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The best science fiction films of all time
Much has happened in the lively world of science fiction films in the past two years, which is why there are also some new additions to the top list. In addition, as we did recently in the list of the best horror films of all time, we exchanged a few films that don't quite meet our criteria for sci-fi. In addition, we have adjusted the order and because of all of this we had a lot of heated discussions.
What you definitely won't find in this list are superhero films (we'll just make them our own genre here) and end-of-time stories - at least not if there is no technical innovation at the center of the plot.
We look forward to your comments here too. Tell us which titles in your opinion are missing, which (yes, yes, "Star Wars 7") have wrongly landed at the top of the ranking and are happy to report on new or old sci-fi insider tips from the endless expanses of film history - no matter whether you run into them on Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime or in the classic cinema, on TV or even in a video store. Regardless of whether alien, spaceship exploratory trips à la “Star Trek”, high-tech wars, time travel gadgets or dimensional gates as in “Stargate” - call us good science fiction films.
And until then: Have fun with our top list of the 80 best science fiction films of all time!
The best sci-fi films - 80th place: "Avatar - Departure for Pandora" (2004)
The numbers of "Avatar - Departure to Pandora" speak for themselves: With gross profits of almost 2.8 billion dollars, James Cameron's visually overwhelming 3D adventure has long been the global box-office champion - until "Avengers: Endgame" him overtaken. The excursion to the planet Pandora in 2154 raised three-dimensional cinema and motion capture technology to a completely new level and in view of the incomparably intense cinema experience, most viewers were ready to talk about the very generic and rather naive story somewhere between “Pocahontas "And" He dances with wolves "to overlook.
When we explore the landscape of Pandora with Sam Worthington, where there is an abundance of raw materials that are becoming scarce on earth, our eyes literally go over our eyes. Cameron had waited years before the technology was ready to turn his vision into reality and you can see that. He now shows a similar staying power with “Avatar 2” to “Avatar 5”. We can be curious ...
The FILMSTARTS review of "Avatar"
"Avatar" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Avatar"
Best Sci-Fi Movies - # 79: "The Man Who Fell From Heaven" (1976)
Nicolas Roeg's “The Man Who Fell From Heaven” is as idiosyncratic and unusual as his alien protagonist, embodied by pop superstar David Bowie: The alien lands on earth with the task of saving his home planet, which is threatened with dehydration, but from At first he is deeply confused by the local bustle. An irritation that is reflected in Roeg's erratic, associative narrative style.
When the guest from space finally finds his way around our consumer society, he soon gives in to the stale temptations of television, alcohol and sex: Adaptation is only available at the price of inner emptiness and alienation. The androgynous Bowie proves to be a strange, charismatic screen presence and thus the ideal cast for the outsider who holds up the mirror to us.
"The man who fell from heaven" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "The Man Who Fell From Heaven"
The best SciFi films - Rank 78: "District 9" (2009)
The first feature film by "Elysium" and "Chappie" director Neill Blomkamp, co-produced by Peter Jackson, is an unusual science fiction work in several respects. Found footage and mockumentary elements give the apartheid parable a reportage-like finish. In addition, “District 9” was nominated for the Oscar in the Best Film category, which even the absolute masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey” did not achieve .
When an alien spaceship landed in the metropolis of Johannesburg in 1982, more than a million insect-like beings were discovered inside the vehicle. The aliens are housed in a camp that over the years turns into a slum. The following story about weapons, exploitation and discrimination is full of allusions to very real problems, but with cool action scenes, unusual effects and Sharlto Copley as the alien employee of the military company responsible for the security of the camp, Blomkamp ensures that the seriousness does not get out of hand.
The FILMSTARTS review of "District 9"
"The Omen" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "District 9"
The best sci-fi films - 77th place: "Cube" (1997)
Vincenzo Natali's “Cube” was not only an exception at the time, it is still today. Because this combination of mystery, sci-fi and survival thriller in chamber drama never came back in this form - and could not be repeated in this high quality in the sequels and prequels. The sci-fi element of the seemingly impossible cube construct is particularly horrific because the purpose and origin remain nebulous. Here, humans are completely at the mercy of technology and have no means of understanding it.
It is only logical that the people in these cubes gradually lose their humanity, so that in front of this unreal tech backdrop, everyone soon suspects everyone. The disturbing, clinically smooth world of geometry horror looks timelessly good despite the minimal budget (350,000 Canadian dollars) - and in this respect it is definitely in a league with George Lucas ‘THX 1138. A remake called "Cubed" was announced in 2015, but has since been frozen.
The FILMSTARTS review of "Cube"
"Cube" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Cube"
Best Sci-Fi Movies - # 76: "Starship Troopers" (1997)
Director provocateur Paul Verhoeven ("Basic Instinct", "Elle") is once again way ahead of his time when he presented his sci-fi satire "Starship Troopers" in 1997, which many critics and viewers rashly called hollow-militaristic space - Slaughter with fascist tendencies was dismissed. From today's point of view, however, this is difficult to understand, because while all the allegations actually apply to the novel by Robert A. Heinlein, Verhoeven's ironic distance to the hardened (Aryan) soldiers cannot be overlooked in retrospect with the best of will.
Anyone who actually believes that the Dutchman would mean the melodramatic blood-and-soil self-sacrifice even for a second knows neither the director nor his decidedly anti-fascist oeuvre. And that he doesn't spread his satirical anti-militarist message on your bread an inch thick, but rather packs it as a - superficially speaking - excessive battle blockbuster, is possibly the problem of an inattentive audience, but certainly not that of the filmmaker.
The FILMSTARTS review of "Starship Troopers"
"Starship Troopers" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Starship Troopers"
The best sci-fi films - # 75: "Dark City" (1998)
The tremendous influence of “Matrix” on pop culture and international cinema is undeniable, but the ingenious dystopian vision of the future of the Wachowski siblings never came out of nowhere - a possible inspiration could also be next to Rainer Werner Fassbinder's “Welt am Draht” Alex Proyas' "Dark City", which was released a year earlier. This quickly becomes clear when you roughly summarize the plot of the two films: Here and there, humanity believes to be free and is manipulated every day by an alien power, here and there only a small group of people recognize the truth and must free the rest.
But even if both works even deal with similar philosophical topics due to the similarities in content (which in turn go back to Fritz Lang's “Metropolis”, among other things), “Dark City” should by no means be limited to a comparison with the much more successful “Matrix” - are for it both films are too different in their realization. Proyas' brilliant science fiction thriller captivates thanks to its great costume and set design and expressionistic-looking picture compositions, above all because of its dark noir atmosphere, which makes it a genre jewel with its very own character.
The FILMSTARTS review of "Dark City"
"Dark City" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Dark City"
The best sci-fi films - Rank 74: "Escape into the 23rd Century" (1976)
Michael Bay actually wanted to shoot a remake of Michael Anderson's dark, dystopian vision of the future "Escape into the 23rd Century" with his sci-fi ripper "The Island", but broke off the project about halfway through his film and agreed with his audience after one faithful introduction just the edge of action. After all, he can do that best. Anderson's original is even better in comparison because the director focuses more on the exciting content and not just on the pure action. In the free film adaptation of the bestseller of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, the director criticizes a society that has been brought into line and allows itself to be controlled and disciplined by a superordinate system without its own will.
Logan 5 (Michael York) is a so-called sandman who hunted the "runners" in an underground civilization in the 23rd century - these are people who do not accept that the life of all citizens ends at the age of 30 before they are reborn as promised. Logan infiltrates the community of runners and pretends to be one of theirs - until he discovers a dark secret and changes sides. "Escape into the 23rd Century" is exciting, socially relevant and, last but not least, captivates with its exotic flair - a mixture of the 70s and the 23rd century! All attempts to redesign the material in a real remake have so far failed. The last time it was said in 2016 that a script was being worked on ...
The FILMSTARTS review of "Escape into the 23rd Century"
"Escape into the 23rd Century" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Escape into the 23rd Century"
The best sci-fi films - # 73: "Videodrome" (1983)
The term “visionary” is not used sparingly, especially in the science fiction genre, but in the case of David Cronenberg's prophetic “Videodrome” it is absolutely appropriate. From virtual reality to first-person shooters and pay-TV porn to total camera surveillance and film piracy, the Canadian presented a fairly accurate description of the brave new media world as early as 1983. The story of a TV producer (James Woods) who believes he is seeing the future of television in an illegal torture show and then loses himself in the flood of images, finally even takes a disturbing turn into Cronenberg's body horror realm, if human and medium literally merge: Long live the new flesh!
The FILMSTARTS review of "Videodrome"
"Videodrome" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Videodrome"
The best sci-fi films - # 72: "Moon" (2009)
In 2009 David Bowie offspring Duncan Jones became an acclaimed science fiction hopefuls overnight with his full-length debut "Moon". The chamber play-like space thriller, which costs only around five million dollars, has neither lavish backdrops nor breathtaking special effects to offer. Instead, Jones let the audience participate in the oppressive isolation of his main character Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), who is the only employee in a small lunar station to make sure everything is okay. Only the robot GERTY (voice: Kevin Spacey) keeps the lonely employee company during his moon mission. In particular, Sam Rockwell's haunting portrayal of the insane astronaut Sam Bell has contributed to the fact that "Moon" has developed into a real science fiction insider tip over the years.
The FILMSTARTS review of "Moon"
"Moon" on DVD and Blu-ray *
The trailer for "Moon"
Best Sci-Fi Movies - 71st place: "The Fifth Element" (1997)
Almost every text about "The Fifth Element" contains an almost apologetic hint that Luc Besson wrote the screenplay for his film as a teenager. But why actually? "The fifth element" is such terrific, over-the-top science fiction fun and is so overflowing with blooming imagination and wonderfully weird ideas that you should just enjoy it without having to apologize for it:
It doesn't matter if there are crazy characters like a blue-skinned opera diva and a blond radio presenter, no matter if Gary Oldman is (once again) the wonderfully crazy villain and Bruce Willis expertly filleted dog-headed alien minions or you just open one of the countless biting swipes Discovered pop and media culture in the spectacular New York of the future - fun is the order of the day here from start to finish.
The FILMSTARTS review of "The Fifth Element"
"The fifth element" on DVD and Blu-Ray *
The trailer for "The Fifth Element"
On the next page: Alien Bounty Hunters, Color Organs, and Sun Death ...
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