It is said that the best sci-fi movies are those which question the human existence, and the meaning of being human. They are the movies which ask the audience that why they are on this earth, and question the purposes of their lives through artificial creatures and machines. Crizic brings you the 10 greatest sci-fi movies of all time:
10. Close Encounters of the third kind:
Spielberg destroyed common perception of an alien invasion that had set into public consciousness after War of the Worlds(1951), instead projecting it as an opportunity for new knowledge and progress of mankind, in a gentle nod to Stanley Kubrick.
Warm and cosy, with a touch of the thriller, Close Encounter was a refreshing entry into a genre that had generally come to be associated with laser-gun toting humanoid aliens.
9. Star Wars:
Probably the most influential sci-fi movie ever as far as pop culture is concerned, Lucas’ ambitious 70s flick is a brilliant example of what a good script, amazing effects and catering to all palates of intellectual taste can do for a movie. Star Wars was a hit. Star Wars still is a hit.
Combine closed circuit time travel, a non-emoting titan of a man and a thrilling, thrilling script. What do you get? A sci-fi spectacle for the ages. Forever catapulting James Cameron into the leagues of great directors, Terminator represented the new wave of mind-bending sci-fi that surfaced towards the end of the twentieth century.
7. The Matrix:
Postulating mind as the final frontier rather than space, The Matrix truly was one of sci-fi’s crowning achievements. Representing new-age thought and malaise, The Matrix dealt with themes such as existence, AI and PVC catsuits. Single-handedly reinvigorating an entire genre, The Matrix caused us to sit up and question the reality of the world around us.
It also gave us Keanu Reeves in his immortal Kung Fu Jesus avatar.
Concerned more with emotion than the thrill of anything spacey, ET recounted the story of a young boy and his relationsip with a benevolent alien. At its heart, ET was a buddy story; it charmed one, and it charmed all. Probably Spielberg’s finest film, ET is beautiful, light and downright heart-wrenching at times. For a brief while, we are children again. And that’s all that needs to be said.
Ridley Scott’s Alien was to film what a defibrillator is to the heart. It was shocking, and clearly a massive thrill. Despite having a cheap monster flick script at its heart, Alien transcends into much more. With incredible design, brilliant acting and The Chestbuster, Alien became one of the most iconic and parodied films in pop culture.
There is true terror here.
In stark contrast to Kubrick’s vision of space and infinity’s implication is Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece. A melancholic film that at its heart deals with existentialism, Solaris showed us the psychological, darker side of space. With magnificient cinematography, haunting truths and a meditation on love, Solaris continues to endure not just as a sci fi, but as a movie great.
Fritz Lang’s ambitious masterpiece eventually ended up bankrupting its producers, but not before providing the people with a movie for the ages. Shot with technical precision decades ahead of its time, Metropolis dealt with the themes of class conflict, industrialism and dehumanization. After its Berlin premiere, no authoritative version of Metropolis has been established, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming the timeless tale that it is.
2. Blade Runner:
What does it mean to be human? With that question, Blade Runner firmly cements its place as one of the cinematic greats of all time.
Based on the novel, “Do Androids dream of electric sheep?”, Blade Runner incorporates stunning visuals, imploding dialogue and an unexpected heartbreak in the end to become a film so profound, it stays with you for years. And that is the mark of a great movie.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey:
2001 killed the genre of sci-fi. Every movie after it, or before it even, have only been shadows of this all-time masterpiece. Verily, 2001 might just be the greatest accomplishment in the history of cinema.
From its majestic soundtrack to its now iconic villain, HAL-9000, 2001 has probably inspired more themes in pop culture than any other work before or after it.
Kubrick’s finest work (And that’s saying something!), 2001 is pure spirituality. He dealt with themes of consciousness, life and transcendence by creating a film that is purely a visual experience (Only 40 minutes of dialogue!), which is then layered with his pitch perfect background-score sense to inspire pure contemplation.
2001 is true art. It is an amalgamation of all forms of aesthete, haunting in its vastness and belittling in its infinity. Its audience is not the viewer, but the human race itself.
You are not the viewer, Homo Sapien is.
2001 forces you to think more than your existence, and propels you into an intellectual journey that is beyond the infinite.
2001 is cold. 2001 is frightening. 2001 is magnificent.
2001 is cinema.