'Elysium,' and 9 Other Terrible Dystopian Futures

Elysium doesn't come out for another week, but we're already getting excited for what looks to be a thrilling, smart, action-packed ride from Neill Blomkamp (District 9), the guy who made mutants cool again. Once again, it looks like Blomkamp has created a royally screwed-up future Earth, but compared to some dystopian movies of the past, maybe it's not that bad after all. Image: TriStar Pictures

Let's Hope These Aren't In Our Future

Elysium doesn't come out for another week, but we're already getting excited for what looks to be a thrilling, smart, action-packed ride from Neill Blomkamp (District 9), the guy who made mutants cool again. Once again, it looks like Blomkamp has created a royally screwed-up future Earth, but compared to some dystopian movies of the past, maybe it's not that bad after all. Image: TriStar Pictures

'Elysium'

It may not be the worst future a director has ever imagined, but it's not exactly appealing. In Elysium, civilization is separated into two groups: the wealthy, who live on a utopian space station, and the working class, who struggle to survive in poor, ravaged, slum-like Earth. It's a great future if you're the 1 percent, but not so much if you're everyone else. Image: TriStar Pictures

'District 9'

Blomkamp has one seriously screwed-up mind. In his blockbuster debut, 2009's Oscar-nominated District 9, an alien species has landed on Earth, and humans must decide whether to treat them with kindness or abuse. Naturally, we choose abuse, and force the aliens into a militarized ghetto. Unlike many other dystopias, humans aren't the victims, but rather, the attackers. It doesn't make us look too good. Image: TriStar Pictures

'The Hunger Games'

A future where the country's split into mostly-destitute districts, teenagers are forced to fight each other to the death, and Liam Hemsworth only gets five minutes of screen time? No, thank you. Image: Lionsgate

'A Clockwork Orange'

Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, Stanley Kubrick's version of dystopia is enormously creepy. Criminals don't just get jail time or community service; they're forced to undergo "behavior-modification therapy," which is exactly as fun as it sounds. Image: Warner Bros.

'Never Let Me Go'

Another dystopia based on a novel, Never Let Me Go features a not-too-distant future where human clones are grown in order to provide organs for the sick. It's all fun and games until the clones, who are otherwise real people, realize they're probably not going to live past 25, because of all the organ harvesting and such. Image: Fox Searchlight

'Pleasantville'

The black-and-white, idyllic TV world of Pleasantville may seem nice at first — the residents are all happy, naive, and attractive — but as Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon quickly discover, utopia has its downfall. The residents have no idea what rebellion, sex, and fun are, and when they're introduced, all hell breaks loose. Image: New Line Cinema

'The Matrix'

In The Wachowskis' visionary tale, reality doesn't actually exist — it's a simulated "dream world" created by machines to control humans while their bodies are used for energy. If you're unaware of what's going on, then the dystopia doesn't affect you (at least at first), but if you're Neo (Keanu Reeves), chances are you're not too happy about what the world is really like. Image: Warner Bros.

'Gattaca'

In Gattaca, it's all about genetics. Databases are used to create and identify children with the most desirable traits, and kids who are born through more traditional methods are considered "in-valid." Major discrimination ensues, similar to Elysium. Not the ideal future. Image: Columbia

'Children of Men'

Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men features a dystopian future where long-lasting infertility has led to massive, non-government controlled chaos. That is, until an oppressive force appears, and things go from bad to worse. Image: Universal