The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

Science fiction is a particularly rich register of cinema and many films have today joined the Pantheon of the greatest. In order to accompany this second confinement, we offer you a list of the best sci-fi films. Hoping that they will allow you to escape, even perhaps to comfort you… Because very often, our reality is more pleasant than these fictitious universes. At least for now.

This page introduces you to science fiction films. These movies are the very best in terms of sci-fi movies and future worlds. Here you will find a classification of science fiction films, with the blockbuster action in space menu with ships, robots and aliens, superhero film SF Marvel or DC, anticipation film, dystopian film, space- opera, Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime sci-fi film, post-apocalyptic film, acclaimed by the public, released in theaters, or directly on DVD / VOD / Streaming. This classification indeed includes good science fiction films from any period. You will inevitably find a top science fiction film to see among the best achievements.

It is obvious that when it comes to science fiction, the names of Spielberg, Kubrick, and many other experts in the field come to us first. But others manage to squeeze in this eclectic selection of the best films of the past 50 years. The list could obviously go on, but when it comes to making a choice, feelings take precedence. Here is the selection of the essentials of science fiction to have in its DVD library.

1. Arrival

Mysterious alien ships land in the four corners of the world without anyone knowing the reason for their presence. In an increasingly tense international context, linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is tasked with understanding their intentions. Denis Villeneuve signs with Premier Contact a real revolution of the genre and uses the encounter with the spatial unknown to weave the web of a moving human drama. No superlative is enough to describe this film.

2. Ad Astra

Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) ventures to the far reaches of the solar system in search of his missing father in order to solve a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. Ad Astra is a fabulous cross between Apocalypse Now and 2001: A Space Odyssey , just that. Once again, it is the vastness of space and its overwhelming emptiness that serves as a metaphor to translate the inner feelings of a son towards his father. Brad Pitt delivers one of his finest performances and for a contemplative film, it is clear that the rare action scenes are among the most spectacular of recent years.

3. Blade Runner

Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner. Its job is to track down replicants, androids identical to humans in every way. He accepts the mission to find four of them, on the run somewhere on Earth. Through this story, the film raises a fundamental question: what makes us human beings? Blade Runner is probably the greatest science fiction film in history as it has influenced the genre, through its themes and its visual universe. A real failure when it came out, over the years it has found the place it deserves.

25 years later, Villeneuve undertakes the difficult task of imagining the sequel to this monolith … If it does not reach the size of the original, Blade Runner 2049 remains a brilliant sequel which has the intelligence to take up the same issues. to bring out new questions.

4. A Space Odyssey

Considered by many to be the greatest film of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey is an unrivaled visual and sound experience. Its richness is such that we have not finished analyzing it and each new viewing brings a different reading. So many elements made this film cult: the space waltz to the music The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss, the most daring ellipse in cinema, the monotonous voice of Hal… To see on the big screen. This is a movie which you need to see at least once in your lifetime.

5. War of the Worlds

In New Jersey, divorced dock worker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) has only episodic relationships with his son Robbie and daughter Rachel. One morning, his ex-wife gives him custody of their two children. Only, that same evening, an electromagnetic storm erupts and triggers strange phenomena… Which will deliver the world to absolute chaos. By adapting this novel by HG Wells, Spielberg gives us, once is not custom, a story centered on the family. But the great strength of the film is the mastery of its horrific staging. This film is simply an endless nightmare, everything is so judiciously constructed and brought to mind that it should be studied in film school. The noise of machines will haunt you for a long time.

6. Solaris

The psychologist Kris Kelvin is charged by the authorities to go to an orbital station, place of observation of the planet Solaris. Contact with the Earth was broken there following mysterious phenomena. The Soviet response to 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film filled with mystery, a hallucinated journey to the borders of madness, where each silence is only the echo of a dull anguish. Tarkovski tells us about the decline of our civilization which no longer leaves its place for nature, like this hypnotic sequence on the Tokyoite ring road. The only work of science fiction by the Russian master, Solaris is nonetheless a lesson in genre.

7. Under the skin

Experimental science fiction film where an alien (Scarlett Johansson) tracks down men by seducing them under a false guise, this feature film is above all a clinical study of the flesh, that which is smooth, firm, thick, deformed … The wanderings of his character, a sort of merciless praying mantis with a terrifying nuptial dance, place the spectator in a helpless and petrified observer. The web slowly weaves through a cold, damp Scotland, where speech is almost non-existent. By mixing the rawest horror with the most intimate scenes,  Under The Skin  is a huge film, one of those whose apprehension is difficult and yet haunt you forever.

8. High Life

A group of death row criminals agree to commute their sentences and become guinea pigs on a space mission outside the solar system. Through this extraordinary mission, the director offers us a fascinating film, of great plastic beauty and strewn with sequences as fabulous as they are distressing. Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche are magnificent there as their presence transpires and imposes itself in the setting.

9. Alien

On its way to Earth, the Nostromo commercial vessel receives a signal from an unknown planet. The crew then decides to go there. Is there still a need to present Alien, the film that defined the codes of all genre cinema, and still today? True revolution, claustrophobic sci-fi film oozing horror, monstrous creature never before equaled… (notably thanks to Hans Ruedi Giger ) For his second film, Ridley Scott hit hard, very hard. And transformed the essay by signing Blade Runner three years later.

10. Dark City

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up in a bathtub, in the middle of a cold, green-tiled bathroom. He has no memory. Tracked down by Inspector Bumstead, he tries to understand and goes in search of his identity. Dark City is a strange work in the universe of absolute despair, a sort of incongruous mixture between Hellraiser and Blade Runner. By taking up the codes of film noir, Alex Proyas signs an effective thriller until the terrible final twist.

11. District 9

A mysterious vessel, suspended above Johannhesburg, shelters a colony of exhausted, half-dead aliens… These “shrimps” will be parked in a gigantic ghetto, a sort of festering dump: district 9. First film by its director, District 9 is a wonderful cocktail mixing sharp criticism of a society gangrened by its leaders and blockbuster with enjoyable action scenes. This false documentary was the nice surprise of the end of the 2000s and imposed Blomkamp as one of the hopes of the genre. His next two films, despite obvious qualities, did not find such brilliance.

12. Mad Max: Fury Road

Max (Tom Hardy) is captured and taken prisoner in the Citadel ruled by Immortan Joe. He manages to escape and finds himself embarked on an explosive chase. Crazy film, grandiose in its effects, with a transcendent soundtrack, Mad Max: Fury Road is quite simply one of the biggest visual slaps of the 21st century. Everything is only the roar of engines, creaking pain, ocher despair… A great director’s film carried on with beating pace.

13. Fahrenheit 451

Zealous firefighter Guy (Oskar Werner) is on a mission to destroy books that have become banned. When he meets Clarisse, a teacher, he comes to doubt his function. By adapting this cult novel by Ray Bradbury, Truffaut signs one of his most beautiful films. Its universe is as austere as possible, its rhythm, infinitely sad. The character of Guy evolves like an undead while his wife, who only has eyes for the screens, is only the reflection of a disappearing world. Fahrenheit 451 is a true declaration of love in the power of words.

14. A Clockwork Orange

In a futuristic and inhuman England, a group of teenagers go wild every night, beating and raping innocent victims. Alex (Malcolm McDowell), the leader of the gang is arrested and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He then agrees to undergo shock therapy intended to reduce crime. Cult film of its author (among many others …), Clockwork Orange is a sickening plunge into ultraviolence where burlesque meets the most delicate refinement and frenzy is only control, like this sequence major, accelerated during the editing, where Alex makes love with two women he met in the street. Real shock at its release, this film has lost none of its visceral energy.

15. The Fly

Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a brilliant teleportation biologist. He develops a machine which should make it possible to achieve this and decides to experiment with it on himself. But an unexpected guest joins him in the cockpit: a fly. Cult film of its author, The Fly is a real feat of special effects and makeup, the physical transformations of the character are still repulsive to see. Through the story of this scientist victim of his own experiments, Cronenberg speaks to us of the rejection of the other in the face of “disease”, of the fear of the unknown and delivers a striking study of the metamorphosed flesh, central theme of his work. Note that District 9 was probably greatly inspired by this film.

16. The Sons of the man

For twenty years, no child has come into the world. Civilization is in the grip of chaos, plagued by religious fanatics, a repressive military power, and increasingly deeper inequalities. Théo Faron (Clive Owen), a former idealist militant, is contacted by his ex-wife to escort a young woman to safety. He then discovers that she may be humanity’s last hope. A masterpiece of the genre, The Sons of Manis a fascinating reflection on the excesses of our society which is self-destructing after reaching saturation. Carried by an exceptional staging (everyone remembers the famous sequence shot shot inside a stormed car) and talented actors, this film remains today an intense demonstration of cinematographic power. And then seeing Michael Caine as a stoned hippie you can’t refuse.

17. Star Wars: The First Trilogy

Can we really make a list of the best sci-fi movies without mentioning Star Wars ? One of the biggest commercial successes in history was a real revolution and participated in the writing of modern cinema, governed by blockbusters and sequels of all kinds. A blockbuster movie drawing its inspiration from Greek mythology, Star Wars is quite simply one of the richest and most extensive universes ever to be conceived. 

Everything is there: the epic breath, the love story, the revolt of the weak faces to the oppressors, the ships which howl, the sabers which shine, the explosions which fart, the credits which scroll, Darth Vader, the thunderous orchestra Star Wars damn, Star Wars! Being 22 years old, I discovered the prelogy at the same time as the originals and although my cinephile eye understood well that it is far from comparable, in particular episode II (special mention to the romance Anakin / Padmé , height of the ridiculous), the charm operates all the same, my feelings for Natalie Portman helping. What to say about the new trilogy served by the ignoble Disney? Not much. Oh yes, that’s crap. Ooh, ugly that I am.

18. Ghost in the shell

In 2029, computerization is such that it is possible to link one’s consciousness to the network. This has allowed the emergence of new hackers like the “Puppet-master” which infiltrates human memories. Major Kusanagi and her deputy Batou, members of Section 9, are tasked with arresting him. Both equipped with artificial bodies, they will have to question their own humanity. Ghost in the Shell is a work just as dense as Akira and with an almost contemplative rhythm. The city is mapped, detailed like a web of computer connections in which half-human / half-machine beings pass and disappear, drowned in a continuous flow. Kenji Kawai’s soundtrack greatly contributed to the influence of this cyberpunk classic.

19. Matrix

Neo (Keanu Reeves), one of the most wanted hackers in cyberspace, is contacted by a certain Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) who promises him the answer to the question that has always haunted him: what is the Matrix? Matrix marked a turning point both in terms of special effects and choreography of fight scenes. Drawing their inspiration from manga culture and video games, the Wachowski sisters have given birth to an explosive cocktail that is frankly creepy and devilishly exciting. A reference of the kind, too bad the rest is not of the same ilk; the second part holds up but the third is a complete failure. Whatever, follow the white rabbit!

20. Back to the future

The young Marty McFly leads an anonymous existence with his girlfriend Jennifer, only troubled by his family in crisis and a principal who would be delighted to expel him from high school. Friend of the eccentric professor Emmett Brown, he accompanies him one evening to test his new experience: time travel via a modified DeLorean. The demonstration turns out badly: arms traffickers disembark and assassinate the scientist. Marty takes refuge in the car and finds himself transported to 1955. There, he prevents in spite of himself the meeting of his parents, and must do everything to put them back together, under penalty of not being able to exist.

21. Inception

Dom Cobb is a confirmed thief, the best at the perilous art of extraction. Extraction involves appropriating a person’s precious secrets, buried deep in the subconscious while they are dreaming and the mind is most vulnerable. The industrial espionage community covets Cobb for his talents. Dom Cobb then becomes a fugitive sought after all over the planet. Because of this, he loses his greatest love. A final mission could allow him to regain his previous life. Instead of stealing an idea, Cobb and his team are going to have to implant one in a person’s mind. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. 

22. Ex machina

The film tells the story of a billionaire computer programmer (Oscar Isaac) who chooses one of his company’s employees (Domhnall Gleeson) to present his latest invention: a female robot (Alicia Vikander) with artificial intelligence.

23. Guardians of the Galaxy

Peter Quill is an adventurer hunted by all bounty hunters for stealing a mysterious globe coveted by the mighty Ronan, whose actions threaten the entire universe. When he discovers the true power of this globe and the threat to the galaxy, he forges a fragile alliance with four disparate aliens: Rocket, a snappy raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the enigmatic and deadly Gamora, and Drax the Destroyer, who dreams of nothing but revenge. By rallying them to his cause, he convinces them to wage a final fight, however desperate it may be, to save what can still be.

24. Robocop

The police services invent a new infallible weapon, Robocop, half-man, half-robot, electronic policeman of flesh and steel whose mission is to safeguard the tranquility of the city. But this cyborg also has a soul.

25. District 9

Twenty-eight years ago, extraterrestrials made contact with Earth. These visitors from beyond the stars were refugees and were settled in District 9, South Africa, while the nations of the world quarreling over what to do with them. Since then, the management of the situation has been transferred to the MNU (Multi-National United), a private company that has little to do with the fate of these creatures, but which will make huge profits if it manages to operate their extraordinary weaponry. So far, all attempts have failed: for weapons to work, you need alien DNA.

Tension between aliens and humans peaks when the MNU begins to evacuate non-humans from District 9 to a new camp, dispatching field agents to take care of their transfer. One of these agents, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts an alien virus which begins to modify its DNA. Wikus is now the most wanted man on the planet, the one worth more than a fortune: he is the key to unlocking the secret of alien technology. There is only one place to hide: District 9.

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