10 Sci-Fi Movies Where The Humans Are The Bad Guys

Even humanity can be inhumane sometimes.

Dennis Nedry Jurassic Park
Universal Pictures

Science fiction is founded on ideas such as sentient machines, alien lifeforms, or a combination of both. More often than not, these weird entities seem to take the role of the enemy by default. Visiting aliens are always invading, and rogue robots are always hellbent on destroying all organic life. Films like Independence Day are a classic testament to this trend.

But every now and then, the tables are turned, and it's us Earthlings who step forward to play the villain. Be it through simple distrust of things that are different, or even just good old-fashioned evil, humanity is often capable of causing way more harm than the scary green men and talking computers.

As citizens of a technology-driven age where science fiction and science fact can often overlap, what do films like these say about our real-life preconceptions of life among the stars?

The following 10 movies are prime examples of times where humans are not the innocent golden boys that sci-fi usually portrays them as. In a genre that lends itself so well to interpretation, a lot of these entries require an open mind, so be warned.

10. The Matrix (1999)

Dennis Nedry Jurassic Park
Warner Bros.

Right off the bat, this is one that needs a bit of explaining.

As told by Morpheus, humanity's cruel treatment of the sentient machines they had created led to a revolt, which then turned into an all-out war between flesh and metal. Since the film is told from the humans' point of view, you don't necessarily get the full picture (which may very well have been intentional of Morpheus in order to persuade Neo to help him).

In fact, the machines just wanted to exist without being treated as slaves. The human race went to one final drastic measure to win, namely destroying the atmosphere and effectively dooming themselves. While the machines could easily have picked them off at this point, they instead let the humans live inside a virtual reality, the Matrix, and in doing so ensured the continuing survival of both species.

So, only when Morpheus threatens to change all this do the metal sentinels turn overtly hostile. This viewpoint really sheds a new light on the crusade of the Nebuchadnezzar's crew.


Graduate composer, on-and-off session musician, aspiring novelist, professional nerd. Where procrastination and cynicism intertwine, Lee Clarke can be found.