Rotten Tomatoes’ BEST SCI-FI MOVIES, part 2

“thinly-veiled examination of McCarthy-era hysteria”

Continuing my Lazy Summer Blogging series: here’s the second half of Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

A * indicates one of the paltry number of films I’ve actually seen.
The links at the titles are of my reviews from this blog.

50. ALPHAVILLE (1965) – I’ve heard of it, but have never seen it

*49. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) – saw it at the cinema. Brutal; I’ve never heard Gene Kelly crooning Singing in the Rain quite the same way Oddly, it was the sex scene to the sped-up Lone Ranger theme that got this movie an X rating, not the violence.

48. STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (1996) – another Trek movie I want to see
47. INCEPTION (2010) – I REALLY wanted to watch this at the time – it was the most intriguing film that year – and it just never happened
46. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013) – probably will see eventually

*45. THE FLY (1986) – one Cronenberg film I did see, based on my affection for the actors Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. I found it quite sad, actually.

44. MINORITY REPORT (2002) – yet another “planned to see it”
43. THE WORLD’S END (2013) – another one from the Shaun of the dead folks I didn’t gravitate to

*42. MEN IN BLACK (1997) – I tend to eschew summer blockbusters, but somehow caught this one, which was a lot of fun, actually

41. GHOST IN THE SHELL (1996) – don’t know this animated piece
40. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016) – yeah, I should see this
39. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991) – ANOTHER Arnold movie unseen
37. SOURCE CODE (2011) – missed this entirely

*36. DISTRICT 9 (2009) – “technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching.” I’ll buy that.

*35. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) – may I say that I think this better than the original?

34. BLADE RUNNER (1982) – I think the original bad press steered me away from this; hope to see someday
33. CHILDREN OF MEN (2006) – this was Oscar-nominated, and still the violent content steered me away

*32. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) – I loved the movie when it first cqame out. Saw the extended version and didn’t think the extras were necessary

31. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2014) – I balked at seeing its predecessor, so I was unlikely to see this
30. BRAZIL (1985) – I was torn between fascinated and nervous about seeing it

*29. JURASSIC PARK (1993) – it was good for what it wanted to do. I had no need to see the sequels, though

28. SOLARIS (1976) – only a vague recollection of the ads
27. MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR (1982) – this too I saw bits and pieces on TV
26. EX MACHINA (2015) – usually seeing a movie is a negotiation; I was inclined, but my spouse was not, if I recall correctly
25. GOJIRA (1956) – sounds intriguing


23. LOOPER (2012) – another “should I see this?” film

*22. BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) – “inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed” –

*21. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) – I’m not sure I “got” all of it, but an important, inventive and influential

20. LIVE DIE REPEAT: EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014) – saw the trailer, and I considered it

*19. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) – pretty sure I saw this at college; enjoyable cautionary tale

18. FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) – I should see this

*17. STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980) – the middle of a trilogy is tough -this is “Dark, sinister, but ultimately… satisfying”

16. SNOWPIERCER (2014) – don’t know this

*15. THE MARTIAN (2015) -“Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny”

14. ALIENS (1986) – the first film was quite enough for me, than you

*13. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) -“thinly-veiled examination of McCarthy-era hysteria”

*12. HER (2013) – not only did I like it, I vaguely related to it…

*11 STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE (1977) – for the record, I’ll always hate the retronym renaming of this film- still it brought me to this new place (fictional geographically and emotionally)

10. THE TERMINATOR (1984) – saw bits of this on TV

*9. WALL-E (2008) – it took me a LONG time to warm up to this film, but I saw it on DVD rather than the theater

*8. ARRIVAL (2016) – it’s very heady, yet emotional. I talked to total strangers afterwards groping with its meaning.

*7. STAR TREK (2009) – nice reboot, but this is higher than Wrath of Khan? Oh, please.

*6. STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015) – I liked this well enough, but it’s not better than the original trilogy, certainly not the first two, for reasons well explained by Jaquandor.

*5. ALIEN (1979) – not only did I see this film, I used to have some memorabilia from it. Still, I didn’t need to see any more of this world

*4. GRAVITY (2013) -“eerie, tense.. visually stunning”

*3. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) – somehow, the family dysfunction was more interesting to me than the alien

2. METROPOLIS (1927) – I’ve seen parts of this, and it was incredibly modern
1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015) – my buddy Chuck Miller was SO enthusiastic about this movie that I ALMOST went over to a second-run theater in a nearby city to see it. But I didn’t.

So there it is. I’ve seen a pathetic 33 out of 100, though 24 of the top 50.

Also, The 10 Most Overrated Science Fiction Films. I tend to agree about 10, 7 and 3, but not 6, 4 or 1.


I was really taken by this film when it first came out, even before I knew Rod Serling had written the screenplay

Science fiction is not particularly my favorite movie genre. I don’t dismiss it, but I’m not necessarily motivated to see films either.

And SOME of the films are, I’ve heard, monumental.

As part of my Lazy Summer Blogging series, here’s the first half of Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time.

A * indicates one of the paltry number of films I’ve actually seen.
The link in INTERSTELLAR is to my review.

100. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) – I actually thought to see this at the time. That will be a recurring theme.
99. SPLICE (2010) -barely remember it being advertised.
98. SIGNS (2002) – I guess this was one of the GOOD M. Night Shyamalan films
97. PACIFIC RIM (2013) – had no interest
96. PREDATOR (1987) – one of those Arnold films where you say, “You didn’t see THAT?” I probably had some comic book adaptation, though
95. SUNSHINE (2007) – don’t remember this at all

94. VIDEODROME (1983) – now this I remember being advertised, because director David Cronenberg was practically a god to FantaCo’s horror fans.
I should note that, in addition to selling comic books, FantaCo sold magazines about films, especially horror films, and even published books and magazines and comic books about the sub-genre. It wasn’t my thing, personally, but I became quite conversant about movies that I had never seen, just by reading about them.

* 93. STAR TREK III – THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984) – finally, a film I saw, and at the movies. I was emotionally invested.

92. WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005) – the was the year when we had an infant; we missed LOTS of movies
91. JURASSIC WORLD (2015) – wasn’t interested

90. DREDD (2012) – I actually used to read the comic books, but wasn’t ready for on-screen “bombastic violence”
89. PROMETHEUS (2012) – didn’t need a “quasi-prequel to Alien”

*88. INTERSTELLAR (2014) – I agree that “its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp”

87. MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME (1985) – probably saw bits and pieces of this on TV
86. ALIEN: COVENANT (2017) – nah
85. GATTACA (1997) – another “I thought about seeing that”
84. THE THING (1982) – also in the “I was aware of it because of FantaCo”
83. PAPRIKA (2006) – had not heard of this
82. TOTAL RECALL (1990) – another Arnold movie I’ve seen bits and pieces of on TV
81. METROPOLIS (2002) – don’t remember if this played around here

80. PREDESTINATION (2015) – not remembering this at all
79. THEY LIVE (1988) – another John Carpenter film from my FantaCo days
78. STAR TREK VI – THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1991) – after the terrible Star Trek V movie, I never saw another Star Trek film until the first reboot; I need to catch up on thesest
77. SERENITY (2005) – came out in the new baby period
76. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976) – on the list of the films I want to see

*75. STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983) – a suitable ending of that first trilogy

74. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011) – saw the violence of the trailer and opted out
73. STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005) – after loathing Star Wars I, never gave II or II a chance

*72. WESTWORLD (1973) – very effective. No, I haven’t seen the more recent iteration.a

71. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) – another John Carpenter film from my FantaCo era
70. LOS CRONOCRÍMENES (TIMECRIMES) (2007) – don’t know it

*69. ALTERED STATES (1980) – I LOVED this movie at the time, though I have not seen it since. It “attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.”

68. TURBO KID (2015) – don’t recall hearing about this
67. SUPER 8 (2011) – yet another “I was going to see that
66. AKIRA (1988) – thought it’s animated, I sensed it was too violent for my taste
65. MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2016) – not remembering this
64. TWELVE MONKEYS (12 MONKEYS) (1995) – considered seeing this and didn’t for some reason
63. THE ABYSS (1989) – not the only James Cameron film on this list I haven’t seen
62. AVATAR (2009) – this one, for instance, only the #2 all-time domestic grossing film (and #15, even accounting for inflation)

*61. ROBOCOP (1987) – I found it a “surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.”

*60. STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) – my favorite Star Trek movie, and the one that was most parodied. “KHAAAAAAN!”

*59. THE MATRIX (1999) – I was glad to have seen this, not enough to see the sequels, mind you.

58. STAR TREK BEYOND (2016) – I hadn’t seen the previous film when this came out; I’ll probably catch it sometime.
57. THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) – I know it’s a YA favorite, but I suspect it’s too violent for the Daughter’s taste, and probably mine
56. ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) – from the Shaun of the Dead people, but I don’t know it
55. MOON (2009) – don’t know it at all
54. THX 1138 (1971) – I suppose I OUGHT to see George Lucas’ feature

*53. PLANET OF THE APES (1968) – I was really taken by this film when it first came out, even before I knew Rod Serling had written the screenplay from Pierre Boule’s novel.

52. GALAXY QUEST (1999) – I had intended to see this but did not
51. MAD MAX (1979) – I’ve seen bits of this on TV; looked intriguing

Meh, 9 of 50. The next fifty next week; I’ve seen a lot more of them.

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