Movie Apocalypse

Before I started writing I didn't know what dystopian meant and had never actually thought about post-apocalyptic scenarios. I'd watched movies, some of them my favorite movies of all time, and didn't even know that they were portraying a dystopian future.

It just never entered my mind.

I started noticing just how many dystopian and post-apocalyptic movies were out there after I'd finished my own book.

Today I want to present my top 10 post-apocalyptic/dystopian movies to you.

MINORITY REPORT: Loosely based on the short story by Philip K. Dick. In a future in which crimes are stopped before they happen because 3 Precogs (humans with precognitive abilities) predict murders. John, a PreCrime police officer, believes in the system until the Precogs predict he'll murder a man he doesn't even know.
precognition + self-fulfilling prophecy + lots of action = awesome

I AM LEGEND: Based on a novel by Richard Matheson. I don't recommend watching this one before you go to sleep.
Summary: Neville, a military virologist, is the last person in New York after a virus killed most of humanity. Darkseekers (zombie-like creatures) roam the streets at night in search for human flesh.
Zombies + deadly virus = awesomely creepy movie
I, ROBOT: Loosely based on Isaac Asimov's short story collection.
Robots try to take over the world but Spooner (Will Smith) tries to stop them with the help of the robot Sonny and Dr. Susan Calvin.
Robot apocalypse - for all those who are sometimes scared of facebook or their own iPhone!

MATRIX: I had to watch the movie at least five times before I really got it but then I loved it.
It shows a future in which reality how most humans experience it is nothing but a simulated reality created by sentient machines. Neo, a computer programmer, joins the rebellion to fight the machines.
Cyberpunk + machines taking over the world + freaky action-scenes = must-see

WATERWORLD: This is probably my absolute favorite. A post-apocalyptic world in which the polar ice caps have melted and water covers almost all land. But there's a little girl with a tattoo on her back that might lead to an island.
Pirates (Smokers) + treasure hunt + a likeable antihero = win

DEMOLITION MAN: After an earthquake destroyed Los Angeles and San Diego, they were rebuild as San Angeles, a planned city were violence is eliminated. People don't swear, don't eat unhealthy food and don't have sex. Yep, definitely dystopia. But things change when an evil crime lord and a former police officer are woken after having been crygenically frozen for a very long time.
evil war lord + Sandra Bullock + lots of swearing= my kind of movie

THE POSTMAN: Doesn't really sound post-apocalyptic, does it? Based on the novel by David Brin. Unknown apocalypse has destroyed most of the world. A nomadic survivor, later the postman, is forced into a neo-fascist army ruling the wasteland. He escapes and finds letters, written fifteen years ago, and delivers them, giving the other survivors new hope.
apocalyptic wasteland + evil army + enigmatic postman= For those who don't need lots of action.

PLANET OF THE APES: Based on Pierre Boulle's novel. Usually I prefer the newer version of movies, but with this one I'm really not sure which one I like better. My advice: watch them both. Apes are intelligent and rule over the human race.
space ship + apes ruling the world + possible time travel = yes, please

CHILDREN OF MEN: I haven't watched this one as often as the others, but I liked the dystopian world. It shows a future in which children haven't been born for 18 years because women are infertile. But then Theo, the protagonist, finds a girl who's pregnant and has to bring her to safety.
scary police state + extinction through infertility = recommended

THE TERMINATOR: I love action movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and I'm not afraid to admit it.
Summary: A future in which intelligent machines want to exterminate the human race. And there's a cyborg assassin, the Terminator, who's sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor because she's important for the resistance.
time travel + cyborg assassin + machines wanting to kill us yet again = If you haven't seen that one yet, do it now!

So what are your favorite dystopian/post-apoc movies? Have I missed out on a masterpiece so far?

I'm Susanne Winnacker, author of upcoming YA dystopian novel THE OTHER LIFE, in which a girl leaves a sealed bunker after years in hiding, only to find Los Angeles devastated and haunted by humans infected with a mutated rabies virus; struggling to save her family, she falls for a boy-hunter who is both their savior and greatest danger when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.
Today's the last time I'm filling in for Julia Karr while she's working on the sequel to XVI.
Find me on my blog, twitter or website.


Jessica E. Subject said...

I've seen many of these movies, Matrix, I, Robot and I Am Legend being among my fav movies. I Am Legend would have to be my favorite dystopian movie though.

Thanks for the post!

Vanessa said...

I think I've always loved dystopian fiction and post-apocalytic scenarios, even before I knew what to call them.

Great post, you've got several of my favorite movies here.

Anita Saxena said...

This is a great list. I've watched almost all of these except Post Man and Planet of the Apes. And yes, when I watched most of these I didn't know what dystopian was either.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

okay, I've learned something. I'm a dystopian movie junkie! Have seen all of these movies. My favourite is also Waterworld. Favourite book that should be a movie? The Maze Runner.

Girly said...

Planet of the Apes was great (and both versions had merit). One of the classic dystopian films is 1984, based on George Orwell's novel.

Another good movie is The Island. And dystopian sci-fi such as Serenity (TV) and it's accompanying film sequel Firefly.

The film I'm looking forward to is the Hunger Games. Let's hope they do it justice.

debbie said...

The Road is a great movie,also. I have heard they are making a movie of the The Stand. I am looking forward to that.

Angie Smibert said...

I'd add Gattaca and Brazil. I also have a soft spot for the mini-series version of the Stand. I'd love to see a movie version of the Adoration of Jenna Fox.

Anonymous said...

you said Water World was your favorite? You are very brave.

Tere Kirkland said...

I love Waterworld, too, Suzanne! And I still like Demolition Man, it makes me laugh! Minority Report, Children of Men, and Terminator are some of my faves. But I have to add Blade Runner to the list.

I agree, Maze Runner needs to be made into a movie, and NOW!

Fun post!

Stephsco said...

Waterworld gets such a bad rap because at the time it was one of the most expensive movies made and a failure at the box office. But lumped together in this list of similar themes, it's a decent movie. Plus, that girl with the tattoo on her back grows up to be side-ponytail Deb in "Napolean Dynamite!"

My favorite has to be "Children of Men." It's beautiful, haunting and well put together. The one-shot scene where Clive Owen's character is walking through that war torn city is amazing. It was nominated for an Oscar for best cinemetography; totally deserved.