10 Cyberpunk Movies To Watch While Waiting For Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk Movies

By now you’ve probably heard that developer CD Projekt Red has delayed Cyberpunk 2077 until September. I would personally rather wait a few extra months to get a better quality game than have them push out a broken mess. The delay does leave me with some extra time on my hands, though, so it’s time to fill that void with some other cyberpunk goodness. There are plenty of older games that we could play through to get our cyber-fix, but this week I chose to rummage through the plethora of cyberpunk movies and TV series and picked out 10 cyberpunk movies to watch while we wait. Many of the obvious choices (The Matrix, Total Recall, etc) were passed over to help highlight some movies that may have been missed, so be sure to toss out a few choices of your own in the comments below.

Altered Carbon

  • Release Date: February 2, 2018
  • Where you can watch: Netflix

With all the hype around Netflix’s The Witcher, it’s easy to forget the streaming service had some other top-notch series in 2019. Anyone who has already watched Altered Carbon knows exactly why the show found its way onto this list. It has everything a cyberpunk movie needs: dark, dystopian metropolis with a Grand Canyon-sized gap between the haves and the have nots, full-on cloning and transferring the consciousness to another body, and a sleazy hotel run by Poe, a very human-like AI system.

Altered Carbon is blessed with a twist-filled murder mystery plot and strong performances by its cast. Season One released in February 2018, giving us a full ten-episode schedule. Netflix just announced that Season 2 will premiere on February 27, so anyone new to the series can binge both seasons before Cyberpunk 2077 comes out in September.

Blade Runner

  • Release Date: June 25, 1982
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

Blade Runner stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a blade runner tasked with hunting down four Replicants, bioengineered humans created for menial labor on off-world colonies, who have illegally come to Earth and must be ‘retired.’ The futuristic setting of 2019 Los Angeles didn’t quite come to fruition, but many of the dark themes of the movie still hit home in today’s society. There have been multiple versions of the film released, make sure you hunt down a copy of the 25th Anniversary Final Cut version from 2007.

Blade Runner 2049

  • Release Date: October 6, 2017
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

Blade Runner 2049 takes us 30 years forward in the world first shown to us in 1982’s Blade Runner. With newly found evidence that replicants are capable of reproduction, police officer K, a replicant himself, must locate and ‘retire’ the child before her existence sparks a human-replicant war. Clues found along the way will have K questioning his own identity. Overall, the film stays true to the theme and style of the original and even brings back a few of the original characters. I’ve seen both the 1982 original and Blade Runner 2049 multiple times and I still can’t decide which is better. I suggest doubling down and watching both. 

Ghost in the Shell

  • Release Date: March 29, 1996
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

I am not a huge anime fan, but Ghost In The Shell is on my shortlist of must-watch movies from the genre. The original manga has spawned multiple movies and TV series that follow the story of the counter-cyber terrorist agency Public Security Section 9. The original 1996 movie is my favorite but the rest of the franchise is worth a watch if you have the time. For anyone who can’t get past the aesthetics of anime films, there is a 2017 live-action movie starring Scarlett Johansson that is worth a watch even though it doesn’t quite rise to the quality of the original.

Dollhouse

  • Release Date: February 13, 2009 – January 29, 2010
  • Where you can watch: Hulu, Prime Video

Anyone familiar with the work of Joss Whedon is probably familiar with the TV series Dollhouse. It’s no Firefly (one of my favorite shows of all time) but the series is another fantastic show that prematurely found itself on the Fox chopping block after just two seasons. Only one of two TV series to make the list, Dollhouse may not be set in a dark, gritty future, but it still explores the effect of the hubris and perversion brought upon by extreme wealth. 

Alita: Battle Angel

  • Release Date: January 31, 2019
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

Alita: Battle Angel maybe a little light on plot but it more than makes up for it with excellent fight scenes. Set in a futuristic Earth that was decimated by a great war, the story begins with Dr. Dyson Ito finding a functioning human brain inside a damaged cyborg body. After replanting the brain in a new body, Ito does his best to dissuade the now functional Alita (named after his deceased daughter) from recovering her lost memories. Like any other teen, Alita ignores his requests and takes us on a blood-filled adventure of self-discovery. Alita Battle Angel holds true to the old idiom ‘never judge a book by its cover.’

Upgrade

When Grey Trace and his wife are attacked by four men, a shot to his neck severs his spinal cord and his wife is killed. Upgrade poses the question of how far a person would go to enact revenge. For Trace, the answer is allowing an experimental microchip to be implanted in his neck, giving him the use of his body again. The chip is much more powerful than that, though, complete with an AI capable of enhancing Trace’s abilities. It only goes downhill from there.

Johnny Mnemonic

  • Release Date: May 26, 1995
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

Before you question my sanity and ask why Johnny Mnemonic is on a must watch list, I have just two words for you: Keanu Reeves.

Welcome to a very bleak future where society suffers from NAS, a degenerative effect caused by the overuse of a Virtual Internet as well as the typical rise of the Megacorps. Data courier Johnny (Keanu Reeves) accepts a job to transport sensitive data from Tokyo to New Jersey but right after the info is uploaded the office is attacked and the doctors are unable to send the encryption keys needed to unlock the data are transmitted to his destination. With only 48 hours before the overloaded implant kills him, Johnny must recover the encryption keys and safely download the data, all while evading the Yakuza, an assassin, and pretty much everyone else who wants the data.

Elysium

  • Release Date: August 9, 2013
  • Where you can watch: Prime Video

In Elysium the wealthy literally rise the downtrodden, living in paradise aboard the space station Elysium while the rest of humanity is left to survive on a dying Earth. The story follows Max De Costa, played by Matt Damon, who is exposed to a terminal dose of radiation in a work accident. With only five days to live, Max must find a way to reach Elysium where he can treat his sickness, and possibly save the rest of humanity along the way.

Equilibrium

In the dystopian future of Equilibrium war has been eradicated, but at what cost? Books, art, and music have been banned, and emotions are suppressed by the drug Prozium. Christian Bale is fabulous in his role as John Preston, a Clerick trained to elegantly use force to eliminate any who resist the regime. John misses a dose of Prozium and is introduced to emotions he has never been able to experience before. You’re in for a wild ride as John uses his martial training to fight against the Masters that created him.

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

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