Special Report

50 Best Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

40. Serenity (2005)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (289,170 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (313,280 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 82% (187 reviews)
> Directed by: Joss Whedon

Written by Joss Whedon and his directorial debut, “Serenity” is a continuation of his short-lived FOX TV series “Firefly,” picking up where the final of that show left off. It follows Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and the rest of the crew of a spaceship called Serenity as their lives of cargo-running and smuggling are interrupted by a psychic passenger. It didn’t do well at the box office, but received positive reviews and was named Best Dramatic Presentation by the Hugo Awards, which honors works of sci-fi and fantasy.

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

39. District 9 (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (654,962 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (1.2 million votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (314 reviews)
> Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

It’s an alternate 1982 in Neill Blomkamp’s directorial debut, “District 9,” and a spaceship filled with malnourished insect-like aliens has appeared over South Africa. They’re confined to an internment camp called District 9 that quickly becomes a slum, and 20 years later one of the aliens is about to escape but instead crosses paths with a bureaucrat played by Sharlto Copley. It was inspired by South Africa’s apartheid era, and was widely acclaimed, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

38. Sleeper (1973)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (42,162 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (30,618 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (36 reviews)
> Directed by: Woody Allen

In Woody Allen’s 1973 film “Sleeper,” Allen’s character plays the owner of a health food store who’s cryogenically frozen and wakes up 200 years later to discover that the U.S. has become a poorly-run dystopian police state and that he must infiltrate the government to derail their master plan. It’s a slapstick comedic romp that pays tribute to early comedic icons like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, as well as plenty of classic sci-fi conventions, and it’s also regarded as one of the best comedies of all time.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

37. The Fly (1986)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (167,978 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (90,069 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (68 reviews)
> Directed by: David Cronenberg

If you’re a fan of Jeff Goldblum (and who isn’t?), you owe it to yourself to watch this David Cronenberg classic (loosely based on the 1958 Vincent Price starrer of the same name). In it, Goldblum plays an eccentric scientist who starts to turn into a human-fly hybrid after an experiment goes wrong. Needless to say, things go downhill from there. A massive box office and critical success, it picked up an Academy Award for Best Makeup.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

36. Seconds (1966)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (18,912 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (4,496 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (35 reviews)
> Directed by: John Frankenheimer

In this psychological horror/sci-fi classic, John Randolph plays a middle-aged banker who’s dissatisfied with his life in a New York suburb, so he undergoes a plastic surgery-altered “rebirth” into a man (played by Rock Hudson) who’s relocated to Malibu to live life as an artist. It was a box office bomb, but it’s become a cult hit in recent years, and James Wong Howe’s stellar, disorienting cinematography earned an Academy Award nomination.