30 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-02-2012, 07:54 PM
I kinda like this list from MSN. It include most of my favorite Sci-Fi films including The Thing and The Fly.

Ranked accordingly:

30) 'Alphaville' (1965) French New Wave tyro Jean-Luc Godard had a nifty idea in 1965: to make a low-budget science-fiction film starring the popular (in Europe, at least) hard-boiled character Lemmy Caution, doing it using no contrived futuristic sets but shooting it all in actual faux-futuristic Paris locations.

29) 'Moon' (2009): Rockwell plays Sam, a schlubby lunar groundskeeper coming to the end of his employment contract whose expectations of a return home to his wife and such are thrown into question when, after a module accident, he meets ... himself. Literally.

28) 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' (1976): Rock star David Bowie is magnificent as the solitary E.T. bearing gifts of technology for a world that will eventually forsake him; his oft-supernaturally blank affect is the film's most enduring special effect, as it were. Completely canonical.

27) 'Total Recall' (1990): Inspired author Philip K. Dick's stories of false memories and alternate realities and higher powers that may just be manifestations of schizophrenia or hallucinogenic drug hangovers are all the more powerful in that their protagonists are generally ordinary guys.

26) 'These Are the Damned' (1963): As cold and as weird a science fiction film as you'll ever see, one that plays like no other.

25) 'Starman' (1984): A big part of the movie's fun comes from Bridges' performance as the alien tries to get used to being in a human's body. He's also got some challenges trying to mollify and calm Allen's understandably completely freaked-out character.

24) 'Brazil' (1985): This elaborate, grim vision of a very dystopian future grows richer and odder with each passing year. In part because its future resembles nothing that we've actually seen in the quarter-century since it was made. Director Terry Gilliam's new world order is a distinctly nondigital environment.

23) 'Serenity' (2005): Taking off from his cult-friendly TV series "Firefly," writer-director Joss Whedon crafted one of the more thoroughly enjoyable space Westerns of the contemporary cinema.

22) 'Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan' (1982); With a knotty, "Moby Dick"-informed plot of obsession and revenge taking off from a legendary episode of the original series, intense emotive face-offs between master thespians William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban, and a galvanic climactic event in where-no-man-has-gone-before history, this is the classic that will ever be cited as the ultimate "Star Trek" movie.

21) 'Earth vs. The Flying Saucers' (1956): Once again, the title says it all. In this picture, newlywed scientist Hugh Marlowe has to cut short the honeymoon in order to represent Earth in a battle against really cool spinning saucers designed and animated by special effects deity Ray Harryhausen.

06-02-2012, 07:55 PM
20) 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' (1977): As much as fans might believe that writer-director George Lucas subsequently diluted and corrupted the myth that this film is the foundation of, we all have to give him credit for creating a phenomenon that, for better or worse, seems like it has always been with us, even though it did, in fact, come out in 1977.

19) 'Solaris' (1972): The Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky was of a bent that was decidedly poetic and spiritual, to the point of being practically anti-technological.

18) 'Forbidden Planet' (1956): This widescreen, Technicolor extravaganza gets a lot of smack talked about it these days on account of how cheesy it is. And it is pretty cheesy, in what we consider a very likable way.

17) 'The Fly' (1986): The 1958 original of this horror/sci-fi hybrid was best known for its fly's-eye prismatic view of its screaming heroine, and its nearly laughably grotesque "help me!" finale. Director David Cronenberg's remake upped the scientific verisimilitude of its insect-transformation plot, and upped the horror quotient as well.

16) 'Starship Troopers' (1997): All-around cinematic bad boy Paul Verhoeven bounced back from the supposed debacle that was "Showgirls" with this equally bananas Robert Heinlein-adapted epic of all-American kids versus gigantic alien bugs.

15) 'Independence Day' (1996): The Roland Emmerich-directed alien-invasion-and-Earth-resistance movie is a really packed compendium of sci-fi blockbuster convention and action, mixed and executed for ultimate crowd wowing and rousing, and it really works in that respect.

14) 'The Thing' (1982): One of Carpenter's finest directorial achievements, and one of star Kurt Russell's most convincingly biting performances.

13) 'The Terminator' (1984): Working with very little budget, an Austrian body-builder leading man who was considered something of a joke as an actor, and a story concept that was bound to get him accused of some form of plagiarism, and did, writer-director James Cameron crafted an instant sci-fi classic, a rip-roaring tale of time travel and avoidable apocalypse, replete with incredibly tense action and breathlessly thrilling plot reversals.

12) 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' (1951): This 1951 film directed by Robert Wise has the alien Klaatu, he of calm demeanor and incredible technology coming down to Earth with his giant robot pal Gort, to tell us childish earthlings to stop messing 'round with nuclear weapons and such.

11) 'Metropolis' (1927): German director Fritz Lang and producer Erich Pommer told tales that it was their first view of the New York skyline, seen from the deck of a trans-Atlantic traveling ship, that inspired their idea to make a film centered on a city of the future.

06-02-2012, 07:58 PM
10) 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977): Like the first "Star Wars" film, and like the film that's ranked one notch above this one on this list, Steven Spielberg's first feature-length cinematic foray into the otherworldly is one of those pictures that there's not a hell of a lot new to say about; it's become a touchstone in the larger cultural firmament.

9) 'E.T. The Extra Terrestrial' (1982): Another early Spielberg sci-fi film, and more childlike sense of wonder. The world's cutest misshapen glowing-finger alien crash-lands near a cutely dysfunctional single-mom family in a cute California suburb, evincing only a desire to, as he'll eventually cutely put it, "phone home."

8) 'Aliens' (1986): In which then-tyro director James Cameron, relatively fresh from his "Terminator" triumph, gets a bigger budget and crafts some neat toys, "opening up" the classic Ridley Scott old-dark-house-in-space shocker "Alien" and turning it into a kind of, yes, Western and/or Korean War movie on another world.

7) 'The Thing From Another World' aka 'The Thing' (1951): Classic Hollywood director Howard
Hawks was only the producer of this instant classic -- directing honors went to Christian Nyby -- but the story of the arctic discovery of an alien craft that yields a soon-to-be-unfrozen rapacious killing machine E.T. is a bristling, no-nonsense entertainment (with a fun romantic subplot) in the tradition he all but created.

6) 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' (1991): We'll admit that certain aspects of the film haven't dated all that well, Edward Furlong's petulant performance as young John Connor being one of them. Still. For cinematic bedazzlement, galvanic action, relentless narrative momentum, and, yes, big heart, this one remains massive.

5) 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980): While "A New Hope" may have been the one to start the saga, "Empire" is the one that can most easily take a place of honor besides the Westerns and samurai movies that creator George Lucas claims inspired the whole thing in the first place.

4) 'Alien' (1979): Like "2001," this picture de-romanticized space travel right off the bat: The crew of the Nostromo are pretty much galactic truckers, drearily carrying a payload from one place to the next. Until an ill-advised response to a weird distress call finds them bringing the title horror on board, setting off a free-for-all of claustrophobic, frequently mind-bogglingly bloody horror.

3) 'The Matrix' (1999): A dauntingly dense dose of sci-fi genius that packs volumes worth of exciting ideas and action into a pill that's only a tad over two hours long. Watch it again and forget the misbegotten sequels.

2) '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968): Director Stanley Kubrick's journey into cosmic intelligence, ancient to post-modern, is the motion picture that every ambitious film in its genre that came after it somehow has to answer to.

1) 'Blade Runner' (1982): This list contains quite a few science-fiction films set in what's referred to as a "dystopian" future. But no film, before or since, places you in a simultaneously exhilarating and frightening and gloomily tech-advanced environment the way this one does from its very first jaw-dropping frames.

Parallel Universe on MSN: 50 Greatest Science-Fiction Movies of All Time (http://entertainment.msn.com/beacon/editorial12.aspx?ptid=d551caa2-3943-40d2-bfc6-12db0cbf1731&photoidx=51)

06-02-2012, 08:10 PM
WHAT NO Original "TIME MACHINE" somebody must have bumped their head.

06-03-2012, 04:03 AM
Where's "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?

06-03-2012, 06:33 PM
Number one in my book was Forbidden Planet. Great sci fi movie for its time. 2001 would be my runner up, again a great movie for its time period. And lets not forget about Silent Running with Bruce Dern from the 1970's. Silent Running (1972) - IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067756/)

Others to mention, the original Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, War of the Worlds. Ditto for the original Time Machine.

I would have to mention the Sci Fi premiere of the recent Battle Star Galactica series. The first couple of episodes can compete with any of the fore mentioned Movies.

06-04-2012, 01:40 AM
Independence Day was poo.

If Star Trek II was there then Star Trek IV should be as well. SUch lists should try to double up. Alien and Aliens could take up one clot - ditto Star Wars and Empire (I wish they would get rid of the "Episode IV" crap. It was Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and then Lucas the tool put out 3 of the worst piles of garbage that were ever released to the big screen. Crap filled with steaming poo.

By putting the films together you have room for things like Invasion of the Body Snatchers 54 and 78 or maybe a Gattaca or something else.

Starship Troopers? It was fun and all but really? One of the greatest Sci-Fi films EVER? I'd sooner something like Contact or even Event Horizon - both had problems but at least had some sci-fi ideas.

And if Aliens to earth is allowed - what about Superman II? Clark is an alien after all.

The Matrix copied a Tom Baker episode of Doctor Who so I have trouble giving that one a lot of credit.

06-04-2012, 05:27 AM
I've seen every film on the list EXCEPT the first one "Alphaville". I'll put it in the netflix. I don't disagree with much on the list. "These are the Damned" was alright but it didn't know if it wanted to be "The Wild One", "Blackboard Jungle" or "Doctor Who". It does NOT belong on this list. If you had to have a Brit representative then the classic Dr. Quatermass tale "8 Million Miles to Earth" (Dr. Quatermass and the Pit) or "Village of the Damned" would've been a far superior representation. What? No "War of The Worlds". No "Them" no "This Island Earth"??? Puhlease. Nah, as I've always said, lists like these are good for nothing but starting fistfights.


06-04-2012, 11:32 AM
yet another misinformed list. Hell, may as well include Planet of The Apes - it did after all, involve space travel. I'm not even sure I'd include Star Trek, much less Star Wars. Tron has more to do with science fiction than half these movies. ok I would include maybe one Star Trek, but it'd be further down the list.

I liked that Moon was on the list, but why not include the movie that obviously influenced it, Silent Running. How do they leave off The Incredible Shrinking Man? Robinson Caruso on Mars? Andromeda Strain? Gattaca?

Why is any movie that takes place in outer space considered science fiction even if the movie has nothing to do with science (and usually gets it wrong when does try anyway).

06-04-2012, 06:28 PM
The 1982 version of the Thing was an eerily, scary and freaky movie. The first Aliens movie was also a great scary movie. No body knew what to expect and they did not show too much of the alien which made it a nail bitter.

06-05-2012, 07:07 PM
You guys are tough critics :)

The list I posted is from top 50 greatest films and had to cut it down to 30 to accommodate images as it already take a minute to load the page. Here is the rest of list:

50) 'The Quatermass Xperiment' (1955)
49) 'Things to Come' (1936)
48) 'I Married a Monster From Outer Space' (1958)
47) 'Godzilla' (1954)
46) 'Strange Invaders' (1983)
45) 'They Live' (1988)
44) 'It Came From Outer Space' (1953)
43) 'The Omega Man' (1971)
42) 'Invaders From Mars' (1953)
41) 'The Andromeda Strain' (1971)
40) 'War of the Worlds' (1953)
39) 'War of the Worlds' (2005)
38) 'When Worlds Collide' (1951)
37) 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' (1957)
36) 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars' (1964)
35) 'Planet of the Vampires' (1965)
34) 'Quatermass and the Pit' (1967)
33) 'Mars Attacks!' (1996)
32) 'Solaris' (2002)
31) 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1956)

Sorry guys, but no "Time Machine", "Plan 9 From Outer Space", "Silent Running", "Superman", "This Island Earth" on the list. IMO Time Machine definitely deserve a spot on list if any. And get rid of # 33 "Mars Attack".

06-21-2012, 03:02 PM
Forbidden Planet might be cheesey by today's CGI standards, but it was wildly influencial in its time. The plot runs circles around many movie franchises.

War Of The Worlds (2005) kinda takes a beating in some circles, prolly just cuz its fun to hate on Tom Cruise, but its a pretty decent movie. Some aspects of it don't work, like the implied pre-existence of aliens ships underground, that's barely touched upon then forgotten, adding zilch to the plot.

Andromeda Strain deserves to be much higher on the list.

Robinson Caruso on Mars kinda falls apart at the end, but the beginning is a compelling portrait of a guy dealing with sudden isolation and desperation being stranded on a desolate planet and struggling to survive. The premise, as implausible as we know it to be now, did at least take into consideration factors known at the time.

Certainly, movies like Starship Troopers or even RoboCop aren't intellectual think pieces, but director Paul Verhoeven's movies sure had a knack for prescience, what with his visions of escort services being advertised on TV, the resurgence of unnecissarily oversized vehicles, and the prevalence of a world wide web intertwined in our culture, not to mention fervent nationalism bordering on fascism, military industrial commercialism and the evils of privatized law enforcement. And then there's the best looking chick from Saved By The Bell, buck nekkid.

06-21-2012, 03:09 PM
and where is A.I.?

07-01-2012, 05:42 PM
and I don't get the high praise for Blade Runner. Its basically a Sam Spade movie set in the future. Granted, the cinematopgraphy is incredible. The sets and special effects still hold up to the best CGI. But beyond looks, is a very basic story. Certainly, the premise qualifies for Sci-Fi, but the story is just a straight forward gumshoe or cop show, unlike say, Brother From Another Planet, which a much more clever turn on a common theme. The acting in Blade Runner is just notch above Star Wars. Still, its a great looking movie, and its dystopian veiw of the future has certainly made an impact on sci-fi since, informing movies like A.I., The Fifth Element and RoboCop.

07-02-2012, 01:41 AM
Maybe I missed it but I would have "Altered States" on the list.

07-02-2012, 02:16 AM
and I don't get the high praise for Blade Runner. Its basically a Sam Spade movie set in the future. Granted, the cinematopgraphy is incredible. The sets and special effects still hold up to the best CGI. But beyond looks, is a very basic story. Certainly, the premise qualifies for Sci-Fi, but the story is just a straight forward gumshoe or cop show, unlike say, Brother From Another Planet, which a much more clever turn on a common theme. The acting in Blade Runner is just notch above Star Wars. Still, its a great looking movie, and its dystopian veiw of the future has certainly made an impact on sci-fi since, informing movies like A.I., The Fifth Element and RoboCop.

I pretty much agree with your assesment about Blade Runner. It is a good movie at its won right, but definitely not the greates t sci-fi movie. IMO that honor belong to original Star Wars I or II. Its impact on culture have been far more greater than Blade Runner.

07-02-2012, 02:22 AM
Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies but I will concede it is just a 30's Detective movie in a post-modern world. If you have ever read the Philip K. Dick book it is based on you know that the movie kind of takes the story in a different direction. One of the things I like about the book that is not mentioned in the movie is how the need for replicant technology got started in the first place.

07-02-2012, 04:40 AM
Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies but I will concede it is just a 30's Detective movie in a post-modern world. If you have ever read the Philip K. Dick book it is based on you know that the movie kind of takes the story in a different direction. One of the things I like about the book that is not mentioned in the movie is how the need for replicant technology got started in the first place.
Yes, a lot of the back story was left out of the original release. But this screenplay seems to have been a lot of slack because of its art, same with Star Wars. Yet a movie like The Abyss got slagged. The first Terminator movie was a better written screenplay than Blade Runner.

07-05-2012, 07:49 AM
33) 'Mars Attacks!' (1996) ???

heh heh heh........