Entertainment

The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked  

Reference
Originally by
3.8k votes 509 voters 26.1k views 46 items

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.

list ordered by
1
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
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

More Blade Runner

#97 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #140 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

2
Ranker Video
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

More Gattaca

#134 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #27 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #428 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

3
Ranker Video
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In 2084, a construction worker, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), suddenly finds himself embroiled in ...more

More Total Recall

#224 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #19 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Moviesfeaturing Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

4
Ranker Video
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

More Brazil

#124 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #201 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #401 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

5
Ranker Video
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. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

More The Terminator

#15 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #4 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedfeaturing 56 Things You Didn't Know About the Terminator Movies

6
Ranker Video
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

More Ghost in the Shell

#158 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #45 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #18 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

7
Alien is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more

More Alien

#77 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing 50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Alienlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Ranker Video
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

More 12 Monkeys

#33 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #170 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Stories From '12 Monkeys'

9
Alita: Battle Angel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
dontyouwish added Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Robert Rodriguez, based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro. After being revived by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), ...more

More Alita: Battle Angel

#9 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #119 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Moviesfeaturing Easter Eggs And References In 'Alita: Battle Angel'

10
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
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

More Children of Men

#22 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #83 of 569 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #47 of 145 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

11
Ranker Video
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

More Minority Report

#36 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #45 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Moviesfeaturing Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

12
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
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

More Dark City

#189 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #50 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #67 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

13
Ranker Video
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

More Aliens

#180 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #18 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Ranker Video
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

More A Scanner Darkly

#476 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #867 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True

15
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
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

More Terminator 2: Judgment Day

#139 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #2 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Robocop is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Future Noir & Tech Noir Movies, Ranked
Robocop Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy
17
Ranker Video
Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis
Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow. It stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Vincent D'Onofrio, and ...more

More Strange Days

#200 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #55 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #237 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

18
Ranker Video
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 distopian United States ...more

More Escape from New York

#86 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #40 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #25 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

19
Ranker Video
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

More Equilibrium

#64 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #26 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #48 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

20
Ranker Video
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

More V for Vendetta

#158 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #103 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #7 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

21
Ranker Video
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

More The Matrix

#160 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing 14 Matrix Fan Theories That Will Have You Saying "Whoa"listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Ranker Video
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
23
Ranker Video
Gretchen Mol, Vincent D'Onofrio, Shiri Appleby
The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 film directed by Josef Rusnak.

More The Thirteenth Floor

#6 of 12 12 Crazy Takes On Virtual Reality From Movies That Aren't The Matrix #40 of 70 The Best Mindf*ck Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

24
Ranker Video
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

More Existenz

#28 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made #562 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

25
Ranker Video
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

More A.I. Artificial Intelligence

#87 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #38 of 86 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies #17 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies