Best Modern Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies

by Smiling_Dragon | created - 12 Sep 2011 | updated - 04 Jan 2017 | Public

You won't see any Transformers movies on this list because Michael Bay is the most successful-worst director in the history of Hollywood. But I hope you enjoy the rest of the movies on the list!

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1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,428,164 | Gross: $377.85M

2. Alien (1979)

R | 116 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

83 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 684,544 | Gross: $78.90M

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,291,000 | Gross: $342.55M

4. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 602,177 | Gross: $27.00M

5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

PG-13 | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

92 Metascore

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

Votes: 1,444,934 | Gross: $315.54M

6. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

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.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,077,998 | Gross: $322.74M

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,975,139 | Gross: $534.86M

8. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,007,708 | Gross: $290.48M

9. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 827,364 | Gross: $309.13M

10. 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: 212,012 | Gross: $10.14M

11. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

R | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search for her homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz

Votes: 739,148 | Gross: $153.64M

12. V for Vendetta (2005)

R | 132 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea

Votes: 922,199 | Gross: $70.51M

13. I, Robot (2004)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, Alan Tudyk

Votes: 447,970 | Gross: $144.80M

14. 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: 1,439,156 | Gross: $171.48M

15. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis

Votes: 703,291 | Gross: $303.00M

16. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

PG-13 | 161 min | Adventure, Fantasy

66 Metascore

The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott

Votes: 549,728 | Gross: $258.37M

17. X: First Class (2011)

PG-13 | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon

Votes: 588,873 | Gross: $146.41M

18. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller

78 Metascore

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman

Votes: 1,335,416 | Gross: $448.14M

19. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

PG-13 | 144 min | Adventure, Fantasy

59 Metascore

Bilbo and company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 422,431 | Gross: $255.12M

20. Elysium (I) (2013)

R | 109 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga

Votes: 384,369 | Gross: $93.05M

21. The Hunger Games (2012)

PG-13 | 142 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 776,485 | Gross: $408.01M

22. Prometheus (I) (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron

Votes: 525,888 | Gross: $126.48M

23. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 437,877 | Gross: $228.78M

24. The Avengers (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

69 Metascore

Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 1,128,763 | Gross: $623.36M

25. Underworld (2003)

R | 121 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

42 Metascore

Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen

Votes: 233,884 | Gross: $51.97M

26. The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

47 Metascore

A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston, Michelle Nolden

Votes: 128,830 | Gross: $63.41M

27. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 52,019 | Gross: $34.97M

28. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 579,063 | Gross: $85.16M

29. 28 Days Later... (2002)

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

73 Metascore

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Alex Palmer

Votes: 336,325 | Gross: $45.06M

30. Batman Begins (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure

70 Metascore

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson

Votes: 1,148,320 | Gross: $206.85M

31. The Book of Eli (2010)

R | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

53 Metascore

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes | Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Gary Oldman

Votes: 260,763 | Gross: $94.84M

32. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 364,131 | Gross: $337.14M

33. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,218,281 | Gross: $188.02M

34. In Time (2011)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

53 Metascore

In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde

Votes: 337,944 | Gross: $37.52M

35. 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: 73,463 | Gross: $14.97M

36. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

PG-13 | 146 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

76 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 559,621 | Gross: $424.67M

37. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

Political involvement in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan

Votes: 527,094 | Gross: $408.08M

38. World War Z (2013)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

63 Metascore

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Votes: 535,066 | Gross: $202.36M

39. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy

Votes: 597,386 | Gross: $233.92M

40. 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: 589,343 | Gross: $115.65M

41. Iron Man (2008)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges

Votes: 814,283 | Gross: $318.41M

42. Total Recall (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

43 Metascore

A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Recall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale

Votes: 223,262 | Gross: $58.88M

43. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

71 Metascore

The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton

Votes: 107,550 | Gross: $92.00M

44. Outland (1981)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James Sikking

Votes: 24,226 | Gross: $17.37M

45. 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: 302,222 | Gross: $5.01M

46. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.

Directors: George Miller, George Ogilvie | Stars: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn

Votes: 114,801 | Gross: $36.20M

47. Star Trek (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Votes: 548,125 | Gross: $257.73M

48. The Road Warrior (1981)

R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 150,787 | Gross: $12.47M

49. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi