Robots have always fascinated us, and constantly been a part of pop culture, along with science-fiction novels, films, and TV programmes. There have been many memorable robots out there, and others that were suitably unmemorable. But, even today, robots make fascinating subjects for exploration in the medium of cinema, and that’s one of the reasons why they popularity has endured.
When looking at some of the best movies to feature a robot, it’s important to think about the range of options available. From animated to live action, main characters to guest appearances, and humanoids to machines, there are so many different types of movie robots to consider. This is a list of some of the best movies out there to feature robots, especially in main roles. We hope you dig these movies as much as we do!
The Disney-Pixar dream team returned in 2008 with one of the best films either studio has ever produced. Wall-E was an exceptional film – innovative, funny, touching, and moral. It made us remember how great science fiction can be, and how important robots are for our world. With almost no dialogue, the movie should not have worked as a kids film, and yet, somehow, it worked wonderfully. Much of this is to do with the character of Wall-E, not to mention his friend EVE! The movie tackles themes like consumerism, climate change, waste management, and corporatism.
Short Circuit (1986)
Johnny 5 was one of our favorite robots when we were kids, and the iconic Short Circuit remains a favorite of ours. The movie follows a military robot who is struck by lightning and becomes more human in the process. The film was funny, engaging, and had an important message about technology and humans – in many ways the movie was way ahead of its time. Watching it now, you will find it very much a product of its era, but it’s also an enduring classic, with some great jokes for adults that you never picked up when watching it as a kid.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
This much-maligned and criminally underrated Steven Spielberg flick starred Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law and was a fascinating movie. It’s a warm, uplifting, and fascinating story, exploring themes of faith, despair, loneliness, technology, and family. A.I. might not make anybody’s list of top 5 finest sci-fi movies ever made, but, we feel it’s a highly underappreciated movie. It also kicked off a wave of films featuring robots and rekindled a lot of love for a genre that had gone stale. Yes, there are some missteps, and the movie doesn’t get everything right, but it’s a truly breathtaking ride nonetheless.
We’ve bucked the trend and avoided the obvious choices – Star Wars, The Terminator, Robocop – in favor of more unusual movies. Though we’re sure you’ll agree, these movies are all fantastic and offer a huge amount of fun and entertainment. If you’ve never seen any of these flicks, we suggest you check them out as soon as you can. If you have kids, Wall-E is the perfect choice for a wonderful family-friendly robot film, but all our choices would be great in that regard.