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15 best gadget movies for your watchlist

best gadgets for film lovers

Have you ever noticed how movies with cool tech always seem to be more exciting? Can you imagine Star Trek or Blade Runner without all the crazy gadgets they have? The best gadget movies a whole lot more cutting-edge than the streaming stick you’re probably watching each film through.

And don’t even get us started on superhero movies. The Avengers wouldn’t be the same without their high-tech gear, and Batman would simply be yet another billionaire who probably owns a social media platform. And then there’s James Bond, the ultimate gadget guy.

If you’re into cool gadgets, there are tons of movies out there that you must check out, so we’ve put together a list of some of the top movies for all you gadget lovers out there. Enjoy!

2001: Space Odyssey (1968)

For the first film on this list, you must return to 1968 to the classic science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Stanley Kubrick created. He co-wrote the screenplay with science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who drew inspiration from his short story The Sentinel and other works. Clarke even wrote a novelization of the movie while it was being made.

The cast includes Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Douglas Rain, and the story follows a group of astronauts and scientists on a mission to Jupiter, accompanied by the intelligent computer HAL, to investigate an alien monolith.

This movie is truly a marvel as it features special effects that were groundbreaking at the time and still hold up today. The beautiful and haunting soundtrack by composer György Ligeti adds to the eerie atmosphere of the movie. The movie also offers contemplation on humanity, technology, and the vastness of the universe. While it may be challenging, 2001: A Space Odyssey is also one of the most rewarding movies.

The film has significantly impacted popular culture, inspiring countless works of science fiction and even influencing real-life space exploration. The iconic design of the film’s spacecraft and computers has been referenced in numerous movies, TV shows, and video games. Additionally, the movie’s portrayal of artificial intelligence has been discussed and debated in computer science.

If you’re a gadget enthusiast, you’ll quickly recognize HAL 9000 as the sentient computer that serves as the main antagonist in the film. You’ll also spot telescreens, voice-activated controls, tablet computers, spacesuits, and many other futuristic devices — some that don’t look all that futuristic in 2023.

The Avengers (2012)

The superhero movie The Avengers is a significant work that redefined how superhero movies should be and set a benchmark for future films in the genre. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork and proves that even the mightiest individuals can accomplish great things when they join forces.

Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, The Avengers is film six in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Joss Whedon wrote and directed the film. It featured an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the Avengers, alongside Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson.

In the film, Nick Fury and the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Thor, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton to form a team capable of stopping Thor’s brother Loki from subjugating Earth.

The Avengers was a financial and critical triumph, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide. The movie was lauded for its action scenes, jokes, and talented cast. It also played a crucial role in bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a broader audience and significantly impacted popular culture.

Back to the Future II (1989)

The first Back to the Future film is widely regarded as the best and for good reason. However, if you’re looking for a glimpse into a futuristic world full of cool gadgets, the second installment is worth a watch. That being said, it’s been over 30 years since its release, and it’s clear that the filmmakers were not exactly Nostradamus. The 2015 depicted in the movie vastly differs from the actual year we experienced. Mattel hoverboards, self-lacing Nikes, and fusion home energy reactors remain out of reach, and time travel is still just a fantasy. However, the video phones shown in the film have become a reality in the form of smartphones and tablets with video-calling capabilities.

If you’re new to the Back to the Future franchise, it’s best to watch the films in order. Otherwise, the plot of the second movie may not make much sense. The movie features a talented cast, including Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, and many others.

Blade Runner (1982)

The next entry on the list takes us back to 1982 and the iconic science fiction film Blade Runner. This incredible movie is directed by Ridley Scott and is based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The film was set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019.

In the movie, Harrison Ford plays police officer Rick Deckard. He is assigned to locate and eliminate replicants – artificially created beings that resemble humans. As he carries out his investigation, Deckard begins to doubt his humanity and the ethics of his job.

While watching the movie, keep an eye out for some interesting gadgets. One is the Voight-Kampff machine, which blade runners utilize to determine whether a person is a replicant. Another gadget is the police’s flying car, a spinner. Additionally, you may spot a lampbrella, a combination of an umbrella and flashlight.

In 2017, Harrison returned as Deckard in Blade Runner 2049, which co-starred Ryan Gosling.

Star Wars (1977)

This isn’t the place to discuss which of the 12 Star Wars films is the best. However, we can all agree that no other movie would have followed if it wasn’t for the success of the first film, Star Wars (1977).

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, as it would eventually be known, follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker, who teams up with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to rescue Princess Leia Organa from the Empire and destroy the Death Star. Along the way, Luke learns about the Force and confronts his father, Darth Vader, before ultimately triumphing over the Empire — at least for a while.

The first Star Wars film featured several intriguing gadgets, but none are as well-known as the iconic lightsaber. This plasma sword, wielded by Jedis and Sith Lords, can slice through nearly anything — and they sound amazing while they’re doing it.

Inception (2010)

Inception is one of the best scientific fiction action films of the past two decades. Written and directed by Christoper Nolan (The Dark Knight, Oppenheimer), the film features an all-star cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

The movie features DiCaprio as a skilled thief who gains access to confidential information by penetrating the minds of his targets. He is presented with an opportunity to have his criminal record wiped clean in exchange for embedding someone else’s idea into a target’s subconscious.

In Inception, many gadgets caught my attention. Specifically, I really enjoyed the loaded die, which Gordon-Levitt’s character uses as a totem to determine if he’s dreaming. The dream-sharing device is also fascinating; it allows characters to experience the same dreams.

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man was released in 2008, four years before the debut of The Avengers. It was the first installment in a series of three Iron Man films based on the Marvel Comics character of the 2021’same. The movie starred Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, with Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau as producers. Other notable cast members included Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Stan Lee, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, and Clark Gregg.

The movie follows the story of Tony Stark, an arrogant industrialist and weapons manufacturer. He is kidnapped and forced to create a weapon of mass destruction, but instead, he makes a suit of armor to escape. This leads to his transformation into Iron Man, a superhero who fights against evil.

Do you want gadgets? Iron Man offers plenty, including the main character’s repulsor rays and unibean.

James Bond series (1962 – present)

If you’re searching for a movie franchise with lots of gadgets, the James Bond series is worth checking out. Starting with 1962’s Dr. No and up to the most recent release, 2021’s No Time to Die, gadgets play a significant part in every storyline.

Deciding which films are the best in the gadget department is entirely subjective. Some of my favorites include Goldfinger (1964), which showcases a watch with a laser, GoldenEye (1995) and its BMW Z3 loaded with an array of cool gadgets, and Die Another Day (2002) with its nanobots.

The James Bond series is an excellent choice for anyone who loves gadgets, action, and suspense. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the series or just looking for a fun way to pass the time, there’s something for everyone in these films.

Minority Report (2022)

The movie Minhaven’teport is adapted from a story written by Philip K. Dick and directed by Steven Spielberg. It’s a science fiction thriller that revolves around the life of John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise. Anderton is the head of Precrime, a police force that employs a technology known as “precogs” to foresee crimes before they occur. However, Anderson is falsely accused of a future murder and must work to exonerate himself and prevent the crime from taking place.

In the movie, the title refers to the precogs occasionally having minority reports – glimpses of alternative futures where the crime doesn’t occur. This sparks debates about free will and whether our lives are 2012’sermined by fate. Moreover, the film delves into the potential repercussions of a society where the government can arrest and prosecute individuals for crimes they haven’t committed yet.

Minority Report features several fascinating gadgets worth exploring, such as self-driving cars, holographic displays, gesture-controlled computer interfaces, and other innovative technologies. Some of these have become a reality since the film’s release — which is fascinating and scary at the same time.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Released in 2008, The Dark Knight is a superhero movie that Christopher Nolan directed, produced, and co-written. The film is based on the DC Comics character Batman and is the sequel to Batman Begins, released in 2005. The Dark Knight is the second installment of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, which ended with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman. The plot follows Bruce Wayne / Batman, Police Lieutenant James Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent as they work together to eliminate organized crime in Gotham City. However, their mission is threatened by the Joker, a mastermind known for his anarchistic ways.

The Dark Knight is widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies ever and one of the greatest films ever. Its realistic and dark tone, impressive acting, and exciting action sequences have been highly praised. Moreover, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker is often recognized as one of cinema’s “most” exceptional villain performances.

Most Batman enthusiasts are likely familiar with the various gadgets featured in The Dark Knight, such as the iconic batmobile and batsuit. The movie also showcases other impressive tools, like the batpod motorcycle and sonar bat goggles.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix, released in 1999, is a science fiction action movie written and directed by the Wachowskis. It features an excellent cast, including Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Jofilm’soliano. The story takes place in a future world where humanity is unaware they’re trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix. Intelligent machines created this reality to keep humans distracted while using their bodies as an energy source. When computer programmer Thomas Anderson, also known as “Neo,” discovers the truth, he joins a rebellion against the machines with others who have escaped the Matrix.

The film is thought-provoking and complex, examining themes like free will, determinism, and reality. It has been interpreted in various ways and still sparks fan discussions and debates. The Matrix has also significantly impacted popular culture, influencing everything from fashion to video games. The iconic black leather outfits worn by the characters have become a staple in cosplay and Halloween costumes. The film’s fight scenes, featuring a mix of martial arts and wirework, have inspired countless action movies since its release, including three sequels.

The neural interface and jumping program are two of the most popular gadgets in The Matrix. The neuralink is a device inserted into an individual’s back, enabling them to engage with the Matrix. On the other hand, the jumping program permits users to transport themselves from one point to another within the Matrix.

Tron (1982)

Next is the 1982 science fiction action film Tron, written and directed by Steven Lisberger. It stars Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, and Barnard Hughes.

Set in a future world where computers have become extremely powerful and taken control, Tron tells the story of Kevin Flynn (Bridges), a computer programmer falsely accused of a crime. He is transported into the mainframe computer of ENCOM, the company he founded. Once in this computer world, Flynn faces a daunting challenge as he battles against the Master Control Program (MCP), an evil computer program that has taken control of ENCOM.

Tron offers a variety of fascinating gadgets worth exploring. Among them are the light cycle vehicle, which Tron utilizes for racing and combat; the identity disc, an energy-based weapon; and the recognizer, a vehicle MCP employs for patrolling purposes.

Men in Black (1997)

Like a lot of other film series, it’s the first Men in Black movie that’s the best. And yet, regarding gadgets, all four films are worth checking out.

The Men in Black movies are science fiction action comedies that revolve around a covert organization responsible for monitoring and regulating extraterrestrial activity on our planet. Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (played by Will Smith) lead the organization and are responsible for investigating and thwarting alien threats to Earth.

The Men In Black heavily rely on various gadgets to carry out their duties. The most well-known is the neuralyzer, a portable device that erases the memories of individuals who have seen something they shouldn’t have. Other impressive gadgets include the de-atomizer, which can eliminate aliens and other dangerous entities, and the memory scanner, which can extract and retrieve memories from a person’s mind.

Star Trek (1979)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released two years after the first Star Wars movie hit theaters. This film, which also led to a considerably long film series, was directed by Robert Wise. Better still, it starred the original cast of the Star Trek TV show, such as William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan.

In the 23rd century, the crew of the USS Enterprise embark on a mission to investigate a peculiar energy cloud that poses a danger to Earth. The film introduced the revolutionary transporter gadget, enabling the crew to transfer themselves from one place to another.

It’s clear that gadgets have played a significant role in some of the most popular films ever made. Naturally, there may be more movies that could be added to this list in the future. In the meantime, catch up on some of your favorite films or choose a few from the existing list to enjoy.

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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including iMore, TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education.