Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Top 10 Science Fiction Films For The Thinking Person

We all appreciate top ten lists here and I stumbled across this one over at Rotten Tomatoes labelled Top 10 Science Fiction Films For The Thinking Man, but considering we have loads of thinking females here I thought I'd change the title. I had just finished singing the praises of Planet Of The Apes with my own personal thoughts regarding that classic film and here we are kicking it off with their picks for the ten best.

10. Planet Of The Apes. "Planet Of The Apes is an amazing film," Variety Magazine.
9. Dark City. "If you don't fall in love with it, you've probably never fallen in love with a movie, and never will," Washington Post.
8. Sleeper. "Pound for pound and minute for minute, Sleeper may just have more laughs in it than any other Woody Allen movie," Filmcritic.
7. Gattaca. "There's a window on a possible future, a warning about the wages of sin, and enough beauty to make this a lasting classic of modern science fiction," Looking Closer.
6. Primer. "This film imagines its viewers to be smart, possessed of a decent attention span and game for a challenge. It doesn't happen all that often," Time Out.
5. Children Of Men. "An apocalyptic thrill ride that is as gritty as it is gripping, with a dark terror outgunned only by its daring humanity," St. George Spectrum.
4. Solaris. "There was so much to think about afterward, and so much that remained in my memory," Roger Ebert.
3. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. "A work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology," New York Times.
2. Blade Runner. "The most remarkably and densely imagined and visualized SF film since 2001: A Space Odyssey, a hauntingly erotic meditation on the difference between the human and the nonhuman," Chicago Reader.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey. "Its triumph lies in its scope of cinematic splendour and the attempt to marry some of man's most beautiful music to the infinite mystery of space," BBC.

This really wasn't in a particular order. I cannot comment on everything listed here, but I thought it was an interesting list of films that might make us consider expanding our science fiction palettes. I can certainly say Dark City is a film to behold. Gattaca really grabbed my attention and led me to view it several times. I never could make my way through Children Of Men. Perhaps I need to give that another chance. Blade Runner just keeps growing on you like a fungus. It's such an amazing work visually. Edward James Olmos is in it and we all knew he was destined for classic status.

Anyone have strong feelings about these films? I'm sure there are films missing from this obviously pensive list. My personal pick worthy of submission would be Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. The film was loaded with moral questions surrounding society and human nature. Its depiction of the future was visually stunning and reminiscent of a film like Blade Runner. Some nice action. Some fine acting. I think Minority Report enters into this realm, despite what you might think of Tom Cruise. Even if you don't agree with this list it is solid and does indeed make you think.


Havremunken said...


When I had my personal "sci-fi awakening", I came from mostly watching action and horror movies. Therefore, while I deeply respect the classics here, I must admit my favourites usually are a little light on the "sci" side of things.. ;)

So I really love the Terminator movies (well, the first two, even tho number 3 was fun in its way), the Matrix triology++, and my fiancé is still shocked when I bring out my toy (replica) light saber whenever there's fish for dinner; Star Wars isn't really into the science part at all (they show you cool stuff, but never how it works. Damn!) - but Anakin's fall to the dark side is still some of my favourite stuff.

While I can appreciate a good movie that makes me think for three weeks (or 20 years, in the case of 2001), my movie addiction is also about being entertained there and then. So I dig everything from Alien to Cube, even when the actual sci-fi level is pretty low.

And I want a functional light saber, damnit! ;)

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I'm right there with you. That's why I posted it. Half of the films I have not seen on the list. I think the first MATRIX film could easily qualify for it.

I love, love the ALIEN films. And we too enjoy the lightsaber as the weapon of choice.

I still haven't give Terminator the TV series a chance.

But I hear what you're saying and even if the sci-fi level is low it has to be the quality of a Dark City, Alien or Star Wars to draw my attention or I won't give it the time of day.