Ridley Scott’s classic has established itself as one of the best science-fiction films of all time, with a cult following that supports the plot that has lately seen a sequel, 35 years after its release. It has impacted a lot of filmmakers, game designers, and anime artists to follow in its footsteps and explore the cyberpunk sub-genre, which is a prominent aesthetic portrayed in “Blade Runner’s” cinematography.
It takes a central look at humanity in a world of genetic engineering that uses biotechnology to establish its controlled society, with a touch of cinema noir through its voice-over narration and femme fatale. Many have gone down a similar path after or before the release of this picture, bringing all movie fans around the world a different story or perspective on the same aspects we adored in the 1982 classic. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of films that are comparable to Blade Runner that we think you’ll enjoy. Some of these films, such as Blade Runner, are available on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
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Ridley Scott directed “Alien” three years before his iconic film, which turned out to be another science-fiction classic, a dark and tense thriller that launched a lengthy and profitable franchise. With Sigourney Weaver as the main protagonist and hero of the story, you’ll be immersed in the delicate and terrifying world of a space ship navigating its way back to Earth. The crew arrives on a planetoid after the vessel’s computer detects a signal that is mistaken for a distress call, only to be attacked by a weird living thing. The quest for the deadly beast begins, but nothing is simple when you’re in the middle of nowhere, because “in space, no one can hear you scream,” as the movie puts it.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
What a pleasant surprise it was to receive a sequel to Ridley Scott’s science-fiction classic more than 30 years after its initial publication. Despite the fact that it took a long time to make, it is now available for all “Blade Runner” enthusiasts and other curious cinephiles to enjoy. Thankfully, Harrison Ford has returned to the role of the major character, alongside Ryan Gosling. While the first film was set in 2019, this one takes place in 2049, as the title suggests, and follows Blade Runner K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant who finds a key secret that could lead to a conflict between humans and his species. In order to uncover the origins of the past and safeguard the future, he must track down Rick Deckard, the one and only former Blade Runner.
Dark City (1998)
As gloomy as “Blade Runner” is already, this picture will take you further darker, into a plot that bears visual and thematic resemblances to Scott’s science-fiction classic. It will transport you back to the futuristic dystopian environment, where the search for identity in a controlled society is central to the story’s development, with inspirations from film noir and german expressionism. It follows John Murdoch, a guy who wakes up in a hotel room with acute amnesia and has no idea who he is, starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jennifer Connelly. As he quickly discovers that he is wanted for a series of killings he has no memory of committing, he embarks on a quest for the truth, which brings him to the organization of beings known as “The Strangers,” who dominate society.
After turning down George Lucas’ offer to direct the third installment of the Star Wars franchise, David Lynch returned to the science-fiction genre, directing a film based on Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune.” It’s a film that Lynch fans who understand his bizarre and often confusing way of leading a film, as well as anyone who has heard of the successful novel’s story and is open to something different, can enjoy, despite the fact that it didn’t do well at the box office and received negative public response. Set in the future, the film centers on the ambition to acquire a desert planet known as “Dune,” which is considered to be the only source of a drug known as “the spice,” which is crucial for space flight, life extension, and the power of foreknowledge.
Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
The plot of “Fahrenheit 451,” based on Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel, contains a profound message presented through a simple yet horrifying vision of the future. It’s François Truffaut’s only English-language picture, as well as his first color production. With this story, which is well-known for its literary significance, we are once again immersed in a dystopian future in which repressive governments rule over the lives of their citizens. How? By destroying all existing texts, the public will be forced to ponder and revolutionize. Is this something you’ve heard before? History does really repeat itself from this perspective of the future. One of the firefighters, on the other hand, begins to question the world he lives in and the knowledge he is destroying.
Andrew Niccol intended to make a film about the perils of reproductive technology advancement in the not-too-distant future. Simultaneously, indicating that even when people’s lives are managed and steered by a strict system, chance, fate, and uncontrollable outcomes can still rule one’s path. With this in mind, he wrote “Gattaca,” a film starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law set in an universe where eugenics is crucial to society’s functioning. On one hand, there are the “valids,” who are conceived through genetic modification, and on the other, there are the “in-valids,” who are conceived normally. Vincent Freeman is an invalid whose goal of traveling to space is thwarted by his “class” and, as a result, his disadvantages. However, with the help of a donor, he manages to pass as a legitimate candidate by methodically fooling the DNA tests.
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
This Japanese science fiction film, based on a manga of the same name, is regarded as one of the best anime films ever created. It has motivated a lot of filmmakers to explore the dystopian futuristic world of cybernetic technology. It is praised for its graphics and philosophical depth, and it covers concepts like memories and identity in its plot that may be interpreted and debated at any moment. Set in 2029 Japan, the film follows Motoko Kusanagi, an assault-team agent on the hunt for the Puppet Master, a mysterious and dangerous hacker. The 2017 live-action picture of the same name, starring Scarlett Johansson, is contentious because of its casting choice, but it also gives an extremely well-executed visual experience of this story.
Logan’s Run (1976)
In an ostensibly perfect utopia, technology and the pursuit of pleasure once again prove to be a barrier to peace and justice. “Logan’s Run,” directed by Michael Anderson, is set in the year 2274, and depicts human civilization living in a closed and protected city controlled by a supercomputer. Individuals are free to do and get anything they choose in their pleasure-seeking lifestyles. However, there is a catch: at the age of 30, everyone must go through a process that kills them and “supposedly renews their lives.” Logan 5 is a Sandman who pursues and murders those who try to flee the system until his life-clock runs out and he, too, becomes a “Runner” fleeing the system.
Naturally, the mother of science-fiction movies could not be overlooked. It has launched a plethora of productions and filmmakers into the research of this genre and the present perspective on the future, in addition to being one of the silent era’s pioneering pictures. It is set in the not-too-distant future of 2026, 100 years after it was conceived, with a timeless theme and message. Fritz Lang depicts a stylized urban society in which paradise shines brightly above a lower stratum of destitute and oppressed working-class people. In this unjustly divided city, there is a wealthy son of the city’s leader who recognizes the structure of the world he lives in and, with Maria, a poor worker, decides to work together to overcome these disparities for a better future.
Soylent Green (1973)
This post-apocalyptic science-fiction film, directed by Richard Fleischer, is set in a time not too distant from where we are now and depicts the consequences of problems that are currently posing threats to our present and future. In the year 2022, the globe has become a dystopian civilization where overpopulation, pollution and global warming have taken the lead on every individual’s existence. A wealthy businessman from the Solent Corporation (who sustains the populace with plankton-based food production) is assassinated in an area where being homeless and resource-poor is nearly typical. When Detective Thorn begins his investigation into the murder, he discovers that he is on the trail of a secret linked to the giant corporation’s history and production practices.
The Matrix (1999)
“The Matrix” is without a doubt one of the finest science-fiction films of all time. The Wachowski Brothers have created an icon of modern cinema, which replies to Scott’s masterpiece and its breakthrough contribution to the genre, with a mind-blowing plot that questions everyone’s concept of reality and truth, stylized cinematography, and creative special effects. It brings the dystopian conflict between the human and the artificial into a plot where Neo (Keanu Reeves) leads the way, influenced by numerous styles and issues, in which philosophy plays a large role.
The Terminator (1984)
Only two years after Ridely Scott’s groundbreaking work, James Cameron’s action classic was released, and it was responsible for launching both his and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger’s careers. It delivered the science-fiction audience another timeless classic, with chases and gunfights between human and robot filling the dark and wet streets of the metropolis, visually influenced by the cyberpunk aesthetic of futuristic technologies. Set in Los Angeles in 1984, it tells the legendary narrative of Sarah Connor, who is pursued by a cyborg assassin sent from the future (2029), whose sole mission is to kill the woman who will give birth to his future foe.
The 5th Element (1997)
It wasn’t the first time Luc Besson stretched his financial constraints to the limit in order to dazzle the world with his spectacular stories, as we learned when his latest space opera film became the most costly European and independent film ever filmed. When “The Fifth Element” was released, it was also the most expensive European production of all time, an outlay that was fortunately reimbursed by the film’s box office success. Besson poured his heart and soul into creating this thrilling drama set in the far future of 2263, inspired by comic books and with a nod to Jean Paul Gautier’s costumes. With Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich in the lead roles, it immerses you in a battle between good and evil in which five elements are crucial to the planet’s survival.
Total Recall (1990)
While “Blade Runner” is largely based on one of Philip K. Dick’s stories, “Total Recall” is based on another. Both depict a bleak future loaded with technology advancements that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. It includes a terrific visual effects work and an award-winning musical score, and it’s imaginative and engaging. This film, directed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, honors the science-fiction genre with the story of a man who visits a clinic called “Rekall” in order to buy a false memory of a trip to Mars in order to fulfill his fantasy, which has been present in his dreams on several occasions. Things take a turn for the worst when he realizes that his entire existence has been built on fake memories.
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