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The Best Dystopia Movies and TV Shows on The Criterion Channel

Finding a good Dystopia movie and TV show to watch can be hard, so we've ranked the best ones and included where to watch them. Check out our list of the best Dystopia movies and TV shows of all time streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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1. Brazil

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
88/100
Released: 1985Rated: R
Comedy, Cult

What it's about: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as a virtuous hero saving a beautiful damsel. Investigating a case that led to the wrongful arrest and eventual death of an innocent man instead of wanted terrorist Harry Tuttle, he meets the woman from his daydream, and in trying to help her gets caught in a web of mistaken identities, mindless bureaucracy and lies.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Hoopla) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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2. Night of the Living Dead

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.9/10
Reelgood Logo
88/100
Released: 1968Rated: R
Drama, Cult

What it's about: A group of people try to survive an attack of bloodthirsty zombies while trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi, PlutoTV, Plex & 2 others), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, HBO MAX, Starz & 6 others), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Starz, Epix & Syfy) & rent or buy from $2.00 on 6 services (iTunes, Google Play & 4 others).

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3. Stalker

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.2/10
Reelgood Logo
87/100
Released: 1979
Drama, Science-Fiction

What it's about: Near a gray and unnamed city is the Zone, a place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers, and where the normal laws of physics are victim to frequent anomalies. A stalker guides two men into the Zone, specifically to an area in which deep-seated desires are granted.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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4. Wings of Desire

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
8.0/10
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1987Rated: PG-13
Drama, Fantasy

What it's about: Two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, glide through the streets of Berlin, observing the bustling population, providing invisible rays of hope to the distressed but never interacting with them. When Damiel falls in love with lonely trapeze artist Marion, the angel longs to experience life in the physical world, and finds -- with some words of wisdom from actor Peter Falk -- that it might be possible for him to take human form.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Google Play & Prime Video).

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5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.4/10
Reelgood Logo
84/100
Released: 1978Rated: PG
Horror, Science-Fiction

What it's about: The first remake of the paranoid infiltration classic moves the setting for the invasion, from a small town to the city of San Francisco and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed, as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they become more open and Bennell, who has by now witnessed an attempted "replacement", realises that he and his friends must escape or suffer the same fate. But who can he trust to help him and who has already been snatched?

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, Showtime, The Criterion Channel & 1 other), stream on a popular TV everywhere service (Showtime) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 3 services (iTunes, Microsoft & Vudu).

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6. Videodrome

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
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81/100
Released: 1983Rated: R
Science-Fiction, Cult

What it's about: As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon "Videodrome," a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel. However, after his girlfriend auditions for the show and never returns, Max investigates the truth behind Videodrome and discovers that the graphic violence may not be as fake as he thought.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Peacock), stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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7. Fantastic Planet

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.8/10
Reelgood Logo
80/100
Released: 1973Rated: PG
Animation, Drama

What it's about: On the planet Ygam, the Draags, extremely technologically and spiritually advanced blue humanoids, consider the tiny Oms, human beings descendants of Terra's inhabitants, as ignorant animals. Those who live in slavery are treated as simple pets and used to entertain Draag children; those who live hidden in the hostile wilderness of the planet are periodically hunted and ruthlessly slaughtered as if they were vermin.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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8. Weekend

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
7.2/10
Reelgood Logo
73/100
Released: 1967Rated: R
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: A supposedly idyllic weekend trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse under the weight of its own consumer preoccupations.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel).

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9. Until the End of the World

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.8/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1991Rated: R
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Until The End of the World is an odyssey for the modern age. As with Homer's Odyssey, the purpose of the journey is to restore sight -- a spiritual reconciliation between an obsessed father and a deserted son. Dr. Farber, in trying to find a cure for his wife's blindness, has created a device that allows the user to send images directly to the brain, enabling the blind to see.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel).

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10. Lord of the Flies

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.9/10
Reelgood Logo
71/100
Released: 1963Rated: PG-13
Action & Adventure, Drama

What it's about: Amidst a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island. With no adult survivors, the boys are forced to fend for themselves. At first they cooperate, but when the they split into two separate camps -- one led by the pragmatic Ralph and the other by militaristic Jack -- their society falls into disarray, leading to a disturbing examination of human nature and a chilling conclusion.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 2 services (iTunes & Prime Video).

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11. Things to Come

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.7/10
Reelgood Logo
69/100
Released: 1936
Science-Fiction, Drama

What it's about: The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.

Where to Watch: Available to watch free online (Tubi), stream on a popular subscription service (Prime Video, The Criterion Channel, Hoopla & 2 others) & rent or buy from $1.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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12. Jubilee

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.1/10
Reelgood Logo
63/100
Released: 1978
Comedy, Cult

What it's about: Queen Elizabeth I visits late twentieth-century Britain to find a depressing landscape where life has changed since her time.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX, The Criterion Channel & Kanopy).

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13. Born in Flames

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
59/100
Released: 1983
Comedy, Drama

What it's about: In a future where a socialist government gains power, a group of women decides to organize and rebel.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel, Fandor & Kanopy) & rent or buy from $2.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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14. The Handmaid's Tale

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.0/10
Reelgood Logo
58/100
Released: 1990Rated: R
Drama, Independent

What it's about: In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a subscription service (The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $9.99 on 5 services (iTunes, Google Play & 3 others).

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15. Invasion of Astro-Monster

IMDB LogoIMDB Star
6.4/10
Reelgood Logo
52/100
Released: 1965Rated: G
Action & Adventure, Romance

What it's about: Mysterious aliens known as Xiliens arrive from Planet X and ask Earth's people to help them save their world from "Monster Zero". In exchange for borrowing Godzilla and Rodan, the Xiliens offer a cure for cancer. Sent on the expedition are astronauts Glenn and Fuji who discover Monster Zero is none other than King Ghidorah.

Where to Watch: Available to stream on a popular subscription service (HBO MAX & The Criterion Channel) & rent or buy from $3.99 on 1 service (iTunes).

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