Special Report

50 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Focus Features

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (948,653 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (571,910 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (250 reviews)
> Directed by: Michel Gondry

One of the most romantic and emotionally affecting sci-fi movies of all time, “Eternal Sunshine” stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as an estranged couple who undergo a procedure to remove each other from their respective memories. The film, written by Charlie Kaufman, dives deep into the nature of memory and romance, and follows us inside Carrey’s mind as his memories are erased in real time. It’s a towering achievement, and it picked up the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (1.0 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (749,360 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (84 reviews)
> Directed by: James Cameron

Building on (and improving on) the premise of the original, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” picks up years later, when Sarah Connor’s son John is 10 years old. This time, he’s being pursued by a far deadlier Terminator, the liquid metal shapeshifter T-1000, played by Robert Patrick. Schwarzenegger plays a different Terminator who’s been sent back in time to protect John, a brilliant move that turns him into a hero rather than villain. It was a massive hit, and the visual effects (especially for T-1000) remain stunning to this day. It’s one of the best sequels ever made, easily surpassing the original. Hasta la vista… baby.

Sci-fi, science fiction, horror, fantasy, film, movie, cinema, Star Trek, aliens

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

3. Aliens (1986)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (678,602 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (430,019 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (77 reviews)
> Directed by: James Cameron

Written and directed by James Cameron, “Aliens” is the sequel to the 1979 original — “Alien,

singular (see No. 1) — and stars Sigourney Weaver as the only survivor of an alien attack on her spaceship. Along with a troop of Colonial Marines, she travels to a moon (the same one where the aliens infiltrate the ship in the first film) to investigate the loss of communication with a colony there. Intense, action-packed, and downright terrifying, It was released to widespread critical acclaim and earned Weaver an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

2. Back to the Future (1985)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (1.1 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (1.1 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (83 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

More than 35 years after its release, “Back to the Future” remains more than just a movie, more than just an ’80s pop culture touchstone. It’s almost like a good friend, there for you when you need it and always ready to make you smile. We all know the storyline: In 1985, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent 35 years into the past and accidentally prevents his parents from meeting. With a little help from “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd), he must not only get his parents back together to ensure that he’s born, but somehow figure out how to return to the future he started from. It’s a fun, funny romp through time with great writing, smart direction, and brilliant performances from everyone involved. The two sequels are good but can’t compare to the original.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

1. Alien (1979)
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (823,459 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (460,436 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (126 reviews)
> Directed by: Ridley Scott

The best (and quite possibly the scariest) sci-fi movie of all time, “Alien” tells the story of the crew of a commercial space tug named Nostromo, who are awoken from stasis on their way back to earth in order to investigate a transmission coming from a nearby alien moon. All hell breaks loose after they land, and before long there’s a horrifying rogue alien — brilliantly designed by H.R. Giger — terrorizing them (and bursting forth from poor John Hurt’s chest). With its fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat storyline, “Alien” was a smash hit that captured audiences and inspired countless films and TV shows, and it launched a franchise that’s still going strong.