7. Panem, The Hunger Games
Severe social stratification, with the poorest people starving in their own separate District so the rich people can focus on whether they want their steak medium or medium-rare without raggedy distractions? Televised fights to the death that for some reason do not seem to cause much class tension until a winner who’s poor in capital but rich in integrity threatens to kill herself on television? All-around awful, not interested, no.
6. The Community, The Giver
No hunger? No war? Free healthcare? You can leave your bike outside without even having to lock it? Honestly, the Community appears lovely on the surface, but because of the overwhelming whiteness of the population, we have to assume the Community is the result of a race war, and a racist society is a bad society no matter how many balanced meals everyone is getting for free.
5. Future dystopian Chicago, Divergent
Again, on the surface, Chicago doesn’t seem like a bad place to be: It retains the distinctive architecture of the Chicago we all know and love today; the government will teach you to spar; you get to spend all your time hanging out with people who have similar personalities, which apparently makes society run smoothly. But did you know that less than half the population of Chicago is white? Why are the heroes white? Where did all the black people go?! Suspicious.
4. London, V for Vendetta
This may not be strictly a teen movie, but it probably defined your politics in middle school, so deal with it. “Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof.” IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF?! Well fuck, if I’m not tearing up like a 16-year-old again — the poeticism of this one-man resistance movement almost makes this dystopia seem appealing! Is there extensive oppression and thought policing in this society? Yes. Is the hero a self-sacrificing man in a mask who mysteriously has enough money to mail a Guy Fawkes mask to every person in London? Yes. Is it weird that some mystery rich dude is the hero? Certainly. Also, gayness isn’t allowed for some reason? Ugh, fuck this place, never mind.
3. Alien-desired Earth, Ender’s Game
On the one hand there are aliens trying to kill everyone and child labor is the only thing that can save us. On the other hand, kids like video games, and this is just like playing a video game but with higher stakes. There are worse ways to be a child laborer, I guess? And after the kids successfully save the world, they probably get to eat all the ice cream they want, so it’s hard to feel bad for them. LIVABLE.
2. Sin City, Sin City
In a corrupt world consumed by crime, a few people who do not possess the conventional attributes of a hero nonetheless find it in themselves to do the right thing against all the odds. Who wouldn’t want to live in a corrupt world consumed by crime where you, too, despite not possessing the attributes of a conventional hero, could nonetheless find it in yourself to do the right thing against all the odds?
1. Trash-covered Earth, WALL-E
TRASH-COVERED EARTH FOR THE WIN. The spaceship all the people fled to when they escaped trash-covered Earth is another issue, but trash-covered Earth is definitely the best dystopia you could be in. Peace and quiet, no one to boss you around, a humorous cockroach, and a cute robot to make friends with? Granted, it would be a little lonely, and you’d probably die an early death of some kind of pollution-related cancer. But at least WALL-E is a fair-minded ruler!