Blade Runner is regarded as pretty much the archetypal cyberpunk film. Tetsuo: The Iron Man takes that impulse and catapults it to its crystallized extremes, stripping away all other parts for the sheer purpose of “man plus metal.” The “man” of this equation, played with hypnotic obsession by the film’s director, views hunks of metal as violent fetish objects that deserve as full of our praise and fusion as possible -- his very first action in the film is to cut open his own leg and shove a piece of metal into it. It’s not unlike the approach taken by A Scanner Darkly, which instead rotoscoped over the actors’ performances. Not all cyberpunk games need to be so serious. If you’re looking for the conventional tech-noir protagonist, turn your attention to Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz). We’re here to help. The entire film is a visual marvel, thanks to DP Roger Deakins and production designer Dennis Gassner. Cyberpunk aesthetic is a cyberpunk fashion inspired by cyberpunk movies like Blade Runner or The Matrix. That could be anything from cybernetics to artificial intelligence or even synthetic super serums. Paul Verhoeven’s 1980s masterpiece RoboCop dives into the weeds of many of these questions, and makes its audience reckon with them by instilling one key, very Verhoevenian component: It’s entertaining AF. Cyberpunk is one of the most beloved genres in the sci-fi medium, and, of course, there are a variety of films that are absolutely essential for any fan of cyberpunk to check out. Start with a heaping spoonful of hard-boiled grit. How do they do this? The animation is submerged in such high-contrast black and white that it makes Sin City shiver. Sounds pretty damn cinematic, no? Ghost in the Shell is one of the best cyberpunk films ever made for sure. David R. Olsson is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. 2049 is the only proper sequel on this list, a designation it comfortably owns. Best Cyberpunk Movies With Painstakingly Low Life, Alarmingly High Tech That You Are Sure To Love, Enjoy And Learn Something From The Best In The Genre. Total Recall -- another banger from Paul Verhoeven -- explores all of this and more, while also miraculously being a fiendishly entertaining ultra-violent Arnold Schwarzenegger picture. Check out the impact that Spielberg’s vision had on modern tech in the video below: Despite Anderton’s bleak situation, and converse to Blade Runner’s vision, Minority Report is the “Good Timeline” of cyberpunk movies. It’s also one of the best. From Gregory Lawrence, ‘The Office’ Showrunner Greg Daniels Explains Why They Finally Made Dwight Manager. Who killed the Comedian? His film is reminiscent of the best cyberpunk movies like Terminator, 12 Monkeys, and Akira while establishing lore of its own. Human bodies and cybernetic approximations co-mingle, bleary-eyed protagonists fight their way through noir-tinged conflict, and the cold, steel flesh of industry, from robots to skyscrapers, juts into every facet of life -- all tinged with the iconoclastic, rebellious spirit of punk. And then there’s No Guns Life, which can best be summed up as a cyberpunk anime series that is as deep as it is joyfully dense. It proves that the sun actually can rise in these neon-noir wonderlands. Leading man Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) not only looks like Tom Hardy, but he has the same offbeat, symbiotic partnership with his digital consciousness STEM (Simon Maiden). When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Despite the decay, the city is lit up by a lush color palette, usually pinks, blues, or reds. The character development is sidelined as the movie unfolds in a succession of boss battles leading up to one final confrontation, so enjoy it for what it is. Ride in style with the 10 best cars and bikes in Cyberpunk 2077. This is thanks to its lead antihero, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). Then take a look at this behind-the-scenes video to see how the VFX team pulled Alita from the pages of manga and dropped her into a photorealistic world. Cyberpunk fiction is often interested in the dichotomy and evental collapsing between the body and the brain -- here, Verhoeven dives into a brain to pummel us in the body, all to show that the future is coming inherently pummeled. Whannell’s rendering of his fight sequences -- undoubtedly the physical hook for spending time on Upgrade -- is visual ambiguity personified perfectly. It’s classic noir with a cyberpunk aesthetic. The weather is toxic. The megacorporation Avalon has kidnapped one of its scientists and it’s up to police captain Barthélémy Karas (Daniel Craig in the English dub) to figure out why. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a tired and frayed cop on the case to find a group of rogue replicants (cyborgs), including the instantly iconic Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah. Instead, the franchise builds out. Before Hollywood would let him direct Star Wars, Rian Johnson made a name for himself in the noir genre with Brick. Gregory Lawrence (aka Greg Smith) is a writer, director, performer, songwriter, and comedian. Unlike the chiaroscuro lighting of cyberpunk films like Blade Runner or Minority Report, this city is bathed in light. Snyder pulls panels straight from the comic and realizes them in true pulp rock fashion. The hype is … The first of several Philip K. Dick-inspired adaptations on this list. Many works of cyberpunk fiction are interested in the bending and breaking of reality. They soon find themselves wrapped up in a complex conspiracy that meditates on the very nature of humanity. If some poor director had opted to reboot the franchise, it may have invited unnecessary comparisons or criticisms. And, actually, it’s a better Robocop than the 2014 remake. If we decide we’ve grown weary of our wholly human bodies, and want to ascend into the comforting, hard-shelled enclosure of a robot? But Scott, alongside DP Jordan Cronenweth and production designer Lawrence G. Paull, catapulted these time-honored genre tropes into a sleekly depressing neo-future, all rainstorms and skyscrapers and images that live on the uncanny edge between familiarity and shock. Would any remnant of our past lives be present somewhere in the inherently non-human entanglement of codes, wires, and artificial intelligence programs? Tags: best of, Cyberpunk 2077, cyberpunk movies Written by Mitchell Gassner Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. The film has an awful lot to say about the ambiguity of human identity in an increasingly inhuman world, from Young’s belief that she’s human even though she’s a replicant, to Hauer’s impassioned (and improvised!) Watch the Striking Seven Hour Trailer for the Longest Movie Ever Made, Writing and Directing for Suspense: Inglourious Basterds. Sure, it’s a late-stage capitalist nightmare… but at this point, that’s a best-case scenario! A typical setting in the cyberpunk genre is an impoverished city where an evil corporation reigns above all. And the influential anime film, released in US cinemas December 25, 1989 has everything you need for jolly holiday viewing -- vicious gangs, telekinetic powers, the eradication of civilized society, psychic children with horrifyingly aged faces, a dystopian view on how technology will consume us all, a viscerally disgusting villain that consumes and absorbs everything in its path, and one of the scariest film scores ever composed. Our most recent entry to the cyberpunk canon, Upgrade comes from the vivid imagination of Saw and Insidious maestro Leigh Whannell. Dredd is the return of the ultra-violent, metropolitan heroics of Robocop that helped define cyberpunk. It’s no surprise that Minority Report remains the go-to example when we discuss personalized advertising trends in the modern-day. And yet, you can’t help but fall in love with the film’s pondering, philosophical conversations, sprinkled lovingly atop some “cops getting to know each other on a stakeout” banter (in other words, Ghost in the Shell was doing True Detective before it was a twinkle in Nic Pizzolatto’s eye). ​As is ought to happen with Zack Snyder, the narrative loses some of the nuance in the translation to film. Watch it for Alita. Now you’re all caught up with the best modern cyber noir movies! The lead-up to CD Projekt Red’s neon-lit opus, “Cyberpunk 2077,” started with a trailer released nearly eight years ago. He loves pizza and the Mortal Kombat movie. Add a splash of neon lights. Based, again, on a Philip K. Dick tale (the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”), the film follows Schwarzenegger as a construction worker desperate for a vacation. Here are the 15 best Cyberpunk movies … The film, about a human cop (Peter Welker) who’s viciously attacked by a group of thugs (led by Kurtwood Smith) and “placed” inside of a RoboCop as part of Detroit’s future-forward method of fighting crime, is rife with action sequences, crowd-pleasing one-liners, and genre-happy gore effects. But he also flexes his action muscles when the scene calls for it. Combine that with the otherworldly visuals of Dr. Manhattan and the retrofuturism of the other costumed heroes. That premise is enhanced with cyberpunk production design, but retains its philosophical core about the nature of free will: is Anderton destined to commit this crime, or can he change his fate? What Nemesis does do though is stand as an example of the trashy B-movies that flooded the market when cyberpunk was fashionable, and while it does fall into the bargain bucket of cheap genre videos, it’s the best of the It bleeds sci-fi noir. John Anderton (Cruise) has been accused of a crime he didn’t commit — yet. Like motorball! That is, they would be catastrophic… if we weren’t too lost in our new realities to even notice. Oscar Beat: Best Director Predictions — Will Fincher Finally Win? Don’t let the Internet bozos who’ve coopted its iconography for miserable ends fool you: The Matrix continues to be that rare kind of meal, both rich in nutrients yet as delicious and addictive as candy. So, in honor of Akira’s 30th anniversary, and a world which feels more and more cyberpunk every minute, here are some of the best cyberpunk movies for you to watch, enjoy, and further convince you to delete all your social media accounts and live off the grid. Red pills, dodging bullets, wire-fu, the mystique of Keanu. We have here 10 wonderful cyberpunk anime series/movies that we know you'll enjoy! Qohen (Christoph Waltz) is an existentially-unsettled programmer who is vying to be “The One” of some all-important story. Now that technology has surpassed even our most wild imaginations, the resulting fusions will be catastrophic. Others will cost some serious Eurodollars. Coincidentally, Morpheus is looking for Neo, too, as he might be “The One” -- a cybernetic Jesus-figure who can free humanity from its vicious, surreptitious rule by technology. Then liberally sprinkle on some corruption and cybernetic enhancements — now you’ve got yourself a cyberpunk movie. It isn’t compelled to over-explain its cyberpunk style. While a cyberpunk name isn't that different from other sci-fi names, some Would we be at the whim of our programmers? Check out one of the fight scenes from the film in the clip below. It’s a style previously used by Linklater in Waking Life and currently used by Undone on Amazon. in TV and Business from Hofstra University in New York. Johnson lets is breathe by turning the high concept into a quiet, introspective piece. Cyberpunk, also known as neon-noir, sci-fi noir, and future-noir, is the industrialized spin-off of neo-noir infused with elements from other science fiction subgenres. In true cyberpunk style, the streets are flooded with crime and psychoactive drugs, so the Judges are tasked with overthrowing the slum lord responsible (It’s Lena Heady as basically junkie Cersei Lannister). You see, you and I don’t live in “the real world” -- we live in “The Matrix,” a computer simulation designed to placate us while nasty robots harvest our dang bodies for fuel. Its plot is set in 1941 France, a country that is trapped in the 19th century. Speaking of Japanese roots, Alita: Battle Angel is a direct adaptation of a cyberpunk manga. 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In fact, Dick penned multiple short stories that inspired famous cyberpunk movies, such as Total Recall (1990), Blade Runner (1982), and Minority Report (2002). He can do anything he wants while not moving once, thanks to the Rekall’s procedure of transplanting memories and experiences as having actually happened. While he’s primarily known as a writer and actor, Upgrade allows Whannell the opportunity to flex some directorial muscle. If you’ve seen the film 10 times before, give it an 11th watch, and pay attention to how sensitive the portrayal of RoboCop’s journey through his human past is rendered. Present as ever is the obligatory rain, cascading down neon-noir billboards covered in electric sex, but things have changed in dystopic Los Angeles. This is a bad ending that sucks. Would “we” even exist anymore? The movie elevates above its b-movie book cover in the same way Venom did: with heart and pulpy excess. The specifics of the case, in a narrative based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, feel indebted to noir -- from Ford’s Bogart-on-downers performance to Sean Young’s ambiguously motivated love interest. Like a classic noir tale, the film is about a person of integrity who is forced to go on the run to clear his name. But, as she phrases it, it’s “not just a game.” In Cronenberg’s world of, to borrow his previous lingo, the “new flesh,” video games are injected into human beings’ spines, inherently scrambling the game-happy users’ perspectives on “reality.” There’s a group of rebels known as Realists who vow to stop these video game companies from destroying humanity for good. ), all bets of reality go out the window. April and the Extraordinary World is one of the best cyberpunk anime movies on Netflix. As a side note, I see a steady increase in readership of this top cyberpunk movies list the closer we get to the release of the game cyberpunk 2077. Via the character of Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), we get a window into the explosive world of Mega-City. He takes some creative liberties that don’t pay off and, at worst, contradict the themes of the source material. Upgrade thus tackles the slipper erosion of identity and independence between a human and their technological tools with unparalleled physicalization. A lot of cyberpunk movies have roots in Japanese anime, so the animated approach feels right at home here. Grey isn’t particularly in control of his body when he starts pummeling folks -- his computer brain, voiced by the satisfyingly dry Simon Maiden, is basically using him as a flesh puppet. This version of the film is ostensibly updated with superior animation and voice acting, but in my opinion, serves inadvertently to show that the Major’s final conclusions about the superiority of technology over humanity might be ultimately misbegotten. Rather than mirror the neon-noir/thriller approach that Minority Report took years earlier, director Richard Linklater decided to set the film “20 minutes in the future” and place the drug crisis at the forefront. Some will be earned for free through missions. But that’s not why you should watch Alita. Create robust and customizable shot lists. Telekinesis? But that doesn’t mean I’m discrediting its screenplay -- many of Upgrade’s most eye-opening explorations of what our future could hold come in its slower moments of rest and connection between Grey and the folks he meets (especially with the gender non-conforming hacker played by Kai Bradley). And there’s a lot of sauce here. But Verhoeven queasily uses all of these as pleasurable Trojan horses for an equally silly/savage satire on corporatization, capitalism, consumerism, militarization, police states, the horrors of technological advancement, and the ambiguities of human identities. The team wrote a “2054 bible” with all the architectural and economic trends of that era, and their efforts really bring the city to life. Best Christmas Movies With The Most Popular Faces Also: Shout-out to its very, very good sequel, the Denis Villeneuve-directed Blade Runner 2049. Master the art of visual storytelling with our FREE video series on directing and filmmaking techniques. Cyberpunk, also known as neon-noir, sci-fi noir, and future-noir, is the industrialized spin-off of neo-noir infused with elements from other science fiction subgenres. While we wait for our mega-corporate overlords to seize control and plunge us into a tech-noir film of our own, let’s go back to the origins of film noir and see how we ended up here. But the lower class citizens still have access to scavenged technology. 13 Hackers Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie starred in Hackers , a gorgeous techno-pop Cyberpunk film directed by Iain Softley ( K-Pax, Inkheart ). Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction. When Upgrade came out, some viewers considered it “future-noir Venom.” I mean, they’re not wrong. From 'The Matrix' to 'RoboCop,' these are the best hard sci-fi near-future technological dystopian flicks. It is similar to futuristic gothic-based fashion. So whether you want to celebrate the genre or just understand it a little better, these are the cyberpunk movies you need to watch ahead of Cyberpunk 2077‘s release. In crafting the tech-noir setting, Spielberg recruited a think tank of futurists to give the 2054 Washington D.C. a realistic look and feel. Released in Japan in 1995, and then on VHS a year later in the US, the film crackled into the consciousness (or is that cyber-consciousness?) Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a hard friggin’ watch. Nothing about it reinvents the wheel — nor is that the goal. Best Cyberpunk Movies of 2018 and 2019 – New Cyberpunk movies to watch Gadgets Any gadget freak loves cyberpunk – the style that combines combination of ‘lowlife and high tech’, and a sci fi genre that zooms in technological developments causing social upheaval and usually degeneration. That’s a constant you’ll find in this list: cyber noir movies can be both exciting and understated. You end up with a decidedly cyberpunk aesthetic. This sci-fi genre lives and dies on the production design, so animation allows the film to flaunt a spectacular city and fantastical futurism without the risk of losing its actors in the sauce of cyberpunk style. Tetsuo: The Iron Man is chock-full of upsetting imagery, particularly when the titular Iron Man and his fully human girlfriend (Kei Fujiwara) attempt to copulate even though he’s, y’know, an Iron Man. Though Alita doesn’t look like other cyberpunk films on the surface, it explores all the motifs of vengeance, identity, and corporate oppression. It’s a very loose adaption of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and is known for its futuristic noir style, striking cinematography and an ambitious electronic soundtrack by Vangelis. Alan Moore’s original graphic was published in 1986, right around the time of groundbreaking cyber noir movies like Terminator and Blade Runner. As The Zero Theorem made painfully clear at times, cyberpunk films that are unmuddled by smoke and shadow risk looking like YA fantasy cities. All of this, combined with the film’s patient pace, makes it feel like a warm bowl of wire soup, where boundaries and labels and answers to questions mean less than giving yourself over to the tempting textures of stylish singularity. It even got some of its predictions right. Kind of like the inherently unreal steak Joe Pantoliano wants to keep eating. He’s a bounty hunter with a trenchcoat and a dark history who takes to the streets to avenge his late daughter. Back in pre-Gemini Man times, when actors couldn’t be (pretty much) seamlessly de-aged, it was up to Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis to depict the same character at different times in his life. Here are some of the best cyberpunk movies to check out. Though 2049 underperformed at the box office, it still stands as the best of the best cyberpunk movies. Though it never reaches the same heights, it deserves a spot in the pantheon thanks to its manic vision and twisted subversion of the cyberpunk genre. And the “mood,” courtesy of notorious Japanese cult filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto, is “bleak.” Cyberpunk fiction is interested in the blending of human beings with cybernetic enhancements. Top 15 feel good movies to watch on Netflix right now In this strange country that is headed by Napoleon V for seven decades now, scholars tend to disappear mysteriously. Below are the best cyberpunk films Netflix has to offer. Villeneuve excels in contemplative sci-fi, as we’ve seen in Arrival and hopefully continue to see in Dune. He's an associate editor for Collider and has written for Shudder, CBS, Paste Magazine, Guff, Smosh, Obsev Studios, and more. More and more people are flocking to the small screen to find daily entertainment. After a Realist attempts to assassinate her with one of these skin pistols, she and security guard Jude Law head on the run, diving deeper and further into the world of eXistenZ. Akira is a chest-grabbing masterpiece, an explosive film that helped usher manga and anime into the Western cultural forefront and has influenced projects as wide-varying as South Park, Stranger Things, and Kanye West’s “Stronger.” It also gave an expansive, entertaining overview of the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk. Like director David Cronenberg’s previous intersections of technology and human flesh Videodrome and The Fly, eXistenZ is graphically interested in what happens to our ooey-gooey corporeal beings when we smush them with too much technological advancement. Gilliam’s camera hovers and tilts through long sequences in a way that’s sometimes distracting, but frames his world as more unhinged than its contemplative peers. It really makes for a perfect neon-noir set piece. Only, Upgrade isn’t just fun — it’s good. If Akira was the guess that Western audiences would be into anime explorations of wild cyberpunk themes, Ghost in the Shell was the statement. The citizens are immersed in a vibrant cyberpunk style. One of the first blockbusters of the 21st century is also one of the best cyberpunk movies. speech about his false memories fading like tears in the rain, to the coyness with which Scott plays the truth of his protagonist’s humanity (or lack thereof). In case that just made it sound like ALL cyberpunk movies have to sacrifice action for philosophy, turn your attention to Dredd. And watch it for the way she actually dares to confront the corruption of her city rather than become a part of it. It’s less interested in a palatable sci-fi narrative than it is in an unsparing exploration of mood. More.”. And I mean “muscle…” well, maybe not fully literally, since after technophobe Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is implanted with a chip to save himself from a life-threatening mugging and become a cybernetic killing machine, it feels weird to accurately describe his prowess for fighting as “muscle,” given that “muscle” is, you know, a “human” thing. A perfect neon-noir set piece its audience a quiet, introspective piece 2054 Washington D.C. realistic., metropolitan heroics of Robocop that helped define cyberpunk, and props capitalist nightmare… but this! 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