Are you a sci-fi fan looking to get more familiar with the classics of this broad genre? Whether you like your sci-fi peppered with androids and aliens or computer hackers and superheroes, there’s something for everyone in our list of top 10 sci-fi films worth watching this year:
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott’s take on Philip K Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ is widely regarded as one best sci-fi flicks ever. Following Harrison Ford’s Deckard on a mission to eliminate rogue android replicants, Blade Runner still cuts the mustard as a genre-defining dystopian masterpiece 40 years after its initial release, although first-time viewers are advised to check out the Director’s Cut (1992) or Final Cut (2007).
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – This Disney addition to the much-loved Star Wars canon served as a welcome surprise to hardcore fans, with plenty of references to the original trilogy and a more-than-memorable appearance from the mighty Darth Vader. As a prequel, Rogue One is a great entry point for new viewers and a satisfying treat for old-school SW fans – the movie has revitalised the trend for SW merch, from branded clothing and bobbleheads to Star Wars black series action figures.
Guardians of the Galaxy – First released in 2014, this sci-fi/superhero mashup has spawned two sequels and revitalised the genre for an audience of younger moviegoers. Based on the classic Marvel team of the same name, GOTG is a must-watch if you’re partial to sci-fi blockbusters for the whole family – don’t forget the popcorn!
2001: A Space Odyssey – Released to critical acclaim in 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s hallucinatory space exploration epic is regularly tipped as the finest sci-fi film ever made, while the narrative’s ‘evil computer’/’evolution of man’ theme has become particularly relevant in the new age of AI technology.
Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back – The second chapter in the original Star Wars trilogy (or the 5th of the overall series) took viewers down a darker path and unveiled one of the biggest movie twists of all time – these days, Empire is ranked as the most substantial of the original trilogy and a must-watch for sci-fi lovers.
Inception – Christopher Nolan’s 2010 dreamscape caper Inception is a great example of a modern sci-fi thriller that ticks all of the boxes, from gorgeous visual effects and Hollywood star power to a layered, mindbending narrative that will keep you scratching your head long after the credits have rolled.
Alien – As the second entry from Ridley Scott, Alien is something of a benchmark for sci-fi horror movies; while the slew of sequels and spin-offs may have dampened our fear of the iconic ‘xenomorph’ antagonist, the first move in the series remains as terrifying as ever….in space, no-one can hear you scream!
Dune – While David Lynch’s 1984 attempt to capture Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel on the silver screen was met with shaky reviews, Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 re-imagining did a much better job of replicating the inimitable tone of the source material – a must-watch for fans of modern science fiction.
WALL-E – This charming Pixar vehicle is the most child-friendly sci-fi on our list, following a cute trash-collecting robot on his mission to clean up an abandoned Earth. While the movie provides a sumptuous visual treat that’s packed with laughs and tear-jerking moments (as we’ve come to expect from Pixar), it also offers important social commentary on pollution and global warming.
The Matrix – As the movie that catapulted sci-fi action back into popularity at the turn of the millennium, The Matrix needs little introduction – the first in the series still stands up today as an example of turn-of-the-century tech paranoia, while the stunning action sequences have aged beautifully.