Every Movie Set In 2022 | Screen Rant

There are over a dozen movies set in 2022, some of which pictured the time as a faraway sci-fi era and some of which expected it to be a surprisingly pedestrian year. A great many movies released in 2022 will, of course, inevitably also be set in 2022. However, a select few movies released in the last few decades were also set in 2022, and some of them predicted a strange future for the world.

Although none of the movies set in 2022 were able to accurately forecast the reality of the new year, only a handful offered surreal, strange sci-fi stories that still seem as fantastical now as they did upon release. Surprisingly, many movies set in 2022 saw the year not as a Mad Max-style dystopian future, but instead as a relatively realistic and normal setting. However, with more than one movie expecting prisoners to be inhabiting remote islands and spaceships by 2022, it is fair to say that few movies offered an accurate image of the current human experience.

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Of the 16 movies set in 2022, only 6 are sci-fi outings. Three are comedies and one recent ensemble rom-com, while 4 more are horrors. The last is a disaster movie, meaning most genres are well-represented in the rundown and it is hard to tell which will define cinema’s vision of 2022. From horror comedies like Hell Baby to moving family dramedies like Duckweed, though, the one thing that all of the movies seen here have in common is the fact that they all imagined an idea of 2022 before the year itself arrived.

Sci-fi legend Billy Dee Williams is the best thing about 1994’s Alien Intruder, a movie with a great premise and none of the wit, tension, or budget to pull it off. Alien Intruder’s conceit is ingenious, as the movie tells the tale of a convict-filled prison ship where violent offenders are allowed to live out their twisted fantasies via virtual reality until an alien interloper starts invading their dreamscapes and killing them off. However, what could have been a sci-fi horror mix of Alien 3 and Species is instead a drab and dull affair, despite the virtual reality sequences parodying everything from Westerns to film noir.

Released in 2017, Geostorm is one of its star Gerard Butler’s less compelling disaster movie efforts. Following the action star’s satellite designer as he attempts to curtail the titular storm’s trail of destruction, Geostorm is a middling outing that offered a vision of 2022 which was not too dissimilar to 2017. However, there is no mention of masks, social distancing, or any of the other hallmarks associated with 2022’s real-life global crisis, meaning Geostorm’s Roland-Emmerich-lite action failed to predict what would actually be the year’s defining worldwide news story.

The other Keanu Reeves sci-fi series that returned to screens in the early 2020s, Bill & Ted Face The Music received a surprisingly strong critical response upon release. 2021's The Matrix Resurrections may have been a more hotly anticipated outing, but Bill & Ted Face The Music still managed the impressive feat of keeping its comedy feeling fresh and funny decades after the arrival of the original. While the belated sequel’s vision of 2022 was not entirely accurate to reality, Bill & Ted Face The Music was still a fun romp that pleased most fans of the earlier outings in the series.

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Released in 2013, Blumhouse’s home invasion thriller The Purge imagined a world wherein crime was legal for one night of the year and honed in on how this affected the lives of one sheltered, suburban family. With characters donning masks and isolating themselves from a perceived threat outside, there is an argument to be made that The Purge was a prescient piece of pandemic satire. However, the accuracy ends there. So far, America has not yet made crime legal any night of the year, although the Purge franchise is still going strong and later sequels have done a far better job of fleshing out the franchise’s fictional history.

A curious mix of political thriller and werewolf horror, Among the Shadows was briefly touted as Lindsay Lohan’s big comeback before its release in 2019. While it was the first movie that the actor had appeared in since 2013, there was unfortunately little else notable about the humdrum horror. The idea of werewolves and vampires secretly partaking in an eons-old war under the noses of unaware humans admittedly had serious promise, but Among the Shadows offered nothing that Kate Beckinsale’s action franchise Underworld had not already done in a bigger, better and more coherent fashion.

Despite having a stellar premise (the titular amoral antiheroes repossess organs from those who can’t pay their medical bills), 2010’s Repo Men failed to find a sharp point in its satire of the for-profit healthcare system. A decade earlier, the English-language Indian movie Deham suffered the same fate, despite telling a bigger scale version of the same story. The futuristic sci-fi satire imagined a world wherein poorer countries survived by selling organs to the rich and, despite the uneasy marriage of corporate money and healthcare provision remaining more relevant than ever in 2022, Deham’s vision of the future remains as predictable as critics found the movie upon release in 2000.

Released in 2013, Hell Baby is a horror-comedy that makes the sweet Ghostbusters: Afterlife look like a hardcore, R-rated scare-fest. This loose, goofy tale of two parents who discover their child is the spawn of Satan is incredibly silly and barely even attempts to offer much in the way of horror, but fans of Hot Tub Time Machine and Little Evil will likely get a lot of laughs out of Hell Baby’s sketch comedy stylings. Many moments in this uneven comedy feel like half-finished skits and the runtime drags on a little, but genre legends Leslie Bibb and Rob Corddry are reliably hilarious and there are a handful of inspired jokes that make Hell Baby worth a watch. Bizarrely, though, the movie’s 2022 setting is barely addressed and little (if any) of the action hinges on Hell Baby taking place in the future.

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Released in 1994, the sci-fi action thriller No Escape remains one of Casino Royale director Martin Campbell’s most underrated movies. Starring Ray Liotta and Lance Henriksen, No Escape tells the tale of an ex-Marine unfairly sentence to life imprisonment in a remote prison island owned and operated by a corrupt corporation. A surprisingly deft streak of satire runs through the dark heart of this violent, fast-paced thriller, which has aged well despite depicting the world of 2022 as a far more futuristic milieu than reality could offer. Liotta and Henriksen are an appealing pairing, the action is slick and the plot twisty, and the impressive supporting cast includes genre stalwarts Ernie Hudson and Kevin Dillon. While not as memorable as Campbell’s Bond movies, No Escape is still an underrated outing for the helmer.

Both the first and third movies in the Purge franchise are set in 2022, but the second sequel offers a much more immersive vision of the franchise’s world than the self-contained action of the low-budget original. This proves both a blessing and a curse, as the satire of this sequel is sometimes a lot more clumsy and on-the-nose than that of its comparatively clever predecessors. That said, being released in the real-life election year of 2016 will inevitably age a movie’s message, and as far as horror movie franchise sequels go, fans of the genre could do far worse than The Purge: Election Year. That said, the movie’s vision of 2022 was undeniably way off.

Released in 2020, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War was the final movie in the DC Animated Movie Universe. Like most of the movies listed here, the release failed to predict the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but in fairness, its busy story did have a 14-movie franchise to wrap up. The intersecting tales of Constantine, Cyborg, the Justice League, the Suicide Squad, and the titular team made for critically well-liked viewing, with many reviewers praising this ambitious outing for tying the series together, at least until the long-awaited big-screen return of Constantine.

Arguably the most notable movie on this list, the dystopian sci-fi Soylent Green is more than its iconic titular twist. Everyone knows what the eponymous foodstuff is made of by now, but what many viewers might forget is that Soylent Green’s satire of overconsumption, out-of-control capitalism, and brutal labor exploitation remains as sharp as ever despite the movie being released in 1973. One of the earliest mainstream movies to address climate change and ecological catastrophe, Soylent Green’s vision of 2022 may have taken things a touch too far into the fantastical, but upon a rewatch, it is disarming to realize how much of the movie’s dismaying predictions were right on the money.

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2021’s The Tomorrow War proved that an Alien movie set on earth could work, but that was about all that this middle-of-the-road blockbuster had to offer. Its monsters were nowhere near as memorable as the iconic Xenomorph and its nemesis the Predator, and The Tomorrow War made little use of its undeniably clever premise. The idea of earth’s army drafting soldiers from the past as they lose a war in the future could have resulted in some twisty time travel shenanigans a la the Terminator franchise, but instead, this big-budget outing couldn’t help but feel like a perfectly passable, but overfamiliar, rerun of Edge of Tomorrow.

The 2017 Chinese dramedy Duckweed sees its hero transported back into the past after a car crash in 2022, meaning much of the movie’s tragicomic action doesn’t actually take place in 2022. While the protagonist learns that he and his father are not as different as he always thought in 1998, this sets up a heartwarming finale that returns him to 2022. As a result, this is a rare 2022-set movie that barely uses its setting, but Duckweed is nonetheless a fun, moving story of family and fatherhood that is worth seeking out.

There is nothing disastrously wrong with 1993’s Time Runner. However, even the Terminator franchise’s weaker outings offer a more interesting slice of sci-fi action than this inoffensive but derivative effort. Time Runner sees a military captain sent into the past to save earth from an impending alien invasion, a plot that fans of the genre had seen done before and better by the time the movie arrived. Needless to say, the fact that Time Runner’s version of 2022 is overrun with aliens means the movie’s predictions for the future were not quite accurate. That said, there is still some fun to be had in revisiting this Terminator knock-off, which has the same cheesy charm as the fellow Mark Hamill vehicle Sandstorm, an underrated Bill Paxton sci-fi movie.

South Korea’s ensemble rom-com A Year-End Medley just about made the cut for this rundown, as it both takes place in 2022 and was released in 2022 in many parts of the world. A late December release, this holiday confection is essentially a South Korean spin on the likes of 2011’s New Year’s Eve and 2019’s Let It Snow. Telling a series of interconnected stories, some romantic, some comedic, and some fusing the two, A Year-End Medley uses a hotel setting to bring its characters together. Well-liked by critics, this one offers a more hopeful (and up-to-date) vision of 2022 than many of the movies found here.

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On the opposite end of the cynical-to-sweet spectrum from A Year-End Medley, 2021’s Safer At Home is a grim thriller that, unlike earlier Zoom movie hit Host, envisions a brutal post-COVID world. A late attempt to capitalize on the “set entirely on Zoom” aesthetic trend, Safer At Home is a knotty story of characters who attempt to survive 2022 LA after the pandemic’s escalating death toll turns the city into a police state. Muddled in its politics, overly ambitious in its world-building, and simply more depressing than exciting or scary, Safer At Home is a thriller that fails to thrill and a horror that does nothing to horrify viewers. That said, the low-budget movie did at least manage to tell a coherent story with a limited budget and quick turnaround time, which is more than can be said for some movies set in 2022.

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