sinister purpose, and seeks to escape.
Title: The Matrix
Director: Andy and Lana Wachowski
Year: 1999
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurance Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
What it’s all about: A modern action classic, a hacker discovers that all human life is an illusion propogated by machines. Shame about the sequels.
Title: Metropolis
Director: Fritz Lang
Year: 1927
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel
What it’s all about: Classes are divided in a futuristic city, where a city planner’s son falls in love and revolution looms. A classic silent movie, later remade into a 2001 anime.
Title: Minority Report
Director: Steven Speilberg
Year: 2002
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell
What it’s all about: Police use predictions to arrest people for uncommitted crimes, but their justice is brought into question when one of their own becomes a suspect. Based on a Philip K. Dick short story.
running manTitle: The Running Man
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Year: 1987
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso
What it’s all about: In a grim future, a framed man is sent for public execution in a widely popular reality TV show where the contestants are hunted to the death.
Title: Total Recall
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Year: 1990
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone
What it’s all about: A man going on a virtual vacation uncovers memories of Mars, and inadvertantly ends up involved in a revolution. Based on a Philip K. Dick story, We Can Remember For You Wholesale.
v for vendettaTitle: V for Vendetta
Director: James McTeigue
Year: 2005
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman
What it’s all about: In a totalitarian society, ‘V’ rages a guerilla terrorist campaign against the creativity-hating oppressors, and is joined by a girl he rescues. Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore.
elysiumTitle: Elysium
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Year: 2013
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
What it’s all about: The wealthy have abandoned a ruined Earth to live on a fancy space station. The poor live in the ruins. A guy called Max wants to change all that.