Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reader Top Ten Greatest Science Fiction Films Circa 2000 - 2013: Roman J. Martel of Roman's Reviews and Musings

My friend, Roman Martel -- the excellent blogger at Roman’s Reviews and Musings --starts off Saturday afternoon right with his list of the top ten greatest science fiction films circa 2000 – 2013.

Roman writes:

“Wow John, this is a tough one. As I started going over my list I realized more and more that I hadn't seen a lot of the films that other folks were mentioning. The ones I did see usually only received one viewing and in many cases didn't make much of an impression. I think I know what the disconnect is. I've been having a good time delving into the past, seeing some great films and delving deep into old favorites. I've been abandoning the newer flicks. But seeing all these lists has inspired me to check out a few of these films that others like so much.

What I'm trying to say in this rambling preamble is that I haven't seen quite a few films from this era, so my list is limited to what I have seen and what has made an impression. I reserve the right to modify the list upon seeing some new films or revisiting some of the movies on this list.

In this case, I'm focusing more on if the film entertained me and if the film made me think beyond its initial viewing. A good film does both. I still think we may be a bit too close to some of these to really see if they are great films. Give me another five years. :)

10. Serenity (2005) - A great ending to one of the most entertaining sci-fi series to ever reach the small screen. Lots of fun (even with the sad end for some of our favorite characters).

9. Minority Report (2002) - An impressive turn by both the star and the director creates an intense film with brisk pacing and a musing on fate versus choice.

8. Wall-E (2008) - Amazing animation from Pixar combined with a wonderful set of characters, and injection of fun and a message.

7. Prometheus (2012) - So many great ideas crammed into one movie, but saddled with being tied to the Alien franchise, visually impressive

6. Donnie Darko (2001) - Teen angst meets time travel meets the surreal, somehow manages to be creepy and yet darkly entertaining all at once

5. Avalon (2001) - Methodical and overly stylized, and yet you can't stop watching. An interesting twist on virtual worlds and gaming.

4. Children of Men (2006) - gritty, in your face and moving. Hard to watch but even harder to forget.

3. Paprika (2006) - A tour de force of animation delving into the weird and wonderful of dreams, entertaining and also provides a nice meditation on perception.

2. District 9 (2009) - Great lead performance, potent social commentary, and an intensity that doesn't let the viewer go.

1. Moon (2009) - Great lead performance, an affecting story and one that made you think after it was over. 

Honorable mention, "Super 8", "Tron: Legacy", "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence". "Source Code."

Whew, that was difficult. Looking forward to seeing the final list!”

Roman, your list is incredible, and we share a lot of top ten films in common.  Your concise description of Children of Men -- “hard to watch but even harder to forget” is absolutely perfect.  Glad to see you are also a fan of Donnie Darko (2001), a film I keep returning to, and keep loving.


  1. Roman,

    I loved your honest and articulate opening comments. The introduction was superb.

    Choices are great and I will have you know that I have ordered Avalon at your suggestion and elsewhere in this Reader's week.

    So I will finally see that film. It cost me 1 penny + 4 dollars postage. Not bad for a film that is out of print. Cheers my friend sff.

    1. Thanks sir! I ended up rushing this list a bit, because it was tough for me to make some choices. That's why I ended up with my sentence fragment descriptions.

      I hope you like "Avalon". You're familiar with Oshi so I think you know what kind of movie you are in for. The annoying this is, I'm basing this recommendation off a single viewing of the film from many years ago. I feel I need to revisit the film to really do it justice. But based on that simple fact, that I feel the need to rewatch it, because there was so much symbolism and abstract ideas in it, I think it earned a place on the list. On top of that, the imagery from the film has really stayed in my mind, also another sign of a film that (visually at least) made some kind of impact. I've got it in my "to watch" queue and I'm planning to examine several of Oshi's films in the upcoming months. So I'm sure we'll chat about it more in the future.

  2. Thanks for posting the list John, I appreciate it!

    You know, I never thought of "Donnie Darko" as sci-fi, but after seeing others mention it, I realized that you could put it in that classification. One of the great things about that movie is that it does defy easy classification, but does it with style. My wife disagrees with us and thinks it should be considered a supernatural thriller (and it fits that mold too).


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