Provocative Science Fiction Films

by Tharvey251 | created - 28 Jan 2013 | updated - 3 days ago | Public

This is a list of science fiction films that I find to be extremely provocative. Some of them it took multiple viewings in order to fully understand their message, but in the end the fact that I spent several days thinking about them each of them means that they did what they were made to do. Which is to provoke thoughts questions and discussions.

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1. Ex Machina (2014)

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

78 Metascore

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a highly advanced humanoid A.I.

Director: Alex Garland | Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

Votes: 437,594 | Gross: $25.44M

2. 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: 972,875 | Gross: $70.51M

3. 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: 474,592 | Gross: $144.80M

4. Contact (1997)

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

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), 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: 240,364 | Gross: $100.92M

5. Deja Vu (2006)

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

59 Metascore

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer

Votes: 280,744 | Gross: $64.04M

6. 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: 614,198 | Gross: $115.65M

7. 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: 479,536 | Gross: $132.07M

8. 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: 1,897,898 | Gross: $292.58M

9. The Island (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

50 Metascore

A man living in a futuristic sterile colony begins to question his circumscribed existence when his friend is chosen to go to the Island, the last uncontaminated place on earth.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 291,229 | Gross: $35.82M

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: 1,558,658 | Gross: $171.48M

11. 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: 1,352,769 | Gross: $188.02M

12. 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: 709,865 | Gross: $1.48M

13. Cloud Atlas (2012)

R | 172 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

55 Metascore

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 331,511 | Gross: $27.11M

14. Children of Men (2006)

R | 109 min | Drama, 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: 437,895 | Gross: $35.55M

15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

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

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a 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: 846,335 | Gross: $34.40M

16. Gravity (2013)

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

96 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 727,185 | Gross: $274.09M

17. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

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

Votes: 559,750 | Gross: $56.95M

18. Transcendence (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

42 Metascore

A scientist's drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

Director: Wally Pfister | Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy

Votes: 207,933 | Gross: $23.02M

19. Strange Days (1995)

R | 145 min | Action, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore

Votes: 63,705 | Gross: $7.92M

20. The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

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

60 Metascore

The affair between a politician and a contemporary dancer is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Director: George Nolfi | Stars: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Lisa Thoreson, Florence Kastriner

Votes: 231,909 | Gross: $62.50M

21. Chappie (2015)

R | 120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver

Votes: 218,076 | Gross: $31.57M

22. 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: 968,149 | Gross: $210.61M

23. Surrogates (2009)

PG-13 | 89 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 164,799 | Gross: $38.58M

24. 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: 441,464 | Gross: $118.50M

25. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

R | 138 min | Action, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Neo and his allies race against time before the machines discover the city of Zion and destroy it. While seeking the truth about the Matrix, Neo must save Trinity from a dark fate within his dreams.

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

Votes: 488,970 | Gross: $281.49M

26. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

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

55 Metascore

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure out a way to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered.

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

Votes: 371,912 | Gross: $87.73M

27. Tomorrowland (2015)

PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Family

60 Metascore

Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy

Votes: 164,346 | Gross: $93.44M

28. Stealth (2005)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

35 Metascore

Deeply ensconced in a top-secret military program, three pilots struggle to bring an artificial intelligence program under control before it initiates the next world war.

Director: Rob Cohen | Stars: Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard

Votes: 50,138 | Gross: $32.12M

29. The Martian (2015)

PG-13 | 144 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara

Votes: 703,802 | Gross: $228.43M

30. Ender's Game (2013)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, an insectoid alien race who had previously tried to invade Earth and had inflicted heavy losses on humankind.

Director: Gavin Hood | Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 214,661 | Gross: $61.74M

31. 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: 646,785 | Gross: $32.87M

32. The Abyss (1989)

PG-13 | 145 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

62 Metascore

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Leo Burmester

Votes: 154,416 | Gross: $54.46M

33. 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: 352,140 | Gross: $37.52M



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