Sci-fi (Science-Fiction) films have always captured our wildest imagination with a tad bit of reflection on our culture, lifestyle, romance, inventions, comedy, horror, dark emotions, technology, and as wild as our dreams. Sci-fi films have become larger than life and cultural phenomenon. Where else can you become an alien, see multiverses, and exist in a parallel universe and thrill yourself? Nothing can be awe-inspiring and exhilarating at the same time than watching a great sci-fi.
Sci-fi films have been there since the dawn of the cinema. If you are a film fanatic, it is your moral imperative to watch sci-fi. It is safe to say, at least, sci-fi films have been our life investments, and we would never want to miss the chance to become a part of it. Consider sci-fi films as the epitome of human emotions and creativity mixed together.
Okay, we have you electrified, either you are an avid movie watcher, who needs to be refreshed and wants to have some nostalgic moments or a newbie who doesn’t know where to start, we have got you covered. Here is the warning! You may not agree on the list, but no one can doubt the credibility of these movies to stand among one of the greatest. Period.
Sci-fi films give a very thrilling and equally sober escape from the reality. There have been many great movies and we have picked our 10 best sci-fi films ever made. In this list, we have not included superhero movies.
10. Mad Max : Fury Road (2015):
Imagine that the civilization as we know has long gone and we are living a savage, barbarian life, who fight for petty things that we take for granted. The post-apocalypse survival film boasts the finest visual effect never seen before. The motor, truck, and modified vehicles bang-bang makes you a part of the movie. The sheer amount of violence and the feminist turn given to the movie will have everlasting impressions. The two best stars, Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, have worked their skin out and they look convincing as well. If you are running low on adrenalin, this film might fill up the quota needed with lots of fuss, blood, death, and stunning CGIs.
8.1/10 [IMDb], 90% [Metacritic], 97%[Rotten Tomatoes]
9. The Martian (2015):
There is a million-views video on TED where Stephen Petranek talks on the possibilities of human invasion on Mars. Though the video sounds excessively optimistic, the Ridley Scott masterclass is equally convincing and well adapted. Matt Damon as Mark Watney is a botanist, who was stranded on Mars before he could board the return ship. Rest of the film is all about the struggles of Watney to survive on the unwelcoming Mars and his NASA team members to bring him back. The scintillating plot, script, and acting combines to create magic. After all, the red planet is not as inhospitable as it looks!
8/10 [IMDb], 80% [Metacritic], 91%[Rotten Tomatoes]
8. The Terminator (1984):
James Cameron is a genius. He gave Hollywood new meaning to the sci-fi and added a few sci-fi vocabularies like Skynet, cyborg, robotics and so on plus one of the most famous, “I’ll be back.” The film is first in the cyberpunk franchise, and we love every one of them since the first one. The film helped solidify the big hunk Arnold Schwarzenegger as a no-nonsense, no-dialogue robotic action hero, who could flex his muscles and create havoc. He was allowed to kill as much as he liked, wearing the black jacket and now legendary goggles. The story starts in 2029. The future where, now commonly known as AI, Artificial Intelligence takes over human and the entire race has to come up against the intelligent machines. The computer systems, controlled by humans themselves turn rebellious and the plot sets in.
The plot, script, direction, and overall action scenes make this movie a must watch. After all, Arnold is the base of the plot, flipping the sides in a race to save humanity. Amidst robots and cybernetics, Cameron seemed to have been hugely successful in giving the film some human touch. After all humans made this film.
8/10 [IMDb], 84% [Metacritic], 100%[Rotten Tomatoes]
7. Alien (1979):
Another Ridley Scott master class, Alien can be labelled as horror, thriller, sci-fi, and suspense. The film follows the crew of a commercial space ship, Nosromo, who encounter alien eggs after they wake up from deep sleep Cyro-capsules. The aftermath of the encounter, all that leaves is death, confusion, utter destruction, and a question: When is this coming to an end? Sigourney Weaver and John Hurt are brilliant. Their performances grab you by the neck. You simply cannot ignore how aliens turn into monsters, and kinda fell sympathetic to the human race at last!
8.5/10 [IMDb], 94% [Metacritic], 89%[Rotten Tomatoes]
6. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982):
The film is all about the friendship between a stranded alien and young Elliott, played by Henry Thomas. The young boy decides to bring the stranded alien, extraterrestrial thus the acronym E.T., to his California house, introduces to his siblings and the plot sets off. Eliott and co. try hard to keep the secret but things go wayward after E.T., falls ill. Directed by one of the greatest directors of our times, Steven Spielberg, the visuals are superclass even by today’s standards. On top of it, acting skills, sweet Drew Barrymore (Gertie) and the beautifully woven story of friendship makes this film a sci-fi masterclass, an instant American classic.
7.9/10 [IMDb], 91% [Metacritic], 98%[Rotten Tomatoes]
5. Blade Runner (1982):
It is no joke when Harrison Ford plays action in Ridley Scott’s venture. This movie is a rare combination of philosophy and violence, and every frame of the film captivates you with its jaw- dropping choreography and visuals. The movie revolves around the pursuit of genetically manufactured human replicas; originals use them to do dirty, dangerous work. Some of them go wayward and must be eliminated.
The film depicts a dystopic Los Angeles in 2019, woven with a great complex story; it will always be remembered as a film with great story and presentation.
8.2/10 [IMDb], 89% [Metacritic], 90%[Rotten Tomatoes]
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968):
This utterly unique, overly satisfying sci-fi masterclass is an adaptation from the short story of the great Arthur C. Clarke. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film is an audacious journey to find the origins of a mysterious artefact enfolded beneath the Lunar surface aided by the supercomputer H.A.L. 9000. Though the film was made in archaic 1968, it was lauded for its special effects, and can easily give tough competition to modern 21st-century sci-fis. There is something about this film that makes you use outlandish words to appreciate the vision of a post-human future. The greatest irony of this technology marvel film is its success in sending the message: Maybe we will not need technology in future at all.
8.3/10 [IMDb], 82% [Metacritic], 93%[Rotten Tomatoes]
3. Planet of the Apes (1968):
There are not many films that present humans as inferior to extraterrestrial apes. In this U-turn classic, four astronauts crash their space ship on some ape planet, which has some form of underdeveloped humans ruled by superiorly intelligent apes. The film is equally thought provoking and a suspense thriller, and the haunting scores. The make-up which created apes, notably played by Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, et al, is out of this world, and the way they carried their roles is brilliant.
8/10 [IMDb], 82% [Metacritic], 88%[Rotten Tomatoes]
2. The Matrix (1999):
What is Matrix? This what Neo(Keanu Reeves) is going after. Morpheus(Laurence Fishburne), is a lurking monster, albeit very dangerous and someone who cannot easily be found, seems to have the answer to Neo’s question. The film depicts simulated reality “The Matrix” that exists in the near future. There are sentient machines created to crush and dominate humans that run free everywhere. The VFX were far ahead of the time, and it changed how Hollywood makes sci-fi films. Many believe this is the greatest sci-fi action film ever made.
8.7/10 [IMDb], 73% [Metacritic], 88%[Rotten Tomatoes]
1. Star Wars (1977):
The second highest grossing film in the US and Canada, this 1977 cult phenomenon is where it all began, the first film in the original trilogy. Written and directed by, now synonymous with sci-fi, George Lucas, Star Wars entered the cinematic universe by storm and instantly became immoral. The film has such a profound effect on humanity, Star Wars will always be there until humanity exists. Be it Darth Vader (David Prowse), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) or Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), every character is a legend and can exist and carry the universe singlehandedly. Termed as the film with the greatest ending, there is not much to say about the film. Just watch it! Experience one of the greatest creation of humans.
8.6/10 [IMDb], 90% [Metacritic], 93%[Rotten Tomatoes]
Some honourable mentions : Interstellar(2014), Inception (2010), The Fifth Element (1997), Back to the Future (1985), Avatar (2009), Jurassic Park (1993)