Best Sci-Fi Movies (of Each Year) 1950 to Now

by the_whitehawk | created - 30 May 2012 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

A List of My Favourite Science Fiction Films for Each Year Since 1950.

Please Take Note: This list includes many Special Mentions, (i.e. they made my 'Top 5' for the year.)

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1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

PG-13 | 149 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans

Votes: 741,450 | Gross: $678.82M

2. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

R | 164 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

81 Metascore

A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who's been missing for thirty years.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista

Votes: 409,781 | Gross: $92.05M

3. Deadpool (2016)

R | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

65 Metascore

A wisecracking mercenary gets experimented on and becomes immortal but ugly, and sets out to track down the man who ruined his looks.

Director: Tim Miller | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein

Votes: 855,012 | Gross: $363.07M

4. 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: 815,682 | Gross: $154.06M

5. 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: 1,367,720 | Gross: $188.02M

Special Mentions: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Edge of Tomorrow Ex Machina Guardians of the Galaxy

6-10: Big Hero 6 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Predestination RoboCop X-Men: Days of Future Past

Above the Bar: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Divergent The Giver Godzilla The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Lucy The Maze Runner Time Lapse

Also Seen: The Anomaly Autómata Debug Don't Blink Earth to Echo I, Frankenstein Transcendence

Yet to See: Comet* Extraterrestrial* I Origins* In Your Eyes* Left Behind* Monsters: Dark Continent* Parts Per Billion* Project Almanac* Robot Overlords* The Signal* Space Station 76* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles* Transformers: Age of Extinction* Young Ones* ----------------------------------------------- Cooties (Oct 10/DVD:?) Bang Bang Baby (2015. Feb 5)

Yet to Screen: The Quiet Hour (2015. Apr 22)

No Date: Flashes

6. Her (2013)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

Votes: 495,216 | Gross: $25.57M

7. Robot & Frank (2012)

PG-13 | 89 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

In the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

Director: Jake Schreier | Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler

Votes: 60,163 | Gross: $3.33M

8. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 463,721 | Gross: $54.71M

9. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,914,262 | Gross: $292.58M

Special Mentions: Iron Man 2 Monsters Repo Men Skyline

Also Seen: Hot Tub Time Machine TRON: Legacy

Yet to See: Megamind* Never Let Me Go* Predators Radio Free Albemuth* Resident Evil: Afterlife* Splice Womb*

10. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

Violence ensues after an extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth finds a kindred spirit in a government agent exposed to their biotechnology.

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

Votes: 617,033 | Gross: $115.65M

11. 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: 895,006 | Gross: $318.41M

Special Mentions: Meet Dave Outlander Star Wars: The Clone Wars WALL·E

6-10: Alien Raiders Babylon A.D. Cloverfield The Day the Earth Stood Still Jumper

Also Seen: 10,000 BC The Happening Hellboy II: The Golden Army The Incredible Hulk Quarantine The X Files: I Want to Believe

Yet to See: Blindness City of Ember* Death Race Doomsday Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (revised version of the original) Journey to the Center of the Earth Repo! The Genetic Opera

12. Sunshine (2007)

R | 107 min | 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: 224,661 | Gross: $3.68M

Special Mentions: I Am Legend The Mist Next Transformers

6-10: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem The Golden Compass The Invasion The Man from Earth [●REC]

Also Seen: 28 Weeks Later Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Premonition

Yet to See: The Last Mimzy The Nines Resident Evil: Extinction* The Signal Timecrimes*

13. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

R | 100 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Rory Cochrane

Votes: 102,846 | Gross: $5.50M

Special Mentions: Children of Men The Fountain The Prestige X-Men: The Last Stand

Also Seen: Deja Vu Slither Superman Returns Underworld: Evolution

Yet to See: The Astronaut Farmer The Host I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK Paprika Pulse Renaissance Southland Tales

14. 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: 978,492 | Gross: $70.51M

15. 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: 92,326 | Gross: $0.42M

Special Mentions: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - close 2nd The Final Cut Hellboy I, Robot

6-10: AVP: Alien vs. Predator The Butterfly Effect The Chronicles of Riddick The Day After Tomorrow The Manchurian Candidate

Also Seen: Blade: Trinity Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Yet to See: 2046 Appleseed Control Dawn of the Dead The Forgotten Godsend Resident Evil: Apocalypse* Steamboy* The Stepford Wives*

16. X2: X-Men United (2003)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

When anti-mutant Colonel William Stryker kidnaps Professor X and attacks his school, the X-Men must ally with their archenemy Magneto to stop him.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen

Votes: 493,170 | Gross: $214.95M

Special Mentions: Code 46 The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Revolutions Paycheck

6-10: Daredevil Dreamcatcher Hulk The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Also Seen: The Animatrix The Core

Yet to See: Absolon Beyond Re-Animator It's All About Love Thoughtcrimes Timeline Willard

17. Minority Report (2002)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

80 Metascore

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow

Votes: 482,379 | Gross: $132.07M

Special Mentions: Solaris Star Trek: Nemesis The Time Machine Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

6-10: 28 Days Later Equilibrium Impostor Resident Evil Signs

Also Seen: Austin Powers in Goldmember Blade II Men in Black II The Tuxedo

Yet to See: Clockstoppers Cypher Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road Lilo & Stitch Reign of Fire S1m0ne Treasure Planet

18. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 280,237 | Gross: $78.62M

Special Mentions: Donnie Darko Evolution K-PAX Planet of the Apes

Also Seen: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Spy Kids Vanilla Sky

Yet to See: CQ Ghosts of Mars Jurassic Park III

19. X-Men (2000)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

In a world where mutants (evolved super-powered humans) exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an inevitable clash: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen

Votes: 549,626 | Gross: $157.30M

Special Mentions: The 6th Day Pitch Black Red Planet Titan A.E.

6-10: The Cell Mission to Mars On the Beach Unbreakable Hollowman

Also Seen: Battlefield Earth

Yet to See: Battle Royale Supernova

20. Galaxy Quest (1999)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.

Director: Dean Parisot | Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 141,330 | Gross: $71.58M

21. Dark City (1998)

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

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, which includes a wife he cannot remember, and a nightmarish world without a sun.

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

Votes: 180,749 | Gross: $14.38M

22. 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: 267,990 | Gross: $12.34M

Special Mentions: Contact - A very close 2nd The Fifth Element Men in Black Starship Troopers

6-10: Alien: Resurrection Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Cube Event Horizon Face/Off

Also Seen: Flubber Mimic The Postman The Relic Volcano

Yet to See: The Lost World: Jurassic Park Retroactive Smilla's Sense of Snow

23. 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: 112,984 | Gross: $92.00M

24. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

74 Metascore

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito

Votes: 551,372 | Gross: $57.14M

Special Mentions: Strange Days - close 2nd The City of Lost Children Ghost in the Shell Powder

6-10: Judge Dredd Johnny Mnemonic Species Virtuosity Waterworld

Also Seen: Congo Tank Girl

Yet to See: Screamers Village of the Damned

25. Stargate (1994)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors

Votes: 168,741 | Gross: $71.57M

26. Jurassic Park (1993)

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

68 Metascore

A pragmatic Paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 810,910 | Gross: $402.45M

27. 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 has brought along an unwelcome visitor.

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

Votes: 263,347 | Gross: $55.47M

28. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (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: 944,414 | Gross: $204.84M

Special Mentions: Delicatessen Highlander II: The Quickening Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Wedlock

Also Seen: Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

Yet to See: The Adventures of the Rocketeer Kafka Until the End of the World

29. 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: 285,958 | Gross: $119.39M

Special Mentions: Back to the Future Part III Brain Dead Flatliners Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Also Seen: Darkman Predator 2 RoboCop 2

Yet to See: The Handmaid's Tale Hardware Tremors

30. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson

Votes: 445,599 | Gross: $118.50M

31. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath who can only be stopped by two teenagers and a group of psychics.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 149,500 | Gross: $0.55M

32. RoboCop (1987)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox

Votes: 220,745 | Gross: $53.42M

33. 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: 619,892 | Gross: $85.16M

Special Mentions: The Fly Flight of the Navigator Short Curcuit Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Also Seen: Playing Beatie Bow

Yet to See: Black Moon Rising Critters The Wraith

34. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 976,584 | Gross: $210.61M

Special Mentions: Brazil Cocoon Enemy Mine The Return of the Living Dead

Yet to See: Re-Animator

35. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 759,436 | Gross: $38.40M

36. 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 the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth 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: 898,745 | Gross: $309.13M

37. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, 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: 652,096 | Gross: $32.87M

38. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 116,437 | Gross: $25.24M

Special Mention: Mad Max 2 Time Bandits

Yet to See: Scanners

39. 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 and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

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

Votes: 1,096,103 | Gross: $290.48M

Special Mention: Flash Gordon Superman II

Yet to See: The Final Countdown

40. Alien (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

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

Votes: 741,143 | Gross: $78.90M

Special Mention: Star Trek: The Motion Picture Mad Max Moonraker

Yet to See: Stalker* Time After Time

41. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

When seeds drift to earth from space, mysterious pods begin to grow and invade a small town, replicating the residents one body at a time.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 48,502 | Gross: $24.95M

Special Mention: Battlestar Galactica Superman

Yet to See: The Boys from Brazil The Fury

42. 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 mysterious Darth Vader.

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

Votes: 1,168,302 | Gross: $322.74M

Special Mentions: Close Encounters of the Third Kind - close 2nd Eraserhead The Spy Who Loved Me

Yet to See: Capricorn One The Island of Dr. Moreau

43. Logan's Run (1976)

PG | 119 min | Action, Sci-Fi

53 Metascore

An idyllic science fiction future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of thirty.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne

Votes: 49,094 | Gross: $25.00M

Special Mention: The Man Who Fell to Earth

Yet to See: Futureworld King Kong

44. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical