Top 10 SciFi Films of the 21st Century

INTERSTELLAR is dividing critics, some of whom call it a modern masterpiece while others decry it as much less. In either regard, it begs the question as to what the best scifi films are of the 21st century. Looking over hundreds of movies, we have whittled down the list to the ten best movies in the genre. This list comprises every type of movie that could be considered science fiction, so go into it with an open mind. If your favorite didn't make the cut, feel free to list it in the comments below.


It seems fitting that Alfonso Cuaron has two movies on this list. Both GRAVITY and CHILDREN OF MEN are highlights of modern filmmaking but it is his 2006 film that truly deserves the acclaim and this top spot. Haunting, brilliant, frightening, and perfectly directed, CHILDREN OF MEN will linger for years after you see it. The long takes, the performances from Clive Owen and Julianne Moore, just everything in this movie is perfect. One of the best scifi films of not just the 21st century but of all time.


Despite a director's cut that lessened the original film, Richard Kelly's debut is a masterpiece in the realm of time travel, psychological thrillers, and coming of age films. A movie that defies categorization, DONNIE DARKO is still truly a scifi film at it's core and yet so much more. Jake Gyllenhaal showed a glimmer of what a good actor he would become in a movie that has become more than just a cult classic but a modern classic.


A Best Picture nominee, DISTRICT 9 signaled to the world that Neill Blomkamp was a filmmaker to watch. Sharlto Copley delivers a devastating performance as a man caught in the midst of a race war between humans and alien refugees. A great film that works as both a political statement and a piece of entertainment, DISTRICT 9 is close to a masterpiece.

#4 - MOON

Duncan Jones surprised audiences with MOON. Thanks to a great turn by Sam Rockwell and the vocal prowess of Kevin Spacey, Jones delivered a scary movie, grounded in scientific possibility, that echoes the greatest work of Stanley Kubrick. A terrifying movie that shares similarities with GRAVITY in that both are claustrophobic and haunting, MOON is a must see even if the twist ending has already been revealed.

#5 - WALL-E

Pixar has made some incredible movies over the last couple of decades, but few of their films are as perfect as WALL-E. Whether it be the nearly dialogue free first hour of the film to the breathtaking spacescapes, WALL-E delivers the rare studio picture that is both a piece of art and a blockbuster movie. Full of heart, action, comedy, and with a strong social message, WALL-E is not just a great movie for kids but a great movie, period.


Danny Boyle re-teamed with his 28 DAYS LATER screenwriter, Alex Garland, and their resulting scifi movie did not garner nearly the acclaim it deserved. SUNSHINE is a powerful drama that feels like a cross between SOLARIS and EVENT HORIZON. The ending may stray away from the realistic nature of the rest of the film, but the preceding events are so powerfully realized on screen you can forgive some shortcomings.


Alfonso Cuaron's GRAVITY is one of the most visually spectacular films of all time. From the long takes to the realistic portrayal of outer space to the claustrophobic vacuum inhabited by the characters, GRAVITY is an achievement beyond compare.


Christopher Nolan's mindf*ck of a movie has been spoofed by SOUTH PARK for lapses in logic but there is no questioning that INCEPTION is one hell of a ride. A visual feast with an ending that will be debated as long as movies exist, INCEPTION is one of the smartest summer blockbusters ever made. I defy you to find a movie that makes better use of practical effects on such a large scale.


Edgar Wright's final entry in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy may be his most well-rounded. Part INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and part coming-of-age tale, THE WORLD'S END has something for everybody. The great cast led by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is one of the funniest alien invasion films ever made while also chock full of quotable moments.

#10 - HER

Spike Jonze's HER is absolutely a science fiction film but one that does not rely on phasers or interstellar travel. This is a film set in the near future and what advances in technology can do to human relationships. Not all scifi has to be aliens and warfare and HER is the perfect example of how to do it.

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