15 Best Movies Like The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is Hulu’s most successful original series to date. It premiered in April 2017 and garnered an instant fan base and much critical acclaim. The series, based on the book by the same name by Margaret Atwood, imagines our country in a dystopian future where conceiving a child is rare and women have been stripped of all of their rights and given the sole purpose to make and care for new children. It’s a terrifying take on how far politics and a government could potentially go to control the people they are meant to govern.


UPDATE: 2023/01/14 12:30 EST BY SHAWN S. LEALOS

The Handmaid’s Tale just finished up its fifth season and set up a massive new angle for the sixth and final season. June escaped from Gilead, but with the Republic trying to convince other nations to replicate their control of women’s rights, June might end up returning to Gilead to face the government there head on. This changed everything about the novel and the story, as it was supposed to be June as a stand-in for a world that took away all women’s rights, and she has since turned into a hero for the final upcoming season on Hulu. However, there are plenty of movies that fans can watch that still plays upon the main themes of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Gattaca (1997)

Rent now on Prime Video & Apple TV

Ethan Hawke in Gattaca

The world of The Handmaid’s Tale is one where the ruling class decrees that women only serve one purpose, and that is to serve men. In the Ethan Hawke movie Gattaca, a similar dystopian world has passed this decree on anyone not considered a genetically perfect person.

Much like how the government holds complete control of childbirth in Handmaid’s Tale, that is taken to the extreme in Gattaca. Society uses eugenics to ensure only genetic selection determines when children are born. WIth a complete control of everyone’s reproductive rights, the sci-fi movie shares a lot in common with the Hulu series. In this movie, Hawke is the non-perfect human, and he fights to break free from his place in life.

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Stream now on Netflix

Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted is a James Mangold drama starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. The movie sees Ryder as a teenager who suffers a breakdown and after an overdose, ends up checked into a psychiatric hospital. It is there that she meets a fellow patient played by a young Elisabeth Moss.

On top of seeing Moss in both The Handmaid’s Tale and Girl, Interrupted, there are a lot of similarities between the two stories concerning the women held in the hospital. Both possess very strong female leads, although in both cases they are never in complete control of their lives, although they constantly fight for it. Between forced institutionalization and isolation, the women in both fight an uphill battle the entire way.

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Stream now on Tubi

The Stepford wives drinking at a party

There have been two versions of The Stepford Wives. While there was a big-budget remake in 2004 with Nicole Kidman, the 1975 version remains the stronger of the two. In the movie, Katharine Ross stars as Joanna, a woman who moves with her husband and kids to the Stepford community in Connecticut. However, when she arrives, nothing seems right.

That is because all the women in the town live in unwavering subservience to their husbands. When Joanna tries to help liberate the women, she finds nothing but backlash from the housewives, who seem determined to live to serve their husbands. The entire idea of a society where men demand subservient wives to the point of replacing them when they resist is eerily close to the themes of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

Rent now on Apple TV

Handmaid’s together in the film version of The Handmaid’s Tale

For anyone who loves The Handmaid’s Tale but has never seen the first adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, it is available to rent right now on Apple TV. The original version starred Natasha Richardson as Offred in this version with Faye Dunaway, Aidan Quinn, and Robert Duvall taking on other important roles.

The TV show pays off the book’s themes better than the movie, but the GLAAD Award-winning movie tells a more faithful story than the TV show. Much like Atwood’s novel, Offred in the movie is there to show the status of women once they lose all their human rights and become nothing more than pawns for the patriarchy.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Stream now on HBO Max

Charlize Theron behind the wheel of the war rig in Mad Max: Fury Road

It might seem a little strange to find parallels between The Handmaid’s Tale and Mad Max: Fury Road, but they share a lot more in common than some might believe. This is all shown when Max first meets Furiosa. It all comes down to how women are treated in this apocalyptic future.

Unlike the dystopian future of The Handmaid’s Tale, where the government takes complete control of women’s bodies, things are a little more renegade in Fury Road. The women still have no control at first, as Immortan Joe has forced his five wives into subservience. However, in this movie, Furiosa helps them escape and leads the fight against her former oppressor.

Brave New World (1998)

Not available to stream

 Lenina and Bernard in Brave New World.

This film, based on the dystopian novel of the same name, takes place in a rational, futuristic world. The film aired on NBC in 1998 and stars Peter Gallagher and Leonard Nimoy. Critics say the film is loosely based on the 1930s novel because the film adds a coda at the end that strays from the original work.

In the end, the main character, Bernard, and his wife, Lenina escape the world they’re living in and flee to have a child, who is conceived naturally, southing unheard of in the world they were previously living in.

Children Of Men (2006)

Rent now on Apple TV & Prime Video

Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey in Children of Men

This science-fiction, dystopian film is written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. It tells the story of a world in 2027 suffering from a plague of infertility that has left society on the brink of collapsing.

Refugees seek asylum in the United Kingdom but are at risk of being returned to the country they are trying to escape. The world is in complete chaos and disorder. Clive Owen plays Theo Faron, a civil servant who must help a pregnant refugee and protect her from everything happening in the world around them.

Snowpiercer (2013)

Stream now on Fubo & Showtime

Chris Evans as Curtis in Snowpiercer.

This science-fiction film is based on a French graphic novel and takes place on a train that travels around the world carrying the last remaining humans who survived a failed government experiment in climate engineering to fight the effects of global warming.

The earth has turned into one large snow mass with frigid temperatures no one can survive. Chris Evans plays Curtis Everett, a passenger in the back of the train leading a rebellion against the passengers in the front of the train.

Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

Stream now on HBO Max

Guy and Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451.

This is another feature film set in a dystopian future where firefighters are tasked with the job of burning books that have been outlawed by the government for questioning the government’s ethics and principles.

Michael B. Jordan plays Guy, a fireman who follows orders and works hard, thinking he’s protecting society. That all changes when he meets Clarisse who makes him question everything he stands for and believes in and the world in which he lives.

The Purge (2013)

Rent now on Apple TV & Prime Video

The killers arrive in The Purge.

This thriller, suspense film imagines what might happen if our country had a law that stated on one night during the year, all crime was legal. The idea is that if everyone got it “out of their system” crime rates for the rest of the year would be drastically lower.

Of course, something like this is full of dangerous problems, which come to light as the story plays out. This film is great for people who love The Handmaid’s Tale for its not-so-far-fetched, yet seemingly implausible storylines.

Us (2019)

Stream now on Fubo

Elizabeth Moss in Us

For fans of The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss, there are a lot of movies you can watch to see this actor shine. One movie with just as much suspense and just as many mind-games as the Hulu series, Us, will leave viewers on the edge of their seats and will spark in-depth conversation after the film is over.

In this Jordan Peele film, Moss plays Kitty, a woman who meets a tragic end at the hands of her doppelgänger looking to “untether” herself from Kitty.

Hereditary (2018)

Stream now on Vudu & Tubi

Annie in Peter's bedroom in Hereditary.

This is another horror film fans of the hit Hulu series will love for its suspense and creativity. Ari Aster’s Hereditary tells the story of a family being hunted by a disturbing presence after the death of the grandmother.

Another reason fans of The Handmaid’s Tale will love this film is that it stars the brilliant and incredibly talented, Ann Dowd, who plays Lydia in the series.

The One I Love (2014)

Stream now on HBO Max

Ethan and Sophie standing in a room.

This is another Elisabeth Moss movie that deals with the idea of doppelgängers and what the world might look like if every human had a legitimate one.

In this film, Moss plays Sophia, who is married to Ethan, played by Mark Duplass. Sophie and Ethan are on the verge of divorce and in an attempt to save their marriage take a trip to a secluded estate. Once there, the couple discovers that they are being visited by one another’s look-a-likes, which may be just what they needed.

The Good Guy (2009)

Rent now on Apple TV & Prime Video

Beth and Tommy in The Good Guy,

This film strays a bit from the genre, as it is a romantic comedy, but fans of The Handmaid’s Tale will still love it because it stars Alexis Bledel, who plays Ofglen, later we learn her real name is Emily.

In The Good Guy, also starring Scott Porter and Bryan Greenberg, Alexis plays Beth who is in a steady relationship with Porter’s character, Tommy. The relationship is tested when Greenberg’s character, Daniel, enters the picture and sparks fly between him and Emily.

Killing Me Softly (2002)

Stream now on Hoopla & Tubi

Alice and Adam sitting in a car.

This dark, thriller stars Joseph Fiennes, who plays Fred in The Handmaid’s Tale. In this film, Fiennes plays Adam, a mysterious man who after a chance encounter, wins the heart of Alice, played by Heather Graham.

Once Alice and Adam are married, strange things begin to happen to Alice, and she starts to wonder how much she really knows about her husband and his mysterious past.

NEXT: 15 Best Episodes Of The Handmaid’s Tale, According To IMDb

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