Sci-fi movies do not have to be all action and laser blasts to be good. They can be serene, nuanced and beautiful. Here are nine sci-fi movies — in no particular order — that make the cut.
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 attempts of an expert linguist, played by Amy Adams, to understand the alien language, this film is slow and light on the action. You will wish you spoke 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 movie follows three inter-connected stories from the past, present and future, where men in each timeline — all played masterfully played by Hugh Jackman — do anything for the women they love. The film comes to a beautiful conclusion, embracing the tag line "death is the road to awe."
While one man transcends time for his love, in "Her", Joaquin Phoenix falls for the little device in his pocket. Voiced by Scarlett Johansson, the A.I. software who calls herself Samantha is funny, creative and everything Joaquin 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 has a beautiful shell. You will be left wondering what is real by the end.
"Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind"
When we want to forget an ex, we delete their number, delete them on Facebook, cut them out of every photo. But what if you could delete every memory you have 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 the 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 who creates a home for himself on the garbage-filled planet.
"Children of Men"
This heart-gripping 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. All that can be said for this film is "wait for it." You will know when you have seen The Scene.