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16 Best Cyberpunk Noir Films Set in Dystopian Worlds

In a neon-drenched future, cyberpunk noir films captivate with gritty tales of tech-enhanced dystopias. These cinematic masterpieces merge shadowy narratives with futuristic settings, showcasing a world where technology and human nature collide in thought-provoking ways.

By Alyciah Beaver Last updated

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In the riveting universe of Cyberpunk Noir, our screens become portals to dystopian futures, where cutting-edge technology dances with classic detective drama. We're diving headfirst into the genre where cybernetic enhancements meet hard-boiled narratives, uncovering a curated list of movies that flawlessly blend cyberpunk aesthetics with the timeless allure of classic noir.

So, if you're ready to be swept away by tales of cybernetic intrigue, moral ambiguity, and dystopian decadence, fasten your seatbelt. Cyberpunk Noir is not just a genre—it's an experience that transcends the boundaries of cinema, offering a glimpse into a future where the line between man and machine blurs, and the shadows hold secrets that beg to be uncovered.

Altered Carbon (2018-2020)

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Rotten tomatoes75%
iMBD64
Metacritic7.9
Renée Elise Goldsberry

Renée Elise Goldsberry

Chris Conner

Chris Conner

Dichen Lachman

Dichen Lachman

Martha Higareda

Martha Higareda

Ato Essandoh

Ato Essandoh

Joel Kinnaman

Joel Kinnaman

James Purefoy

James Purefoy

Kristin Lehman

Kristin Lehman

Trieu Tran

Trieu Tran

Anthony Mackie

Anthony Mackie

Our tour guide through this dystopian rollercoaster is Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite soldier turned investigator who finds himself navigating a maze of betrayal, deceit, and, of course, mind-bending science fiction. But it's not just Kovacs stealing the show; it's the dazzling visuals that'll make your jaw drop. Neon-soaked skylines, futuristic gadgetry, and a city that never sleeps.

But it's not all dazzling lights and chrome. This TV show dives deep into the human (and post-human) condition. What does it mean to live forever? How far would you go for a second chance? "Altered Carbon" isn't afraid to serve up these questions with a side of action, mystery, and a sprinkle of dark humor.

Kovacs finds himself entangled in a high-stakes brawl

And speaking of action, the fight scenes are so slick they could moonlight as a futuristic dance-off. Kovacs kicks butt with the finesse of a ballet dancer in a cyberpunk disco, and it's a spectacle you didn't know your life was missing.

Upgrade (2018)

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Rotten tomatoes88%
iMBD67
Metacritic7.5

Grey, a technophobe, merges with an AI, his quest for vengeance takes a mind-bending turn.

Logan Marshall-Green

Logan Marshall-Green

Betty Gabriel

Betty Gabriel

Harrison Gilbertson

Harrison Gilbertson

Melanie Vallejo

Melanie Vallejo

Benedict Hardie

Benedict Hardie

Linda Cropper

Linda Cropper

Simon Maiden

Simon Maiden

Steve Danielsen

Steve Danielsen

Richard Cawthorne

Richard Cawthorne

Christopher Kirby

Christopher Kirby

Abby Craden

Abby Craden

Richard Anastasios

Richard Anastasios

Directed by Leigh Whannell

In a sea of sci-fi predictability, "Upgrade" stands tall as a beacon of originality. It's a wild ride that balances heart-stopping action with a touch of humanity, creating an experience that transcends genres.

Grey Trace transforms from a regular dude to a walking arsenal of futuristic coolness. And speaking of STEM, this AI buddy isn't your typical robotic sidekick. It's got more sass and wit than your favorite talk show host. The banter between Grey and STEM is like watching a futuristic odd couple navigate a world where technology is both a blessing and a curse.

The tech in "Upgrade" isn't just there for show; it's a character in itself. From mind-bending upgrades to jaw-dropping visuals, every scene feels like a glimpse into a not-so-distant future where humans and machines dance in a high-tech tango.

The Animatrix (2003)

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Rotten tomatoes89%
Metacritic7.3
Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss

Clayton Watson

Clayton Watson

Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon

Melinda Clarke

Melinda Clarke

John DiMaggio

John DiMaggio

Kevin Michael Richardson

Kevin Michael Richardson

Tom Kenny

Tom Kenny

Rick Gomez

Rick Gomez

Tara Strong

Tara Strong

Bette Ford

Bette Ford

Julia Fletcher

Directed by Koji Morimoto

If you thought the Matrix universe couldn't get any cooler, think again. This animated anthology is like the icing on the sci-fi cake, blending creativity, futuristic flair, and a dash of philosophical spice.

First things first, the animation is next-level. We're not talking about your Saturday morning cartoon; we're talking about a visual feast that's as mesmerizing as a neon-soaked cityscape. Each short has its own unique style, making it a treat for your eyes and a testament to the boundless creativity within the Matrix realm.

The beauty of "The Animatrix" lies not just in its stunning visuals but in its ability to explore the human experience within a digital dystopia. Each animated short in "The Animatrix" is a masterpiece in its own right, introducing us to characters whose stories echo in the halls of cyberpunk legend.

The Matrix (1999)

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Rotten tomatoes83%
iMBD73
Metacritic8.7
Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne

Carrie-Anne Moss

Carrie-Anne Moss

Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving

Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano

Marcus Chong

Marcus Chong

Anthony Ray Parker

Anthony Ray Parker

Matt Doran

Matt Doran

Gloria Foster

Gloria Foster

Belinda McClory

Belinda McClory

Paul Goddard

Paul Goddard

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

Directed by Lilly Wachowski

Strap in, because we're about to free-fall down the rabbit hole and revisit the iconic world of "The Matrix." Released in the era of dial-up internet and questionable fashion choices, this film not only defied Y2K fears but also rewrote the rules of sci-fi filmmaking.

At the heart of "The Matrix" is Neo, played by the perpetually cool Keanu Reeves, a hacker turned leather-clad messiah fighting against sentient machines and dodging bullets with the finesse of a caffeinated cat.

The Wachowskis, the genius sibling duo behind the film, didn't just create a movie; they birthed a universe where reality is as malleable as Play-Doh. Let's not forget the red pill/blue pill dilemma – a choice more profound than deciding between Wi-Fi networks. The film invites us to ponder the nature of reality, a concept so mind-bending that even your grandma would pause her knitting to contemplate.

Neo, armed to the teeth and drenched in cool, unleashes a hailstorm of bullets.

Minority Report (2002)

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Rotten tomatoes89%
iMBD80
Metacritic7.6
Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Samantha Morton

Samantha Morton

Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell

Kathryn Morris

Kathryn Morris

Steve Harris

Steve Harris

Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough

Patrick Kilpatrick

Patrick Kilpatrick

Jessica Capshaw

Jessica Capshaw

Daniel London

Daniel London

Lois Smith

Lois Smith

Tim Blake Nelson

Tim Blake Nelson

Directed by Steven Spielberg

In the not-so-distant future, where predictions aren't just for horoscopes, "Minority Report" takes us on a ride through a world where crimes are foreseen before they even happen. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this sci-fi thriller isn't just about predicting the future; it's about bending it, twisting it, and occasionally throwing in a few surprises that'll keep you on the edge of your seat.

The chase scenes are nothing short of a parkour enthusiast's dream. In a world where "pre-crime" is the law, the action sequences are like a ballet of futuristic athleticism. Cruise's character, Anderton, leaps, twists, and turns through the air like a crime-fighting acrobat

Without giving away too much, "Minority Report" isn't just a straightforward crime thriller. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, Spielberg throws in a curveball that'll make your head spin but in a good way.

Mr. Robot (2015-2019)

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Rotten tomatoes94%
iMBD80
Metacritic8.5
Rami Malek

Rami Malek

Christian Slater

Christian Slater

Carly Chaikin

Carly Chaikin

Martin Wallström

Martin Wallström

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday

Grace Gummer

Grace Gummer

Stephanie Corneliussen

Stephanie Corneliussen

Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale

Rami Malek shines in "Mr. Robot," a series that delves into hacking, conspiracy, and the blurred lines between reality and illusion. Its dark undertones and cyberpunk influences make it a binge-worthy exploration of modern noir.

The narrative isn't just about hacking corporate giants; it's a psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat or maybe just leaning back, laughing at the absurdity of it all. But it's not all laughs; "Mr. Robot" delves into the dark underbelly of society, exploring themes of power, control, and the thin line between rebellion and chaos. It's a show that doesn't just tickle your funny bone; it gives it a full-blown workout while challenging your perceptions of authority.

The visual style of "Mr. Robot" deserves a standing ovation. It's not just about sleek aesthetics; it's a feast for the eyes that turns hacking sequences into digital ballets. The show's commitment to authenticity, from the coding sequences to the portrayal of the dark web, adds a layer of realism that's as refreshing as it is geek-tastic.

With a mind as complex as his code, Elliot navigates the thin line between genius and insanity.

The Expanse (2015-2022)

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Rotten tomatoes95%
iMBD72
Metacritic8.5
Steven Strait

Steven Strait

Dominique Tipper

Dominique Tipper

Wes Chatham

Wes Chatham

Shohreh Aghdashloo

Shohreh Aghdashloo

Cas Anvar

Cas Anvar

Frankie Adams

Frankie Adams

Cara Gee

Cara Gee

Shawn Doyle

Shawn Doyle

Florence Faivre

Florence Faivre

At the heart of "The Expanse" lies a solar system on the brink of interplanetary war. Earth, Mars, and the Belters are engaged in a dance of political intrigue and high-stakes drama.

One of the show's strengths lies in its character development. Each crew member of the Rocinante has a backstory as rich as the asteroid mines of Eros. From the no-nonsense Naomi Nagata to the Martian marine Alex Kamal, their journey is a rollercoaster of emotions that'll make you laugh, cry, and possibly contemplate a career change to space piracy.

And speaking of showdowns, the action sequences are like a ballet of destruction. Whether it's a high-stakes space battle or a tense confrontation on a distant moon, the show's ability to balance suspense with character development is nothing short of stellar.

Chappie (2015)

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Rotten tomatoes32%
iMBD41
Metacritic6.8

Chappie, the robot with a heart and a knack for mischief.

Sharlto Copley

Sharlto Copley

Dev Patel

Dev Patel

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Ninja

Ninja

Yo-Landi Visser

Yo-Landi Visser

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver

Chris Shields

Chris Shields

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper

Jose Pablo Cantillo

Jose Pablo Cantillo

Brandon Auret

Brandon Auret

Johnny Selema

Maurice Carpede

Maurice Carpede

Directed by Neill Blomkamp

First things first, meet Chappie – the not-so-average robot with a heart of gold and a penchant for high fashion (if robots wore clothes, that is). Voiced by the delightful Sharlto Copley, Chappie is not your typical hunk of metal; he's a walking, talking, painting machine, and he's here to steal your heart.

The film's setting in Johannesburg adds a unique flavor to the narrative. The gritty urban landscape becomes a playground for Chappie's adventures, complete with high-tech heists, gang rivalries, and a side of robot philosophy. It's like Blomkamp took a map of the city and turned it into a canvas for a futuristic art project, sprinkling it with humor and a touch of mayhem.

But "Chappie" isn't just about the titular character; it's an ensemble cast of colorful characters that add layers of hilarity and drama. From the eccentric inventor Deon (played by Dev Patel) to the street-smart trio of thugs, each character brings their own flavor to the narrative cocktail. And let's not forget about Ninja and Yolandi Visser of the South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord, playing fictionalized versions of themselves.

Dredd (2012)

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Rotten tomatoes80%
iMBD60
Metacritic7.1
Karl Urban

Karl Urban

Olivia Thirlby

Olivia Thirlby

Lena Headey

Lena Headey

Wood Harris

Wood Harris

Langley Kirkwood

Langley Kirkwood

Tamer Burjaq

Tamer Burjaq

Joe Vaz

Joe Vaz

Rakie Ayola

Rakie Ayola

Junior Singo

Junior Singo

Luke Tyler

Luke Tyler

Jason Cope

Jason Cope

Domhnall Gleeson

Domhnall Gleeson

Directed by Pete Travis

In the vast landscape of action films, where heroes often come with capes and cheesy one-liners, "Dredd" steps in with a scowl, a helmet, and a lawgiver that means business. Karl Urban, the man behind the helmet, deserves a salute. Without ever showing his face, he manages to convey more emotion with a mere squint than most actors do with a dramatic monologue.

The supporting cast deserves a nod, too – especially Olivia Thirlby as Judge Anderson. Forget the damsel in distress trope; Anderson brings her psychic abilities to the table, adding a layer of complexity to the narrative.

"Dredd" stands tall as a testament to the power of a no-nonsense hero, a relentless pursuit of justice, and a city that's as much a character as the people inhabiting it.

Blade Runner (1982)

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Rotten tomatoes88%
iMBD84
Metacritic8.1
Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer

Sean Young

Sean Young

Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos

M. Emmet Walsh

M. Emmet Walsh

Daryl Hannah

Daryl Hannah

William Sanderson

William Sanderson

Brion James

Brion James

Joe Turkel

Joe Turkel

Joanna Cassidy

Joanna Cassidy

James Hong

James Hong

Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson

Directed by Ridley Scott

Deckard, Harrison Ford's brooding detective, isn't just solving crimes; he's doing it in style amidst neon-lit skylines and rain that's more poetic than a Shakespearean sonnet.

Released in the '80s, a decade known for questionable fashion choices and epic hairdos, "Blade Runner" brought a unique flavor to the sci-fi genre. The film raises profound questions about identity and humanity, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's all serious contemplation. The offbeat humor and Ford's wry smile inject a human touch into the narrative, making you forget you're in a dystopian future and not a smoky detective's office.

And then there are the replicants, artificial beings with a penchant for rebellion. Roy Batty, portrayed by Rutger Hauer, brings a complexity to his character that makes you question the very definition of what it means to be human. The film's Vangelis-infused soundtrack deserves a standing ovation. It's not just music; it's an auditory journey that wraps around the narrative.

Roy Batty, a rogue Replicant, confronts his maker.

Sin City (2005)

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Rotten tomatoes76%
iMBD74
Metacritic8
Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

Clive Owen

Clive Owen

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer

Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro

Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel

Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen

Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe

Nick Stahl

Nick Stahl

Devon Aoki

Devon Aoki

Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

"Sin City" takes us on a tour through the mean streets of Basin City, where corruption, vengeance, and stylish violence reign supreme.The film's unique visual style, inspired by Frank Miller's graphic novels, is like a love letter to the art of storytelling. The use of high-contrast black and white, punctuated by splashes of color, creates a world that's simultaneously retro and futuristic.

Let's talk about the characters – oh boy, are they a cast of misfits, anti-heroes, and femme fatales that could give Shakespeare a run for his money. From the stoic Marv, played by Mickey Rourke, to the seductive and deadly Gail, portrayed by Rosario Dawson, each character brings their own flavor to the sin-soaked narrative.

Her (2013)

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Rotten tomatoes94%
iMBD91
Metacritic8

A lonely writer, falls for Samantha, an operating system with a voice that sparks love in a digital age.

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Amy Adams

Amy Adams

Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde

Matt Letscher

Matt Letscher

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday

Bill Hader

Bill Hader

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig

Artt Butler

Artt Butler

Directed by Spike Jonze

Ah, love – the eternal muse that has inspired poets, musicians, and now, filmmakers. "Her” is a cinematic gem that takes a leap into the uncharted territories of human-technology romance. Directed by Spike Jonze, this film isn't just a love story; it's a futuristic exploration of connection, emotions, and the blurred lines between man and machine.

Joaquin Phoenix finds solace and companionship in the most unexpected place – his operating system. Yes, you heard that right. In "Her," the leading man falls head over heels for an artificial intelligence named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

"Her" doesn't shy away from the complexities of human-technology relationships. It's a bold exploration that challenges societal norms and invites us to reconsider the boundaries of what love can be. It's like Jonze said, "Why limit our definition of love when the possibilities are as vast as the digital cosmos?”

Dollhouse (2009-2010)

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Rotten tomatoes71%
iMBD57
Metacritic7.7
Eliza Dushku

Eliza Dushku

Fran Kranz

Fran Kranz

Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams

Dichen Lachman

Dichen Lachman

Enver Gjokaj

Enver Gjokaj

Tahmoh Penikett

Tahmoh Penikett

Harry Lennix

Harry Lennix

At the heart of the Dollhouse is Echo, portrayed by the versatile Eliza Dushku. She's not your average Doll. Echo retains fragments of her past imprints, leading to a fascinating exploration of what happens when the boundaries between programmed personas begin to blur. It's like a psychological puzzle with pieces that refuse to stay in their designated places.

What makes "Dollhouse" truly captivating is its ability to dive into moral gray areas. The Dolls sign up for this arrangement voluntarily, yet questions of consent, agency, and the ethics of erasing one's identity linger in the background. Whedon weaves these complex threads into a narrative that keeps you guessing and contemplating the implications long after the credits roll.

The supporting cast adds layers of intrigue to the Dollhouse. From the enigmatic handler Boyd Langton to the brilliant but morally ambiguous programmer Topher Brink, each character brings a unique flavor to the series.

Ready Player One (2018)

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Rotten tomatoes72%
iMBD64
Metacritic7.4
Tye Sheridan

Tye Sheridan

Olivia Cooke

Olivia Cooke

Ben Mendelsohn

Ben Mendelsohn

Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe

T.J. Miller

T.J. Miller

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance

Philip Zhao

Philip Zhao

Win Morisaki

Win Morisaki

Hannah John-Kamen

Hannah John-Kamen

Ralph Ineson

Ralph Ineson

Susan Lynch

Susan Lynch

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Set in the dystopian future of 2045, where reality is bleak and the real world is a place people prefer to escape, "Ready Player One" introduces us to the OASIS, a sprawling virtual universe that's essentially the ultimate gaming platform.

Our hero, Wade Watts, or Parzival in the OASIS, played by the charismatic Tye Sheridan, is on a quest for the ultimate Easter egg hidden within the OASIS by its late creator, James Halliday. The catch? Whoever finds it inherits the entire OASIS and a fortune beyond imagination.

Spielberg's CGI spectacle blends nostalgia, speed, and gaming prowess, creating a thrilling chase.

As we reach the final lap of our OASIS adventure, it's time to acknowledge the sheer audacity and creativity that Spielberg brings to the table. He's not just a director; he's the maestro orchestrating a symphony of pixels, emotions, and nostalgia.

Westworld (2016-2022)

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Rotten tomatoes80%
iMBD71
Metacritic8.5
Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood

Thandiwe Newton

Thandiwe Newton

Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson

Ed Harris

Ed Harris

James Marsden

James Marsden

Angela Sarafyan

Angela Sarafyan

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul

Vincent Cassel

Vincent Cassel

Welcome to Delos Destinations, the company behind Westworld, a futuristic amusement park that recreates the American Wild West with stunning accuracy. Led by the enigmatic Dolores Abernathy, portrayed by the brilliant Evan Rachel Wood, the hosts are blissfully unaware of their robotic nature.

One of the genius aspects of "Westworld" is its ability to blur the lines between right and wrong. As the hosts gain self-awareness, ethical questions rear their heads like curious prairie dogs. Are the guests morally bankrupt for indulging in their fantasies, or are the hosts justified in seeking revenge for their scripted suffering? It's a moral rollercoaster that makes you question your own sanity, much like the characters in the show.

Inception (2010)

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Rotten tomatoes87%
iMBD74
Metacritic8.8
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy

Elliot Page

Elliot Page

Dileep Rao

Dileep Rao

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy

Tom Berenger

Tom Berenger

Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard

Pete Postlethwaite

Pete Postlethwaite

Michael Caine

Michael Caine

Lukas Haas

Lukas Haas

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Crafted by the genius Christopher Nolan, this film is a cerebral rollercoaster that challenges the boundaries of reality and leaves you questioning your own sanity.

Let's set the stage. Dom Cobb, played by the charismatic Leonardo DiCaprio, is a skilled extractor—a thief who specializes in stealing secrets by navigating the dreams of others. Cobb, however, carries his own emotional baggage, turning the heist into a personal journey of redemption and self-discovery.

The supporting cast adds layers of brilliance to this already intricate tapestry. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Marion Cotillard each bring their A-game, turning "Inception" into a symphony of performances that dance seamlessly between the tangible and the ethereal.

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