Brave New World?
Science Fiction Films about the Future of Humankind
- A Boy and His Dog (1975) [Available through C/WMARS]
- An adaptation of Harlan Ellison's novella about a misogynistic society in the post World War IV civilization of 2024. Written and directed by L.Q. Jones; starring Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Alvy Moore. Rated R.
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Visions of a future full of astonishing android technology. David, an advanced android, embarks on an extraordinary adventure to discover the secret of his own identity. Based on the short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss. Written and directed by Steven Spielberg; starring Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor. Rated PG-13.
- Appleseed (Appurushîdo)(Anime, 2004)
- Earth's last city, Olympus, rose from the ashes of a global war on the backs of Bioroids, artificial clones who make up half the city's population. Under the strict guidance of a supercomputer, humanity's last survivors enjoy an idyllic peace, but human terrorists within the military seek a return to power and clash with the government's ESWAT forces. Caught in the middle is a young warrior, Deunan Knute, who may hold the secret to ending the conflict. But can she really trust anyone, even her former lover Briareos, who is now more machine than human? Based on the Appleseed manga. Animation director, Yasushi Kawamura, animator, Kiyoshi Ishimaru, directed by Shinji Aramaki. Rated R.
- Blade Runner (1982)
- Rick Deckard prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st-century Los Angeles. He's a "blade runner," stalking genetically-made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them. Their crime: wanting to be human. Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Ridley Scott; starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young. Rated R.
- Brainstorm (1983) [Available through C/WMARS]
- A machine records sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions, even your dreams and nightmares. Then, at the touch of a button, the machine transfers these personal experiences from one mind to another. Directed by Douglas Trumbull; starring Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher. Rated PG.
- Brazil (1995)
- A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. Written and directed by Terry Gilliam; starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert DeNiro, Katherine Helmond. Rated R.
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- Depicts a harrowing journey through a near-future world of decaying cities, murderous adolescents and nightmarish technologies of punishment and crime. Based on the novel by Anthony Burgess. Produced, directed, and written by Stanley Kubrick; starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri. Rated R.
- Dark City (1998) [Available through C/WMARS]
- In a city where reality is the ultimate illusion, a man seeks to unravel the twisted riddle of his own identity. Directed by Alex Proyas; starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly. Rated R.
- Escape from New York (1981)
- A chilling vision of the future, the film takes place in the year 1997, when New York has become an enclosed, maximum security penitentiary. Written and directed by John Carpenter; starring Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine. Rated R. Followed by Escape from L.A. (1996).
- Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
- Montag, a regimented fireman in charge of burning forbidden books, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom. Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury. Written and directed by Francois Truffaut; starring Julie Christie, Oskar Werner, Cyril Cusack. Not rated.
- The Fifth Element (1997) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only the fifth element can stop the Evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years. Written and directed by Luc Besson; starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Milla Jovovich. Rated PG-13.
- Gattaca (1997) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Story about an all-too-human man who dares to defy a system obsessed with genetic perfection. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol; starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin. Rated PG-13.
- Ghost in the Shell (Kôkaku kidôtai) (Anime, 1998)
- In a world caught in the grip of information overload, where artificial intelligence is more than the real thing and cyborg cops spend their lives surfing on an electronic sea of living data, only the Ghost - the indefinable element of human consciousness - exists to determine who is alive and who is purely a creation of the net. Major Motoko Kusanagi is an elite officer in the Section 9 security force: a cybernetic agent so heavily modified that little more than her Ghost remains. Along with fellow cyborg Bateau and the mostly human Togusa, Kusanagi is set on the trail of a computer-criminal known as the Puppet Master, a data thief skilled enough to hack into the very minds of his victims. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, directed by Mamoru Oshii. Rated R.
- I am Legend (2007)
- Robert Neville is the last human survivor in what is left of New York City. A pandemic has left only 1% of the population alive and most of those who survived are no longer human. The infected, now lurking in the shadows, watch Neville's every move. Perhaps mankind's last, best hope, Neville is driven by the only one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood. Directed by Francis Lawrence; starring
Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan. Rated PG-13. Latest filming of the novel by Richard Matheson. Other films include The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price, and The Omega Man (1971), starring Charlton Heston.
- Logan's Run (1976) [Available through C/WMARS]
- In the year 2274, everyone lives a wonderful life until they're 30 years old -- then they're executed. Based on the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Directed by Michael Anderson; starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan. Rated PG.
- Mad Max (1979) [Available through C/WMARS]
- First of the Road Warrior films. Mel Gibson is a fast-driving cop who takes on a gang of crazies in the world of the future. Directed by George Miller; starring Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne. Rated R. Followed by Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
- The Matrix (1999)
- In an anti-utopian future, the real world as we know it is nothing more than a computer construct, created by an all-powerful artificial intelligence. A small group of humans has found a way out of the construct, and is now fighting for the future of the human race. Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers; starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss. Rated R. Followed by sequels The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).
- Metropolis (1926)
- An expressionistic drama about authoritarianism and revolt in an industrialized metropolis of the 21st century. An all-time cinematic classic. Directed by Fritz Lang; starring Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustave Froehlich. Silent. Not rated.
- Minority Report (2002)
- Washington, D.C. has been murder-free thanks to astounding technology which identifies killers before they commit their crimes. But when the chief of the Pre-crime unit is himself accused of a future murder, he has just 36 hours to discover who set him up. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Steven Spielberg; starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton. Rated PG-13.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four (1985)
- George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love. Written and directed by Michael Radford; starring John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton. Rated R.
- The Omega Man (1971) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Robert Neville is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. Based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Directed by Boris Sagal; starring Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash. Rated PG. The film Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price is based on the same novel.
- Planet of the Apes (1967) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Four American astronauts crash-land on a strange planet ruled by apes. Based on the novel by Pierre Boulle. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner; starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter. Rated G. Followed by numerous sequels; remade in 2001 in a version starring Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Roth, and directed by Tim Burton.
- The Postman (1997) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Post-apocalyptic America. What begins as a con game becomes one man's quest to rebuild civilization by resuming postal service. Directed by Kevin Kostner; starring Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate. Rated R.
- RoboCop (1987) [Available through C/WMARS]
- RoboCop is designed to stop a crimewave which is spreading all across America. The cyborg, created from the body of a slain Detroit police officer, is programmed to serve the public trust, uphold the law and protect the innocent. All goes well at first and RoboCop stops every sleazeball he encounters, but there are forces which will stop at nothing to see him eliminated. Directed by Paul Verhoeven; starring Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O'Herlihy. Rated R. Followed by sequels RoboCop 2 and 3.
- Rollerball (1975) [Available through C/WMARS]
- In the perfectly controlled society of the 21st century the only outlet for violence is a deadly spectator sport, Rollerball. Directed by Norman Jewison; starring James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams. Rated R.
- The Running Man (1987) VHS [Available through C/WMARS]
- In the 21st century, the most popular "audience participation" game show is "The Running Man,” where convicts can win pardons instead of "parting gifts" by defeating murderous henchmen known as "stalkers.” Wrongly convicted of slaughtering 1500 innocent people, Richards is the next contestant to fight for his life and his freedom. Based on the novel by Richard Bachman (Stephen King). Directed by Paul Michael Glaser; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto. Rated R.
- Screamers (1995) VHS
- The rebel Alliance on the planet Sirius 6B fighting against the vicious New Economic Block has developed state-of-the-art weaponry known as Screamers and programmed them to eliminate all enemy life forms. The problem is, somehow the Screamers are mutating -- self-replicating into human form, and slaughtering every beating heart on the planet. Based on the short story "Second Variety" by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Christian Duguay; starring Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andy Lauer. Rated R.
- The 6th Day (2000) VHS
- Futuristic action about a man who meets a clone of himself and stumbles into a grand conspiracy about clones taking over the world. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Rapaport, Tony Goldwyn. Rated PG-13.
- Soldier (1998) VHS
- After being defeated and left for dead by his genetically engineered replacements, Sergeant Todd must save a peaceful community from destruction by the same soldiers. Directed by Paul Anderson; starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Connie Nielsen. Rated R.
- Soylent Green (1973)
- In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff. Directed by Richard Fleischer; starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors. Edward G. Robinson's last film. Rated PG.
- The Terminator (1984) VHS
- The "Terminator" (part man, part machine) is sent to present-day Earth from the future on a deadly mission. His task is to kill a young woman whose life will have great significance in the decades to come. This mechanical monster from the future leaves behind him an unspeakable path of destruction which nothing can stop. Directed by James Cameron; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton. Rated R. Followed by sequels Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003).
- Things to Come (1936) [Available through C/WMARS]
- This screen adaptation by H.G. Wells, based on his The Shape of Things To Come, is a classic science fiction fantasy about the world after a devastating war. Science leads the world to recovery after decades of war but still must meet the threat of ignorance. Directed by William Cameron Menzies; starring Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson. Not rated.
- THX-1138 (1971) [Available through C/WMARS]
- This first feature film of director George Lucas is a vision of the 25th century where men and women work in drug-soothed stupor with no names, no identities, and no hardships. Starring Donald Pleasence, Robert Duvall, Don Pedro Colley. Rated R.
- The Time Machine (1960) VHS
- A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humamity has divided into two hostile species. Based on the novel by H.G. Wells. Directed by George Pal; starring Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux. Rated G.
- Total Recall (1991)
- A worker leaves Earth for the mind-bending nightmarish reality of a Martian mining colony, ruled over by a dictator who can alter reality to suit his whims. Inspired by the short story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," by Philip K. Dick. Directed by Paul Verhoeven; starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone. Rated R.
- 12 Monkeys (1995) [Available through C/WMARS]
- Cole arrives at a mental hospital, claiming to be a time traveler from the year 2035. His mission: to save humanity from a killer virus that will devastate the future world population. Directed by Terry Gilliam; starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt. Rated R.
- 28 Days Later (2002)
- Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. British. Directed by Danny Boyle; starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston. Rated R.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- A science fiction film which moves from the prehistoric birth of intelligence toward the emergence of man as pure thought somewhere in the future. Based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Directed by Stanley Kubrick; starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester. Rated G. Followed by a poorly received sequel 2010 (1984), starring Roy Scheider and directed by Peter Hyams.
- Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no koe) (ANIME, 2002)
- When a mysterious alien force begins their annihilation of the human race, a young pilot feels called to join the resistance. But the danger of an interstellar battle is not Mikako's greatest concern. For she has left behind the one young man she loves. And as Mikako flies further into deep space, her only way to connect with Noboru is by cell-phone text messages. While Mikako risks her life to save mankind, Noboru waits. At first days, then months, then years for each new message that will let him know whether Mikako is still alive. And while she barely grows older in the timelessness of space, Noboru ages. How can the love of two young people, torn apart by war, survive? Original concept and producer, Makoto Shinkai. Not rated; recommended for ages 13 and up.
- Waterworld (1995) VHS
- In a future where Earth is covered with water, the human race struggles to survive on dilapidated boats and makeshift floating cities called atolls. Directed by Kevin Reynolds; starring Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn. Rated PG-13.
Note: All films are DVDs unless otherwise noted.
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