12 Good Movies about the Future

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

If you told someone in 1900 about the airplane and the Internet, they would’ve thought you were crazy. Now just imagine what things will be like in the year 2100. These good movies about the future give us a brief glimpse of what might be in store, and it’s comforting to know that James Caan will be kicking ass on the roller derby circuit and Michael J. Fox will still be cruising around in a DeLorean. For that matter, here’s hoping the tabloid culture will fade away, rendering “celebrities” such as Paris Hilton and Bristol Palin as irrelevant as they deserve to be.

Netflix, the leading online movie rental firm in the U.S., has lots of other good movies about the future. There are no late fees, and subscription plans are available for any budget. If you’re serious about good movies, click here to become a Netflix member.

Back to the Future Part II (1989) – In the original, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) spent most of their time in 1955. This time around, they shuttle between 1955, 1985, and 2015. With the latter just five years away, I’m still eagerly awaiting hoverboards and cybernetic implants. Thomas F. Wilson returns in dual roles as Biff and Griff Tannen, and the rest of the cast is rounded out by Elisabeth Shue, Lea Thompson, and Billy Zane. Elijah Wood makes his big screen debut as a kid playing video games.

Hardware (1990) – Following a nuclear war, the landscape of the 21st century is one of sickness, misery, and overcrowding. When a soldier (Dylan McDermott) buys a robotic skull for his artist girlfriend (Stacey Travis), neither one realizes that the creature is still alive and capable of self-repair. Soon, the M.A.R.K.-13 robot is running amok, utilizing saw blades and lethal toxins to dispatch any nearby humans. The film includes cameos from Lemmy and the voice of Iggy Pop, and the soundtrack includes tracks from Ministry and Public Image Limited.

Idiocracy (2006) – Director Mike Judge throws down the gauntlet against rampant consumerism and the dumbing down of America. Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph star as two average citizens (well, one’s a hooker) who take part in a year-long military experiment. But the tests are forgotten about, and the guinea pigs find themselves waking up 500 years in the future to a world where everyone is a moron. A professional wrestler is the President of the United States (Terry Crews), while crops are dying off because they’re being irrigated with a Gatorade-like substance (because “Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.”). Wilson suddenly finds himself the smartest man alive, while Rudolph uses her streetwise skills to hustle an unsuspecting public. 20th Century Fox did nothing to promote the film, which might have something to do with the fact that owner Rupert Murdoch is among the worst promoters of idiocracy.

Blade Runner (1982) – A sci-fi classic from director Ridley Scott, Blade Runner stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a retired cop in 2019 who once specialized in tracking down replicants (artificial humans) and “retiring“ them. Forced back onto active duty, he’s given the task of locating four violent escapees (Rutger Hauer, Joanna Cassidy, Brion James, and Daryl Hannah) who may be headed to Earth. Meanwhile, Deckard must confront his own feelings for Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who believes she’s human. A fascinating look at the human soul and those born without one.

Repo Men (2010) – Jude Law is Remy, a repo-man in the year 2025 who works for “The Union,” a corporation dedicated to helping people purchase artificial organs. But when the customer can’t make the payments, a repo-man is dispatched to remove The Union’s property with extreme prejudice. After suffering an on-the-job accident, Remy soon finds himself in the same situation, and it’s not long before his former colleagues (including Forest Whitaker) come to collect his artificial heart. Also starring Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga, and Carice van Houten. It flopped at the box office, but it’s still worth a look for those wanting a gory look at the future.

Futureworld (1976) – Following the events of Westworld, the Delos corporation has instituted new safety measures and invited a pair of reporters (Peter Fonda and Blythe Danner) to investigate their progress. The journalists choose to explore the theme park known as Futureworld, which simulates a space station, but they quickly realize that something is amiss. Yul Brynner, in what would be his final film, shows up in a dream sequence.

Total Recall (1990) – Director Paul Verhoeven gets to show off his penchant for violence in this sci-fi action film about a construction worker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the year 2084 who goes to have a virtual vacation to Mars implanted in his mind and comes out convinced that he’s a secret agent. Filled with gory gun battles, a Sharon Stone/Rachel Ticotin catfight, and Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside as the villains, Total Recall is based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.”

Are 12 good movies about the future not enough? Then become a member of Netflix and enjoy even more selections.

Rollerball (1975) – In 2018, the world is run by corporations who keep the populace docile by broadcasting Rollerball, a violent sport akin to roller derby, where rival teams often manage to maim or kill their opponents. James Caan stars as Jonathan E, the world’s most popular Rollerball player. Under pressure to retire from the game, he remains defiant in the face of increasingly lethal game stipulations. Also starring John Houseman, Maud Adams, and Moses Gunn. Adapted from a short story called “Roller Ball Murder” in Esquire magazine.

The Fountain (2006) – Darren Aronofsky directs this tale of love and death set across three different time periods. Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play the leads in each segment, appearing as a conquistador and queen, scientist and dying wife, and space explorer and lost love (a la Bowie‘s “Space Oddity“). A breathtaking meditation on mortality, it was predictably crapped on at the U.S. box office.

The Fifth Element (1997) – From the mind of writer/director Luc Besson comes this colorful tale set in the year 2263. Bruce Willis is Korben Dallas, a former soldier who now makes ends meet as a taxi cab driver. But when a beautiful alien (Milla Jovovich) crashes through the roof of his cab, he gets drawn into a planet-spanning adventure with the fate of the Earth on the line. Gary Oldman is the villain, Ian Holm is a futuristic clergyman, and Chris Tucker is the radio celebrity with a voice like nails on a chalkboard.

The Time Machine (2002) – An update of the 1960 Rod Steiger film (based on the novel by H.G. Wells), The Time Machine stars Guy Pearce as a 19th century inventor who builds a time machine in order to travel back and save the life of his true love. Failing this, he begins to travel into the future, eventually winding up in the year 802,701. There, he becomes embroiled in the lives of the peaceful Eloi and the cannibalistic Morlocks. Jeremy Irons co-stars as an Uber-Morlock.

WALL-E (2008) – By the year 2105, the Earth is covered in trash and unlivable. So the human population launches into space in a giant ship, leaving behind an army of robots (dubbed WALL-E) to clean up the planet. But 700 years later, only one little robot remains, and the planet is still a mess. But then WALL-E finds a plant growing, leading him to encounter an advanced probe named EVE and fall in love. Following her into space, he undertakes a journey that could mean the salvation of humanity. Another smash hit from the guys and gals at Pixar. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

It’s time to draw the curtain on this look at good movies about the future. But don’t start crying just yet, dear reader, as Netflix has plenty more movies on the subject. You can click here to become a Netflix member and find out what all the fuss is about. We do receive a small commission when you join, but it doesn’t add anything to the cost of your subscription.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “12 Good Movies about the Future”

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December 4, 2010


Quote: “If you told someone in 1900 about the airplane and the Internet, they would’ve thought you were crazy.”

OK – first off, this is 2010. A hundred years ago.. airplanes had been flying for 7 years – and as for ‘computers’.. the 1890 census (and 1900.. and by then, 1910) were completed MUCH faster because of.. using the IBM ‘punched card’ tabulation system..

And for movies.. look back 55 years -‘Forbidden Planet’ – a classic sci-fi..!!! They had very cool special effects, considering the era..


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