5 Films Like Ghost in the Shell

Ghost In The Shell (2017)

After seeing Ghost In The Shell  it’s pretty clear how the movie draws inspiration from some of Film’s greatest works, in addition to being an adaptation of the incredibly influential Anime and Manga. The Original Anime Movie had an iconic soundtrack and visuals which later inspired movies like The Matrix and AI. Ghost in the Shell leans into the aspect of surrendering individuality into a larger self. These themes might be slightly downplayed for the sake of the latest adaptation, but the core still remains intact. We’ve rounded up some similar films right here for you to peruse.

Blade Runner

While Ghost in the Shell might be a movie that introduced Cyberpunk to Eastern audiences with its Anime adaptation, the live-action film owes a lot of its aesthetic direction to seminal Cyberpunk film Blade Runner. From the dark hues to set design, the new Ghost in the Shell movie echoes a lot of the visual groundwork that we’ve seen in Blade Runner, with a new lick of modern CGI. Additionally, Blade Runner is one of the best stories in Cyberpunk out there. Focused on Rick Deckard, you follow him as he chases after the runaway replicants. Featuring Harrison Ford as the iconic detective, you’ll be silly to miss this film if you love Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner should be right at the top of your list of films to see afterwards, as it also explores similar themes to Ghost in the Shell from an American Lens.


Alongside Ghost in the Shell, Akira is another Anime movie which hit big in the 90s. Featuring an iconic soundtrack, beautifully animated visuals and themes which also question the nature of humanity and existence, dressed up in an impressive and daunting dystopian Sci-Fi setting. This movie might be a little bit different in terms of tone to Ghost in the Shell. However, its impact is just as important. Jordan Peele of ‘Get Out’ fame is poised to direct the big-budget live action adaptation of Akira, but it’s yet to be confirmed if this iconic Anime will have a revived adaptation, after some fits and starts. It’s great to watch the original movie before the adaptation comes out, so why not get ahead of the curve, before the new adaptation is even in full production! Needless to say, this iconic movie should also be on your list if you loved the tone and atmosphere of the original.

Dragonball Evolution

When looking at Western Adaptations of Anime, one of the first to come to the screen was Dragonball Evolution, which didn’t exactly stay faithful to the series. Longtime fans of the series might come away with their own opinions, but it’s likely that we will not see a live-action Goku ever again after this, which is a shame because of the sheer depth of the world and characters in the show/series. Both hugely popular in the 90s, it’s no question that live-action adaptations of these properties can go one way or another, and Dragonball Evolution is the perfect example of that. It’s an insight into how Hollywood can adapt two very different properties in different ways.

Ex Machina

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina tackles similar themes to Ghost in the Shell, albeit in a more tight-knit, measured manner. Where Ghost in the Shell tackles the bridge of humanity and the technological singularity, Ex Machina focuses more on the aspects of Artificial Intelligence than the singularity. Don’t expect huge action set-pieces, but instead a more intimate film that’s laser focused on dialogue and feel rather than being an explosive exploration. Ex Machina dives deep into the human condition and leaves us asking more questions than answers. This is a good thing, however- Ex Machina is a slow rumination on what it means to be human. Also, there’s a pretty sweet dance scene.


Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is the prototypical science fiction film, and while the film is silent, 3 hours long and all in German, it’s well worth a watch. It’s definitely a film that’s more for the discerning viewer that wants to dive into the history of film. Metropolis is all about the disparity between the rich and poor and has elements of early cyberpunk work embedded within it. In addition to this, we also get a slightly different version of the future. Instead of the slick, computer-based universe that we see in things like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, we see something that’s slightly different- Metropolis’ vision of the future was more machine and industry-based, which is a unique perspective in this genre, which can often be so tired and saturated with similar visuals & uninspired visions. Combined with heavy machinery and a unique art deco style, Metropolis is well worth a watch if you want to witness the birth of an entire genre.

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Team Zavvi

Team Zavvi


A collection of thoughts, opinions and news from the staff at Zavvi.