Top 10 Sci-Fi Films

This Friday Neill Blomkamp’s highly anticipated follow-up to District 9, Elyisum hits theatres. The sci-fi genre – not unlike the horror genre – is being funneled with sequels and remakes, if you don’t go to the right movies its easy to dismiss the genre entirely for some people. In light of Elysium we’re going to take you through the top 10 best sci-fi films ever made. Keep in mind there are TONS of wonderful sci-fi films, these are just a handful of the best out there. Here’s our top 10:

10. Close Encounters of a Third Kind (1977)
Close Encounters is a truthful portrait of alien contact, a little happier than District 9 but truthful nonetheless. The first time I watched this film the final 30 minutes left me speechless. Spielberg tackles the 50s sci-fi so gracefully it’s almost ethereal.


9. Dark City (1998)
With a very Orwellian feel to it, Dark City’s dystopian landscape is a visual achievement to say the least. The violent imagery is imaginative and it’s unique way of leaping through the story will throw people off, but for those who can handle its ecstatic pacing are sure to fall in love with this one.


8. Brazil (1985)
It’s been referred to as the “Strangelove” of the 80s, Brazil’s dark humor mixed with its frightening concept makes it one of the most thought-provoking sci-fi films ever made. It’s extremely stimulating, both aesthetically and mentally.


7. The Matrix (1999)
One of the more creative and intelligent scripts in recent memory, the absurdly delicious action is only matched by its remarkable visuals and inventive storytelling. The Matrix is vastly entertaining and intriguingly philosophical.


6. Star Wars (1977)
It’s Star Wars… What else needs to be said?


5. District 9 (2009)
Neill Blomkamp’s directorial debut is an exercise in perfection. Outstandingly original and subtly political Blomkamp never hits you too hard with his messages; he’s too busy delivering the realest feeling alien movie I’ve ever seen. It’s so brilliantly designed and imagined. As far as action/sci-fi’s are concerned, this is as good as it gets.


4. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Perhaps Kubrick’s most relevant film, released in 1964 this film doesn’t feel dated in the slightest. The absurd humor never undermines the terrifying story; in fact it heightens it. Dr. Strangelove is a masterpiece.


3. Aliens (1986)
This is one of the few sequels I firmly believe out does its predecessor. Tightening up the narrative and thematic focus on this one, Cameron expertly directs this sequel with more flare and more emotion.


2. Blade Runner (1982)
Ridley Scotts’ Blade Runner is truly the only sci-fi film that transcends it’s own genre and taps into themes and messages beyond that of a detective thriller. A striking world was created and then filled with some of the best performances Scott has ever gotten out of his actors. The rare film that works on an intellectual level, while still being able to pass off as pure entertainment for those looking to shut their brains off.


1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001 is a breathtakingly gorgeous film, masterfully crafted to be truthful.  The film requires patience since it isn’t a joy ride – like other sci-fi films out there – however it is art at its purest form. It is Kubrick’s biggest cinematic statement, and one of the most beautifully composed films you’ll ever see.


Hopefully some of these movies can keep you entertained until Friday, let us know in the comments if you think we missed anything or your expectations for Elysium! We won’t know til Friday, but it’s entirely possible that Blomkamp’s follow-up could stand tall amongst the greats.

Josh is an independent Canadian filmmaker studying out of the Toronto Film School. In his spare times he combines his passion for writing with his passion for film, and contributes his voice to whoever is looking to listen.

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  • Courtney

    Great list! I recently watched a “making of” Aliens”, and boy was that a journey in filmmaking of epic proportions! With no CGI Aliens, all the monsters were men in costumes…with a total of 6 aliens in the entire film. But with Cameron’s angles, he made it looks like hundreds. Worth watching…you can find it on youtube.

  • Kendrick

    District 9 is one of the best movies of the last decade! Glad to see it made the list.

  • Bryan Murray

    Your lists are great . Keep up the great wotk

  • Robbie Donnelly

    I would add to the list the first Star Trek re-boot; Avatar; Event Horizon; Predator.