Ever since we decided that there’s someone in space watching our every move and Mary Shelley decided to wake up a corpse with an electric shock, we have all been fans of science fiction. There’s no scarcity of some good science fiction movies in Hollywood. Be it about artificial intelligence, robot warfare, time travel, alien invasion, or even a dystopian artificial planet, you want it and you’ll find it. Here’s a list of some of the best Hollywood sci-fi movies that you need to watch right now.
1. Jurassic Park
This 1993 Steven Spielberg masterpiece is the definition of awesomeness. A dinosaur theme park with actual dinosaurs created by the blood of a dinosaur preserved inside a mosquito for centuries together. The CGI is so mind-blowing in this movie that the present-day visual effects would shy away. This movie has it all, unforgettable scenes, relatable characters, and an unexplainable agelessness. Every time I hear the theme music it makes me crave to watch this gem again. There have been several sequels to the movie that are equally fantastic but the original has its charm.
2. The War of the Worlds
This movie is based on a book of the same name by H. G. Wells. There are several adaptations of this story in the form of comic books, screen adaptations, feature films, radio broadcasts, etc. But the most notable adaptation is the 1953 movie by Paramount Pictures. This post-apocalyptic fiction deals with a Martian invasion on earth setting stone for the popular alien invasion archetype in Hollywood cinema. Although the 2005 Steven Spielberg adaptation of the movie is more popular, the original movie is a classic.
3. Children of Men
In a future where all women have turned infertile, the world sets its hope on one pregnant woman and her unborn miracle baby. This movie feels real and tangible as it is a future that terrifies us. Fear of extinction and a survival instinct drives the plot of the movie, and in the bigger picture, they also drive the entire human race. This movie is extremely unique and the story is well-knit. This is, without a doubt, one of the best Hollywood sci-fi movies ever made.
4. The Matrix
The first movie of the series of movies that can be described in one word- cool. Yes, these movies are so very cool. Be it the profound philosophy or the clarity with which all the complexity is presented, the original 1999 flick is a delight to watch. A computer programmer fights with the artificial intelligence that has constructed his reality. The system of artificial intelligence is called The Matrix. It’s difficult to make a list of the best Hollywood sci-fi movies and not include this gem.
5. The Day the Earth Stood Still
“I’m fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason”, this quote from the movie defines human insecurity. This movie is different from other alien invasion movies as it presents the aliens as a species with reason. While humans are fearful that their security will be compromised by an invasion, the aliens offer a helping hand to save humanity from obliteration. This movie has depth and is a must-watch to understand the human dilemma.
6. Planet of the Apes
This hugely popular franchise is a thought-provoking science fiction flick. The most notable movie among dozens in this franchise is the 1968 version. Three astronauts find themselves crash-landed in a future where apes are the superior species and man- a primate bound in slavery. It’s a satire on anthropocentrism as the apes embody all the traits of the humans while the latter is reduced to the identity of a beast. If that is not an interesting story, then what is?
This 1986 James Cameron creation is the story of the battle between a group of dangerous reptilian aliens and a bunch of badass heroes and the ultimate action heroine of all time- Officer Ripley. This movie is full of action, thrill, and of course science. The characters are intense and the cinematography is on point, hence this movie makes a cut in this list of the best Hollywood sci-fi movies.
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey
This 1968 science fiction classic is a masterpiece by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick. Take my word for it, if it counts, this movie is incredible. It is inherently a movie about evolution. It is a jamboree of artificial intelligence, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and space travel. The background music will take you to another world, you will feel like you are in space. Just go ahead and watch this beautiful piece of art.
This Christopher Nolan mind-bender is complex and at times confusing, but it is never incoherent. Leonardo di Caprio shines, as always, in the character of Cobb, a man who performs inceptions and enters the dreams of people to steal information. It is said that it took Nolan a decade to put together the screenplay of this movie. The movie is, no doubt, highly intriguing and engaging.
Based on the groundbreaking novel by Mary Shelley written over 2 centuries ago, this 1994 movie directed by Kenneth Branagh is the best adaptation of the novel to date. This science-fiction horror movie is wonderful on so many different levels. A scientist’s passionate attempt to bring back the dead is a timeless story of science meddling with nature to get disastrous results. This movie is a must-watch and the novel is a must-read.
11. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Among all the movies in this classic franchise, this 1977 flick is the best. Be it transferring the narrative voice to two droids or the presentation of Princess Leia as this wholesome heroine who is at most times better than her male counterparts. This timeless classic is a masterful creation.
12. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
This sequel of the already amazing original movie is a treat to watch. It is one of the most well-developed sequels of all time. This cyborg versus cyborg battle will keep you at the edge of your seats. The movie runs at an excellent pace and the plot is crisp. If you are looking for a through and through sci-fi action flick but still want to shed a few tears then this is the movie for you.
It is an astounding story about a group of astronauts that travel across the universe to find a habitable planet for the survival of the human species. The way it deals with the theme of family is heart-touching. It dives into the dark recesses of human nature and explores just how far a person can go for the sake of survival. At the same time, it celebrates the power of sacrifice that humans possess. It is the movie that has immortalized the Dylan Thomas poem- Do not go gentle into that good night. This movie is marvelously breath-taking on so many different levels.
14. Blade Runner
Indistinguishable human androids live among humans. These replicants need to be taken out of the picture to save humanity from 4 replicants that have been illegally staying on earth. The task is left to the blade runner. The number of movies in this franchise is proof of its popularity among the audience. The 1982 original movie is the one that cuts this list.
15. E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial
The third Steven Spielberg movie on this list, E.T is an ageless classic. This is the movie that the 2003 Bollywood movie Koi… Mil Gaya stole its story from. A group of kids strives to protect an extra-terrestrial being. This family-favorite science-fiction treat is entertaining, adorably engaging, and relatable. No matter how many times you watch this movie, it never loses its charm.
With this, we come to an end of the list of some of the best Hollywood Sci-Fi movies ever made. What are some of your favorite science fiction movies? Do let me know in the comments section.