Netflix Movie Night: 10 Dystopic, Post-Apocalyptic Flicks

Netflix Movie Night: 10 Dystopic, Post-Apocalyptic Flicks

Now listen here, Netflix ain’t just for fun-time happy-go-lucky family-friendly movies. If you do a little bit of looking, you’ll find yourself some real genuine hard-hitting, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking motion pictures. If you want to indulge in a bit of thinking on how the world might end up if climate change or the financial crisis or a complete robot uprising ends us all, do we have a weekend of movie watching for you.

Gizmodo’s weekly Netflix movie night is presented by the new HP Spectre x360. Any way you bend it, the Spectre x360 delivers. With four modes, lightning-fast performance, and impressive battery life, this convertible PC has the best of all worlds and the shortcomings of none.

Post-apocalyptic movies not your cup of tea? Check out our other Netflix Movie Night suggestions.

And, yes, all of these movies are available on Netflix Australia. Enjoy!

Escape From New York

Escape From New York takes the idea of a dystopic future and runs headlong into the end zone with it; imagine a world where an entire city — New York City, in fact — has been turned into a giant prison. Oh, and the President of the United States’ plane has just crash-landed right in the middle of it, and there’s only one man that can save him — Snake Plissken. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: In the near future, criminal and war hero Snake must rescue the President from New York City — which has been turned into a maximum-security prison.

IMDb: In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.


Daybreakers is a futuristic flick from the Spierig brothers, Aussies who have made it in Hollywood. In it, the planet is slowly becoming prey to a virus that is turning all of humanity into vampires. And they’re thirsty. One problem, though — with a world full of vampires, who’s going to supply the blood? This is a world gone mad and falling to pieces. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: In this creepy thriller, Earth faces a plague that’s transforming everyone into vampires and draining the world of its most precious resource: blood.

IMDb: In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later is the sequel to Danny Boyle’s brilliant 28 Days Later, and it’s also set in a London and England completely ravaged and savaged by the zombie virus Rage. This time, though, the virus is dead, the zombies have all starved, and it’s all safe. Or… is it? (No, it’s not. It’s not safe, guys. Look at the movie poster. Look at the trailer. This is not a safe place to bring your kids.) Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: Convinced that danger has come and gone, a group of Americans travel to the decimated British isles and learn that the scourge continues to live.

IMDb: Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.


Dredd‘s dystopic Mega-City One is a hotbed of crime and villainy, no place moreso than the completely-inappropriately named Peach Trees. 96 per cent of its 75,000 residents are unemployed, and the top floors are ruled by the crime lord Maw-Maw. Who better to clean up the scum and filth than righteous lawmaker Judge Dredd? Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: In a catastrophic future, the remaining population is crowded into megacities, where all-powerful and ultraviolent cops are hunting for terrorists.

IMDb: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys is some seriously messed up stuff. A convict is sent back in time to stop the spread of a deadly man-made virus that destroys 99 per cent of the population by the year 2035; in 1996 the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is the carrier of that plague, and there’s only one man that can stop them. Brad Pitt. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: In the year 2035, a convict volunteers to travel back in time to determine the origin of a deadly virus that wiped out the population decades earlier.

IMDb: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

City of Ember

City of Ember follows a mankind at the end of its time, about to fade quietly into the night. The city of Ember, though, is deep below the surface of the planet and designed to run entirely on manmade power — everything including its light. When that power starts to struggle, it’s the job of two young people to fix it and keep their city — and humanity — alive. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: Dependent on artificial light, an underground city is in peril when its power falters. Two teens set out to stop darkness from engulfing their home.

IMDb: For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember’s once powerful generator is failing … and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.

The Matrix

The Matrix is a cyberpunk dystopia where the entirety of the human race is trapped and living inside a computer simulation. A few free souls make it their life’s work to liberate everyone from the machine. If you need even one reason to watch The Matrix — and there are lots of reasons — it’s the slow-mo bullet time. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: A computer hacker learns that what most people perceive as reality is actually a simulation created by machines and joins a rebellion to break free.

IMDb: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Death Race

Death Race is ridiculous. It’s a ridiculous post-apocalyptic nightmare land where America is economically ruined and in the midst of mass unemployment; if you’re a criminal with a life sentence, you’re sent to Terminal Island to literally race for your life. Watch Jason Statham crash his car into other cars, which subsequently explode. A lot. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: An ex-con turned speedway champion is framed for a grisly murder and forced to compete in a grueling three-day race against his fellow inmates.

IMDb: Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world’s most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.

V For Vendetta

V For Vendetta is a classic story, reimagined by the same brains behind The Matrix. It’s a political thriller, but it’s also a futuristic apocalyptic wasteland where the fascist government beats down the worldwide populace and brutally subjugates any kind of dissident. It’s a story of a working class girl fighting against this kind of totalitarian regime, and the masked hero V who she meets along the way. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: A masked freedom fighter known as “V” takes up arms against a totalitarian government and finds an unlikely ally in a young woman.

IMDb: In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of “V”, plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

The Road

The Road. Oh man. This one is rough. This is a faithful movie adaptation of Cormack McCarthy’s novel of the travel of a dying man and his son through a land where civilisation has completely collapsed, the earth is breathing its final ragged breaths, and the few humans left have turned to cannibalism and other horrendous acts to survive. Watch this one and weep. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: Set in a postapocalyptic future, this end-of-days tale follows two survivors, a father and son, who take to the road in search of a better life.

IMDb: In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

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