Not sure exactly what it is -- maybe I should think about it some more -- but I find literature and film based around stories of utopian or dystopian situations incredibly compelling. I'm thinking of this at the moment because Lena and I re-watched The Handmaid's Tale last night, and it's a fairly good example of a dystopian tale (though it seems the book is very very different from the movie). We talked a bit about 1984 and a few other examples, and I got started thinking about Things to Come, Gattaca, Anthem, and a few others.
I guess, as I type this, that what's compelling about these stories is what it reveals about where we might potentially hope to go, and also about where we should be careful not to go. For example, The Handmaid's Tale immediately made me think about the problem of rising religious fundamentalism in our government. That's not to say that I think religious people can't have a political voice, but I think you start to have a problem when the government is too driven by any religious text.
Anyway, this isn't a topic about the rise of religious fundamentalism, which is debatable anyway.
I'm more interested in hearing from others who find compelling stories or films depicting utopian or dystopian futures or alternate realities. Further, I'd love to hear of some favorite examples. I listed a few of mine above, but there are others I'll come back and discuss further.