The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 15 Years

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Den of Geek has an interesting and thought-provoking list of the best science fiction movies of the past twenty-five years.

Check it out!

For purposes of discussion, I think it would be helpful to do the following for comments:

A. How many of these 25 films have you seen?
-Include which ones you have not seen.

B. What film, or films, would you put on the list that are not on the list?
-If you're going to propose a film that should be on the list, you ALSO have to explain which film goes OFF the list.

C. Finally, what is the most egregious ranking(s) within the list?
-This is where you get to say that something was ranked too low or too high.

I really recommend clicking through to check it out, but if you don't, here's the list of the TOP 25 SCI-FI FILMS OF THE LAST 15 YEARS!

25. A Quiet Place (2018)
24. Moon (2009)
23. Snowpiercer (2013)
22. Colossal (2016)
21. The Endless (2017)
20. Attack the Block (2011)
19. Under the Skin (2013)
18. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
17. Gravity (2013)
16. Pacific Rim (2013)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
14. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
13. Annihilation (2018)
12. Looper (2012)
11. The Martian (2015)
10. WALL-E (2008)
9. Her (2013)
8. District 9 (2009)
7. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
6. Dune (2021)
5. Ex Machina (2015)
4. Interstellar (2014)
3. Inception (2010)
2. Arrival (2016)
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

I'm going to post a response that corresponds with my requirements, above, but my general opinion is ...

This is about right. It focuses on the intelligent and important sci-fi over the popcorn movies, while still having some incredible examples of the best popcorn movies. I can, and will, quibble with specific examples but this is a much better overall list than many I have seen.

I'd give it a solid B+, maybe an A-.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Let’s see!



A. 24/25.

The one film I haven’t seen is Colossal. And it’s funny, because I remember when it came out, and I was all like, “Ima gonna see that.” And then I remember it was streaming, and I was all like, “Ima gonna see that.” And I didn’t see that. Totally forget about it. Now I have something to see! Yay me!



B. This one is interesting … let’s see, 15 years is …. 2007. That just excludes Children of Men (2006) (which would probably be my choice), which was my first thoughts. And Eternal Sunshine (2004). Maybe …. Sunshine (2007)? Upstream Color (2013)? The Lobster (2015)?

I’d do a two-fer. I’d add Sunshine and The Lobster and remove Rogue One (which was good, but mostly benefits from being better than the other new Star Wars movies) and District 9 (which seemed so good and important at the time, but really didn’t work for me as a movie when I re-watched it a couple of years ago).



C. I think that Under the Skin is criminally underrated. It’s a slow and pensive movie, but it’s the type that will linger with you for years (like Annihilation, or Ex Machina, or Her, or Arrival). On the other hand, Interstellar is a good movie that isn’t nearly as profound as it wants to believe. It’s 2001 for people that never understood 2001.
 


Seen all, own a few of these. A few I liked, other I would not even recommend at all.
Buuuuuuut...

Any lists that does not include
2001 a Space Odyssey is just flatly wrong.
 

MarkB

Legend
I've seen maybe half the films on the list. Of those I've seen, there aren't really any that I'd quibble being on there, except that I wasn't particularly taken with the Bladerunner sequel when I saw it at the cinema. I need to give it another chance at some point.
 


MGibster

Legend
25. A Quiet Place (2018)
24. Moon (2009)
23. Snowpiercer (2013)
22. Colossal (2016)
21. The Endless (2017)
20. Attack the Block (2011)
19. Under the Skin (2013)
18. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
17. Gravity (2013)
16. Pacific Rim (2013)

15. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
14. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
13. Annihilation (2018)
12. Looper (2012)
11. The Martian (2015)

10. WALL-E (2008)
9. Her (2013)
8. District 9 (2009)
7. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
6. Dune (2021)
5. Ex Machina (2015)
4. Interstellar (2014)
3. Inception (2010)
2. Arrival (2016)

1. Max Max: Fury Road (2015)

I've only seen the six movies I didn't highlight but I rarely ever go see movies and if I miss it in the theater it can take years and years before I see it at home. Of the movies I saw, Mad Max was the best one but I don't think of it as science fiction though that's not a hill I'm going to die on.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Saw 18, 15, 14, and 10.

I need help. What makes a super-hero movie count as sci-fi or not (like Guardians of the Galaxy, as opposed to the Ant-Man ones, the final two Avengers ones, or Thor Ragnorak?). What about others that have it in their descriptors, like Big Hero 6 or Monsters vs. Aliens count? I am legend?

Is it how high up on the list of descriptors that sci-fi shows up?
 

Den of Geek has an interesting and thought-provoking list of the best science fiction movies of the past twenty-five years.

Check it out!

For purposes of discussion, I think it would be helpful to do the following for comments:

A. How many of these 25 films have you seen?
-Include which ones you have not seen.

B. What film, or films, would you put on the list that are not on the list?
-If you're going to propose a film that should be on the list, you ALSO have to explain which film goes OFF the list.

C. Finally, what is the most egregious ranking(s) within the list?
-This is where you get to say that something was ranked too low or too high.

I really recommend clicking through to check it out, but if you don't, here's the list of the TOP 25 SCI-FI FILMS OF THE LAST 15 YEARS!

25. A Quiet Place (2018)
24. Moon (2009)
23. Snowpiercer (2013)
22. Colossal (2016)
21. The Endless (2017)
20. Attack the Block (2011)
19. Under the Skin (2013)
18. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
17. Gravity (2013)
16. Pacific Rim (2013)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
14. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
13. Annihilation (2018)
12. Looper (2012)
11. The Martian (2015)
10. WALL-E (2008)
9. Her (2013)
8. District 9 (2009)
7. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
6. Dune (2021)
5. Ex Machina (2015)
4. Interstellar (2014)
3. Inception (2010)
2. Arrival (2016)
1. Max Max: Fury Road (2015)

I'm going to post a response that corresponds with my requirements, above, but my general opinion is ...

This is about right. It focuses on the intelligent and important sci-fi over the popcorn movies, while still having some incredible examples of the best popcorn movies. I can, and will, quibble with specific examples but this is a much better overall list than many I have seen.

I'd give it a solid B+, maybe an A-.

A. Seen 23 out of 25. Haven't seen A Quiet Place or The Endless.

B. I'd add Melancholia and Coherence.

C. Interstellar and Dune are rated too high. Under the Skin is rated too low. Rogue One shouldn't be on this list.
 


Ryujin

Legend
I've seen 20/25. Maybe more but, if so, the others didn't stick. I waited quite a while before seeing "Under the Skin", figuring that it wasn't my sort of movie. I was quite wrong on that. Very good.

i would put "Dredd" on the list.
 


I've seen about 15 of them, and the only immediate response I'd have is "A Quiet Place" is seriously underrated. I'd consider it better than at least five of the ones i have seen.
 

ART!

Legend
Den of Geek has an interesting and thought-provoking list of the best science fiction movies of the past twenty-five years.

Check it out!

For purposes of discussion, I think it would be helpful to do the following for comments:

A. How many of these 25 films have you seen?
-Include which ones you have not seen.

B. What film, or films, would you put on the list that are not on the list?
-If you're going to propose a film that should be on the list, you ALSO have to explain which film goes OFF the list.

C. Finally, what is the most egregious ranking(s) within the list?
-This is where you get to say that something was ranked too low or too high.

I really recommend clicking through to check it out, but if you don't, here's the list of the TOP 25 SCI-FI FILMS OF THE LAST 15 YEARS!

25. A Quiet Place (2018)
24. Moon (2009)
23. Snowpiercer (2013)
22. Colossal (2016)
21. The Endless (2017)
20. Attack the Block (2011)
19. Under the Skin (2013)
18. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
17. Gravity (2013)
16. Pacific Rim (2013)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
14. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
13. Annihilation (2018)
12. Looper (2012)
11. The Martian (2015)
10. WALL-E (2008)
9. Her (2013)
8. District 9 (2009)
7. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
6. Dune (2021)
5. Ex Machina (2015)
4. Interstellar (2014)
3. Inception (2010)
2. Arrival (2016)
1. Max Max: Fury Road (2015)

I'm going to post a response that corresponds with my requirements, above, but my general opinion is ...

This is about right. It focuses on the intelligent and important sci-fi over the popcorn movies, while still having some incredible examples of the best popcorn movies. I can, and will, quibble with specific examples but this is a much better overall list than many I have seen.

I'd give it a solid B+, maybe an A-.
Seen? 18 out of 25, and another 2 that I've seen more than half of but kind of lost interest in or got distracted from, namely Snowpiercer and Colossal.

Let me precede the following by saying that for me a science fiction movie is one whose story focuses on a speculative, what-if approach to some aspect(s) of science/technology as it relates to people and culture. Emphasis on how the people and culture react to the science/technology aspect. High tech whiz-bangery isn't enough. YMMV.

Add:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). I'm a POTA fan, having really latched onto the original movies as a kid. I could put the other two most recent Apes movies on this list, but they don't have the conceptual punch that the first one does. Anyway, these movies always have a lot to say about humanity, and do it through science fiction
I Am Legend (2007). Terrifying and topical.

I'd like to add:
Super 8 (2011). Hey, if Close Encounters is science fiction, then this is, too. I find it really engaging, and it uses the science fiction premise to explore people reactions and just growing up in general. The touchstone of kids with a super-8 camera doesn't hurt.
I think Bird Box (2018) needs to be in there somewhere, maybe?
The Prestige (2006) doesn't quite make it into the 15-year rule, but is worth mentioning. It's probably only marginally science fiction, though.
Children of Men (2006) also doesn't make the 15-year rule, but is so close!

Subtract:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Not science fiction, AFAIC
Guardians of the Galaxy. Same.
Tempted to remove Pacific Rim, for the same reasons, based on what i know from others who have seen it, but I haven't seen it myself, so...

Interstellar is a good movie that isn’t nearly as profound as it wants to believe. It’s 2001 for people that never understood 2001.
I agree. It definitely doesn't belong so close to the #1 spot.

I'd put Arrival at #1, hands down.

Colossal was interesting, but unless things really turn around in the third act, I wouldn't put it on a best of list.
 
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payn

Legend
For purposes of discussion, I think it would be helpful to do the following for comments:

A. How many of these 25 films have you seen?
-Include which ones you have not seen.
Seen 21.
Not seen list:
Wall-E
Under the Skin
The Endless
Colossal

B. What film, or films, would you put on the list that are not on the list?
-If you're going to propose a film that should be on the list, you ALSO have to explain which film goes OFF the list.
Hunter Prey
Transcendence
Oblivion
Tron 2
Tomorrow Land
Valarian and City of 10K...
Mortal Engines
Planet of the Apes
Dredd
Sunshine
Children of Men

C. Finally, what is the most egregious ranking(s) within the list?
-This is where you get to say that something was ranked too low or too high.
Things like Pacific Rim, Inception, Looper. and especially Edge of Tomorrow ranked too high.
This is about right. It focuses on the intelligent and important sci-fi over the popcorn movies, while still having some incredible examples of the best popcorn movies. I can, and will, quibble with specific examples but this is a much better overall list than many I have seen.

I'd give it a solid B+, maybe an A-.
I think the top end suffers from a lot of overrating myself. Not bad movies, but not great and probably not deserving. Also, I don't consider Fury Road a sci-fi film, but its certainly a great one.

TLDR: First half the list underrated; second half is overrated.
 

Mallus

Legend
I knew I would forget a few good films: Dredd, Sunshine, Melancholia.

And Could Atlas... no, it doesn't all work. Not by a long shot. I'm not sure what you make of it if you haven't read the book. But man the ambition, and the pure-heartedness of it all at the end.
 

I've seen about 18 of the list. I might have slept through one or two.

Missing from the list:

Europa Report - The best sci-fi movie you probably haven't heard of from the last 15 years. I'm surprised it didn't make the list, given some of the other small films that are represented.

Prometheus - Yes, I'm going there. I stand by it. Go with Alien: Covenant if you can't handle it.

Star Trek - Pick one. If you're going to throw a Star Wars movie on the list, you're nerdractually obligated to included a Trek film as well.

Honorable mention: Pandorum. Not amazing, but better than some of the lower tier stuff that made the list.

Doesn't belong on the list:

Colossal
Arrival
Looper - All three of these are movies that I liked, but I don't think rise to the level of "best". I really can't see watching any of them a second time.

Wall-E - This one pains me to call it out. I love this movie. It's my favorite Pixar movie of all time, and one of my favorite animated movies of all time. But that's the problem: it's animated. If you want to open this list up to animated movies instead of just live action, you have to consider many more amazing movies that are being left out, including anime. And the list is already being liberal with the definition of "sci-fi" with movies like Fury Road. If this stays on, there's a bunch more movies that need to join it.
 


nyvinter

Explorer
All the Nolan movies are way to high up, but I'd remove Interstellar ("Inte Stellar" where 'inte' is the swedish word for 'not') and Guardians of the Galaxy and replace with The Mitchells vs the Machines and Dredd.

Well, you know what? Remove Inception as well and replace with Another Earth.
 

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