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…

1.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.

  • 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.

  • 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


  • 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!

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