Every Film Set In 2024

Shang Chi

It’s always interesting, once we’ve arrived in any given year (especially in the 21st century), to look back at the past fiction that speculated on what that year would look like. Movies since the 1960s have been considering what 2024 might look like, and some of those visions of this year aren’t too pretty. But others don’t look too different from our world, besides the existence of superheroes. 

1. Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) 

Group in Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)
Image Credit: American International Pictures.

Beyond the Time Barrier follows an astronaut who accidentally travels, well, beyond the time barrier, and finds himself in the distant year 2024. There, he discovers an Earth ravaged by nuclear weapons that caused a dangerous plague that left most of the inhabitants mutated, forced to live underground, and unable to have children. But the time traveler may offer these people hope. 

2. A Boy and His Dog (1975)

A Boy and His Dog
Image Credit: LQ/Jaf Productions.

Nuclear weapons remained a concern in A Boy and His Dog, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic 2024, following the fourth world war that laid waste to society. Adapted from the 1969 novel of the same name by Harlan Allison, A Boy and His Dog follows the eponymous boy and dog as they wander the wasteland of the American Southwest looking for food and women while doing their best to survive attacks by bandits, mutants, and androids. Perhaps surprisingly, A Boy and His Dog is also pretty funny. 

3. Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)

Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)
Image Credit: InterStar.

Following the success of HighlanderHighlander II: The Quickening immediately proved that the first film should have remained a standalone. But while The Quickening isn’t a very good movie, it has an interesting vision of 2024: the ozone layer has been destroyed, and humanity has created a shield that protects the Earth from solar radiation. Of course, things aren’t so simple, and a criminal corporation now controls the shield. 

4. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

The Thirteenth Floor
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Even including The Thirteenth Floor on this list is a spoiler, as it’s not revealed until the end that the film takes place in 2024. But the movie is still a fun and worthwhile sci-fi mystery following a man suspected of murder as he explores virtual realities to ensure his innocence. The Thirteenth Floor would likely be better remembered if it hadn’t come out the same year as another movie about humans living in virtual reality called The Matrix

5. .hack//The Movie AKA .hack//Beyond the World (2012)

.Hack//The Movie
Image Credit: Asmik Ace.

Set in a version of 2024 that doesn’t look too different from our own .hack//The Movie tells the story of a girl who plays a popular MMO game. But when something goes wrong in the game, it impacts the real world, forcing her and her friends to attempt to save their reality. 

6. Narcopolis (2015)

Elliot Cowan in Narcopolis (2015)
Image Credit: Altitude Film Distribution.

Narcopolis’ vision of 2024 centers on England, where all narcotics have been legalized, leading major pharmaceutical corporations to begin experimenting with drugs, hoping to make huge profits. When a cop discovers an unidentifiable body at the headquarters of one of those major corporations, things start to unravel in a fun futuristic neo-noir full of sci-fi gadgets. 

7. Carnage (2017)

Martin Freeman in Carnage (2017)
Image Credit: BBC.

Carnage is a mockumentary released in a speculative 2067 where meat eating has been outlawed that looks back at the history of meat eating and veganism. That history includes a stop in 2024 when several cultural factors, including a musical about the unethical treatment of cows, impacted the public’s opinions on meat eating. 

8. Illang: The Wolf Brigade (2018)

Illang: The Wolf Brigade
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Korea.

Illang: The Wolf Brigade, a live-action remake of 1999’s anime Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, takes place in a chaotic vision of 2029 Korea where an exosuit-donning “Special Unit” battles anti-unification terrorist group “the Sect.” The chaos began in 2024 when North and South Korea decided to reunify. Illang is interesting in the context of movies set in 2024, as the main action takes place five years later, though events in 2024 set the stage. 

9. Weathering With You (2019)

Weathering With You Ashley Boettcher
Image Credit: CoMix Wave Films.

Considered one of the best anime movies of all time, Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You takes place mostly in 2021, but the film’s final and most emotional scenes occur in 2024. The movie’s vision of the future isn’t so much speculative as it is purely fantastical, centering on the romance between two teenagers, one of whom has the power to control the weather. 

10. In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) Movie
Image Credit: Netflix.

In the Shadow of the Moon takes place over decades, from 1988 well into the 21st century, but one of the film’s key plot points occurs in 2024. Without giving away the plot point, suffice to say that the film follows a detective as he investigates a series of killings that may have to do with time travel and eventually discovers that it all hinges on a significant event in 2024. 

11. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far From Home
Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

The first of many films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that takes place in 2024Spider-Man: Far From Home doesn’t exactly offer a speculative view of what 2024 may look like in our world, so much as it provides a fun superhero adventure in the MCU. The film follows Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) as he’s recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a mysterious new figure called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to battle creatures called Elementals.

12. The Last Days of American Crime (2020)

The Last Days of American Crimes 2020
Image Credit: Netflix.

The 2024 of The Last Days of American Crime, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, doesn’t look too different from our own, except for one major difference. In this alternate 2024, the United States government has devised a way to make it impossible for citizens to break the law. The movie follows a career criminal in the lead-up to the national implementation of this crime deterrent. 

13. Songbird (2020)

Songbird
Courtesy of ICM Pictures

Made quickly after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Songbird imagines a 2024 where the disease has developed into a new, more dangerous disease called COVID-23. In response to the intensity of the disease, the United States government has become a police state requiring all people with the disease to enter quarantine camps. In this world, a courier with immunity to the disease attempts to reunite with his girlfriend. Fun fact: the film was produced by famed action director Michael Bay

14. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Godzilla vs. Kong is another film, like the MCU films set in 2024, that doesn’t offer a speculative vision of the year. The film takes place in a world similar to ours but with giant monsters from a magical place inside the Earth. Godzilla vs. Kong is set five years after the previous entry in the film series Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which took place in 2019, the year it was released. That lack of a speculative future doesn’t take away from the fun of seeing the two eponymous monsters fight. 

15. Thunder Force (2021)

Thunder Force
Image Credit: Netflix.

Thunder Force is a superhero movie that begins in the early 1980s when sociopaths on Earth developed superpowers thanks to cosmic rays. It occurs mainly in 2024 when two old friends reunite after one discovers a way to give them superpowers. Not so much a broad speculative future as an alternate history, Thunder Force does theorize that humans might be able to give themselves superhuman abilities at some point soon. 

16. Don’t Breathe 2 (2021)

Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe 2 (2021)
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Like Godzilla vs. KongDon’t Breathe 2 isn’t exactly set in a science fiction world; it just takes place eight years after the first film, which is set in 2016. The movie turns the blind man, the first film's villain, into a hero as he fights to save an eleven-year-old girl he’s adopted. 

17. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Like Far From Home, the 2024 of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings doesn’t offer a view of what the year might look like as much as it’s simply the setting for another superhero adventure in the MCU. The film follows the eponymous Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) as he and his sister battle their father and his villainous Ten Rings Organization.   

18. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage isn’t quite an MCU movie, but it can be called a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse movie. At the end of Let There Be Carnage, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the symbiote Venom (also Hardy), who shares his body, are pulled into the MCU in 2024 before returning to their own universe. It remains to be seen what comes of this overlap in the actual 2024 when audiences will find out with Venom 3

19. Eternals (2021)

Eternals, Gemma Chan
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Eternals takes place in 2024 in the MCU but is a more fantastical and mythological story than its MCU siblings. The film centers on a group of immortal aliens known as Eternals who must protect the Earth from creatures known as Deviants. The movie details the characters' immortality and backstory as beings sent to oversee Earth.

20. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) 

Tom Holland as Spider-Man
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Spider-Man: No Way Home takes place shortly after the events of Far From Home and sees Spider-Man/Peter Parker seek help from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make people forget that he’s a superhero after being unmasked at the end of the previous film. The spell to make people forget goes wrong because of Parker and causes tears in the multiversal fabric, leading to characters from other, non-MCU Spider-Man movies appearing in the MCU’s New York.  

21. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

doctor strange and the multiverse of madness
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows shortly after Spider-Man: No Way Home and occurs in the MCU’s 2024. Like No Way HomeMultiverse of Madness centers on MCU characters’ adventures traveling through the multiverse and encountering other versions of characters from Marvel comics. 

22. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Angela Bassett
Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

Most of the action in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes place in 2025. But the death of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the film’s major emotional and narrative inciting incident, happens in 2024. Following T’Challa’s death, the film centers on how Wakanda and the world react to his loss and the discovery of an undersea civilization with access to the precious metal vibranium. 

Author: Kyle Logan

Title: Contributing Writer

Expertise: Film, TV, Horror, Animation, Queer Cinema

Bio:

Film and TV Critic, Pop Culture Writer

  • Expertise: Horror, Animation, Queer Film
  • Education: Master's Degree in Philosophy from Boston College, Dual Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston College
  • Organizer of Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd
  • Over 200 reviews, essays, articles, and lists across various sites

Experience: Kyle Logan has been writing about film since studying film and philosophy as an undergraduate at Boston College. Kyle began writing about film professionally in 2020 and has written for many sites including Screen Anarchy, Film Stories, and Fangoria. Kyle has also organized the Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd since 2020, highlighting the queer history of film and bringing attention to rising queer filmmakers. Kyle now works full time with Wealth of Geeks, contributing lists, reviews, and podcast appearances on topics as varied as film, travel, and Halloween candy.