The Online Best Sci-Fi Movie Lists Used:
You can click on the site logos or site text name to reference their respective lists.
Snapshot taken in 2010.
IGN.com - The movies selected in their list were judged by the IGN staff.
1. Star Wars: Episode V 1980
2. Alien 1979
3. Blade Runner
4. Terminator 2
5. A Clockwork Orange
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
7. Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope
8. The Matrix
9. Back to the Future
10. Aliens 1986
11. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
12. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
13. The Terminator
14. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
15. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
16. Dune 1985
17. Metropolis 1927
18. Forbidden Planet 1956
19. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
20. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
21. Brazil 1985
22. Planet of the Apes 1968
25. Captain EO
Online Film Critics Society - The movies selected in their list were judged by over 100 OFCS members.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
2. Blade Runner 1982
3. Star Wars Episode IV 1977
4. Star Wars Episode V 1980
5. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial 1982
6. Metropolis 1927
7. Brazil 1985
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977
9. Clockwork Orange, A 1971
10. Alien 1979
11. Aliens 1986
12. Matrix, The 1999
13. Back to the Future 1985
14. Day the Earth Stood Still, The 1951
15. Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
16. Terminator, The 1984
17. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956
18. Planet of the Apes 1968
19. Dark City 1998
20. Contact 1997
21. 12 Monkeys 1995
22. King Kong 1933
23. Bride of Frankenstein 1935
24. La Jetee 1962
25. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence 2001
IMDB.com - The movies selected in their list were voted by thousands of IMDB members.
1. Star Wars V 1980
2. Star Wars 1977
3. WALL-E 2008
4. The Matrix 1999
5. Alien 1979
6. Metropolis 1927
7. Aliens 1986
8. Terminator 2 1991
9. 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
10. The Prestige 2006
11. Back to the Future 1985
12. Blade Runner 1982
13. Star Wars VI 1983
14. Ivan Vasilevich menyaet professiyu 1973
15. Donnie Darko 2001
16. V for Vendetta 2005
17. The Incredibles 2004
18. Bride of Frankenstein
19. The Thing 1982
20. Children of Men 2006
21. Frankenstein 1931
22. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
23. The Terminator 1984
24. Stalker 1979
25. Twelve Monkeys 1995
RottenTomatoes.com - The movies selected in their list were judged by designated site critics.
1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 1982
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
3. Metropolis 1927
4. Alien 1979
5. Minority Report 2002
6. The Empire Strikes Back 1980
7. Children of Men 2006
8. The Host 2007
9. Star Wars 1977
10. Aliens 1986
11. The Road Warrior 1981
12. The Bride of Frankenstein 1935
13. Galaxy Quest 1999
14. Brazil 1985
15. The Terminator 1984
16. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956
17. Solaris 1972
18. 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
19. Frankenstein 1931
20. Mad Max 1979
21. Repo Man 1984
22. Back to the Future 1985
23. Sleeper 1973
24. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978
25. Gojira 1954
FilmCritic.com - The movies selected in their list were judged by the website staff.
1. Star Wars trilogy
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. Blade Runner
5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
6. The Wizard of Oz
8. The Matrix
9. A Clockwork Orange
11. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
12. 12 Monkeys
13. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
14. Dark City
15. Minority Report
16. Back to the Future trilogy
17. The Terminator/T2: Judgment Day
18. Mad Max trilogy
19. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
21. Lord of the Rings trilogy
22. Total Recall
24. La Jetee
Channel4.com - The movies selected in their list were judged by eight Film4 critics.
1. Blade Runner
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. The Matrix
4. Donnie Darko
6. The Man Who Fell to Earth
8. Star Wars Episode V
9. The Terminator
10. Mad Max 2
11. Twelve Monkeys
13. Solaris (1972)
14. Forbidden Planet
15. The Thing (1982)
16. Dark Star
17. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
18. Back To The Future
19. Rollerball (1975)
20. A Boy And His Dog
21. La Jetée
22. Metropolis (1927)
23. Planet Of The Apes (1968)
25. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Seekler.com - The movies selected in their list were voted by site members.
1. Blade Runner
2. The Matrix
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
4. Alien 1979
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
7. Star Wars IV - A New Hope
8. Aliens 1986
9. The Fifth Element
10. Dark City
11. The Terminator
12. Star Wars Trilogy
13. Star Wars V-The Empire Strikes Back
14. Jurassic Park
15. Minority Report
16. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
18. War of the Worlds 1953
19. Metropolis 1927
20. The Arrival
21. The Abyss
22. Solaris 1972
24. Children of Men
TopTenReviews.com - The movies selected in their list were tabulated by combined movie critic's ratings.
1. Metropolis 1927
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982
3. Star Wars 1977
4. Dr. Strangelove 1964
5. Star Wars: Episode V
6. Alien 1979
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey
8. Planet of the Apes 1968
9. The Incredibles
10. Aliens 1986
11. Children of Men 2006
12. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
13. Young Frankenstein
14. Return of the Living Dead 1985
16. The Host 2007
17. The Fly 1986
18. Island of the Lost Souls 1933
19. Repo Man 1984
20. The Lost World 1925
21. The Terminator 1984
22. Dark Star 1974
23. The Bride of Frankenstein 1935
24. The Iron Giant 1999
25. Terminator 2
DarkWebOnline.com - The movies selected in their list were judged by the website staff.
1. Star Wars V 1980
2. Alien 1970
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
4. War of the Worlds 1953
5. Star Wars 1977
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956
7. The Thing From Another World 1951
8. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
9. The Terminator 1984
10. Aliens 1986
11. Dr. Strangelove 1964
12. Metropolis 1927
13. A Clockwork Orange 1971
14. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977
15. Star Wars VI 1983
16. The Matrix 1999
17. Jurassic Park 1993
18. Quatermass and the Pit 1968
19. Terminator 2 1991
20. The Village of the Damned 1960
21. Robocop 1987
22. The Incredible Shrinking Man 1958
23. The Time Machine 1960
24. Independence Day 1996
25. The Fly 1958
AustarNet.com - The movies selected in their list were voted by their site visitors. Note: this is an ongoing poll, results may vary from the time we sampled this poll.
1. Blade Runner 1982
2. Star Wars Trilogy IV-VI (1977-83) et al 1977
3. The Matrix 1999
4. Alien 1979
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
6. Aliens 1986
7. The Terminator 1984
8. The Fifth Element 1997
9. Terminator 2 - Judgement Day 1991
10. Twelve Monkeys 1995
11. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
12. Planet of the Apes 1968
13. Forbidden Planet 1956
14. A Clockwork Orange 1971
15. Back to the Future 1985
16. Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan 1982
17. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977
18. Jurassic Park 1993
19. Brazil 1985
20. Gattaca 1997
21. Star Wars I-III (1999-2005) 1999
22. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial 1982
23. Dr Strangelove 1964
24. Dark City 1998
25. Dune 1984
We sampled ten popular online top sci-fi film polls to determine SFMZ's Top Ten Sci-Fi Films of All Time. Based on their average ranking per poll, each film was measured how well it fared in the lists in the sidebar on the left. Only films that appear in at least seven of the ten polls were measured.
With each poll on the left, we provide how their poll was determined. As you can see it is a mixture of input from fans, critics, film societies, website staff, and more. This is why we selected these ten popular polls, to give our poll a diversity of contribution.
Calculation Example: Blade Runner appeared in seven of the ten polls below and holds the rankings of 1st (three of them), 2nd, 3rd (two of them), and 12th. These rankings total 23 divided by 7 (the number of polls it appeared), creating an average of 3.29 (The lower the score the better).
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - 1991
Score: 12.75, 8 Polls
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this explosive adventure spectacle!
His mission: to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. His opponent: the T-1000, the most lethal machine ever created!
A decade after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) destroyed the original Terminator, a second unstoppable killing machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives from the post-apocalyptic year 2029.
But this time his mission is to stop an even deadlier Terminator, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), made entirely of shape-shifting liquid metal and determined to kill young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the future leader of the human resistance.
Sarah, John, and the Terminator counter by going after the scientist responsible for developing Skynet, the computer system fated to destroy humanity, leading to an explosive and spectacular clash with the fate of humanity in the balance. Whereas James Cameron's original The Terminator was a low-budget marvel of efficiency and speed, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is an action-packed blockbuster with some of the most amazing stunts ever filmed and ground-breaking, Academy Award-winning special effects.
Star Schwarzenegger was paid in the form of a $15 million dollar jet to revisit his most famous role as the Terminator, this time made kinder and gentler against the silent, relentless T-1000. One of the most popular films of the 1990s, James Cameron's action masterpiece is both a thoughtful look at violence in human nature and an exciting, nonstop thrill ride.
Metropolis - 1927
Score: 10.33, 9 Polls
A visionary and elaborate spectacle by director Fritz Lang is an epic projection of a futuristic city divided into a working and an elite class.
Its exhilarating climax brings the city to its knees, as the classes clash against each other. In the 21st century, a de-humanized proletariat labors non-stop in a miserable subterranean city beneath a luxurious city of mile-high skyscrapers, flying automobiles, palatial architectural idylls, tubes and tunnels.
With stunningly inventive special effects, Lang's allegorical narrative and architectural vision creates a highly stylized vision of a not so unlikely future (especially for 1926 when the film was made).
As the elite frolic above the clouds, thousands of miserable workers toil night and day inside the belly of the gigantic machine that runs the entire city. Metropolis is controlled by a sinister authoritarian whose son, Freder, rejects his father's callous philosophy and attitude towards laborers.philosophy and attitude towards laborers.
Meek though they are, the workers are encouraged by Maria, a wistful young woman who wills her comrades to embrace patience and silent strength. Upon discovering her influence upon the workers, a mad scientist kidnaps Maria and creates a robot in her image that will incite the workers to revolt. As Freder races against time to save Maria and curtail the damage done by her doppelganger robot, Metropolis is enveloped in chaos and the classes are brought together in a breathtaking and highly moralistic climax.
Aliens - 1986
Score: 9.7, 10 Polls
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor from the original ALIEN, is awakened after 57 years of drifting through space.
Her stories are disbelieved by Company executives who tell her that the alien's planet is now inhabited and colonized.
When contact is suddenly lost with the colonists, Ripley returns to the planet with a squad of marines, an android (Lance Henriksen), and a Company executive (Paul Reiser) with a mission of his own.
Once on the planet, no survivors can be found except for Newt, a little girl who awakens motherly instincts in Ripley just in time for the acid-blooded aliens to attack in what quickly becomes a one-sided battle for sheer survival.
Considered by many to be the best of the series, Aliens is a fast-paced, high-intensity thrill ride that set a new standard for action films and cemented director James Cameron's status as one of Hollywood's leading directors following the success of The Terminator. Weaver received an Academy Award nomination and became a feminist hero for her strong, sensitive performance as the survivor Ripley, while costars Reiser, Henriksen, and Bill Paxton all give career-making performances in this landmark sci-fi extravaganza.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - 1982
Score: 9.14, 7 Polls
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is Steven Spielberg's warmhearted classic delight for both children and adults.
It tells the story of an alien creature, E.T., mistakenly left behind on Earth. When a young boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), finds E.T. and hides him in his home, both their worlds are changed forever. E.T. teaches Elliott and his two siblings (Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton), whose parents have recently separated, about caring and love while the children protect E.T. from the malevolent world of grown-ups.
Elliott and E.T. become so close that they share emotions; as E.T. becomes ill, so does Elliott. The children end up going on a fabulous adventure trying to help E.T. find a way back to his home planet. The movie was originally going to be based on a story idea by director John Sayles, but after he removed himself from the project, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) took over the script and made it her own. John Williams's beautiful soundtrack became forever linked to E.T.
Star Wars IV - 1977
Score: 7.63, 8 Polls
Star Wars, George Lucas's stunning sci-fi masterpiece, is arguably one of the most inventive and entertaining films ever made.
It has garnered generations of loyal fans who are forever imprinted with the memory of its characters and dialogue.
As the adventure begins, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), an impulsive but goodhearted young man who lives on the dusty planet of Tatooine with his aunt and uncle, longs for the exciting life of a Rebel soldier.
The Rebels, led by the headstrong Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), are fighting against the evil Empire, which has set about destroying planets inhabited by innocent citizens with the Death Star, a fearsome planetlike craft commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) and the eternally frightful Darth Vader (David Prowse, with the voice of James Earl Jones).
When Luke's aunt and uncle are murdered by the Empire's imperial stormtroopers and he mysteriously finds a distress message from Princess Leia in one of his androids, R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), he must set out to find Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), a mysterious old hermit with incredible powers. On his journey, Luke is aided by the roguish, sarcastic mercenary Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his towering furry sidekick Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as they run into a host of perilous situations while trying to rescue the princess--and the entire galaxy.
The Matrix - 1999
Score: 7.0, 8 Polls
The Wachowskis have established themselves as innovative filmmakers who push the boundaries of live-action films.
Like the groundbreaking STAR WARS, THE MATRIX (also the first film of a trilogy) showcases a unique visual style, one the Wachowskis achieved through an array of techniques and digital effects, some never before seen in mainstream Hollywood films.
Although computer morphing technology had been used before in films such as THE ABYSS and TERMINATOR 2, the Wachowskis were the first to use "bullet time," a time-bending digital effect that utilizes both computer-generated imagery and still photography.
The film itself is a complex story that aspires to mythology, focusing on a computer hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who searches for the truth behind the mysterious force known as the Matrix.
He finds his answer with a group of strangers led by the charismatic Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). What they encounter in confronting that truth makes for a lightning-paced, eye-popping thrill ride of a movie. Packed with stunning fight scenes (choreographed by accomplished Hong Kong director Yuen Wo-Ping), astonishing visual effects, quotable lines, and a terrific supporting cast (led by Carrie-Anne Moss, in her first major Hollywood film), THE MATRIX is a bold triumph that raises the bar for all science fiction films.
2001: A Space Odyssey - 1968
Score: 5.6, 10 Polls
2001 is regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time and four decades later it has aged well.
A four-million-year-old black monolith is discovered on the moon, and the government (while hiding the situation from the public) sends a team of scientists on a fact-finding mission.
Eighteen months later, another team is sent to Jupiter in a ship controlled by the perfect HAL 9000 computer to further investigate the giant object--but on this trip something goes terribly wrong.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is a masterpiece of filmmaking. Director and (with Arthur C. Clarke) co-screenwriter Stanley Kubrick has created a visual and aural spectacle that stands as one of the greatest achievements ever put on celluloid.
The film begins with the "Dawn of Man" segment, about the evolution of apes, and then ventures into the future, taking a look at what the world might be like in the first year of the 21st century. Kubrick's film is a triumph of technological storytelling, with stunning sets and a brilliant, overwhelming soundtrack. Long dialogue-free scenes sparkle with indelible images backed by powerful orchestral music, culminating in an unforgettable, inscrutable tale of birth and rebirth, human evolution and artificial intelligence, the past and the future.
Alien - 1979
Score: 5.22, 10 Polls
After 30 years of cult status, Alien is a sci-fi/horror film by which all like films are measured.
Director Ridley Scott's breakthough film, an immensely successful blend of horror and science fiction, is a classic in both genres and spawned a host of sequels and imitators.
Starring Sigourney Weaver as warrant officer Ellen Ripley, Alien focuses on the crew of the space cargo ship Nostromo, which lands on a moribund planet in response to a faint SOS.
Inside a crashed ship, the crew members come upon strange pods, one of which spews forth a repellently fleshy insectile creature that locks on to the face of the unlucky Kane (John Hurt). Despite Ripley's advice, science officer Ash (Ian Holm) allows Kane to return to the ship, where the creature finally releases its grip. Soon, however, in one of the film's most infamous scenes, one of its offspring explodes horribly from Kane's stomach and scurries away.
Dallas (Tom Skerritt), the vessel's captain, leads the others in a search for the rapidly growing, acid-dripping alien before it can cut them down--one by one.
A triumph of art direction, set design, and special effects, Alien gains much of its impact from the contrast between the bleak, antiseptic beauty of the space vessel's interior and the primordial horror of the alien, a brilliantly original fusion of insect, man, and machine designed by Swiss surrealist painter H.R. Giger. The top-notch cast also includes Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto, and Harry Dean Stanton.
Star Wars V - 1980
Score: 4.88, 8 Polls
Considered the most morally and emotionally complex of the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Empire Strikes Back continues creator George Lucas's epic saga where STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE left off.
The Rebel Forces--which include young adventurer Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), rogue pilot Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and the beautiful but seemingly humorless Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)--have been successful in destroying the Evil Empire's Death Star.
However, the Empire's top commander, the terrifying Lord Darth Vader (played by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones), is scanning the galaxy for the Rebels' secret location. After a visually stunning showdown on the ice planet Hoth, the Rebels are forced to flee, and Luke separates from Han and Leia.
Masterful storytelling weaves multiple, archetypal plotlines that pit Vader against Han and Leia as he desperately attempts to capture Luke for political--and, secretly, personal--reasons. Luke, meanwhile, finds himself under the tutelage of the tiny but powerful old Jedi Master Yoda, who teaches him the ways of the Force and warns the impatient but talented student against the threat of the Dark Side. Greek tragedy meets a philosophical hero's journey in EMPIRE, a remarkable sci-fi epic in which the performances are as powerful as the spectacular special effects.
Blade Runner - 1982
Score: 3.29, 7 Polls
Ridley Scott's hauntingly prescient vision of the not-too-distant future focused on Rick Deckard, a retired police assassin, or "blade runner."
The Los Angeles of 2019 is a dark, polluted, overcrowded dystopia dominated by cloud-piercing buildings and looming neon billboards, the air dense with acid rain and flying traffic.
World-weary Deckard has been called out of retirement to liquidate four escaped "replicants"--genetically derived androids of great strength, intelligence, and nearly-human emotion who serve as slaves and prostitutes in the off-planet colonies.
Led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), they've come to Los Angeles to confront their designer, Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel), with their unhappiness about the brevity of their four-year life span. In the course of his search, Deckard becomes romantically entwined with Tyrell's lovely assistant, Rachael (Sean Young), and must eventually confront Batty in an unforgettable rain-soaked sequence.
A highly influential fusion of the science fiction and noir genres based on the novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick, this postmodern film boasts astonishingly rich art direction, juxtaposing ingenious technological gadgetry with yellowing photographs and fetishistic objets d'art as it touches on questions of time, memory, identity, and mortality. Scott's 1992 director's cut edition contains notable alterations, including the absence of Ford's narration, which significantly heightens the ambiguity of key moments in this stunning cinematic landmark.