The Best Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian Films

Get ready for some of the best post-apocalyptic and dystopian films! Even though these kind of films present us with mostly grim future worlds, they're a big part of science fiction and fantasy genre. That's why we've focused solely on post-apocalyptic and dystopian films for this list, and here you can find some of your favourite films and characters (and discover new ones). If you want more you can always check out the extensive library of Science Fiction & Fantasy films. We've compiled a list with some of the best Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian films, and we guarantee you'll find something you like. Between classics and some newly released films, you can enjoy the different worlds to the fullest.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)

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    1h 47min

    Planet of the Apes is a science fiction film with a touch of post-apocalyptic plot as it turns out. When a bewildered astronaut (Charlton Heston) crash-lands on a strange planet ruled by apes, he realizes the apes use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Every classic needs to be seen on DVD and Blu-ray for its remastered quality and special features, and Planet of the Apes is definitely one of them. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, and in 2010s it was rebooted with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes. Check it out and enjoy watching additional content such as Behind the Planet of The Apes Promo and Documentary and Beyond the Forbidden Zone Adventure Game.

  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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    131 minutes

    Welcome to Stanley Kubrick's bizarre dystopian world in A Clockwork Orange, a futuristic crime film set in Britain and based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It presents us with disturbing, violent images as a social commentary on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects. After committing numerous crimes, gang leader Alex finds himself at the mercy of the state and its brainwashing experiment designed to take violence off the streets and put it at the service of the government. Check it out on DVD and Blu-ray for an abundance of special features including Channel Four Documentary Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange and Commentary by Malcolm McDowell And Historian Nick Redman.

    Director:
    Stanley Kubrick
    Cast:
    Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • Metropolis (1927)

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    150 minutes

    We're continuing the best Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian films list with Metropolis, expressionist epic science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang. This cult dystopian film story is set in the city of the future where its inhabitants are divided into two groups - the working class and the city planners. The plot begins when the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working-class girl. Metropolis is a must-see for every science fiction enthusiast because it had an enormous impact on the genre and has influence a lot of filmmakers that came after Lang. Rent it on DVD and Blu-ray and get even more content with New 2010 symphony orchestra studio recording of the original Gottfried Huppertz score and Die Reise nach Metropolis (2010, 55 minutes) documentary about the film.

    Director:
    Fritz Lang
    Cast:
    Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Classics
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995)

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    2h 4min

    Terry Gilliam has been known as an imaginative filmmaker for a long time, starting with Monty Python's animations. The story starts in the year 2035 where humankind subsists in a desolate netherworld following the eradication of 99% of the Earth's population. The film itself is inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée and it resulted in a remarkable sci-fi noir that critics and audiences praise in equal measure. Brad Pitt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe for his performance. The film also resulted in a TV series 12 Monkeys that ran from 2015 to 2018.

    Director:
    Terry Gilliam
    Cast:
    Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt
    Genre:
    Thrillers, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Collections
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • The Road (2009)

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    107 minutes

    Survival is known to be one of the most used goals when it comes to post-apocalyptic and dystopian films. After all, this is the time when a world changes and not for the better. This is well used in The Road, a sci-fi drama starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a father and his son who journey across a barren wasteland of America. At times extremely bleak, the tale was adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel and it boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of. For a better post-apocalyptic experience, there is 'Walking into Darkness', director John Hillcoat's The Road documentary.

    Director:
    John Hillcoat
    Cast:
    Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • V for Vendetta (2005)

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    128 minutes

    V for Vendetta is one of the best and highest rated film in general, not just a post-apocalyptic or dystopian film. The plot is set in a British dystopian future where we meet a mysterious freedom fighter, donning a mask of Guy Fawkes, bent on revenge, or vendetta, and all words starting with the letter V. He is powerfully voiced by Hugo Weaving, but Natalie Portman also shines bright by his side as Evey, a working-class girl caught up in the fight against Big Brother and totalitarian government. V for Vendetta film is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, but the screenplay came from the capable hands of Lilly and Lana Wachowski. The team completed with director James McTeigue delivers a highly stylized and visually stunning motion picture. You can check it out on DVD/Blu-ray and enjoy in some special features as well: designing the near future, cat power montage, SNL digital short, etc.

  • Timecop (1994)

    94 minutes

    Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Max Walker in this sci-fi thriller entry to the Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian films list. Walker is an officer for a security agency that regulates time travel. The film mixes grim future with special effects, romance and murder, ideal for an sci-fi/dystopian film night. Timecop was released in 1994, and the plot is set in 2004 where time travel is not only a reality, but an opportunity to alter the past for power and profit. Unfortunately for many, this still isn't possible. Interesting fact: Timecop remains Van Damme's highest-grossing film, and a direct-to-DVD sequel Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision was later released, starring Jason Scott Lee and Thomas Ian Griffith.

    Director:
    Peter Hyams
    Cast:
    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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    2h 23min

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a true science fiction classic and one of the best entries on the Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian films list. You may wonder does this film really belong to this subgenre? Dystopia has several factors and one of them is the idea how humanity can be destroyed with technology. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this film is an Academy Award-winning visual achievement, a compelling drama of man vs. machine, and a stunning meld of music and motion. All comes crashing down when the spaceship computer HAL 9000 becomes self-aware and tries to kill its crew. Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke wrote the screenplay, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel. If you want to know more about this cinematic art, be sure to rent it on DVD and Blu-ray where you get access to plenty of interesting content.

    Director:
    Stanley Kubrick
    Cast:
    Keir Dullea, Douglas Rain, Frank Miller
    Genre:
    Collections, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Classics
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray
  • Mad Max (1979)

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    89 minutes

    Mel Gibson's Mad Max is one of the most known post-apocalyptic and dystopian films. It's also one of the most famous road action films resulting in multiple sequels and a remake. The franchise is set in the dystopian Australia where motorcycle gangs rule the road, laughing in the face of the police force that is unable to stop them. When a police officer's, Max Rockatansky, family is brutalised, he is determined to get his revenge any way he can. Mad Max is directed by George Miller who also directed the remake Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and some of the original cast members. The original, and its sequels, are perfect for a high-octane movie night.

    Director:
    George Miller
    Cast:
    Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
  • Children of Men (2006)

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    1h 45min

    Children of Men is a sci-fi dystopian thriller based on the P.D. James's novel of the same name. This film is considered one of the best dystopian films by many critics. The film takes place in 2027, where two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse. Winning combination is a bestseller story and directing of an acclaimed filmmaker, Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Y Tu Mamá También). Not only does it have a gripping story, there are other qualities that should make you want to see this film, for example, all scenes are shot in a single take. The plot works on multiple levels, from the battle for the humanity to restoring one man's will to live. Adding to it a fight against the authority, all of it makes a true dystopian film. Children of Men stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Charlie Hunnam.

    Director:
    Alfonso Cuarón
    Cast:
    Julianne Moore, Nihal Arthanyake, Clive Owen
    Genre:
    Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Collections, Thrillers
    Availability:
    DVD, Blu-ray
We hope you'll enjoy in these titles as we believe these are some of the best Post-Apocalyptic or Dystopian films out there. If you're in need of more science fiction and fantasy fun, try browsing our extensive collection of over 90,000 titles, and don't forget you can rent DVD and Blu-ray with our Free Trial offer!

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