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The Best Movies Predicting the Future

24/7 Wall St.
24/7 Wall St.
 2021-12-04

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3dEQGh_0dE8PN6N00 Futuristic movies have been a cinema staple for nearly as long as movies have been around, with 1902’s “A Trip to the Moon” widely regarded as the first ever science fiction film. Ever since, filmmakers have imagined what the future might hold, and the results have been as varied as they are interesting. In fact, many of the most popular and best-reviewed films of all time are set in the future.

To determine the best sci-fi movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb , an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes , an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of November 2021. All ratings were weighted equally. Only movies that were tagged with the keyword "future" on IMDb and depict an imagined future for human civilization were considered. Directorial credits also are from IMDb.

Science fiction, at its best, gives people a window into what could be possible and allows people to project their hopes and fears for the future. Many futuristic films imagine incredibly advanced technology, like solar travel and artificial intelligence. Others are less optimistic, predicting that the future will be crime-ridden and the Earth will run out of natural resources.

Many of the greatest filmmakers of all time appear on this list -- Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and George Lucas, just to name a few. Iit is worth noting Star Wars did not make the list, as the events of the films take place “a long, long time ago.”

Hollywood continues to churn out futuristic films in large part because they are in high demand. Big-budget, CGI-laden, sci-fi blockbusters often do well at the box office. In fact, many of the films on this list have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. These are the highest grossing films of all-time.

Click here to see the best movies about the future

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37. Mr. Nobody (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (224,143 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76% (25,903 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 68% (31 reviews)
> Directed by: Jaco Van Dormael

The year in "Mr. Nobody" is 2092. Humans are practically immortal because their body cells are able to self-renew endlessly.

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36. Ready Player One (2018)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (397,015 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 77% (25,761 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 72% (444 reviews)
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg

"Ready Player One" is set in 2045, when people use virtual reality to escape the world, which is chaotic and violent, and escape to another universe.

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35. The Lobster (2015)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (234,628 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 65% (34,653 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (265 reviews)
> Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos

"The Lobster" shows a dystopian near future where single people are forced to find a partner in 45 days. If they don't, they are turned into animals.

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34. Westworld (1973)
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (55,107 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70% (16,182 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85% (41 reviews)
> Directed by: Michael Crichton

"Westworld" centers on a futuristicn amusement park with a theme of artificial Wild Wild West. It is populated with lifelike androids that start to malfunction.

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33. THX 1138 (1971)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (49,969 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 74% (28,201 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (63 reviews)
> Directed by: George Lucas

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas showed he could master sci-fi films with 1971's "THX." The movie takes place in the 25th century, when members of a totalitarian society in which people are deprived of names must rebel against their overlords.

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32. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (246,568 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (34,249 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 61% (328 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

"Alita: Battle Angel" is set in the 26th century. Earth has been devastated by war and cyborgs are everywhere.

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31. Back to the Future Part II (1989)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (501,573 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (750,481 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 66% (61 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

After traveling to the recent past in the first film in the trilogy, Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to 2015 in "Back to the Future Part II." McFly has to keep his future self out of prison without affecting the present or the past.

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30. The Time Machine (1960)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (39,104 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79% (19,503 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 76% (38 reviews)
> Directed by: George Pal

The 1960 sci-fi classic "The Time Machine" centers on a man who believes he can reach a utopian society by traveling into the future -- but when he actually travels forward in time, he arrives in a dangerous land.

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29. Escape from New York (1981)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (134,029 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 77% (72,798 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (65 reviews)
> Directed by: John Carpenter

The 1981 film "Escape from New York" imagined that by 1997 Manhattan would become a maximum security prison as crime would skyrocket. When the U.S. president crash lands on the prison island, a bank robber is tasked with extracting the Ccommander-in-Cchief.

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28. The Fifth Element (1997)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (449,151 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (587,454 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (68 reviews)
> Directed by: Luc Besson

"The Fifth Element" is set in the distant future -- some 250 years from now, as Earth is about to be destroyed by the Great Evil. Humanity's only hope rests on the fifth element. A former special forces major-turned-cabbie helps the fifth element defend Earth in an adventure-filled story.

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27. Total Recall (1990)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (314,558 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78% (244,795 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 82% (74 reviews)
> Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Based on a Philip K. Diсk short story, "Total Recall" is the story of a seemingly ordinary man who wants pleasant memories implanted in his head. But after something goes wrong with the procedure, his life is turned upside down and he's told he's a secret agent. To find answers, he has to go to Mars.

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26. Avatar (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (1.2 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (1.4 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 81% (322 reviews)
> Directed by: James Cameron

"Avatar" is one of the most successful films of all time, one of just three films to gross more than $750 million domestically. The film centers on a paraplegic Marine who uploads his consciousness into a synthetic body of a Na'vi -- the species living on the moon of Pandora. He is supposed to infiltrate the Na'vi and help his employers mine resources from Pandora, but he falls in love with an alien and is torn between his duty and his feelings.

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25. Minority Report (2002)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (526,585 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 80% (481,676 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (253 reviews)
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg

"Minority Report" is set in Washington D.C. in the year 2054. Murders have been eliminated as law enforcement can see the future and prevent killings before they happen. But when the Pre Crime program's chief is supposedly the next killer, he unravels a conspiracy of epic proportions.

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24. Interstellar (2014)
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10 (1.6 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (176,938 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 72% (367 reviews)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan

In "Interstellar," Earth has become uninhabitable, and a newly-discovered wormhole may be humanity's only hope. A team of astronauts must find a hospitable planet and try to make it back to Earth alive and on time.

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23. Gattaca (1997)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (290,017 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (208,849 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (64 reviews)
> Directed by: Andrew Niccol

In "Gattaca," the future is driven by eugenics. Embryos are altered through genetic engineering and are deemed "valid." People conceived naturally are deemed "in-valid," or subpar.

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22. Looper (2012)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (550,438 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (180,475 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (269 reviews)
> Directed by: Rian Johnson

In the year 2074, an organized crime syndicate has access to time travel, using it to send those they want dead to the past to be assassinated. When Joe, one of the syndicate's assassins, learns he is the next target, he and his future self team up to foil the plan.

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21. Upgrade (2018)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (171,876 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (6,048 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (193 reviews)
> Directed by: Leigh Whannell

In "Upgrade," the main character is paralyzed after a mugging. He receives an implant called STEM that gives him superhuman strength.

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20. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (498,432 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (51,506 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (441 reviews)
> Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

The sequel to "Blade Runner," which is set in 2019, "Blade Runner 2049" is set in 2049. In the second movie, the bioengineerd humans, called replicants, are slaves. It is discovered that, contrary to what is believed, replicants can reproduce, which can lead to war between them and humans.

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19. RoboCop (1987)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (235,958 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84% (226,534 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (68 reviews)
> Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

The classic dystopian sci-fi flick "RoboCop" is set in a crime-ridden future Detroit. A police officer who almost dies on the job has his consciousness placed in a robo-suit, making him an effective crime fighting weapon. But he soon learns the real danger isn't the street criminals, but the company who turned him into a machine.

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18. Serenity (2005)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (289,170 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (313,280 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 82% (187 reviews)
> Directed by: Joss Whedon

After the beloved sci-fi TV series "Firefly" was canceled, the characters of the show returned for one last hurrah in the movie "Serenity." The crew of a 25th century outlaw spaceship is on the run after harboring a woman who escaped from a government testing facility in which she was given psychic powers.

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17. District 9 (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (654,962 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (1.2 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (314 reviews)
> Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

In "District 9," an alien spaceship crash lands in South Africa. Initially welcomed, eventually, the extraterrestrials are forced to live in a shanty town and are exploited for their technology. An agent in charge of monitoring the district decides to help them escape after being exposed to an alien chemical.

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16. Sleeper (1973)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (42,162 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (30,618 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (36 reviews)
> Directed by: Woody Allen

In Woody Allen's 1973 film "Sleeper," Allen's character plays the owner of a health food store who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up 200 years later to discover that the U.S. has become a poorly-run dystopian police state and that he must infiltrate the government to derail the dictator's master plan.

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15. Planet of the Apes (1968)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (172,247 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (119,124 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (59 reviews)
> Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

"Planet of the Apes" happens in the distant future, where people are able to fly to planets outside the solar system. On one such planet, apes have evolved into creatures that can speak and have become the rulers while humans are slaves.

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14. Children of Men (2006)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (479,501 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (531,198 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (255 reviews)
> Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

The world in "Children of Men" has descended into chaos. The year is 2027, and all women have become infertile -- except one. A former activist-turned-beaurocrat living in the U.K. suddenly finds himself running from the law when he is tasked with taking the pregnant refugee to safety.

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13. Isle of Dogs (2018)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (151,258 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (9,249 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (367 reviews)
> Directed by: Wes Anderson

"Isle of Dogs" is a stop-motion animated film from acclaimed director Wes Anderson. In the film, dogs are banished from mainland Japan due to a disease outbreak. A young boy goes to a trash island to find his former dog while trying to thwart the plans of the villainous, cat-loving Mayor Kobayashi.

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12. Her (2013)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (567,662 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (101,810 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (283 reviews)
> Directed by: Spike Jonze

"Her" is a science fiction film in which, in the near future, a lonely man falls in love with his artificial intelligence operating system.

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11. Moon (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (345,533 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (100,903 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (194 reviews)
> Directed by: Duncan Jones

Like many sci-fi films, "Moon" takes place in a future in which resources are scarce. In the film, astronaut Sam works alone as he mines the moon for fuel, but he begins to doubt his own sanity and distrust his employer as the loneliness takes its toll.

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10. 12 Monkeys (1995)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (595,919 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (391,252 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (72 reviews)
> Directed by: Terry Gilliam

In "12 Monkeys," the world of 2035 is an apocalyptic hellscape after a virus forced all of humanity to live underground. A convict is sent back in time to try to earn parole if he can figure out what caused the virus and how to stop it.

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9. The Matrix (1999)
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10 (1.8 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (33.3 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (155 reviews)
> Directed by: Lana & Lilly Wachowski

"The Matrix" is one of the most popular sci-fi films of all time. The film centers on a hacker who discovers he lives in a computer-generated world that robots use to keep humans subdued while they use people as power sources.

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8. The Martian (2015)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (795,046 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (131,961 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (383 reviews)
> Directed by: Ridley Scott

In "The Martian," astronaut Mark Watney becomes accidentally stranded on the Red planet. But he is able to survive using leftover supplies, and his crew launches a daring rescue mission to bring him back home.

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7. Blade Runner (1982)
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (721,985 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (338,132 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (121 reviews)
> Directed by: Ridley Scott

"Blade Runner," released in 1982, is set in dystopian Los Angeles in 2019. In the film, genetically engineered replicants look exactly the same as people.

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6. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (785,984 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (437,137 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (73 reviews)
> Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

"A Clockwork Orange" is set in futuristic London, a welfare state, where a group of young men assault innocent people at night. The leader of the gang is finally captured and undergoes aversion therapy.

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5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (629,868 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (299,429 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (113 reviews)
> Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" is one of the earliest films to provide a cautionary tale about advancing artificial intelligence. The antagonist of the film's third section is HAL 9000 -- a computer that would rather kill the crew of the spaceship Discovery than be turned off.

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4. Brazil (1985)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (194,716 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (103,103 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (49 reviews)
> Directed by: Terry Gilliam

"Brazil" paints a dystopian picture of the future, in which society has become overcrowded, and ruled by a totalitarian bureaucracy that is over-reliant on technology.

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3. The Terminator (1984)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (820,969 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (776,923 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (65 reviews)
> Directed by: James Cameron

"The Terminator" is the first movie of The Terminator franchise. Though set in the present, the movie shows a near future where robots, directed by artificial intelligence Skynet, have taken over the world. The robots' goal is to annihilate humanity.

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2. WALL-E (2008)
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (1.0 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (598,663 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (260 reviews)
> Directed by: Andrew Stanton

The future in "WALL-E" involves an Earth that has been abandoned by humans because there is too much garbage. That waste has been generated by people due to their excessive lifestyles, and Wall-E is the robot tasked with cleaning it all up.

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1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (1.0 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (749,360 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (84 reviews)
> Directed by: James Cameron

The future, according to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is taken over by artificial intelligence, which has control of U.S. nuclear missiles and trigger a nuclear holocaust.

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