Holy Motors10. “Holy Motors” (2012)
Perhaps this completely spellbinding Leos Carax mindfuck doesn’t wholly qualify — it’s certainly more described by the “laws” of pure fantasy than any single high-concept thought experiment. But since our recent Fantasy feature leaned more towards orcs and dragons, and since there are many segments within this multifaceted phantasmagoria of weirdness that merit being called “sci-fi,” we’re putting it here. But mainly, we’re including “Holy Motors” because we’re never going to pass up the opportunity to talk about its utter genius: a kind of mad picaresque following the great Denis Lavant through a variety of personas and scenarios (peppered with memorable turns from Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue) as his Mr Oscar is driven to different mysterious assignations by his loyal driver Celine (Edith Scob). By turns crass, hilarious, sad and gross but defiantly inexplicable always, it has enough bristling energy to fuel a hundred films, boiled down to into one highly potent, concentrated shot of pure hallucinogen.

Primer9. “Primer” (2004)
Made for a fraction of pretty much every other movie here (just $7,000), Shane Carruth’s directorial debut, “Primer,” is a startling and incredibly complex picture that completely re-energised the time-travel movie and immediately leapt to the forefront of the genre. The endearingly lo-fi picture sees a group of engineers accidentally create a device in their garage that can send them back in time, before falling out in spectacular fashion. Of course, that barely scratches the surface of the plot: it’s a dizzyingly dense film, to the extent that it can feel impenetrable at first, but as if mirroring the journey of its characters, it becomes more and more rewarding as you travel back for a second, third, or fourth go. Shot on 16mm (with enough stock that he could only shoot each scene once, which might explain why it’s a little rough around the edges in places, though that only adds to its chilly charm for us), it’s an uncompromising, completely fascinating picture, and that Carruth’s other sci-fi classic (more of which in a moment) is so wildly different is a testament to his immense talents.

Timecrimes8. “Timecrimes” (2007)
That said, “Primer” isn’t quite our favorite time-travel picture of the decade: that honor instead goes to another low-budget spin on the conceit, Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s twisty, twisted “Timecrimes.” The set-up sees Héctor (Karra Elajalde) go out to investigate a nude neighbor when his wife leaves the house, only to be stabbed by a mysterious bandaged figure, and then discovering that a scientist has built a time machine that can send him an hour back in time. A devious, tighly plotted, and frequently surprising little picture leavened with a sly sense of humor, it sees Vigalondo juggle tones and genres with a confidence that belies his status as a first-time filmmaker (although he’d been Oscar-nominated for his short film “7:35 de la Mañana”). In its low-budget ingenuity, it follows not just something like “Primer,” but also films like “Memento,” “Pi,” and even “Dark Star,” giving the film a scope and scale that belies its limited setting and cast, but more than anything, it’s just enormous fun to unpack and puzzle over.

Moon7. “Moon” (2009)
Every generation has a low-key cult sci-fi debut or two that simply have the feel of future classics, and the 21st Century has had several, though none as satisfying and as worthy of revisiting as Duncan Jones’ brilliantly conceived, perfectly executed “Moon.” The spartan story of a lone astronaut (Sam Rockwell) manning a mining station on the far side of the moon, with only the station’s computer, voiced by Kevin Spacey, for a companion, who discovers he’s not as alone as he thought, (although perhaps he’s ultimately even more so), the film goes through subtle shifts in mood, from droll to creepy to all-out uncanny. It all orbits around Rockwell’s performance, though, and he is superb at wrangling depths and subtleties from a role that has him often alone and wordless, projecting the intense, almost existential weariness of a man so very far from home. Jones stayed with sci-fi for his follow up, “Source Code,” but while it’s a fun, twisty thriller take on the genre, it didn’t come anywhere close to matching the shimmery, enigmatic atmosphere of his supremely controlled debut space oddity.

Her6. “Her” (2013)
Proving once again that some of the greatest sci-fi happens when the genre cross-pollinates with another, or several others, Spike Jonze’s lovely, intimate film is just as much an indie love story and a journey of self-discovery as it is a traditional sci-fi movie. Starring a tremulous Joaquin Phoenix in one of the finest and most sympathetic performances of an already stellar career, it also features voice acting work from Scarlett Johansson that is so evocative we remember the Operating System she plays (Samantha) as being as real as she is to Phoenix’s Theodore — one of the only times we really recall considering a voice-only performance as potentially awards-worthy. There’s a quiet intelligence to Jonze’s probing of our relationship with our machines, but mostly it’s a film marked out by its unusual grace in recognising how, in the face of our growing dependence on technology, we are somehow more fallibly human than ever.

Mad-Max-Fury-Road5. “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
George Miller’s fourth movie in his post-apocalyptic franchise, and the first in nearly thirty years, was literally the best action movie in decades, and a tremendous sci-fi film too. A chase movie in the same way that Buster Keaton’s “The General” is a chase movie, i.e. it’s the chase movie as poetry, as symphony, as head rush, as fever dream — “Fury Road” barely ever stopping to catch a breath while building a fascinating sci-fi dystopian world through side-details. The director gifted us all with an adrenaline shot of pure, unfiltered cinema, one that returned grace and beauty to the summer blockbuster. One that wasn’t afraid to get weird, like the blue-tinged section in the mudlands that feels almost like a Tarkovsky movie. One that stealthily put a woman at the heart of a testosterone-filled, gas-guzzling actioner. One crafted at a level that suggested that 95% of movies simply aren’t trying hard enough.

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)4. “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” (2004)
We’re already firmly on the record with our endless adoration for Michel Gondry’s superlative investigation of love, regret, and memory. While the warmth and sorrowful humanism of the film are what stays with you, its intelligence and the elegance of its plotting can’t be overstated either. Giving Gondry’s lively visual imagination a license to play to its eccentric, practically-achieved strengths, Charlie Kaufman’s script nonetheless has the kind of focus and tightness that many of the director’s other features have lacked, and Jim Carrey’s against-type performance as the brokenhearted man desperately chasing after the memories of his relationship with Clementine (Kate Winslet) makes this a career high for all three, and a devastatingly beautiful, funny and melancholy film to boot. It’s the rare movie that has as much heart as it has creative smarts, and maybe twice the wisdom.

Upstream Color3. “Upstream Color” (2013)
One of only three directors to have two entries on this list (and the budgets for both of his titles combined could comfortably fit 50 times over into those of most all the others), Shane Carruth followed up his spectacularly brainy “Primer” with the spectacularly brainy “Upstream Color,” which broadens its scope, and therefore its reach, to warp the heart as well as the mind. A very, very, very offbeat love story, it follows a man (played by Carruth himself) and a woman (Amy Seimetz) who fall for each other helplessly but discover their mutual attraction is at least partly to do with a symbiotic link to a herd of pigs, the biology of a mutant strain of orchid, the poetry of Walt Whitman, and a bizarre hypnosis/heist scheme. Full of wonder and scientific curiosity at the uncanny nature of love, and investigating it so minutely that its mathematics themselves become beautiful, we may not be able to answer definitively what it all means, but the film’s pervasive mood and lingering sustain (down to the polyglot Carruth’s gauzy cinematography and self-composed ambient score) means it’s a pleasure to continue puzzling it out, even all this time later.

Under the Skin2. “Under The Skin” (2013)
We were first spellbound by Jonathan Glazer‘s unctuous slow-drip nightmare three years ago and it hasn’t quite left our system yet. Simply one of the undeniable masterpieces of this new millennium, the chilly otherworldly vibe of Glazer and Walter Campbell‘s adaptation of Michel Faber‘s novel is completely immersive and bewitching, told with a Kubrickian attention to detail that does indeed feel like it acts subcutaneously, intravenously. Featuring a brilliant performance from Scarlett Johansson (kicking off a stellar run, incidentally) the film might be the best-ever evocation of an alien’s-eye perspective on the our world, with slivers of the prosaic reality of grey, damp Scotland interrupting the creeping horror that unfolds in the black ooze below. It’s the charge between the ordinary and the deeply uncanny that chills you to the core, like the unforgettable image of a woman dragging a body past an abandoned baby crying on a stony beach.

children of men1. “Children Of Men” (2006)
Not just the best sci-fi movie of the last 16 years, but one of the best movies period, Alfonso Cuaron’s bravura dystopian masterpiece cemented the Mexican helmer’s status as not just a fast-rising star, but as one of our very, very best. Based on P.D. James’ novel, it’s set in a world where no children have been born in two decades, and society has collapsed as humanity waits to die out. Theo (Clive Owen) is entrusted with transporting a young immigrant woman (Claire-Hope Ashitey) who is pregnant, the first person in a generation to be so. Aside from its central premise, everything about “Children Of Men” is chillingly plausible, and Cuaron’s vision is brought to life seamlessly with subtle VFX and the never-bettered docudrama-ish photography of Emmanuel Lubezki (including two of the greatest extended shots in cinema history). The cast, including Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Peter Mullan, and Danny Huston, is impeccable, it’s disarmingly funny, deeply sad, enormously exciting, fiercely political, and endlessly inventive, and people will be stealing from it for decades to come. Though many dismissed it on release as being too bleak (and everything from the Zika virus to Brexit is proving it to be all to prescient), that was to miss the point: “Children Of Men” is a film about hope, and in the 21st century, we need all the hope we can get.

Honorable Mentions: Even expanding this list to 50 left room for mucho heartache. We were contrarianly delighted wth ourselves for having the Wachowskis‘ widely hated “Cloud Atlas” up there for a long time, but late additions meant something had to go. And as last time, we felt that Superhero movies are borderline, but we ultimately decided to skip them, especially since they get lists of their own and really do not need any further exposure.

So what else nearly made the cut?  John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” Guillermo del Toro‘s “Pacific Rim,” JJAbrams’ “Super 8” were under discussion. We also considered “Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire,” offbeat experiment “The Man From Earth,” megahit “Avatar,” and underrated B-movie “Reign Of Fire.”

There was also Steven Spielberg’s “War Of The Worlds,” international indie “Europa Report,” Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky,” Brad Anderson’s semi-rom-com “Happy Accidents,” Alan Moore adaptation “V For Vendetta,” Vincenzo Natali’s “Splice,” Mike Cahill’s “I Origins,” Duncan Jones’ “Source Code,” “Josh Trank’s “Chronicle,” Colin Trevorrow’s “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla,” Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” Irish sci-fi comedy “Grabbers,”  Swiss movie “Cargo” and recent surprise hit “10 Cloverfield Lane,” though we felt having its putative forbear on here was enough.

As ever, there are about a thousand other titles that will be someone’s “But where the HELL is [film]” so if yours isn’t mentioned, call it out below. And maybe we’ll get to it in a couple years’ time when we bring this list to 100.

  • Jeremy Carrier

    I swear ya’ll published this the exact same day as The Fil mStage .com’s own list on purpose.


    Its fun to see where taste differ, but you had the same #1.

    • Jeremy, this is an update of a list we did long ago circa 2015 and with a series that began in 2014, not just this year.

  • Brandon Thompson

    The number #1 pick is my 2nd favorite movie since 2000 (Mulholland Drive is #1) so I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sleuth1989

    I can never see “The Hunger Games” as anything more than “Battle Royale” rip-off material. LOL So even putting “Catching Fire”, which basically was a redux of the first film in most of it with the rebellion in the background to add flair, on the Honorable Mention hurts me deeply…well not deeply but still. I love that you guys gave “Snowpiercer” love. I kept reading articles it should have been the black sheep of the Oscars in 2014, no love for Tilda Swinton even! 🙁 It’s funny, I love “Interstellar” as a concept but pacing and actual narrative-wise it was all over the place. It felt like they had so much science behind it that they struggled to make sure all the relevant information was in it without too much exposition. Still liked it though so glad concept-wise it was honored! 🙂

  • I would have included Sleep Dealer on this list. Very moving.

  • buddy

    I love Children of Men but hate mention of it containing ‘two of the greatest extended shots in cinema history’, as they both have been revealed to be fudged together from shorter takes. According to the vfx coordinator, the car ambush was shot in “six sections and at four different locations over one week and required five seamless digital transitions”; and the battlefield scene “was captured in five separate takes over two locations”.

    • In my eyes, that doesn’t take away from the quality of shot. They are still amazing when we are so conditioned for now normal 1 sec average shot length.

      • buddy

        They are amazing scenes, but to perpetuate the myth that they’re real time single takes is a disservice to both the people who made the scenes work -editors, compositors, fx people- but don’t usually get credit for long takes, and to the filmmakers who create actual single takes. Plus Cuaron outright lying about them has left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Michael Byers

    I would put “Stranger Things” on this list. It feels like just a big 8 hour movie anyway.


      as much as I agree with you Byers I think to be measured truly all entries should have at least a 5 year test . so when the hype is wore off will we still think it stands as a true original.

    • Lee

      While I did love “Stranger Things” and think it should be in every top 50 list, I’m not sure it qualifies as Sci-Fi. They did give give things a soft scientific explanation, but overall it felt more like supernatural horror to me. It’s very borderline though and could be fuel for an interesting debate.

    • Jhollman

      Stranger things is not a movie, till it becomes showed in the big screen, Stranger things do not belong on this list.

  • Marvin H

    Snowpiercer was absolute garbage from start to finish.

  • ghostraider72

    Excellent list, especially the top 10. I would have included Avatar over Star Trek, but that’s a minor quibble over blockbusters.

  • in4mation

    Cloud Atlas? Mr Nobody? Vanilla Sky?

  • Jason Scifi Nerd

    I think you are discrediting your list by not including Avatar. The best SciFi should be defined by whats actually possible while challenging and exciting our imaginations.

    I totally understand the debate about the plot and characters but its hard to argue with the box office draw and the oscar awards. What separates Science fiction from pure fantasy? The answer is why the super-hero genre isn’t science fiction and why Star Wars and Star Trek nerds don’t always see eye to eye. Avatar took reasonable steps to make sure the movie conformed to our current scientific understanding of the universe.

    2nd highest grossing film of all time adjusted for inflation. By that metric alone its got to be on your list.

    Anyway awesome list and thanks for putting the time in. There’s a few movies I had dismissed like another earth but I’ll check them out now.

    • Indira Iman

      Avatar = “Lawrence of Arabia” with tails in 3D. Yes it was one of the first movies that used 3D as a serious filmmaking tool,can’t deny that one. In fact 70% of Avatar’s revenue is from its 3D version. But strip it from all its hype, it’s mediocre. Avatar is a sensory feast and nothing more.

      • Joey

        Avatar = Dances with Wolves

        • Jamie

          You left out Ferngully in there to be the most unoriginal, parrot-like post of the day.

        • Blurbwhore

          Counterpoint: Avatar = Pocahontas

      • Jason Scifi Nerd

        Can’t disagree with you there. However we’re talking about the 50 best sci fi movies in the 21st century so far.

        How do you quantify “the best”. Obviously that’s pretty difficult, however some of the metrics you could use are sales, critic reviews, user reviews, academy awards.

        The credibility of this list is questionable by excluding Avatar. It’s more of a “Sci Fi movies that the authors liked” list.

  • EdT

    As someone who pretty much hates anything he has ever been in, and who thinks calling him a over-rated actor would be a compliment, Tom Cruises Edge of Tomorrow should have been higher. Playing the complete jerk at the beginning of the film wasn’t a surprise, or much of an acting stretch. His getting knocked down a few notches, actually, quite a few notches, and having to put up with common BS and become a functioning human being during the film, one that people watching actually care about, was one of if not his very best acting job. Maybe not a top 10 film but it surely deserved a top 15.

    • I really don’t get what people have against Cruise and his movies. Does the guy seem like a AAA werido in real life? You bet! But I have honestly never seen a Cruise movie I didn’t enjoy. Every thing from Cocktail to MI to Edge of Tomorrow.

      Name ONE other actor that has as many big budget AAA awesome Hollywood sci-fi films under his belt. I love that he doesn’t mind doing nerdy films like Minority Report, War of the Worlds, All You Need is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow). Not to mention he is the my most likable Nazi in film history and is amazing in Valkyrie.

      • Michael Byers

        Tom Cruise movies are pretty consistently awesome and entertaining.

      • Indira Iman

        Couldn’t agree more. His blockbusters are good if not great–Mission Impossible, War of the Worlds, Minority Report, Edge of Tomorrow, the list could go on forever.

        If there’s anyone arguing his versatility and his “acting”, go watch Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut or P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia.

    • JR

      I’m not particularly proud of this, but I must have watched Edge of Tomorrow about 20 times. The layers to it are pretty amazing, the script and story were just so tight for something that could have been a complex mess. (Yeah, yeah, it’s based on a manga novel… – the premise is, but the screenplay does it’s own thing). Every time I watched it I noticed something new that connected back to some other part of the story, which is pretty impressive for 20+ viewings 🙂

      • Mark Mathers

        I haven’t seen it 20 times, but probably have seen it 6 or 7, but I’ll probably get there eventually. I love that movie. It’s the only movie I’ve seen in the theaters twice other than Terminator 2. Emily Blunt FTW.

  • inefekt

    Not sure how anyone can sit through Upstream Color and Under the Skin. I certainly wouldn’t have them in my top 100, in fact they’d be in my top ten worst scifi movies of the century. But, these lists are inherently subjective so I won’t say anything immature nor abusive about the author, they’re entitled to an opinion like the rest of us 🙂

    • Jay Tester

      Subjective is right. Loved, loved Upstream Color, disliked Under the Skin. Under was made into a sci-fi piece from a story that wasn’t. Many female friends of mine disliked Upstream. Think it was the control scenes at beginning.

      • Necr0naut

        What do you mean Under the Skin was made into a sci-fi piece from a story that wasn’t? I read the source material (the novel) and it’s even more sci-fi than the movie.

        • Jay Tester

          I agree and apologize. I posted that comment ages ago and I know I read at the time that little nugget from a review of the movie but just read the wiki link about the book and it certainly sounds like sci fi.

  • Alberto Verdugo

    Edge of tomorrow is based on a japanese manga called “al you need is kill” (way better than the movie)

    • SillySock

      No its not. I’ve read the original book and the Manga and the movie is better than both.

  • dirkbruere

    Lucy, Limitless?

  • Ryan

    You already had a Pegg and Frost movie but you forgot about Paul.

  • Scott Webster Wood

    ok, agree with many but saw the ‘Host’ and it shouldn’t be anywhere near #11 and Her doesn’t even belong on the list – stupid stupid movie! But bravo that they put Primer, Moon, Eternal Sunshine and Children of men in the top 10.
    And where in the hell is Predestination? (All You Zombies by Heinlein?)

    • Sorry Scott, I disagree. The Host is a smart film, brilliantly executed. I loved the humour, the politics and the characters. There are loads in this list I disagree with (as anyone would with another person’s list) however The Host certainly deserves to be there. Plus, the monster is really cool!

  • Junius Stone

    “Gary King’s self destructive…comparable to Brexit?” So…the writer does believe that human civilizations can’t make their own decisions and need to be managed by “benevolent” outside authorities who promise to make it all better, just turn yourselves over to “us”, mind, body and soul?

    Even if they are plastic robots?

    I loved “The World’s End”, but something is telling me, sir, you saw a completely different movie than I did.

    The Brits may have a rep for being polite, but deep inside, they are an independent warrior people who don’t like being treaded on. This is a good impulse.

    Andy one who would see it otherwise should not be listened to.

  • Recnamoruen

    I’m disappointed that Zero Theorem isn’t on this list.

  • Peter Kanters

    Chappie? Where’s my beloved chappie?

  • James Bucanek

    Are these lists compiled by monkeys with Netflix accounts? “Star Wars” was ranked 27, but “Moon”—one of the most mind-numbingly boring movies I’ve ever seen—is in the top 10 (???). And it feels like a good third aren’t even Sci-Fi; I mean, “The Mist” was just a B horror flick—fun, but hardly in the same league as “The Martian.” “Avatar,” “Hunger Games,” and “Divergent” were every bit as relevant as “Edge of Tomorrow,” yet they’re completely ignored. Instead, the list includes the God-awful “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” #headdesk

    • Indira Iman

      Boring is subjective, and just like your taste of Avatar, Hunger Games and Divergent are all pretty awful to me. It’s subjective. Without any intention of being snobbish perhaps you should watch more films.

      • James Bucanek

        It is subjective, and different people will enjoy different movies, which is what makes the fundamental premise of these lists so feckless As to seeing more movies, I’m not sure how that would help. I’ve seen most of the movies on this list, and seeing a few more is not going to make a movie like “Moon” any less tedious. Oh, and as someone else mentioned, the list snubbed “Tomorrowland” too, which I find unforgivable.

        • Mr Flim Flam

          Just got done with moon. I didn’t find it boring at all. Martian was boring. I guess it’s up to the director and his vision that sets the mood. Moon caught me Martian did not. It’s probably got something to do with my DNA I am not an attaca freak I am natural.

  • Maggie McGuire

    Pssst: it wasn’t Walt Whitman in Upstream Color, the characters read from Walden.

  • Joe Angelo

    World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt was deeply troubling and hilarious.

  • Stefan L

    Totally underrated movie that is surprisingly good: Pandorum (2009).

    The Host was fun, but I have a hard time calling it Sci-Fi. I am not as fond of B-Movies like The Host and Snowpiercer, I would rate classic AAA Sci-Fi movies like Elysium, Oblivion and I, Robot over them.

    • aw

      I second Pandorum. Not so much your second 3 recommendations.

  • Mark Mathers

    Not at all a fan of Under the Skin. This film was slow and I turned it off on my first viewing. Went back later and watched it the whole way through because of this list and nope, it’s still slow and boring. Someone could come up with this simple plot in about 5 minutes. Scarlett is naked a lot, there’s that I guess, but not nearly as good as The Island.

    • Necr0naut

      >The Island

      …And suddenly I can’t take you seriously anymore.

      • Tin B.

        The Island is rated 6.9 at IMDb which is a very excellent rating, as it is difficult for movies anything less than absolute blockbuster smash hits to get over 7.5 there. Meantime, I think you missed the point because Scarlett Johansson was in The Island, so I believe the OP was comparing her two movies, stating that her performance, character and plot in The Island was better than her Under The Skin. I agree. Because movies about aliens (or related) dressed up in incredibly sexy female bodies having deadly sex with men is an overplayed theme and wasteful of female talents on the big screen.

        • In Under the Skin her character is physically incapable of sex, although the implied promise of it is used to lure men to their deaths.

  • Joey

    Her was boring and sucked balls. Total piece of shit.

  • Joey

    Did Tomorrowland make the list? Since the list is setup in click bait style I really don’t want to go back and look at each page. If it isn’t in the list, it should be.

    • Necr0naut

      No, it did not. Thank god.

  • Ashley Beeching

    Dredd would of made my list.
    It’s one of the best Sci-Fi/Action movies of the last decade and harks back to some of those greats from the 80’s.
    Its dystopian themes and overiding bleakness made it that rare thing in modern cinema.

    Great photography from Anthony Dodd Mantle too!

    Several of Alex Garland’s, writer of Dredd, other work made the cut so I can understand its omission, but the film shouldn’t be dismissed.

  • Baranecz Krisztina

    Please check my “z” cat sci fi shorts 🙂

  • Mr. Project

    – Sunshine is so close to a perfect sci-fi movie that it’s painful – the one movie I wish we could take back in time and give Boyle a bunch of “Edge of Tomorrow” chances at a better last act. He let things get too messy – mostly that final confrontation, which could have been a scary and suspenseful turn, but was instead unpolished and rushed. He similarly screwed up The Beach with Leo’s mental video game trippy bullshit.

    – Prometheus was obviously omitted and I agree as to why but think it had glimmers of good stuff. Not sure Ridley, who gave us so much, will ever give us another great movie again.

    – Yes The Martian was good and should be on the list, but mainly winds up as a crowd pleaser as opposed to other older Ridley Scott films that take chances (although they don’t always work). The book was better.

    – Moon was good and satisfying by the end but ranked too high here.

    – District 9 should definitely be higher.

    – Minority Report was great and inventive as sci-fi goes – my only gripe would be that Spielberg felt the need to over-explain the whole movie with Tom Cruise’s overly talky scene at the end as to how the whole crime was done. Would have been nice to let the audience put some of it together on their own.

    – This list makes me want to rewatch Host and Snowpiercer.

    – 10 Cloverfield Lane and maybe even the sometimes cheesy Vanilla Sky should be in there.

    – Haven’t seen 2046, Holy Motors, Timecrimes and maybe a couple others so have some work to do.

    – Love that the list tends to lean to the more uniquely strange and obscure, especially with Under The Skin, even if it maybe leans that way a little too much so with other titles.

    – Avatar really was not a good movie and has become cringeworthy to rewatch. The movie and the acting was just cartoonish, especially the military bad guy.

    – Couldn’t agree more on Children of Men – that movie I can watch over and over.

    – Although not a movie – I’m hoping Netflix does justice to the upcoming Altered Carbon series (not sure when it will be released), seeing as sci-fi is an easy thing to screw up. If you like sci-fi please do yourself a favor and read that book first. Awesome and a trilogy (haven’t read 2 or 3 yet).

    • Chuk

      The first sequel to Altered Carbon was not great, the third book was almost as good as the first.

    • Tin B.

      quote- Minority Report was great and inventive as sci-fi goes – my only gripe
      would be that Spielberg felt the need to over-explain the whole movie
      with Tom Cruise’s overly talky scene at the end as to how the whole
      crime was done. Would have been nice to let the audience put some of it
      together on their own. -endquote

      I’ve notices audiences have a harder time nowadays putting anything together on their own. That said, the ending is a great place to tie up all the loose ends and make sure everyone who couldn’t put it all together gets to put it all together.

  • Clancy Weeks

    Leaving off 12 Monkeys is a bit of a travesty, IMHO. It has to be the best closed-loop time travel movie of the lot.

  • Jacob Crim

    I’m just glad Interstellar didnt make the cut.

    • SillySock

      Because you’re an idiot. It’s easily top 10.

  • Popcorn-NoButter

    It’s a crime 12 Monkeys isn’t there…

    • Stanton Sullivan

      You mean the film that came out in 1995?

      • Popcorn-NoButter

        It’s the ultimate time travel movie… It comes out all centuries….

  • Rahul

    You have Mad Max Fury road in Sci fi and not Predestination.

  • Hedge685

    “And if you’re looking for an insight into the British psyche that caused the self-destructive decision to go for Brexit,”

    The writer should really jump off that high horse…preferably into a big pile of $hite, for it is obvious you need some time outside your little echo chamber.

    • Hugo Fitch

      Like all of his fellow travelers, the leftist author is an all- consumed true believer who thinks nobody reading here could possibly disagree with his opinion re Brexit. After all, anyone who does disagree is, by default, a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot. Moral high ground, don’t you know.

  • DuckNation

    this list is cancer

  • David Chaparro

    shit list.

    • The Great and Powerful Turtle

      Yeah ..

    • Sharath

      What would you have added? And I’m not trying to be condescending or anything, I just want to know more about Sci-Fi..

      • Alex Gaginsky

        I think it’s less about addition and more about removal.
        This list needs some serious reconsidering of what is science fiction. The author obviously prefers indie dramas with a tiny drop of sci-fi (or no sci-fi whatsoever, just surrealism, like in case of Holy Motors or Under the Skin) to what actually constitutes the genre, like Ender’s Game or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy.

        • Sharath

          Got it.

  • SpacemanSpiff1979

    I’ll never understand the affection for ANOTHER EARTH! Wow, I absolutely hated that movie.

  • Bob Bob

    Quit reading at the “a white male” part.

  • Lyndon

    I love how Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (a film based off previous films–hardly any originality), and Attack the Block are rated higher than Interstellar, Prestige, Cloverfield, Signs, and even The Myst. And Prometheus and Predestination aren’t even listed. Anybody have any ideas why these journalists/writers/critics have a job?

    • Lars Andersen

      They don’t

    • The Great and Powerful Turtle

      They still have a job because the big movie companys pay them to have an opinion..

  • THX11384EB

    The Force Awakens – LOL

  • PattyJangles

    Hunter Prey.

  • pinta_vodki

    “his supremely controlled debut space oddity.”

    I see what you did there. Nice played!

  • it only takes one spark of DC electricity to rotate a 100cm circumference pulley, then if you run this 100cm of belt through 10 mini-pulleys of 1cm circumference, and attached AC generators to it, you would get a return of 1000 units of AC electricity. This output should easily gain your one spark of DC electricity, that goes back into your DC drive motor. Torque is not a problem, as these AC generators are just winding up massive voltage, which is just what you need to crank over your DC motor the once. Of course you will need to include a full wave bridge rectifier to convert your AC output back into a DC supply for your drive motor.
    it is really that simple = http://free-energy.yolasite.com/

    I happen to be poor,(on CPP) + disabled, with shaky hands, so I cannot build anything. I was hoping that if I made the description simple enough, that someone else would build this GEM of an idea for me. I have had the website up since 2001 or 2002, yet I cannot get past the POWERFUL SPIRITUAL WARFARE going on here, ever since Ezekiel 1:16, where I confirmed this came from God. This came from his description of a UFO motor,,,,,,,,,,,,,, so who knows where this will lead. If the government does not cover it up, and sweep it under the rug

  • Josh Hanke

    Jessica Kiang and Oliver Lyttelton….put away the thesaurus. You’re trying too hard. Calling you pretentious doesn’t quite cut it. Just summarize the movie. We don’t care about your deep feelings toward the director, or watching you be a tryhard.

  • Randall Dixon

    I made a list of my eight favorite films from this list and I have to admit that “A Scanner Darkly” is far superior to any other Sci-Fi film made in this century. Of course this could just be the Substance D talking. Wait… who’s typing this?

  • Lars Andersen

    No Terminator 2. Kidding me?

  • Xtrendence

    Putting Interstellar at number 32 is just, politely put, retarded you fucking imbecile.

    • Necr0naut

      Well, if that’s how you put things “politely”…

      • Xtrendence

        Yeah, I didn’t wish to insult the cunts who wrote this list. There’s definitely a lot of amazing movies, I just think they need to think more carefully about which ones deserve to be in the top 10. Of course it’s all down to opinion, so they aren’t, by definition, “wrong.”

  • ky_native

    I’ve not seen all of these films, but I agree with the Children of Men being right up there at the top. Some like Never Let Me Go is so depressing only one viewing is recommended. Another one mentioned that is almost equally depressing (but not on the list) is The Road; it has a very sad ending. I thought Interstellar should have been higher up in the rankings, but no big deal, it is on the list as a great movie. I enjoyed the Mist for the twisted ending! A must see for all sci-fi enthusiast is Battle Royale – I have to agree with Quinton tarentino on this one. It is something else!

    Of those mentioned I have not seen, I would like to see the Moon. That sounds like a great movie…along with District Nine. I have not seen nearly all of these movies, but will try to one day.

  • La Serpenta Canta

    Terrible list and it truly showcases just how horrific the cinematic output has been in the last decade.

  • nne butl

    World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt was deeply troubling and hilarious.

  • Blurbwhore

    Personal Top Ten:

    • Necr0naut

      Arrival should totally make it into an updated version of this list.

      I still struggle to see Fury Road as sci-fi tho.

    • Tin B.

      Melancholia will be on my top 100 list somewhere, mostly it’s a list of “tops” because they can’t be ordered. If I remember the movie forever, it is tops along with the others I remember forever. I heard mixed reviews of Melancholia, but I found it to be incredibly realistic regarding human behavior, family behavior, social and domestic help behavior, tabloid behavior, all to a profound T. There were many psychological subtleties which could be discussed for many hours.

  • orubel

    No BLADERUNNER!!! Seriously?!! So many of these movies WANT TO BE BLADERUNNER. They PAY HOMAGE TO BLADERUNNER! How is BLADERUNNER not #! if not in the top 10!?

    Some of these are very good but the fact that you COMPLETELY ommitted Bladerunner makes this ENTIRE LIST worthless.

    • Necr0naut

      …Do you even know what “the 21st century” means?

      • orubel

        Ever heard of a re-release? Duh. I got the Voight Conf edition for my Birthday

    • SillySock

      21st Century moron

  • John

    Stargate, the movies and the TV shows together were great. They started out on a pretty low budget but they made the series pretty great. that’s my number one. alien/s series, Mission to Mars, Chronicles of Riddik, Book of Eli, well this one is kind of crazy but the movie Screamers. got a thing for space sci-fi.

  • The Great and Powerful Turtle

    Theres a lot of great films on the list,unfortunately its ruined by so many being in the wrong order…

  • Tin B.

    #32 Interstellar – I understand why people were confused over 2001: Space Odyssey, but this one, Interstellar, was pretty clear. Sure, you had to watch more of it to understand what you just saw, so, like most good movies, you have to have the ability to pay attention and keep track of the puzzles you are working out with the narrative and action provided. I think people are losing this ability more and more with each decade.

  • Alex Gaginsky

    The problem with this list is that it basically says: “The closer a sci-fi movie is to a slow, brooding, art-house drama, the better. The less sci-fi elements left in it, the better” Which seems to me the same thing as to say “I actually hate most of sci-fi”.

    • Anthoney

      If brooding lo-fi indie drama, means about the same thing as pretentious to you, I agree.

    • Martin Parets

      umm… did we read the same list?

      • Alex Gaginsky

        Absolutely. In fact, if you read it, it’s in the text.
        Out of top 10,
        • three films (Eternal Sunshine, Upstream Color, Her) are said to be included for their exploration of “love story”. Compare that to only ONE top-10 movie about space (and we’re talking about science fiction!);
        • Under The Skin (2) and Holy Motors (10) are surrealist art-house rather than sci-fi, and in case of the latter authors even admit it themselves;
        • there’s only one popular “entertainment” movie (critical darling Fury Road), as if authors were avoiding to praise popular movies on purpose. Note that Avatar, by far the most popular sci-fi movie of the decade, is not even on the list.

        The rest of the list is also dominated by the “festival films”, low-budget indie, art-house and horror, some of which are barely sci-fi at all. Meanwhile adaptations of classic sci-fi novels such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy, Predestination or Ender’s Game, are not on the list.

        Overall, the list feels not like a sci-fi fan pick, but like an indie snob pick.

  • Blaksbbth

    Under the Skin? Mad Max?, who ever made this horrible list doesn’t know sci fi

  • Sir Stephan of Edgewick


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  • Sujoy Roy

    I don’t understand why MadMax: Fury Road is in the top ten of every list of Sci-Fi/ Fantasy movies.. what’s so great about that movie is beyond my understanding. In fact, I coudn’t hate a movie more and i wouldn’t watch that movie for the 2nd time even if someone pays me for it! Worst movie ever. Period!!!

  • David Beard

    District 9 top 5 and missing scifi animation 9 in top ten.

  • SillySock

    Sorry….Inception is either 1 or 2.

    Primer is one of the most overrated movies of all time.

    This list is garbage.

  • Does this idiot even know what scifi is? Seriously? They sound like a contrarian dimwit getting uppity about how painfully disappointing it is that women don’t direct or produce movies. It’s funny, our budding feminist here seems to not notice that if you’re the right gender you are entitled to nearly 40,000x as many grants, they left that part out.

  • La Serpenta Canta

    lol film is so dead, with the exception of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, all of these films are garbage.

  • Hugo Fitch

    Someone created a list in which Ex Machina is considered a better sci-fi flick than Donnie Darko… with a straight face?


  • awruk

    crappy list+movies

  • Ned Hoon

    Didnt have any of the terrific Sci-Fi horrors like Event Horizon and Pandorum or Promethius but included the dreary incredibly overated Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind drivel and left out Equlibrium its a pretty pathetic list in my opinion.

  • Hugo Fitch

    Children Of Men is garbage.

  • Anthoney

    What a crap list. There are maybe 5, or at best 10 movies on this list that actually deserve it. There are a few that where clever ideas but that alone should not put a movie on this list. This list is more the top 50 most pretentious Sci-Fi movies of the 21st century.

  • rui valadares

    “Arrival” is criminally absent.
    This is a digression on films but of course (!) there had to be politically charged invective about Brexit. We read reviews on films because we like films, not because we want to be pandered to or moralized to. Stop talking down to your readers. We’re not aimless children who need to be told what and how to think.

  • AVATAR???

  • No AVATAR?

  • Best Buds

    great list! i liked how you guys picked films based more on the content of the story rather than visual fx which is why i’m assuming Avatar didn’t make it. Was delighted to see Moon in the top 10.

  • supadupa
  • Miguel A.

    No Tomorrowland? Sound of My Voice or I Origins? Avatar?