Best Sci-Fi Movies [06/09/01]

Tired of seeing hack sci-fi movies that just rip off great ideas that have come before them? Wonder there are why so many bad movies that a multiple TV shows have been created just to mock them? We wonder the same thing. So rather than ponder the bad, we decided to focus on the good.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick's rendition of Arthur C. Clarke's space exploration novel was the first to use detailed sets and props in a sci-fi movie. Before this film, most sci-fi films were littered with bland sets and unimaginative props. Space ships looked like tin-foil cigars thrown through the air and filmed in slow motion. 2001 proved that a sci-fi movie could be intelligent and thought-provoking.

Blade Runner

This highly ingenious sci-fi flick based Philip K. Dick's "Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?" pits man against machine in this morality play. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Edward James Olmos, Blade Runner is the story of a gun-for-hire (Ford) who is hired to find a renegade group of artificial people. Blade Runner's influence in currently seen in modern Manga, Anime and other pop culture from Japan.

Star Wars: A New Hope

George Lucas wove a magical tale that is still considered one of the greatest sci-fi movie series to date. Rather than basing his world in a futuristic version of our own, he developed a universe all his own, with its own unique religions, cultures and economy. Star Wars has given us cultural icons like Boba Fett and Yoda and is the standard by which most modern sci-fi is based on. Also, Lucas brought new ideas and methods to achieving special effects.

Star Trek

The first movie was mature and intelligent, a great change of pace from the hokey and campy adventures of the short-lived television show. The movie spawned renewed interest in what has become another breeding ground for pop culture.

The Matrix

One of the few movies in recent years whose premise and presentation wasn't weakened by a poor, undeveloped script. Integrating the concept of networking humanity into a sci-fi action flick without being heavy-handed about it, The Matrix introduced special effects that instantly became mocked and overused in any and every movie that came after it. A duality of reality and make-belief is effectively handled without lackluster acting or cheesy sci-fi effects.

Pitch Black

This dark sci-fi/horror movie is as much about second-chances as it is about surviving monsters that breed and feed in the dark. This is one of the few movies that successfully allows the villain to be the star of the film.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

This magnificent story of visitors from afar both tells a story about the people affected by these abductions and introduces UFO paranoia to the masses. Close Encounters does an excellent job of showing glimpses of the aliens and flying saucers, adding to the magic of the finely presented story.

The Thing

John Carpenter's version of "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell is one of his few forays that didn't degrade into cheesy special effects and half-bad acting. Even with the minimalist music and an ominous nemesis, The Thing is an oppressive, finalist horror/sci-fi flick.

The Terminator

James Cameron's story of a mechanical assassin from the future helped elevate Arnold Schwarzenegger to star status. Along with Arnold were a list of up and coming star talent in Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Lance Henricksen and Bill Paxton. Setting this story in the present and hinting at how any normal man couldn't prove these events, Terminator blends an apocalyptic future with modern society and the clash of these two cultures.


With set and alien designs by the horror artist H.R. Giger, this monster movie directed by Ridley Scott features an alien physiology never seen before. Small dark glimpses of Giger's beast are all that are needed to provide the viewer with fear and intrigue.

Other Notables

Logan's Run
ET the Extraterrestrial

- - Vane

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