7 Futuristic Sci-Fi Movies That Actually Predicted The Future

Recently, I felt an existential chill down my spine after reading a certain headline. Now, since I prefer to cast my negative emotions onto others instead of dealing with them in a healthy way, I’m going to share that headline with you! It was news from China – namely, the advent of a software that resurrects your dead loved ones via deadfake and generative AI technology. In other words, you could now spend time with AI “living” versions of your loved ones. It sounded eerily familiar to me. Then I realized that the same thing happened in the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back.”

So, to celebrate the fact that humankind is slowly losing its humanity, here are seven futuristic sci-fi movies that have predicted our future.

Minority Report (2002)

DreamWorks

This movie is underrated! It’s Tom Cruise at his very best – post-Nicole, pre-Katie, and less loud about doing all his own stunts. It’s also Steven Spielberg firing on all cylinders, serving sleek action scene realness. No crumbs! Except there are crumbs. While the overall plot – fortune-telling gooey people predicting crimes before they happen – has not come true, one aspect of the movie has. In Minority Report, billboards project holograms that call people’s names and advertise exactly what they want based on their past behaviors and decisions. Unfortunately, that’s already happening thanks to cookies, algorithms, geolocation, and eavesdropping Alexas. You might not be seeing holograms, but you’re seeing ads for the last vacuum cleaner you talked about at breakfast. That’s creepy enough.

Total Recall (1990) & Upgrade (2018)

Tri-Star Pictures

Total Recall stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in his sci-fi action hero era as Douglas Quaid, who suddenly remembers one day that he used to be a secret agent on Mars. We all do it! While the movie features plenty of memorable sci-fi concepts – it’s adapted from Philip K. Dick, after all – there’s one that doesn’t seem so far-fetched. That would be the self-driving car that Ahnold powers with his voice – an idea that probably had 1990 bros screaming “Bitchin!” when they saw it. However, the 2018 movie Upgrade took self-driving cars to their logical conclusion: when they f&ck up and crash. Thanks to Elon Musk, that’s now a reality as well

The Matrix (1999)

Warner Bros.

The very epitome of ‘90s cool, The Matrix sped into theaters with several missions in mind, one of which was to bring trench coats back in a big way. However, it also sought to explore the techno-psychological implications of an increasingly digitized world, imagining a future in which we experience technological synergy. Well, have you heard of the Metaverse? According to reports, Gen Alpha are spending more and more time interacting with people online in virtual spaces than with their own friends in real life. Is it time to take the red pill?

Her (2013)

Warner Bros.

Oh, how we laughed at Her! How we admired its daring romanticism! “Surely, that would never happen,” we told ourselves as we walked out of the theater. “A man could never fall in love with an AI voice. Love is a flesh-and-blood sensation; any alternative would sap us of our humanity!” But the genuinely touching love story of Her may have actually made a great case for the AI girlfriends and boyfriends that very much exist today. People are literally falling in love with computer programs, and OpenAI even apparently stole Scarlet Johansson’s voice. Oh, also, Love is Blind! People were already falling in love with voices before AI girlfriends; it was a warmup. 

The Truman Show (1998)

Paramount Pictures

The Real World had been out for years when The Truman Show premiered, so we can’t credit it for predicting reality TV. However, the movie’s central premise – that regular people would watch another regular person carry out basic everyday activities, sans wit or point of view – is uncannily similar to vlogging. How many of us waste minutes of our days watching narcissists say the most mundane statements as they apply lip liner? Alternatively, you could claim that The Truman Show predicted the surveillance state that we now live in. Unfortunately, the government now tracks people via not only face-recognition technology, but also smartwatches, laptop cameras, and fitness bands. Say no to apps tracking you, y’all! 

Evan E. Lambert is a journalist, travel writer, and short fiction writer with bylines at Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Going, Mic, The Discoverer, Queerty, and many more. He splits his time between the U.S. and Peru and speaks fluent Spanglish.