Greatest Dystopian Movie Heroes, Ranked

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It’s not hard to search for the meaning of a word on the internet, but even after we read and understand what “Dystopia” is, it remains somewhat obscure in our minds. That obscurity generates the seed of curiosity in our minds. And that is the reason why we are so damn attracted to dystopian art and literature – be it movies, games, or books. But enough with the introduction, let’s start our list of the greatest dystopian movie heroes.


Neo in The Matrix (1999): One day, Thomas Anderson (Neo) wakes up and discovers that after humanity lost to sentient machines in the war, they captured humans inside a false reality called The Matrix. With time, Neo gains the ability to fly and to manipulate space and time inside The Matrix. In addition, he develops enhanced strength and the skill to download fighting styles inside his brain. With all his power, Neo is trying to break himself and others like him from the false reality.

RoboCop in RoboCop (1987): In the years when Detroit was losing to the criminal races, the city gave the control of Detroit Police to Omni Consumer Products (OCP). The OCP designed a droid whose sole purpose was to enforce laws. So when thugs brutally torture Alex Murphy, a Detroit policeman, and shoot him and is on the extremity of life, the OCP saves him. The only difference is that now he is RoboCop and not Alex Murphy. One night, RoboCop has a nightmare about Murphy’s death, which raises several questions in his mind. When he embarks on finding the answers, he discovers the dark secrets of OCP and plans to diminish them.

Rick Deckard in Blade Runner (1982): Getting demoted as a policeman, Deckard becomes a Blade Runner. He receives the work of tracking and “retiring” humanoids called “replicants”. The story looks plain until Deckard starts falling for Rachael- another replicant. Then, he starts questioning his identity whether he is a human or just a replicant performing like one. Rick Deckard surely deserves a spot on this list, showing us that the bad isn’t necessarily supposed to be wrong.


Joseph Dredd in Dredd (2012): I is set in a near-future dystopia where the society is crumbling because of crime. And to counter that, officers have been given the rights of a judge, jury, and executioner. These officers are called “Judges,” and Judge Joseph Dredd is the best of his kin. With a novice recruit Cassandra Anderson, Dredd is sent to Mega-City One to probe the murder of drug dealers. They come across a drug den run by Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal on their investigation. With Anderson on his side, Dredd plans to end the den and free the city of drugs.

Judge Dredd to lay down the law in TV show - CNET

Snake Plissken in Escape From New York (1981): Snake gets the task of saving the US President from the island. But the island is turned into a maximum-security prison of Manhattan. Passing his time in jail for a false case framed by the Government, Snake accepts the offer. He sets out to save the President. Not only that, he also fights the injustice done to him by the government.

Snake Plissken in Escape From New York (1981)

Max Rockatansky in Mad Max (1979): Max sees his wife and infant child slaughtered by the local bike gang. Enraged with the loss, he sets out to take down the gang. In that process, he wanders in Australian wastelands and surviving using his intelligence makes him one of the greatest dystopian movie heroes. Though he was able to avenge his family, he left behind a degraded society which led to the post-apocalyptic storyline.

Max Rockatansky in Mad Max (1979)

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