Best Sci-Fi Movies Set in the 23rd Century

Best Sci-Fi Movies Set in the 23rd Century

Beyond the 22nd century lies a time period so vague that it is difficult to predict exactly what will take place or what it will look like. Will humanity finally achieve its greatest dream of random space travel? Will it finally meet aliens? Or will it eventually destroy itself on Earth? These are the questions that 23rd century science fiction movies love to answer.

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The common theme is, of course, space travel. Some filmmakers believe that a bright future awaits humanity once it has learned to travel to space, while others believe that more wars and battles lie ahead. But whether it is utopia or apocalypse that awaits humans in the future, these films will do more than entertain these viewers with their depiction of 23rd century.


7/7 Star Trek (2009)

star trek 2009 main characters

Everyone Star Trek movies count here, but for a good balance of modern cinema while retaining fidelity to the lore, the 2009 reboot is a solid choice. It is a separate Star Trek the story was set in an alternate universe. This outing still follows the same popular polar duo Spock and Kirk.

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Star Trek films depict an intergalactic mixed society that is debatably socialist or communist in structure. Therefore, most violent encounters are not between humans, but against alien races that refuse to integrate into the peaceful Federation.

6/7 The fifth element

The fifth element LeeLoo reaches his arm outward

The fifth element imagines an unconventional and eccentric future where taxi drivers still exist alongside literal personifications of elements and a great evil. It takes place in the 23rd century, specifically 2263; their aesthetics and technology are otherworldly, which was intentional given the time period it chose to cover.

Anyway, the story is about a New York cab (which surprisingly still exists) that has a fateful encounter with Leeloo who is the manifestation of the fifth element. Apparently, she must combine with the other four elements to avert a great evil that will destroy the world; in their way, however, is an industrialist named Zorg who works for the great evil.

Viewers may be able to discern the nature versus industry symbolism here, marking the film’s version of the 23rd century as an industrial nightmare that only nature can solve. Not exactly subtle as a call to action against global warming.

5/7 Starship Troopers

starship troops

Starship Troopers offers a simpler premise for the 23rd century. There are humans who have gone into a fascist state, and then there are aliens who are creepy big bugs. Both are at war. They kill each other, and it’s also a semi-parody film about military propaganda and culture. That somewhat excuses the B-movie horror acting.

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Despite the rather lukewarm reception to Starship Troopers back in its heyday, that didn’t stop the film from becoming a cult classic and an inspiration for many subsequent films and even video games. Also for 1997, the CGI was pretty impressive and the film is worth seeing for its nostalgic value and bug animation.

4/7 Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection

Space battleship Yamato Resurrection
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Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection takes place in the year 2220, which is about 21 years after the first Yamato film. In this sequel, a mobile and expansive black hole threatens the very existence of Earth and humanity. They have to move 300 million people from the earth, which is not exactly an easy feat in this Noah’s Ark parallel.

To add to the chaos, Earth’s enemy, the SUS Empire (pen hiss name), attacked Earth’s transport ships just for kicks. So it’s up to the legendary space battleship Yamato to aid in Earth’s defenses as the citizens evacuate to safety. This space opera classic is one of the most promising delayed sequels that both older and younger viewers will appreciate.

3/7 Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet robot

It’s not often you get to see a Shakespeare adaptation turned into a sci-fi film about the 23rd century. That’s what does Forbidden Planet special. It’s an old sci-fi interpretation of Shakespeare’s The storm. And despite being older than most grandparents these days, the film more than held its own in its heyday.

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It is about an expedition to a distant planet called Altair IV with a mission to discover what happened to the three scientists who were sent there decades earlier. What Commander John Adams (played by Leslie Nielsen) discovered was more bizarre; the lead scientist and his daughter are the only humans left on the desolate planet, and it’s up to the crew to unravel the planet’s mysteries.

2/7 Cargo

Cargo 2009 movie

The year is 2270 inches Cargo and in this Swiss thriller and sci-fi film, the Earth has become uninhabitable. The humans have since migrated to a planet called Rhea where most humans live in orbiting space stations. One of the people hoping to migrate to Rhea was a young doctor named Laura Portmann, but she had no money.

So she accepted a shady job on cargo ships that would be unmanned except for her and an attendant. However, the pair soon discovered that the cargo vessel was not quite as deserted as they thought. Strange sounds, movements, and even misplaced tools and switches test their resolve and confidence.

1/7 The Matrix Trilogy (speculated)

Matrix Neo stopping bullets

The matrix supposedly starting in the non-Matrix year 2199, and continuing for months or years after Neo was rescued, until Reloaded and Revolutions sequel. During this time period in the movies, humans have been nearly wiped out by machines except for a city called Zion.

To fight their machine conquerors and overlords, the humans have developed a way to fight them with guerilla tactics by hacking their way through the cyber domain called The Matrix. We recommend re-watching the original trilogy of films, as their stories and plot points can often be confusing or confusing, or both.

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