With Part III, Atlas Shrugged Becomes An Awesome, Torrid Romance

Like The Hobbit, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand was too awesome to adapt as just one movie. And now at last, the movie trilogy is complete. And the third movie is by far the most entertaining, because it focuses on the torrid romance between railroad genius Dagny Taggart and the dreamy, lion-coiffed John Galt. Spoilers… » 9/12/14 2:51pm 9/12/14 2:51pm

The Purge: Anarchy Is Basically Idiocracy, Starring The Punisher

In the Purge franchise, America has turned brutally stupid. Once a year, we have a day where "all crime is legal" — which translates into "let's kill poor people." The good news is, where the first Purge was a dull home-invasion flick, the second is a pretty zany action movie, with Frank Grillo as the Punisher. » 7/18/14 9:00am 7/18/14 9:00am

Thai Military Threatens To Arrest People For Doing Hunger Games Salute

The three-finger salute which Katniss Everdeen does in The Hunger Games has become a real-life symbol of resistance to the military coup in Thailand. To the point where the ruling junta has said it may arrest people for doing it, if they're in a large group and refuse to lower their arms. » 6/04/14 1:23pm 6/04/14 1:23pm

Karen Russell's Imaginary Nonprofit Saves The World But Costs Your Soul

There's been a wave of fiction about an insomnia epidemic, as if some collective anxiety is bubbling up. Most recently, Kenneth Calhoun's Black Moon freaked us out. But Karen Russell's new novella "Sleep Donation" is still something pretty unique: a look at people in the nonprofit sector, struggling with insoluble… » 4/18/14 4:37pm 4/18/14 4:37pm

Divergent Is A Ridiculously Fun Story Of Social Engineering Gone Mad

At first glance, Divergent sounds like a more contrived version of Hunger Games. In a dark dystopian future, everybody is required to have just one personality trait. Like Smurfs. Or the Seven Dwarfs. But the film version does a good job of revealing how this story is actually about social engineering. Plus, it's… » 3/21/14 9:00am 3/21/14 9:00am

Get ready to fall in love with Veronica Mars all over again

Veronica Mars was a teen sleuth whose superpower was storytelling. She was adroit at making up clever lies and crafting fake identities, but it was always in the service of piecing together the truth — which was another story she constructed. Now she's starring in a big crowd-funded movie, which turns out to be about… » 3/14/14 9:00am 3/14/14 9:00am

Why Maze Runner's James Dashner abandoned dystopia for virtual reality

James Dashner made a huge impact with The Maze Runner, his dystopian young-adult novel which is being turned into a major movie by Fox. Now he's back with a novel about virtual reality, The Eye of Minds. We talked to Dashner about why virtual reality could replace dystopia in young-adult novels. » 10/07/13 12:44pm 10/07/13 12:44pm

Designing Elysium: All The Secrets of Neill Blomkamp's Stark Future

Neill Blomkamp blew our minds with District 9, and now he's back with Elysium. We talked to concept artists and the movie's VFX producer to find out how they imagined a future space station, with the help of legendary designer Syd Mead. Here's our exclusive look inside the design of Neill Blomkamp's Elysium! » 8/08/13 12:33pm 8/08/13 12:33pm

The Purge could be this year's most hamfisted political movie

In The Purge, a suburban family is put through hell because right wingers came up with a plan to eliminate the poor and the sick. And we all come face to face with how broken the American dream really is. Yadda yadda. Basically, it's like this year's Atlas Shrugged or Now: a clunky and implausible political screed in… » 6/07/13 9:00am 6/07/13 9:00am

Wow, a Dystopian Coming-of-Age Novel With Actual Real Science

At this point the glut of novels about a young person growing up in a fearsome dystopia has become kind of insane, especially as the dystopias have gotten more and more far-fetched. So it's refreshing to read a novel like Jane Rogers' Testament of Jessie Lamb, where the dark future involves actual science. And real… » 5/23/13 4:43pm 5/23/13 4:43pm

What's the most stylish dystopia of all time?

Everybody knows that dystopias have the best fashions and the coolest designs. Whether it's the stark paleness of THX-1138, the totalitarian chic of Nineteen Eighty Four, the orgy cool of Brave New World or the priests-on-prozac aesthetic of Equilibrium... dystopias are always fashionable. So what's the most stylish… » 5/10/13 4:10pm 5/10/13 4:10pm