#Movies & TV
Best Dystopian Romance Movies
by Jennifer Lafferty
Dystopian films can be pretty formulaic: Crumbling society, a hero with perfect facial symmetry, and a budding love interest in the rubble of former civilization. But somehow, they get us every time. Here are the best dystopian romance movies ever.
The Time Machine
The 1960 sci-fi classic The Time Machine, based on H.G. Wells’ novel, centers on a Victorian-era scientist (Rod Taylor) who travels to a dystopian future. But his romance with a futuristic dreamgirl (Yvette Mimieux) steals the show.
Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in this offbeat 2015 Cannes Film Festival prize-winner set in a dystopian near-future where single people are arrested and transformed into beasts if they don’t find a mate in forty-five days.
The Hunger Games
Based on Suzanne Collins’ bestseller, The Hunger Games launched a massively popular movie franchise and features a deeply compelling romance between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who fall in love while fighting to survive.
Released just before Star Wars revolutionized sci-fi movies, this popular 1976 film starring Michael York and Jenny Gutter, follows a couple who try to escape a utopian society which has the drawback that no one can live past 30.
Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor star in this action-adventure romance about a world sealed against pollution. The inhabitants hope to win an ongoing lottery to live in the coveted pathogen-free-zone, but learn it’s too good to be true.
King of Hearts
This classic 1966 dramedy, set in WWI France, revolves around a soldier (Alan Bates) who falls for a beautiful, eccentric girl (Genevieve Bujold) while struggling to locate a bomb in a town taken over by patients of a mental hospital.
Based on George Orwell’s sobering and thought-provoking novel about a futuristic totalitarian superstate, 1984 stars John Hurt as Winston, a man whose job is to rewrite history. Winston dares to rebel against society by falling in love.
This futuristic 1995 thriller follows a convict (Bruce Willis) who’s sent back in time to research a man-made virus, which has wiped out most of humankind, and becomes romantically involved with his assigned psychiatrist (Madeleine Stowe). Brad Pitt also stars.
Superhero films typically center on a character who’s trying to save the world from evil, like 1989’s Batman, starring Michael Keaton as The Dark Knight and Kim Basinger as love-struck reporter Vicki Vale, who chronicles his activities.
The Fifth Element
The fate of the universe depends on a cab driver, Korben (Bruce Willis), and supreme being Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), who search for a cosmic weapon to fight evil in the 1997 sci-fi adventure The Fifth Element.
Z for Zachariah
An intriguing love triangle is formed by civilizations’ three last known survivors following a disaster that kills most of the population in 2015’s Z for Zachariah, starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
This 1999 franchise starter follows Neo (Keanu Reeves), who joins a movement to free humans from computerized brainwashing, eventually becoming romantically involved with hacker and rebel Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who teams up with him on dangerous missions.
In 1993’s Demolition Man, love blooms between recently thawed out 20th century LAPD Sgt. John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) and mid-21st century Lieutenant Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock), despite being from very different worlds, as they try to prevent a criminal uprising.
V for Vendetta
Like so many popular dystopian-themed films, 2005’s V for Vendetta revolves around a plot to overthrow a futuristic tyranny. Hugo Weaving plays the revolutionary V, who’s united with love interest Evey (Natalie Portman) in a mission for freedom.
Being a misfit is never easy, but in 2014’s Divergent it could be fatal. Divergents Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) fall in love as they struggle to uncover their threat to society before it’s too late.