What is a dystopia? It is a world where human civilization as we know it has collapsed, and a new civilization has come into power which is quite unlike the world we knew. It is ruled by a select few where all others are considered mortal enemies. The land is tough, brutal, and only meant for survival of the fittest. Whenever we talk about dystopic fiction, the first two works that come to our minds are George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. In a dystopic world, our philosophy is also bound to change since the situation is no more like what we knew. In both these books, there is one leader who rules over all of the land, and and he has strict impositions to keep his subjects in line.
In Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), we have seen how humans have become cruel and unempathetic beings while artificial intelligence, the replicants, are the more humane creatures. Thus, we have to consider that feelings, emotions, sympathy will be concepts of the past once a society reaches that level of sophistication. And if we use pure rationality to make our lives better, what we will enter is a dystopia, because rationality has no place for emotions. It is pure mathematics and that is how the world will be run. Having said that, it must be admitted that some great movies have made a dystopic world its subject. So, here’s the list of really good dystopian movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
7. What Still Remains (2018)
Released in 2018, this movie is written and directed by Josh Mendoza. It is an interesting take on how cults form in a dystopian world. The story is centered around a boy and a girl, David and Anna, who are siblings and have managed to survive extinction. However, life has now become very tough and no one can be trusted, In such a moment, their ill mother dies and the girl has to leave the boy behind to survive. Anna meets a guy called Peter who wants her to join the religious commune to which he belongs, along with many survivors. When she reaches the commune, Anna finds a dark truth about them.
6. What Happened to Monday? (2017)
This movie has used an interesting concept to portray a dystopian world. We all know that overpopulation will be a major cause for life to cease existing one day. All resources will start falling short of our needs. This is the concept which that is used in this movie. In the world that we are talking about, overpopulation has become a major problem and the government has issued a one-child policy for all families, which, if not followed, leads to dire consequences.
One such family, the Settmans, is in trouble as Karen Settman gives birth to septuplets and this causes a huge concern. All the daughters look the same and thus they have been asked and taught since childhood to live the life of a single person. The seven daughters have been named after seven days of the week and they live an extremely secretive existence. However, such secrets do not remain under the blankets forever, and word gets out. Noomi Rapace has churned out an excellent performance in the role of the seven sisters, and the film has received high praised for its unique concept.
5. Bird Box (2018)
This recent Netflix release turned out to be a huge crowd favorite. It is directed by Sussane Biare and adapted from a novel by Josh Malerman. The story is set in a dystopic future where an entity has invaded the earth and it takes the form of its victim’s worst fears, thereby making them go insane and commit suicide. Malorie is the lead character of the film and is portrayed by Sanda Bullock. The only way the entity cannot affect you is if you manage to never look at it in any way. When most of the world is affected by this syndrome, Malorie is pregnant and stays with a group of survivors who have managed to escape the eyes of this entity. However, when one seemingly semi-affected survivor is let in, things take a turn for the worse.
4. The Rover (2014)
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson star in this movie which is a very unique take on the concept of dystopia. An Australian production, the movie shows how an economic meltdown has increased crime and poverty rate manifold. This has resulted in utter chaos and violence. The story follows Pearce’s character, Eric, as he tracks down a group of robbers who has stolen his vehicle and left one of their friends Rey (Robert Pattinson) whom Eric later befriends. The movie is a grim crime/action thriller set in a dystopic universe and manages to achieve what it had set out to. It had premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where both Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson were lauded for their terrific performances. Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has said this about the movie: “A mesmerizing, visionary achievement. The best post-apocalyptic movie since the original Mad Max.”
3. V For Vendetta (2005)
One of the most popular dystopian films ever made, the events of this movie take place in 2032 when a lot has changed around the world. The United States is reduced to almost nothing after the Second Civil War and an epidemic has also destroyed a lot of lives in Europe and England. In this dystopic world, England is ruled by a neo-fascist government of the Norsefire Party and the dictator is Adam Sutler. With all this premise, now comes the character of V, who always wears the Guy Fawkes mask and is trying to bring down the fascist government. He meets a girl called Evey whose life he saves and then she becomes a part of his work and life. The movie has gathered a huge cult following and some of its writing has also been the subject of much praise and adulation.
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2. Children of Men (2006)
What can the world do if there is too much population? Mass sterilization? That is what happens in this 2006 movie by Alfonso Cuaron. When the world has suffered from too much overpopulation, mass sterilization was done, which led to no production of human children for a long stretch of time. The situation is so bad that humanity might cease to exist. Clive Owen plays the role Theo Faron, a man who has lost his son and now has to save the character of Kee (played by Clare-Hope Ashitey) who has become the first woman to get pregnant in 18 years. The movie deals with important themes like religion, morality, and faith while making an intense dystopian thriller. It is widely considered by many to be one of the best movies of the 21st century.
1. A Clockwork Orange (1973)
Stanley Kubrick took Anthony Burgess’ book and turned it into this dystopian crime movie which has become a huge part of popular culture. The movie follows the lives of four youngsters, mainly of their leader Alex DeLarge, who carries out havoc in a dystopic London. They have no sense of empathy or morality whatsoever. Later, Kubrick even deals with concepts like brainwashing to fall in line with definite political propaganda. The film is culturally and historically important and is often rated as one of the greatest movies ever made.
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