Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

Cue the theremin, summon some extraterrestrials, and insert that social commentary: It’s Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 100 best sci-fi movies of all time, ranked by adjusted Tomatometer from at least 40 reviews!


Sunshine (2007)

Adjusted Score: 81.105%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: As the sun begins to dim along with humankind's hope for the future, it's up to a desperate crew of... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle


Videodrome (1983)

Adjusted Score: 82.021%
Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
Synopsis: In this David Cronenberg film, a strange television show called Videodrome, which shows uncut, unedited films of seemingly real human... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

Adjusted Score: 82.055%
Critics Consensus: Though it may be short on dazzling special effects, The Search for Spock is still a strong Star Trek installment, thanks to affecting performances by its iconic cast.
Synopsis: Star Trek II ended with Spock presumed dead, but this film reveals that his consciousness survives within McCoy. Spock's body... [More]
Directed By: Leonard Nimoy

Adjusted Score: 82.372%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
Synopsis: This is a contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal sci-fi classic. The adventure/thriller reveals humankind's extraordinary battle against an extra-terrestrial... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Adjusted Score: 82.562%
Critics Consensus: Beyond Thunderdome deepens the Mad Max character without sacrificing the amazing vehicle choreography and stunts that made the originals memorable.
Synopsis: About 15 years after the events of Mad Max 2, nuclear war has finally destroyed what little was left of... [More]


Alien: Covenant (2017)

Adjusted Score: 81.94%
Critics Consensus: Alien: Covenant delivers another satisfying round of close-quarters deep-space terror, even if it doesn't take the saga in any new directions.
Synopsis: Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott


Jurassic World (2015)

Adjusted Score: 82.909%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic World can't match the original for sheer inventiveness and impact, but it works in its own right as an entertaining -- and visually dazzling -- popcorn thriller.
Synopsis: Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow... [More]
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow


Dredd (2012)

Adjusted Score: 83.036%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by bombastic violence and impressive special effects, rooted in self-satire and deadpan humor, Dredd 3D does a remarkable job of capturing its source material's gritty spirit.
Synopsis: The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega... [More]
Directed By: Pete Travis


Prometheus (2012)

Adjusted Score: 83.278%
Critics Consensus: Ridley Scott's ambitious quasi-prequel to Alien may not answer all of its big questions, but it's redeemed by its haunting visual grandeur and compelling performances -- particularly Michael Fassbender as a fastidious android.
Synopsis: Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott


Predator (1987)

Adjusted Score: 83.366%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has a code of honor which he will not violate, even when his life depends on it.... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan


Interstellar (2014)

Adjusted Score: 84.14%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan


Gattaca (1997)

Adjusted Score: 85.196%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol


Paprika (2006)

Adjusted Score: 85.343%
Critics Consensus: Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that is difficult to follow but never fails to dazzle.
Synopsis: A machine allows therapists to enter patients' dreams. When it's stolen, all hell breaks loose, and only a woman therapist... [More]
Directed By: Satoshi Kon


Total Recall (1990)

Adjusted Score: 86.663%
Critics Consensus: Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks.
Synopsis: In Paul Verhoeven's wild sci-fi action movie Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a 21st-century construction worker who discovers that his... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven


They Live (1988)

Adjusted Score: 86.847%
Critics Consensus: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.
Synopsis: A homeless drifter discovers a reason for the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor: a conspiracy by non-human... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter


Metropolis (2002)

Adjusted Score: 87.072%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable technical achievement, Metropolis' eye-popping visuals more than compensate for its relatively routine story.
Synopsis: Playing like a candy-colored hybrid of Fritz Lang's film of the same name and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, Osamu Tezuka's... [More]
Directed By: Rintaro


Predestination (2015)

Adjusted Score: 87.317%
Critics Consensus: Fun genre fare with uncommon intelligence, Predestination serves as a better-than-average sci-fi adventure -- and offers a starmaking turn from Sarah Snook.
Synopsis: PREDESTINATION chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to... [More]

Adjusted Score: 87.562%
Critics Consensus: The Undiscovered Country is a strong cinematic send-off for the original Trek crew, featuring some remarkable visuals and an intriguing, character-driven mystery plot.
Synopsis: In this last film centering on the original television series' stars, an ecological disaster forces the Klingons to seek peace... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Meyer

Adjusted Score: 87.861%
Critics Consensus: Filled with stunning imagery, The Man Who Fell to Earth is a calm, meditative film that profoundly explores our culture's values and desires.
Synopsis: Space alien (Bowie) crash lands on Earth, seeking help for his drought-stricken planet. By securing patents to advanced technology, he... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

Adjusted Score: 88.387%
Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.
Synopsis: In the epic conclusion of the saga, the Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star... [More]
Directed By: Richard Marquand

Adjusted Score: 88.559%
Critics Consensus: Timecrimes is a low-budget thriller that's well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists.
Synopsis: An ordinary guy takes an extraordinary step through time in this science fiction thriller. Hector (Karra Elejalde) is spending a... [More]
Directed By: Nacho Vigalondo

Adjusted Score: 88.573%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rupert Wyatt's stylish direction, some impressive special effects, and a mesmerizing performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathes unlikely new life into a long-running franchise.
Synopsis: A single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other -- and to the Rise... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt


The Thing (1982)

Adjusted Score: 88.599%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: John Carpenter's The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

Adjusted Score: 88.631%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.
Synopsis: George Lucas draws the Star Wars film series to a close with this dark sci-fi adventure which sets the stage... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas


Serenity (2005)

Adjusted Score: 88.779%
Critics Consensus: Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.
Synopsis: A band of renegades on the run in outer space get in more hot water than they anticipated in this... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

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