ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

We like to imagine a future where everyone flies around in hover cars wearing one-piece jumpsuits. However, countless movies and literature have shown that the future could just as easily be a smoldering pile of rubble over-watched by murderous AI or gangs of wasteland raiders.

's Elysium and 's After Earth commit to both of these contradictory visions of the future. On one hand, Elysium's city in the clouds comes complete with cancer curing machines. On the other, it reveals decrepit shantytowns existing within the carcass of former Earthly civilizations. The same goes for After Earth: There's only so much high-tech weaponry can do while facing evolved animal species on unfamiliar terrains, even if it is crashlanding into theaters a week early.

It's with this dichotomy in mind that we've decided to delve into movie history to find the most optimistic and the most depressing movie futures. Check out the infographic below and take a trip from lofty idealism all the way down to the decaying, sob-inducing worlds of our nightmares (click to enlarge).


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