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20 Best Young Adult Movies like The Hunger Games For Fans Of Dystopian Fiction

Movies like The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games franchise, with its books and film adaptations, earned widespread acclaim from viewers and critics alike.  Its gripping narrative and compelling characters struck a chord, leading to the explosive popularity of the books and subsequent film adaptations. The success of movies like The Hunger Games can be attributed to its enthralling action, suspense, and social commentary, which resonated with audiences of all ages. 

Now, with a new movie on the horizon, fans are eagerly anticipating the next instalment in the franchise. The announcement of a new film has reignited the enthusiasm surrounding The Hunger Games, sparking discussions and speculation about what lies ahead for the beloved characters and the dystopian world they inhabit. So if you are looking for movies like The Hunger Games to watch while the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes comes out, we have curated a list of 20 incredible movies you’ll enjoy!

List of Movies Like The Hunger Games

  1. Divergent
  2. Snowpiercer
  3. Maze Runner
  4. Harry Potter Series
  5. The Truman Show
  6. Battle Royal
  7. Ready Player One
  8. The Dark City
  9. The Condemned
  10. Super 8
  11. Hanna
  12. Red Sparrow
  13. Dune
  14. The Percy Jackson Series
  15. The Host
  16. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  17. Alita: Battle Angel
  18. The Hunt
  19. Ender’s Game
  20. The Island

1. Divergent (2014)

In a future society divided into factions based on personality traits, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) discovers she is “Divergent,” possessing multiple traits. As she navigates the initiation process, Tris uncovers a plot to eliminate all Divergents. Similar to movies like The Hunger Games, Divergent explores a young protagonist defying societal norms and challenging an oppressive system.

Hunger Games fans will enjoy Divergent‘s dystopian world. Like Katniss, Tris shares quality of rebellion in a time of societal control to fight for freedom. With gripping narratives and intense stakes, Divergent trilogy is the perfect movie series similar to movies like The Hunger Games.

2. Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer is set aboard a massive train that perpetually circles a frozen Earth, carrying the last remnants of humanity. The train is divided into social classes, and a rebellion brews among the oppressed passengers in the tail section. Similar to movies like The Hunger Games, Snowpiercer examines class divisions, inequality, and the fight for justice.

A visually stunning and tense narrative, the movie questions the morality of a segregated society. The film’s superb direction features actors like Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and more. Snowpiercer’s profound social commentary makes it a must-watch.

3. Maze Runner (2014)

In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of teenagers is trapped in a deadly maze called the Glade. As they navigate the maze’s challenges and encounter mysterious threats, they must uncover the truth about their existence. Maze Runner shares similarities with movies like The Hunger Games in its focus on young protagonists in a dangerous setting and their struggle for survival and freedom. 

It offers a compelling mix of action, suspense, and mystery. Audiences should watch it for its thrilling plot twists, strong character dynamics, and the exploration of themes such as friendship, sacrifice, and the pursuit of truth.

4. Harry Potter Series (2001)

The Harry Potter series follows the journey of a young wizard named Harry Potter as he discovers his magical heritage, attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and battles against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. While distinct in genre (fantasy), Harry Potter shares similarities with The Hunger Games in terms of young protagonists defying authority and facing immense challenges.

 Both series explore themes of friendship, courage, and the fight against oppressive forces. Harry Potter captivates viewers with its enchanting world-building, compelling characters, and a story that spans loyalty, love, and the triumph of good over evil.

5. The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show revolves around Truman Burbank, a man who unknowingly lives his entire life in a constructed reality television show. Truman gradually becomes suspicious of his surroundings and embarks on a journey to uncover the truth. While different in concept, The Truman Show shares a thematic similarity with The Hunger Games.

Both films question the boundaries of reality, the power of media, and the individual’s struggle for autonomy in a controlled environment. The Truman Show is a thought-provoking film that offers social commentary on media manipulation, personal freedom, and the pursuit of authenticity.

6. Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale is a Japanese film set in a dystopian future where a class of students is chosen each year to participate in a deadly battle on a deserted island. They are forced to fight to the death until only one survivor remains.

 Like The Hunger Games, Battle Royale explores the dark side of human nature, the struggle for survival, and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters. It offers intense action, emotional depth, and a critique of societal norms. Viewers should watch it for its raw and unflinching portrayal of violence and its examination of the human capacity for both cruelty and compassion.

7. Ready Player One (2018)

Set in a future world where people escape their desolate reality by immersing themselves in a virtual reality game called the Oasis, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts as he joins a high-stakes treasure hunt within the game. Similar to The Hunger Games, Ready Player One explores the theme of escapism and the power of collective action against a powerful corporation.

 It is a visually stunning film filled with nostalgic references, thrilling challenges, and a celebration of pop culture. Viewers should watch it for its immersive world-building, thrilling adventure, and commentary on the balance between virtual and real-life experiences.

8. The Dark City (1998)

The Dark City is a neo-noir science fiction film set in a city where the inhabitants have their memories altered each night by mysterious beings known as the “Strangers.” One man, John Murdoch, awakens with his memories intact and must uncover the truth about the city and his own identity. Similar to The Hunger Games, The Dark Matter explores themes of control, manipulation, and the search for personal freedom.

 It offers a visually stunning and atmospheric setting, a mind-bending narrative, and thought-provoking philosophical questions. Viewers should watch it for its unique blend of genres, intriguing mystery, and striking visuals.

9. The Condemned (2007)

The Condemned follows a group of death row inmates who are chosen to participate in a brutal reality TV show where they must fight each other to the death for a chance at freedom. Like The Hunger Games, it explores the exploitation of individuals for entertainment and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters.

The film offers intense action, ethical quandaries, and commentary on the voyeuristic nature of reality television. Viewers should watch it for its high-octane thrills, exploration of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, and its critique of society’s appetite for violence.

10. Super 8 (2011)

Set in the late 1970s, Super 8 follows a group of young friends who witness a train crash and subsequently discover a mysterious extraterrestrial presence. While not sharing direct similarities with The Hunger Games, Super 8 offers a compelling coming-of-age story, a blend of sci-fi and mystery, and a focus on friendship and resilience in the face of extraordinary events.

Directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film captures a nostalgic tone reminiscent of classic ’80s adventure films. Viewers should watch it for its heartfelt storytelling, excellent ensemble cast, and homage to Spielbergian filmmaking.

11. Hanna (2011)

Hanna tells the story of a young girl who has been trained from birth to become a highly skilled assassin by her ex-CIA father. As she embarks on a dangerous journey across Europe, she becomes the target of a relentless CIA agent. While Hanna is distinct from The Hunger Games in terms of plot and setting, it shares similarities in its exploration of a young protagonist’s fight for survival and independence against powerful forces.

The film offers intense action sequences, a compelling central performance by Saoirse Ronan, and a unique blend of thriller and coming-of-age elements. Viewers should watch it for its stylish direction, captivating storytelling, and its examination of identity and the human capacity for resilience.

12. Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow follows a Russian ballerina who is recruited into a secret intelligence program known as the “Sparrow School,” where she is trained in the art of seduction and espionage. While differing in tone and setting, Red Sparrow shares similarities with The Hunger Games in terms of a young female protagonist navigating a dangerous and manipulative environment. 

Both films explore themes of survival, agency, and the lengths one will go to protect themselves and their loved ones. Red Sparrow offers a gripping espionage thriller, stunning visuals, and strong performances, particularly by Jennifer Lawrence. Viewers should watch it for its complex plot, intense spy craft, and its exploration of the blurred lines between loyalty and betrayal.

13. Dune (2021)

Dune is a science fiction epic set in a distant future where noble families battle for control over the desert planet Arrakis, which is the only source of a valuable resource known as “spice.” The story follows the young nobleman Paul Atreides as he becomes entangled in political intrigue and leads a rebellion against the oppressive forces that control the planet.

Dune shares similarities with The Hunger Games in terms of the protagonist’s journey from an ordinary individual to a figure of resistance against a powerful regime. Viewers should watch it for its grand scale, immersive world-building, and thought-provoking themes.

14. The Percy Jackson Series (2010)

Based on the popular book series, The Percy Jackson movies follow the adventures of a young demigod named Percy Jackson, who discovers he is the son of Poseidon and embarks on quests in a world filled with Greek mythology. While different in genre and tone, The Percy Jackson films share similarities with The Hunger Games in terms of a young protagonist thrust into a dangerous world and facing extraordinary challenges. 

The Percy Jackson movies offer entertaining and action-packed adventures, witty humor, and a fascinating reimagining of Greek mythology. Viewers should watch them for their charismatic characters, fantastical quests, and a blend of mythology and modernity.

15. The Host (2013)

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host is set in a future where Earth has been invaded by parasitic aliens that take over human bodies. The story follows a young woman named Melanie, who resists the alien takeover and forms a bond with the alien consciousness within her.

While distinct from The Hunger Games in terms of genre and premise, The Host shares similarities in exploring themes of resistance, individuality, and the struggle against an oppressive force. The film offers a blend of science fiction, romance, and philosophical questions about identity and humanity. Viewers should watch it for its emotional depth, intriguing concept, and the exploration of the complexities of love and loyalty in a dystopian world.

16. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island follows Sean Anderson as he embarks on a mission to find his missing grandfather on a mythical island. Together with a group of explorers, they encounter extraordinary creatures and face various challenges to survive. While not directly similar to The Hunger Games, Journey 2 shares a sense of adventure and the theme of young protagonists navigating a dangerous environment.

 The film offers a fun and visually stunning journey filled with excitement, humor, and breathtaking landscapes. Viewers should watch it for its family-friendly entertainment, thrilling escapades, and a touch of fantasy that sparks the imagination.

17. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

In a dystopian future, Alita, a cyborg with no memory of her past, becomes embroiled in a struggle against powerful forces. She discovers her extraordinary abilities and fights for justice in a world filled with corruption. Alita: Battle Angel shares similarities with The Hunger Games in terms of a young protagonist challenging oppressive systems and finding inner strength.

 The film combines stunning visuals, exhilarating action sequences, and a compelling story that explores themes of identity, love, and self-discovery. Viewers should watch it for its impressive world-building, groundbreaking visual effects, and the captivating performance of Rosa Salazar as Alita.

18. The Hunt (2020)

The Hunt revolves around a group of strangers who wake up in a remote location and become the targets of a deadly hunting game. The film delves into themes of survival, manipulation, and societal divisions. While different in tone, The Hunt shares a similarity with The Hunger Games in its examination of the dark side of human nature and the moral complexities of a deadly competition.

 It offers a satirical commentary on political and social divisions, backed by a sharp script and intense performances. Viewers should watch it for its thought-provoking nature, dark humor, and its exploration of power dynamics and societal prejudices.


19. Ender’s Game (2013)

Ender’s Game is set in a future where Earth is preparing for an imminent alien invasion. The story follows Ender Wiggin, a gifted young boy recruited to train at a military academy in a battle simulation. As Ender rises through the ranks, he faces moral dilemmas and grapples with the pressures of leadership. 

Similar to The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game explores the themes of young protagonists thrust into high-stakes competitions, the burden of responsibility, and the consequences of war. The film offers a visually striking sci-fi setting, compelling performances, and a thought-provoking examination of ethics and the complexities of warfare. Viewers should watch it for its intriguing premise, strategic battles, and moral exploration.

20. The Island (2005)

The Island is set in a future where clones are created for organ harvesting. Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta, two clones, discover the truth about their existence and attempt to escape their controlled environment. While not directly comparable to The Hunger Games, The Island shares a thematic similarity in its exploration of the manipulation and dehumanization of individuals by a powerful entity. 

The film offers an exciting mix of action, suspense, and ethical questions surrounding the nature of identity and freedom. Viewers should watch it for its thrilling chase sequences, the chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, and its philosophical undertones about the value of life and individuality.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few movies like The Hunger Games that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. The 5th Wave
  2. Tron Legacy
  3. Love and Monsters

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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