4 Movies Like Atlas (2024)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Atlas ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Atlas is bad on every conceivable level. The writing is hackneyed, the cinematography is soulless, and the acting (save for a few) is one-dimensional. Only Jennifer Lopez and Sterling K. Brown are turning in serious performances, but somehow that makes the film worse, not better, because of how mismatched the energy is. If the acting wasn’t so serious, then Atlas could probably pass as camp—so bad and corny that it actually becomes fun to watch. If that’s the kind of film you’re looking for, then by all means, put on this Netflix film. But if you’re looking for genuine sci-fi fare, films with something meaningful and enlightening to say about the scary future of AI, then I suggest you look elsewhere.

, 2022

Based on a true story, Darin J. Sallam’s controversial debut feature Farha is, at heart, a brutal coming-of-age film. Set in 1948, the film is about a girl who gets locked into her family’s storeroom at the start of the Nakba, the Palestinian Catastrophe. Sallam’s choice to limit most of the film’s perspective to that small storeroom is brilliant – in some ways, it echoes the surrounding discussion about the conflict. Most of what the world knows of Palestine is limited due to having to deal with censorship, lost records, and only hearing word-of-mouth stories from ancestors who just barely survived. But what we see is already too horrific to begin with. And what the film knows is the tragedy of losing your home - having to leave childhood, leave your dreams, and leave a vibrant and living culture in order to survive.

Genre: Drama, History, War

Actor: Ali Soliman, Ali Suliman, Ashraf Barhom, Sultan Alkhail

Director: Darin J. Sallam

Rating: TV-14

Given the country’s divisive politics, a second civil war seems plausible, inevitable even. But even though Civil War, the film, takes place in this kind of world, its main focus is on the four journalists who race through the country to get the scoop on a fascist president who’s bound to be ousted anytime soon. We only get hints at the specific causes and developments of the war, but what we do get is an unsettlingly close look at the human toll of it, as well as the realities of reportage—crushing PTSD, ethical responsibilities, and all. It’s a brilliant movie if you set your expectations right.

Genre: Action, Drama, War

Actor: Alexa Mansour, Brian Philpot, Cailee Spaeny, Dean Grimes, Edmund Donovan, Evan Holtzman, Evan Lai, Greg Hill, James Yaegashi, Jared Shaw, Jeff Bosley, Jefferson White, Jesse Plemons, Jin Ha, John Newberg, Jojo T. Gibbs, Juani Feliz, Justin Garza, Justin James Boykin, Karl Glusman, Kirsten Dunst, Martha B. Knighton, Melissa Saint-Amand, Nelson Lee, Nick Offerman, Robert Perry Bierman, Robert Tinsley, Simeon Freeman, Sonoya Mizuno, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Tim James, Vince Pisani, Vinnie Varon, Wagner Moura

Director: Alex Garland

Rating: R

While best known for his American action thrillers in the early 2000s, writer-director Lee Tamahori returned to his roots in 2016 with the critically acclaimed Māori-centric 1950s historical drama Mahana. Tamahori continues to explore his people’s stories with The Convert. Set right before Britain colonized New Zealand, the film explores the dynamics between the white settlers and the differing Māori tribes, with much more accuracy and sympathy than older films towards the indigenous community, culture, and characters. It’s shot quite beautifully, with stunning landscapes and decent fight scenes, and the performances, especially that of Guy Pearce, make the film watchable. That being said, the film still mostly stems from the white Thomas Munro, whose perspective mostly comes about by passive observation rather than active participation in the story.

Genre: Action, Drama

Actor: Aidee Walker, Antonio Te Maioha, Dean O'Gorman, Duane Evans Jr., Guy Pearce, Jacqueline McKenzie, Jared Turner, Lawrence Makoare, Mark Mitchinson, Matthew Chamberlain, Stephen Lovatt, Tania Nolan, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Will Wallace

Director: Lee Tamahori

There is some dissonance here. A heavy coming of age backstory serves as the foundation to an otherwise straightforward, even feel-good plot involving fighting and protecting kaiju. The film doesn’t do the best job merging the shiny animations and cute story beats with the threat of the kaiju and the weight of the atmosphere set early on. Individually, however, each side is enjoyable, with the strained father-son relationship in particular being a worthwhile endeavor and full of honesty. But all things considered, there isn’t a whole lot of tension here, even for a film intended for younger audiences, making its 2-hour runtime unnecessarily long given everything it lacks.

Genre: Action, Animation, Family, Science Fiction

Actor: Artt Butler, Bret Marnell, Brittany Ishibashi, Christopher Sean, François Chau, Frank Buckley, Gedde Watanabe, Jonathan Groff, Julia Harriman, Julia Kato, Keone Young, Lee Shorten, Mayumi Yoshida, Paul Nakauchi, Rob Fukuzaki, Tamlyn Tomita, Vic Chao

Director: Shannon Tindle

Rating: PG