It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the much-anticipated launch of CD Projekt Red’s latest title, Cyberpunk 2077 has gone about as smoothly as a political debate. Plagued with game-breaking bugs, glitches and crashes that make Besthesda look like a competent studio by comparison. Many gamers are giving up or switching off until a few patches and fixes have been implemented to improve the experience on the older consoles but fear not, TBG is here to ensure you get your much-needed dose of neon-soaked, thought-provoking, gritty violence in the form of ten Cyberpunk themed movies to watch.
What is Cyberpunk?
No simple statement will be able to fully cover what Cyberpunk is but here’s one we found earlier.
Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that features advanced science and technology in an urban, dystopian future. On one side you have powerful mega-corporations and private security forces, and on the other, you have the dark and gritty underworld of illegal trade, gangs, drugs, and vice. In between all of this are politics, corruption, and social upheaval.
So it’s pretty much London in ten years time, now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a look at our ten movies in no particular order!
Director – Paul Verhoeven
Starring – Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O’Herlihy.
Running Time – 1 hour and 43 minutes
PART MAN, PART MACHINE, ALL COP. Taking place in Detroit in the “not-too-distant” future. Heroic cop Alex Murphy is gunned down in the line of duty, only to be resurrected as RoboCop a cybernetic mix of spare human parts and Motor City steel, and the latest defence against crime designed by the all-powerful OCP Corporation. As RoboCop’s memories of his former life as Murphy resurface, only his ex-partner stands beside him to fight against the vicious thugs responsible for his death, as well as a nefarious top-level OCP executive orchestrating the chaos from above. Full of great quotes, stunning visual effects and ultra-violent action, this classic should not be missed!
Director – The Wachowskis
Starring – Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Running Time – 2 hours and 16 minutes
Forget the crappy sequels and their dance routine combat, this is the only Matrix you need to concern yourself with. Neo seeks the truth about the Matrix. Only one man has the answer, an elusive dangerous man who is known as Morpheus. A stranger called Trinity invites Neo to follow a white rabbit which guides him into a parallel world. Reality is a world run by artificially intelligent machines who control the human slaves in a simulated 20th Century. Though this one has been replicated many times the original concept is still the best.
Director – Paul Verhoeven
Starring – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside
Running Time – 1 hour and 53 minutes
Get ready for a surprise! No movie list is complete without a bit of Arnie, and although there are a few to choose from, The Terminator, The 6th Day and The Running Man, it has to be the mind-bending and ultra-violent Total Recall for this list. Doug Quaid is a happily married construction worker living in the year 2084, but is haunted by a recurrent dream in which he is living with a woman on Mars. Rekall Incorporated offer him the chance to live out his dream through a microchip which implants any memories their client desires into their brain. But something goes wrong during the installation of Quaid’s memories of a trip to Mars and soon he lands upon the planet for real, unsure of his true identity and pursued by a gang out for his blood. He teams up with a group of resistance fighters to uncover a mystery which leads to the highest echelons of the planet’s government.
Director – Ridley Scott
Starring – Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos
Running Time – 1 hour and 57 minutes
Considered by many to be the definitive big-screen Cyberpunk experience by the master of Sci-Fi, Ridley Scott. In LA in 2019 (granted this was filmed back in 1982) ex-cop Rick Deckard is hired to track down and kill a group of androids, known as replicants, who have escaped from a satellite colony and travelled to Earth illegally. As two of the AWOL replicants seek refuge in a geneticist’s house, Deckard takes his investigation to their makers, the Tyrell Corporation, where he falls in love with Rachael, herself an android, but with a memory chip that convinces her, she is human.
Director – Kathryn Bigelow
Starring – Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott
Running Time – 2 hours and 19 minutes
An apocalyptic turn-of-the-century tale of ex-cop Lenny, who deals in SQUIDs, stolen dreams which can be re-lived by the wearer of a special device. Lenny becomes involved in the murder of a famous pop star when he is sent a SQUID containing the rape and killing of one of his contacts. Ralph Fiennes performance begins a bit hammy here but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this gritty delight.
Director – Leigh Whannell
Starring – Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen
Running Time – 1 hour and 40 minutes
In a near-future world, where technology controls everything, technophobe Grey Trace is the victim of a brutal mugging that leaves his wife dead and he paralyzed. A reclusive billionaire inventor offers him an experimental cure, an A.I. implant called STEM. Grey accepts and is immediately transformed into an unstoppable killing machine with enhanced strength and agility but to gain something means losing something else. Now it’s payback time. This one dropped out of nowhere but is worth a look for fans of flashy violent action and revenge stories.
Director – Pete Travis
Starring – Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Domhnall Gleeson
Running Time – 1 hour and 35 minutes
The future, America is an irradiated wasteland. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One, a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities. A heinous crime calls them to a neighbourhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture, a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. Ultraviolent, ultra-stylish and a gritty look into 2000AD’s dystopian future world.
Director – Geoff Murphy
Starring – Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Banks
Running Time – 1 hour and 46 minutes
Freejack is essentially a movie that features Mick Jagger as a futuristic bounty hunter, what more do you need to convince you? Racing car driver Alex Furlong is heading into a fatal car crash when he is plucked from his seat and transported twenty years into the future. He has been brought forward in time by Vacendak, a mercenary hired to recapture a body from the past so that it might be used to bring a dead corporation head back to life. Furlong goes on the run, but Vacendak is determined to collect his reward and won’t let the time traveller get away easily.
Ghost in the Shell
Director – Rupert Sanders
Starring – Scarlett Johansson, Michael Wincott, Michael Pitt,
Running Time – 1 hour and 47 minutes
I can just imagine all the purists clenching their buttocks in disapproval at this version of Ghost in the Shell being added to the list, yes it is style over substance but it is also in its own right a very entertaining and action-packed movie. In the near future, Major is the first of her kind, a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to, and her life was not saved. Instead, it was stolen.
Director – Alex Garland
Starring – Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander.
Running time – 1 hour and 48 minutes
In the mountain retreat of a gifted internet billionaire, a young man takes part in a strange experiment: testing an artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl. But the experiment twists into a dark psychological battle, where loyalties are torn between man and machine. This thought-provoking title will keep you hooked from start to finish with its contained plot and small yet highly skilled cast.
So there it is, ten cyberpunk-themed movies to keep you entertained, what did you think of our list? Let us know in the comments and on social media and let us know what other great Cyberpunk movies you have been checking out.