Movies About The Future

Monday, April 4 by Stephen Lloyd

If you like science fiction, take a trip back to the future with these movies about the future.

  1. "The Matrix." Blending eye-popping action and special effects, this movie about the future illuminates the love-hate relationship people have with technology. The aftermath of a robot vs. human war ends with the machines winning. Most humans are kept in stasis as energy sources. Those that have managed to escape the clutches of a virtual reality, made to look like late 20th century, try to mount a rebellion.
  2. "The Fifth Element." This movie about the future is part action, part comedy and part romance. The movie is anime come to life, full of bright colors, clogged cities with flying cars and angular clothing and hairstyles. An ex-soldier cab driver is unwittingly caught in a struggle between ultimate good and ultimate evil.
  3. "Sleeper." Part slapstick, this movie about the future shows the possibilities of hippies and conservatives going too far. A man is revived from cryogenic sleep after centuries in a time where hedonism is coupled with totalitarianism. He finds himself fumbling and bumbling about with his 20th century mindset, trying to find his way in the new world while staying a step ahead of the law and the rebellion.
  4. "9." In this animated movie about the future, the world has been devastated by war between machines and humans. All that's left are ruins and small mechanized rag dolls. One group wants to focus on staying safe while another wants to find out what their purpose is. They represent aspects of human nature. The animation is shadowy but with a certain playfulness that compliments the mood.
  5. "2001: A Space Odyssey." While 2001 has come and gone, this is still a movie about the future. An enigmatic monolith has been influencing events, physically and psychologically, throughout history and causes problems for a space station crew, allowing the ship computer, HAL9000, to malfunction and endanger them all. The beautiful cinematography gives a feeling of actually being in space. 
  6. "Tank Girl." This movie about the future takes place during perpetual drought. A corporation owned by a Mephistophelean leader controls all the water and has all the power. When thugs kidnap her friend, Tank Girl, called so because of her transportation, seeks revenge in her own devil-may-care, wisecracking way, with the help of kangaroo-people. The punk ethos of anti-corporate DIY is in full display.
  7. "Minority Report." Set in Washington D.C. in the mid-21st century, pre-cogs see murders and a police force makes arrests before the crime takes place. The ethical dilemma of taking people into custody who haven't actually committed a crime shows its face when the captain of the force is accused of murder. There is a good mix of the familiar with science fiction.
  8. "12 Monkeys." In this movie about the future, the surface world has been abandoned because of disease unleashed by terrorists. People live in cramped quarters underground. There are many futuristic contraptions but they appear to be made from recycled scrap. A criminal is given a chance to reduce his sentence by going back in time to stop the terrorists. It gets cerebral as he wonders if everything happening to him is all in his head. 
  9. "Gattaca." Through genetic engineering, everyone's life is laid out before them at birth in this movie about the future. A man who's birth was left to chance isn't expected to amount to much but he wants to be an astronaut. He sets out to prove he can be more than society judges him as by working with a crippled, otherwise perfect, man, using his identity, blood, fingerprints, eye patterns and all. The look of the society is appropriately antiseptic but has some '50s motifs.
  10. "Star Trek." The newest addition to the franchise is a prequel, showing the first time all the principle characters in the original series met, cementing their relationships battling revenge-obsessed Romulan captain Nero. Modern filmmaking techniques have allowed the "Trek" universe to be shown in greater and vaster detail. A definite homage to '60s style exists but connections to current technology and society make this universe seem plausible. 
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