Films that Science-Fiction Writers Should Look To

If you write sci-fi then please look to these films as your bible. This list will be changed and changed over time.
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1.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
 
2.
Blade Runner (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
3.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
 
4.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke. (124 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
 
5.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force. (131 mins.)
 
6.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master. (83 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
 
7.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
8.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. (92 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
9.
Brazil (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. (132 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
10.
1984 (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In a totalitarian future society, a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love. (113 mins.)
Director: Michael Radford
 
11.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother. (146 mins.)
 
12.
Watchmen (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it. (162 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
13.
The Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who's human and who's not before it's too late. (109 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
14.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
15.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip. (108 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
16.
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Enjoying a peaceable existence in 1885, Doctor Emmet Brown is about to be killed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend. (118 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
17.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon. (113 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
 
18.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace. (113 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
 
19.
Star Trek (1966 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets. (50 mins.)
 
20.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Set decades after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in a new Enterprise on their own mission to go where no one has gone before. (44 mins.)
 
21.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the vicinity of the liberated planet of Bajor, the Federation space station Deep Space Nine guards the opening of a stable wormhole to the far side of the galaxy. (45 mins.)
 
22.
Doctor Who (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
The further adventures of the time traveling alien adventurer and his companions. (45 mins.)
 
23.
Doctor Who (1963 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Time and Space traveling adventures of a Gallifreyan Time Lord only known as the Doctor and his companions, traveling through time and space. (45 mins.)
 
24.
The Time Machine (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society. (103 mins.)
Director: George Pal
 
25.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
26.
Aliens (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The moon from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough? (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
27.
Babylon 5 (1994 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga. (45 mins.)
 
28.
Metropolis (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (153 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
29.
Children of Men (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. (109 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
30.
Solaris (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane. (167 mins.)
 
31.
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread. (131 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
32.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
33.
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner. (51 mins.)
 
34.
The Outer Limits (1963 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An anthology series of insightful science fiction tales. (51 mins.)
 
35.
The Road Warrior (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits. (95 mins.)
Director: George Miller
 
36.
A Boy and His Dog (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex... (91 mins.)
Director: L.Q. Jones
 
37.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
 
38.
The War of the Worlds (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A small town in California is attacked by Martians. (85 mins.)
Director: Byron Haskin
 
39.
War of the Worlds (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival. (116 mins.)
 
40.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. (137 mins.)
 
41.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world. (115 mins.)
 
42.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
 
43.
The Man from Earth (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine. (87 mins.)
 
44.
The Fly (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. (96 mins.)
 
45.
The Fly (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device. (94 mins.)
Director: Kurt Neumann
 
46.
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him. (81 mins.)
Director: Jack Arnold
 
47.
The Iron Giant (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. (86 mins.)
Director: Brad Bird
 
48.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion. (115 mins.)
Director: Philip Kaufman
 
49.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates. (80 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
 
50.
THX 1138 (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against their rigidly controlled society. (86 mins.)
Director: George Lucas