Entertainment

The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies  

Ranker Film
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Some of the best films depict a bleak future. Lucky for movie-goers, this type of dystopian despair has led to some of the best action movies of all time. The top dystopian action movies feature characters not only fighting for themselves, but also fighting for the future of mankind. This is a list of dystopian action films featuring everything from The Hunger Games to The Running Man to Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

What movies will you find on this list of the best post-apocalyptic action films? Maybe you'll vote The Matrix has to the top. This modern classic by the Wachowskis makes audiences rethink their very existence while watching Neo learn the truth, fight the machines, and discover that he is “The One.” Mad Max: Fury Road is another exciting dystopian action movie. Hope is all but lost when a pregnant woman joins a group of rebel refugees to save her unborn child and the species at large in Children of Men. Other good post-apocalyptic action movies include District 9, Demolition Man, and Snowpiercer.

Which thriller dystopian movie is your favorite? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any good movies that are missing.

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26
Escape from New York is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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
27
Demolition Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Black
Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla in his directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in ...more
28
Snowpiercer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton
Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korean-Czech dystopian science-fiction action film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. A new ...more
29
The Matrix Franchise is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Matrix is a science fiction action media franchise created by The Wachowskis and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The series began with the feature film The Matrix (1999), and continued ...more
30
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura
The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel The Running Man, written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. ...more
31
The Book of Eli is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
pratiksharma added Mila Kunis, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman
The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, ...more
32
The Road is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
CenturionLizzy added Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Viggo Mortensen
The Road is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic drama film directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay written by Joe Penhall, which is in return based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel of ...more
33
Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov, Jenny Agutter
Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. ...more
34
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Olaf added Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon
Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more
35
Elysium is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
kotbayun added Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga
Elysium is a 2013 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, and starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga and Sharlto ...more
36
Alien is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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
37
A.I. Artificial Intelligence is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Niels Madsen added 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
38
Mad Max 2 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells
Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more
39
Ready Player One is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
Ready Player One is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the novel by Ernest Cline. Teenager Wade Owen Watts (Tye Sheridan), who frequents the ...more
40
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Beat Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki
Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese action thriller film adapted from the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. It is the final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the screenplay written by ...more
41
Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
sunil1 added Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper
Waterworld is a 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction action film directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It was based on Rader's original 1986 ...more
42
Blade Runner 2049 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Scott Merritt added Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright
Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve, and a sequel to the 1982 film. A young blade runner's (Ryan Gosling) discovery of a long-buried ...more
43
Tron: Legacy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges, Cillian Murphy
Tron: Legacy is a 2010 American science fiction film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. A sequel to the 1982 film Tron, it is directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Tron director ...more
44
Pacific Rim is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman
Pacific Rim is a 2013 action sci-fi film directed by Guillermo del Toro.
45
The Last Starfighter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart
The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in ...more
46
Johnny Mnemonic is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Keanu Reeves, Ice-T, Henry Rollins
Johnny Mnemonic is a 1995 Canadian-American cyberpunk action thriller film directed by Robert Longo in his directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren. The film is based on ...more
47
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Scott Merritt added 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
48
In Time is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Alex BlackSmith Lavé added Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake

2070, Dayton, Ohio. Humanity stop aging on at 25 years old, all people then develop a green glowing digital clock on their forearm with a year to spend, and everything cost time, litteraly. Food, bus etc... Gathered in areas with tolls more and more expensive, most of people live with less than day to spend. A billionnaire give the hero more than a hundreth of years before suicide after reveling that there's enough time for all to live. So he decides to play Robin Hood and to give back the time to people.

In Time is a 2011 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film written, directed, and produced by Andrew Niccol. In 2169, people are genetically engineered to stop aging on their 25th ...more
49
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson
The Maze Runner is a 2014 American science fiction dystopian action thriller film directed by Wes Ball, based on James Dashner's 2009 novel of the same name. The film is the first installment in ...more
50
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Tina Turner, Mel Gibson, Rebekah Elmaloglou
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, also known as Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome or simply Mad Max 3, is a 1985 Australian post-apocalyptic action adventure film co-directed by George Miller and George ...more