The list author says: "Dystopia is of course the opposite of utopia. A dystopian film reflects a society characterized by human anguish, oppression, and disorder. These films also should in some way resemble our own world. They often make insights as to how we currently live by showing us an environment we may be destined for. A place we would fear to live in.
One of my favorite sub-genres and with the recent release of Children of Men, I was compelled to recall some of my favorite dystopian movies."
"Anthony Burgess's story directed by a perfectionist. The controversial film possesses a dark sense of humor within its dystopian nightmare setting. But the character atrophy is the most fear provoking element of this story."
"Possibly Ridley Scott's best film outside of Alien. Like many dystopian films, this is based on a Philip K. Dick story. The story, the characters, the cinematography etc.; everything in this film comes together. Blade Runner shows us a world moving too quickly; some parts dead, some parts alive with corporate power and technology."
"Within the context of 1927, this might have been a shocking piece of cinema. It must've been quite an experience seeing it for the first time. It shows us a society split in half economically, critiquing communism and capitalism. Though recently restored, a significant portion of this film is lost forever."
"Made in 1984, this is in my opinion the best adaptation of the Orwell novel. The cinematography is unique in this film and it really stands out in my memory for that. Definitely does the story justice."
"Obviously a huge mainstream success and a higly influential film. It may not be purely dystopian of course but it is just such a great movie I couldn't resist putting it in here. Technological singularity took its course by 2029, found the ability to time travel, and sent Arnold to kill a significant human freedom fighter before he was born. You really can't go wrong."
"A brilliant dystopian satire from Monty Python's Terry Gilliam. His best film in my opinion. The visual elements combined with the bashing of bureaucratic order make Brazil a unique and amazing film."
"Murphy, a cop, exists in a Detroit wrought by heartless capitalism and violent crime. He is maimed by criminals and brought back as the programmed Robocop. In addition to being a great action movie Robocop explores some deeper questions and themes about capitalism and dehumanization."
"Overgrowth in population has forced society into a miserable and minimalist state, but population growth continues. The Soylent Corporation creates a synthetic food named Soylent Green. People are euthanized and Soylent Green is, of course, people."
"War is prevented after WWIII by supressing all human emotions. Feelings are outlawed and with it all things that provoke them. It is of course a sad world but I almost forgot all of that after watching these amazing action sequences."
"John Carpenter's classic that takes us to a future where America is so overwhelmed with crime that Manhattan island has been turned into a prison. Unfortunately the president crashes his plane there and Snake Plissken, a criminal himself, has got to find him in 22 hours."
"Another film with Arnold, another film directed by Paul Verhoeven and another film based on a Philip K. Dick story. The film takes us to 2084 and half of the film is set on Mars. The audience begins to wonder if the trip to Mars is real or imaginary. Highly influential and fun."
"An unexplained explosion takes place that destroys Tokyo. 30 years later (to the year 2019) and it is build up again into a dystopia complete with terrorism, political disorder, crime and an overall degenerate culture. Many believe this to be among the greatest anime films ever made."
"David Cronenberg's recent film is a classic puzzle. Its about a virtual reality game designed to attach to the bottom of your spine. Like some other films here, this blurs the line between reality and delusion."
"Disney's smart computer science fiction film that was visually impressive for its time. The theme of computer games and simulated reality has gained it a bit of cult following. There are recent rumors of a remake."