Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Sci-Fi Film?

large_forbidden_planet_blu-ray_8Alright, everyone. Inspired by the underwhelming “The Host” this past weekend, I thought it would be a good time to discuss GOOD Science Fiction movies.

Sci-Fi movies have a long lineage, dating all the way back to the earliest days of film, so there should be no shortage of choices for everyone.

It’s also a broad genre, encapsulating movies that seem to be more fantasy films set in space, such as “Star Wars”, or action movies set in space, such as the most recent “Star Trek”, to movies that are based around hardcore science and scientific endeavors. Any type of movie involving an alien is deemed Sci-Fi, from “Close Encounters” to¬†“The Thing”.

So with so much to choose from, what will you choose? “Blade Runner”? “Dark City”? “Total Recall”?

Let me hear it! What’s YOUR Favorite Sci Fi film?!

Daniel Fogarty

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159 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Sci-Fi Film?

      • Its not your conventional selection but strong nonetheless! Yeah I watched those two at least once a year. I measure all new scifi against them. Sorry to ruin your ‘what were you thinking’ fun ;-)

      • Totally agree. Besides being my fave sci fi movie it’s in my Top 10 favorites of all time. I almost said “Close Encounters” but I loved the fantasy/mythical elements in “Empire” so much more.

  1. The Empire Strikes Back, though as you say it’s more of a fantasy that happens to be set in space.

    Most of the classics of sci-fi movie making I appreciate more than enjoy — that includes 2001: A Space Odyessy, A Clockwork Orange, and Blade Runner. I think that great Sci-Fi books may be the hardest material to adapt. Maybe that’s why we still haven’t gotten a great Dune adaptation.

    • Oh, yeah, “Dube” was awful. LOL. Lynch with a big budget Sci Fi project. Who would have guessed that that would go south? LOL

      I understand you about the appreciate more then you enjoy them, I mean, if I were to put up a poll about Whats your Favorite genre, Comedies or Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi would get killed. Still, a lot of films I love fall into that category, including all the ones you mentioned.

      • Well, there’s a lot more comedies out there than sci-fi movies. Even so, I’d probably vote Sci-Fi, because the highs are higher for me. But a lot of my sci-fi love comes outside the big screen medium.

  2. Star Wars (original 1977 version)

    A galaxy of fine films in this category.

    “The force is what gives a Jedi his power.
    It’s an energy field created by all living things;
    it surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
    -Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guiness), Star Wars(1977)

  3. Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. My all time favourite movie.
    As a kid seeing this advertised on tv coming to a cinema near us soon, just blew me away! It opened up my imagination to the wonders of space and Sci-Fi! I’ve been a big fan ever since. Besides, I wanted to be on the Milleninium Falcon, flying through space! The Empire Strikes Back, brilliant also.
    Also – Forbidden Planet, what a classic movie that is! :)

    • Star Wars is a great choice, obviously. I felt that same way as a kid, I was so excited to see it… definitely a highlight of my childhood.

      Still refuse to call it Episode IV though. ;)

      And hell yeah, Forbidden Planet! That’s why I had to choose that picture in the opening! :D

  4. This is simply too broad and impossible. I used some criteria suggested by others (Star Wars is Fantasy) some personal (Star Trek is TV first) and finally I decided to screw with the parameters, you get 10 not one, and I limit myself to the greatest decade of movies ever.
    10. Colossus the Forbin Project
    9. The Andromeda Strain
    8. A Boy and His Dog
    7. Logan’s Run
    6. The Man Who Fell to Earth
    5. Westworld
    4. Time After Time
    3. Soylent Green
    2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    1. ALIEN

    • Nice to see Logan’s Run and Time After Time getting some love today. Still have never seen “A Boy and His Dog”, someone recommended it to me but I never pulled the trigger on it. I had never even heard of Colossus until recently… not sure if it was you or Jack Deth who mentioned it in the “Monsters” thread. Looks worthy of checking out though if I run across it.

  5. Love me some sci-fi. Which I include Star Wars in, so that has to get my vote for favorite. I can never decide which one of the original trilogy is my favorite, because IV was first so that has some value, V is probably the best, and VI was actually the one I saw first so it has more sentimental value than the others… I never know which one to go with.
    Also in the cheesy sci-fi category I have to go with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original ’56 version). I love how cheesy that movie is, so great.
    I also really love Contact. The movie is not that fantastic but the first time I saw it I freaked out and adjusted my life choices accordingly.
    I really need to watch Blade Runner. I didn’t like it when I saw it, so much so that I haven’t seen it since… I’m pretty sure I missed something there because everybody likes it so much. I don’t know what happened!!!

    • Contact! Wow. There’s a movie I havent thought of in awhile! I really liked it, but the ending got wayyyyy too trippy for me. 2001 it was not, you know?

      Yeah, you should rewatch Blade Runner. It’s a thought provoking, atmospheric film… I think a lot of people’s initial averison to it is due to the fact its not really an action film. It IS however, a great sci-fi film. ;) Absolutely worth a 2nd chance!

  6. The best for me was a staple on the old Saturday Night At The Movies on TV. The message it conveyed then is still relevant today. That would be “The Day The Earth Stood Still”. Not bad for a 60+ year old movie. (Us old timers must stick together)

  7. The Original Trilogy is my favorite cinematic work by far. It is impossible to overstate the enormous impact it made on my childhood (and obviously, I am far from unique). Also, I connect with the OT thematically, and it ties in to my fascination with ancient mythology and folklore. But honestly.. the SW movies are far from the best movies ever made. They aren’t even the best sci-fi movies ever made. Far from it.
    My vote for the best of all time is Brazil. It’s original and unique, it’s complex and multi-layered, the production design is astonishing, and it manages to fill you with a sense of awe despite being utterly dark and disturbing. The satire cuts like a scalpel, and yet the film also hits you on an emotional level. It’s filled with humor, horror, suspense and social commentary. Brazil manages to create a whole other world, to whisk you away to another parallel dimension. Terry Gilliam engages in world-building on a grand scale, and also thinks out every last little detail. Brazil takes full advantage of the possibilities inherent in the medium. It is a truly momentous work.

    • Ah. Brazil! At times its a bit TOO Gilliam for me, but obviously its a great movie. You’re right, it is a pretty shining example of world building. A great movie, and a unique one at that.

      The Star Wars movies aren’t that far from the best movies ever made though… In my opinion any self respecting list of the greatest films of all time should have Star Wars and Empire placed highly on it. It’s always irked me that AFI places Star Wars so highly, but ignores Empire. Sequel punishment? I dont know. :(

      • At the time of its release, Star Wars was SO groundbreaking, original and influential that of course you are right: it has to be high up on the list of the best movies ever made. And the screenplay is an example of pure storytelling; there is nothing in that script that does not need to be there (before Jabba was stuck back in, that is). But when I take a step back (and it is REALLY hard for me to take a step back from this movie) the dialogue is clunky and awkward, and the performances are actually pretty bad (except, of course, for Peter and Alec).
        The critics always say that Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever made, and don’t get me wrong, I love it, I’ve seen it a million times. But I think that its exalted status comes more from its influential and groundbreaking qualities, rather than an objective look at the actual movie. I think that SW is in the same boat.

      • Agree to disagree then, methinks you’re being too picky. It should get credit for its groundbreaking achievements, as well, of course. But that’s a rousing Sci-Fi adventure movie with the greatest soundtrack ever, a “classic” plot and imaginative characters, settings, and vehicles. An all time great.

  8. Blade Runner
    The Abyss
    Logan’s Run
    Silent Running
    Forbidden Planet
    Metropolis
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Star Wars (The one I will always think of as the first.)

    All great movies for completely different reasons. As such, impossible to pick one.

    Fifth element was a FUN movie, a FUNNY movie, but not a great movie in that special quality that make a movie stand out above the others.

    • I admit that Silent Running was so heart-wrenching to me that I’ve never been able to watch it again, since that one time in high school. We watched it as part of my science fiction class.

      • I remember not being impressed by the trailers. In fact, I didn’t watch it until a year or two later when boyfriend made me sit down and watch it. It was so much better than I expected. I haven’t seen it in well over a decade now. Maybe I remember it better than it was. I just remember that at the time it really stood out once I saw it.

  9. My Top Ten: (Yeah, asking for one, of such a vast genre, really?)
    1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2. Minority Report
    3. Wall-E
    4. Metropolis
    5. Back to the Future
    6. A Clockwork Orange
    7. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial
    8. Children of Men
    9. Akira
    10. Dark City

    • “Yeah, asking for one, of such a vast genre, really?” [Shrugs] It’s what I do. People ignore me anyways, so… :D

      First mention for ET, I believe. Nice. Surprised “Dark City” isnt getting more love here today. That’s a really bad ass Sci Fi flick. Gotta love that one, it’d place high on my list.

      Good list Dave, I might drop Minority Report a few pegs, ;) but that’s a solid list. :D

  10. Hi, Fogs:

    The film that made the biggest impression on me as a kid was Howard Hawks’ ‘The Thing From Another World’ from 1951. Have it on DVD and will watch it whenever it rolls around on TV.

    Constantly amazed at how well it has aged and held up over the years. And nothing can touch its jumbled, stepped on dialogue, its cast. Or its heroine, Margaret Sheridan’s Nikki.

    • It’s a great flick. I want to revisit it, for sure. Doing my MTESS on “The Thing” made me recall how much I loved that one growing up.

      I just can never seem to find the time to actually pin down rewatches, you know? :(

      Definitely a nice choice though.

    • Yeah, well, you know the drill. I dont shy away from putting the tough questions out there. Three solid ones there… why am I feeling like this is the first time you and I have connected on Blade Runner though? I knew you were a fan of the other two, in fact I think you did Favorite Films on them both already, yes?

      • Yeah, I gave FF reviews to both The Matrix and the first Star Wars film (the other two will show up eventually). I think we probably talked about Blade Runner some when you did an MTESS on it, and I know we did a bit when I wrote a piece on “special editions” (comparing the reaction between Lucas doing it and Scott doing it). I haven’t done a big write-up on Blade Runner itself though… I keep wanting to get a hold of all three cuts, watch them over a few weeks, and do a great big Version vs. Version post on them.

  11. The more I think about it, the more I think that The Day the Earth Stood Still is on the short list. (I mean the original version, of course. I think I hallucinated the remake.) Out of all the sci-fi moves from that period, The Day the Earth Stood Still is the only one that’s totally free from campiness and cheese. Moreover, it’s a damn good film with minimal special effects, and it could easily have been made today (if anyone in modern Hollywood were interested in making intelligent, character-driven sci-fi movies that are free of explosions). It’s also an obvious Christian allegory that is carried off quite well, with subtlety and class (nonbelievers need not feel like the film is proselytizing to them).
    Also, you are right, Fog. I was being too picky about SW. No need to dissect the magic of certain movies. With apologies to Commissioner Gordon in Dark Knight Returns: “Star Wars is too big.”

    • Yeah, I have a lot of love for “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, too. Love that movie. Gort is awesome :D

      BTW, just fyi, it’s Fogs, with an s. The apostrophe is after the S in the title Fogs, not Fog. ;)

  12. I love that you used a photo of “The Forbidden Planet”.

    As for my favorite sci-fi films, in order “Alien”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, Star Trek Ii: The Wrath of Khan”,”The Terminator”, and “Enemy Mine”

    • Yeah, Robby is awesome. One of the greatest Robots ever, had to show him some love! :D

      Enemy Mine gets a shout out! LOL Awesome. I havent thought of that one in years! :D Nice choice, Vic!

  13. Inception, Looper, Moon, Solaris among others that are mentioned though my favorite is probably Star Wars: A New Hope.

    • Inception gets a nod, here. Suddenly surprised that that hasnt gotten a mention prior to this!

      I havent seen Solaris, unfortunately. Or Star Wars. LOL! Naw, just kidding. Of course Ive seen Star Wars. :D

  14. This is hard. I guess I’d have to go with an equal first for Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Robocop, Alien and Blade Runner not far behind. After that I find it hard to order The Matrix, Close Encounters, ET, Back to the Future, Aliens, the first two Terminator films and many more mentioned above. All brilliant but for different reasons.

    My two favourite guilty pleasures are definitely Total Recall and Starship Troopers.

    • LOL. Glad I made it so hard on you. Apparently you have no shortage of favorites to choose from ;)

      I dont know that Total Recall needs to be a guilty pleasure… unless of course you’re talking about the remake LOL :roll: Starship Troopers on the other hand… :D

      Its fun though, I should Cheesetastic Classic that one !

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