Four decades ago, legendary science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick died just months before seeing the first cinematic adaptation of his work, Blade Runner, on the big screen. Since then, Dick’s books have proven popular with filmmakers looking to embody his vision of the future into their science fiction films. That’s because many of Dick’s themes are timeless as he explores questions of identity, artificial intelligence, technology, and even the nature of reality itself.
However, not all films based on Philip K. Dick books are created equal. And we’re gone Blade Runner 2049 is not included in the list because it is a sequel to the film and not an adaptation of Dick’s original story. These films are Dick’s contribution to the world of cinema. And until some new adaptation appears, here are the ten best science fiction films based on Philip K. Dick’s books.
One thing you’ll find from watching a lot of Dick’s films is that he really loves creating paranoia among his characters while making them question who and what they really are. Undercover takes place in a dark future where humanity can barely resist alien attacks, but the enemy can create near-perfect copies of humans to use as weapons against them.
Spencer (Gary Sinise) and Maya Olham (Madeleine Stowe) are happy together until Major DH Hathaway (Vincent D’Onofrio) accuses Spencer of being an alien duplicate. And despite himself, not even Spencer could be sure that he was who he thought he was. But if he can’t prove that he is human then Spencer won’t be able to save himself or his wife from Hathaway.
9. Salary (2003)
Some ideas from Apple TV+ Termination may come from Paycheck, specifically the idea of workplaces erasing the memories of their employees. In this film, Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) receives a tempting job offer from James Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart), with the catch that after three years, Jennings’ mind will be erased about everything that happened to him while he worked at the company.
When Jennings finished three years later, he was shocked to discover that he had apparently thrown away his stock options and money. Instead, Jennings leaves hints that Rethrick’s agenda for the world must be stopped. During his efforts to stop Rethrick, Jennings also reunites with Rachael Porter (Uma Thurman), the woman who became his lover during the three missing years of his life.
You’ll see precognition appear in more than one of Dick’s stories. For example, Nextwhich is based on Dick Golden Man, features Nicolas Cage as Cris Johnson, a man who can see the future…but only two minutes at a time. This may not seem like much, but it was a boon that proved too attractive for the government to ignore. That’s why NSA Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) wants to use Cris’ abilities to neutralize terrorist threats.
But Cris would rather spend time with Elizabeth Cooper (Jessica Biel), a woman who somehow broadens the scope of his talents just by being in his life. Unfortunately for the new couple, that closeness will soon put Elizabeth in danger and force Cris to take action.
Watch Next on excitement.
RoboCop‘s Peter Weller headlined Screamerloose adaptation of Dick’s short story, Second Variation. In the future, a mining colony is torn apart by a costly civil war, leading to the creation of the Screamers, robots armed with artificial intelligence and deadly weapons that kill any humans they encounter if they are not equipped with the devices. hinder them.
Realizing that the war cannot continue, Commander Joseph A. Hendricksson (Weller) and Private Michael “Ace” Jefferson (Andrew Lauer) accept an invitation to meet with the other side and call a ceasefire. To their horror, they discovered that the new model of Screamers had gone beyond deterrence. And some of them could even be considered human.
Watch Screamer on Prime Video.
6. Albemuth Free Radio (2010)
There’s a good chance you’ll never be able to see it Albemuth Free Radio, as it was not made by a major studio and is not currently available in any digital format. This is one of the last stories Dick wrote, and features him as one of the main characters. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-VerseShea Whigham plays Dick in this film, but he takes a backseat to Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe).
The story takes place in an alternative version of 1985 under an authoritarian regime. Somehow, Nick receives a vision that helps him overthrow the regime. Soon after saving his baby boy’s life, Nick meets a singer named Sylvia (Alanis Morissette) who experiences the same visions he does. Together, Nick and Sylvia plan to secretly spread their vision and fight the regime. Unfortunately, the regime will probably catch up to them first.
Albemuth Free Radio not available to stream, rent, or buy.
Adjustment Bureau put forward the idea that humanity only has the illusion of free will. David Norris (Matt Damon) learned this the hard way after meeting Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). David is immediately attracted to Elise, but he soon learns from Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) that he should not meet Elise more than once.
In fact, Harry and his customization team aren’t even human at all, and they threaten to erase David’s memories and ruin Elise’s life if he tries to oppose their plans for their respective destinies. But David couldn’t stay away from Elise forever, even though both of them ultimately had to bear the consequences of their forbidden love.
Watch Adjustment Bureau on Free.
4. Minority Report (2002)
Steven Spielberg (making one of the best films of his career) and Tom Cruise teamed up to bring it to life Minority Report to the big screen. And if you’re wondering what minority reporting is, we’ll try to explain it briefly. In the future, there is a Precrime police division that catches murderers before they kill. It is driven by the power of three precognitive individuals, who are almost always right. A minority report is a rare occurrence when one precog sees a different version of the future than the other two precogs.
This information comes to a head when Precime’s top cop, John Anderton (Cruise), becomes a target for his own division when a vision appears of him killing a man named Leo Crow (Mike Binder). And despite John’s best efforts to keep that future from happening, fate seems to have conspired to put him in the same room as Crow at the time of his murder.
Watch Minority Report on Most importantly+.
Director Richard Linklater takes a unique visual approach Dark Scanner by filming the whole thing and then tracing each frame in rotoscope animation to make it look like an animated film. This story comes from one of Dick’s more personal novels, as he used illegal drugs and lived with other addicts at certain points in his life.
Keanu Reeves stars as Bob Arctor, an undercover police officer assigned to spy on his housemates, James Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) and Ernie Luckman (Woody Harrelson). While living among them, Bob becomes heavily addicted to Substance D, and he is openly attracted to the dealer, Donna Hawthorne (Winona Ryder). But when Bob succumbs to D’s side effects, his paranoia increases…and for good reason. Because he wasn’t the only informant in the house, or in her life.
Watch Dark Scanner on Tube.
2. Total Withdrawal (1989)
There are two Total Withdrawal adaptation, and it’s no coincidence that the 2012 remake didn’t make this list. 1990 Paul Verhoeven’s version, one of the director’s best films, is by far the better of the two, although both adaptations deal with Dick’s high concept of a virtual vacation that can be embedded as a memory. That’s what Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) thought he needed, so he bought a scenario where he’s a secret agent on Mars from the virtual travel agency, Rekall. But to the horror of the Rekall technicians, they discover that Quaid’s fantasy turns out to be a reality when they accidentally awaken his true personality.
Even Rekall’s attempts to hide their involvement don’t spare Quaid from what happens next. The technicians wiped his memory again, which is why Quaid is confused when his own wife, Lori (Sharon Stone), suddenly tries to kill him. And he’s not the only one who wants Quaid dead as he tries to get to Mars to find out who he really is.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was not a success in cinema, but attracted a large following and is now recognized as one of the greatest and the most influential science fiction film ever made. While it was released in 1982, the story is set in the year 2019. Although this film’s vision of the future has not been realized (yet), it has had a major influence on many films. science fiction films that came after.
Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a somewhat reluctant Blade Runner tasked with hunting down renegade Replicants and “retiring” them. The Replicants were created to do dangerous work outside the world that humans could not do, but they came up with dangerous ideas that were also worth living for them. Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Pris (Daryl Hannah), and their Replicant crew seem even more human than Deckard! However, Deckard is so shaken after meeting Rachael (Sean Young), a Replicant so human that he doesn’t even know who or what she really is.
Rent or Buy Blade Runner on Prime Video.