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10 Movies Like Blade Runner 2049 For Fans Of Thought Provoking Sci-Fi

movies like blade runner 2049

The original Blade Runner became a cult classic as soon as it was released. And its well-deserved sequel Blade Runner 2049 made the 35-year wait completely worth it. We have created a list of the best sci-fi thriller movies like Blade Runner 2049, just for you. Ridley Scott had no intention of creating a sequel to the original classic because he felt that the story was complete on its own. But what he didn’t anticipate is the huge awakening of the sci-fi genre that his film would prove to be. Even against the legacy of Scott, director Dennis Villeneuve managed to create Blade Runner 2049, which some consider to be even better than the original. The Oscar-winning sequel brought back Deckard, the beloved Replicant and Ryan Gosling as the new protagonist, K. Blade Runner 2049 treats the original premise with respect even as it charts its own way. Gosling stands out with his perfect balance of emotion and physicality and the relationships around him are just as great. Ana de Armas and Jared Leto bring out complex characters with great success, and their screen presence speaks volumes of their efforts.

List Of Movies Like Blade Runner 2049

  1. Ex-Machina
  2. Interstellar
  3. Arrival
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  5. I, Robot
  6. Elysium
  7. Alien
  8. Upgrade
  9. Minority Report
  10.  Alita: Battle Angel

1. Ex-Machina (2014)

Alex Garland’s directorial debut was a welcome treat in sci-fi cinema, which draws a storyline around a programmer who, after winning an office contest, gets emotionally involved with an android who gains sentience and human consciousness. Soon, the intentions of artificial intelligence and its place in society reveal a critical shift in the power balance between them and humans.

Ex-Machina breathes new life into the old trope of AI taking over the human world. It gives us characters that you genuinely root for and keeps you guessing throughout. In a fresh take on sci-fi, Garland relies more on ideas than effects and still brings out a visual treat in this film. If you are looking for films like Blade Runner 2049, then Ex-Machina is a good choice.

2. Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is not a movie, it is an experience that you will love, no matter what genre you usually prefer. With the Earth’s future being questionable, a team of NASA researchers with former NASA pilot Cooper travel across the galaxy in an effort to find a planet that is habitable for humans. This movie takes you on a journey with them as you live through their experiences with them.

Interstellar is not nearly as fast-paced or thrilling as Blade Runner 2049, but much like Villeneuve , Nolan creates a magical experience with this atmospheric movie. The cinematography is to die for, and even researchers praised this movie for its accuracy in depicting space-time relativity and much of the science used in it. If you haven’t already watched this masterpiece and you’re looking for an atmospheric movie like Blade Runner 2049, this is it.

3. Arrival (2016)

Arrival is widely claimed as Villeneuve’s magnum opus, and for good reason. This extremely well-constructed masterpiece revolves around Louise Banks, a linguistics professor who leads a team to investigate gigantic spaceships that land on earth. The world is on the edge of war, as she tries to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial beings before a threat could annihilate all of mankind. Check out more movies like Arrival.

This movie features some of the most beautiful cinematography you will ever see. It is an immersive experience that will make sure you feel the tension, the thrill, and the threat looming over you. Not to forget the Oscar-winning sound editing that really sells the experience. You will love Arrival if you enjoy movies like Blade Runner 2049 for Villeneuve’s distinct naturalistic style blended with neo-futuristic elements.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This is the movie that helped Kubrick set the blueprint for the sci-fi genre with a complexity that to date remains unsurpassed. This incredible story revolves around a monolith that appears beneath the surface of the moon. This sparks investigations around it that lead to an expedition to Jupiter in a spacecraft with two scientists and a supercomputer HAL 9000 which creates new questions for them to answer.

The pacing makes every moment feel profound because of its seriousness and transcendence in the visuals. Geoffrey Unsworth’s cinematography along with Kubrick’s direction creates an experience that is more cryptic than the novel but hits the audience, unlike any film. Movies like Blade Runner 2049 and 2001: A Space Odyssey ride on great cinematography and are pure treats for any cinephile.

5. I, Robot (2004)

Set in 2035, robots are commonplace, programmed to coexist with humans. Technophobic detective, Del Spooner is dispatched to investigate the alleged suicide of Dr Alfred Lanning. Spooner suspects that the death was caused by one of the robots gaining sentience and is in fact a murder. Even if his suspicions are right, he’s gonna have a tough time proving his theory. 

Isaac Asimov was a genius in his imagination of future tech and it translates very well into the film adaptation. There is philosophy deep-rooted in this ostensibly loud action flick and will definitely leave you questioning your consistent dependence on AI and just how far the lines blur between humans and technology. I, Robot, is a movie similar to Blade Runner 2049 and pulls off a stunning performance in this delicate war between mankind and AI.

6. Elysium (2013)

In this futuristic dystopia, there are two classes of people: the wealthy, who live on an idyllic man-made 22nd-century space station, Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overcrowded, ruined Earth. When an unfortunate Max finds himself in a bind, he agrees to undertake a risky mission that, if successful, will not only save his life but may also bring equality to these polarised worlds.

Blomkamp’s portrayal could very well be the future we’re headed towards and that is a daunting thought that will follow you throughout the movie. The cinematography is gorgeous and the CGI is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Elysium is grounded and elicits similar sentiments as movies like Blade Runner 2049 as they portray a world that is futuristic and fantastical in that sense, but not entirely farfetched.

7. Alien (1979)

 A crew on the ship Nostromo is returning to Earth in the remote extents of space when they receive an alien distress call. Oblivious, they take one of the most terrifying creatures in the universe into their spaceship. Soon, they realise that the alien presence amongst them is anything but friendly. Their warnings to the universe against this threat are lost, because “in space, no one can hear you scream”.

Alien is an original horror classic and remains a masterpiece to date. The Oscar-winning visual effects make it amazingly atmospheric and force you to focus on the unseen, which makes for a terrifying experience. Blade Runner director, Ridley Scott presents one of his best works in Alien, with unforgettable design and construction. It is one of the finest sci-fi thrillers of all time that you’ll surely enjoy if you love movies like Blade Runner 2049.

8. Upgrade (2018)

Upgrade is one of the best cyberpunk action thrillers of the last decade. It follows Grey Trace, a technophobe who receives a cybernetic implant that allows him to control his body after an incident paralyses him. Grey, now endowed with superhuman strength, seeks vengeance on those who destroyed him. Check out more movies like Upgrade.

Upgrade is an underrated low-budget action film that surprised everybody with Whannell’s exceptional direction. The fight scenes are top notch and the cinematography is very stylish. While it may have flown under the radar when it was released, if you’re looking for films like Blade Runner 2049, this is the one that’s gonna blow your mind.

9. Minority Report (2002)

The name Steven Spielberg is synonymous with brilliance in cinema, and his direction in this movie is no exception. This futuristic action thriller is set in a time when the world has the technology to foretell crimes and apprehend criminals before they even commit them. Soon, John Anderton, Precrime Chief finds himself embroiled in a thriller when he is accused of a murder charge and he must set out to set things right.

The cybernetic invasion of tech into society’s core systems is what makes this premise truly unsettling. It’s a whodunit married into sci-fi in a fresh take on the genre. And of course, Tom Cruise in his peak form in yet another action flick makes it a truly thrilling ride. If you love the smooth action sequences in movies similar to Blade Runner 2049, you’re gonna love this too.

10. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita: Battle Angel is one of the most visually pleasing animated movies in Hollywood you’ll watch. Based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series Gunnm, this cyberpunk action film follows a deactivated cyborg, Alita, found by a mysterious Dr Ido, a cyber surgeon. She wakes up with no memory of her past and soon turns to become a hunter and accomplish her true purpose which lies beyond anything she imagined. Check out more movies like Alita Battle Angel.

Alita has been hailed as an example of anime done right in Hollywood. With a story as gripping, there is no compromise on the CGI-heavy visuals. The characters are very well-rounded and the action sequences are extremely impressive. With James Cameron as one of the writers on board, there’s really nothing you can do wrong with this pick if you love great sci-fi action films like Blade Runner 2049.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few films like Blade Runner 2049 that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Passengers
  2. Oblivion
  3. Ghost in the Shell

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.

Lost

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

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