10 Movies like Blade Runner 2049 you must watch

June 4, 2023
M.N. Miller 0
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10 Movies like Blade Runner 2049 you must watch

This article discusses 10 Movies like Blade Runner 2049 you must watch. Add these well-recommended and thrilling films to your watch list.

The follow-up to Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic, Blade Runner, is the 2017 American neo-noir science fiction epic, Blade Runner 2049. Denis Villeneuve, the French-Canadian master, helmed the follow-up, which wasn’t exactly highly anticipated. In retrospect, the announcement received some skepticism.

However, the result was a film that could stand alone. Even after looking back five years later, may be one of the best sequels of all time. While still tackling themes of the original like fate, morality, identity, modernization, and globalization, Villeneuve added a level of humanity not seen before.

Unfairly ignored by the Academy Awards without a Best Picture nomination (it did take home Best Visual Effects and finally brought the Susan Lucci of cinematography, Roger Deakins, his Oscar), the film is still even more relevant and timely than ever.

In honor of anyone who is a fan of heady science-fiction films that challenge your thoughts as they thrill your mind, here is a list of ten similar movies to Blade Runner 2049!

10 Movies like Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner (1982)

Yes, this is kind of cheating, but the most obvious choice for a film similar to Blade Runner 2049. Ridley Scott’s science-fiction masterpiece was a critical disappointment and a box office failure when it arrived in the summer of June 1982.

After gaining a cult-like following, with loyal Philip K. Dick fans keeping the film fresh in people’s minds, Blade Runner is frequently hailed as the greatest science-fiction film of all time.

Children of Men (2006)

Another box-office flop that was lost in the holiday shuffle, and some critics burning out by the mad rush of tentpole films and Oscar bait, Children of Men is a work of pure dystopian bliss. Set in 2027, only four years away, human infertility has lasted over two decades, and society is crumbling.

Children of Men is now respected as one of the best films of the 21st century. Alfonso Cuarón’s film has themes of redemption in a world falling apart, akin to Blade Runner 2049.

Dark City (1998)

A movie that has never gotten the credit for influencing The Matrix and still has not achieved the cult status Alex Proyas’s film so richly deserves (and even modern film critics still need to make themselves aware of). Dark City is a movie Roger Ebert called the best film of 1998 and “a great visionary achievement and a film so original and exciting, it stirred my imagination.”

Dark City’s tale of fate, control, and identity is deeply felt. Starring Rufus Sewell from The Diplomat, he plays a man with no memory of who he is, wanted for murder, and is aware of a mysterious group “tuning” the world to alter reality to their liking.

Dune (2021)

As a self-proclaimed superfan of Denis Villeneuve and, in particular, a newcomer to the world of Dune, adapting what many consider the most significant science-fiction novel of all time was undoubtedly challenging. Like Blade Runner 2049, this is a sophisticated sci-fi blockbuster. Villeneuve’s Dune has an epic scope, jaw-dropping action sequences, and stunning visuals.

Ex Machina (2014)

Alex Garland’s directorial debut is more than Oscar Isaac’s iconic dance. The 2014 psychological sci-fi thriller film Ex Machina was one of the most well-received films of the decade. Led by Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and a breakout performance by Alicia Vikander, Garland’s script was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Called “a psycho-techno thriller” by The New Scientist, Ex Machina’s themes of artificial intelligence and the struggle to adapt (or manipulate humanity) were strongly influenced by the original and served as an influencer for Villeneuve’s follow-up.

Gattaca (1997)

Working with a script from The Truman Show scribe Andrew Niccol, Gattaca was ahead of its time and was an influential film that shares themes of genoism, future dystopian societies, and the universal themes of identity.

Initially a box office flop, finishing losing over 20 million dollars during its theatrical run,  Gattica is respected today as one of the best modern science-fiction films ever made.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is one of the most successful science-fiction action franchises of all time. This Keanu Reeves-led vehicle shares a very common theme between both films when it comes to questions of existential existence.

As Reeves’s Neo deals with living in a simulated reality, the characters in Blade Runner 2049 struggle with consciousness and identity, as if their actions and motives are replicated by something else.

Strange Days (1995)

A science fiction cyberpunk thriller that’s a shock to the senses, Ralph Fiennes stars as Lenny Nero, an illegal black market dealer looking to sell virtual realities to anyone who wants them. The customers will then relive the recorder’s memories and even visceral reactions, such as when Lenny uncovers a recording of a prostitute’s murder.

A critical dud and box-office bomb in 1995, Strange Days is now seen through a socially conscious lens that many consider ahead of its time and even profound. Of course, Roger Ebert knew then what we know now, calling Kathryn Bigelow’s film “visionary” and giving Strange Days a perfect rating of four out of four stars.

THX 1138 (1971)

A film for serious cinephiles and dedicated science-fiction freaks alike, Robert Duvall stars as Donald Pleasence or the titular THX 1138. Directed by George Lucas, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, and written by the great Walter Murch, the film is set in a dystopian future where the human population is controlled through pharmaceutical medications and a race of android police.

A science fiction film with a socially conscious lens, THX 1138 was restored with the director’s cut in 2004, extending the runtime to 88 minutes and overseeing the restoration process at his own Industrial Light & Magic.

Total Recall (1990)

It’s only natural to find a film like Blade Runner 2049 that is also based on a different story from the author of the original source material. Based on Philip K. Dick’s 1966 short story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” Total Recall stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has implanted memories of someone’s time on Mars.

Considered the grandfather of cyberpunk thrillers that kicked off the 90s, Total Recall shares Blade Runner 2049’s themes of the oppressed battling the oppressors and a dystopian future that Inverse calls an “ugly, banal, and grimy future.”

Do you have any other recommendations for Movies like Blade Runner 2049? Let us know in the comments below.

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