Saturday, January 16, 2016

Greatest Science Fiction Movies Ever

The Top 10 Greatest Science Fiction Movies Ever Made (from SF Signal):
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
1968, directed by Stanley Kubrick

2. Solaris
1972, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

3. Blade Runner
1982, directed by Ridley Scott

4. Forbidden Planet
1956, directed by Fred M. Wilcox

5. Planet of the Apes
1968, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

6. Dark City
1998, directed by Alex Proyas

7. The Day the Earth Stood Still
1951, directed by Robert Wise

8. Her
2013, directed by Spike Jonze

9. Metropolis
1927, directed by Fritz Lang

10. Primer
2004, directed by Shane Carruth

1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1982, directed by Nicholas Meyer

2. Sleeper
1973, directed by Woody Allen

3. The Empire Strikes Back
1980, directed by Irvin Kershner

4. Monsters
2010, directed by Gareth Edwards

5. Videodrome
1983, directed by David Cronenberg

6. The Damned
1963, directed by James Losey

7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
1978, directed by Philip Kaufman

8. Akira
1988, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

9. Galaxy Quest
1999, directed by Dean Parisot

10. Melancholia
2011, directed by Lars von Trier
I've seen the ones in bold print.

I do wonder why a person who had never heard of the film Altered States could be tasked with submitting a list to Time Out London on behalf of a science fiction website, but maybe I'm just making unwarranted assumptions about the general exposure necessary before official top-10 lists make sense.

The writer states his criteria:
They had to be science fiction, or obviously recognized as such
and he left off Repo Man and Kiss Me, Deadly because he didn't consider them SF. In regards to Repo Man, I always hear it referred to as science fiction (Wikipedia describes it that way, as do the Imdb and Criterion), so I'm not sure on what grounds he found it unsuitable for consideration. In regards to Kiss Me Deadly, I've only heard it described as science fiction by one reviewer, so that it would be considered and then eliminated seems bizarre to me.
Additionally, no director could appear on these lists more than once. I easily could have included at least two other movies by Stanley Kubrick, a half dozen by David Cronenberg, and at least one other by Tarkovsky, but felt that doing so would be cheating.
whereas I consider it "cheating" to call it a Best Movies list when it's not. I mean if a director has made 3 of the best SF films ever, should 2 of them be bumped by lesser films because they share a talented director?

He also says:
Another factor I considered was seriousness of intent. By this, I simply mean that the movies I recommended either had to be made with some desire for enduring appeal (Woody Allen’s Sleeper may be of its time, but its satiric teeth lose none of their bite, even if contemporary audiences might not understand references to such figures as Howard Cosell)
What? Really? I think if it's that dated, it doesn't matter how enduring the director wanted it to be.

He mentions other criteria, including that the films did actually endure and that he personally liked them.

Our family has issues with this list, as might be expected. Everybody's top-10 list will be different, and none of the folks in our family has any formal credentials in the field. We're just fans. In light of that, this is The Younger Son's list in uncertain order:
City of Lost Children
Pitch Black
Battlestar Galactica (miniseries)
Star Wars
Blade Runner
Book of Eli
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Matrix
I've seen all of those.

The Husband's list (in no particular order):
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
The Time Machine
Book of Eli
The Fly (1958)
Dr. Strangelove
Independence Day
The Bride of Frankenstein
I've seen all of these.


  1. Oh, come on! I want YOUR list - I trust no one else. ;-) I have to say your son putting Brazil in there is an indication of good taste. Your husband´s list suggests a longer perspective, which I also appreciate. Personally, I´d put the Norwegian television series "Blindpassasjer" (means the stowaway) pretty high.It´s all subjective, of course, and good fun.

    1. lol! My list changes from day to day, though it would be closer to my son's than to my husband's. I might replace Battlestar Gallactica with 2001 and I'd love to find a place for The Fifth Element on the list.

      I'm googling the Norwegian tv series right now..... I can't find it available anywhere. I'd love to see that one. It sounds interesting.

    2. It´s on youtube, but has no subtitles. It´s kinda like Alien but without monsters. A biological robot sneaks onto a ship (which has just been to do antropological research on a robot-ruled planet where humans have been reduced to apes for being a threat to the ecological balance, and now the robots want to make sure the ship doesn´t spread the word back home and come upset that balance), kills one of the crew, grinds this person through the garbage disposal and takes its place. This is figured out in episode one, and the next two episodes are all about figuring out who it is; if they don´t, their bosses back on "station Nexus" will blow the ship up. No action, but scary as heck to 12-year old me (and all my mates) back in 1978.

    3. I found the youtube video when I googled, but I'm limited to English. I wonder why it's unavailable with subtitles :) It sounds like my kinda thing.

  2. Scifi lists are hard movies and books get all jumbled up. What made a good book some times comes across as tedious in a movie as an example the best part of 2001 is the soundtrack. I might add Soylent green to the list.

    1. I loved 2001! But then I loved the first Star Trek movie ;) I haven't seen Soylent Green in years, but I have a copy. It's a good one.