The Matrix The franchise played a pivotal role in bringing the cyberpunk genre to American audiences in 1999, and that’s part of the reason the genre is currently experiencing a resurgence. Cyberpunk mixes contemporary sci-fi storytelling with bizarre, futuristic visuals and groundbreaking action sequences, and the combination is too cool to ignore. Of course, another reason for the genre’s enduring popularity is that many classic cyberpunk movies also feature appropriate predictions of today’s life, making them all the more relevant despite their years.
With Matrix resurrections bringing Neo and Trinity back after an 18-year hiatus, there’s no better time to rediscover the essential agenda of cyberpunk movies.
ten Tron (1982)
With his early uses of computer animation and video game-inspired imagery, Tron remains a classic of the cyberpunk genre. He follows a video game developer who is trapped in a digital world as he tries to find proof of software plagiarism from his former employer. To find his way and stop the rogue AI in the system, he has to play life like a video game.
In many ways, Tron is a PG-rated alternative to The matrix, raising similar questions about simulated reality while remaining thrilling and action-packed until the end. A suite titled Tron legacy was released in 2010, and a third film is in development.
9 Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
While most people have forgotten the role of Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic, the film is a cult classic of the cyberpunk genre and deserves to be revisited. It’s an adaptation of William Gibson’s dystopian sci-fi story of the same name, about a man who has a cybernetic implant used to store and retrieve data for high net worth clients.
The film is set in 2021, which is worth watching just to compare its hyper-stylized world to that of today. And the cast is phenomenal: Reeves stars alongside Dolph Lundgren, Dina Meyer, Ice-T and even Takeshi Kitano (from Takeshi Castle).
8 Robocop (1987)
The violent and transgressive masterpiece of action cinema by Paul Verhoeven, RoboCop is one of the most extreme examples of the cyberpunk genre’s early emphasis on metallic imagery. It’s the biting, satirical story of a cop who is killed on duty and resurrected as a ruthless cyborg executor.
Writer Edward Neumeier conceived the premise of the film while working on the set of Blade runner, and one of his biggest visual inspirations is the first dystopian sci-fi film Metropolis. However, even with these fantastic films lighting his way, RoboCop remains a unique experience that must be seen to be believed.
7 New Rose Hotel (1998)
that of Abel Ferrera New Rose Hotel was criticized by critics when it was released, but has recently become a cult classic. As Johnny Mnemonic, it is based on a short story by William Gibson. It’s a futuristic take on corporate espionage, following two businessmen who are hired by a mega-corporation to ârelocateâ a brilliant scientist from his current employers to them.
His themes of isolation and loneliness connect him to other films that offer premonitory descriptions of life in the internet age, such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa Impulse, and of course, The matrix.
6 Artificial Intelligence AI (2001)
AI Artificial Intelligence is a thought-provoking science fiction film from legendary director Steven Spielberg. He follows a robot boy programmed to show unconditional love, a trait that makes him unable to fit in anywhere in the world.
The film is dedicated to director Stanley Kubrick, who worked on the story for many years before passing it on to Spielberg. With the best career performance of Haley Joel Osment, AI Artificial Intelligence is a one-of-a-kind story combining the best traits of two of history’s greatest filmmakers.
5 eXistenZ (1999)
Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in eXistenZ, a body horror film from genre master David Cronenberg that is unlike anything he has ever done. Although his science fiction film Videodrome is in many ways an early example of cyberpunk, eXistenZ goes even further by diving deep into virtual reality.
The plot follows the character of Leigh, a VR game designer who flees in her latest creation to escape a tormented assassin. The deeper it goes, the blurrier the difference between the game and real life begins to get. eXistenZ came out a few weeks later The matrix, which might explain why it took so long for it to get the attention it deserves. But the two films together form a fantastic double feature film.
4 Pi (1998)
Although it didn’t attract the same attention as his later work, Pi is one of Darren Aronofsky’s best films. The low-budget sci-fi neo-noir was inspired by the work of director Shinya Tsukamoto. After watching Tsukamoto shine Fist of Tokyo, Aronofsky wrote in his diary that he wanted “Bring cyberpunk to America”.
A unique work in American cinema emerged, the story of a mathematician who tries to reconcile the illogical nature of the universe with the uniformity of numbers. It’s a fascinating, deep, and surreal psychological thriller that ended up grossing over $ 3 million on a budget of just $ 60,000.
3 Akira (1988)
Akira was a direct inspiration for The matrix, and on science fiction in general: it’s hard to find a post-1988 cyberpunk movie that owes nothing to director Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo, it follows the leader of a motorcycle gang whose best friend gains superhuman powers after being unwittingly exposed to government experimentation.
Akira is an animated film, and it has provided an introduction to the medium for much of the Western world. Violent, nightmarish and decidedly rebellious, it’s a must-have for anyone interested in the origins of cyberpunk.
2 Blade Runner (1982)
It goes without saying that the Ridley Scott classic in 1982 Blade runner strongly influenced the Matrix franchise. The Wachowski sisters, the directors of the franchise, said at a online question-and-answer segment that they were among the only ones who loved him when they first saw him. “Blade runner was a benchmark sci-fi film, a masterpiece, “they said, but very few liked it at first. It’s certainly appreciated now, and critical success Blade Runner 2049 only improved the original’s position as a formative work in the cyberpunk genre.
The dystopian drama follows a “blade runner”, a man whose job it was to eliminate bio-designed beings (“replicants”) when they ceased to be of use to their parent society. When several of these replicants escape to earth, it is his job to hunt them down and eliminate them.
1 Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Mamoru Oshii Ghost in the shell follows Motoko Kusanagi hybrid man-mechanic, the stiff leader of a counterterrorism security force. His reality and sense of self are put to the test by a villain, known only as “The Puppetmaster”, who lurks in the shadows of cyberspace.
Ghost in the shellThe groundbreaking action sequences of ‘are particularly inspiring to the Wachowskis, who told producers “we want to do this for real” throwing The matrix. A 4K restoration of the film is currently showing in IMAX theaters in the United States, Japan and Canada.
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