Science fiction has always been a popular genre in cinema, and in recent years, it has taken on a new level of popularity. With advancements in technology and special effects, filmmakers have been able to create mind-bending worlds and tell captivating stories that capture our imagination. Here are the 15 best science fiction movies of recent years.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, “Interstellar” follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. The film is known for its stunning visuals and scientific accuracy, with physicist Kip Thorne serving as a consultant on the project.
Matthew McConaughey’s daughter in the film, Murph, is named after the famous physicist Murphy’s Law.
“Blade Runner 2049” (2017)
“Blade Runner 2049” is a sequel to the classic 1982 film “Blade Runner” and follows a new blade runner, played by Ryan Gosling, who uncovers a long-buried secret that leads him to seek out former blade runner Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. The film features stunning cinematography and a haunting score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.
Blade Runner Trivia
The character played by Jared Leto, Niander Wallace, was originally intended to be played by David Bowie before his death.
“Arrival” stars Amy Adams as a linguist who is recruited by the military to communicate with aliens who have landed on Earth. The film explores themes of communication, time, and perception and is based on the novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.
The alien language in the film was designed by a team of linguists and graphic designers and is based on the concept of semagrams, which are visual symbols that represent entire words or concepts.
Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” follows a group of thieves who enter the dreams of others to steal their secrets. The film features a talented cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy, and is known for its mind-bending visuals and complex plot.
The spinning top that appears in the film’s final scene has become a popular symbol for the film’s ambiguous ending.
“The Martian” (2015)
Based on the novel by Andy Weir, “The Martian” stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must use his knowledge and ingenuity to survive until a rescue mission can be launched. The film is known for its scientific accuracy and its humor, and was a box office and critical success.
The Martian Trivia
The production team consulted with NASA on the film, and even designed a special spacesuit for Matt Damon that could withstand the Martian environment.
“Ex Machina” (2014)
“Ex Machina” follows a programmer who is invited to a remote location to administer a Turing test to an advanced AI robot named Ava. The film explores themes of artificial intelligence, consciousness, and morality and features stunning visual effects and a standout performance by Alicia Vikander.
Ex Machina Trivia
The film’s title is a reference to the Latin phrase “Deus Ex Machina,” which means “god from the machine” and is often used in reference to a contrived or unexpected solution to a problem.
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity” stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who are stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed. The film is known for its stunning visuals and immersive sound design, and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director.
The film’s production took four and a half years, with much of that time spent on developing the complex visual effects and the sound design.
“Her” stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, a man who falls in love with an intelligent operating system named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The film explores the nature of relationships and what it means to be human in a world where technology is rapidly advancing. “Her” was written and directed by Spike Jonze and was praised for its performances, production design, and score.
Samantha Morton was originally cast to voice Samantha, but was replaced by Johansson in post-production.
Directed by Rian Johnson, “Looper” is a sci-fi action film set in a future where time travel exists but is only available on the black market. The film follows Joe, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a hitman who kills targets sent back in time, until he is tasked with killing his future self, played by Bruce Willis. The film was praised for its inventive concept and strong performances.
Emily Blunt was pregnant during the filming of “Looper,” and Johnson incorporated her pregnancy into the story.
“Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
Starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, “Edge of Tomorrow” is a sci-fi action film based on the Japanese novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The film follows a soldier who is caught in a time loop and must relive the same day of a war against an alien race, gaining knowledge and skills with each repetition. The film was praised for its action sequences and performances.
Edge of Tomorrow Trivia
The film’s original title was “All You Need Is Kill,” but was changed to “Edge of Tomorrow” for marketing purposes.
“The Lobster” (2015)
“The Lobster” is a dystopian black comedy film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly. The film is set in a society where single people must find a romantic partner within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice. The film was praised for its satire and performances.
The Lobster Trivia
The film won the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by Duncan Jones, “Moon” stars Sam Rockwell as an astronaut who is nearing the end of his three-year solo mission on the moon. The film explores themes of identity, isolation, and corporate greed, and was praised for its performances and production design.
Jones wrote the screenplay for “Moon” in just two weeks, inspired by the science fiction films of the 1970s.
“Hereditary” is a horror film directed by Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro. The film follows a family that begins to experience supernatural occurrences following the death of their grandmother. The film was praised for its performances, cinematography, and score, and was noted for its unconventional approach to the horror genre.
The miniature houses and furniture seen in the film were created by artist Annie Atkins, who also worked on the production design for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
“Under the Skin” (2013)
Directed by Jonathan Glazer, “Under the Skin” stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien who seduces and preys on human men in Scotland. The film was noted for its experimental approach to storytelling and its striking visuals.
Under the Skin Trivia
The film’s score was composed by Mica Levi, who incorporated elements of musique concrète and ambient music into the score.
In “Bliss,” Owen Wilson plays a man who meets a woman (Salma Hayek) who convinces him that they are living in a simulated reality. As he becomes more and more convinced, he must navigate a series of confusing and surreal events to uncover the truth. The film explores themes of mental illness, addiction, and the nature of reality.
The film was directed by Mike Cahill, who also directed the indie sci-fi films “Another Earth” and “I Origins.”
In “Upgrade,” Logan Marshall-Green plays a man who is paralyzed in a violent attack and given a computer chip implant that allows him to regain control of his body. As he begins to use his new abilities to track down those responsible for his attack, he realizes that the implant may have a mind of its own. The film features stylish action sequences and an intriguing exploration of the relationship between humans and technology.
The film’s writer and director, Leigh Whannell, is also known for co-creating the “Saw” and “Insidious” horror franchises.
Based on the novel by Jeff Vandermeer, “Annihilation” stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who leads a team of scientists on an expedition into a mysterious and dangerous area known as “The Shimmer.” The film features stunning visual effects and a haunting score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow.
The film was written and directed by Alex Garland, who previously wrote the screenplay for “28 Days Later” and directed the acclaimed sci-fi film “Ex Machina.”
“Okja” is a unique film that combines elements of science fiction and fantasy with a social message about animal rights. The film follows a young girl who must rescue her genetically engineered superpig from a corporation that plans to turn it into food. The film features a talented cast, including Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano, and was directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also directed the acclaimed film “Parasite.”
The film was produced by Netflix and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it sparked controversy due to the festival’s rules regarding streaming films.
“Ad Astra” (2019)
Starring Brad Pitt as astronaut Roy McBride, “Ad Astra” is a science fiction drama that follows McBride as he embarks on a mission to Neptune to uncover the truth behind his father’s disappearance. The film is known for its stunning visuals and introspective themes about the human condition.
Ad Astra Trivia
Director James Gray was inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novel “Heart of Darkness” and Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation “Apocalypse Now” when making “Ad Astra.”
“Tenet,” directed by Christopher Nolan, follows a protagonist, played by John David Washington, as he attempts to stop a threat worse than World War III through the manipulation of time. The film features a talented cast, including Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki, and is known for its mind-bending plot and stunning visuals.
The film’s title is a palindrome, meaning it reads the same backward and forward, and is a reference to the film’s central theme of inversion.