30+ Best Cyberpunk Movies Of All Times
30+ Best Cyberpunk Movies Of All Times + Image
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30+ Best Cyberpunk Movies Of All Times

“Anything That Can Be Done To A Rat Can Be Done To A Human Being."
Bruce Sterling

Cyberpunk Genre and Culture


In the context of cinema, cyberpunk is classified as a subgenre of science-fiction and tends to focus on a combination of high-tech low-life concept. Cyberpunk deals with the radical changes in the social order and society while humanity achieving technological and scientific developments. Cyberpunk makes people question the technology, authority and the progression of humanity. Cyberpunk is not just a genre, it is actually a lifestyle for many. Its influence can be seen on not only cinema and pop culture but also on some architectural structures that are highly influenced by cyberpunk aesthetics. 



Cyberpunk movies intentionally disturbs the audiences in order to call them to act like a rebellious way against the threat of governments, corporations, etc...


What are the common narratives?

In general, the atmosphere of cyberpunk movies reflects the film-noir genre. Thus, dark atmosphere and detective film elements are widely seen. In addition, the genre identified with neon lights and a dystopic environment. Films of the genre are mostly set in the near future Earth rather than the long-distance galaxies and far times. In this near future, a typical cyberpunk fiction would depicts a chaotic society that hosts street gangs, multinational corporations, and people who live in poverty. Also, a cyberpunk city is depicted as a place where elites living in high technology and crowds living on hunger border live together (See Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927)) .





What are the best cyberpunk movies?


The Best known and quintessential example of cyberpunk in the cinema is Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner which is loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The film is set in a dystopic future of 21st century Los Angeles. Blade Runner is regarded as a cult movie and one of the best sci-fi films of all time. Blade Runner 2049 which is directed by Denis Villeneuve and released in 2017 is a sequel to the film. Also, the film is one of the favorite movies of the director Christopher Nolan. (See others)



Also, two years ago, the 30th anniversary of the great animation Akira (1988) was celebrated. The Japanese post-apocalyptic anime is based on Otomo's 1982 manga of the same name. Akira is a very important anime that made a global impact on popular culture. Besides, Ghost In The Shell (1995) is also successful cyberpunk anime. Alex Garland's Ex Machina (2015) relatively new film that also told the different story between human and artificial intelligence. 12 Monkeys (1995) is also a successful movie which is directed by Terry Gilliam.



Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall (1990) movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone was one of the most expensive films made at the time it released. The movie is loosely based on the short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" which is written by Philip K. Dick.



Above all, There can be a separate section for Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski's  The Matrix (1999) movie. The film can be described as thought-provoking, cyberpunk, and action movie which tolds a very intelligent dystopic story about a war between Human vs Machines. Besides the strong philosophical depth of the movie, the action scenes were very stunning. The Matrix (1999) can be said that some of the most successful cyberpunk films and also very influential movie on popular culture. 

If you haven't watched any cyberpunk film, it deserves a chance to shot. Here, the full list of great cyberpunk movies to watch.

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The Quintessential Cyberpunk Movie - Blade Runner (1982)

The best known and quintessential example of cyberpunk in the cinema is Ridley Scott's Blade Runner movie. The movie is considered a cult and one of the greatest movies of all time. The film stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty, Sean Young as Rachael, Edward James Olmos as Gaff, M. Emmet Walsh as Bryant, and Daryl Hannah as Pris.

In the 2019 futuristic year, Los Angeles became a dark, depressing metropolis. Ex-cop Rick Deckard is a "Blade Runner" who are people assigned  to kill androids that look like real people.

Another sequel to the film is Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve and released in 2017.



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One of The Most Successful and Influential Cyberpunk Film - Matrix (1999)

The magnum opus of the Wachowski's, which has benefited much from the literature of philosophy mostly from a descartesian point of view. The film stars Keanu ReevesLaurence FishburneCarrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving.

Thomas A. Anderson is a man who lives two lives. He is an average computer programmer by day, and a hacker known as Neo by night. Neo has always questioned his reality but his imagination is far beyond the truth. Neo finds himself targeted by police when Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded by the government as a terrorist, calls him into contact.


William Gibson, a key figure in cyberpunk fiction, called the film "an innocent delight I hadn't felt in a long time," and stated, "Neo is my favorite-ever science-fiction hero, absolutely."



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The Best Cyberpunk Anime - Akira (1988)

Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo is involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo in Neo Tokyo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists, and a powerful military leader.

Akira is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and considered as particularly a landmark film for the Japanese cyberpunk and adult animation. 




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Children of Men (2006)

A must-see Alfonso Cuaron movie takes place in 2027. The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth.



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A Romantic Cyberpunk - Her (2013)

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he's not working as a letter writer, his downtime is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world's first artificially intelligent operating system, "It's not just an operating system, it's a consciousness," the ad states. Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the voice behind his OS1.



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The Terminator (1984)

A cyborg is sent from the future on a deadly mission. He has to kill Sarah Connor, a young woman whose life will have a great significance in years to come. Sarah has only one protector - Kyle Reese (Arnold Schwarzenegger) - also sent from the future. The Terminator uses his exceptional intelligence and strength to find Sarah, but is there any way to stop the seemingly indestructible cyborg?

If you like The Terminator you can also check out the sequels Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).



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Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Denis Villeneuve and released in 2017 is a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 film Blade Runner. Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.



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Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Mamoru Oshii cyberpunk anime (Original: Mobile Armored Riot Police). It is the year 2029. Technology has advanced so far that cyborgs are commonplace. In addition, human brains can direct to the internet directly. Major Motoko Kasunagi is an officer in Section 9, an elite, secretive police division that deals with special operations, including counter-terrorism and cybercrime. Ghost In The Shell is considered one of the greatest anime films of all time.



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Brazil (1985)

Terry Gilliam movie stars Jonathan Pryce and Robert De Niro. Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton.



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9 Anime About The Matrix Universe - Animatrix (2003)

Anthology of nine short anime films tied into the 1999 blockbuster "The Matrix" and its sequels.

"Final Flight of the Osiris": The crew of the hovercraft Osiris attempt to warn their city of an imminent attack.

"The Second Renaissance, Parts 1 & 2": The story behind the war between man and the machines, how mankind scorched the sky, and the creation of the Matrix.

"Kid's Story": A teenager is contacted by Neo, and manages to escape the Matrix.

"Program": Two warriors battle in a samurai training simulation when one decides to betray his crewmates and re-enter the Matrix.

"World Record": A champion sprinter manages to break free of the Matrix by sheer physical effort during a record attempt.

"Beyond": A young girl searching for her cat discovers a haunted house caused by a glitch in the system.

"A Detective Story": Private investigator Ash tracks a hacker named Trinity through the looking glass.

"Matriculated": A group of humans capture a machine scout and insert it into a 'human matrix'.



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Twelve Monkeys (1995)

A Terry Gilliam movie stars Bruce Willis, Madeleine StoweBrad PittChristopher PlummerDavid Morse.

An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out five billion people in 1996. Only 1% of the population has survived by the year 2035 and is forced to live underground. A convict (James Cole) reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to 1996 to gather information about the origin of the epidemic (who he's told was spread by a mysterious "Army of the Twelve Monkeys") and locate the virus before it mutates so that scientists can study it.



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Ex Machina (2015)

Caleb, a 26 year old programmer at the world's largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world's first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.



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Total Recall (1990)

Paul Verhoeven movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone and was one of the most expensive movies made at that year. Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen.



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One of The Best Post-Apocalyptic Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

An apocalyptic cyberpunk (more specifically steampunk) story directed by George Miller and set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos.



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Videodrome (1983)

Max Renn runs a TV channel, and when looking for new material to show--he discovers "Videodrome." His girlfriend, Nicki Brand, goes to audition for the show, and Max gets drawn into the underlying plot that uses the show as its front for a global conspiracy.



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Strange Days (1995)

Set in the year 1999 during the last days of the old millennium, the movie tells the story of Lenny Nero, an ex-cop who now deals with data-discs containing recorded memories and emotions. One day he receives a disc which contains the memories of a murderer killing a prostitute. Lenny investigates and is pulled deeper and deeper in a whirl of blackmail, murder and rape. Will he survive and solve the case?



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RoboCop (1987)

Detroit - in the future - is crime-ridden and run by a massive company. The company has developed a huge crime-fighting robot, which unfortunately develops a rather dangerous glitch. The company sees a way to get back in favor with the public when policeman Alex Murphy is killed by a street gang. Murphy's body is reconstructed within a steel shell and called RoboCop. RoboCop is very successful against criminals and becomes a target of supervillia...



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The City of Lost Children (1995)

Set in a dystopian society, someone is kidnapping the children. Krank and his band of clones are using the children to harvest their dreams. Then they kidnap Denree, the brother of One, a fairground strongman. One sets out to find his brother.



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Looper (2012)

Rian Johnson movie stars Joseph Gordon-LevittBruce Willis, and Emily Blunt. Joe is classified as a "looper", a job in which his employers use time travel to send men from the future to be killed into the past, where Joe can properly dispose of their bodies. However, to tie up loose ends and erase the evidence of his ever being a looper, Joe knows that one day his future self will be sent back for him to kill.



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Dredd (2012)

The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One - a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scou...



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Gattaca (1997)

In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DN...



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Metropia (2009)

In the near future, oil reserves are nearly depleted and Europe is connected by series of underground tunnels. While navigating these tunnels, Roger hears voices, one in particular. Seeking a way to rid himself of the voice only leads Roger deeper into a bizarre conspiracy of control - mind and body.



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Renaissance (2006)

Paris, 2054: a dark motion-captured world of shadows and right angles. Ilona Tasuiev, a brilliant young scientist, is kidnapped, and her employer, Avalon, a major health and beauty corporation, wants her found. Karas, a jaded police captain, is assigned to find her, fast. He seeks help from her sister, Bislane, and they are soon uncovering identify theft, missing files, and hints that something back in 2006 may explain what's going on. Ilona's me...



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Chappie (2015)

In Johannesburg, the police department reduced the high rating of criminality using robots from the Tetravaal Company, designed by the engineer Deon Wilson. The former military Vincent Moore is envious of Deon, since he has developed another project called Moose, but neither Tetravaal nor the police department is interested. Deon has just developed an Artificial Intelligence but the Tetravaal's CEO Michelle Bradley asks him to abort the project. ...



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