This page shows you the list charts. By default, the movies are ordered by how many times they have been marked as a favorite. However, you can also sort by other information, such as the total number of times it has been marked as a dislike.
Much like its close genre cousin (nephew/niece?) the superhero film, the potential of cinematic science fiction exploded in the latter part of the 20th century thanks to technological advances that transformed special effects. Unlike superhero films, which were so stunted for so long that almost every new one makes it onto our updated 100 Best Superhero Films of All Time list, science fiction proved fertile ground for filmmakers before the likes of Industrial Light & Magic supercharged a director’s ability to exceed our imagination. Thus, this list, while filled with films from the ’80s onward, has its fair share of older films. Before we dive into it, though, let’s discuss a few things this list will not have (or at least, not have many of).
Superhero films are for the most part absent. Though so many superhero stories involve the stuff of science fiction—aliens, high-tech and strange worlds—there are plenty of great sci-fi movies to include on this list without bumping 20 of them off for DC and the MCU. (We’ve made an exception for one entry because the space opera underpinnings were too strong to ignore.) We’ve also left off, for the most part, the traditional giant monster/kaiju movie for the same reason. If you want a nice roundup of Godzilla’s greatest hits, check out our own Jim Vorel’s ranking of Godzilla’s cinematic oeuvre. (For the real kaiju rank-o-phile, Jim has also taken the measure of every Godzilla monster.) Finally, joining superheroes and kaiju on the sidelines, are the post-apocalyptic (and a few mid-apocalyptic) films. Though, again, there are a few exceptions, for the most part you will not find Mad Max here, or Eli, or even that guy who is Legend. (I see you frowning—“But will there be dystopias,” you ask? Hell yeah, we got dystopias.)