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Compared to action, romantic, drama, thriller, horror and comedy genres, Sci-fi is viewed as the most unconventional and unique genre. It never fails to draw the audience to experience something they could never in the real world. The plot of these films is convoluted, which transports you to an outlandish world and makes you feel completely immersed in it. There’s nothing better than watching sci-fi movies, and that’s why we all enjoy them so much. Sci-fi is always special, let’s discuss what are the best scifi movies you must watch.
15. Back to the Future Series
If you still don’t know anything about the Back to the Future Trilogy. Don’t call yourself a sci-fi film lover. Period. I mean, It was the first time travel movie to be released in 1985. Even though this trilogy is considered one of the most pop-culture film franchise, some people still are not aware of it and say they don’t know. And I’m like
Anyway, I have to say that this trilogy is one of the best I have ever seen. I thoroughly enjoyed it from the very beginning. Imagine you had a time-traveling car & you can go back in past. It’s so exciting, & thrilling to experience. As in Marty Mcfly’s case, A high school student who accidentally sent himself 30 years back through Doc’s invention. The whole trilogy explores the repercussions & misadventures in the utmost wacky way. It’s one of the hilarious sci-fi movies you can re-watch again & again. I’m sure you’ll be immersed in its exhilirating storytelling.
Watch it right now if you still haven’t watched.
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and more.
Snowpiercer may have received ambivalent reviews from the audience, but I consider Snowpiercer as one of the gritty sci-fi movies with post-apocalyptic elements directed by Boon Joon Hoo, whpo is known for his dumbfounding twists, through brilliant narrations.
It’s the same case with Snowpiercer. The movie is set in a dystopian postapocalyptic setting in which everyone is confined to a train that travels endlessly around the world. While It may appear so, the world as we know it continues to exist despite deadly snowfall. The main theme revolves around the harsh reality of discrimination in class.
Here’s a suggestion: don’t watch the trailer. There are spoilers in it, so it might ruin your enjoyable viewing experience. Directly watch the film and you’ll be glued to the screen until the very end. But, don’t turn away from Snowpiercer just because someone made a negative comment. It was truly a fantastic movie if you set your logic aside.
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, and more..
Read more: 10 Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies of All Time
Of course, Who doesn’t know Avatar. If there’s one scifi movie to have first-class & out of this world visuals, It’s gotta be Avatar. It’s a pure visual feast you can never miss. It is directed by one of the creative directors, James Cameron who is best known for his works Terminator and Aliens. It was released in 2008, & you know what? It is still the top 1 grossing film with a collection of $2.8b. However, if you go watch Avatar expecting a profound & extraordinary story, I think you end up a little bit underwhelmed. In a nutshell, the film centers on the story of a disabled Marine who is sent on a mission to a newly discovered planet, and who eventually becomes a barrier, and with it, the story unravels.
Though it may not have a strong plot, it is highly lauded for its visuals and has given a new surreal experience to the audience. We have to acknowledge that it is the greatest accomplishment, considering it was released in 2008 when there were fewer technological resources.
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, and more.
It’s dumbfounding, yet makes sense.
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor and more.
Read more: 15 Best Thriller Movies of All Time
11. Ex Machina
Ex-Machina is a surreal and grim sci-fi film that astounds you in the end. A young programmer, Caleb Smith, is offered the chance to take part in a scientific experiment involving an AI robot to observe how it interacts with its environment. As time passes, however, he begins to sense something is wrong and stumbles upon a situation that is forbidding. An understated sci-fi film that disturbs you in one way, Ex-Machina is both bizarre and ominous. It takes a grim view of artificial intelligence and may change your perspective on it. The most shocking moment of the movie is the climax. You cannot see it coming and you’re shocked.
It’s definitely one of the shocking & disturbing sci-fi movies of all time.
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and more..
10. Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow is the crazi… Edge of Tomorrow is the craziest & ridicu….Edge of Tomorrow is the most ridiculous and craziest sci-fi film I have ever seen. Finally! Please do not ask me why the text was split up. Watch the film and you’ll get it.
There’s something I love about this film’s narrative style and direction. I wasn’t sure what I was watching for the first 15 minutes. But after a few minutes, the film began to make sense & I was gripped to my seat until the very end.
It’s Major William Cage’s mission to save Earth and humanity from an alien species. However, things do not make sense to him when he is caught in a time loop every single time he is killed by an alien species. It doesn’t sound logical, right? But It was an enthralling film that captivates you with its amazing action & sci-fi drama.
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and more..
Tenet is the first revolutionary & contemporary film in the 2020’s decade. I’m telling you, the whole film is BONKERS & CRACKERS.
It’s highly known for its convoluted narrative style that no one in this world could comprehend in the first watch. But the Irony is that the film has received harsh criticism and hatred from the mainstream audience because it is so perplexing and complex. It even happened with his highly complex films; Inception and Memento, which were harshly criticized in the beginning. However, as time passed, the audience began to appreciate its value and its innovative storytelling. Thus, it is about time they come to realize the quality of tenet and it won’t be too long before they apprehend how meticulously Nolan crafted each scene and how clever the film was.
As far as I’m concerned, Tenet is a film that continues to linger in my brain till today, which is a very common reflection of everything Christopher Nolan does.
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, and more..
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
As a sci-fi movie lover, I consider Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to be something very special & completely caught me off guard at the end. I was stunned & I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It’s indeed one of the best scifi movies with a blend of the romantic genre. Imagine you were living in a world where you can erase your memories with the help of a machine. Just like that, When a couple decides to end their relationship, they decide to erase each other memories. But, the story unfolds as you watch the narrative & it will thrill till the end. The way Michael Gondry crafted the film and preserved the suspense is extraordinary.
If you’re both a rom-com and sci-fi film fanatic, Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind is the perfect choice to watch.
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, and more..
Can aliens speak English? I guess, Arrival will answer your question. More films than I can count have explored the idea of alien life, but Arrival stands out as the most realistic one in my opinion. One of my favorite directors, Denis Villeneuve took a pragmatic approach to aliens & made the issue of communication barriers between humans and aliens a central theme of the story.
Louise Banks, a linguistics expert, along with her team assigned with the mission to decipher the language of aliens who have come to Earth in a mysterious spaceship. Sounds so unreal yet, rational right?
The most captivating part of the movie is that Denis Villeneuve and Eric Heisserer created the “logogram bible,” language which includes more than a hundred different completely operative logo-grams, of which 71 are featured in the movie.
When it comes to the utmost down-to-earth alien movie, Arrival is the one to choose.
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and more.
Her is a literal sci-fi movie that everyone in the world should never miss. The film portrays the role of Artificial Intelligence and how it devastates human relationships in the future. Imagine having a real relationship with Artificial Intelligence. I said it!
You’ll immerse in it & see how AI affects the main lead’s secluded life. Her is so grim, gloomy, & especially thought-provoking movie. Big props to Spike Jonze for his creative direction & Joaquin Phoenix for his incredible performance.
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, and more.
Common, what did you expect? Scifi movie list feels incomplete without Interstellar. It is absolutely one of the best scifi movies that will engage you through the end. It is a completely enthralling sci-fi drama one should experience on the big screen. I know it’s impossible now that it’s a 2014 film. But, try as much as you can to experience Interstellar on the big screen with Dolby audio. I can assure you, it’s going to be one of your favorite films of all time. It is directed by Christopher Nolan who is ofcourse a connoisseur of the sci-fi genre. His approach to time & space is what makes this movie so special. It revolves around the emotional drama of a father and daughter relationship. I can’t tell you much more than that.
It is a masterpiece, complete, comprehensive.
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and more..
Inception is personally one of my favorite sci-fi movies which is also directed by my favorite director- Christopher Nolan. As far as I know, Inception is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. No, I’m not gushing or aggrandizing or anything.
Christopher Nolan, director of acclaimed films like Memento, Prestige, and Dark Knight trilogy, created another masterpiece with his intricate concept that perplexes everyone in every way. It has a separate fan base and people still talk over its open-ended climax which led to millions of theories. It tells the story of a thief who steals secrets through dream-sharing technology is tasked to plant an idea in the mind of the CEO. Sounds surreal right? Besides, Leonardo DiCaprio, along with a stellar ensemble cast, provided fabulous performances.
I’m saying it, you have to watch this top-rated sci-fi film.
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and more..
Read more: 10 Best Open Ending Movies You Must Watch
3. Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a perfect blend of neo-noir and science fiction. The film sets in a dystopian society where it’s hard to discern who is human & who is replicant (clone of human). I guess you’re already excited about this film. Yes, it’s very riveting yet, intimidating & thought-provoking. It’s a tale of an ex-retired officer who is assigned to hunt replicants when they are identified as a threat. Given the concept of the movie, this film is in fact way ahead of its time. Even though the film failed initially at the box office, it grew in popularity in the following weeks and is considered one of the best scifi movies of all time. Recently, It also received a sequel in 2017 – Blade Runner 2049 which also didn’t fail to surprise the audience. The original director, Ridley Scott, and the sequel director, Denis Villeneuve, both did an excellent job.
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and more.
2. The Matrix Trilogy
Talk about complex sci-fi stories, The Matrix comes second. Being a 1999 film, It still stands out to be one of the most appreciated sci-fi films & in fact a fan favorite. It’s a movie that depicts a dystopian society and the dark side of our world. It has a more foreboding tone, that made me think of life & suspect our very existence on earth & our very purpose.
My head swirls with questions, is this really real or a simulation? Are we being watched? Are we under supervision? That’s crazy! right.
Anyway, the main character is Thomas Anderson, a computer hacker, when he learns about a mysterious rebel group, he’s invited to join to fight powerful enemies to free humanity. I’m sure you will be introduced to new more mysterious aspects in this film that may frighten you in one sense. It’s more of a thought-provoking film that will enthrall you through the end. Keanu Reeves who is the main lead has done a fabulous performance along with Lana Wachowski and Carrie-Anne.
The fourth installment is currently in production.
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and more..
Read more; 5 Best Action Movies of All Time
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001 A Space Odyssey is the most bizarre & classic sci-fi movie of all time. Despite its 1968 release, 2001: A Space Odyssey carries many elements that resonate with our current age to the extent that many theories have been derived from the movie. If anything, it sowed the seeds for the sci-fi genre & influenced many contemporary filmmakers. There’s a reason why this film is ranked at the top 1. It’s a timeless slow drama you can’t afford to miss being a sci-fi lover. As to the plot of the film, it’s always challenging to describe. In a nutshell, artificial intelligence vs human. It’s the first sci-fi film that put me in deep thoughts & made me ponder about our current living. Though the movie has a slow narration, it nails at the subtext & allegorical concept leaving the audience to make up their own interpretation. The director, Stanley Kubrick received a lot of honorable accolades for his top-notch direction. He has easily become one of my favorite filmmakers & made me explore his filmography.
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and more..
Honorable Mentions for Best Scifi Movies :
- Source Code
- The Fifth Element
- 12 Monkeys
Note: We deliberately omitted Star Wars and other pop-culture franchise films in order to set this listicle apart from others. Thanks for understanding.
Let me know your opinion and your favorite movie. You can drop down your suggestions if you would like to.