Exploring the Best Surveillance-Themed Movies and Shows

Published Categorized as Streaming

Welcome to the ForestVPN viewing lounge, where we’ll be presenting our favorite privacy-themed movies and TV shows. While surveillance seems to be an intensifying issue around the world today, the concept has been explored for decades on the screen. Our selection of films and shows explores surveillance in numerous forms, from peering into a neighbor’s window to portrayals of dystopian, camera-filled futures that seem all too prescient. The good news is most of these surveillance stories are still only in the realm of fiction. So grab your popcorn, sit back, and take comfort in exploring the best surveillance-themed movies and shows.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

Jump to our favorite movies and shows that portray surveillance:

1. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

The Grandfather of Dystopian Fiction

Because of course this would be No. 1 on any list about surveillance fiction. Considered the grandfather of the dystopian genre, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a seminal work of literature that’s becoming more relatable as time goes by.

2. Minority Report (2002)

A Glimpse into Future Surveillance

Based on the 1956 short story by Philip K. Dick, this Steven Spielberg-directed film follows the exploits of law-enforcement officer John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise) in the year 2054.

3. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Diving into a Dystopian Drug World

In a dystopian vision of the near future, the U.S. government has lost the war on drugs. In response, a network of undercover police officers has been created to monitor and report on the rise of a new drug, called Substance D, which has swept the nation.

4. Gattaca (1997)

Genetic Discrimination and Privacy

In a polished but stark vision of the near future, your vocational aspirations, romantic partners, and social status will all be determined entirely by your genetics.

5. Rear Window (1954)

Alfred Hitchcock’s Classic Take on Voyeurism

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window might be the oldest entry on this list, but the commentary on voyeurism and privacy is as relevant today as it was upon its release in 1954.

6. The Dark Knight (2008)

Mass Surveillance for Public Safety

The second chapter of Christopher Nolan’s massively influential Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight, acts as an allegory for the war on terror—specifically on the effectiveness of mass surveillance as a tool for societal protection.

7. Snowden (2016)

A Real-Life Story of Surveillance

In June 2013, whistleblower and former CIA subcontractor Edward Snowden met with journalist Glenn Greenwald and released about 10,000 highly classified documents outlining that the National Security Agency (NSA), in conjunction with various Fives Eves agencies, were running a global surveillance program.

8. Enemy of the State (1998)

A Thrilling Cat and Mouse Game with NSA

Hot off the heels of the wildly successful smash hits Independence Day and Men in Black, Will Smith takes a dramatic turn playing lawyer Bobby Dean, who is caught up in a taut game of cat and mouse with relentless NSA agents.

9. The Truman Show (1998)

Life as a Reality TV Star

One of the “lighter” entries in this list, The Truman Show tells the story of Truman Burbank (played by Jim Carrey), a man who has unknowingly spent his entire life as the star of a reality television program.

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Mass Surveillance and Political Intrigue

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sequel to the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger.

11. Mr. Robot (2015-2019)

Realistic Portrayal of Hacking and Privacy

Heralded as one of the most realistic portrayals of hacking in mainstream media, Mr. Robot follows the story of cybersecurity engineer and vigilante hacker Elliot Alsderon (played by Rami Malek).

12. Black Mirror (2011-)

Exploring Societal Consequences of Technology

No list about surveillance-themed media would be complete without a mention of Black Mirror. The British dystopian science-fiction anthology series is widely considered to be the rightful successor to The Twilight Zone.


1. Are these movies and shows available for streaming?

Yes, many of these titles are available on popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

2. Are there any similar movies or shows you’d recommend?

Absolutely! If you enjoy these surveillance-themed stories, you might also like “The Lives of Others,” “Blade Runner,” and “1984.”

3. How can I protect my online privacy?

Using a reliable VPN like ForestVPN can help encrypt your internet connection and protect your online privacy from prying eyes.

4. Is surveillance a real issue in today’s world?

Yes, with the advancement of technology, surveillance has become more pervasive than ever, raising important questions about privacy rights and government oversight.

5. Can I watch these movies with my family?

While some of these movies and shows contain mature themes and content, many are suitable for family viewing, depending on the age and maturity level of your children.

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