10 Old-School Sci-Fi Movies That Actually Predicted The Future – Screen Rant

The science-fiction genre is full of mind-bending concepts but sometimes, films like Blade Runner and Total Recall have actually predicted the future.
The science-fiction genre has always been a fascination for audiences. It is a genre that is limitless in its possibilities, showing viewers things beyond their wildest imaginations. However, every so often, a sci-fi movie is able to give an accurate glimpse into the future.
RELATED: 10 Critically Panned Sci-Fi Sequels That Weren’t Actually That Bad
Looking into the future is a common element of sci-fi and it is fascinating to look back on some of the older movies in the genre to see what their ideas of the future were. While many of these movies were way off, there are certain sci-fi ideas that have actually made their way into our modern society, turning these wild dreams into reality.
Most fans will remember Total Recall for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wild trip to Mars. Modern society is still working towards the whole colonizing Mars idea, but seeing as the movie takes place in 2084, there’s still time to catch up.
However, one aspect that the movie did get right was the memorable sequence in which Schwarzenegger gets in a car chase using a “Johnny Cab,” a self-driving taxi. Self-driving cars have yet to really become mainstream yet, but it’s safe to assume there will be these self-driving cabs in the next decade.
Ridley Scott’s science-fiction noir masterpiece Blade Runner is a stunning look at the future which, at that time, was 2019. While the movie was overly optimistic in its depiction of flying cars, it did manage to get a few things right.
RELATED: Blade Runner: 10 Tropes Of Film Noir (& How It Puts A Sci-Fi Twist On Them)
When thinking of the stunning look of the movie, it’s hard not to think about those digital billboards that fill the dystopian skyline. Nowadays, such billboards are frequently used for advertising in big cities. With Blade Runner 2049‘s upgrade to holographic advertising, it will be interesting to see how long before that becomes normal as well.
There are some who would argue against classifying Star Wars as a science-fiction movie feeling it is closer to fantasy. While that’s a valid point, the fact that it was able to predict some future technology means it at least has a bit of sci-fi in its blood.
Quite surprisingly, it seems like lightsabers will soon be a real-world thing, but the movie’s use of holograms was more impactful. The famous holographic message of Princess Leia that R2-D2 plays paved the way for deceased celebrities to give concerts as holograms.
Soylent Green is a movie that is more famous for its twist ending than anything else. It tells the story of a future in which overcrowding and overpopulation have created a shortage of resources, including food, which leads to the infamous reveal.
While the movie shows the world in a catastrophic state that certainly feels dramatic compared to our current society, it does deal with a global threat that is very much a modern concern. Part of the reason the world’s resources are unstainable is because of global warming and climate change, an idea that was not commonly discussed at the time of the movie.
Based on the famous novel by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 tells the dystopian story of a society in which literature has been outlawed and enforcement agents known as firemen as tasked with burning all books.
RELATED: 10 Most Frightening Dystopian Societies In Fiction, Ranked
While there’s probably a lot that can be said about how literature is appreciated in this day and age, the movie managed to predict a piece of tech that has become extremely common in everyday life. Though the movie refers to them as “thimble radios” these tiny earpieces used for listening and communication are strikingly similar to modern earbuds and Bluetooth headsets.
The silent movie Metropolis is seen as one of the most influential sci-fi movies of all time. It features an inventor character who creates a robotic humanoid, then crafts it to look similar to another character in the movie.
Robots have been a common feature in the sci-fi genre forever and Metropolis is likely a big reason for that. It also helped scientists work to recreate such inventions over the years to the point that they are now used by businesses and there are even life-like examples of humanoid robots.
Like many sci-fi stories of its era, Logan’s Run begins by introducing a seemingly idyllic view of the future before the darkness of that world reveals itself. The society presented in the movie lives in a utopia where every aspect of life is made as simple as possible.
One of the most notable aspects is the home that responds to its owner’s commands, turning on lights, playing music, and ordering food. Nowadays, this is something that is quite common with those who have smart home technology and has become something we take for granted.
A Trip to the Moon was a silent movie by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, which was ground-breaking in its use of effects in the early days of motion pictures. Given the fact that it came so early in the history of movies, it’s very impressive that it managed to also look into the future.
RELATED: 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies Under 90 Minutes
It used the new visual medium to imagine a future in which humans could travel to the moon in a rocket. The fact that the rocket was shot out of a cannon and landed in the eye of the Man in theMoon does not take away from how amazing it is that this story came true.
The sci-fi action movie Demolition Man is the most recent movie on this list, so it’s interesting that its prediction of the future is also the timeliest. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a cop who was cryogenically frozen only to be thawed out in the year 2032 to hunt down a madman from his past.
Demolition Man gained a new interest during the COVID-19 pandemic for the eerie similarities between its imagined future and life in lockdown. Everything from a society that avoids shaking hands to toilet paper no longer being available hit very close to home.
Perhaps the most acclaimed sci-fi movie of all time is also one that had shockingly good insight into future advancements. 2001: A Space Odyssey begins in prehistoric times, but once it gets into the future, modern fans will start to notice a lot of recognizable things.
While commercial space travel is still being worked out, the movie shows tablet computers and video calling being used. Of course, the most famous piece of tech in the movie is HAL 9000, an artificial intelligence computer that turns murderous. Thankfully, modern A.I. helpers like Alexa are much friendlier.
NEXT: 2001: A Space Odyssey & 9 Other Classic Avant-Garde Films Fans Need To Check Out
Colin McCormick is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been a proud member of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Colin is also a writer of News, Feature and Review pieces at Game Rant. Colin has had a long passion and obsession with movies going back to the first time he saw The Lion King in theaters. Along with movies, Colin stays up-to-date on the latest must-see TV shows. While he loves to find interesting projects in any kind of genre, he has a special movie of crime stories that are infused with a little dark humor much like the work of his favorite author, Elmore Leonard.