20 Science Fiction Movies That Everyone Should See At Least Once
This is a reaction to 50 Brilliant Science Fiction Movies That Everyone Should See At Least Once, written by Charlie Jane Anders as seen on Gizmodo on 10/19/2015. I mean no disrespect or argument to this list; however, here I’m providing what I believe to be a subset for the average suburban sci-fi fan like myself. If you have a hard time getting past black-and-white or maybe need a film to have a reasonably modern fast pace, you might find this shorter list useful. Of Ms. Anders 50, I’ve hand-picked 15 that I’d recommend (in no particular order):
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, dir. Irvin Kerschner)
- Back To The Future (1985, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
- RoboCop (1987, dir. Paul Verhoeven)
- Predator (1987, dir. John McTiernan)
- Akira (1988, dir. Katsuhiro Otomo)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991, dir. James Cameron)
- Jurassic Park (1993, dir. Steven Spielberg)
- Gattaca (1997, dir. Andrew Niccol)
- The Fifth Element (1997, dir. Luc Besson)
- The Matrix (1999, dir. the Wachowskis)
- Primer (2004, dir. Shane Carruth)
- The Incredibles (2004, dir. Brad Bird)
- Wall-E (2008, dir. Andrew Stanton)
- District 9 (2009, dir. Neill Blomkamp)
- Inception (2010, dir. Christopher Nolan)
In addition, here are five more that I’d add to the list. You’ve really got to check these out if you haven’t seen them.
- Star Wars (1977, dir. George Lucas). I agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best of this series. But the original, the first Star Wars film, is essential. The scale of the production, the coolness of the story, and the level of action and excitement are hard to beat here.
- The Iron Giant (1999, dir. Brad Bird). I think this is one of the best animated films ever produced. Of course I love that it brings together both superhero and robot themes, but it also carries a great message for kids and adults alike – – that we can choose what we are, what we will be, and that this need not be decided for us by other people or society or any other forces.
- Aliens (1986, dir. James Cameron). I know most people regard Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien as the classic, but for my money James Cameron’s Aliens really pays off the “more is more” principal. This movie has tons of action, and even some choice comic relief in the script. I credit Cameron for creating the first really believable gritty futuristic military squad, which has been emulated by tons of films since. I saw Aliens in the theatre by myself as a teenager (escaping sitting through About Last Night with my sister, no thanks), and it was so intense that I had to step out in the hall once for some air.
- Total Recall (1990, dir. Paul Verhoeven). The sets and production of this film look a bit dated, but there’s something about Verhoeven’s telling of this Philip K. Dick story that just feels like a good old science fiction book.
- Iron Man (2008, dir. Jon Favreau). I know, I’m stretching a bit here. But I feel like it was a triumph how well the first Iron Man movie came together. Back in the 1980s, you had to be kind of a nerd to even know about Iron Man. And now to see Tony Stark the genius mechanic in all his computer-generated glory, in a story that’s pretty faithful to the original comics is pretty great.
What do you think? Agree or disagree, if you’re reading this and have a comment, by all means please share your perspective.