Sci-fi is a genre that ignites our imaginations. Often set in unfamiliar or futuristic worlds, viewers embark on a psychological journey that pushes past their social norms. Along the way are storylines of heartbreak, betrayal, and determination. Even in the great unknown, there is a human element that captivates audiences. Enclosed is a list of some of our favorite sci-fi movies: the ones that make us think and leave us wanting more.
When 12 alien ships land around the world, the U.S. Army does not shoot first and ask questions later; they actually take the opposite approach. Following the attempts of an expert linguist seeking to decipher the alien language, this film starring Amy Adams is slow and light on action. You will wish you understood the beautifully written alien language by the end.
In the near future, all single people are arrested and brought to a hotel, where they are given 45 days to either find a partner or be turned into an animal of their choice and released in the woods. If this sounds ridiculous, it is. This weird dark comedy follows Colin Farrell as he bumbles around, looking for love and facing the threat of being turned into his favorite animal.
Beautiful cannot even begin to describe this meditative movie. “The Fountain” follows three interconnected stories from the past, present and future, where men in each timeline — all played masterfully by Hugh Jackman — do anything for the women they love. The film comes to an unforgettable conclusion, embracing the tagline, “Death is the road to awe.”
While one man transcends space and time for his love, in “Her,” Joaquin Phoenix falls for the little device in his pocket. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, the A.I. software that calls herself Samantha is funny, creative and everything Joaquin’s Theodore could have hoped for — and a little of what he didn’t.
Staying with the A.I. theme, a young programmer is selected to determine whether an A.I. robot is human enough. It does not help that the robot, played by a terrific Alicia Vikander, has a beautiful shell. You will be left wondering what is real by the end. Even when the movie is over, sources say this movie will continue to run through your mind.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
When we want to forget an ex, we delete their number on Facebook and cut them out of every photo. But what if you could delete every memory you ever had of them? That is the premise of this lovely movie. Starring Jim Carrey at his most subdued, we travel through his mind to delete his memories and learn what he had all along.
In a dystopian world where humans have left Earth for the stars, robots are left behind to clean up our huge mess. Wall-E (or Waste Allocation Load Lifter: Earth Class) is a little robot that creates a home for himself on the garbage-filled planet.
“Children of Men”
This heart-wrenching movie uses long shots to full effect. Every scene is masterfully choreographed and directed. In a dystopian future where humanity can no longer procreate and the youngest person alive dies at 18, we follow the discovery of a pregnant woman and the trip to bring her to safety.
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
We cannot not include “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Hard to describe, this film is mainly about evolution. Evolution of animal into man, then of man into … we do not know yet. But man has some competition, an artificial intelligence named HAL 9000. All that can be said for this film is: “Wait for it.” You will know when you have seen The Scene.
This epic movie adaptation in the distant future, based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same title, follows a family forced into war. In the fight to secure the universe’s most valuable resource, Paul Atreides must venture to the most dangerous planet in the universe to preserve a future for his family and his planet. If you enjoy “Dune,” check out similar movies recommended by IMDb here.
Given only a single word as a weapon, “tenet,” a CIA operative is sent on a mission to save the world and prevent World War III. The operative relies on time travel to complete his mission and maintain order.
Nope is a movie that may leave you with more questions than answers, but it could be the thought-provoking movie you seek. Following the mysterious death of their father, two siblings set out to find answers. While working together on their family’s ranch, they experience an array of unexplainable phenomena and begin to suspect an alien presence. After watching the movie, check out some theories of its meaning here.
Sci-fi has proven time and again to be a complex, inventive genre. In looking at the top-five grossing movies of all time, we see that sci-fi holds strong ground. We challenge you to open your minds and let these sci-fi movies spark your innermost curiosity.