The 250 Best Science Fiction Movies of All Time

The 250 Best Science Fiction Movies of All Time's icon

Created by Jostiel.

Favorited 10 times, disliked 0 times, added to 10 watchlists.

A list of the science fiction movies I appreciate the most. Obscure or polarizing features get the same attention as cinema classics, and tones are mixed, with upbeat movies sharing space with those that have a darker tone. Similarly, there's an equal representation of stories that are mainly emotionally engaging and those more intellectually stimulating.

Here are my guidelines, which you can skip, unless you feel I have some explaining to do....

Those ranked from 1-50, I've rated 10 or 9 (I believe in generosity!). My rating of most of the other movies here tends to be 8, though around 50 entries at the bottom have a lower rating, though none lower than 6. Also, only 1-100 are carefully arranged according to how highly I hold them. After that, titles appear in a rough ranking order.

The list contains no animated or non-English movies, as I've seen too few of those to give them a fair inclusion. Nor does it include comedies or titles which arguably belong to other genres, such as fantasy, horror or superhero movies. To give prominence to diversity, the list only includes the best installment of each franchise, representing the series as a whole, and to give more room to original ideas, only unique remakes and reboot films qualify.

American Film Institute (AFI) defines science fiction as “a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.” I'd like to add that the genre deals with hypothetical yet scientifically possible events that humanity so far hasn’t experienced, for example the event shown in Gravity, or technology used in ways that yet hasn't happened, such as in The Martian. Also, the definition requires that a scientific explanation is presented for what takes place within the frame of a story. Hence, stories dealing with magic or other supernatural elements can be ruled out.

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  1. 1 -

    Star Wars

    1977 — a.k.a. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, in 36 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    2015, in 17 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    Blade Runner

    1982, in 30 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    Gattaca

    1997, in 2 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    1956, in 18 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Upstream Color

    2013, in 2 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    Alien

    1979, in 27 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    1991, in 21 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    1982, in 28 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    1968, in 42 top lists Check
  11. 11 -

    Children of Men

    2006, in 10 top lists Check
  12. 12 -

    Inception

    2010, in 17 top lists Check
  13. 13 -

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    1977, in 22 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    The Abyss

    1989, in 2 top lists Check
  15. 15 -

    Avatar

    2009, in 15 top lists Check
  16. 16 -

    Forbidden Planet

    1956, in 9 top lists Check
  17. 17 -

    Gravity

    2013, in 9 top lists Check
  18. 18 -

    Planet of the Apes

    1968, in 15 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    The Matrix

    1999, in 26 top lists Check
  20. 20 -

    Alita: Battle Angel

    2019, in 1 top list Check
  21. 21 -

    The Fifth Element

    1997, in 7 top lists Check
  22. 22 -

    Mad Max 2

    1981 — a.k.a. The Road Warrior, in 12 top lists Check
  23. 23 -

    The Fountain

    2006, in 4 top lists Check
  24. 24 -

    A Quiet Place

    2018, in 4 top lists
    Check
  25. 25 -

    Interstellar

    2014, in 9 top lists Check
  26. 26 -

    Cloud Atlas

    2012, in 0 top lists Check
  27. 27 -

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    2017, in 2 top lists Check
  28. 28 -

    A Clockwork Orange

    1971, in 33 top lists Check
  29. 29 -

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    2004, in 25 top lists Check
  30. 30 -

    Jurassic Park

    1993, in 22 top lists Check
  31. 31 -

    Blade Runner 2049

    2017, in 9 top lists Check
  32. 32 -

    Serenity

    2005, in 4 top lists Check
  33. 33 -

    Predestination

    2014 Check
  34. 34 -

    Coherence

    2013 Check
  35. 35 -

    Her

    2013, in 7 top lists Check
  36. 36 -

    Snowpiercer

    2013, in 1 top list Check
  37. 37 -

    Arrival

    2016, in 6 top lists Check
  38. 38 -

    28 Days Later...

    2002, in 8 top lists Check
  39. 39 -

    The Fits

    2015, in 1 top list Check
  40. 40 -

    Annihilation

    2018, in 2 top lists Check
  41. 41 -

    THX 1138

    1971, in 5 top lists Check
  42. 42 -

    Ex Machina

    2014, in 4 top lists Check
  43. 43 -

    Total Recall

    1990, in 7 top lists Check
  44. 44 -

    Dark City

    1998, in 5 top lists Check
  45. 45 -

    The Road

    2009, in 1 top list Check
  46. 46 -

    The Survivalist

    2015 Check
  47. 47 -

    Minority Report

    2002, in 5 top lists Check
  48. 48 -

    Under the Skin

    2013, in 5 top lists Check
  49. 49 -

    Primer

    2004, in 6 top lists Check
  50. 50 -

    Edge of Tomorrow

    2014, in 4 top lists Check
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Last updated on Mar 31, 2019 by Jostiel;