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Top 50 Most Popular Cyberpunk Movies To Watch In 2023
Aishwarya-Updated Jan 17, 2023
Cyberpunk is a genre of movies that are emerging and growing stronger in recent years. These movies were a sub-genre under Sci-fi movie listings, but they are now creating a separate niche for themselves.
For the people who don't know, Cyberpunk is a term coined by Bruce Bethke to describe a future dystopian society where technology, specifically cybernetics A. I., has taken over the world.
In earlier days, when computers, the internet, etc., were not common, they would have described the scenario as Machines taking over the world.
The 1927 movie, Metropolis would be an example of this. As and how the vision of the internet, A. I., and robots started to become a reality, all those distant futures and crazy ramblings started to seem more real.
The genre of Cyberpunk gained more fan following as they did not seem wild anymore. While our society is far from dystopian and the A. I. have not taken over the world, cyberpunk movies give us a peek into the not-so-distant future.
To help you quench your thirst for new and more enjoyable genres, ENTOIN has created this list of the 50 most popular cyberpunk films that will tickle your fancy and rev up your imagination.
50. The Lawnmower Man (1992)
The Lawnmower Man is about a gardener who becomes the research subject of a scientist experimenting with ways to enhance the human brain’s capacity to understand.
Dr. Larry Angelo is a scientist who picks his simple-minded gardener, Jobe Smith, to experiment on. Dr. Angelo manages to successfully improve Jobe Smith’s intelligence with psychoactive drugs and virtual reality.
However, the trouble starts when Jobe decides to take over the experiment. He decides to make himself the digital god.
The film script was created from Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man and another script called CyberGod. However, King sued the producers to have his name removed from the credits of the film.
49. Mute (2018)
Mute is the sequel to Moon and is also referred to as Moon II. The story is based on the graphic novel Madi: Once Upon A Time In The Future.
The film is set in the future where two surgeons run an illegal business of prostitution, cybernetic surgeries, etc.
A mute bartender falls in love with a waitress, but she is connected to one of the surgeons in this illegal business.
This drags the mute bartender into its fold till his life is threatened. The film was panned by critics and unfavorably compared to Blade Runner.
The film is directed by Duncan Jones, the son of David Bowie. He has dedicated this film to his father.
48. Virtuosity (1995)
Virtuosity is a futuristic crime thriller starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Both these actors and talented stars competed against each other for the Academy Awards on multiple occasions.
SID 6.7 is a virtual reality composite of more than 150 serial killers throughout history. He was designed to be a training simulation for LA police detectives.
However, this highly intelligent and psychotic character has attached himself to nanotechnology to escape into the real world. Now, it is the responsibility of Parker Barnes to apprehend him and end his terror reign.
The CG work on this film was rendered by pure vector calculations. It was considered state-of-the-art technology. However, compared to the CG work on Jurassic Park, it appeared tacky and primitive.
47. Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Johnny Mnemonic is a film based on the novel of the same name by William Gibson. The film is set in 2021 when more than half the world is addicted to the internet and suffers from Nerve Attenuation Syndrome.
The megacorporations that dominate the world perpetuate the condition. Johnny Mnemonic has a cybernetic brain implant that has all the information and knowledge that could blow the lid off the truth.
He has to deliver this package as soon as possible, as he becomes the target of megacorporations and conspiracy theorists.
In a scene at Crazy Bob's Computer Store, Mnemonic appears to be ordering an iPhone, which had not yet been created at the time of the film.
46. Hardware (1990)
Hardware is a British production that was based on the story SHOK! From the Judge Dredd Annual 1981. The film was sued for plagiarizing the story, and later they received credit for the work after winning the case.
While salvaging robotic parts, a nomad discovers the body parts of a cyborg, that was buried in a wasteland.
These parts are delivered to a scrap dealer who unwittingly causes the cyborg to repair itself and get activated.
This reactivated cyborg goes on a killing spree. The critics had mixed reviews of the film. They appreciated the cautionary tale but found it to be unnecessarily gory and loud.
45. Fortress (1992)
Fortress is set in a futuristic prison where a powerful computer system controls all prisoners with an iron fist.
The computer system called Zed-10, not only manages security but also closely monitors inmates using CCTVs. It also monitors their dreams and through implants, serves severe physical and mental pain.
Brennick and his wife break the law of the one-child policy by going for their second child. While escaping to Mexico, they are caught and sent to a private prison called the Fortress for 31 years.
Brennick is anxious to leave prison because his wife is about to give birth. The film had an original budget of $70 million as they wanted to cast Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, he backed out of the film, and the budget was cut down to $12 million. It did well and earned $48 million worldwide.
44. The Zero Theorem (2013)
The Zero Theorem is about the discovery of the meaning of life in a futuristic world that is run by computers in virtual reality.
Qohen Leth is a computer genius who is assigned the task of solving the Zero Theorem, which will reveal the meaning of life and existence.
However, the theorem is notoriously difficult to solve. Leth begins to lose his mind and eventually smashes his computer as he is unable to solve it.
The Management is determined to get results and uses every means to motivate and induce Qohen Leth to continue.
The Zero Theorem is the last of the satirical dystopian trilogy made by Terry Gilliam. Matt Damon and Ben Wishaw were determined to be in the film, so they agreed to work for scale.
43. Nirvana (1997)
Nirvana is an Italian film that explores ways to overcome loss and rejection through the religious concept of Nirvana.
In the film, Jimi is a game developer who creates a new game for Okasama Star, where Solo is the main character of the game.
Due to a computer virus, Solo gains sentience and pleads with Jimi to kill his character and delete the game.
Solo says he cannot continue suffering and dying multiple times in the game. Jimi understands his pain due to the loss of his girlfriend.
The rest of the movie is about how Jimi and his friends infiltrate the main servers of Okasama Star and delete the game.
The movie’s promotional poster uses an image of Goddess Kali from Hinduism as a representative of power, time, destruction, and death.
42. Burst City (1982)
Burst City is a Japanese action thriller set in a dystopian future where the police and the government use technology to force and subjugate the citizens.
The film plot revolves around two separate focus points. One is a nuclear power plant, and the other is a murder case.
The citizens of Tokyo city are divided into strict classes, and the people spend time racing cars, partying, and brawling.
When they are informed that a new nuclear power plant will be built there, they protest and fight back through their punk rock music battles.
At the same time, a mute boy and his friend are chasing down Yakuza members who killed his brother.
Both groups join together after realizing that the businessmen behind the nuclear power plant are the same ones who killed the brother.
All forces join hands to fight back against corruption.
41. Code 46 (2003)
Code 46 is a futuristic movie that is slightly different from the rest. It is a British film written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Michael Winterbottom.
Code 46 is set in a dystopian future where everyone lives in densely packed cities referred to as inside, or in the open wilderness referred to as Outside.
Everything is strictly governed with close monitoring. People on the inside have access to all modern medical and technological facilities while those on the outside suffer without any.
William is tasked with looking into the travel documents to enter the city once it is discovered that they have been forged.
There he meets and falls in love with Maria, the forger, but their love is forbidden, and the couple pays a heavy price for it.
The language of this futuristic world is an amalgamation of many world languages like Spanish, French, Chinese, etc.
40. Hackers (1995)
Hackers is a cult classic set during the early days of the internet. The hacker community that is depicted in this film had ideals and manifestos that adhered to simple curiosity as the motivating factor.
Crime and malfeasance were rejected as the motivation. Dade, or Crash Override, is an ethical hacker who already has a charge sheet from a childhood offense.
In high school, he meets with a group of young and talented hackers, and as his luck would have it, one of his friends lands in trouble with the Secret Service.
It is time for Dade and his hacker friends to rise and catch the original criminal to rescue his friend.
Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie met during the filming of this movie and fell in love. They married after the film was released and divorced four years later.
39. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions is the third installment in The Matrix trilogy created by the Wachowskis. One cannot watch The Matrix Revolutions individually and understand the film as it is a continuation of the plot line from the first two films, and in this film, we see an end to the Machine war.
Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus continue to chase down the Architect to release humans from the Matrix while the system tries to hold him back.
In the final film, Morpheus returns to Zion to participate in the showdown with Machines. Neo and Trinity set off on a suicide mission to negotiate with the machine city leader and end the rogue program called Agent Smith.
This film, like the other two Matrix films, has cutting-edge CGI, unbelievable stunts, superb martial arts choreography, and a gripping narrative.
38. Screamers (1995)
Screamers is set in a distant future where man has explored the universe and located alien life forms. To protect humans from alien life, we created an army of robots called Autonomous Mobile Swords, which are self-repairing and replicating robots.
With them, man has traveled to Sirius 6B to broker a peace deal. The commanding officer of the unit is disheartened to learn that the powers that be have double-crossed them, and the only way to survive is to form a new alliance with New Economic Black.
The problem is that the AMS or Screamers unit is spread across the planet, and they are not discriminating between aliens and humans before killing them.
The film is inspired by the short story titled Second Variety by Philip K. Dick. He is the writer of novels that were adapted into films like Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner, etc.
37. Cyberpunk (1990)
Cyberpunk is a documentary film about the birth and meaning of Cyberpunk as a subgenre of movies, art, music, and lifestyle.
The documentary features William Gibson, the author of the classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. He gives us an introduction to the world of cyberpunk, the rise and importance of the Internet to this revolution, techno music, art, etc.
We are also introduced to the thinkers who were written off as crazy people, computer hackers, and computer artists who created techno-art.
The second part of the documentary also features Dr. Timothy Leary, who explains the use of psychedelic drugs in this cyberpunk movement.
36. The Running Man (1987)
The Running Man is based on the novel of the same name written by Richard Bachman (a.k.a Stephen King).
The plot revolves around a game show titled The Running Man, which pits prisoners against gladiators in a race for freedom.
By 2019 America has degenerated into a police state where the government controls the media and entertainment. The most popular government-run TV show is The Running Man, where gladiator-like fighters, criminals, innocent civilians, etc. are forced to participate in a race to win freedom.
Although the film is based on a Stephen King novel, a lawsuit determined that The Running Man is a plagiarism of a French movie called Le Prix du danger, made in 1983.
35. Elysium (2013)
Elysium is a space station in the orbit of the Earth, which houses luxurious living arrangements for wealthy and powerful humans.
They have state-of-the-art technology, medicines, weaponry, and defense, while Earth languishes in poverty, overpopulation, disease, and drudgery. Society is a dichotomy of haves and have-nots that is exaggerated multiple times.
Max is a have-not who works in a factory in dangerous working conditions. He is exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation and needs to reach Elysium to save his life in five days.
To achieve this, a hacker offers him a deal to steal sensitive info from a wealthy CEO. The problem is that this info could jeopardize this coup d’etat attempt on Elysium.
Sharlto Copley portrays Agent Kruger as a South African. When he auditioned for the role, Copley offered an American, an Eastern European, and a British accent for the villain before finalizing with an Afrikaaner accent.
34. Demolition Man (1993)
Demolition Man is a science fiction movie set in a future where there is no crime in the society and all the peaceful citizens are governed by strict and overbearing laws in the name of peace, and non-violence.
Many civil liberties are trampled upon, which leads to the rise of an underground movement that staunchly opposes the government.
John Spartan is an honest and determined police officer from 1996 who has a penchant for destroying property during his crime-fighting.
While trying to apprehend the notorious crime lord Simon Phoenix, he causes the death of the hostages. As a result, both Phoenix and Spartan are cryogenically frozen.
In 2032 when Phoenix escapes prison and starts to wreak havoc, they need to call back Spartan to catch him.
Stallone admitted to being terrified during the cryo-freezing scenes.
33. Megazone 23 (1985)
Megazone 23 is a four-part animated Japanese film. In the distant future, Earth has become uninhabitable due to environmental issues.
Humanity has left earth to live in space colonies called Megazones, and the government of Megazone 23 is locked in battle with another Megazone.
They have created a new test bike that can transform into a mecha to help in their fight against enemy colonies.
This new bike lands in the hands of Shogo Yahagi, who discovers the truth that they are not living on Earth but in a space colony.
The first part of this four-part video series was the biggest hit of the series. The concept of alternative reality becoming the norm of the day is the inspiration for much more sci-fi and cyberpunk movies.
32. Logan's Run (1976)
Logan’s Run is based on the novel of the same name written by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.
It depicts a dystopian future where the world is obsessed with youth and controls the lives of the citizens, the resources available, etc. to a great extent.
Life in society is peaceful, vibrant, and technology-driven, with seemingly plenty and happy living conditions. However, below the surface, the government hides a dark secret of strict controls, regulations, and punishments in the name of a better society.
Logan enjoyed the life of this society until it was his turn to pay the price for the life of plenty.
The society in this film was so youth-obsessed that the citizens had to wear clothes that denoted their age, hence most of the cast wore red.
Only the Sandmen wore Black clothes with silver lines, and the Clean-up men wore the reverse pattern.
31. Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991)
Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees is a documentary drama made by an independent filmmaker, David Blair.
He wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the film. Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees has the distinction of being the very first film to be streamed on the Internet in 1993.
This documentary is about technological advancements in the military, defense, and warfare. It discusses the gulf war, drone warfare, and the possible future of technology using digital animation, found footage, and regular film footage.
The film takes a look at what the holds through the internet.
30. Archive (2020)
Archive is a story of love, human nature, and reluctance to accept death. The story was written and directed by Gavin Rothery in his directorial debut effort.
The COVID-19 lockdown affected the film, and it did not get a wide release. It was released digitally, with only a few theaters playing it.
The story revolves around the efforts of a scientist living in a distant future. He is making a desperate and determined effort to build and perfect an A. I. robot that is as close to human nature as possible. However, his efforts seem to hide a secret motive behind his actions.
29. THX 1138 (1971)
THX 1138 is a film written and directed by George Lucas in his directorial debut effort. The story was written when Lucas was a student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Initially, the film received mixed reviews. However, after Star Wars, it was given a new lease of life and garnered a cult following.
The story is set in a distant future where society is strictly controlled and regulated. In this dystopian world, technology, machines, and androids govern society, and mood suppressants are forcibly administered to kill all ideas of rebellion and change.
In this highly controlled environment, a man THX 1138 develops a conscience and emotion. With the help of a female LUH 3417, he plans to change life in society.
28. Dredd (2012)
Dredd is a comic book adaptation from the popular comic magazine 2000 AD that featured the Judge Dredd comic strip.
The comic strip was created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Judge Dredd is set in a futuristic dystopian society where America has turned into a wasteland post the apocalyptic events.
Judges are police officers who work as judges, juries, and executioners with complete and undeniable authority. They are feared all over the land, and Judge Dredd is the most feared judge of them all.
In the film, Dredd is called into action to combat a new variety of drugs called Slo-Mo, which alters reality and makes reality a fraction of a second slower than it is.
In an interview, Karl Urban, who played Dredd, disclosed the fact that Alex Garland wrote the screenplay, produced it, and is also considered the unofficial director of the film.
27. Tron (1982)
Tron is a story about different computer programs that work together to fight against the tyranny of MCP. The MCP is a master control program that has developed virtual intelligence and plans to take over other powerful programs to expand its control over the servers.
Kevin Flynn is a game developer who formerly worked for ENCOM and is disgruntled over the fact that his work was plagiarized by Dillinger.
In his attempt to find evidence against Dillinger, Flynn hacks into ENCOM servers. However, the MCP sucks Flynn into the server by digitizing him and plans to kill him within the system.
Tron is one of the earliest films ever to use computer-generated images or CGI technology. However, the film was disqualified from receiving the Academy Award for Special Effects as the academy felt that it was cheating to use CGI.
26. Videodrome (1983)
Videodrome is a science fiction body horror film that deals with the future of television and video programming.
A small-time TV channel survives competition by telecasting questionable content like snuff films. The CEO of the channel is Max Renn, who is constantly on the lookout for more disturbing programs.
He finds a disturbing satellite signal that broadcasts torture and murder all day long. Despite warnings from Prof. Brian O’Blivion that this channel is a tool for political, and ideological warfare, Max Renn broadcasts the programs.
He soon realizes that the programs are sending subliminal messages to murder targets and assassinate people. Videodrome recorded three different endings for the movie.
The final cut has the ending suggested by the lead actor James Wood.
25. Strange Days (1995)
Strange Days is a film written by James Cameron and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
The film received polarized reviews. Some praised the film for its gritty atmosphere, performances of the lead cast, etc.
Other critics felt that the movie failed to comment on or condemn the violence and injustice of the racial violence and police role in the LA race riots in 1992.
Lenny is a retired cop who does the illegal trade of recordings of events along with emotions made with SQUID (SQUID is an illegal recording device).
He pines for his ex-girlfriend, who is a singer, and goes to meet her. At the same time, an unknown person drops a SQUID recording into his car, and this recording opens a can of worms as it uncovers the ugly truth of the riots.
Bigelow did not want the point-of-view scenes to be captured using traditional camera techniques. So, a special camera was made by Cameron's production company to be used in those sequences.
24. eXistenZ (1999)
eXistenZ is about the gaming world in the future, where organic gaming devices have replaced electronic devices. David Cronenberg wrote, directed, and produced this cyberpunk movie that failed at the box office but received positive reviews from critics.
Allegra Geller is a leading game developer of a new game titled eXistenz. She is attacked by a fanatic with an organic weapon while she is testing the game at a convention.
She narrowly escapes with the help of an intern, Pikul, but the only copy of the game is damaged.
Geller and Pikul must salvage the game before its release and find who is sabotaging the game. The film was produced by Hungarian producers, and Ian Holms’ character exclaims 'Köszönöm' when they get to operate from Allegra’s game pod.
23. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
The Thirteenth Floor is set in the world of virtual reality simulation games. The plot is based on the novel Simulacron-3 written by Daniel F. Galouye. The film was met with negative reviews that said that the plot was confusing but praised the visuals.
The film starts in 1999 when a gaming company develops a virtual reality simulation game, that is set in 1937 America.
Before the game can be released, the owner of the company dies, and the next heir becomes the prime suspect.
Although he appears innocent, all evidence points to him. After a lengthy and confusing game of cat and mouse, the truth is revealed.
The film was released in 1999 along with The Matrix, which was also a virtual reality simulation movie. The film was nominated for visuals, but The Matrix won the awards.
22. TRON: Legacy (2010)
TRON: Legacy is the sequel to the highly successful film Tron from 1982. The director of Tron, Steven Lisberger, came back in the sequel as the producer with Joseph Kosinski as the director.
The film follows a similar set-up as the first film, with a virtual reality world that houses the various computer programs as its citizens.
Sam Flynn is the son of Kevin Flynn, and he is angry with his father for his disappearance twenty years ago.
After being arrested, Alan Bradley bails Sam and tells him about a pager message from his father. This takes him to the old gaming arcade, where Sam finds a system that is running and is sucked into the Grid.
Sam has to catch the culprit and escape. The gaming costumes used in the film cost $60000. They were fitted with lithium batteries to power the lights on the suits.
21. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded is the second installment of the Matrix trilogy. It brings back most of the cast from the first film.
It also introduces many new characters and takes the plot to its climax in the third film. In the first film, Neo was liberated from the Matrix, and he becomes The One who will save the humans from the machines.
In this film, Neo continues to work to liberate Zion from the threat of the machines. They realize that to save humanity, they need to meet the keymaker, defeat The Merovingian, and meet The Architect to broker a peace deal for Zion.
For the role of Seraph, The Wachowskis wanted to cast Jet Li, but he charged as much as Neo for the role.
Similarly, they wanted Sean Connery for The Architect, but he did not understand the concept of the film.
20. The City of Lost Children (1995)
The City of Lost Children is an international film production made by France, Germany, and Spain. The story is by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Gilles Adrien.
It is set in an unknown future where a scientist has manufactured humans and clones them, only to abandon them.
The children cloned by the mad scientist hatch an evil scheme to kidnap children and steal their dreams. These dreams are supposed to keep the clones young.
When the clones kidnap the adopted brother of a circus strongman, he decides to rescue his brother at any cost.
The film has a unique color scheme that was achieved by using white makeup on all the actors and adjusting the color theme till they achieved a flesh tone. This skewed all the other colors.
19. The Fifth Element (1997)
The Fifth Element is a sci-fi film by Luc Besson. He wrote the film story as a sixteen-year-old and finally made the film at the age of thirty-eight.
The film was also the costliest French film made until 2011 when it was dethroned by The Intouchables. It is the 23rd century, and the Earth is threatened by evil.
It can be saved by the fifth element that comes to Earth once every five thousand years. She comes and lands on the cab of Korben Dallas.
He must help the fifth element find the four other elements and divert the impending doom.
Luc Besson wanted to depict the future as a bright and lively place, unlike other apocalyptic films. He hired comic artists Jean "Moebius" Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières to create the imagery.
18. Dark City (1998)
Dark City is a neo-noir sci-fi film that is set in a dystopian world, where it is perpetually nighttime.
Murdoch wakes up in this world with no recollection of his identity. He finds that he is a murder suspect in a series of murders, and a group of pale face people were stalking him.
As Murdoch works out the mystery surrounding himself, he realizes that he has the power of psychokinesis and he can change the reality of the world at his will.
He uses this power to escape the Strangers, who are stalking him, and solve all the questions in his mind.
In the film, Mr. Sleep was portrayed by Satya and Noah Gumbert, who were fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
So, Richard O’Brien would narrate the film to entertain the crew.
17. World On A Wire (1973)
World On A Wire is a German cyberpunk movie that is adapted from the novel Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye. The same theme was used in 1999 to make The Thirteenth Floor.
However, where The Thirteenth Floor depended on the action aspect of the story, World On A Wire depicted the philosophy and human aspects of the story.
A supercomputer houses the latest version of a simulation game that has over 9000 types of human characters. The program's technical director is on the verge of a discovery when he disappears.
This leads to suspicion falling on his successor. It slowly dawns on him that they are all a part of a simulation themselves, and their world is not real.
16. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
A. I. Artificial Intelligence is a Steven Speilberg film that was inspired by the short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss.
Spielberg wrote the screenplay and directed and produced the film. In a post-climate change society, androids become reality. David is a child android, built with the ability to love like a child.
He is adopted by a family whose son is cryo-frozen. Initially, they love David like their own child, but once their son returns, they discard David.
The broken-hearted David yearns for his mother’s love and searches everywhere for her. In preparation for his role as an android, Haley Joel Osment practiced not blinking for long periods. Jude Law watched and practiced behaving like Fred Astaire.
15. Total Recall (1990)
Total Recall is a Paul Verhoeven film based on the short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale'', by Philip K. Dick. The film was remade in 2012 with the same story. In the future, man has successfully colonized Mars.
A construction worker on earth has strange fantasy dreams of adventures on Mars. The more he tries to figure out the meaning of the dream, the more he is suppressed.
However, the man uncovers the truth repressed in his memories and the secrets of the organization that colonized Mars to create a dystopian society there.
The film was one of the early roles of Sharon Stone, and the director was impressed with her ability to change from an innocent and charming woman to a fighting machine at a moment’s notice. So, he cast her in Basic Instinct.
14. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Ghost in The Shell is a Japanese anime film that is based on a manga series of the same name created by Masamune Shirow.
This film is considered to be one of the best anime films in its genre, and it has inspired many Hollywood directors like The Wachowskis, James Cameron, etc.
In 2029, cyborgs are everywhere among humans, and we have also mastered the technology to link our brains directly to the internet.
At such a time, a hacker called Puppet Master is causing chaos by hacking into the system to steal information and do other crimes.
Officer Motoko Kusanagi works for the ultra-secretive Section-9 and plans to apprehend Puppet Master. Masamune Shirow named the manga series Ghost in The Shell as an homage to his favorite book, Arthur Koestler’s The Ghost in the Machine.
13. I, Robot (2004)
I, Robot is based on the story by Jeff Vintar, who was inspired by the premise of the book I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.
Vintar used the premise of I, Robot to create the story of the film. The audience loved the film and made it a hit, but critics did not appreciate the plot line.
Dr. Lanning is the founder of U. S. Robotics, the foremost robotics company that has installed a robot in the house of every American.
The film is set in a future where robots are commonplace and pervade every walk of life. In this scenario, Dr. Lanning dies under mysterious circumstances that indicate that his robot Sonny has killed him.
However, a more sinister plot is afoot, and it can lead to a revolutionary change in the way we view and use these robots.
12. Ready Player One (2018)
Ready Player One is about a virtual reality game that could decide the ownership of the biggest company that created VR products and games.
The story is based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. Wade Watts lives in a world that is hooked to virtual reality simulation at the cost of personal life, family, etc.
Everyone is connected to OASIS, a VR universe that offers all kinds of entertainment. When its owner dies, he starts a treasure hunt game that could decide the next owner of the company.
This causes a major sensation where everyone wants to win. This Steven Spielberg film has many pop culture references to films like Back to the Future, The Shining, and The Iron Giant.
Spielberg called the film one of his most difficult movies.
11. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to the successful cyberpunk film Blade Runner. In this film, the two officers Rick Deckard and Gaff return to the sequel.
The film picks up the plot several years after the end of the first film. Deckard and Rachel’s child was born in secret, and Deckard keeps away from her for the child’s safety.
However, over the years, the Replicant freedom movement and the search for Rachel’s child have continued. Wallace Corp, the successor of Tyrell Corp that created Rachel wants the secret of reproducing replicants so that they can create a slave colony.
Denis Villeneuve, the director of Blade Runner 2049, wanted to cast David Bowie as the CEO of Wallace Corp.
However, after the death of Bowie, he cast Jared Leto in the role.
10. Akira (1988)
Akira is a Japanese anime movie that is set in a dystopian Tokyo that was created thirty years after the end of the third world war.
Akira is considered the greatest anime movie from the action genre, and sci-fi, cyberpunk genres. It has inspired the famous Akira bike slide stunt.
Thirty years after the end of WWIII, Neo Tokyo is back to being a sprawling metropolis. However, it is run by corrupt businessmen, criminals, and the military.
A biker gang member, Tetsuo, gets caught by the military, who experiment on him and give him telekinetic powers similar to Akira.
Now, he is on the verge of destroying Neo Tokyo, similar to Akira’s action, and Shōtarō Kaneda is the only one to stop him.
9. Upgrade (2018)
Upgrade is a Leigh Whannell film that he wrote and directed. The film received praise and applause for its sharp storytelling, dark humor, and interesting plot.
The audience also appreciated the film. Grey is a technophobe, living in a world where technology, computer chips, and artificial intelligence have started taking over many fields.
Grey is convinced to get a computer chip implant called STEM after a car accident leaves him paralyzed and his wife dead.
Using this chip, he regains motor functions but loses control of his life. The story of Upgrade has been compared to the comic book Venom, where an alien symbiote takes over his motor functions.
Coincidentally, the lead actors of both films look similar.
8. Gattaca (1997)
Gattaca is not your typical cyberpunk film in its basic sense. It has been classified as biopunk, but the elements of science fiction, a dystopian society where technology rules supreme, remain in Gattaca.
The film deals with eugenics where technology allows genetic selection and discrimination. In the future, genetic selection has become a norm, and any child born outside this project is discriminated against.
Freeman has a dream of going into space, but his in-valid status disqualifies him. Being born outside the eugenics program, he is rejected.
However, with the help of a clever plot, Freeman and Jerome manage to trick the system, and he goes into space.
As a marketing ploy, before the release of Gattaca, parents were offered a chance to have their children genetically engineered.
A surprising number of people showed interest.
7. Brazil (1985)
Brazil is a black satire set in a dystopian world that is riddled with totalitarianism, consumerism, bureaucracy, and technocracy.
A low-level government worker dreams of rescuing his lady love while working in a mind-numbingly boring job. Sam Lowry lives in a world of hyper surveillance by flawed technology that is used by corrupt bureaucrats.
When he finds his lady love, he hopes to rescue her from the false terrorism charges made against her.
But the system does not want to change and lose its status quo. Robert de Niro wanted the role of Jack Lint but Gilliam already promised the role to Michael Palin, so de Niro played Tuttle.
Katherine Helmond took up the role of Mrs. Lowry despite knowing that her character is ugly inside and out.
6. Metropolis (1927)
Metropolis is a 1927 film that embodies the concept of cyberpunk despite being made decades before technology like computers, virtual reality, and cyberspace were invented.
The film is about a dystopian society where the wealthy haves enjoys the benefits and comfort of machines that are run by the have-nots.
Metropolis is a dystopian society that depends on machinery to provide all material comforts to the wealthy. Still, they are unaware of the poor people who work on these machines and have no rights or amenities.
When an uprising against the wealthy is planned, the totalitarian leader plans to ruthlessly quash it by throwing everybody into anarchy.
Metropolis is a German film based on the novel of the same name by Thea von Harbou. It preaches the motto The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart.
5. Minority Report (2002)
Minority Report is a short story by Philip K. Dick. It was originally intended to be made as a sequel to Total Recall.
However, the production company filed for bankruptcy, and the script was abandoned. Later, Steven Spielberg decided to make the movie and started work.
John Anderton is the chief of the Precrime dept. Which detects crime before it is committed using precognition. The ability to become a precog occurs due to dependency on the drug Neuroin, and misusing this condition, Lamar Burgess sets up the Precrime division.
The loopholes in the system start to surface after chief Anderton is accused and arrested. Tom Cruise learned how to stay underwater and release small air bubbles instead of using CGI as Spielberg suggested.
He also decided to forgo his salary to keep within the budget. Instead, he took 15% of gross earnings as pay.
4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the second installment in the Terminator franchise. The first film was a big success that made the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron.
The second film cemented their standing as successful actors and directors. In the second film, we see that the Skynet organization’s artificial intelligence program has not been abandoned.
In the meanwhile, Sarah Connor has been institutionalized after the traumatic experience in the first film, and John Connor is living away from her.
This time, two robots are sent from the future by the good and the bad guys to combat each other.
Robert Patrick, who plays T1000, practiced his running and breathing to look believable as a cyborg. He was so good at it that he easily caught up with Edward Furlong on his bike.
3. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is the first film in the Terminator franchise, which has spawned a series of five films. The story was created by Gale Anne Hurd and James Cameron, and Cameron also directed the film.
This film catapulted both the actor and director into the big league. Skynet is a megacorporation that manufactures the latest technology in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Sometime in the future, this technology develops its intelligence and takes over mankind. To ensure this cyborg apocalypse, the leader of the resistance, John Connor needs to be eliminated.
The Terminator, T-800, travels back in time to assassinate him. To best portray the role, Schwarzenegger completely avoided Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn to retain the cold front. He also had only 14 lines throughout the line.
2. Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner is an iconic cyberpunk film directed by Ridley Scott and based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, written by Philip K. Dick.
It garnered a cult following and also spawned a sequel Blade Runner 2049. In the dystopian future society, man has created androids called replicants that do all the labor for humans.
Tyrell corporation creates these androids for specific tasks. Blade Runners are cops who chase down runaway replicants and kill them.
A Blade Runner, Deckard falls in love with a replicant Rachel while chasing a dangerous group of replicants. This triggers a change in the fight for freedom by replicants.
Rutger Hauer portrays Batty as the leader of the replicant resistance, and he delivers a poignant Tears In Rain monologue as he dies.
This monologue was improvised by Hauer from a complicated speech to increase the impact.
1. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is the finest example of the cyberpunk genre; the first film is the Matrix franchise with three more sequels.
The Wachowskis wrote and directed the film inspired by the Japanese cyberpunk manga series like Ghost in The Shell and more.
Neo is a hacker by night and stumbles through the internet in search of the truth. He is contacted by Trinity and offered a chance to see behind a curtain view of the world.
Neo is introduced to Morpheus and his team, who open his eyes to a reality where the world is a virtual reality simulation that is set up by machines to harvest the bio-energy in humans.
To achieve the emaciated and bald look in the pod, Keanu Reeves lost fifteen pounds and shaved off all his hair.
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