The Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Times

Snarkerati blog has a fantastic new article: the Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time, ranked by Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings.

A dystopia is a fictional society that is the antithesis or complete opposite of a utopia, an ideal world with a perfect social, political and technological infrastructure. A world without chaos, strife or hunger. A world where the individual potential and freedom is celebrated and brought to the forefront.

In contrast, the dystopian world is undesirable with poverty and unequal domination by specific individuals over others. Dystopian films often construct a fictional universe and set it in a background which features scenarios such as dehumanizing technological advancements, man-made disasters or class-based revolutions.

The image above is from Brazil (1985), an excellent example of the genre. (Everytime I see a reference to this movie, I can't stop humming the theme music. Braziiiil ... where hearts were entertaining June / We stood beneath an amber moon / ...) - Thanks Slater!

I saw the photo and knew immediately what it was.
I absolutely love Brazil.

Who knew a movie so odd [very Terry Gilliam-esque, of course!] could have a song so catchy?

Now I've got it stuck in my head! Thanks a ton! ;)
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OMG! Alex, we must be connected somehow because today I was going through the need to have a list of movies and books all based on Dystopian themes. :)
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I love Robert DeNiro's character, the vigilante duct-repairman :) What a brilliant movie Brazil is. I'm definitely checking through this list for movies I've missed.
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There are a lot of very good movies on this list, in a somewhat incorrect order. A lot of Hollywood crud is diluting the higher ranks of the list due to mass appeal.
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Brazil is the movie that most comes to mind whenever I think that we may be too far down the dystopian road ourselves. The scene where the terrorist bomb goes off in the restaurant and they simply put up a barrier so everyone can continue eating is both hysterical and terrifying.

Side note: The most "out there" cover of "Brazil" ever has to be Sugar Plant's grungy noise-pop version with broken English singing female vocals run through a mellotron. Trippy and super cool.
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Their top 10 are pretty solid, except for Minority Report. But there are entries near the bottom I would have put much higher (Starship Troopers, 1984).

And I question certain films as even having enough of a dystopian theme to qualify, like Serenity, Pleasantville, or War of the Worlds.
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Wow, how utterly freaky - I JUST got home from watching Brazil with some folks. What a good movie! You could very much tell who'd seen it before and who hadn't by the vaguely unsettled silence with which the first-timers reacted by the time the credits rolled, heh.

Anyway - what an interesting list, thanks for posting it! I look forward to checking out some of the other movies on it ...
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Oh, I [heart] Brazil. Jonathan Pryce is wonderful as a nebbishy would-be hero. Robert DeNiro's clearly having a great time. Michael Palin is about as far from his usual sweet, goofy self as possible. The hard part is when the absurdist vision of the future starts seeming not quite so absurd and even a little plausible. One of my definite all-time favorites.
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Moxy Fruvous did a song to the tune of the Brazil theme song, about working at a crappy job ("working in a dog food store between the ages of 13 and 16 just outside Toronto..."). It's called "I Love My Boss"


Live recording: (track 09)

other live recordings: (man, i love the internet archive site!)
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The funny thing is that the movie itselfs have nothing to do with Brazil (country), but is a nice movie. The music, on the other side, is brazilian (and considered a MPB - brazilian popular music - classic)
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