17-sci-fi-movies-every-guy-should-see

There’s good sci-fi, and there’s seriously awful sci-fi. To compile this list, we picked the science fiction flicks every guy should see that scored at least an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only are these some of our favorites, but they are some of the most universally beloved. So while you’re waiting for the release of Arrival, these are some of the best sci-fi movies to tide you over.

Solaris (Solyaris)

Not to be confused with the 2002 George Clooney-led film Solaris, this Russian movie from the 70s has everything we love in a great sci-fi movie: mystery, other worlds, and radically cool ideas. And while a good sci-fi film simply entertains with these ideas, great sci-fi films connect with you on a deeper level, and that’s just what Solaris does by tackling the concepts of life and death. Amazon iTunes

2001: A Space Odyssey

The term “epic” gets thrown around a bit too often these days, but if ever there was a movie deserving of the description, it’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film based on Arthur C. Clarke’s story The Sentinel, is grand in scope and in technical detail. One part visual candy, and one part iconic storytelling. Perhaps the greatest sci-fi film of all time. iTunes Amazon

Moon

Moon made about as much money at the box office as Interstellar will make in the first hour of its release, still, the overlooked Sam Rockwell sci-fi movie is well worth your time. Forget crazy CGI, Moon is a sci-fi flick set on making you think, not dance across the screen wowing your eyeballs. Earth’s energy crisis is about to be solved thanks to a company that contracts astronaut miners who dig up the solution, but, as the protagonist finds out, the work has a little complication. iTunes Amazon

Brazil

Brazil is like a sci-fi satire set inside a Salvador Dali painting. Terry Gilliam’s 1985 flick depicts a futuristic nightmare that seems all too real with a Big Brother feel that seems ripped from 1984. It’s visually intriguing, thought-provoking, and more audacious than 99% of movies made. iTunes Amazon

Blade Runner

While we try to add as many obscure movies as possible, sometimes there are films that are incredibly well-known but just have to be on the list. Blade Runner is one of those movies. Ridley Scott’s noir sci-fi film is really in a category all its own. A dystopian L.A. is the backdrop for the dark and gloomy film that’s sci-fi without all the spit-shine. iTunes Amazon

Snowpiercer

With the same cold steel feel as Blade Runner, this surprise hit from Joon-ho Bong seemed to catch audiences off-guard earlier this year. The entirety of the film takes place aboard a futuristic train—if you’re claustrophobic, you may want to seek a film with less walls. It’s everything a dystopian sci-fi film should be: mysterious, grim, and hauntingly stunning. Now who wants so Jell-O bricks? iTunes Amazon

Alien

Sometimes a movie can become a classic without ever really being all that good … Alien isn’t one of those classics. It’s just one of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epics, and it still holds up 35 years after it was released. There’s a mundane, work-like feel to outer space that makes the backdrop of the film more relatable and, in turn, scarier. iTunes Amazon

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes)

Don’t mind subtitles and want something trippy, creepy, and smart? Timecrimes is where it’s at. After spotting a beautiful woman taking off her clothes (see, you’re into it already), the main character goes on an investigation that leads him into a time-travelling closet. While it sounds hokey, it’s one of the smarter time-travel films you’ll ever see. A cerebral thriller definitely worth watching. Amazon

District 9

Most alien-based movie plots are remarkably similar: we discover evil and powerful extraterrestrial life we can’t possibly defeat, until we use our brains and do just that! District 9 is not like other alien movies. Whereas other sci-fi films are all rah rah humans, District 9 goes in a different direction as aliens are detained as refugees. There’s a level of emotion you don’t normally find in a genre full of laser blasters and ships at warp speed. iTunes Amazon

Children of Men

Blurring the line between dystopian sci-fi and basic action-packed thriller, Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film Children of Men presents a bleak and haunting future. It’s sci-fi without the shiny spaceships. Humans have lost the ability to reproduce and when one woman becomes pregnant the brilliance of the story kicks in and carries you through the futuristic war zone. iTunes Amazon

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise has a thing for big budget sci-fi flicks, and while Minority Report and War of the Worlds are good movies, his latest is the best of the bunch. It’s got everything you want in an action-heavy sci-fi film: invading aliens, a little bit of time travel, and enough explosions to make Michael Bay jealous. iTunes Amazon

Stalker

After you’ve finished Solaris, make Stalker your next flick. Another gem from Andrei Tarkovsky, Stalker tells the tale of three men traveling through “the Zone”—a space in the Russian wilderness said to contain a bunker with a room that grants wishes. The feel of the film is haunting but the visuals are stunning. Creepy good fun for your eyes and your mind. Amazon

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

This is a weird selection because you’re not going to just watch The Empire Strikes Back without watching the other two Star Wars movies (the prequels don’t count). But, since we grew up with Star Wars and have to put one of the films on this list, we’ll go with the best. After A New Hope, things got a bit more visually interesting, more emotional, and filled with more tauntaun guts. Amazon

Attack the Block

Attack the Block is in a sci-fi sub-genre all its own. It’s one of those, you know, horrifying alien invasion comedies. From the guys behind Shaun of the Dead, the movie pits a group of inner-city kids against a gang of horrific alien-beasts. And while you’re being entertained by the action and humor, a little eye-opening social commentary sneaks up on you in the process. iTunes Amazon

The Matrix

You’ve seen The Matrix. You know all about dodging bullets in slow motion and selecting pills. There’s no need to tell you about it here, except to remind you that the two that followed the original shouldn’t taint your view of the first. iTunes Amazon

Forbidden Planet

This sci-fi adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest is wildly imaginative. While Robby and the special effects are a bit dated, the film still holds up thanks to the stellar dialogue and solid acting. Campy? Somewhat. Enjoyable? Definitely. iTunes Amazon

Under the Skin

If you want to read a great, modern sci-fi novel, check out Michel Faber’s Under the Skin. If all those pesky words are getting in the way, check out the movie starring Scarlett Johansson. Yes, it’s strange, and yes, it’s polarizing, but once it sinks its subliminal claws in you, you’re gonna be hooked. iTunes Amazon

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