Best of sci fi movies: Science fiction movies explore the possibilities of the future. Science fiction is a genre with many different subgenres, but what they all have in common is that they take us to places beyond our own imagination.
If you’re wanting the best sci-fi movies of all time, we have a list of what people think are best. There’s something on this list for everyone, from Spielberg to Scott, Kubrick to Carpenter.
Silent Running (1972)
Douglas Trumbull’s environmental warning movie, Silent Running, does not just tell audiences about the dangers of pollution, but shows a protagonist fighting for what he believes in. Decked out with memorable robo-assistants and a plot line that is reminiscent of Wall-E, Silent Running is full of drama, quiet reflection, and serene visuals.
High Life (2019)
The protagonist of Claire Denis’ meditative science fiction movie is a ‘lost Michael Bay movie’- criminals on a spaceship are hurtling into a black hole! However, the movie has dark, moody atmosphere, as well as intellectual and emotional challenge- it drenches us in palpable dread and unsettling eroticism. Alongside excellent performances, especially by Robert Pattinson, who plays Monte in the film, this makes for impressive grown up sci-fi.
In Snowpiercer, the poor sections of society revolt against the elite. The lower half of the train contains poor people and the upper half contains elites including Tilda Swinton who performs an outrageous version of a similar in Thatcher. Director Bong Joon Ho’s genre mash-up is a real sci fi film addressing contemporary class issues.
District 9 (2009)
In the film, illegal aliens are given a literal interpretation as beings whose ships have come from outer space. The protagonist Wikus Van De Merwe is a bureaucrat who’s assigned to help them but he ends up seeing things differently when he takes note of their families and the biotechnology that’s being used. The film is energetic and full of body-horror with moments that are gut-churning while it tries to show a segregated South Africa.
The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron’s The Abyss distinguishes itself from other films with its deep-sea exploration and the disappearance of a nuclear submarine. The main focus is on expert divers and their discovery of something much more fascinating. James Cameron demonstrates his love for diving in this film, an integral part of movies like Titanic, Avatar, and soon the upcoming Avatar sequels. The lack of commercial success in relation to his other films did not stop it from being worth submerging oneself into.
Children Of Men (2006)
With many science fiction films, technology is at the centre of the film, but Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men explores a plausible future while grounding it in everyday human emotion. The year is 2027 and the world has slowly become infertile. Migration soars and Britain has become a police state. Clive Owen’s bureaucrat has been contacted by a group of terrorists looking to help one woman reach sanctuary – she is pregnant…
Donnie Darko (2001)
Richard Kelly’s cult classic Donnie Darko tells the story of a teenager, Donnie, who is constantly spiraling down in his eclectic life. His actions are based on a belief that he truly does not know what is happening. Kelly blends genres to create a standout film with quirky characters and mind-bending plot twists.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Eternal Sunshine is a filmed with an unusual twist—memory-tampering. The main character, Joel, has to deal with the repercussions of a heartbreak and participates in a procedure that erases his memories of Clementine. He learns about his own feelings for her after she does the same procedure, and he decides not to do it himself. Eternal Sunshine explores what makes us the people we are, both good and bad.
The movie, Predator, is a science-fiction action film in which the protagonist, Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), fights an enemy with advanced weaponry that has heat vision. The enemy is unknown and goes undetected. It has the likeness of Vietnam War genre because the military encounters an unnamed enemy that they are unable to defeat.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s films are often hard to get into, but Stalker is a prime example of his work. The film is an exploration of faith, science and art, with surreal visuals that stem from nuclear radiation.
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
This concept about aliens replacing people with pod-people is so robust and reusable, it’s been the source of several films. Don Siegel’s 1956 version cleverly spun into a satire of paranoia, old-fashioned tropes give way to a ’70s representation where dead-eyed loved ones look just like you. Philip Kaufman’s film remains to be the most watchable though, one of the rare great remakes. Despite being in the 1970s, it has star power: Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy are there. The alien effects are also striking. This era was characterized by distrust and malaise after Nixon took office.
12 Monkeys (1995)
The director of this film, Terry Gilliam, is prominent for his time travelling, apocalyptic future, and fatally contagious virus. Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt had dynamic performances in this movie, but it may not be the best idea to watch during the apocalypse.
There is speculation around the future of anime in Hollywood. Director Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s Akira took over the anime genre and is a key turning point for its inclusion into Western culture. With its violence, cyberpunk style, and penchant for mutants as well as past world events coming back to haunt Neo-Tokyo, a Hollywood remake could come with costs. Catching up with ÔTomo’s revolutionary work is not an easy feat.
Under The Skin (2013)
“Under The Skin” is a film about an alien that assumes the form of Scarlett Johansson. Whilst driving around Glasgow, she picks up men and disappears with them. There are plenty of films in the genre of invasion movies to date, but this one is different because it’s told from the perspective of the invader. It enraptures with upsetting visuals and offers something new as there haven’t been many films like it told by this point-of-view before. The film also contains ideas about human/female interactions and dark, strange pools.
Director:Danny Boyle Starring: Rose Byrne, Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans The move between different genres is one of Danny Boyle’s talents. His movie Sunshine depicts a crew sent on a mission to reignite the dying sun during a mission. It has been depicted as both a disaster movie, and also as an unexpected slasher. There have been many psychological explorations throughout the entire film that blend with sci-fi and in its third act it is unclear whether they have reached the face of god or just the sun.
James Cameron, director of Avatar, is known for his iconic movies. Avatar follows a man who’s trying to defend the bioluminescent land from humans and is full of glowing fauna and floating boulders. There is an epic scope and love story like Titanic, and everything he’s ever done has created something groundbreaking. This film has a B-movie quality but with A-movie blockbuster elements that make it worth watching. There are many things Cameron will be working on with Avatar sequels coming out in the future.
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day The Earth Stood Still is a 1951 classic with an intergalactic community sending an extraterrestrial visitor to Earth to tell us how we would need to change our destructive warlike ways.
Minority Report (2002)
The film depicts a world of the future where pre-crime psychics predict murders and police use jetpacks. The film is a mix of thought-provoking ideas and blockbusters with new technology.
The Fly (1986)
Jeff Goldblum stars in a film about an inventor that enters the teleportation pod and fuses with the fly trapped inside. The actor suffers from dramatic transformation, turning into a putrid monster that remains human at his core.
Andrew Stanton took risks to make Wall-E, which was a near-silent film. It shows us what we’re doing to the planet and how destructive it is, but in a way that kids can understand. The movie has memorable scenes of environmental destruction and love between robots, while still being relevant today with lessons on consumerism.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
Despite some elements that might be seen as idealistic, Star Trek eventually became an emotional drama and found its heart by showing the relationships between complex characters. The most tense and emotional battle happens without either of the key characters in the film being present.
Denis Villeneuve’s career started with Blade Runner 2049. He also took on the project of adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune, making it accessible and enriching the story.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
The sequel was a lot better than expected, largely thanks to the cinematography. Roger Deakins did a great job at getting mesmerizing shots for the film. The movie, which continues to explore what it means to be human, does so without disrespecting or contradicting Ridley Scott’s original vision.
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Ghost in the Shell is a genre-defining, futuristic mature animated sci-fi thriller about a cyborg cop that tracks down an elusive hacker called the Puppet Master. The film revolves around issues such as robotic advances, ghosts and shells within cyber technology.
The director of “Solaris” is Andrei Tarkovsky and the film was released in 1972. Donatas Banionis and Natalya Bondarchuk star in this movie, which has been considered one of the most ambitious science fiction films of all time. It is one of those movies where you have to try to think about what is happening, but that makes it all the more rewarding when you figure out why certain things happened.