Movies Like 'Blade Runner 2049' to Watch Next

Looking for films about being human in a sci-fi setting?
by Katie Song — 

Ryan Gosling in 'Blade Runner 2049'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Acclaimed for its stunning cinematography and sweeping musical score, Blade Runner 2049was applauded as one of the greatest science fiction films of its time — let alone an iconic and successful sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner.

Starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, the 2017 sci-fi thriller takes place 30 years after the events of the first film. Bio-engineered humans known as replicants have successfully entered society, and Officer K (Gosling), a Nexus-9 replicant model, works as a blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department. His job is to hunt down and retire the older model replicants or those out of line with the law. One day on the job, K finds a female replicant who died of childbirth, shattering the societally-held truth that replicants could not reproduce. This discovery leads K on a search for Rick Deckard (Ford), a former blade runner who's been missing for 30 years.

Critically acclaimed, Blade Runner 2049 won Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects at the 90th Academy Awards and was nominated for Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. The film additionally won Best Special Visual Effects and Best Cinematography at the 2018 British Academy Film Awards along with six other nominations. Boldly directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film grapples with themes such as artificial intelligence, environmental issues and genetic engineering and aims to answer the question: what does it mean to be human?

A sequel series Blade Runner 2099 was greenlit in 2022 by Amazon Studios.

Here, Metacritic highlights 10 movies like Blade Runner 2049 to watch next, ranked by Metascore.



20th Century Fox


Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of alien eggs and Sigourney Weaver
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Runtime: 117 minutes

Directed by Scott as well, this 1979 science-fiction thriller follows the crew of the spaceship Nostromo who is woken up from their hyper sleep to find they've been rerouted to investigate an alien distress signal. Though they land on the alien planet successfully, their ship is damaged and half the crew stays back to make repairs. While the other half investigates, crew member Kane (John Hurt) is attacked by a creature that attaches to his face and causes him to fall into a coma. The film encapsulates Scott's visual imagery and world-building detail and is sure to be a thrilling watch for any Blade Runner fan. 

"The scariest movie in history is actually a bit shy. The subtle, romantic score by Jerry Goldsmith is what keeps the tension at a simmer." — Michael Agger, Slate



Paramount Pictures


Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of linguistics and Amy Adams
Where to watch:

, Google PlayiTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 116 minutes

When massive spaceships land in 12 locations around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks (Adams) is assigned to assemble a team of investigators in an attempt to communicate with the extraterrestrial forces. Feeling she's close to a breakthrough, Louise takes a risk that threatens her life as well as the future of mankind. Arrival was critically acclaimed, receiving seven Academy Awards nominations and winning the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing in 2017. This sci-fi mystery searches for the truth in the context of humanity that can resonate with the existential fans of Blade Runner 2049.

"A big, risky, showy movie which jumps up on its high-concept highwire and disdains a net." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


'Ex Machina'


Ex Machina

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of artificial intelligence and Oscar Isaac
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes,
Runtime: 108 minutes

Ex Machina follows computer coder Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) who wins a contest that allows him to spend a week at the private residence of the firm CEO Nathan Bateman (Isaac). Caleb soon discovers that he has in fact been chosen to help determine through a series of tests whether a humanoid robot (Alicia Vikander) is sentient, an artificial intelligence who's more capable than either man realizes. Similar to Blade Runner 2049, this 2014 science fiction film explores themes of what it means to be human and the fine line that exists between man and android.

"A clever film with one indelible performance from Isaac." — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail


Anne Hathaway in 'Interstellar'

Paramount Pictures


Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of dystopian societies and Murphy's law
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 169 minutes

This 2014 science fiction film tells the story of a dystopian Earth that is on its way to becoming uninhabitable. Starring an all-star cast including Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, and more, Interstellar follows the team of researchers that are sent through a wormhole across the galaxy to determine which of three planets could be humanity's new home. Critically acclaimed for its score and cinematography, Interstellar captures the breadth of worldbuilding and spectacle that any fan of Blade Runner 2049 would surely appreciate.

"Einsteinian, Kubrickian, Malickian, Steinbeckian — Interstellar, Christopher Nolan's epically ambitious space opera, is all that. And more. And, alas, less." — Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer


Keanu Reeves in 'The Matrix'

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of Keanu Reeves and black trench coats
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 136 minutes

Iconic in its own right, The Matrix follows Neo (Reeves), an average man led to an underworld that exposes the world for what it truly is: a machine-operated simulation in which human bodies are used as the energy source. Upon uncovering the truth, Neo chooses to join the rebellion against the machines, taught to wield the powers of the simulated reality to his advantage. Known for its innovative special effects, The Matrix explores a world in which everything you've ever known was in fact a lie, a reality and theme that is just as difficult to come to terms with as that of Blade Runner 2049.

"The writing remains more intelligent than most thrillers, and the action is executed with such panache that even if you don't buy the reality of The Matrix, it's a helluva place to visit." — Marc Caro, Chicago Tribune


Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in 'Edge of Tomorrow'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Edge of Tomorrow

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of time travel and Tom Cruise
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 113 minutes

When an alien race known as Mimics invades and destroys Europe, Major William Cage (Cruise), a public affairs officer with no combat experience, is sent on a suicide mission in France as a last ditch effort to stave off the enemy. Despite his inexperience, Cage manages to kill a large Mimic, but wakes up right where he started the previous morning. Unable to convince anyone that the mission is a death sentence, Cage seeks the help of Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) to use his newfound ability to die and start over to outsmart the Mimics and win the war. Similar to Blade Runner 2049, Edge of Tomorrow combines the smarts of fresh blood and veterans to bring light to a dimming future.

"[Director Doug] Liman brings Mr. Cruise' smile out of semiretirement and also gives him the kind of physical challenges at which he so brilliantly excels." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times


Will Smith in 'I, Robot'

20th Century Fox

I, Robot

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of sci-fi action and Will Smith
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 115 minutes

Set in 2035, I, Robot follows Detective Del Spooner (Smith) who is investigating the alleged suicide of the robotics founder Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell). In this dystopian America, highly intelligent robots operate in public service positions under a set of three rules that are meant to keep humans safe. When Spooner interviews a human-like robot named Sonny (Alan Tudyk) who is believed to have killed Alfred, the detective realizes that there may be a greater threat to mankind than he could have ever imagined. Like Blade Runner 2049, I, Robot takes its audience for a thrilling and disarming ride, one that plays with the idea of a world in which androids integrate into human life.

"A cluttered, awkward blockbuster that's just smart enough to get itself into trouble." — Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club


From left to right: Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling in 'The Gray Man'


The Gray Man

Metascore: 49
Best for: Fans of secret agents and mustaches
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 122 minutes

The Gray Man follows Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), an unnamed top-tier assassin in a CIA program who is unknowingly sent to kill a former agent of the same program. With agency secrets revealed and enough reasonable doubt installed, Six goes on the run, left to fight for his life against the dispatched Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former CIA black ops mercenary known for his brutality. Gosling aside, these two films bear a resemblance to each other in their strong use of colorful hues throughout the film's design as well as the backbone plot of an agent questioning the system.

"The Gray Man gets better as it goes along, and it contains a couple of action sequences that are as imaginative and well-crafted as any that you'll see all year." — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


Garrett Hedlund in 'TRON: Legacy'

Walt Disney Studios

TRON: Legacy

Metascore: 49
Best for: Fans of VR and Olivia Wilde
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 125 minutes

This 2010 sequel to 1982's TRON follows Sam (Garrett Hedlund), the son of the famous virtual world designer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who's haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father. Looking for answers, Sam finds himself pulled into the very program his father has been living in for 25 years, a harsh world of games played to the death. Aided by his father's confidant (Wilde), Sam embarks on a deadly journey across this cyber universe that seeks to grow past its borders. 

"Tron: Legacy may well satisfy the fanboys who have waited almost three decades for its appearance." — Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic


'What Happened to Monday'


What Happened To Monday

Metascore: 47
Best for: Fans of identical twins and days of the week
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 123 minutes

In a dystopian world where overpopulation has become such a big issue that a strict one-child policy is enforced, a family of identical septuplets (played by Noomi Rapace) is trained to live at home unnoticed by law enforcement. Raised by their grandfather Terrence (Willem Dafoe), the siblings are each named a day of the week and are allowed to go outside on their given day, careful to memorize and replicate any experiences of the others with each passing day to avoid suspicion. This plan works for years until one day, when one of the seven does not return, the resourceful family must investigate the disappearance while evading their brutal law enforcement. Similar to the Blade Runner sequel, What Happened To Monday examines what it means to be a human and how far people are willing to go in order to be one.

"Fans of outsized genre fare should appreciate how much fun Rapace appears to be having, showing off different skills in different wigs." — Kim Newman, Empire