The Best Movies Predicting the Future

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Futuristic movies have been a cinema staple for nearly as long as movies have been around, with 1902’s “A Trip to the Moon” widely regarded as the first ever science fiction film. Ever since, filmmakers have imagined what the future might hold, and the results have been as varied as they are interesting. In fact, many of the most popular and best-reviewed films of all time are set in the future.

To determine the best sci-fi movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of November 2021. All ratings were weighted equally. Only movies that were tagged with the keyword “future” on IMDb and depict an imagined future for human civilization were considered. Directorial credits also are from IMDb.

Science fiction, at its best, gives people a window into what could be possible and allows people to project their hopes and fears for the future. Many futuristic films imagine incredibly advanced technology, like solar travel and artificial intelligence. Others are less optimistic, predicting that the future will be crime-ridden and the Earth will run out of natural resources. 

Many of the greatest filmmakers of all time appear on this list — Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, and George Lucas, just to name a few. Iit is worth noting Star Wars did not make the list, as the events of the films take place “a long, long time ago.”

Hollywood continues to churn out futuristic films in large part because they are in high demand. Big-budget, CGI-laden, sci-fi blockbusters often do well at the box office. In fact, many of the films on this list have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. These are the highest grossing films of all-time.