Netflix Sci-Fi Cyberpunk Thriller Set In A Future That Could Happen Tomorrow

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published


One of the reasons science fiction is so appealing is because of its ability to extrapolate current trends and technologies into imagined futures or alternate realities. A great sci-fi movie creates fictional worlds and scenarios where the events are different enough from what we see in our own world that we feel safe but close enough to our reality that we leave the theater unable to get the theme of the movie out of our heads. This is exactly the type of thing Andrew Niccol’s 2018 science fiction thriller Anon does and one of the reasons you should flip on Netflix and watch it tonight. 

The Story


Anon offers a chilling glimpse into a future where anonymity is a luxury of the past. Set in a sleek, dystopian world where every moment is recorded and accessible, the film delves into the moral complexities of a society stripped of privacy and the consequences of challenging its omnipotent surveillance system.

The story revolves around a troubled detective, played by Clive Owen. His path intersects with a mysterious young woman portrayed by Amanda Seyfried, who manages to evade the government’s all-seeing eye. As the detective delves deeper into her enigmatic existence throughout Anon’s 100-minute run time, he uncovers a web of secrets and deception that threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Anon’s Mixed Reception


Anon received mixed reviews from critics upon its release. While some praised its thought-provoking premise and stylish visuals, others criticized its execution and pacing. The film holds an approval rating of 36 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics citing its lack of depth and predictability as shortcomings.

The Death Of Anonymity


Despite its mixed reception, Anon sparked conversations about the implications of mass surveillance and the erosion of privacy in the digital age. We already live in a reality where we are surrounded by cameras, where people joke about having a dedicated FBI agent watching their every move, and where there are TikTok accounts devoted to finding your exact location based on minute details. Andrew Niccol’s vision of a world where anonymity is obsolete is not so different from our own and it serves as a cautionary tale, inviting audiences to reflect on the consequences of sacrificing privacy for security.

Part Of A Dystopian Storytelling Tradition

Anon joins a rich tradition of surveillance-themed sci-fi films, exploring themes of control, autonomy, and the boundaries of technology. Drawing parallels to classics like 1984 and Gattaca, Niccol’s film invites comparisons to other dystopian visions of the future where surveillance is omnipresent and individual freedom is at stake.

In contrast to films like Minority Report and The Truman Show, which explore the consequences of intrusive surveillance on individual lives, Anon focuses on the systemic implications of a society built on transparency. It raises questions about the nature of identity, agency, and the value of privacy in an increasingly interconnected world.

Check Out Anon For Yourself

While Anon may not reach the heights of its genre predecessors, it remains a thought-provoking addition to the canon of surveillance-themed cinema. With its timely themes and compelling performances, the film offers a glimpse into a future where anonymity is a relic of the past and surveillance is the new normal.

Despite its flaws, Anon serves as a compelling meditation on the perils of unchecked surveillance and the enduring power of the human spirit to resist conformity. Anon is currently streaming on Netflix.