20 Dystopian Movies Like ‘The Hunger Games’ to Stream if You’re Missing the Capitol
After the initial film brought in a whopping $694.4 million, three successful sequels were released, kick-starting a new wave of YA sci-fi content that would appeal to both teens and adults alike. And fortunately, we’ve seen quite a few compelling titles—but not all of them live up to the popular franchise. Whether you’re up for a good survival story or craving more fearless young heroines, these 20 movies like Hunger Games are sure to pique your interest.
1. ‘The Maze Runner’ (2014)
Who’s in it? Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee
What’s it about? Like Katniss, 16-year-old Thomas (O'Brien) finds himself trapped in an environment that’s extremely difficult to survive. After waking up in a life-sized maze with no memory of how he got there, Thomas and several other boys try to find their way out while establishing a society known as “the Glade.”
2. ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ (2005)
Who’s in it? Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman
What’s it about? Given Harry’s remarkable bravery and leadership, we’d say the entire Harry Potter series is worth your time. But if you enjoyed the competition element in The Hunger Games, then this installment will definitely stand out. Join Harry as he returns to Hogwarts and joins a dangerous tournament against other schools of magic.
3. ‘After The Dark’ (2013)
Who’s in it? Sophie Lowe, Rhys Wakefield, Bonnie Wright, James D'Arcy, Daryl Sabara
What’s it about? A philosophy course takes a dark turn when the professor tells his students they must choose only 10 people from their group to survive the nuclear holocaust. A thought-provoking psychological thriller, After The Dark will give you Quarter Quell vibes.
4. ‘The Tournament’ (2009)
Who’s in it? Robert Carlyle, Ving Rhames, Kelly Hu, Sébastien Foucan, Liam Cunningham
What’s it about? Every seven years, a group of powerful and wealthy men gather assassins, serial killers and trained athletes to enter a secret “tournament,” where participants are tasked with killing each other until one is left standing. As a reward, the winner gets $10 million and the title of "World's Number One."
5. ‘Divergent’ (2014)
Who’s in it? Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller
What’s it about? Set in a futuristic Chicago where everyone is placed into factions, Beatrice Prior’s (Woodley) world is turned upside down when she learns that she is “divergent,” meaning that she doesn’t fit into one faction. A fearless 16-year-old heroine, a fascinating dystopian world and a swoon-worthy romance? Sign us up.
6. ‘Battle Royale’ (2000)
Who’s in it? Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarō Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano
What’s it about? It’s like the gritter, darker version of The Hunger Games, complete with plenty of violence and gore. Set in a Japanese high school, a group of students are forced to compete in a twisted game where they all fight to the death, until one person is left alive.
7. ‘Hanna’ (2011)
Who’s in it? Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng
What’s it about? Ronan shines as 15-year old Hanna Heller, a trained assassin sent on a mission by her father, an ex-CIA agent. Along the way, tries to evade a powerful enemy who wants her dead. But the closer she gets to completing her mission, the more she questions her humanity.
8. ‘The Darkest Minds’ (2018)
Who’s in it? Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore, Gwendoline Christie
What’s it about? This YA film tackles themes of bravery, love and self-sacrifice—all things that’ll appeal to any Hunger Games fan. The Darkest Minds follows a group of teen survivors who gain special abilities after surviving a pandemic that killed millions of children. Using their newfound powers, they take a stand against adults in power who are targeting them.
9. ‘Logan's Run’ (1976)
Who’s in it? Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett
What’s it about? The year is 2274 and Logan appears to live in a utopian society, where technology takes care of everyone’s needs. But there’s just one catch: Everyone who reaches 30 gets killed. Can Logan escape his own termination and live to see 31?
10. ‘The Condemned’ (2007)
Who’s in it? Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Robert Mammone, Tory Mussett, Madeleine West, Rick Hoffman
What’s it about? A group of prisoners on death row are put on an island and forced to fight to the death. (Sound familiar?) The entire game gets broadcast to the public, and the grand prize for the last one standing? Their freedom.
11. ‘The Truman Show’ (1998)
Who’s in it? Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone
What’s it about? You won’t find any explosions or bows and arrows here, but much like Katniss and the rest of the tributes in Hunger Games, Truman Burbank’s (Carrey) struggles are put on full display and viewed as entertainment by the rest of the world. The only problem? He has no idea he’s being watched.
12. ‘The 5th Wave’ (2016)
Who’s in it? Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe
What’s it about? Sixteen-year-old Cassie Sullivan teams up with a group of teens to save the human race from aliens, who have already wiped out most of the Earth’s population through waves of devastating attacks. Cassie’s relationship with her little brother will instantly remind you of the bond Katniss shares with Prim.
13. ‘Lord Of The Flies’ (1963)
Who’s in it? James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards, Roger Elwin
What’s it about? Lord Of The Flies brilliantly depicts how people can unravel when they’re stuck in survival mode. In the film, a group of young boys are left stranded on a remote island after their plane crashes and kills all the adults. The group tries to establish some order by creating a society, but chaos ensues when conflict causes them to split apart.
14. ‘Nine Dead’ (2009)
Who’s in it? Melissa Joan Hart, John Terry, Chip Bent, Lawrence Turner
What’s it about? Following a number of kidnappings, all nine victims are held hostage in the same room. And unless they can figure out how they’re all connected, one of them will die every ten minutes… Talk about intense.
15. ‘V for Vendetta’ (2005)
Who’s in it? Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry
What’s it about? It’s likely that Suzanne Collins took some inspiration from this political action flick, since the titular character is essentially an edgier version of Katniss. Set in a future where England is overtaken by an oppressive, neo-fascist government, a vigilante named “V” (Weaving) tries to spark a revolution using terrorist tactics.
16. ‘Cube’ (1997)
Who’s in it? Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings
What’s it about? A random group of strangers are startled to wake up in a prison composed of cube-shaped cells, though it doesn’t take long for them to figure out that they’ll need to work together to escape. Can they beat a system where several cubes are rigged with deadly traps?
17. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015)
Who’s in it? Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne
What’s it about? Set in a post-apocalyptic world where there’s an extreme shortage of water and gasoline, the action film follows Max (Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Theron) as they fight to survive while fleeing from an evil cult leader. It doesn’t have much in common with The Hunger Games, but the pair’s resilience and determination has “Katniss” written all over it.
18. ‘The Giver’ (2014)
Who’s in it? Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift
What’s it about? Can you imagine living in a world where all conflict and emotions have been removed? Such is the case in this adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel, where young Jonas (Thwaites) lives in a relatively peaceful society. But when he learns the truth about his community’s dark past, he realizes that he must find a way to escape.
19. ‘Ender’s Game’ (2013)
Who’s in it? Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley
What’s it about? When a group of vicious aliens attack planet Earth, a gifted young man named Ender Wiggin (Butterfield) is recruited to join a military program that prepares him to defeat the aliens in an upcoming war.
20. ‘The Hunt’ (2020)
Who’s in it? Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank
What’s it about? A group of strangers wake up in a clearing and discover that they’re actually being hunted for sport—but the tables turn when one of them manages to outsmart the hunters. The satirical film boasts a fierce young female lead who survives against all odds, while also offering some spot-on commentary about the political divide in America.