If you’re into thrilling science fiction movies make sure you keep reading. I’ve listed the 18 most thrilling science fiction movies of all time and given them a rank. Have you seen all of these and do you agree with my ranking? If so, let us know what you thought about them in the comment section below.
1. Nosferatu (1922) dir. F.W. Murnau
Subtitled “A Symphony of Horror”, Nosferatu is a German horror film. An unauthorized version of Dracula, Nosferatu is one of the most influential films to come out of the Silent Era.
2. Metropolis (1927) dir. Fritz Lang
Another highly influential German film of the 1920s, the newer restored version does justice to the fantastic Art Deco sets. Featuring a female robot and a worker’s revolt, this helped define science fiction for the future.
3. Frankenstein (1931) dir. James Whale
Not the first movie based on Mary Shelley’s novel, it’s still the best version. Boris Karloff wanders the countryside as an alienated and sometimes violent monster.
4. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) dir. Robert Wise
Aliens and spaceships were a common theme of science fiction movies of the 1950s. Klaatu’s warning makes us question the very civilization that the aliens might upend.
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) dir. Don Siegel
An allegory made during the “Red Scare”, a time of fear that Communism might pose a threat to democracy, this film asks the question “what if your friends and family were replaced by identical doubles, ones with no emotions or soul?”.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick
Wiping the slate clean, this movie based on Arthur C. Clarke’s book shows artificial intelligence going insane.
7. Alien (1979) dir. Ridley Scott
Launching the careers of Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott, this is a horror movie disguised as a western set in deep space.
8. Scanners (1981) dir. David Cronenberg
A Canadian sci fi horror film, the plot revolves around a private security firm which attempts to weaponize people who possess telepathic and telekinetic powers.
9. Blade Runner (1982) dir. Ridley Scott
Cyberpunk meets urban dystopia. Humans and Replicants interact in a visually stunning environment. Where does one end and the other begin?
10. Brazil (1985) dir. Terry Gilliam
Dark comedy mixes with horror in another dystopian environment, it’s been called “probably the best thing to come out of Monty Python after the television series”.
11. The Fly (1986) dir. David Cronenberg
Jeff Goldblum as inventor Seth Brundle tests teleportation equipment. Needless to say, the experiment goes horribly wrong.
12. Predator (1987) dir. John McTiernan
Arnold Schwarzenegger as a commando encounters alien even more bad-ass than he is.
13. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) dir. James Cameron
Schwarzenegger’s second Terminator film, where the Terminator is able to learn instead of just following commands. This is the rare action film which can cause a few tears.
14. Jurassic Park (1993) dir. Steven Spielberg
Humans tampering with nature, without asking first if we should do that or not. Jeff Goldblum runs around shirtless for those who enjoy that kind of thing.
15. The Matrix (1999) dir. the Wachowskis
The culmination of the cyberpunk movies of the 1990s. What is reality?
16. Minority Report (2002) dir. Steven Spielberg
Free will versus determinism – does free will really exist if the future is already known in advance?
17. District 9 (2009) dir. Neill Blomkamp
This film examines humanity, social segregation, and xenophobia.
18. The Martian (2015) dir. Ridley Scott
A brutal film about surviving on a planet other than Earth, an astronaut survives using his wits, cleverness, and ingenuity.