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Top 10 Movie Depictions of the Future

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Steven Papadopoulos. Do you know where you are or what year you’re living in? In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 movie depictions of the future. For this list, we’re looking at the most inspiring, memorable or iconic movie representations of mankind’s future, while taking into account their depictions of technology, society and the everyday lives of humans. These movies predicted the future so realistically, we sometimes believe some of them may actually happen. Special thanks to our user Jose Miguel Alvear Carrion, David Ram and Marlon Jacques for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Steven Papadopoulos.

Top 10 Movie Depictions of the Future

Do you know where you are or what year you’re living in? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie depictions of the future.

For this list, we’re looking at the most inspiring, memorable or iconic movie representations of mankind’s future, while taking into account their depictions of technology, society and the everyday lives of humans.

#10: “Demolition Man” (1993)

Nothing like putting your problems on ice. When humans start freezing criminals in this science fiction movie, weapons and vice get outlawed to create an entirely pacifist society. This future is extra nice since it doesn’t need an overpowered police force, and its lack of human contact leads to some interesting technologies. Cool cars, weird high-fives and a civilization that appears truly at peace make for a very safe future, so long as those criminals stay on ice. The weirder aspects of “Demolition Man”‘s vision of 2032 include commercials totally replacing music, automatic ticketing for foul language, and Taco Bell being the only fast food restaurant to survive the franchise wars!

#9: “Idiocracy” (2006)

Here one moment, gone the next. After being frozen for 500 years, average Joe wakes up to discover that he is the smartest man alive in this satirical science fiction comedy. The human race has degraded intellectually and the world has suffered for it. Food shortages plague mankind until Joe manages to fix the problem through a simple farming solution. As technology pervades our lives, the potential for humanity to dovetail intellectually is ever present, but surely a Monster Truck Derby sentencing isn’t the dumbest idea this future has in store.

#8: “Mad Max” (1979)

Strike down the un-roadworthy. When the world begins to exhaust its fuel reserves, the Main Force Patrol’s Max is left to contend with the bikers that have risen to power in this post-apocalyptic gem. Barren landscapes and a world filled with anarchy certainly make for an undesirable future, and a potent reminder of the danger our dependence on fossil fuels can create. With an ecological and economical message that haunts us to this day, we can only hope to get on Max’s good side when he drives by.

#7: “Akira” (1988)

Neo-Tokyo never had an imagining as realistic as it seems in this anime masterpiece. After a nuclear bomb detonates, inciting World War III, Tokyo races into the future with towering skyscrapers and a seedy underground. The bars are a stark contrast to the buildings that consume the sky, but it’s the little touches like electric motorcycles, a strong military presence, laser weapons and a city built on the remains of the past that make this an awe-inspiring depiction of the future.

#6: “Her” (2013)

Because being able to find out the weather in advance just isn’t enough. Perhaps the most immediate potential future on this list, in this sci-fi rom-com, we’re asked what would happen if the technology in our hands finally went to the next level. Brimming with personality, Theodore’s operating system Samantha swayed our hearts when she reminded us that AI didn’t always have to turn out evil and could be a lot more interesting than as a simple assistant. Aside from folks falling in love with computers, this future in “Her” shows the believable evolution of technologies we love today, including a revival of chat rooms!

#5: “Logan’s Run” (1976)

Your clock is ticking. In “Logan’s Run”’s conception of the year 2274, humans live under the protection of a dome with their daily lives controlled by a computer and are allowed to live until they must be “renewed” (read: die) at 30 years old. Although there is a promise of rebirth, this population control method seems to be the only flaw in a society filled with advanced machinery, robots, pyramid-like structures and every pleasure at the palm of your hand. Though it appears to be a utopia on the surface, we’re not sure how we feel about not be able to live past 30…

#4: “Blade Runner” (1982)

Do androids dream of the future? Flying cars known as Spinners, iconic video advertisement, and a melting pot of cultures made for one of the most detailed futures ever conceived in this neo-noir dystopian film. Humanity has colonized other worlds and sent replicants there to work, but it’s when they return to Earth and Rick Deckard has to hunt them in the city that we get our best look at our gritty future. We’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

#3: “Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Not only do we get “Jaws 19,” but also Marty McFly’s run in 2015 gave us hoverboards, flying cars, controlled weather, holograms and even a next generation microwave to hydrate your food. This is a future that took us onto the streets and into the home to see how a family would live with new technology, and the surprising answer turned out to be a lot like how we live today. At least it predicted the rise of motion-controlled gaming and nostalgia, sorta.

#2: “Metropolis” (1927)

The first sci-fi masterpiece. Fritz Lang painted a world of immense skyscrapers, vehicles zipping around, and androids that walk the streets for this epic black-and-white science fiction flick. The cars may be grounded, but having planes fly around the city suggested the potential for absolute freedom. Contrast that with the machines that keep the lower classes working, and you have a future that serves as both a warning of technology’s dominance and a potent reflection on Lang’s contemporary society.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Gattaca” (1997)
- “Minority Report” (2002)
- “Soylent Green” (1973)
- “The Fifth Element” (1997)
- “Total Recall” (1990)

#1: “Star Trek” franchise (1979-)

Set your phasers to stun. The ‘60s TV show may have started it all, but the movies continued that legacy. Unity between humans and intergalactic space travel sent our imaginations flying through time as we travelled with Kirk and Picard. Everything from Star Trek’s high-tech gadgets to the Enterprise itself made us excited for the final frontier and the inevitable otherworldly encounters. We can’t wait for mankind to warp into this future - one absent of disease, poverty or money - and that’s why it gets the number one spot.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie depiction of the future? For more unreal Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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