Long Live Panem

If You Liked ‘The Hunger Games,’ Check Out These 30 Other Dystopian Movies

We volunteer as tribute to watch every single one of these.

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
movies like hunger games, still from the hunger games

Whether you’re a young adult or not, fantasy YA books turned movies like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are probably in a constant rotation during family movie night. For most millennials, those books and movies are imprinted in our memories of early adulthood and have had an incredible impact on our tastes in films. The first book in The Hunger Games series was published in September 2008 and was widely read throughout President Barack Obama’s administration. Sure, things were far from perfect back then, but collectively as a society, we were in a place where Panem — the dystopian universe where the books are set — still felt like fiction. As people read the trilogy and then made their way through the movies based on those books, little did they know we’d soon be living in a dystopian society of our very own, complete with a global pandemic!

Now that things have started to sort of settle down (or at least start down that path), you may be interested in watching some movies like The Hunger Games again. Of course, you can always revisit the original movie trilogy, but if you’re looking to expand your horizons beyond Panem, here are suggestions for other dystopian movies like The Hunger Games you might enjoy.

Movies Like The Hunger Games to Watch Next

1. Never Let Me Go (2010)

This British dystopian romantic tragedy (aren’t they all?) is based on the 2005 novel of the same name written by Sir Kazuo Ishiguro. It takes place in the UK, except in an alternate version of history, where healthcare strategies were quite different than those IRL. This is one of those stories with a major plot twist that basically changes everything, so we won’t give anything else away — other than the fact that you’ll probably weep.

2. WALL-E (2008)

Kids like dystopian societies, too! OK, your kiddos are probably more into that cute robot and its weird voice than the overall message of the movie (which, if we’re being honest, is pretty dark), but WALL-E lets you get your fix of the genre while entertaining children at the same time. Win-win. Warning: watching WALL-E will probably get you really into recycling for approximately two weeks.

3. Gattaca (1997)

Basically, any time there are major scientific developments in assisted reproduction (in real life), you can count on people referring to Gattaca and using it as an example of why any technological advances in that category should be used with caution. So, even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ve probably at least heard of it. And there’s good reason for that: More than 20 years later it still holds up and raises questions ethicists have never stopped wrestling with. Oh, and it features a young (and quite fetching) Ethan Hawke.

4. Soylent Green (1973)

Even people who have never seen the 1973 Charlton Heston film can quote a line (well, two words) from the movie, that also happens to be the plot twist — a classic spoiler from before that was a concept we cared about so much. Yes, it’s campy and can be hard to take seriously after seeing either of the Saturday Night Live parodies of the film starring Phil Hartman as Heston (you can watch part of those clips here, but warning: the aforementioned two-word spoiler is basically the whole thing). Anyway, this dystopian society is caused by climate change and results in people having to deal with pollution, poverty, overpopulation, and depleted resources. You know, a total escape from reality.

5. Battle Royale (2000)

Truth be told, this Japanese action-thriller is probably the one on the list most similar to The Hunger Games. In fact, it’s been credited as influencing both the trilogy of books and movies. One major difference is that Battle Royale doesn’t soften anything for younger audiences — it just goes for it, and is a super-intense watch.

6. 1984 (1984)

This is another example of a book/movie that has become synonymous with dystopian society. Basically, every political party accuses its opponents of wanting to enact policies similar to the ones in George Orwell’s book. But really, how many people have actually read the book? The good news is that you don’t have to either — you can pick up on the cultural references from the movie in a fraction of the time.

More Dystopian Movies like The Hunger Games

  1. The Truman Show (1998)
  2. Blade Runner (1982)
  3. Brazil (1985)
  4. The Matrix (1999)
  5. Robocop (1987)
  6. Metropolis (1927)
  7. Akira (1988)
  8. V for Vendetta (2006)
  9. Minority Report (2002)
  10. They Live (1988)
  11. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
  12. Total Recall (1990)
  13. Snowpiercer (2013)
  14. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  15. Mad Max (1979)
  16. Escape from New York (1981)
  17. Children of Men (2006)
  18. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  19. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  20. Idiocracy (2006)
  21. The Purge (2013)
  22. I Am Legend (2007)
  23. The City of Lost Children (1995)
  24. The Running Man (1987)

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