A lot of people get the feeling that the world that's coming isn't going to be all feathers and syrup. One way of coping with these fears is to take in a movie about a dystopian future, when society has collapsed and humanity has to fight against killer robots or marauding gasoline raiders. There's no way it could get as bad as that, right?


One of the first science fiction movies shows a future where a small group of idle rich live on the backs of the hard-working masses. Total science fiction, right? There are also slightly more plausible elements such as dancing robot girls and huge pieces of electronic machinery. But the vision of the future still resonates today, and will probably continue to until the dystopian future comes true.


Jean-Luc Godard isn't known as a maker of science fiction, but he has dabbled in the genre at least once, most notably with "Alphaville," depicting a futuristic dystopia (that happens to look a lot like 1960s Paris) where love is forbidden and humanity is controlled by a computer called Alpha 60. With his trademark long takes and glamorous cinematography, Godard strikes his own blow against a loveless, technological world. It can still be pretty depressing if you're in the wrong mood though.

"Fahrenheit 451"

One of the most famous pieces of dystopian fiction is Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," adapted by another member of the French New Wave, Francois Truffaut. The dystopia being depicted here is a future in which books are illegal, and "firemen" ride around burning books to keep them from the public. It's not all depressing, though, since a small band of freedom fighters take it upon themselves to memorize great works of literature so they can survive into the future. Still, let's try and keep this from happening, OK?

"Soylent Green"

The famous twist ending of "Soylent Green" reveals that "Soylent Green is people," but the future looks pretty terrible even before that. There's a hazy curtain of pollution hanging over everything, and America is stuffed with way too many people. So even if you don't realize you're eating people, you're still having a pretty rough time if this future comes to pass.

"Blade Runner"

Here's a nightmarish future for you: It's dark, it rains all the time, and you're constantly bombarded by giant bits of advertising. Oh, and there are these completely realistic humanoid robots called "replicants" that are starting to get a little pissed off about the whole "scheduled deactivation" thing. All-in-all, it's a pretty grim future, where you never know who's human and who's a replicant.

"Escape From New York"

The movie "Escape From New York" is a rousing adventure tale, about Snake Plissken rescuing the president of the United States after Air Force One crashes in Manhattan which has been converted to a giant prison colony. But if you pay attention to the little details you'll see that the dystopian future depicted here is pretty horrifying. The number of human rights' violations in Manhattan alone is enough to depress anyone.