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

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The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

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The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Matrix 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

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Serenity is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Serenity Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the ...more

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V for Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Mad Max: Fury Road is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Mad Max: Fury Road Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tom Hardy Mad Max: Fury Road is an upcoming post-apocalyptic action film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller's Mad Max franchise. The first film of the ...more

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12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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District 9 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more

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Dredd is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Dredd Lena Headey, Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby Dredd is a 2012 science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character ...more

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Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Mad Max is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Mad Max Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more

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Equilibrium is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Demolition Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Demolition Man 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

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The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Hunger Games Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Lawrence

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The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Running Man 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

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Snowpiercer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Snowpiercer Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton Snowpiercer is a 2013 science fiction, drama, action film written by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson and directed by Bong Joon-ho.

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Priest is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Priest Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Christopher Plummer Priest is a 2011 American post-apocalyptic dystopia science fiction action horror film starring Paul Bettany as the title character. The film, directed by Scott Stewart, is loosely based on the ...more

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Escape from New York is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
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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Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Battle Royale 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

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Johnny Mnemonic is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Johnny Mnemonic 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

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Surrogates is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Surrogates Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, Taylor Cole Surrogates is a 2009 American science fiction action film, based on the 2005–2006 comic book series The Surrogates. Directed by Jonathan Mostow, it stars Bruce Willis as Tom Greer, an FBI agent ...more

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Logan's Run is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Logan's Run 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

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The Island is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Island Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi The Island is a 2005 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Michael Bay, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. It was released on July 22, 2005, in the United States ...more

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Divergent is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Divergent Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Ashley Judd Divergent is a 2014 American science fiction action film directed by Neil Burger, based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth. The film is the first installment in The Divergent Series ...more

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Æon Flux is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Æon Flux Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Jonny Lee Miller Æon Flux is a 2005 American science fiction spy action film directed by Karyn Kusama. The film is a loose adaptation of the animated science fiction television series of the same name, ...more

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Chappie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Chappie Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley Chappie is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp. The screenplay, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, is based on Blomkamp's 2004 short film Tetra Vaal. The film ...more

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Judge Dredd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Judge Dredd Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, James Earl Jones Judge Dredd is a 1995 American science fiction action film directed by Danny Cannon, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. The film is ...more

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Escape from L.A. is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Escape from L.A. Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also ...more

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Death Race is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Death Race Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez Death Race is a 2008 American science fiction action thriller film produced, written, and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Jason Statham. Though referred to as a remake of the 1975 ...more

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I Am Number Four is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
I Am Number Four Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Alex Pettyfer I Am Number Four is a 2011 American teen action science fiction film, directed by D. J. Caruso, starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron and Callan McAuliffe. The ...more

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Eagle Eye is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Eagle Eye Julianne Moore, Shia LaBeouf, Rosario Dawson Eagle Eye is a 2008 American science fictional technology action thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso and starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan and Billy Bob Thornton. LaBeouf and Monaghan ...more

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Rollerball is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
Rollerball James Caan, Maud Adams, Ralph Richardson Rollerball is a 1975 dystopian sports action science fiction film, which Norman Jewison directed from a screenplay dramatized by William Harrison, who adapted his own short story, "Roller ...more

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The Machine is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Machine Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens, Denis Lawson The Machine is an upcoming action-comedy film.

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The Rover is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies
The Rover Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Scoot McNairy The Rover is an upcoming 2014 film directed by David Michôd.