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Top 15 Science Fiction Movies

Jamie Frater

When you love Science Fiction movies, making a list like this is very difficult because you want to include every film you have loved. But I can’t. So, after a lot of culling, from best to good, here is my top 15. NOTE: In the case of sequels I have only included one of the set.

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We held a competition on this article to select 5 random commentors who could select a DVD from the list as a prize. On the afternoon of September 8, 2007, 5 registered commentors were randomly selected. The winners were:

Miccas75
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Congratulations to the winners!

1. Blade Runner [1982]

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In a cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside Earth but with fixed lifespans. In Los Angeles, 2019, Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specialises in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when five replicants escape from an offworld colony to Earth.

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2. 2001, A Space Oddesy [1968]

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When a large black monolith is found beneath the surface of the moon, the reaction immediately is that it was intentionally buried. When the point of origin is confirmed as Jupiter, an expedition is sent in hopes of finding the source. When Dr David Bowman discovers faults in the expeditionary space craft’s communications system, he discovers more than he ever wanted to know.

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3. Alien [1979]

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When commercial towing vehicle Nostromo, heading back to Earth, intercepts an SoS signal from a nearby planet, the crew are under obligation to investigate. After a bad landing on the planet, some crew members leave the ship to explore the area. At the same time as they discover a hive colony of some unknown creature, the ship’s computer deciphers the message to be a warning, not a call for help. When one of the eggs is disturbed, the crew do not know the danger they are in until it is too late.

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4. Star Wars [1977]

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Part IV in a George Lucas epic, Star Wars: A New Hope opens with a rebel ship being boarded by the tyrannical Darth Vader. The plot then follows the life of a simple farmboy, Luke Skywalker, as he and his newly met allies (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2) attempt to rescue a rebel leader, Princess Leia, from the clutches of the Empire. This eventually leads to the Rebels, including Skywalker and flying ace Wedge Antilles making an attack on the Empire’s most powerful and ominous weapon, the Death Star.

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5. The Matrix [1999]

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In the near future, a computer cracker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) discovers that all life on Earth may be nothing more than an elaborate facade created by a malevolent cyber-intelligence, for the purpose of placating us while our life essence is “farmed” to fuel the Matrix’s campaign of domination in the “real” world. He joins like-minded Rebel warriors Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) in their struggle to overthrow the Matrix.

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6. Solaris [1972]

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The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for seven years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence.

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7. Terminator [1984]

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A cyborg assassin called “The Terminator” is sent back through time to 1984 to kill the seemingly innocent Sarah Connor – a woman whose unborn son will lead the human race to victory in a bitter future war with a race of machines. If the Terminator succeeds, mankind is doomed. Sarah’s only hope is a soldier from that post-apocalyptic war, who has chased the Terminator back through time. The future of the human race depends on which one finds her first…

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8. Metropolis [1927]

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It is the future, and humans are divided into two groups: the thinkers, who make plans (but don’t know how anything works), and the workers, who achieve goals (but don’t have the vision). Completely separate, neither group is complete, but together they make a whole. One man from the “thinkers” dares visit the underground where the workers toil, and is astonished by what he sees…

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9. The Day the Earth Stood Still [1951]

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An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach.

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10. Frankenstein [1931]

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An obsessed scientist creates a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. No longer so much a movie as it is a genuine part of popular folklore, the film itself shows its age, particularly in the absence of a musical score. But the performances by Colin Clive and particularly the great Boris Karloff are the whole show here, forgiving a multitude of creaks and groans and more than compensating for any lulls in the narrative. Truly a film everyone should see at least once

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11. War of the Worlds [1953]

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H.G. Well’s classic novel is brought to life is this tale of alien invasion. The resisdents of a small town are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Thier joy is tempered some what when they discover it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider it was made at the height of the Cold War – just replace Martian with Russian.

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12. Brazil [1985]

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Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill’s lives are put in danger.

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13. The Thing [1982]

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An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog crashes leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realises that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don’t know who may already have been taken over.

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14. 12 Monkeys [1995]

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When Cole, a convict volunteer, is sent back in time to find information on a deadly virus that will destroy 5,000,000,000 members of the human race in 1996-1997, he mistakenly arrives in 1990. After explaining his plea to Dr. Kathryn Railly, he is placed in a mental institution. In 1996, he kidnaps Railly, using her to find the 12 Monkeys, a group of revolutionists that are planning to release the virus into select cities.

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15. Close Encounters of the Third Kind [1977]

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Planes reported missing in 1945 suddenly appear in the Mojave desert. A commercial flight is buzzed by a ‘bright’ object that the pilot ‘wouldn’t know how to describe’. Roy Neary, while working one night, has a Close Encounter… The US Government determine where the visitors plan to land and create an elaborate cover-up to keep people away. However, a group of people, including Neary, share a vision which draws them to the place and a meeting with new, and old, friends

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Bonus: The Fifth Element [1997]

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Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only the fifth element can stop the Evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years. She is helped by ex-soldier, current-cab-driver, Korben Dallas, who is, in turn, helped by Prince/Arsenio clone, Ruby Rhod. Unfortunately, Evil is being assisted by Mr. Zorg, who seeks to profit from the chaos that Evil will bring, and his alien mercenaries.

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Notable omissions: Star Trek movies, Planet of the Apes, Children of Men, Dark City, ET

Plot summaries courtesy of IMDB

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Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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