10 Top science fiction films featuring Clones and Cloning

08 May 2023
The concept of cloning humans has consistently proven to be a captivating and thought-provoking plot device in science fiction films. It taps into our deepest fears, desires, and philosophical inquiries about what it means to be human.

The exploration of cloning as a narrative element allows filmmakers to delve into a myriad of complex themes, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of identity, ethics, and the consequences of tampering with the very fabric of life itself.

One of the most compelling aspects of cloning as a plot device is its inherent capacity to blur the lines between reality and fiction. It challenges our perceptions of selfhood, as characters are confronted with their own replicas or discover that their existence is merely an artificially created construct. This existential dilemma becomes a fertile ground for exploring questions about individuality, personal identity, and the essence of humanity.

By pitting clones against their originals or prompting characters to confront their own mirrored reflections, these films provoke audiences to contemplate what truly defines us as unique beings.

sean young harrison ford bladerunner

Cloning in science fiction films also serves as a catalyst for exploring the intricate ethical dilemmas that arise from manipulating life. Filmmakers ingeniously examine the potential consequences of humans playing the role of gods, raising profound questions about the limits of scientific advancement and the responsibility that comes with it.

Themes of hubris, moral boundaries, and the dangers of unchecked scientific progress often emerge, urging viewers to ponder the potential ramifications of cloning technologies in our own world.

Top Ten films which feature great plots about clones

1. "Blade Runner" (1982)

   Script Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Peoples
   Lead Actors: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young

Set in a dystopian future, "Blade Runner" follows a detective who is tasked with hunting down and "retiring" rogue androids known as replicants. The film explores themes of identity, humanity, and the nature of consciousness, as the protagonist begins to question his own existence.

2. "The Island" (2005)

   Director: Michael Bay
   Script Writer: Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
   Lead Actors: Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson

the island clones

In "The Island," a man and a woman discover that they are clones being raised in a facility for organ harvesting. When they escape, they must evade their pursuers and uncover the truth about their existence. The film explores themes of ethics, personal identity, the right to life and the consequences of human cloning.

3. "Moon" (2009)

   Director: Duncan Jones
   Script Writer: Duncan Jones, Nathan Parker
   Lead Actor: Sam Rockwell

"Moon" tells the story of Sam Bell, a man nearing the end of his three-year stint working alone on a lunar base. As his isolation takes a toll on his mental state, he begins to question his reality and the presence of another version of himself. The film delves into themes of identity, isolation, and the moral implications of cloning.

4. "Never Let Me Go" (2010)

   Director: Mark Romanek
   Script Writer: Alex Garland
   Lead Actors: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley

Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, "Never Let Me Go" is set in an alternate history where clones are raised for organ donation. The film follows three friends as they navigate their predetermined fate and wrestle with their humanity. It explores themes of love, mortality, and the ethics of cloning.

5. "The 6th Day" (2000)

   Director: Roger Spottiswoode
   Script Writer: Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
   Lead Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger

In a near-future world, "The 6th Day" centers around a man who discovers he has been cloned without his knowledge. As he fights to reclaim his identity and uncover the truth, he becomes entangled in a web of conspiracy and corporate power. The film explores themes of identity, personal freedom, and the potential dangers of cloning technology.

Arnold also blows up some shit. 

6. "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1996)

   Director: John Frankenheimer, Richard Stanley
   Script Writer: Richard Stanley, Ron Hutchinson
   Lead Actors: Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer

Based on H.G. Wells' novel, "The Island of Dr. Moreau" follows a man (played by David Thewlis) who ends up stranded on an island where the mad scientist Dr. Moreau conducts bizarre experiments, creating human-animal hybrids and clones. The film delves into themes of scientific ethics, the blurred line between humans and animals, and the consequences of playing god.

7. "Aeon Flux" (2005)

   Director: Karyn Kusama
   Script Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
   Lead Actors: Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas

charlize theron aeon flux

Set in a dystopian future, "Aeon Flux" is about a skilled assassin who rebels against a totalitarian regime. As she uncovers the truth behind her world, she realizes that her reality is not what it seems, involving clones and hidden agendas. The film explores themes of identity, rebellion, and the power of knowledge.

8. "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002)

   Director: George Lucas
   Script Writer: George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
   Lead Actors: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen

In "Attack of the Clones," the second installment of the prequel trilogy in the Star Wars saga, the galaxy is on the brink of war. As tensions rise, a mysterious clone army is revealed, threatening the Republic. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must navigate political intrigue, uncover the origins of the clone army, and confront the growing influence of the dark side. The film explores themes of identity, destiny, and the manipulation of power in a galaxy engulfed by conflict.

9. "Splice" (2009)

   Director: Vincenzo Natali
   Script Writers: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor
   Lead Actors: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley

Delphine Chanéac as Dren

"Splice" revolves around two scientists, Clive and Elsa who specialize in genetic engineering. In their quest to create new species, they secretly introduce human DNA into their experiments, resulting in the creation of a hybrid creature named Dren. As Dren grows and exhibits both human and animal characteristics, the scientists grapple with the ethical and moral consequences of their actions. The film explores themes of scientific ethics, the boundaries of genetic manipulation, and the complexities of 'parental responsibility'.

10. "The Prestige" (2006)

    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Script Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
    Lead Actors: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale

"The Prestige" is a psychological thriller set in the world of 19th-century stage magic. The story revolves around two rival magicians who obsessively try to outdo each other with their acts, leading them to delve into dangerous territory, including the use of cloning technology. The film explores themes of obsession, sacrifice, and the lengths people will go to achieve greatness.

At its core, the concept of cloning humans in science fiction films taps into our fascination with the unknown and the limitless possibilities of science. It captivates our imagination, encouraging us to question the boundaries of what is considered possible or morally acceptable.

By exploring the depths of human nature, the essence of identity, and the ethical quandaries that emerge from cloning, these films invite us on a journey of introspection and intellectual exploration, reminding us of the profound impact that scientific advancements can have on our lives and the world we inhabit.

Furthermore, the concept of cloning provides an opportunity for filmmakers to delve into themes of societal control and oppression. By creating a world where clones are treated as mere commodities or tools for exploitation, these films shed light on the dehumanization that can arise from treating sentient beings as disposable objects. They challenge our notions of equality and prompt us to reflect on the value we place on individual autonomy and freedom.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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