I don’t know why, but recently I Googled “Best Science Fiction Movies.” I really wondered if I’d missed something. There are many folks out there who give us their views. I guess it is my turn.
This will be a multi-part post. This one will contain choices from 1 to 11.
Instead of counting toward the best, I’m going to change up and give you my favorite movies from the best down… at some point, I’ll just trail off. Note that I’ve lumped franchises together, so if I say, Terminator, for example, I mean all of the terminator movies unless I give some specific exceptions.
Rating system: I rate all movies on Science, Action, Humor, Horror, Drama, Twists, and Consistency. I average all of the pieces that are primarily being filmed and average them. All of my ratings will be on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the best.
Drumroll… My favorite science fiction movie of all time is (4-way tie for first place):
#1 A Man from Earth – Rating 9
This movie, which you probably have never even heard of, did so poorly at the box office that I never even heard of it until I stumbled upon it on Netflix (I don’t believe it is there any longer)
It has no special effects at all. It has no action. It isn’t set in the future. The entire movie two sets, and contains nothing more than people talking.
This is the epitome of a thinking person’s science fiction.
#1 Gattaca – Rating 9
This one’s rating surprised me. I rewatch movies often and pick movies other than this. But when I honestly filled in my numbers for each of the categories, I realized how much this film meant to me. It is an uncomfortable watch, like Schindler’s List. It may be awesome, but it doesn’t mean you want to batter yourself with that discomfort often.
The prejudice that could come, and is already coming, from our DNA is incredible. Prophetic Scifi at its best.
#1 The Sixth Sense – Rating 9
Anyone who knows me will know I don’t understand the horror genre. I do understand suspense, and this movie has it in bucketloads. I’m also a sucker for a twist ending.
While Bruce Willis isn’t known for his exceptional acting range, he stretched here and came away with a winner. That isn’t to take away from his costars. Everyone made this movie work.
#1 Wall-E – Rating 9
What can I say that you almost certainly don’t already know? The humor in this movie is top-notch. There were enough twists to make my heart sing, and it made me feel hope, even out of despair. My top feel-good film.
Coming in at #5 – (I sound like Casey Kasem “And here is a beauty that stayed at #5 for ten long weeks on our charts…”)
#5 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Rating 8.8
Wow, another surprise rating and for a movie that isn’t pure science fiction/fantasy by any stakes. It does blur the lines.
Scott Pilgrim is a fun romp that pokes fun at video games, dating, sexual preference, vegans, and more. During the whole time, it is wrapped in this joyful wrapper of youth.
Oh, don’t expect stellar acting, in fact, that would negate most of its charm, but the film is so fun that you can’t help but enjoy it.
There is a five-way tie for #6.
#6 Battle Los Angeles – Rating 8.5
While I’ve never served in our armed forces, I do know a number of people who have. This movie spoke to me like real combat. It also felt like what an alien invasion, if it didn’t completely overwhelm us from technology that is too advanced, would feel like.
Gritty. More action than you can pack into a claymore mine, and high stakes that didn’t feel like they were utterly overwhelming. And, as it was aliens, there were a number of tasty twists in there to keep me hooked for the whole movie. Might have gotten more if it wasn’t too sappy around the father and kid.
#6 Cloverfield – Rating 8.5
Like its counterpart above, this is an alien invasion that overwhelms our ability to respond. As a kaiju movie, I like the “Blair Witch Project” filming of the entire escape of the civilians. Action galore and wrapped up the horror of those unknowns.
#6 Jurassic Park – Rating 8.5
The entire franchise is a rollercoaster ride of action. I mean, you know you are going to get dinosaurs eating people, but why are the people so stupid (read that word as GREEDY) THIS time? The special effects are incredible. The science is there to back it up. And one of the best pieces is the consistency from movie to movie – not just in actors but in not tramping on the traditions previously created.
#6 The Thirteenth Floor – Rating 8.5
Another movie many people haven’t seen. This movie lives and dies on its twists and turns, so I can’t reveal too much without giving it away. Needless to say, once you see it, you will immediately compare it to a movie I have ranked down in the 50s or 60s. This one is a vastly superior breed. Get it. You won’t be disappointed.
#6 Next – Rating 8.5
I’m probably going to catch a great deal of heat on this one. I mean Nicholas Cage? Really? But the movie itself is a masterpiece. What would a man’s life be like if he could see two minutes in the future, or more under certain circumstances? He would have to stay under the radar screen or be put into a government cell with doctors poking him with sharp needles – forever.
That concludes my top eleven choices. I’ll post later on more great movies and how I rank them. I’ve already thrown in a couple you probably never heard of, so who knows when I’ll throw more weirdness into the mix.