Science Fiction is difficult to define, there are so many sub-genres that a lot of very different content can be classed within the same genre. Sci-fi typically evokes the image of space and flying through the universe, however it can also delve deeper in other issues such as time travel, dystopian futures, alien invasions, and even superhuman abilities.
With this in mind the below list has a few of these different sub-genres, however the majority are ‘typical’ in that they feature space travel. Additionally, as with most things in my life, I have a tendency to prefer humour over any sort of drama. So pretty much every movie on this list is in some way or another, a funny film. And if it isn’t, then it doesn’t hit the drama/thriller/horror genre too hard.
So without further adieu, let’s start this list off with a movie that I am sure a number of you think should be further up the list.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014 & 2017).
Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with four disparate misfits: gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, treelike-humanoid Groot, enigmatic Gamora, and vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when he discovers the orb’s true power and the cosmic threat it poses, Quill must rally his ragtag group to save the universe.
If you give me a big budget, action packed, and most important of all, funny film – It is pretty much guaranteed that I will enjoy the film. Guardians of the Galaxy and it’s sequel are amazing films, they looks so good and are at the very least entertaining. Whatever your thoughts on the sci-fi genre or the marvel universe, Guardians of the Galaxy is worth a watch as it makes such a huge universe and story incredibly accessible.
9. Repo Men (2010).
Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.
Not to be confused with Repo Man, Repo Men is an action packed, sci-fi thriller. From start to finish, the film has an ominous air, the look of the film is very stylised and blue. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are amazing in the two lead roles, with the psychological action between them really standing out.
The film isn’t just thrilling, the choreography and music are on point. One of the final fight sequences, is amazing. The music, the slow mo, the action all just combine to create this jaw dropping scene that has stayed with me since I first watched it. I would really recommend watching this film, it’s like Blade Runner but with surgery.
8. Titan AE (2000).
A young man learns that he has to find a hidden Earth ship before an enemy alien species does in order to secure the survival of humanity.
To say that Titan AE is under appreciated is an under statement. This animated movie is a gem, it is a classic, and it needs more attention! With a writing credit going to Joss Whedon, and featuring the voice acting talent of Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, and Bill Pullman, the film a masterpiece of the sci fi genre. Not only does the film look good, but it has an amazing story. You need to do yourself a favour and watch this movie, right now! If not for yourself, watch Titan AE for Planet Bob.
7. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989).
Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine.
Some of you may argue that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure isn’t a sci-fi movie but it has time travel and features a utopian future. Whatever you’re thoughts on the validity of the film within the genre, the Bill and Ted films are just straight up good. They are entertaining, they are funny, and they are such a product of the 80s!
6. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017).
A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is another big budget film has made it on the list, and boy, does the film look amazing! The story is based off of a graphic novel/comic and is huge in it’s scale. The graphics, story, action, and chemistry between the actors combine to make a really entertaining film. The opening scene had my wiping away tears, it was just so powerful!
5. Paul (2011).
Two English comic book geeks travelling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.
I have a soft spot for this film, it was my first date with my partner. Not only is Paul a very sentimental film for me, but it is incredibly funny! Written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, it is a showcase of what the genius that pair can create when they work together. Paul is pretty much a stoner, alien, British, sci-fi film and it is great!
4. Flash Gordon (1980).
A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.
Love it or hate it, Flash Gordon is a classic and it is here to stay! Honestly I can quote this movie and I probably do… too much. Either way this 80s gem is such a camp trip! The movie features an epic storyline about a famous football player who saves Earth from the evil Emperor Ming. With a story like that, how can you go wrong? Also the soundtrack is done entirely by Queen, so you know, that’s epic too.
3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela.
I have previously mentioned my love for this movie on this website, and I stand by my words. Thor: Ragnarok is a hilarious, big budget, sci-fi adventure! The fact that it’s a part of the epic Marvel universe is of little importance, the storyline and characters of the film shine brightly on their own!
If you haven’t seen Thor: Ragnarok or if you’re wary of the Marvel universe, I would recommend trying this film. You could potentially watch the film by itself but if you can, try watching it with the other Thor films (even though they are, admittedly, very different).
2. Galaxy Quest (1999).
The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
Galaxy Quest is quite possibly one of the best sci-fi comedies out there! The movie is incredibly smart, well-written, and plays up jokes to sci-fi fans. The cast and chemistry of the cast are amazing, with each character playing to a trope of genre.
I am going to be honest with you, if I didn’t have such a huge love of the film in first place, this would have been in the number one spot. Galaxy Quest is such a great movie, you will find yourself watching it multiple times.
1. The Fifth Element (1997).
In the colourful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.
The Fifth Element takes number one spot for me because not only is it visually stunning, full of amazing music, great acting, but it has such a wonderful storyline. If you haven’t picked up on it, I am a sucker for funny and romantic films, so this one has both. The kick arse, perfect, female lead doesn’t hurt either 😛
The top spot goes to this movie just because of how enjoyable it is, I can literally watch this over and over again. There is just so much here in the story and the world building. I was incredibly lucky that last year, in anticipation of the release of Valerian, I was able to see the film on the big screen. It did not disappoint. I am still in love with how is looks and how it makes me feel.
If you have never seen The Fifth Element, you need to do yourself a favour and watch it. It is funny, it looks amazing, and it tells a really universal story about war, peace, love, and life. For me, it is the perfect sci-fi film.
What did you think of the list, are there any obvious films that I have missed? Are there movies that you don’t think deserve to be there? Do you have any suggestions for fun and different selections? Let me know 🙂