Empire's The 50 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies

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Outer space. Inner space. New worlds. Tech frontiers. Artificial intelligence. The best science-fiction movies take us to places beyond our own imagination, dreaming up impossible futures that inevitably go on to shape our own technological advances. Great sci-fi delivers mind-bending visuals packed with mind-blowing ideas, probing everything from the human experience to the future of humanity. It’s a genre that contains multitudes – from fast, funny, colourful space adventures, to dark dystopian tragedies, set in the present, far future, or even a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

If you’re wanting a list of the best sci-fi movies of all time, you’re in the right place – the Team Empire hivemind has communed in the cloud to come up with a list of the most iconic sci-fi cinema, from modern masterpieces, to game-changing greats. From Spielberg to Scott, Kubrick to Carpenter, there’s something here for everyone. Read on and prosper.

By Ben Travis, James White | Posted 27 May 2020

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  1. 1 new

    Blade Runner

    1982, in 36 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Alien

    1979, in 30 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

    1980, in 25 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    The Matrix

    1999, in 30 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    1968, in 45 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Star Wars

    1977, in 40 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    1991, in 27 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Back to the Future

    1985, in 25 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Aliens

    1986, in 24 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    1982, in 30 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    The Thing

    1982, in 20 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Inception

    2010, in 21 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Arrival

    2016, in 11 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    The Terminator

    1984, in 24 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    1977, in 23 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Moon

    2009, in 5 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Looper

    2012, in 2 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Ex Machina

    2014, in 5 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Metropolis

    1927, in 36 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    RoboCop

    1987, in 15 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Interstellar

    2014, in 13 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Jurassic Park

    1993, in 23 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    2014, in 3 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Planet of the Apes

    1968, in 16 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Solyaris

    1972 — a.k.a. Solaris, in 28 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Kôkaku Kidôtai

    1995 — a.k.a. Ghost in the Shell, in 12 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Blade Runner 2049

    2017, in 9 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Annihilation

    2018, in 3 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    1982, in 6 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    WALL·E

    2008, in 26 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    The Fly

    1986, in 11 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Minority Report

    2002, in 8 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    1951, in 12 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Avatar

    2009, in 13 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    2001, in 11 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Sunshine

    2007, in 1 top list Check
  37. 37 new

    Under the Skin

    2013, in 10 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Akira

    1988, in 22 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Twelve Monkeys

    1995 — a.k.a. 12 Monkeys, in 14 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    1978, in 3 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Stalker

    1979, in 22 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Predator

    1987, in 9 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    2004, in 28 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Donnie Darko

    2001, in 21 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Children of Men

    2006, in 12 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    The Abyss

    1989, in 3 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    District 9

    2009, in 10 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Snowpiercer

    2013, in 2 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    High Life

    2018, in 3 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Silent Running

    1972, in 8 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jun 9, 2020; source