Comments on Sci-Fi Lists: SF movies

Here are my comments on this list. If there’s a (+) after the rating that means I did or would have rated it higher the first time I saw it.

Their ranking Title My rating My comments
1 Blade Runner 4.5 (+) Deckard is a blade runner — he hunts down rogue androids, but he’s getting tired of it.
2 Star Wars Trilogy IV-VI (1977-83) 3.5, 4.5, 4 (+) Luke, Han, and Leia fight as rebels against the evil Empire, personified by Darth Vader.
3 Alien 3 (+) When a spaceship crew answers a distress call, an alien gets on board and starts killing everyone.
4 The Matrix 5 Neo discovers that the world he knows isn’t real — real humans are at war with machines.
5 2001: A Space Odyssey 4.5 (+) A huge black monolith near Jupiter causes astronauts to head out to take a look.
6 Aliens 4.5 (+) Ripley goes back out to face the xenomorphs, this time in the company of heavily armed marines.
7 The Terminator 3 (+) Sarah Conner is visited by an android from the future — he’s come to kill her because of her son who’s not even born yet.
8 The Fifth Element 4 (+) Cab driver Corbin Dallas runs into Leeloo and eventually realizes she’s the saviour.
9 Terminator 2 – Judgement Day 4.5 The Terminator comes back and this time he’s helpful — there’s a new model that’s trying to kill them.
10 Twelve Monkeys 4.5 (+) Cole goes back in time to find information about how the virus that wiped out humanity started.
11 Back to the Future 4.5 (+) Marty goes back in time to 1955 where he has to straighten things out with his parents or he won’t exist. Watch all 3 movies in a row for the full effect.
12 A Clockwork Orange 3 A young man goes arund committing violent acts with his friends. A brilliant movie but very disturbing.
13 Forbidden Planet 3 When a starship visits Altair IV a scientist on the surface warns them not to land.
14 The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 3.5 An alien lands and declares he has a message for all the world’s leaders. One of the old movies that’s still worth watching.
15 Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan 4.5 (+) Khan returns to take his revenge on Kirk, and he also steels the powerful Genesis Device.
16 Close Encounters of the Third Kind 3 “Everybody” loves this one but I didn’t get why it was so great.
17 Jurassic Park 4.5 (+) A park is filled with cloned dinosaurs — things go wrong and the dinosaurs start eating people.
18 Gattaca 5 Vincent can’t go into space because he’s genetically inferior — until he uses Jerome’s DNA.
19 Planet of the Apes (1968) 5 Humans travel far away and land on a planet where apes are in charge and humans are treated like animals.
20 Star Wars I-III (1999-2005) 1.5, 2, 0.5 The story of Annakin Skywalker’s transition to Darth Vader. Doesn’t deserve to be on this list at all, much less at this level.
21 Dune (1984) 3.5 Paul goes to the planet Dune with his family and eventually leads the Fremen in a war against the Empire.
22 Brazil 5 Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece about a man caught in a web of bureaucratic nonsense.
23 The Thing    
24 Predator 1 An alien who can make itself invisible proves difficult to defeat.
25 Dark City 5 Aliens make changes to humans’ memories to see what happens — one man discovers what they’re doing.
26 Total Recall (1990) 1.5 A man has dreams about Mars and then discovers that he was really there — and his wife is not his wife.
27 Stargate 4 When a military team travels through the stargate they find humans, and aliens pretending to be gods.
28 Independence Day 2 Aliens attack Earth and humans fight back.
29 E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial 3 (+) An alien is left behind on Earth when its spaceship leaves — it befriends a young boy named Elliot.
30 Dr Strangelove 5 A rogue general sends planes to bomb the USSR — unfortunately they can’t be recalled.
31 Contact 4.5 Aliens send Earth plans for a spaceship. Ellie, a SETI scientist, gets to go on the voyage.
32 Starship Troopers 2 Humanity sends its military to fight against an insectoid species.
33 The Abyss 4.5 An oil platform crew helps recover a submarine — and discovers aliens.
34 V for Vendetta 4.5 V rebels against an oppressive government. A great movie but a bit disturbing.
35 Serenity 5 Mal and his crew discover the shocking truth behind the Reavers. Sequel to the short-lived but brilliant TV series “Firefly.”
36 District 9 4.5 Aliens are confined to a camp in South Africa — Wikus is ordered to relocate them.
37 Minority Report 4.5 John arrests people right before they commit murder, because the precogs can see the future.
38 Donnie Darko 4.5 Donnie starts seeing a man in a giant rabbit costume who tells him the world will end in 28 days.
39 Avatar 3.5 (+) Humans are mining on Pandora, but the Na’vi people are in their way.
40 Metropolis (1926) 4.5 In a futuristic city the upper class lives in luxury while the lower class trudges to work each day.
41 Mad Max 3 (+) Civilization has decayed in the future — Max is a cop but goes a bit mad when his family is killed.
42 Children of Men 4.5 Theo has to protect a woman at all costs — she’s the first woman to be pregnant in 18 years.
43 Logan’s Run 2 Everyone is terminated when they become 30 — but when Logan gets to that age he’s not happy about it.
44 The War of the Worlds (1953) 1.5 Aliens come to Earth and start attacking, but they have a fatal weakness.
45 Star Trek: First Contact 4.5 (+) Picard and Riker follow the Borg back in time to stop them from assimilating Earth.
46 The Time Machine (1960) 1.5 A man travels to the far future and is distressed to find out what happens to humanity.
47 The Andromeda Strain    
48 Galaxy Quest 4.5 (+) Actors from a TV show find themselves on a real spaceship. One of the funniest movies ever made.
49 I, Robot 4 A decent science fiction action movie but doesn’t deserve to use Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” title.
50 Pitch Black 3 A spaceship transporting a deadly criminal crashes on a planet with deadly aliens.
51 Akira    
52 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 5 A couple who broke up uses new technology to erase their memories of each other.
53 Men in Black 4.5 A police officer is recruited by the MIB to help protect the planet against
54 The Road Warrior (vt Mad Max 2) 3 (+) Max tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
55 X2: X-Men United 4.5 Mutants unite to fight back against those who would destroy them. This is fantasy, not science fiction.
56 Star Trek (2009) 5 Kirk and Spock encounter each other at Starfleet Academy, then head out to space to face a time-travelling Romulan.
57 A.I. – Artificial Intelligence 3.5 David is an android programmed with the ability to love, but his mom decides she doesn’t want him.
58 Tron 2 A programmer is transported inside his program. Visually interesting but the story makes no sense.
59 Solaris (1972) 2.5 Scientists orbiting the planet Solaris have trouble coping with mysterious events. A slow movie that doesn’t give you many answers.
60 RoboCop (1987)    
61 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)    
62 Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home 4.5 (+) Kirk and Spock go back to 1986 to get a couple of humpback whales.
63 Soylent Green 4 Frank investigates a murder which eventually leads him to discover what soylent green is made of.
64 Moon 4 A man thinks he’s alone on the Moon aside from a robot — he then discovers there is someone else there.
65 WALL-E 5 A robot named WALL-E, one of the few things left running on Earth, discovers a live plant.
66 Equilibrium    
67 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 2 Do not watch this movie — read the book instead. The movie is only mildly amusing whereas the book is the funniest one you’ll ever read.
68 Silent Running 3 Plants only exist on spaceships, so they must be carefully preserved for their eventual return to Earth.
69 Iron Man 4.5 Tony Stark builds himself a powerful suit and uses it to become a superhero.
70 THX-1138 4 THX and SEN get into trouble when they stop taking their drugs and engage in a romantic relationship.
71 The Thing (From Another World)    
72 The Truman Show 5 Truman is in a reality show and he doesn’t know it.
73 Escape From New York    
74 Star Trek VI – Undiscovered Country 5 Kirk and McCoy are tried by Klingons and sent to a prison planet.
75 The Incredibles 5 Bob has to become Mr. Incredible again in order to defeat the dangerous Syndrome and his Omnidroid.
76 War of the Worlds (2005) 3 The “War of the Worlds” story isn’t my favourite, but this version is much more watchable than the one from 1953.
77 Fahrenheit 451 4 In the future firefighters burn books — because they’re dangerous.
78 The Fly (1986)    
79 Inception 5 A team works to implant an idea into an important man’s head by entering his dreams.
80 Armageddon 3.5 An asteroid is heading towards Earth and Bruce Willis heads out to blow it up.
81 Superman 3 (+) Clark Kent becomes Superman and battles Lex Luthor. This is fantasy, not science fiction.
82 Spider-Man 2 5 Peter Parker is not sure he wants to be a superhero — then Dr. Octopus shows up. This is fantasy, not science fiction.
83 I Am Legend 4.5 Robert is the last human in New York — he works on a cure for the virus while defending himself against mutants.
84 Young Frankenstein    
85 The Omega Man    
86 Westworld 2 Androids at a theme park malfunction and start killing the guests. It’s like “Jurassic Park” except with robots.
87 Sunshine 2.5 A spaceship crew heads to the Sun on a mission to reignite it.
88 The Rocky Horror Picture Show 3.5 A musical comedy in which at least one character is an alien. The songs are catchy but other than that I didn’t really get it.
89 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea    
90 Pi 3 (+) Max is a mathematician who thinks the world can be explained with numbers.
91 Them!    
92 Cube 3.5 Several strangers wake up in a giant cube where every room looks the same.
93 Night Of the Living Dead    
94 Event Horizon    
95 Spaceballs 3 (+) A spoof of movies like “Star Wars” — it’s funny, but not too funny.
96 The X-Files 4 If you’re watching the TV series “The X-Files” you need to watch this movie between season 5 and 6.
97 Stalker    
98 Starman 3 (+) I’m guessing it was good the first time around 20 years ago. I started rewatching it more recently and didn’t finish it.
99 Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)    
100 Godzilla    


There are some movies that deserve to be on the list that aren’t. Here are the most egregious omissions:

  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Advantageous
  • Anna
  • Attack the Block
  • Batman Begins
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes
  • The Brother From Another Planet
  • Capricorn One
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Cocoon
  • The Dark Knight
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Delicatessen
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Ender’s Game
  • Ex Machina
  • Frequencies
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Interstellar
  • I Origins
  • Jurassic World
  • Last Night (1998)
  • Looper
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Oblivion
  • The Prestige
  • Predestination
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Robot & Frank
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • Self/less
  • Signs
  • Snowpiercer
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tremors

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2017 at 6:06 pm and is filed under My thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Comments on Sci-Fi Lists: SF movies”

  1. James Says:

    Hey Dave,

    I like your additional list! They definitely left off some good stuff.

    The ones you haven’t seen in the list are mostly duds, except for The Andromeda Strain. That one’s surprisingly great. (Robocop was good too, but I don’t think that it’s to your taste)


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