What is the best sci-fi film of all time?
D.M. Jarrett author of sci-fi adventure series Sean Yeager Adventures speculates about the best sci-fi films of all time, many of which inspired generations of writers and creators.
It occurred to me the other day that writing is similar to script writing for films. I often find myself visualising how scenes would work and how the characters would respond to situations when writing draft chapters. I wonder how many have subconsciously influenced Sean Yeager and the DNA Thief?
So here is my personal short-list of what I consider to be the finest sci-fi films ever made. Of course it is a subjective list and a bit of fun and there are plenty of other good films not on this list. I have for example not included lighter entertainment films out of personal choice (e.g. E.T., Close Encounters, Starman, Jurassic Park.) This is because taken as a whole I’m not that keen on them.
#15 Sunshine: Perhaps a marmite film. Well I liked it and watched it several times over. It’s a bit like the anti-Solaris.
#14 Dr Who The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Sure it’s dated and not strictly a film but for me a very good take on the whole theme with a genuinely threatening enemy and with William Hartnell as Dr Who.
#13 Fifth Element: Yes it’s derivative, yes it’s silly in places but it’s also a lot of fun and highly watchable
#12 Terminator 1 & 2: while the story was repeated three times in my view, the first had the most impact especially in the mirror cutting scene and the final moments. And for me the second had the best Terminator.
#11 The Matrix: stylish and thought provoking action, until it all became a bit silly in later episodes. Only let down by the complete lack of trying not to stand out inside The Matrix – I mean all black gear and sunglasses?
#10 Solaris: thought provoking and unsettling space drama
#9 The Day the Earth Stood Still 1972 – ahead of its time and strangely realistic
#8 2001 A Space Odyssey: slow, moving and thematically realistic with beautiful cinematography. It pulls you in and keeps you in space.
#7 Avatar: Great effects, decent ideas, story was okay if not entirely believable or plausible. Still watched it three times in a week (and didn’t expect to like it) Shame about some silliness that crept into the final act.
#6 Star Wars IV – entertaining, ground breaking and very watchable (until Jabba the Hutt received more scenes in later cuts) Silly in parts – noises in space, stormtroopers who never seem to shoot straight, understanding a Wookie with two kinds of growl.
#5 Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back; darker and better made than the rest of the franchise. Of course The Empire kicks ass, why wouldn’t they? Even allowing for the giant walking dogs.
#4 Invasion of the Bodysnatchers: given its age one of the best sci-fi horror films ever made, watch it again if you don’t believe me.
#3 The Thing 1982: a very scary film that stands up to repeat viewings, on first viewing you have no idea what is going to happen next.
#2 Bladerunner: Consistently involving with plausible characters, tech and genuinely touching scenes and score. I prefer the later cuts and added back-in scenes personally. Can seem a bit slow in places.
#1 Alien (tied) The original and very scary, try watching it at night on your own…
#1 Aliens (tied) More of everything and works brilliantly as a comment on gung-ho military leadership as well as a shoot-em up
Happy film watching
Sean Yeager Adventures