If you’re alive reading this then congratulations! You’ve made it all the way to the dawn of the end times.
One of the very, very few perks to living in a future dystopian world of crumbling social structure, technology gone mad and an increasingly inhospitable environment is that we get to look back on all the movies that predicted how this would all go down and see how close they got to getting it right!
Here are 50 terrifying visions of the future ranked by accuracy:
50. Battlefield Earth
Truth be told, we have no idea what actually happens in this movie based on a novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. We have seen it, more than once, we just don’t understand what the hell is going on.
49. Book of Eli
In a brutal post-apocalyptic wasteland, one man is burdened with safeguarding humanity’s last hope — the last copy of The Bible. Well, the end times have begun, and there is certainly no short supply of assholes waving Bibles in your face.
48. Children of Men
In this movie women stop being able to have babies instead of being forced to have them like in real life. Considering the fact that some states force women to stay pregnant even if it threatens their lives, we’re gonna go ahead and call this one way off.
While this movie’s central prediction that global warming will trigger another ice age is sure to pass any day now, it ranks low for its prediction that public transportation and infrastructure will be the last things to survive. We’re barely in the end times and trains are already derailing left and right.
46. Logan’s Run
We WISH we had the problems in “Logan’s Run.” This movie’s prediction that being older than 30 would become illegal turned out to be way off. In fact, if a Sandman came and rounded up all the oldsters in Washington it would reverse a lot of the issues we currently deal with.
45. The Postman
One of two Kevin Costner vehicles on this list, this one posits that society as we know it is held together by physical mail. The world moved on from snail mail decades before the real apocalypse started, so, swing and a miss buddy.
44. Escape From New York
As this list will remind you several times, this isn’t a ranking of how good these movies are. “Escape From New York” is widely regarded as one of John Carpenter’s finest, and we’re not here to disagree. However, in terms of accuracy, it’s hard to believe someone is going to need to escape a city we’ve spent our whole lives trying and failing to afford to live in.
43. Death Race 2000
One of many “totalitarian government appeasing the masses through violent game” movies on this list, and maybe the most fun of the lot. Unfortunately, aside from the NFL’s continued lack of concern for CTE, this concept doesn’t have a ton of real-world parallels. This one ranks the lowest because we already have a car race sport where people die and it’s boring as hell.
42. The Running Man
This movie was extremely prescient about a lot of things. Reality TV, deep fakes, and lines like “Get me the President’s agent!” to name a few. Still, something about the “American Gladiators” meets “American Idol” meets murder of it all feels more like the dystopia of yesteryear, not the one we know and love today.
In this dystopian sci-fi action movie most of the world’s population has been turned into vampires, which leads to a global blood shortage as the last remnants of humanity are hunted to extinction. There could be a lot of relevant stuff to unpack here — classism, overpopulation, and dwindling resources. The film however takes a pretty solid “we’re not trying to comment on anything, this is just a cool vampire-world movie” approach.
40. A.I: Artificial Intelligence
In this movie the world’s most advanced A.I. robot boy struggles to fulfill his need to be loved, but guys like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg don’t even have that need and they’re technically human.
39. I Am Legend
One of two movies on this list based on the novel of the same name by Richard Matherson. Its prediction of a virus that turns almost everyone in the world into a monster isn’t necessarily inaccurate, but it ranks low because “Omega Man” is way the hell better.
38. The Purge
Big points for highlighting how the rich and powerful manipulate the lower classes into killing each other, but the idea that Americans could cram all of their bloodlust into one day is still pretty fanciful.
37. Blade Runner (1982)
While a good portion of our time these days is in fact spent wondering if the people we’re talking to are humans or robots, you never see Chat GPT waxing poetic about “tears in the rain.”
36. Planet of the Apes (1968)
While this iconic sci-fi classic offers some profound insights into the human condition, its notion that any animal will even survive the next century, let alone surpass us, is pretty laughable.
35. Minority Report
This movie nailed the whole police militarization thing and the tendency for modern law enforcement to detain people before they have committed any crime, but it loses a lot of points because in the movie the cops are right.
34. In Time
In this fantasy disease and aging have been done away with, and all you need to do is buy time on the clock counting down on your arm to stay alive. In reality, you need to buy so many more things than that to keep living.
33. West World (1973)
A theme park robotic cowboy goes haywire and embarks on a murder spree. Totally bogus because Yul Brynner looks nothing like a Boston Dynamics droid.
Underneath all the body horror, snuff film conspiracy, and James Woodsness, Videodrome is about the disastrous effects of technology on the human psyche. As a society, we passed that threshold about 5 cake fart videos ago.
31. Day of the Dead
While “Dawn of the Dead” is probably the best of the Romero zombie movies, “Day of the Dead” serves as a meditation on how different personality types deal with the end of the world, and how none of that matters because the military is a bunch of dickheads.