best sci fi movies

by tomer-hacohen | created - 06 Oct 2012 | updated - 16 Mar 2014 | Public
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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

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.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 499,193 | Gross: $56.95M

2. 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: 661,106 | Gross: $0.19M

3. 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: 170,890 | Gross: $14.38M

4. 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: 1,396,512 | Gross: $171.48M

5. Planet of the Apes (1968)

G | 112 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans

Votes: 150,039 | Gross: $33.40M

6. Minority Report (2002)

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

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: 444,379 | Gross: $132.07M

7. 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: 209,828 | Gross: $3.68M

8. 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: 224,291 | Gross: $100.92M

9. 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: 519,283 | Gross: $57.14M

10. Children of Men (2006)

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

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine

Votes: 403,130 | Gross: $35.55M

11. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

83 Metascore

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 983,973 | Gross: $760.51M

12. Back to the Future (1985)

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

86 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 maverick scientist Doc Brown.

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

Votes: 857,624 | Gross: $210.61M

13. 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: 392,907 | Gross: $118.50M

14. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 330,462 | Gross: $87.73M

15. 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: 580,117 | Gross: $115.65M

16. Black Mirror (2011– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

Stars: Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen, Michaela Coel, Beatrice Robertson-Jones

Votes: 220,651

17. 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: 208,672 | Gross: $10.14M

18. Bicentennial Man (1999)

PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt

Votes: 97,509 | Gross: $58.22M

19. 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: 294,695 | Gross: $5.01M

20. 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: 246,180 | Gross: $12.34M

21. 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: 542,049 | Gross: $257.73M

22. 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: 159,474 | Gross: $71.57M

23. Equilibrium (2002)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

33 Metascore

In an oppressive future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system and state.

Director: Kurt Wimmer | Stars: Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs

Votes: 284,044 | Gross: $1.20M

24. War of the Worlds (2005)

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

73 Metascore

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto

Votes: 367,972 | Gross: $234.28M

25. Chronicle (2012)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

69 Metascore

Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

Director: Josh Trank | Stars: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly

Votes: 221,244 | Gross: $64.58M

26. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

R | 113 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

30 Metascore

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.

Directors: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber | Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Melora Walters, Elden Henson

Votes: 399,240 | Gross: $57.94M

27. 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: 161,932 | Gross: $50.34M

28. 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: 202,555 | Gross: $53.42M

29. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 768,552 | Gross: $34.40M

30. Gravity (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

96 Metascore

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen

Votes: 662,703 | Gross: $274.09M

31. Pacific Rim (2013)

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

65 Metascore

As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day

Votes: 424,172 | Gross: $101.80M

32. The Congress (2013)

Not Rated | 122 min | Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi

63 Metascore

An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn't consider.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 15,014 | Gross: $0.14M