The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 25 Years by ScreenCrush

"To create this ranking of the 25 best sci-fi movies of the last 25 years, the staff of ScreenCrush first assembled an enormous (and thus very poorly named) shortlist of contenders that included almost every science-fiction film released since 1991. (Seriously, everything was on it. Freaking ‘Sphere’ was on it.) Each writer picked their 25 favorites from that shortlist; from there, a second round of voting determined the final order of the list you’re about to read."

- ScreenCrush


Weight: 15


Detractions

  1. Limited to ~25 years or less (-60)
  2. Genre slant (-25)

Films (25)

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Directed by Michel Gondry | Rated R | 108 min | 2004

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.


2. Her

Directed by Spike Jonze | Rated R | 126 min | 2013

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need.


3. Jurassic Park

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated PG-13 | 127 min | 1993

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.


4. Children of Men

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón | Rated R | 109 min | 2006

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.


5. The Matrix

Directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Rated R | 136 min | 1999

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.


6. Looper

Directed by Rian Johnson | Rated R | 119 min | 2012

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.


7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Directed by James Cameron | Rated R | 137 min | 1991

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her young son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.


8. Edge of Tomorrow

Directed by Doug Liman | Rated PG-13 | 113 min | 2014

A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.


9. Inception

Directed by Christopher Nolan | Rated PG-13 | 148 min | 2010

A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.


10. Contact

Directed by Robert Zemeckis | Rated PG | 150 min | 1997

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.


11. Snowpiercer

Directed by Joon-ho Bong | Rated R | 126 min | 2013

Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.


12. Moon

Directed by Duncan Jones | Rated R | 97 min | 2009

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.


13. WALL·E

Directed by Andrew Stanton | Rated G | 98 min | 2008

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.


14. The World's End

Directed by Edgar Wright | Rated R | 109 min | 2013

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from twenty years earlier unwittingly become humanity's only hope for survival.


15. Attack the Block

Directed by Joe Cornish | Rated R | 88 min | 2011

A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.


16. Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by James Gunn | Rated PG-13 | 121 min | 2014

A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.


17. Minority Report

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated PG-13 | 145 min | 2002

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.


18. Sunshine

Directed by Danny Boyle | Rated R | 107 min | 2007

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.


19. Galaxy Quest

Directed by Dean Parisot | Rated PG | 102 min | 1999

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.


20. District 9

Directed by Neill Blomkamp | Rated R | 112 min | 2009

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.


21. A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated PG-13 | 146 min | 2001

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.


22. Gravity

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón | Rated PG-13 | 91 min | 2013

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.


23. Primer

Directed by Shane Carruth | Rated PG-13 | 77 min | 2004

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.


24. Gattaca

Directed by Andrew Niccol | Rated PG-13 | 106 min | 1997

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.


25. Under the Skin

Directed by Jonathan Glazer | Rated R | 108 min | 2013

A mysterious woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.