Total Nerd The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked  

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List Rules Your favorite future noir and tech noir films, regardless of box office or critic rating.

The best tech noir and future noir movies bring the classic film noir feel into the future with science fiction backdrops and characters. Sure, they may not be filmed in black and white, but their stories very much embody film noir. So which are the best techno noir and future noir movies of all time? See what fans of films think below.

What defines the future noir genre? One way to define it is as a combination of film noir storytelling with a science fiction setting. However, that definition can be problematic in itself because there is some disagreement on what film noir encapsulates. Generally, the best future noir films have to do with a crime or mystery that the hero (who sometimes but not always is a detective) must solve.

Some examples of future noir or tech noir include Gattaca and Blade Runner. In fact, Blade Runner is probably the strongest example of a tech noir film, as it features both a detective and a femme fatale. A more recent tech noir film is I, Robot, which stars Will Smith as a police office that has to get to the bottom of a murder mystery.

So now that we’re all on the same page as to what makes a science fiction movie a future noir or tech noir, it’s time to see which are actually the best ones. Vote for your favorite future noir films below or add any you feel are missing. If you’re looking to see where a particular future noir film is ranked, you can use the search box at the top of the list. Otherwise, let’s solve the mystery of which is the best future noir movie ever!

All sorts of directors have taken on Future noir movies. Examples include Mamoru Oshii, Alejandro Amenábar, and Colin Budds.

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Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

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Gattaca Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Ethan Hawke Gattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan ...more

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Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

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12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer 12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

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The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...more

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Brazil Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm Brazil is a 1985 British film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. British National Cinema by Sarah Street describes the film as a ...more

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Minority Report Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell Minority Report is a 2002 American neo-noir science fiction mystery-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick. It is set ...more

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Ghost in the Shell Maaya Sakamoto, Akio Ōtsuka, Kōichi Yamadera Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 anime science fiction film based on manga of the same title by Masamune Shirow. The film was written by Kazunori Itō, directed by Mamoru Oshii, animated by ...more

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Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Children of Men Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more

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Dark City is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George Dark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. The film stars Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, ...more

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Alien is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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A Scanner Darkly Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 American animated science fiction thriller film directed by Richard Linklater based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film tells the story of ...more

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Escape from New York Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a crime-ridden United ...more

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Strange Days Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Co-written and produced by James Cameron and co-written by Jay Cocks, it stars Ralph Fiennes, ...more

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Delete Matrix is a 1999 short film directed by Nicky Hamlyn.

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

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Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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Robocop is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Robocop Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy

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Alphaville Anna Karina, Jean Piere Leaud, Akim Tamiroff Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution is a 1965 black-and-white French science fiction film noir directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard ...more

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V for Vendetta Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore ...more

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The Thirteenth Floor Gretchen Mol, Vincent D'Onofrio, Shiri Appleby The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 film directed by Josef Rusnak.

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The Thing Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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Equilibrium Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs Equilibrium is a 2002 American dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and starring Christian Bale, Emily Watson, and Taye Diggs. The film follows John Preston, an ...more

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Existenz Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Jason Leigh Existenz is a 1999 Canadian science fiction body horror film written, produced, and directed by Canadian director David Cronenberg. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law. As in Videodrome, ...more

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I, Robot Will Smith, Shia LaBeouf, Bridget Moynahan I, Robot is a 2004 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman, and is inspired by Isaac Asimov's ...more

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence Meryl Streep, Robin Williams, Jude Law A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a 2001 American science fiction film written, directed, and produced by Steven Spielberg, and based on Brian Aldiss's short story Super-Toys ...more

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Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Jennifer Hale, Megumi Hayashibara, Daran Norris Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, known in Japan as Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, is a 2001 Japanese animated Space Western action film based on the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop created by ...more

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Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Naoto Takenaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Yoshiko Sakakibara Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, known simply as Innocence in Japan, is a 2004 anime/computer-animated sci-fi sequel to the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, and ...more

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The City of Lost Children Ron Perlman, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Dominique Pinon The City of Lost Children is a 1995 French-German-Spanish science fantasy drama film directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Ron Perlman, who does not speak French, and ...more

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A Detective Story Carrie-Anne Moss, James Arnold Taylor, Terrence C. Carson

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Looker James Coburn, Susan Dey, Albert Finney Looker is a 1981 science fiction film written and directed by Michael Crichton. It starred Albert Finney, Susan Dey, and James Coburn. Former NFL linebacker Tim Rossovich was featured as the ...more

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Open Your Eyes Penélope Cruz, Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimri Abre los Ojos is a 1997 Spanish film co-written, co-scored and directed by Alejandro Amenábar and co-written by Mateo Gil. It stars Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Fele ...more

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The Element of Crime Lars von Trier, Michael Elphick, Esmond Knight The Element of Crime is a 1984 Danish art film co-written and directed by Lars von Trier. It is the first feature film directed by Trier and the first installment of the director's Europa ...more

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Renaissance Daniel Craig, Ian Holm, Catherine McCormack Renaissance is a 2006 French black-and-white animated science fiction film by French director Christian Volckman. It was co-produced in France, United Kingdom and Luxembourg and released on 15 ...more

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Paycheck Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti Paycheck is a 2003 sci-fi thriller film based on the short story of the same name by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The film was directed by John Woo and stars Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman ...more

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Death Watch Harvey Keitel, Max von Sydow, Bill Nighy Death Watch is a 1980 science fiction film directed by Bertrand Tavernier. It is based on the novel The Unsleeping Eye by David G. Compton, also known as The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe. The ...more

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WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 Toshio Furukawa, Daisuke Gōri, Yoshiko Sakakibara WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 is a 2002 Japanese anime science-fiction/thriller film. It was chiefly directed and storyboarded by Fumihiko Takayama, directed by Takuji Endō, written by Miki Tori ...more

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Natural City Yoo Ji-tae, Yoon Chan, Shin Gu Natural City is a 2003 South Korean science fiction film about a colony world that integrates robots, androids and cyborgs amongst the population.

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Patlabor: The Movie Megumi Hayashibara, Toshio Furukawa, Koyasu Taketo Patlabor: The Movie is a 1989 anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, with an original story by Headgear. It was produced by Studio Deen with the help of IG Tatsunoko, Bandai Visual and ...more

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Patlabor 2: The Movie Toshio Furukawa, Naoto Takenaka, Daisuke Gōri Patlabor 2: The Movie is a 1993 Japanese anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also directed Patlabor: The Movie. It was produced by Production I.G, Bandai Visual and Tohokushinsha. The movie ...more

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The Final Cut Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino The Final Cut is a 2004 science-fiction thriller film written and directed by Omar Naim. It stars Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Mimi Kuzyk, Stephanie Romanov, Genevieve Buechner ...more

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Ai City Jōji Yanami, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Ichirō Nagai Ai City is a Japanese science fiction manga created by Shuuhou Itahashi, a.k.a. SYUFO. The story was later adapted into an anime film, directed by Kōichi Mashimo and released on July 26, 1986.

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Max Knight: Ultra Spy Rachel Blakely, Michael Landes, Brooke Harman Max Knight: Ultra Spy is a 2000 American television film written by Paul Bales, David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, Sherri Strain, and directed by Colin Budds. The film stars Michael Landes, ...more