Mortal Engines: 10 Similar Science Fiction Movies You Must See

Helmed by Christian Rivers, ‘Mortal Engines’ is a science fiction action film draped in silky steampunk attire and set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world unlike any other. The 2018 film is based on Philip Reeve’s novel of the same name and follows two strangers, Hester and Tom, living in a world where cities move and devour other cities for sustenance. The duo uncovers a sinister and dangerous plot that holds the world and everyone in it at stake. They must stop the conspiracy from unfolding or suffer its harsh consequences. Considering the film features numerous science fiction and fantasy tropes that could resemble many others in the genre, here are our picks for 10 films like ‘Mortal Engines’ you’re bound to enjoy.

10. Children Of Men (2006)

Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Children Of Men’ takes its viewers to a post-apocalyptic dystopian world where humanity is on the brink of extinction as it has been stricken by 18 years of infertility. The film is based on P. D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name and follows Theo (Clive Owen), a former activist who is tasked with transporting a woman who extraordinarily gets pregnant. Theo must now safely transport the woman as she the last hope of humanity.

‘Children Of Men’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ set up the stage for diverse narratives in a dystopian backdrop. They illustrate harsh fictional realities further torn apart by humanity’s incompetence. In both cases, it is up to the lead characters to change the course of the world for the better.

9. I Am Legend (2007)

Helmed by Francis Lawrence, ‘I Am Legend’ transports us to a post-apocalyptic dystopian future where a plague has killed most of humanity. The film is based on the 1954 Richard Matheson novel of the same name and follows scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith) who is the last human survivor of the plague. Neville is still hopeful of finding a cure for the plague. However, with no one else to rely on, Neville finds himself struggling to survive the elements and is running out of time to reverse the effects of the scourge.

‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ set their narratives in well-crafted dystopian worlds one more realistic than the other. As lone survivors, both leads are on a valiant mission to undo the wrongs of the past while uncovering various secrets hidden in plain sight. The films showcase humanity’s will to survive through the worst scenarios.

8. Black Crab (2022)

Directed by Adam Berg, ‘Black Crab’ is a Swedish language science fiction action thriller based on the 2002 novel ‘Svart krabba’ by Jerker Virdborg. Set in a brutal post-apocalyptic world, the film revolves around Caroline and a team of soldiers who are tasked with a confidential mission to transport a secret package through a frozen land. Unaware of the dangers that lie ahead, the team fights for survival in the extreme frigid environment.

‘Black Crab’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ portray distinct and immersive worlds showcasing the depths of humanity through the lens of grim realities. They illustrate the existence of hope even in the harshest conditions and humanity’s will to survive. Their narratives intertwine dark secrets while depicting man’s failed society.

7. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

‘Blade Runner 2049’ picks up 30 years after the events of the original ‘Blade Runner,’ which premiered in 1982. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film reintroduces us to an incredibly distinct dystopian future and follows K (Ryan Gosling), an LAPD police officer. He unveils a deep, dark secret that requires the insights of another blade runner who has been missing for over 30 years. He must now find this missing blade runner before it is too late.

Apart from the impressive dystopian worlds and being well-versed in the tropes of the genre, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ provide incredible narratives of survival and unearthing mysteries. The lead characters defy the odds and prove that good can emerge even from the most difficult places.

6. Chaos Walking (2021)

‘Chaos Walking’ is a science fiction action adventure film directed by Doug Liman that places its viewers on an unexplored planet where all women have been killed and the men can hear each other’s thoughts. Based on Patrick Ness’s series of novels of the same name, it follows Viola (Daisy Ridley) who has just crash-landed on the planet, and Todd (Tom Holland) a local. Due to the strange conditions on the planet, Viola’s life is in danger, and Todd swears to protect her. The duo embark on a difficult journey of survival and escape, unraveling the planet’s dark secrets on the way.

‘Chaos Walking’ and ‘Mortal Engine’ share unique and sometimes bizarre dystopian worlds filled with intrigue and exploration. The adventures of the lead characters, surrounded by difficult environments, set up thrilling tales of survival. The focus on unraveling secrets additionally adds to the allure of such science fiction films as the leads figure out dark plots and conspiracies that curse the lands.

5. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ is a science fiction action film based on the manga series Battle Angel Alita. Set in a dystopian future, the movie revolves around Alita, a revived battle cyborg who does not remember anything from her past. With the help of the doctor who revived her along with the friends she made on the way, Alita begins unraveling many secrets while realizing her true potential.

‘Alita: Battle Angel’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ share several similarities through the genre tropes that they stick to. Bundled with a bunch of action sequences, unraveling deep secrets, and the leads ultimately fighting and surviving the harsh realities of both dystopian settings, the two films depict rich worlds full of intrigue and lore. At its core, the stories showcase the will of the lead characters to make a difference.

4. Ready Player One (2018)

From the iconic director Steven Spielberg comes ‘Ready Player One,’ a science fiction adventure set in a futuristic dystopian world. Based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, the film introduces a virtual world called OASIS, a place people often visit because of the harsh realities of the outside world. When the creator of this virtual reality dies, he leaves behind an easter egg which, if found by a player, will give them a wealthy fortune and the opportunity to control the virtual world. Players from all over now converge to attain this easter egg at all costs.

‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ place their narratives in an immersive world haunted by issues of apocalyptic measure. Humanity in these worlds is struggling to survive and its only array of hope falls on just a handful of people willing to save the day. While at face value, both films employ several tropes from the genre, their narratives revolving around world-changing characters shine bright.

3. The Maze Runner (2014)

Directed by Wes Ball and based on the 2009 dystopian novel by James Dashner of the same name, ‘The Maze Runner’ is a science fiction film that revolves around Thomas whose memory is erased and left within a community of boys trapped behind the walls of a maze. He and the rest of the boys must figure out what’s really going on and work together to find a way out.

‘The Maze Runner’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ offer their viewers incredibly unique dystopian worlds that are rarely matched in quality. The two films also adhere to the tropes that resemble some of the greats from the genre. Apart from the technical aspects, at the crux of it, both films illustrate a tale of survival and unraveling dark secrets that could change the course of the future.

2. Snowpiercer (2013)

‘Snowpiercer’ is a science fiction action film directed by Bong Joon Ho and based on the graphic novel ‘Le Transperceneige’ by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film displays a dark dystopian future where the last remains of humanity are aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels the globe with a class system. With well-below-freezing temperatures outside, Curtis (Chris Evans) plans to rescue his people who are stuck in the bottom-most class, barely given life’s essentials. He rounds up his group, hoping to make their way to the engine and take over the train.

‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ provide the viewers with an incredible post-apocalyptic dystopian world that’s full of misery and hardships. The films portray the downfall of humanity and its bizarre and brutal remains. It is up to the survivors to abolish the dominant hierarchy and finally bring hope to the people who need it the most.

1. Divergent (2014)

Neil Burger’s science fiction film, ‘Divergent’ plunges us into a dystopian future where people are segregated into a caste system established on merit. The film, based on Veronica Roth’s 2011 science fiction novel of the same name, follows Tris, who realizes that she is Divergent and not fit for any of the factions. As she learns more about being different, Tris unravels twisted plans to kill anyone who is divergent. Now, she must survive the onslaught of attacks against her and change the way the world perceives divergent human beings. ‘Divergent’ and ‘Mortal Engines’ share a unique dystopian DNA that makes the genre so special. Apart from its riveting world-building, the two films excel at talking about the harsh realities that humanity can face if unchecked. Through its lens of dystopia, the films portray how even just a handful of people could be the catalyst for a revolution.

Read More: Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies on Netflix