The history of cinema shares the importance of the science fiction genre. Some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time have some element of sci-fi in them with a great deal of imagination. Like all movies, not everyone is going to be pleased with the outcome.
Sci-Fi movies take its audience away from reality for a time being, which at times can be too complex or far-fetched for others’ tastes. However, there are still some great sci-fi films out there that can appeal to a wider audience such as Guardians of the Galaxy, A Quiet Place, and Pacific Rim.
10 ‘Pacific Rim’ (2013)
As a result of the Earth being at war against colossal sea monsters known as the Kaiju, humanity worked together to create gigantic mechas that are controlled by 2 co-pilots via a mental link. The story follows an ex-Jaegar pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) to work with a rookie pilot, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) for a one last stand against the Kaiju.
Guillermo Del Toro‘s original yet classic idea on giant robots, sea monsters, and epic fight scenes is a must-see. Humanity is on the verge of defeat, but two pilots connected to a gigantic mech can save the day fighting huge monsters. With an iconic movie score, Del Toro showcases an irresistible sense of fun and adventure for all who watch.
9 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014)
Based on the Marvel Comics superheroes of the same name, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds and steals a mysterious Orb that he later finds out everyone wants. After Quill runs into a strange group of extraterrestrial criminals: Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax, they go on the run together in order to figure out what to do about the Orb.
Superhero movies are wholeheartedly sci-fi, but Guardians of the Galaxy perfectly mixes action, adventure and humor. It gives the audience a chance to get a sneak peek into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite leaning more towards its humor aspects. By having fascinating characters with hilarious dialogue and an interesting plot, it can appeal to a much wider audience and be considered one of the most rewatchable MCU movies.
8 ‘Arrival’ (2016)
In the rush of widespread panic, twelve extraterrestrial spacecrafts hover over certain areas around the Earth. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is enlisted by the United States Army as a linguist to learn how to communicate with the extraterrestrials. She’s tasked with figuring out why they are here and coming up with a peaceful solution.
Arrival isn’t a typical alien movie as it goes beyond the sci-fi genre. It focuses on the power of language and how it can influence the way of life. Sometimes words are louder than any action as long as the right person speaks. With a linguist as the main protagonist, the fate of humanity relies on Banks, giving a transcendent viewing experience that stays with the audience past its credits.
7 ‘Alien’ (1979)
After coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, the crew of a commercial starship, Nostromo wake up from their cryo-sleep chambers halfway through their journey home. They encounter a nest of eggs inside an alien ship that had a distress call. They find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial loose on their ship.
This sci-fi horror masterpiece brings terror into the audience’s nightmares. The engaging characters, a terrifying creature, and incredible plot make this one of Ridley Scott‘s greatest films. Despite the familiarity of aliens in various movies, this one created an entire franchise and inspired an entire generation of filmmakers.
6 ‘Back to the Future’ (1985)
Set in 1985, Marty McFly (Michael Fox) accidentally travels back in time with his scientist friend, Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in a time machine built from a modified DeLorean. Arriving in 1955, McFly must explore in order to get back to his own timezone and not change up his timeline or even existence.
This 1980s sci-fi classic was ahead of its time with the technology and idea of traveling back in time. It gave a sense of hope to its audience that one day we might have the technology to do something like that. Even for someone that isn’t fond of sci-fi, it’s a great cinematic experience that is well-made and light-hearted for any age. The fact that Redditors gave Back to the Future a 10/10 should say something.
5 ‘Ex Machina’ (2014)
A programmer at the search engine company Blue Book named Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a contest to stay at his CEO Nathan Bateman’s (Oscar Isaac) home for one week. Bateman reveals that he built an intelligent humanoid robot named Ava. He asks Smith to administer the Turing test on Ava to see if she genuinely has a consciousness and if she is at all relatable despite being artificial intelligence.
Despite the movie’s small cast of characters, it keeps the audience engaged within an enclosed environment such as Bateman’s home. It explores the idea of artificial intelligence attempting to take over, which currently hits close to home. Alex Garland‘s movie asks the right questions about the direction of technology and gives a modern spin to a classic story.
After aliens secretly visit Earth to gather plant specimens, one of them goes off on its own and is left behind. Elliott Taylor (Henry Thomas), a ten-year-old boy befriends a gentle extraterrestrial, which he has nicknamed E.T. Once the boy learns that E.T.’s alien friends have abandoned him on Earth, Elliott and his friends try to find a way to help E.T. return to his home planet.
This family-favorite classic sci-fi movie is a fun adventure that touches on typical tropes of the genre such as a lost alien and the government chasing him to experiment on him. Steven Spielberg tells a fairy tale full of warmth, humor, and innocence that can resonate with its audience.
3 ‘Wall-E’ (2008)
It’s the year 2805 and all the humans have left Earth. Wall-E (Ben Burtt), a lonely robot, is stuck on this uninhabitable and deserted Earth with only one job: cleaning up all the garbage. One day, the starship Axiom sends a probe named EVE (Elissa Knight) to monitor him. The story follows along with them falling in love and visiting the humans in their ship.
Pixar showcases their skills of stellar visuals and captures the hearts of anyone who watches this great sci-fi animated film. It explores themes of loneliness, love, and the importance of taking care of the planet we call home. Wall-E‘s stunning animation and endearing love is what made this movie so successful.
2 ‘Interstellar’ (2014)
In a dystopian future, humanity is unable to survive as they experience a gravitational “anomaly.” The story follows a group of astronauts tasked with traveling through a wormhole near Saturn and searching for a planet that will support life in order to find a new home for mankind.
Interstellar is a beautiful masterpiece that is perfect for the big screen. It’s a philosophical sci-fi adventure that encapsulates sci-fi so perfectly with its aspect of astronauts, space, and space travel. The idea of Earth being inhabitable has been done many times, but the adventure the protagonists go through leaves the audience breathless by the cinematography.
1 ‘A Quiet Place’ (2018)
This post-apocalyptic world is inhabited by blind monsters that will kill you if you make a single sound. Their astounding hearing left all the remaining survivors to fend for themselves in a new world. The story follows a family of four: father (John Krasinki), mother (Emily Blunt), and two children (Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) as they struggle to survive.
Despite being one of the scariest PG-13 horror movies, various sci-fi elements spill on the screen throughout the entirety of the movie. Krasinski uses his astounding directing skills to create a stunningly terrifying movie. The sheer lack of words from the actors showcase the need for animated expressions and extreme tension within each scene. The family dynamic truly tugs at the audience’s heartstrings.
Next: ‘Westworld’ and 9 Other Shows That Mix Genres with Sci-Fi