Without further ado, here are MY Top 20 favorite science fiction films…

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#20. Moon

A small movie that accomplishes so much.


#19. Westworld

I remember being completely floored when the seeming hero gets gunned down not thirty minutes into the movie.


#18. They Live

This movie, and Roddy Piper’s performance, was a pleasant surprise.


#17. Donnie Darko

Most time travel movie logic unravels under close scrutiny.  This movie, in contrast, is pretty tight.


#16. Dark City

Conceptually, this one felt like a souped-up classic Twilight Zone episode.


#15. A Clockwork Orange

The book is equally provocative.  And great.


#14. Mad Max: Fury Road

I remember watching this in the theater with Akemi who continually kept throwing “Can you believe this movie?!” looks to strangers – who roundly ignored her.  Then I brought her Avengers: Endgame and she fell asleep within twenty minutes.


#13. Battle Royale

Controversial?  Absolutely.  Fantastic?  Without a doubt.


#12. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

A delightfully weird little movie that should have gotten that sequel.


#11. Robocop

This movie boasts an exceptional villain in Kurtwood Smith’s performance as Clarence Boddicker.


#10. Dredd

An under-appreciated gem of a movie.


#9. Star Wars: A New Hope

I saw it 11 times in theaters in the first year of its release.


#8. Galaxy Quest

As a fan of sci-fi, and especially sci-fi film and television, how can you not love it?


#7. The Empire Strikes Back

Surpassed my lofty teenage expectations.


#6. Planet of the Apes

Every time this movie aired, I got special permission to stay up late to watch.  Even on a school night!


#5. Ex Machina

One of the smartest sci-fi films ever made.


#4. The Thing

Like the characters onscreen, will have you jumping out of your skin.


#3. Aliens

Not your typical sequel, it takes what came before and blazes a hugely entertaining new trail.


#2. Blade Runner

Probably the coolest (and most moodiest) sci-fi film.


#1. Alien

The ultimate in deep space exploration.

Rounding out My Top #25

  1. Beneath the Planet of the Apes

  2. Pitch Black

  3. Children of Men

  4. Starship Troopers

  5. Death Race 2000

13 thoughts on “My Top 20 Favorite Science Fiction Films!

    #9. Star Wars: A New Hope

    I saw it 11 times in theaters in the first year of its release.

    ME TOO. When I explain to my children that I paid more than 10 times to see it in theaters, they are not sur what to do with me!!! There is sci-fi before A new hope and sci-fi after A new hope and an abysm in between!

  2. Good list.

    I love “Buckaroo Banzai”. I’d love to see a sequel or, better yet, a TV series!

    I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite though. And forget about ranking them in order!

    Sci-fi movies I watch every year (sometimes several times a year):

    “Buckaroo Banzai”
    “Blade Runner”
    “Galaxy Quest”
    “Terminator 2”
    “Back To The Future”
    “The Abyss”
    “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”
    “Star Trek: First Contact”

  3. Ahh, love this question. My list has a fairly close concordance with yours.
    But you left out Oblivion. Brilliant sci fi concept and beautifully realized on screen.
    And how could you leave out Edge of Tomorrow? That was amazing.
    And I thought Prometheus worthy of adding to the Alien and Aliens lexicon.

  4. I have a friend that hates Sci-fi but when I showed him Galaxy Quest, he laughed all the way through. A few years ago, you had one poster that didn’t like it but I don’t remember who it was. I watch this movie over and over. Alan Rickman was always a good character actor.

    Alien/Aliens and The Thing (1980’s version) are in my top ten also. On a lighter note, Coneheads is a fun watch.

  5. The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai is my all time favorite! When my husband of 33 years first asked me to marry him, I told him he had to watch it and that my answer would depend on whether or not he liked it.
    We still love to watch it.

  6. Nice list. Star Wars A new Hope was the first movie I saw in a movie theatre – for a long time no other movie could match it..

    For me “The Quiet Earth” and “Arrival” are missing from the list

  7. Glad to see some love for Dredd and Galaxy Quest 🙂 Interesting that Alien, Aliens and The Thing would also be in the horror top 20. Of recent scifi I enjoyed Alita and am a fan of Luc Besson so Fifth Element and Valerian are in my favourites, surprised that one Terminator didnt make it…

  8. I know this is going to be ostracized for saying this, but I was unimpressed by Star Wars when I saw it in 1978. The effects were good, I suppose, but I was unimpressed by the story. I saw Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and enjoyed that much more. Perhaps it was the light-hearted atmosphere I really liked. The Ridley Scott films certainly deserve to be at the top.

  9. Some of my fav science fiction or scifi-fantasy blended movies In no particular order:
    HG Wells Time Machine. 1984. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. Ex Machina. Bicentennial Man. Children Of Men. Beneath the Planet Of The Apes. Edge Of Tomorrow. Logans Run. (both versions). Roddenberry’s Planet Earth. The Abyss. Journey To The Center Of The Earth. (The 1959 version). Fantastic Voyage. Lost Horizon (The colorized version). Close Encounters. Minority Report. The Martian. Mission To Mars. 20,000 leagues under the sea. (both versions). Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

  10. I totally forgot about “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”. I saw it in the theatre years ago and someone must have memory blocked it – maybe the reptiloids 😉
    Thanks for reminding me – I have to go and see it again!

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