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
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- I, Robot
- Minority Report
- 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.
Here are a few films like Blade Runner 2049 that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Ghost in the Shell