Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow might not be a great film, but it is great retro-futurism for how it emulates the look and feel of a 1930s adventure serial.
The 1927 German film Metropolis is a masterpiece in its own right, but it was meant to be earnest look into the future. The 2001 anime retelling plays up the dissonance between its retro aesthetics and futuristic robots.
This mind-bending, time-hopping black comedy sends its protagonists to imagined versions of different eras, and even the technology in its initial near-future setting has a strong retro-futurist vibe.
Blade Runner’s vision of the future is built on the anxieties of the ‘80s and the ‘60s — when the book it’s based on was written — giving it a built-in retro aesthetic that only becomes more interesting the further we get from its release.
Brazil takes place partly in a retro-futurist office building devoted to maintaining a totalitarian bureaucratic regime. As dour as that sounds, it still packs in some fantastical dream sequences to rival Loki’s more surreal moments.