The Playlist's The 100 Best Sci-Fi Films of All Time

The Playlist's The 100 Best Sci-Fi Films of All Time's icon

Created by Chilton.

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If there was ever a time where sci-fi was seen as something only for geeks, that time has long gone. You could debate the exact point at which it changed — when Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” had audiences dropping acid for a better trip, when the blockbuster success of “Star Wars” changed film forever, when comic book movies dominated screens, when CGI made it possible to do almost anything, when even nerdy old “Star Trek” got a sleek, hip makeover — but there’s no doubt that the genre is firmly within the mainstream.

Indeed, looking at the blockbuster season ahead, there’s all kinds of science-fiction adventures to come, with this week bringing the second space adventure in three weeks, with Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant,” which follows “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” into theaters, where it’s currently doing gangbusters. And three of the all-time top-five worldwide grossers are hard sci-fi movies: “Avatar,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World.”

Scott’s return once again to the sci-fi franchise he helped create has had us thinking about the genre’s place in history, so we decided to take our most comprehensive look at the genre ever, and pick out what, in our view, are the 100 greatest sci-fi movies of all time.

It’s a genre almost as old as cinema, so it was understandably difficult to pin down, even with a few ground rules (most notably that we sort of consider superhero films their own thing). But we’ve found a list that we’re pretty happy with in the end, though we’re sure it’ll inspire plenty of debate. Take a look below.

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  1. 1 new

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    1968, in 42 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Blade Runner

    1982, in 33 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Star Wars

    1977 — a.k.a. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, in 36 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Stalker

    1979, in 22 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    1977, in 22 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Alien

    1979, in 28 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Brazil

    1985, in 19 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Aliens

    1986, in 21 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Metropolis

    1927, in 34 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Children of Men

    2006, in 10 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    1991, in 22 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    The Matrix

    1999, in 27 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    1982, in 27 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Under the Skin

    2013, in 8 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    The Thing

    1982, in 19 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Akira

    1988, in 18 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Back to the Future

    1985, in 23 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    The Terminator

    1984, in 21 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    The Fly

    1986, in 10 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

    1980, in 23 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    1978, in 3 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    1951, in 12 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    2015, in 20 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Videodrome

    1983, in 16 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    The Man Who Fell to Earth

    1976, in 8 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Solyaris

    1972 — a.k.a. Solaris, in 26 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Upstream Color

    2013, in 3 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Predator

    1987, in 7 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Seconds

    1966, in 9 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Gwoemul

    2006 — a.k.a. The Host, in 12 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Moon

    2009, in 3 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Forbidden Planet

    1956, in 9 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    RoboCop

    1987, in 13 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Je t'aime, je t'aime

    1968, in 3 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Primer

    2004, in 7 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    The Iron Giant

    1999, in 9 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Escape from New York

    1981, in 5 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Frankenstein

    1931, in 17 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Mad Max 2

    1981 — a.k.a. The Road Warrior, in 12 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Arrival

    2016, in 7 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Silent Running

    1972, in 8 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Inception

    2010, in 19 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Total Recall

    1990, in 8 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Attack the Block

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Welt am Draht

    1973 — a.k.a. World on a Wire, in 2 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Her

    2013, in 8 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    THX 1138

    1971, in 5 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution

    1965 — a.k.a. Alphaville, in 14 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Strange Days

    1995, in 3 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    They Live

    1988, in 6 top lists Check
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Last updated on Apr 24, 2020 by Chilton; source