5 Dystopian Movies That Predicted The Future (& 5 That Thankfully Got It Wrong)


It is hard to say that a dystopian film accurately depicted the future when the world doesn’t look like the kind many fans see in films such as The Hunger Games or Blade Runner. But even if our world isn’t an exact copy, it seems as though there might be some truths hidden underneath the fiction of these movies.

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Dystopian movies usually fit under the science fiction genre, but could also have elements of horror. Resident Evil: Extinction is an excellent example of this, as it blends the dry, desert “end of the world” aesthetic with the zombie apocalypse. But when it comes to depicting dystopian futures, how did certain movies get it right or wrong?

10 Right: Children Of Men

Children of Men movie

This sci-fi/thriller has a surprisingly similar setting to the popular Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale. This movie takes place in 2027, 18 years after the start of human infertility, and humanity is losing its battle for survival.

In the movie, there was also a “flu pandemic” that occurred years prior to when the movie takes place, something that looks incredibly similar to our current circumstances. The movie also takes place in a police state, which terrifyingly resembles the police response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

9 Wrong: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer Movie

In Snowpiercer the entirety of Earth’s remaining population after the second ice age live in a long, ever-moving train. The train is divided by money and class, which shouldn’t be surprising.

But the Earth, unfortunately, is heating up, not cooling down. It seems unlikely that the world could ever be like that of Snowpiercer, as ice is melting at a rapid pace. It also seems unlikely that people would not rebel more often when put into that situation.

8 Right: Akira

Akira Movie

While the hit anime movie Akira definitely wasn’t super accurate, it got something correct. As far as everyone knows, there aren’t any ESP experiments going on in Japan which will encourage a young man to use his powers to destroy the planet. However, a ton of the smaller details greatly resembled reality.

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For starters, the film takes place in 2019, one year away from the current timeline. In the movie, the Olympics are being held in Japan, with hints at being canceled due to some graffiti seen on signs. While the Olympics aren’t mentioned a ton throughout the film, it is the stage for the final battle. In 2013, it was decided that Japan would host the 2020 Olympics, which had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

7 Wrong: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

None of the Mad Max films really predicted the future, thankfully, but that isn’t to say it still couldn’t happen. These dystopian movies feature a dried-up earth and intense desert living, something that fuels most of the character’s actions.

So something that makes these films seem incredibly unlikely is their consumption of gasoline, or “Guzzolene.” It seems like gas would probably be one of the first resources to go, so driving in the desert with a band to serenade every raid seems highly unlikely.

6 Right: The Purge

The entirety of the year 2020 seems more and more like The Purge films with each passing day. The world seems like it has devolved into total chaos after the virus hit, as something new and extremely was occurring nearly every month this year.

The Purge films paint America as a pretty, crime-free country, when really that one Purge night a year spoke mountains of the state of humanity. Some of the things everyone has seen this year seem as though they were pulled straight from the big screen.

5 Wrong: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Movie

The Hunger Games is another film franchise that (thankfully) wrongly conveys the future. In the movies, the different districts are divided by what they can give to the capital. This means that different districts have different jobs, such as coal mining, fishing, and so much more.

After the districts rebelled, the capital made an example out of one and destroyed the thirteenth district. They also started the Hunger Games, a yearly fight to the death that two young people from each district would have to compete in. The Hunger Games served as a reminder for the citizens of the other districts to “remember their place.”

4 Right: WALL-E

wall-e movie

While WALL-E isn’t right about of future yet, it definitely seems like it can head in that direction. Firstly, Eve almost looks like she could be an Amazon Alexa product, her color palette matching that of Alexa.

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If the world keeps getting polluted at the state it’s been, and humanity keeps down the path it’s going, it seems very likely that our future can definitely lead to an existence like that of WALL-E. The small robots also seem pretty realistic, especially WALL-E himself, he looks like a Roomba with feelings.

3 Wrong: Alita: Battle Angel

alita battle angel

Alita: Battle Angel is another dystopian film that thankfully got everything wrong. It doesn’t quite seem that civilization has yet evolved into what Alita portrays. Luckily, Alita is also set centuries in the future, so there is still potential that our civilization can achieve this.

This movie reads like a manga (which it originally is based on) when humans becoming more and more like cyborgs.

2 Right: Idiocracy

Idiocracy Movie

Idiocracy takes place in 2505, five hundred years from when the movie came out in 2005, Luke Wilson’s character, Joe Bauers, is frozen in time, the most average human having the opportunity to see what life is like in 500 years.

And it turns out, he is treated like a super genius in the future. Saying Idiocracy is like our current timeline is a bit harsh, but with the way social media is affecting society and everyone’s deep attachment to their phones, it seems like it is a possible road the world could be taking.

1 Wrong: Blade Runner

Roy Batty in Blade Runner

One of the most notorious dystopian films is Blade Runner. This infamous film also had a sequel recently titled Blade Runner 2049.

While both films are iconic, they don’t really accurately display a dystopian setting. The over-population being condensed into stacked cities definitely is possible and is similar to how some places in Asia look now, but the idea of replicants and AI who can feel genuine love seems a bit unlikely.

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Updated: December 2, 2020 — 3:00 am

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