There are some amazing steampunk movies out there, and they are often underrated. Who doesn’t love a good blunderbuss, goggles, and an airship?! To set you on the right track we have rounded up 25 of the best steampunk movies to watch.
So What Makes a Great Steampunk Movie?
There are a number of elements that need to combine in order to classify a movie as steampunk.
Check out our in depth guide as to what makes a movie steampunk for more information on this. Whether something fits into the steampunk genre or not is a topic that is always up for hot debate in the forums.
As steampunk sadly never existed, there is no history to check the validity against, however, there is some faux pas that means that something is clearly not steampunk.
Check out this article if you’re asking the question, what is steampunk anyway?
Things such as this we would class as being ‘steampunk inspired’, i.e. they don’t traditionally conform to the steampunk genre, but they have taken elements from it to inspire them.
As a quick recap, we’ve lined up our top 10 elements to look out for in a steampunk movie.
Top 10 Things to Look Out for In a Steampunk Movie
- The Use of Steam – In steampunk, electricity has never been invented, everything is mechanical and powered by steam. This means that if you can see digital machinery in a movie, it isn’t traditional steampunk, therefore it may be classified as ‘steampunk inspires’
- Steam Powered Vehicles – In steampunk movies, as with the above, you will only see vehicles powered by steam, cars, ships, and even submarines.
- Airships – Airships are popular within the steampunk genre – again, mechanically powered.
- Set In Victorian Era or an Alternative History – Steampunk is set in either the Victorian Era (19th Century) or in an alternative, future, occasionally depicted as a ‘wild west’ setting.
- The Clothing – Clothing can vary, but is normally focused around the fashions of Victorian England, or that of a colonial explorer.
- Augmented Mechanical Humans – In steampunk, persons can normally be seen with mechanically replaced elements to their body, sometimes these are full replacements, other times, a mechanical exoskeleton.
- Gadgets & Gears – futuristic (mechanical) gadgets are common place in the steampunk genre. A personal favorite is a gun that mechanically springs from up a sleeve to the user’s hand, ready and poised for use. Gears can be seen throughout the steampunk genre, emphasizing the mechanical theme that is central to the aesthetic.
- Time Travel – Time travel is not an essential component of steampunk, however, it can be seen in some steampunk works. Just remember that the time travel device needs to be mechanical and not digital/ electronic.
- The Paranormal – The paranormal is not traditional steampunk, however, the crossover between the genres is common. The villain in steampunk is normally a man made creation as opposed to being a mythical creature, demon, vampire, etc.
- Advanced Technology – Technology that is advanced for its time is a standard theme throughout steampunk. The technology must be mechanical in nature, such as the analog computer.
Now we’ve established what to look out for in a steampunk movie, let’s look at our lineup of the best steampunk movies.
List of the Best Steampunk Movies
- Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 
- Hugo 
- Alice In Wonderland 
- Going Postal 
- Sherlock Holmes 
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army 
- City of Ember 
- Mortal Engines 
- The Golden Compass 
- The Prestige 
- Steamboy 
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 
- Howl’s Moving Castle 
- A Series of Unfortunate Events 
- Van Helsing 
- Hellboy 
- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 
- Treasure Planet 
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire 
- Wild Wild West 
- The City of Lost Children 
- Castle in the Sky 
- The Fabulous World of Jules Verne 
- Journey to the Center of the Earth 
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 
- Metropolis 
- A Trip to the Moon 
- The Time Machine 
If Disney is more your thing, check out our guide to the best Disney steampunk movies.
As you will see, there are a few steampunk movies to keep you occupied, let us know in the comments below which is your best steampunk movie of all time and why.