Best Sci Fi Movies of the 21st Century
The 21st Century has been a great time for sci-fi movies. New sci-fi movies seem to come out every month, with new ways of re-envisioning classic tropes in each film. The ten below are the best of a very competitive bunch, helping to redefine sci-fi for a new generation.
Attack the Block
There are plenty of good sci fi movies that involve alien invasions. Attack the Block takes the usual plot and upends it by putting the invasion on the wrong side of the tracks. There have been a few attempts to replicate the success of this British film, but nothing’s quite matched the combination of this movie’s great script and wonderful actors.
Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow looked like a forgettable Tom Cruise vehicle in its trailers, but those who actually showed up to the movie found a remarkable sci-fi masterpiece. Cruise is at his best in this movie, which involves a number of time travel tropes. This movie perhaps best described as an alien war meets Groundhog Day.
The best sci-fi always has a message at its heart. Wall-E might be a cartoon, but it’s one with a beautiful message about taking care of the planet and working to make one’s life better instead of just being complacent. Beautifully animated and incredibly detailed, Wall-E is a favorite among adults and children alike.
Christopher Nolan makes great movies. It should be no surprise, then, that his forays into sci-fi have been exceptional. Inception, like all the best sci-fi movies, has provoked a great deal of discussion since its release and has become a byword for mind-bending plots.
One of the purest sci fi movies released in the last 20 years, Moon is at once ominous and charming. Sam Rockwell ably carries a movie that really can’t be discussed due to the major twist. It’s worth seeing for fans of science fiction or those who just want to watch a tightly-constructed thriller.
Mad Max: Fury Road
After decades of absence, Mad Max came back in a big way with Fury Road. An adrenaline-filled, post-apocalyptic tale, Fury Road managed to do the impossible by making a real Mad Max movie while still making the titular character something of a sidekick.
Beautiful and haunting, Sunshine takes place entirely aboard a spaceship on its way to reignite the sun. Is the science great? Not really. The acting, though, is perfect. With a tight script and a great cast, Sunshine calls back to the best of old-school sci-fi.
Cloverfield is a loving homage to some of the best sci fi movies. It takes the giant monster genre and puts it in an entirely American context, leveraging a great deal of post 9/11 imagery to make the monster truly scary. While it might not have lived up to everyone’s expectations, it nonetheless helped to redefine the monster movie genre.
Of all the sci-fi movies that have been released since the turn of the millennium, this one feels the most real. Taking place in the slums of Johannesburg, District 9‘s take on immigration and refugees is remarkably heartfelt in the middle of its alien story.
Children of Men
This is hands down one of the best movies of the last 25 years. Beautifully shot, amazingly acted and scarily real, Children of Men is the kind of cerebral science fiction that doesn’t seem to get enough press.