10 Films That Guessed the Future

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Ever get that feeling, when you’re watching a film from ten, twenty, thirty years ago, and it shows a flash forward to the future and you think-“YES! They predicted the future!”. Some films get their vision of the future so disturbingly right that it’s hard to believe filmmakers didn’t have access to information we didn’t. So, without further ado, here’s a list of crystal ball movies that predicted the future. Number seven is so close it’s scary…

11.The Truman Show

Think about the kind of TV you’ve been watching for the last few weeks-chances are, whether you’ve intended to or not, you’ve stumbled upon some form of reality TV. While not all forms are as intense or survellaince-y as depicted in the Truman Show, the movie-which centres around Jim Carey who is constantly filmed without his knowledge to create footage for a hit show-isn’t too far away from what we see in Big Brother and the like.

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  • JR

    The photo from #5 is Jane Fonda in Barbarella (1968).

    • Matchstick

      Thanks for pointing that out, I thought I was seeing things.

  • T. R. Hickey

    In 2001 a busy astronaut skyped his daughter from a space station, the solitary astronaut on Odyssey got a prerecorded message from his parents. Beyond making one wonder if this list maker actually saw any of these films, you got to wonderabout how this list overlooks blogging and a space station filled with Americans and Russians in 2001 (and mistakes like Bell Telephone and Pan Am)!

    • joe_bob_gonzales

      no mistakes. at the time, real companies. bell tel had already done the videophone. by the mid 60s.

      • Mark Ostroff

        Correct about the videophone . . . and I had already played around with it at the 1964 NY World’s Fair.
        The BIGGEST single predictor of future tech, though, had to be the original Star Trek TV show. Whenever you walk through a sliding automatic door today, thank the miserly budget office at Desilu Studios. Remember the sliding doors on the Enterprise? Up until then, automatic doors opened like regular doors . . . by swinging outward. It was the budget confines of the small sets that led to the TV series’ sliding auto-doors, and now they are everywhere.

        Flip phones? Think the original Communicators. CDs? The small plastic data disks you saw Spock insert into every computer console. Voice Input ala Dragon? Trek had it first. Tablets? Check out the now-klunky-looking model some yeoman is shoving into Kirk’s face every other episode.

        • CptNerd

          Don’t forget the other interesting future tech in “2001″. When Bowman and Poole are eating after Bowman’s workout, they’re both watching TV on video pads very close to iPad size.

  • T. R. Hickey

    Oh, and there was no CGI in 2001 (it’s 1968 for crissake! It’s all done the old fashioned way with models, matte paintings and rotoscope.

    • JD522

      And the “Skype” call was done with an actual Bell System picture phone. Can’t remember if the little girl (Kubrick’s daughter) was elsewhere on set or did the call on tape.

  • Michael Sterling

    Re: Blade Runner… “…heavily polluted LA that’s been abandoned by humans.” Have you ever seem this film?

    • Jazzidiot

      What got my attention was that it was always dark and raining in LA. pretty much the reverse of today.

      • Adam Kitzmiller

        There was another reason for that. It wasn’t the pollution so much as the vast majority of the script was set at night. Exceptions where it was still daylight (more or less) were inside Tyrell’s office with the Owl, the escape scene at the end and it may have been sunny inside the Replicant’s flat when the photos were taken.

        • Jazzidiot

          Like I said.

  • Justyn Carbajal

    They forgot Idiocracy.

    • joe_bob_gonzales

      after bladerunner, one of the best.

    • Steven Doyle

      “Idiocracy” was basically a comedy version of Cyril Kornbluth’s famous 1951 story “The Marching Morons”. If a movie has a striking science fiction idea, it probably already appeared in literature decades earlier. (The premise, in this case, is based on mistaken assumptions, but is still amusing.)

  • William Osborne

    This article predicts the future as well – with minimal research, incorrect statements, childish writing, and misplaced photos, the author is guaranteed a job with MSNBC.

    • supplyguy

      I know, right? This was a disappointing article. Now I’ve got to go actually come up w/ some movies that actually do predict the future. I think I’ll start w/ some Jules Verne offerings/adaptations.

    • Jakob Rhinehart

      OR FOX NEWS

      • KMA86

        Oh, good one Jake!

    • RobertG

      … and improper use of “it’s” for “its,” another stab at the broadening “Idiocracy” of journalistic carelessness and editorial laxity.

  • jungguy

    I don’t see how the Truman Show predicted anything. Reality TV had already been around for some time by 1998 (maybe not at the extent now, but it was hardly new). Candid Camera even longer if you want to cover people being secretly filmed for the entertainment of the others. I think a better selection would be Network (1976), as it predicted television’s increased reliance on reality television and sensationalism decades before they came to fruition.

  • Ian

    There’s no CGI in 2001 for chrissakes. It was made in 1968. It’s all conventional practical effects.

  • LeeYaeger

    Back to the Future Part II. Miami won the World Series (didn’t even have a team when the movie was released). Star Trek movie (1979) not to mention TV show used silver compact discs for data. First CD player didn’t come out until 1982.

  • Chris Gauthier

    In almost every case in this article, the technology or situation “predicted” already existed.

  • OrthoStice

    Just curious: why does the blurb about Women on the Moon feature a photo of Jane Fonda as Barbarella?

  • Jakob Rhinehart

    Demolition MAN WAS MADE IN THE 90s NOT THE 80s

  • Nina D. Gaspich

    How about these two golden oldies – “Ace in the Hole” and “A Face In The Crowd”? Both were spot-on about the coming of viral media, journalistic feeding frenzies and the celebrity-as-false-messiah phenomenon. Andy Griffith, star of the latter, was so disturbed by the implications of his character that he told his agent to find him a project that presented a more positive image of middle-American culture…TV classic ensues.

  • Kingswood

    I really hate sites like this…that make you scroll from one annoying pop-ups bonanza page to the next….just put the list on one, non-annoying page and be done with it.

  • Tim

    Demolition Man is from 1993; not the 1980s.

  • Hootyman
  • JJ Mortimer

    Demolition Man is a 90s film, not an 80s film.

  • Steven Doyle

    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a good movie, but the premise was already about a hundred years old, dating back at least to Don Mark Lemon’s 1907 story “The Mansion of Forgetfulness”.

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    I hope the author realizes that FRITZ LANG did not direct f*cking BARBARELLA. And no list like this is complete without Idiocracy. That one is so spot on it’s terrifying.

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    And Demolition had a few other prognostications correct besides a weird name coincidence. A far more politically society. Smoking all but outlawed. Etc.

  • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

    #3 – “It’s CGI might not have predicted the future, but it was groundbreaking.”
    Not CGI. that was a television screen.

  • WCG86

    There was no CGI in 2001: A Space Odyssey, CGI in films didn’t appear until 2 decades after this film was made.

  • WCG86

    TMI was a partial core meltdown, it never breached the floor of the containment room. Get your history straight.

  • Erik D

    How about Starship Troopers? It’s a spot-on satire of the US’s reaction to 9/11, except the movie came out 4 years before the attacks.

  • http://www.monster-island.net/ kushibo

    In Americathon, there were a bunch of people living in their cars. I’d call that prescient.

  • Robert Neeley

    How about Robocop (1987)? Detroit in near future, worst place to live in America, crime out of control, the city owned by a big corporation, microsurgical technology available today?

  • SimpleSimon

    Besides it being from the 90s, not the 80s, they totally forgot to mention that in Demolition Man they predicted Schwarzenegger becoming governor of California! Thank god no one followed through on the ratifying of the constitution so that he could become president!

  • quidhala

    In Las Vegas there is a private company that hopes to use drones to create flying adverts now that the FAA has loosened restrictions on civilian drone use. Blade Runner

    What about Captain Planet? In that show the villains aren’t trying to get rich or gain power, their only goal is to increase pollution. Much like the morons that spend thousands on their trucks so they can “burn coal” creating huge clouds of smoke from their exhaust pipes.

  • AgingHippie

    Why does the blurb for Woman In the Moon feature a still from Barbarella?

    • John W Tobin

      Good call. I looked up that movie. I didn’t realize that Hanoi Jane was acting in — 1929!!!!!! lol

  • Kragnorak

    Didn’t bother reading past #1. How could The Truman Show have predicted the future when Albert Brooks explored reality TV in 1979′s “Real Life”?

    • Bluestocking

      Hell, the movie “Network” (1976) beats that by three years. Remember the “Mao-Tse Tung Hour” — the television series in the film which follows the exploits of a radical domestic terrorist organization (one patterned after the Symbionese Liberation Army)? If anything, that depicts an example of bona fide reality television as opposed to the ersatz “reality” show which is popular today (but which in actual fact is just as carefully structured as any sitcom or drama series).

      • David Currey

        You are dead-on accurate about modern “reality” shows. They’re about as real as professional wrestling. It amazes me that people today actually think these types of entertainment are real. They must be living in some kind of fantasy world—not to mention having IQs at about the level of a pith frog.

  • Bluestocking

    It’s no surprise at all that “2001: A Space Odyssey” predicted the future. The science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke (who wrote the short story which provided the catalyst for the film and who co-wrote the screenplay) was also a major figure in the development of satellite communications — the geostationary orbit (which allows satellites to maintain the same relative position to the Earth) is sometimes referred to as the Clarke orbit. Clarke not only predicted the future — he helped create it.

    • George Clark

      He sure did predict the future, and he helped create it. Über rich pedophiles relocating to countries where the laws on “intimate” relations with minors are…let’s say…relaxed. Gary Glitter is one of his contemporaries in this respect.

  • http://www.fraymovie.com StupidGit

    2001: A Space Odysseywas made in the late 1960′s and did not have CGI (Computer-generated imagery).

    • CarbonaNotGlue

      Worse, they mistakenly use a shot of Jane Fonda who was not even born when “Woman in the Moon” was made.

      • Dan Myhre

        Worse still, they credit Jane Fonda for staring in a movie that came out before her birth.

  • Adam Roger Kearley

    Demolition Man was made in the 90s, and you can’t even say it’s in the style of 80s movies.

  • John W Tobin

    Not to forget, “The Long Kiss Goodnight” with Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. Five years after that movie came 9-11.
    Also, “Enemy Of The State” with Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight. Does NSA, IRS and DHS ring a bell?

  • jeff perrin

    nETWORK!

  • Morton LaBongo

    I think the invasive nature of advertising in “Minority Report,” where John Anderton is pursued by 3D popup ads as he tries to flee police, pointed the way toward where internet advertising is today.

  • David Roduner

    In Minority Report, future criminal activities were predicted. This exists today, though certainly not in the same way. And let’s be honest: Phillip K Dick’s original 1956 prediction in his short story is more interesting than its adaptation in a 2002 film. Criminal activity is predicted not on an individual basis, but on an area. This is done by big mobile data collection. For the ungeeky, this means running algorithms (computer programs) on everyone’s social networking comments, friends, likes, and check ins.

  • imatellau

    demolition man… #1. No salt, 1 corporation running everything, a leftist benevolent dictator (or so we think) running everything, meat outlawed, virtual”grex”, big brother watching AND listening to hand out fines for cursing….

  • penahs

    Problem is the movies did not predict the future, the books that they were based on did.

  • Blu Clw

    What no Idiocracy!? If any movie has predicted our future its that one.

    Hell, I bet it will be less than a decade before people start testing Gatorade on crops.

  • Carrie Darmstaetter

    My cousin’s name is scott peterson, I work with a scott peterson and the guy down the streets name is scott peterson. None of which are murderers or convicts on death row. so the use of a name, which apparently is a fairly common one, does not make the use of it in a movie a “predictor” of anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Frano/100003338245557 Robert Frano

    There are 4 submarines spewing, or ready, at some point, to spew deadly toxins all over the oceans…

    1.) U-864; (Metallic Mercury; …sunk in ’44, currently polluting Norwegian fishing
    stocks)

    2.) U.S.S.Thresher, Scorpion & Russia’s K-129; (All N-Powered / N-Armed; All under
    enormous pressure / salt water-corrosives; all poised to finish rotting, like R.M.S. –
    Titanic, at some future point!)

    There have been 3 partial or complete meltdowns…
    T.M.I., Chernobyl, & Fukashima!
    …Fukashima can hardly be called anywhere, near, ‘under, control’!
    …There is a concern that Chernobyl’s concrete sarcophagus has deteriorated, due to radiation &/or, shabby construction, such, that it may collapse, leading to ‘Chernobyl-2’!

    Imagine:
    What will happen if the next ‘Muhammad Atta’, (Islamic apostate; ‘martyred’: 11.Sept.01, N.Y.C.), and/or…
    Scott ‘50-To-Life’ Roeder, (Xian-apostate; ‘living’ martyrdom, post homicide, {Dr. Tiller})…
    Decides to do the martyr-thing by crashing an airliner into the spent – fuel cooling pools, (not under containment domes), at some N-Plant, and/or, for example…

    A dry docked Trident-or-other-S.S.B.N. (aka: ‘Mass_Abortificient_Delivery_System’), instead of my former employer’s N.Y.C. offices!
    No, there probably WOULDN’T be a N.W.M.D.-cook-off;
    Yes, New London, Connecticut, like Fukashima, Japan, will / would become an abandoned N-waste-land!

    So, other than corporate corruption / profiteering…
    Why do we even have N-power, vs. wind / solar / geothermal…
    NONE of which leave residues which are DEADLY, for longer than humans have existed??

    • CarbonaNotGlue

      Because planting enough wind and solar energy plants would wipe out our remaining forests and wildlife. We also cannot force the Chinese to go that route. Nuclear energy is the only path forward to avert global warming.

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      Let me guess, you avoid eating bananas and Brazil nuts?

  • CarbonaNotGlue

    Why does the still shot for the black and white 1929 film “Woman in the Moon” feature a color shot of Jane Fonda from the color soundie “Barbarelli”? Epic Fail.

  • Dave Ferro

    Don’t forget, “Idiocracy”…

  • SFCGator

    About 70% of this article is misleading and/or factually incorrect. Don’t know who authored this but he/she should be fired or sent to remedial training on research and fact checking. BTW, regarding Three Mile Island, it backup systems and safeguards worked. There was no meltdown and no one was hurt/contaminated .
    Chernobyl would have been a much better example, but that didn’t happen in the USA.

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      “Chernobyl would have been a much better example”

      Big YUP! http://www.kiddofspeed.com

    • etlib

      70% is too low.

  • Derek K. Wilson

    How do I get a job writing garbage like this??? Does it pay well??? Answer the second question first…

  • BoobyBaker

    Doesn’t Three Mile Island actually disprove China Syndrome?

  • Becky Martinovich

    I noticed the article, aside from having Barbarell, while listing a movie from the 20′s, states that 40 years later a woman was on the moon. No woman ever went to the moon. They went to space, but never walked on the moon.

  • Wayne Johnson

    Am I the only one whom this happened to? The title of the article is, “10 Films That Guessed The Future” and in my post, the author starts at 11 and counts down to 2!!
    What’s up with that?

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      It happened when they converted it to metric…

  • kaos_in_tx

    Why did they show Jane Fonda in Barbarella as the photo for “Frau im Mond” a Fritz Lang film? Plenty of stock pics online…here’s one…
    https://sp3.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608019248832056871&pid=15.1&P=0

    • Danceswithdachshunds

      Good catch!

  • LukeJohn

    TMI the “worst nuclear accident in US history”? Maybe but it wasn’t an actual meltdown, no one was killed. Contrast that with the environmental damage, death and destruction caused by every other energy source (including wind and solar by the way). Modern nuclear technology is actually “greener” than all those.

  • PaoloRM

    IDIOCRACY, nailed it.

    • UNCLE

      Beat me to it, perfect set up to our current American Administration.

  • Neil and Bob

    Planet of the Apes?

  • Occam’s Tool

    No, you can’t wipe out traumatic memories. What you can do is minimize the traumatic associations connected with a memory by minimizing autonomic nervous sensations associated with that trauma, using medications such as Inderal. But Inderal is used everyday by millions of people without memory loss—as a matter of fact, it improves performance in stressful situations (concert pianists use it, for example, as do violinists) by diminishing autonomic overload. I’m a board certified psychiatrist—this type of misreporting annoys me.

    It is not in widespread use because it is not all that effective. One must give the Inderal quite rapidly after the trauma.

  • Liss Firefly

    Ahhh, why did they use an image of Barbarella for “Women In The Moon”?

  • 1964Nickel

    Why is the picture credited “Fritz Lang Film” and mentioned as “Woman in the Moon” instead a picture of Jane Fonda in “Barbarella”, which came out in the late 60s I think.

  • Mad Monica

    Three Mile Island was NOt a core meltdown. Chernobyl was. Jeez. TRY not to continue the libby lies, willya?

  • laika_and_milou

    Um, I don’t even know if this was even the first time it appeared in film, but the videophone (Skype, FaceTime, whatever) was in 1927’s “Metropolis”, 40-odd years before “2001″.

  • laika_and_milou

    E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” predicted the Internet, and more importantly, Internet culture, in 1909. It was filmed for the BBC in 1966.

  • RickDCampbell82

    I think the closest prediction we got out of any of these films listed, was not even recognized by the author. In Demolition Man a certain Austrian Body Builder/ Actor had been mentioned as being in political office. Video Conferences, and tablets, also made an appearance in this one, not to mention voice activated everything.

  • Pat

    Who makes these articles? Chinese children slave laborers on their lunch break? Wrong pictures, 6 degree of separation facts, it’s truly like a person who doesn’t quite get the culture trying to piece it together in an article. Is that you Lik Mi Duk?

  • Banned on the run

    How could you have missed the fact that demolition man predicted the iPad and government snooping into private conversations?

    Lieutenant Huxley, I monitored
    your disheartening and distressing
    comments to the warden this
    morning. Do you actually long
    for chaos and disharmony? Your
    fascination with the vulgar
    Twentieth Century seems to be
    affecting your better judgement.
    You realize you’re setting a bad
    example for other officers and
    sworn personnel…

  • Angus Dorbie

    That Jane Fonda image is from Barbarella, not Woman in the Moon, it should not be attributed to Lang. It’s Paramount & Dino De Laurentis.

  • Thomas A. Rice

    Demolition Man a “Campy 80′s Thriller?” Try again- How about 1993 thriller?

  • Guppy2

    As stated elsewhere on this comment board,”2001″ had no CGI, it was made in 1968 (released in ’69). All the computer screens were animations (by Disney animators BTW).
    “2001″ is the standard for sci-fi which has never been met.

  • Mike South

    Three Mile Island leaked a little iodine, that’s all. The safety backups worked. But good job using fear to make sure we stay dependent on coal and stuff, lefties! Also thank you Jimmy Carter for preventing us from developing the nearly waste-free breeder reactor technology!

  • Tresix

    Underpopulation in “Blade Runner”? If anything, L.A. in that movie looked way too crowded.

  • Sammy Lane

    “As the duo investigate the contents of their equivalent of death row”..that is so not what happens in the movie!!Sly and Snipes are chasing each other after a rich guy lets Snipes’s character loose in the future and now Sly’s Cop character has to track and bring him down.Where in the f**king Hell did they get the idea that those worked together to solve murder??I guess they did not see the movie,right??

  • kendejo42

    Demolition man had a reference to “president Schwarzenegger” but, the Predator cast had Jesse Ventura and Schwarzenegger both go on to be governors

  • http://hotlinks.blogspot.com/ Raven Lee

    Americathon is from 1979, not the “eighties”.

  • Phillip Blair

    Demolition Man is NOT an 80′s thriller as it came out in the 93. A little research before you post would be a good idea!

    • dysonology

      I know right? I wouldn’t called it a “thriller” either. More Sci-Fi Action.

  • George Boosh

    Where is number 1?

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