I am a huge sci-fi fan, so it came to be a very hard choice to find and pick 10 films that I would rate higher over the rest. This list is biased so don’t get upset if you’re favourite is not on there or on the worst list.
Top Ten Best
10. Galaxy Quest (1998) Directed by Dean Parisot.
This film is a brilliant, science-fiction comedy, which is really rare these days. With a bunch of brilliant actors like Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell and Sigourney Weaver, it’s hard to put a film like this at the bottom of the pile. A great script, a fun plot and an excellent, yet satirical take on the Star Trek Franchise, and some rather awful special effects, but even that doesn’t stop it being a likeable movie. Even the likes of William Shatner (Captain Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) enjoyed it. A must-see.
9. Ghostbusters II (1989) Directed by Ivan Reitman.
I love the Ghostbusters films. As a child, I could watch them day in and day out, and even now I still could. With a witty, laugh-a-minute script by writers Harold Ramis and Dan Arkroyd (Egon Spengler and Raymond Stantz) and the comedic performances by Bill Murray, Rick Moranis and not forgetting, Peter McNicol, it’s easy to see that it’s one of the greatest franchises ever made. The special effects are very well crafted for the era in which it was made, and the storyline is fantastic. Although not as good as the first one, it’s extremely enjoyable for anyone at any age.
8. Event Horizon (1997) Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
This could also be put under the horror category but because the film is set in the future, and in space, I have to put it here. One of the best Sci-Fi horror movies I’ve seen yet. A great, yet disturbing storyline of a search and rescue crew who are trying to salvage a lost spaceship which has been missing for several years, that can open up wormholes in the universe with a so-called “gravity drive” and travel to other dimensions. But ultimately ends up taking it’s former crew into a world of chaos and Hell itself. I watched this film after playing the 2008 videogame “Dead Space” and I thought that it was very similar in the way the ship looked and how the atmosphere was portrayed. With great performances from actors Lawrence Fishbourne (The Matrix, CSI) and Sam Neil (Jurassic Park), I can barely see fault with this movie. The only thing that stops it from getting into the top 5 is the fact it scared the living hell out of me, and because the graphic scenes of the ill-fated former crew were cut short. Not that I’m into that sort of thing, I just thought it would’ve showed the film for what it really could’ve been. Great direction by Paul W.S. Anderson.
7. Aliens (1986) Directed by James Cameron.
This film was the first in the Alien Quadrilogy that I’d seen and I loved it. Brilliant direction by James Cameron, and the script and the special effects really made the film what it is today. With more action and comedic elements than the first Alien movie, this film is probably one of the best action films ever made, but not so much the absolute best Science-fiction movie. A great cast with the comic relief, Bill Paxton, and the reluctant hero, Michael Biehn. A must-see film, especially if you like James Cameron, and big, black aliens and all that.
6. Donnie Darko (2001) Directed by Richard Kelly.
This cult classic has been a favourite of mine for a few years now. The weirdness of it just catches my attention immediately. Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance of Donnie Darko, a troubled young man in his adolescence, could be his best yet. The references to time travel and his visions of Frank, the giant, blue bunny rabbit, are just mind-blowing. You need to watch it more than once to fully understand it, but it’s worth it. A great performance by Drew Barrymore as well.
5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) Directed by James Cameron.
The best Terminator movie ever. No contest. Only downfall is Edward Furlong’s portrayal of the young John Connor, who just pisses you off straight away. One bit in question, when he tries to teach the Terminator some “hip 90s slang”, which goes without saying, isn’t “hip”. Robert Patrick as the antagonist T-1000, is probably one of the scariest film antagonists, because of his exoskeleton of “liquid metal” which makes him very hard to kill off, and the fact he can morph into other people. Overall, this film was excellent, and I really think they should’ve left this as the last Terminator film, given the fact Rise of the Machines was pretty bad. Salvation was okay though. Although it just shows you that only James Cameron can do a Terminator film.
4. The Star Wars Saga (1977, 1980, 1983, 1999, 2002, 2005) Directed by George Lucas.
This is a given. The Star Wars films are brilliant. Well, the newer ones weren’t as good as the original 3, but still worthy of being on my list. Mindblowing special effects, even in the older movies.
3. Ghostbusters (1984) Directed by Ivan Reitman.
Pretty much the same reasons for liking Ghostbusters II, but this film was 10 times better, and just an amazing start to the franchise.
2. Escape From New York (1982) Directed by John Carpenter.
A brilliant sc-fi movie with an original storyline and excellent direction by John Carpenter. The actors are all perfect for their roles. The special effects were memorable for it’s time, the script was well-written and the setting and atmosphere just draws you into it. One of Carpenter’s finest. A memorable score by Carpenter and Alan Howarth as well. This nearly made it to number one, but lost out to…
1. Back to the Future (1985) Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Probably my most favourite movie of all time. The storyline is brilliant, the actors are perfect, and basically it’s just plain awesome. Kick-ass soundtrack too. Films should be made more like this.
(Honourable mentions: The Matrix, The Terminator, Weird Science, Pitch Black, I Robot, Flash Gordon, Alien)