Let's argue about the top 35 sci-fi films since Blade Runner



Ooh, Europa Report is an interesting call. I’d have it as an honourable mention, as it just had too many silly plot points and character moments to qualify as great, but I really appreciated what it was doing for the most part. See also the first few acts of Sunshine.


That’s a good call! I know lots of people don’t like the last 30 minutes or so of Sunshine but it’s definitely a science fiction movie. One I happen to like a lot.


Yeah, I knew that would be the response! :)

Sunshine really goes south towards the end. A real shame.


No Gattaca, Contact, Fifth Element, or Akira, but they included Battle Royale, the Host, and Snowpiercer?

Trash list.


All right, I’ll buy Contact as a legitimate miss but if you guys are going to go calling for crap like The Fifth Element then you might as well put the Star Wars prequels on here.


Agreed. Fifth Element was a fun film in a lot of ways, but as a science fiction film, the cheese factor was extremely high.


Arguably Buckaroo Banzai is a superhero movie, not a science fiction movie (Buckaroo and his crew are clearly modeled on Doc Savage and his buddies.) It’s about legendary figures doing amazing and unlikely things, with technology used just as a hand-waving plot device, not a primary focus. If it’s on the list, why not Iron Man?

… And yeah, Buckaroo Banzai is way more goofy and shambolic than anything else on that list.

Gattaca and Ex Machina very much deserve to be there. I’d certainly put either of them on my list before Looper.


OK, I’m being pretty flippant with throwing movies around but in my mind a science fiction movie is about ideas, about presenting not just the future or technology but how it affects humanity, how we react to it. That’s why I have no problem with something like Sunshine being on the list but object to The Host and The Fifth Element. Those movies aren’t about much of anything, they’re just kind of romps. And that’s not a bad thing necessarily, just not what science fiction is about, to my way of thinking.


The Fifth Element is about ideas too. About the power of love and how it will save humanity.


Yeah, the Fifth Element is sci fi. It’s just not very good.


All right, that checks out. I suggest we insert Independence Day as the new number one science fiction film, which is full of cool ideas like blowing shut up and aw hell naw.


Does The Prestige count? If so, that’s pretty near the top of my list. Dark City is up there too.

I could definitely do without Snowpiercer, however. I couldn’t stand that one.


Twelve Monkeys not in the top 5. Nothing left to discuss, really.

And…Starship Troopers? Any list of best sci-fi with that movie on it is punking readers


Aw fuck yes it counts, that’s one of my favorite movies and a hell of a science fiction movie!



I think you’re right, Dive.


Also: where’s The Thing?


Good question - the rules are the best sci-fi released since Blade Runner and, oddly enough, both were apparently released on the same day, June 25, 1982. Which, holy shit what a double feature!




Battle Royale doesn’t quite hold up as well as some others, but it belongs here if only for the influence it has had.

Gattaca being omitted is criminal. Including The Host and Snowpiercer both is a bit much.

Good list, Brazil should be number 1 though.

I saw Buckaroo Banzai a few years back, and it was very hard to sit through. It comes on real strong with the zanyness.

I think Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure would be a better choice.

Stargate missing is a bit weird too.

No mention of Event Horizon either?


What defines “top”? Always so subjective…

“best”? in terms of the writing, the acting, the direction?

“the one I most enjoy rewatching”?

“the one I think makes the most powerful statement”?

There are even more possible definitions.

The 5th Element is a good example. It is science fiction only because it has a future setting. It could just as easily be considered a fantasy rather than SF. Buckaroo Bonzai is another good example, as is discussed above (and how the HELL have you not seen Buckaroo Bonzai?! I am taking away your nerd card and ripping it up!.

Dune is certainly not a great movie, but I think as it has aged it is more appreciated than it was at the time.

Terminator is not a great film either, but I’d argue it has had the greatest cultural influence of any film on that list (you could make an argument for Jurassic Park for that title though, and Back to the Future too). Matrix, on the other hand, has had the most influence on future movies.

I would probably say Brazil had the greatest impact on me as a viewer. And 12 Monkeys may be the “best” film on the list.