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10 Movies Like Upgrade To Watch For Cyberpunk Fans

movies like upgrade

2018 brought with it one of the most entertaining cyberpunk action thrillers, Upgrade, written and directed by Leigh Whannell. This Logan Marshall-Green flick set in the future follows his character Grey Trace, a technophobe who gets a cybernetic implant that allows him to control his body after an incident leaves him paralysed. Grey, empowered with superhuman strength, seeks revenge to destroy the people who ruined his life. If you enjoyed watching this over-the-top cyberpunk thriller, then you should check out our list of movies like Upgrade. The use of science fiction combined with drama is incredible, and as a cyberpunk film, it does really well at presenting just how wonderful and terrifying the future can be. This Blumhouse production is gory and a true delight for viewers with an appetite for graphic violence and blood. But, the story packs a good punch with its tension and is a pure shot of adrenaline for sci-fi buffs.

List Of Movies Like Upgrade

  1. Lucy
  2. Johnny Mnemonic
  3. Blade Runner
  4. The Matrix
  5. Repo Men
  6. Dredd
  7. Ghost in the Shell
  8. Total Recall
  9. Alita: Battle Angel
  10.  Chappie

1. Lucy (2014)

Lucy, a sci-fi action film follows a woman who after getting kidnapped, is made a drug mule when a psychedelic drug leaks inside her body system and is absorbed into her bloodstream. Following that, she attains psychokinetic abilities but it also slowly drains her of her human emotions, so she seeks out neurologist Samuel Norman who might just be her only way out.

Lucy and Grey give us very similar characters, where they get into an unfortunate situation, have their bodies infiltrated by foreign substances and are set on a ticking chase trying to save themselves. If you are looking for high tension and great action in movies like Upgrade, Lucy should make it to the top of your list.

2. Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

This 96-minute cyberpunk thriller follows John Wick star Keanu Reeves playing Johnny who must race against time to deliver a massive data chip inside his brain before it kills him. Johnny Mnemonic is a seriously underrated movie that portrays much of the cyberpunk theme that has been borrowed in so many other 90’s sci-fi movies.

The premise of the characters in both Johnny Mnemonic and Upgrade are definitely comparable, what with the cybernetic invasion inside their human bodies. Besides, you wouldn’t miss a Keanu Reeves stunner, if you are looking for cyberpunk movies similar to Upgrade.

Also Read: Movies like Prometheus

3. Blade Runner (1982)

Based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, this sci-fi action flick is set in a dystopian future in 2019 LA. Former blade runner Rick Deckard is forced out of retirement to pursue and terminate humanoids called “replicants” who have mutinied and now pose a threat to the earth. The conflict peaks as Deckard gets increasingly involved and starts questioning his own identity. It’s hardly a surprise that this classic won numerous BAFTAs, including Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects in 1983. Blade Runner is one of the finest recommendations for anyone looking for movies similar to Upgrade.

4. The Matrix (1999)

Another mind-bending sci-fi action thriller from Keanu Reeves, takes the story into the cyber world of Matrix where Neo discovers that everything around him is a lie staged by cyber intelligence and he soon sets on a journey to stop this threat and escape the grid. The Matrix is one of the most popular sci-fi movies of all time and blew everyone’s minds with its unique special effects and interesting storyline. If you are looking for films like Upgrade, and haven’t already watched this classic, this is your sign to go for it.

5. Repo Men (2010)

Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon director Miguel Sapochnik brings us an action sci-fi thriller set in 2025 that follows Remy, a Repo man who is on a run after receiving an artificial heart. But when the tables turn and he finds himself a victim of the same crimes he was on the other side of, things get much harder to escape.

The presence of artificial intelligence taking over man, as a result of his misfortune seems a common theme. Remy and Grey, both make for characters that you root for, including the cutthroat tension that is well-paced throughout. If movies like Upgrade are intriguing to you, you are going to like Repo Men.

6. Dredd (2012)

Dredd, a futuristic dystopian film is an adaptation of the comic strip Judge Dredd. This movie centres around Mega City One, where the law lies in the hands of the police who are the judge, jury and executioner. A report of a terrible crime sends Judge Dredd and Cassandra to an extremely dangerous area to take down a gang that deals in Slo-Mo, a reality-altering drug. Dredd has an uncanny similarity in the tone and atmosphere with Upgrade, although Dredd is definitely gorier with its graphic violence. If you wanna watch sci-fi futuristic films like Upgrade, Dredd is the pick for you.

7. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Based on the manga of the same name, this neo-noir cyberpunk animated film is set in 2029 Japan and follows Major Kusanagi who is on the hunt for a mysterious hacker Puppet Master. The movie poses several topics about what it really means to be human, which is an interesting approach to take.

While this recommendation might be slightly different, Ghost in the Shell does an awesome job at its futuristic world-building, while keeping it balanced with a relatable conflict point. Ghost in the Shell is an unlikely, but a solid choice for anyone looking for films or movies like Upgrade.

8. Total Recall (1990)

A sci-fi action film set in 2084, this is the story of Douglas Quaid, a construction worker who is implanted with the memory of a fantastical adventure on Mars. Soon things go awry as Quaid discovers that his life is a false memory and also in danger. This film also deals with cybernetic implants that take over the host body, leading to the driving conflict in the story. Set in an action-packed premise, this dystopian futuristic thriller sets just the right tone like Upgrade.

9. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita: Battle Angel is an amazing cyberpunk film based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series Gunnm. Cyborg Alita, wakes up with no memory of her past, she sets out on a dangerous adventure to find out who she really is and what her purpose is. Check out more movies like Alita: Battle Angel.

What I really loved about Alita is how gripping the storyline is without compromising on the visuals that are CGI heavy.  The characters as well as the action sequences were truly well-written. And for anyone interested in movies like Upgrade, Alita is a great pick.

10. CHAPPiE (2015)

CHAPPiE is a one-of-a-kind story set in a dystopian future where police forces are mechanised and the people are revolting against it. One lone droid named Chappie brings about new confusion as it develops the ability to think and feel for itself. When the authorities find out, they view him as a danger to mankind and vow to erase Chappie altogether.

Slumdog star Dev Patel stars in this fantastic movie about the growing conflict that is man vs cybernetic development. While this theme might seem similar to others, this movie presents it in a very unique direction. Chappie might not be as dark as other movies similar to Upgrade, but this one is definitely worth a watch.

Honourable Mentions

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

  1. Tau
  2. Surrogates
  3. Elysium
  4. The Machine
  5. Oxygen

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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