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


Actually hadn’t picked up on that, but you are absolutely right. Borders on criminal, really.


Generally speaking, I don’t care for time travel stories. But I think this list has three that are pretty darn good, and probably belong among the best sf. I like Primer because, while I don’t fully understand it, it feels like it plays by the rules it sets, not trying to play a sleight of hand gimmick on the viewer. Instead, it just overwhelms you with information. I like Terminator because it’s got a perspective on Destiny and fate, and the time travel aspect is central to the story it’s telling - it’s not just an action story with a gimmick. But I think 12 Monkeys does it best, because it portrays time travel as difficult, traumatic, having consequences on the mental wellbeing of the traveler. And while you may be able to go back in time, there’s no guarantee that you can actually change the events that have taken place.


Ok, so I guess the Moon affected other folks much more than me… cool… whatever.

Can we all agree that Snowpiercer is crap though? Does anyone think that movie deserves to be on this list?

Oh, also, did folks already mention Interstellar? That wasn’t on the list, right? But that movie was awesome. As was the Martian.

Concur on Stargate deserving a spot.

I feel like movies like stargate are being thrown away just because they weren’t particularly DEEP movies… basically action flicks. But science fiction doesn’t require some crazy deep idea to be good.


The Martian may deserve a spot on this list, but it may be too recent to be able to judge that clearly. And I guess I need to see Snowpiercer.

Edit: and I won’t argue that Stargate isn’t science fiction but I will argue that it doesn’t belong on this list because it’s just not very good.


Carl Sagan is whirling like a top in his coffin right now.


I suspect The Martian isn’t on here because it doesn’t FEEL like a science fiction movie. Its a wonderful film–I felt better coming out of that film than I have from anything in a long long time–but it could as easily be set on a deserted island, or a lot of other places.


Those are fighting words in my house, sir. I love Stargate more than @BrianRubin loves Starflight


Really? Why? It’s like the blandest thing I’ve ever watched. I can’t even say I dislike it, that would take energy I can’t quite muster. And I’m a really big goddamn Kurt Russell fan, mind you. I even like Soldier. Hey, wait a minute, where’s Soldier on this list?


I was a giant scifi and ancient history nerd as a kid and also loved 5th Avenues. Stargate was literally everything I liked in one movie!


Not sure if that’s physically possible.


I take some offense at the arbitrary use of ‘since Blade Runner’ as a demarcation point just to benefit from sequel related traffic.

Still, I wonder if I can even come up with 35 sci fi movies since 1982, let alone 35 good ones. I shall thusly attempt to compose a list in a vacuum. Ranked more in the order in which they come to me than for quality. I’m excluding all of 1982 since I can’t be arsed to check which month Blade Runner came out.

  1. Aliens
  2. The Terminator
  3. Robocop
  4. Terminator 2
  5. Her
  6. The Europa Report
  7. 2010
  8. They Live
  9. Ex Machina
  10. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  11. District 9
  12. Contact
  13. The Abyss
  14. City of Lost Children
  15. Wargames
  16. The Martian
  17. Wall-E
  18. The Rover
  19. Back to the Future II
  20. Back to the Future
  21. Starship Troopers
  22. The War of the Worlds
  23. The Last Starfighter
  24. Enemy Mine
  25. AI
  26. Fifth Element
  27. Strange Days
  28. Twelve Monkeys
  29. 1984
  30. Cloud Atlas
  31. Space Station 76
  32. Under the Skin
  33. Melancholia
  34. Jurassic Park
  35. The Fly

I’m sure I’ve made some horrific omissions. The omission of The Matrix is deliberate. I just didn’t like it all that much!!

Edit: Looks like I have 14 in common with the AV Club list. I regret the omission of Children of Men and Brazil, both of which I forgot about.


Well I’ve seen more movies on your list than I have theirs, but you have a couple I’ve never even heard of. The Rover? Space Station 76?


The Rover is a gritty Aussie post-apoc thing with Guy Pearce and the dude from Twilight.

Space Station 76 is an indie sci-fi comedy with Night Owl and Liv Tyler set in a space station that looks like it was designed in the '70s. Fun stuff. I think it got a super-narrow theatrical release but I had the good fortune of watching it at the now-discredited Cinefamily a couple blocks from my apartment.


Eh, it’s on the drier side I guess… more science, less fiction? Like Red Mars or something. But it’s still definitely science fiction.

But I’d put Interstellar above it. Interstellar was a really awesome movie, even with some of the inherently dumb plot foundations.


I meant to mention Interstellar and Melancholia earlier. Powerful films. My girlfriend has just piped up with Source Code, Coherence and Monsters. Another Earth came to mind too and the new Planet of the Apes trilogy.


Moon is good but it’s a little bit artsy for my tastes, and by that I mean it takes too long to make the points it is trying to make, and meanders.

100% agree! The Raid is overrated. Dredd is underrated.

Great point, I think I can agree to that. We gotta narrow this list more.

I need to re-watch sunshine.

Also Interstellar should ABSOLUTELY be on this list. So unexpectedly good.


I think, if nothing else, Interstellar is awesome because it has one of the best AI characters in any movie.


I loved The Rover but that’s the biggest stretch for sci-fi I’ve seen in this thread. Maybe I’ve forgotten something, but I don’t think there was anything remotely sci-fi about it unless you broaden the definition to include people living in the aftermath of an unspecified disaster. When I think post-apocalyptic, I think more cataclysmic than this.


I can help with explaining the Banzai thing. Just watch out for @John_Many_Jars. He’s evil pure and simple from the 8th dimension.


Can’t agree, but it depends what you want out of a film. As a pure martial arts film, there’s probably nothing better in the last 20 years. If you’re not into martial arts films, sure, Dredd is going to be better.