Top 20 Sci-Fi movies of the last 20 years (1990-2010)

by Jaimie Kanwar | created - 15 Sep 2010 | updated - 21 Sep 2010 | Public
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1. Primer (2004)

PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya

Votes: 84,804 | Gross: $0.42M

2. Terminator 2 (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 850,731 | Gross: $204.84M

3. Total Recall (1990)

R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin

Votes: 265,221 | Gross: $119.39M

4. Solaris (2002)

PG-13 | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

65 Metascore

A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Ulrich Tukur, Viola Davis

Votes: 72,436 | Gross: $14.97M

5. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt

Votes: 581,334 | Gross: $115.65M

6. Gattaca (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal

Votes: 246,950 | Gross: $12.34M

7. Contact (1997)

PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Votes: 224,867 | Gross: $100.92M

8. Sunshine (2007)

R | 107 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 210,397 | Gross: $3.68M

9. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 663,431 | Gross: $0.19M

10. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,404,387 | Gross: $171.48M

11. Pandorum (2009)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

28 Metascore

A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

Director: Christian Alvart | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue

Votes: 132,186 | Gross: $10.33M

12. Predator 2 (1990)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

46 Metascore

Amidst a territorial gang war in 1997, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran L.A.P.D. officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.

Director: Stephen Hopkins | Stars: Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Kevin Peter Hall, Rubén Blades

Votes: 121,953 | Gross: $30.67M

13. The Core (2003)

PG-13 | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

48 Metascore

The only way to save Earth from catastrophe is to drill down to the core and set it spinning again.

Director: Jon Amiel | Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood

Votes: 83,070 | Gross: $31.19M

14. K-PAX (2001)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack, Alfre Woodard

Votes: 162,206 | Gross: $50.34M

15. Impostor (2001)

R | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

33 Metascore

In the future, an alien race uses androids as bombs to attack Earth. A government weapons specialist is accused of being one such android and sets out to prove his innocence.

Director: Gary Fleder | Stars: Shane Brolly, Vincent D'Onofrio, Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe

Votes: 21,164 | Gross: $6.11M

16. The Fountain (2006)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn

Votes: 209,102 | Gross: $10.14M

17. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 171,276 | Gross: $14.38M

18. Alien³ (1992)

R | 114 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

After her last encounter, Ellen Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina 161, a maximum security prison. When a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival, Ripley realizes that she brought along an unwelcome visitor.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann

Votes: 240,813 | Gross: $55.47M

19. Splice (2009)

R | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, Brandon McGibbon

Votes: 84,929 | Gross: $17.00M

20. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 295,752 | Gross: $5.01M