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Rob Barnes, blogger at Edge of the Fringe contributes the first reader list on the subject of best science fiction films, circa 2000 – 2013. Instead of tallying up ten, however, he provides only five, and with explanation.
“After reading your post I put a lot of thought about the ten greatest science fiction films I have seen over that last thirteen years and I was surprised that I couldn’t really bring myself to include a majority I had seen on any kind of “Best of” list. Maybe an entertaining films list or pretty good films list…
This lead to me wonder if the past thirteen years had just been a low point in the history of the genre so I looked further back and realized I would be hard pressed to find ten great genre movies in any thirteen year period since films began. There have been a lot of great science fiction films made over the years but they are so sporadic and mixed in with films with great concepts that weren’t executed the best they could have been. There are a lot of good films but not a lot of great films. This also has me wondering if I’m just too damn fussy.
So when all was said and done I could only think of five movies made between 2000 and 2013 that I would consider great or at least memorable enough and well balanced enough to include on the list. So here are my five ten greatest science fiction movies from 2000-2013:
1. District 9 (2009)
Totally brilliant from beginning to end District 9 is a great example of the perfect balance of entertainment and smarts. It’s exciting, funny, touching, and a beautiful condemnation of the not so flattering aspects of human nature.
2. Sunshine (2007)
I love how this movie doesn’t really even try to appeal to the mainstream audience. It pretty much says screw the tent pole movie crowd and plows full speed ahead down its own path. Bravo! Danny Boyle should direct every movie made.
3. Serenity (2005)
A terrific wrap up to one of the most mistreated TV series of all time. Serenity is a gorgeous looking movie with more balls than a male elephant and a story that doesn’t shy away from the more unpleasant truths of life. There’s also Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, and Summer Glau.
4. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Yes I realize this is an offbeat choice and is a mixture of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy so sue me. I love the dark humor and the extremely satisfying ending where the two survivors stick it to the human race. I’m not a big fan of many aspects of humanity in case you couldn’t tell.
5. Prometheus (2012)
I didn’t find this to be amazing but I love the fact that it at least tried to be more than the average summer popcorn flick. It looks amazing and has a wonderful foundation for a story but yes it does contain a few serious flaws and moments where I thought the writer’s brains must have temporarily gone offline."
Rob: Serenity and Sunshine were very much on my mind as I composed my list for best ten of this span (as were Moon, John Carter, and Solaris), so I'm happy to see these titles get the attention they deserve.
We overlap on District 9 and Prometheus, which may represent the beginning of a consensus...we'll have to see what other readers have to say in their lists. I hadn't thought of The Cabin in the Woods specifically in regards to this sci-fi list, but I think you may be onto something interpreting it as sci-fi in addition to horror. In a way, it's a dystopian film, isn' t it?
Well done, and I want to thank you for contributing your thoughts on the subject.
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