Technology movies give us a glance or a hope for what the future will look like. Peering through the lens of the future is easy with the stimulation and the imagination of many film directors! Sometimes with stunning realism, they have even been able to predict the technologies that are now an integral part of our daily lives. For example, Star Trek (from 1966) and its touch screens, the beginnings of artificial intelligence and Siri with 2001, Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey (1968), Total Recall (1990) and its autonomous cars, personalized advertisements & facial recognition software from Minority Report (2002), and much more! So there isn’t a single person on the planet who can’t say that these films didn’t inspire the best engineers.
With that, let’s bring you these cult technology movies about the future, new technologies, and digital innovation. From utopian (or dystopian) films to extravagant futuristic films and realism, there will be something for everyone!
12 Technology Movies That Are Based On Realism
1. Iron Man (2008)
A billionaire hero with biting humor sprinkled with innovations: ideal for knowing what will happen (maybe) one day in the real world! Indeed, we often compare the character of Tony Stark (the billionaire who hides under the armor of Iron Man) to Elon Musk, the founding entrepreneur of Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla. He worked on a revolutionary battery to store energy from wind turbines and solar panels which is reminiscent of T. Stark’s invention: clean energy to power his Stark Tower in Manhattan.
When fiction inspires reality a crazy future is born.
2. Her (2013)
In the near future, the perfect woman is an AI?
In the near future in Los Angeles, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is trying to recover from a breakup that broke his heart. He then acquires a new operating system and finds himself communicating daily with Samantha (the delicious voice of Scarlett Johansson), a highly evolved artificial intelligence, modeled according to his needs, with whom he will end up falling in love. The technological movie “Her” takes us to a world where AI is part of everyday life, and asks the question of the place of AI in our future.
3. H2G2: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
The risk of traveling in a bathrobe in space makes this one of the best technical movies of the 2000s.
As the entire planet threatens to be destroyed, Arthur Dent, a Briton embarks on a cosmic-comic journey to the H2G2 universe.
A “UFO” and entertaining film (special mention to the delusional character of John Malkovich as an enlightened guru) which deciphers the questions of a human lost in the universe.
Bonus: the book of Adam Douglas at the origin of this film is at the origin of the geek cult around the number 42. This number is indeed depicted here as the answer to the big question on the meaning of life, calculated by a huge computer.
4. Back to the Future (1985)
“You have to think big in life, even if you have to travel through time behind the wheel of a car, you might as well choose one that has a good face!”.
Back to the future is based in the year 2015, the ideal future version: a beautiful car which is a machine for traveling through time, a world where one can move around on a flying skateboard.
The film initially released in 1985 predicted the invention of many objects; predictions that have turned out to be correct: video conferencing vs Skype and Facetime, flat screens, 3D glasses vs Google Glass… All that’s left is the flying car, and I think the “pull-on fruit basket” which Mardy grabs above him to get some fruit to eat.
Back to the Future is a jewel of pop culture with a cult soundtrack, a joyful film to watch and watch again with the eyes of a child.
5. Ex Machina (2015)
At the heart of the debate on the future of machines (and how they are taking power over poor naive and outdated mammals), is AI, or the precise moment when the said machine (called artificial intelligence for the sake of appearance) will take precedence over the living, will enslave it without ulterior motive and continue its mission of expansion (possibly by annihilating it).
To illustrate this imminent reality, here we are in the secret home of a young billionaire, an internet genius, who invites his best engineer for a little experiment, in the company of a mysterious young woman. Maybe not so young, and maybe not quite a woman either.
6. Black Mirror (2011)
The future is bright when it’s rolling like a missile as the show (not a movie) presents several dystopias linked to technological advances. Through independent episodes, Black Mirror plunges us into a more or less near future. The series thus delivers a chilling look at contemporary society and its relationship to new technologies and information. A visual work as fascinating as it is terrifying, some episodes are shivering. The series pulls out of the game the diversity of genres (romance, comedy, drama, thriller etc.) and the themes used.
7. Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner was released 35 years ago and yet this film is still admired for its extraordinary futuristic universe and its “cyberpunk” atmosphere (movement of which the film is a reference by the way). This is one of those technological movies based on a dystopian future.
35 years later, Blade Runner returns to the heart of cinematographic news with the very first trailer for the upcoming “Blade Runner 2049”. The excellent Denis Villeneuve is in charge of the production, and the announced cast (Harrison Ford and Ryan Reynold) is more than promising. Looking forward to October 2017, we are looking at the 1982 edition.
8. Cloud Atlas (2012)
The unclassifiable futuristic fable is one of the best technology movies, equipped with SF and poetry.
The Wachowskis have made themselves known to the general public through their anthology Matrix trilogy, which is a pillar of geek culture.
Cloud Atlas is a dizzying experience whose philosophical scope will confuse you. The film is built like a symphony that is articulated in six very different stories and yet linked through the ages. It is a beautiful reflection on the evolution of humanity towards progress and this legacy of the past that should never be forgotten.
9. Wall-E (2008)
The tender future is described beautifully in the delicacy of scrap. In the 21st century, all life has disappeared from the face of the planet, leaving only a huge open dump. The only one still present, Wall-E, a small robot garbage collector still functioning, continues the task for which it was programmed.
Everything changes when the latest generation (female) robot arrives on a mission. Eve has a mission to carry out: to search for a possible form of plant life on the surface of the globe.
It is a futuristic fable that begins like a dystopia but ends on a beautiful note of hope, by Pixar studios.
10. Silicon Valley (2014)
A Humorous portrait of the world of technology, and often compared to Big Bang Theory, the HBO Silicon Valley series (this is a movie) caricatures the life of programming roommates in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of them is at the origin of the creation of a revolutionary algorithm that will find itself at the center of all desires. Venture capitalists, GAFA, incubators, and other tech gurus: everyone takes for their rank in this series with its scathing humor!
11. The Social Network (2010)
Realistic films around the inventions that have marked/continue to mark our century cannot go without mentioning the origins of Facebook.
A version of the events that led to the creation of the most famous social networks is explored through this technology movie as 10 years ago, David Fincher showed us the sick ego at work behind Facebook.
Under the exterior of social progress, of “lol attitude” and of fraternity, frustration was at work: that of a student eager for power. By promulgating a multiplied self in the face of the world, on a pretty little well-arranged page, humanity was committing the sin of pride on a large scale. And it was only just beginning.
From a scoring game between the students of the class of Havard (bordering on cruel) to 1.79 billion monthly active users (November 2016), we discover the incredible rise of entrepreneur Mark Zuckenberg.
The actors are excellent and the monologue of the breakup scene is a feat of actor Jesse Eisenberg. Director David Fincher, who has an appetite for psychological thrillers, signs a little writing gem with this film!
12. Brexit (2019)
In this British TV movie, what interests us, besides Cumberbatch’s performance as Dominic Cummings, is how he tipped the pro-Brexit balance by bringing in Cambridge Analytica, a “data analysis’ manipulation on social networks. To convince the undecided, we send them to secure encrypted messages! A film that makes you want to immediately withdraw the right to vote from the highly manipulable herd that are the followers of social networks.