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)
- The 50 “Greatest” Apocalyptic and Dystopian Films of All Time (#30-21)
And now, we return to the countdown as we enter the top-20. Interestingly enough, there are four films in this section that I have never seen…
20. Planet of the Apes (1968) – When an astronaut and his crew crash land on a planet in the distant future, they discover a world in which pre-literate humanity has been enslaved by apes. Somewhat corny and at times visually trying, the ending is nevertheless well worth the payoff if you’re interested in these sorts of films.
Average Rating: 7.5 IMDB: 7.9 RT: 7.1
19. The City of Lost Children (1995) – If originality is indeed a virtue, than this film deserves to make this list, if for no other reason than the unique nature of its plot. In short, a scientist in a deranged society kidnaps children and attempts to steal their dreams all to prevent his own aging. This is the first of the four films I have not seen in this section of the countdown.
Average Rating: 7.5 IMDB: 7.8 RT: 7.2
18. Akira (1988) – The first of two anime films to make this list, Akira is by far the better known and more influential. When a psychically inclined biker goes on a rampage in Neo-Tokyo, two kids with similar abilities are called into action to track him down. I suspect that this film rates as high as it does only because of its medium, not because of its message.
Average Rating: 7.5 IMDB: 7.8 RT: 7.2
17. Robocop (1987) – The third, and highest rated, entry by director Paul Verhoeven, Robocop tells the ultra-violent tale of a police officer viciously gunned down and reborn as a cybernetic law enforcement office in a future Detroit that bears far too many resemblances to the Detroit of today.
Average Rating: 7.5 IMDB: 7.4 RT: 7.6
16. Battle Royale (2000) – This is the film that The Hunger Games could have been if the studio elected not to pull its punches for the sake of a PG-13 rating that ensured a larger audience. Based on almost identical premises, Battle Royale is the hard-R sibling of The Hunger Games, and whether that is either “good” or “bad” I leave for you to decide.
Average Rating: 7.55 IMDB: 8.0 RT: 7.1
15. Ghost in the Shell (1995) – The second of two anime films to make the countdown, Ghost in the Shell explores themes related to computer hacking and the growing need for a police force dedicated to cyber-defense. This is the third of the four aforementioned films that I have not seen.
Average Rating: 7.55 IMDB: 7.8 RT: 7.3
14. Serenity (2005) – By every fair definition, Serenity has earned its place on this list. What’s more, I am a huge fan of director Joss Whedon’s Firefly, the televised fore-runner to this film. So why I do I find myself staring in wonder at the ranking of this film? I don’t know. But in my personal opinion, Serenity has no business being this close to the top-10.
Average Rating: 7.6 IMDB: 8 RT: 7.2
13. Twelve Monkeys (1995) – The first of two films by Terry Gilliam (one-time member of the British sketch comedy team known as Monty Python) to make the countdown, Twelve Monkeys explores a future world in which 99% of the Earth’s population has been eradicated by a virus that was spread by a mysterious “Army of Twelve Monkeys.”
Average Rating: 7.6 IMDB: 7.8 RT: 7.2
12. Alphaville (1965) – One of the older films on this list, Alphaville is widely considered to be a classic within the dystopian genre. Unfortunately, on both occasions where I sat down to watch the film, I fell asleep within the first half an hour. Clearly, critics and audiences alike saw something I did not see.
Average Rating: 7.6 IMDB: 7.2 RT: 8.0
11. The Trial (1962) – Written by Franz Kafka and adapted and directed by Orson Wells, The Trial is a classic look at a judicial system lacking anything that remotely resembles accountability. When Josef (Anthony Perkins) awakens in the morning, he is greeted by officers who arrest him without any formal presentation of charges. What comes next is even worse.
Average Rating: 7.65 IMDB: 7.9 RT: 7.4