13 Best Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Movies

2020 has been pretty bad, but the future could always be a lot worse...

Children of Men Poster
Universal Pictures

Cinema's vision for the future can be a fascinating place. Hover-boards glide across the pristine pavement as customers sip coffee in cloud-breaking skyscrapers. Every wish and whim is catered for, which doesn't stop an uncomfortable amount of people getting freaky with robots.

Yet this gleaming futuristic fantasy isn't always what the movies show us. What if humans don't make it? Aliens could wipe us out, extreme weather could render the world uninhabitable, or maybe the cause of humanity's downfall will be (shock horror) ourselves!

We're used to disappointment with the future: we all thought the new decade would bring light into our dark lives, but then 2020 entered like an unexpected flame at a gasoline convention and ruined everything. But while 2020 has been pretty dreadful, these wholly depressing flicks show us that things could be a hell of a lot worse.

To clarify, this doesn't mean dystopian sci-fi flicks like Blade Runner and Equilibrium, nor post-apocalyptic greats like I Am Legend, The Road, and 28 Days Later will count here. Only a mix of burnt-out buildings, social collapse, and existential dread alongside cool spaceships, technological advances, and a sprinkling of time-travel will do...

13. Serenity

Children of Men Poster
Universal Pictures

After the untimely cancellation of Firefly, Joss Whedon got the chance to finish parts of the story in the feature film Serenity. Mal (Nathan Fillion) and his rag-tag crew are still bouncing from job to job. This time, however, all is not well with their psychic passenger River Tam, whose mental condition is becoming worse. It doesn't help that the deadly Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is out to hunt her down.

The premise of both the show and film follow a post-apocalypse, as the Earth-That-Was becomes inhospitable, and Earth's inhabitants take to the stars to colonise other worlds. But if that isn't enough for die-hard post-apocalyptic fans, Serenity hides a creepy post-apocalyptic conspiracy subplot.

Serenity resolves the many unanswered questions left from Firefly's cancellation, including the purpose behind River's kidnapping, the Reavers' origin, Simon and Kaylee's relationship, as well as allowing Mal to stand against the dictating Alliance one last time.

While Serenity may overload newcomers to the Firefly series, the film astounds with thrilling action sequences, gorgeous cinematography courtesy of a feature film budget, and incredibly bold plot choices.

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A journalist who can't fall asleep during films; it's a blessing and a curse. Indie games are the spice of my life.