Today, at Blood Stained Ink, we continue our exploration on the nature of humanity, particularly as we see ourselves through the unique lens of films that look into the future. To date, the series includes the following posts:
- Apocalyptic Films as a Window into our Collective Soul
- The 50 “Greatest” Apocalyptic and Dystopian Films of All Time (#50-41)
- The 50 “Greatest” Apocalyptic and Dystopian Films of All Time (#40-31)
And now, back to the list …
30. War of the Worlds (1953) – Based upon the famous novel by H.G. Wells and the even-more-famous depression-era radio broadcast, War of the Worlds was a timely piece of science-fiction that many understood as a metaphor for the looming Soviet threat. As for Spielberg’s 2005 remake, the effects are better, but it comes at the expense of the subtext.
Average Rating: 7.15 IMDB: 7.2 RT: 7.1
29. Dark City (1998) – When John Murdoch awakens in a strange hotel, he discovers that has no memories and is wanted for a series of brutal murders. As he struggles to make his way through a city with no sun, he is besieged by people with telekinetic powers and a thirst for his very soul.
Average Rating: 7.2 IMDB: 7.7 RT: 6.7
28. The Hunger Games (2012) – For the third time, I strongly disagree with where both the popular and the critical consensus has placed this film in relation to others. While I am on record as having very much enjoyed the original novels, I found the film to be a wooden, overly-faithful adaptation that was lacking in both spirit and directorial vision.
Average Rating: 7.2 IMDB: 7.2 RT: 7.2
27. Mad Max (1979) – From the mind of writer/director George Miller comes this hyper-violent tale of an avenging Australian police officer (Mel Gibson) who is out for justice in the post-apocalyptic, nightmarish world of the Outback. As for The Road Warrior, it is generally considered to be a rare case where the sequel has exceeded the vision of the original work.
Average Rating: 7.2 IMDB: 6.8 RT: 7.6
26. On the Beach (1959) – After nuclear war destroys almost all of civilization, the residents of Australia must slowly come to terms that they too will perish in a matter of months. The only question that remains is whether community can overpower the depths of impending despair. This is one of the few films on the list that I have not personally seen.
Average Rating: 7.3 IMDB: 7.5 RT: 7.1
25. Fahrenheit 451 (1966) – Based upon the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel, the film captures the story of a firefighter charged with the unenviable task of burning books that have been banned by a government that fears independent thought. A classic both for its prophetic look into the future and for its insight into the power of literature.
Average Rating: 7.3 IMDB: 7.1 RT: 7.5
24. Gattaca (1997) – In the not-too-distant future, a “less than perfect” genetic specimen decides to steal the identity of a “perfect” man in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut. Sixteen years after its initial release, Gattaca still feels as current and as relevant as it did on the day I first saw it in a theater.
Average Rating: 7.3 IMDB: 7.7 RT: 6.9
23. Total Recall (1990) – Working from source material provided by acclaimed author, Philip K. Dick, director Paul Verhoever makes his second appearance on this list with a story about a man implanted with false memories that may or may not have triggered a psychotic break with reality. As for the 2012 remake, it is completely unnecessary and far inferior to the original.
Average Rating: 7.4 IMDB: 7.5 RT: 7.3
22. Twenty-eight Days Later (2002) – When animal activists release infected chimpanzees into the wild, they unwittingly unleash a horror that decimates the country of England. Often dismissed as a zombie film, Twenty-eight Days Later is actually a horrifying look into a future that is poised on the razor’s edge of a medical apocalypse.
Average Rating: 7.45 IMDB: 7.6 RT: 7.3
21. V for Vendetta (2005) – Based upon the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta is a brilliant film that has never received its true due from the movie-going public. How this tale of a political terrorist, who intellectually seduces a young women in a dystopian future England, didn’t crack the top-10 on this list completely baffles me.
Average Rating: 7.5 IMDB: 8.2 RT: 6.8