15 Best Movies Like Westworld

There are many movies with robots running amok in them, but surprisingly few good movies where the story focuses on the robots.  The most interesting ones, like HBO’s Westworld, also tackle bigger themes like the fragility of reality, what it means to be human, and even slavery.

So for fans who enjoy the many characters and thematic layers of Westworld, these movies are worth a look.  There are plenty of bad movies that try to attract these same fans, but when it comes to something as smart as Westworld, it is a good idea to look for more prestige features. There’s also no shortage of cheap movies with robots/aliens/belligerent forces out to conquer the human race on a budget, but fans looking for a cheesy, lo-fi production, likely aren’t watching Westworld too.

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Updated on June 29th, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: Westworld returned for its fourth season in 2022 and the cerebral science fiction series continued to capture fans’ attention on HBO. While the new season seems to be taking the show in yet another interesting direction, with none of the seasons being the same, it proves that the series knows how to keep the audience invested while never letting them know what to expect next. There are several movies that play in the same playground, some good and some bad, and when a sci-fi fan finds a treasure in the genre, it often opens up a world that they could barely imagine before.


Total Recall (1990)

Streaming now on HBO Max


Douglas Quaid hooked into a machine in Total Recall.

The theme of Westworld is creating a fictional world that seems real to the people paying to visit it. This is the same basic plot of the Paul Verhoeven movie Total Recall. However, the twist here is that instead of putting people into the environment knowing it is fake, Total Recall puts the person into the situation by using brain-altering tech to make them believe it is real.

RELATED: 10 Things To Remember Before Season 4 Of Westworld

It is no surprise that this story was based on a Philip K. Dick story, We Can Remember it for You Wholesale. Instead of being like Westworld, where the fiction becomes reality, in Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Douglas Quaid realizes it was his reality that was fiction.


Gattaca (1997)

Streaming now on Netflix


Ethan Hakwe in Gattica

The 1997 movie Gattaca shares a lot in common with Westworld when it comes to a person’s place in society, and how it can be hard for some to ever fully integrate themselves into a world that is nothing like them. Just like Westworld, the movie Gattica is a science fiction story that makes people wonder what society could look like.

Ethan Hawke stars in the movie as Vincent, a man both outside of the eugenics program set up in the world that ensures that children born have the best traits of their parents, making them as perfect as possible. What resulted was Vincent battling prejudice and discrimination as he tried to achieve his dream of going into space.


Her (2013)

Streaming now on Netflix


Joaquin phoenix samantha her

Spike Jonze has created some amazingly cerebral movies over his career, and the highlight might be his 2013 sci-fi drama Her. The movie is a small one, but it has a story that asks a lot of important questions, similar to the ones that Westworld routinely asks. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore in Her, a man who lives in a futuristic society.

This is not very different from the current world outside of the fact that computer AI has become highly developed. There is even a chance for introverts like Theodore to begin “dating” their AI virtual assistants, with his a voice named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It is very similar in many ways, questioning what the future could hold if humans began to develop relationships with AIs, or in Westworld’s case, robots.


Jurassic Park (1993)

Streaming now on HBO Max


This is the scene when the main characters first arrive on the island.

In Westworld, the show was originally based around an amusement park that had robots playing the roles of western heroes and villains, and people could come to the park and live through the adventures. In Jurassic Park, the story was about an amusement park that recreated dinosaurs using DNA where people could come to the park and see these prehistoric creatures in all their glory.

The stories are also about what happens when these plans all go wrong. Humans die and the creatures built to entertain them begin to run rampant. The two stories even continue on the same path, showing the robots and dinosaurs moving into the real world.

The Running Man (1987)

Streaming now on Fubo, AMC+, and Max Go


the running man

The Running Man was based on a Stephen King novel written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The movie, while mostly a guilty pleasure, was also years ahead of its time. Released in 1987, the story takes place in a future where convicts are allowed to take part in a televised reality show where they can attempt to reach freedom while being hunted by assassins.

This was years before the idea of reality TV was an everyday conversation and it showed a world where people would watch the death of men and women for entertainment. While the deaths in Westworld’s amusement park were not meant to be real, it was still a situation where people would pay money to watch people die in gunfights in person.

Westworld – The Original Film (1973)

Streaming now on Spectrum on Demand


There’s no better place to start than 1973’s Westworld, directed by novelist/doctor/genius Michael Crichton.  Westworld was part of a spate of mid-70 sci-fi movies like The Omega Man, The Andromeda Strain, Soylent Green, and various Planet of the Apes sequels.

RELATED: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About The HBO Westworld Series

For a movie that starts so promisingly and engages the viewer so thoroughly when the guests arrive in the park, it’s interesting how the movie goes so very wrong.  Once the villainous Gunslinger (Yul Brynner) pursues surviving guest Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) into Roman World, the final anticlimactic ending is a let-down. The concept – robots as playthings in an elaborate theme park – is explored much more broadly in the HBO series.


I Robot (2004)

Streaming now on HBO Max


A fan could be forgiven for reading Isaac Asimov’s brilliant short story “I Robot” and then having to squint at Will Smith’s movie to find a resemblance. Yes, they both have helper robots in need of policing, ethical questions about man-made slavery, and … well, the movie has very little else in common with Asimov’s writings.

But if someone is looking for a mildly entertaining action movie with Smith at maximum cool (e.g. he has a robotic arm), I Robot is a good bet.  The adaptable Alan Tudyk’s motion-capture performance as sympathetic robot Sonny is one of the highlights and presages his role as K2S0 in Rogue One.

Deadwood (2019)

Streaming now on HBO Max


There aren’t any robots or evil corporations in Deadwood, but as a fellow HBO western, it had a strong influence on Westword. Where Deadwood focused on the struggles and joys of the eponymous frontier town, Westworld is more interested in peeling back the layers – but both delve into the grit and pain and realism of life in the Old West.

There are even comparisons with the cast – the square-jawed hero (James Marsden, Timothy Olyphant), the hardened ingenue (Molly Parker, Evan Rachel Wood), the old English steward (Ian McShane, Anthony Hopkins) – which suggests even more similarities. The 2019 Deadwood: The Movie helped wrap up the series in a manner Westworld should consider. 


Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Streaming now on Disney+


Perhaps the most popular robots run amok movie in recent memory, Avengers: Age of Ultron looks to amplify the earthly threat to our superheroes by pitting them against a nemesis of their own creation. Over the course of the movie, audiences enjoy Ultron’s drones getting squashed and pummeled by the Avengers – which is not typically what fans experience with the same situation on Westworld.

As HBO’s Westworld is more character-focused, so too writer/director Joss Whedon is looking to take advantage of the story to ask questions about existence, good vs. evil, and humanity. Ultron’s final scene in Age of Ultron, where Vision chides him about missing humankind’s “grace in their faith,” is a bit esoteric – but wouldn’t be out of place in Westworld.

A.I. – Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Streaming now on Starz


Steven Speilberg’s A.I. might not be as thought-provoking as an episode of Westworld, but the pet project of director Stanley Kubrick has some strong similarities. Speilberg picked it up in 2001 to finish the movie for Kubrick and added his signature gloss and framing.

This futuristic Pinocchio story tries to cover many topics in 2.5 hours; climate change, family ties, virtual reality, aliens, etc. – offering more thematic elements than most sci-fi movies. A.I. is an adult movie about what it means to be a robotic child, a concept Westworld explores as well.

Screamers (1995)

Rent now on Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Redbox, Microsoft, and YouTube


Screamers is a guilty pleasure, the kind of narrative you hope Westworld indulges. What’s not to love about a mid-budget sci-fi featuring Peter Weller, who’s part of a team battling “screamer” soldier robots who’ve turned on their masters? Although they initially resembled spiky IRobots, they’ve somehow evolved into humanoids, and are trying to infiltrate the human race.

RELATED:  Each Main Westworld Character’s Most Iconic Scene So Far

There are throwaway themes of abandonment, child soldiers, and morality that are brushed over quickly so we can get back to the freaky attacks. Screamers indulges the audience, but it’s still good cinema to see an evil spiky robot get messed up occasionally.

Ex Machina (2015)

Streaming now on Fubo, Showtime, Hoopla, and Kanopy


Ex Machina will never be on a double-bill with Screamers, as it asks the question “how would a regular geek administer the Turing Test to half-assembled, sexy robots and their egomaniac creator?” Alicia Vikander plays the self-aware “synthetic intelligence” opposite Star Wars veterans Oscar Isaac and Domhall Gleeson in a slow-burn plot.

Compared to other movies that threaten world domination, Alex Garland’s movie Ex Machina is more contemplative, like an art-house chamber piece. The ending – no spoilers – looks like it was cut and pasted onto part of Dolores’ journey in Westworld.

The Terminator (1984)

Streaming now on Prime Video


James Cameron’s Terminator was shot with rear-projection, stop animation, and the blood, sweat, and tears of stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Michael Behn.

The Terminator was an oddly engaging and polished sci-fi thriller amidst a crop of similar 80s films and somehow gave birth to a franchise that’s still alive today. Not that every Terminator movie is worth watching – but when a fan thinks of evil, skeletal robots hellbent on eliminating the human race, they think of Cameron’s tour-de-force first.


Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Streaming now on Starz


One of the most underrated sci-fi westerns ever – if there was such a genre – Cowboys & Aliens is best taken in small doses. In fact, coming from a graphic novel source, it would have been better as a limited series like Westworld, instead of the current patchwork of set-pieces like any other action/adventure movie.

Although Cowboys & Aliens doesn’t contain any robots, the good/evil dichotomies, dastardly aliens darting about the Old West in nefarious fashion, and the odd mix of cowboy motif with futuristic technology are similar to Westworld. If you look back at the stellar cast, it’s obvious director Jon Favreau was on to something compelling.

Blade Runner (1982)

Rent now on Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Redbox, Microsoft, and YouTube


Surely an inspiration for the themes and futuristic settings for Westworld – and really, all technologically dystopian stories since 1981 – Blade Runner was more interested in showcasing the robots than the running amok part. Based on Philip K Dick’s story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the 1982 movie merited a sequel Blade Runner: 2049 in 2017.

In relation to Westworld, Season 3 in particular borrows some of the bruising cityscapes and thriller aspects that Blade Runner delved into. That robots are self-aware of their place in modern society, and yet bristle against it, is the main part of the story in both. Watch the original Blade Runner to learn about beleaguered robots; watch the sequel to learn more about humans.

NEXT: 10 Movies & Shows To Watch If You Like Westworld, According To Ranker

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