Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2019 (And The Worst)

2019 is one of those movie years that sees cosmic superheroes, unstoppable syndicate assassins, and crime-solving pocket monsters with regularity, making it harder for science-fiction films to dazzle us with their subversions of the norm. That means they’ll just have to be more creative in this day and age, and you’ll find the ones up to task on our list of the best sci movies (and the worst) of 2019! (“The worst” implying you’ll also find the ones that aren’t). The offerings this year include big-budget spectacles (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), mid-budget mindblowers (I Am Mother), a Michael J. Fox-featured time travel joint (See You Yesterday), and even something from genre wanderer Keanu Reeves (Replicas). As with our other genre lists (2019’s best in horror, comedy, and action),each sci-fi movie needed at least 20 reviews for inclusion. Distribution method was not a factor. It’s the future, baby!

Last updated 10/28: Terminator: Dark Fate


Best Movies of 2019 | Best Horror Movies of 2019
Best Comedies of 2019 | Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2019
Best Action Movies of 2019

#15

Replicas (2018)
11%

#15
Adjusted Score: 12704%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts plot holes and unintentional laughs, Replicas is a ponderously lame sci-fi outing that isn't even bad enough to be so bad it's good.
Synopsis: Neuroscientist William Foster is on the verge of transferring human consciousness into a computer when his beloved wife and children... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Nachmanoff

#14
Adjusted Score: 43036%
Critics Consensus: Amiable yet forgettable, MiB International grinds its stars' substantial chemistry through the gears of a franchise running low on reasons to continue.
Synopsis: The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe but so have the villains of the universe. To keep... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#13

Io (2019)
33%

#13
Adjusted Score: 33786%
Critics Consensus: IO has some big ideas but little idea of how to effectively convey them, leaving viewers with a sci-fi drama whose attractive packaging can't cover its enervating core.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Danny Huston
Directed By: Unknown Director

#12
Adjusted Score: 64086%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers spectacular kaiju action -- and reaffirms that cutting-edge effects are still no substitute for a good story.
Synopsis: Members of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#11

Captive State (2019)
44%

#11
Adjusted Score: 47292%
Critics Consensus: This sci-fi thriller may not necessarily leave viewers in a Captive State, but it offers reasonably diverting alien invasion action with ambitious political undertones.
Synopsis: After 10 years of extraterrestrial occupation, residents of Chicago must decide whether to continue to live under alien rule or... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 81830%
Critics Consensus: Alita: Battle Angel's story struggles to keep up with its special effects, but fans of futuristic sci-fi action may still find themselves more than sufficiently entertained.
Synopsis: Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#9

Paradise Hills (2019)
67%

#9
Adjusted Score: 70630%
Critics Consensus: Its ambitious reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but Paradise Hills offers fans of thoughtful sci-fi a visually distinctive treat with timely themes.
Synopsis: Young women must band together to escape from a seemingly idyllic island that holds a sinister secret.... [More]
Directed By: Alice Waddington

#8

Aniara (2018)
71%

#8
Adjusted Score: 73440%
Critics Consensus: Dazzling, but a little dull, ANIARA's impeccable production design is undermined by its underwhelming philosophical pondering.
Synopsis: When a spacecraft carrying settlers to Mars strays off course, the consumption-obsessed passengers are prompted to consider their place in... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 91086%
Critics Consensus: Terminator: Dark Fate represents a significant upgrade over its immediate predecessors, even if it lacks the thrilling firepower of the franchise's best installments.
Synopsis: In Mexico City, a newly modified liquid Terminator -- the Rev-9 model -- arrives from the future to kill a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Miller

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 70580%
Critics Consensus: The Wandering Earth's story won't win many points for originality, but this sci-fi epic earns its thrills with exciting set pieces and dazzling special effects.
Synopsis: When the sun dies out, the people of Earth build giant thrusters to move the planet out of orbit and... [More]
Directed By: Frant Gwo

#5

Ad Astra (2019)
83%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107063%
Critics Consensus: Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.
Synopsis: Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#4

Freaks (2018)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92557%
Critics Consensus: Stocked with solid performances, Freaks is a clever sci-fi/horror hybrid that suggests a bright future for co-writers/co-directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein.
Synopsis: Kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world. It's... [More]
Directed By: Adam Stein, Zach Lipovsky

#3

I Am Mother (2019)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 93895%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful, well-acted, and intelligent, I Am Mother is an ambitious sci-fi story that largely achieves its impressive aims.
Synopsis: A teenage girl is raised by a robot designed to repopulate Earth. Their bond is tested when a stranger arrives... [More]
Directed By: Grant Sputore

#2

Starfish (2018)
87%

#2
Adjusted Score: 90102%
Critics Consensus: Led by a strong central performance from Virginia Gardner, Starfish is an intelligent, emotionally affecting, and uniquely expansive sci-fi/horror hybrid.
Synopsis: A woman grieves over the loss of her best friend as the world comes to an end.... [More]
Directed By: A.T. White

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 93712%
Critics Consensus: See You Yesterday marries a novel sci-fi premise with urgent social relevance and forges something excitedly new from the union -- providing an impressive showcase for star Eden Duncan-Smith and debut writer-director Stefon Bristol.
Synopsis: Two teenage science prodigies spend every spare minute working on their latest homemade invention: backpacks that enable time travel. When... [More]
Directed By: Stefon Bristol

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