I watched the video Top 10 Science Fiction / Action Movies (2000-2016) by Youtuber PragmatiX. His top ten has zero overlap with my top 20. PragmatiX’s list is as follows:
- The Matrix
- Chronicles of Riddick
- The Terminator: Rise of the Machines (2003)
- Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
- The One
- Men in Black 3 (2012)
- I, Robot
- Tron Legacy
There are some great films here, a couple I’ve not seen (Equilibrium and The One), several that I don’t consider great, and some I don’t even consider good. A lot of the films on his list are older than 2000 (the original Matrix is from 1999, the original Terminator from 1991, the original Men in Black from 1997).
Terminator: Rise of the Machines is not worth watching, though I loved the first two films. I haven’t seen Transformers: Age of Extinction. I thought the first film from 2007 was decent, but the first two sequels were so bad, I swore off the series. Men in Black 3 wasn’t worth watching, though I did enjoy the 1997 original. I, Robot was watchable, but Chronicles of Riddick and Lucy don’t make my list, and Tron Legacy was almost unwatchably bad.
Here are my top ten science fiction films from this century:
- The Martian
- V for Vendetta
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Minority Report
- The Matrix Reloaded
- Edge of Tomorrow
- Ender’s Game
The Martian is one of the best hard science fiction films ever made. Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta is one of the greatest stories of a dystopian future. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though unoriginal, is a really good return to the Star Wars universe. Avatar has the most beautifully visually imagined alien world ever put on film. Guardians of the Galaxy is a fantastic space opera, and very funny.
Minority report is the only Philip K. Dick story on my list: always a mind job. The Matrix Reloaded, while not as great as the original, is a fun return to the universe. Inception is a fantastic film in the same vein as Minority Report. Edge of Tomorrow is an excellent time travel/alien invasion film. Finally, Ender’s Game did a good job at capturing the Hugo award winning novel by Orson Scott Card.
Here are some honorable mentions:
- In Time
- Pacific Rim
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
- Star Trek (2009)
- The Hunger Games
- Jurassic World
- Source Code
In Time is a simple concept based story, and really fun to watch. Pac. Rim is Guillermo De Toro’s homage to Japanese monster movies, but with a solid science fiction plot. X-Men: Days of Future Past includes a beautiful time travel/parallel time lines science fiction story. The Star Trek reboot, while unoriginal, captured the original series and turned it into a fun action flick. The Hunger Games (the first film in the series) is a good dystopian future story who’s sequels sadly didn’t live up to it’s promise.
Jurassic World manages to recapture some of the magic of the first film, breathing life back into a failing series. Watchmen, despite its flaws, has an amazing science fiction plot at its core. Divergent, like The Hunger Games, is an interesting and exciting dystopian future, and again, it’s sequels haven’t lived up to it. Source Code is a nice little concept based film. Limitless, too, has a simple “what if” at its core.