My Top 16 Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Aug 9, 2009
A site called Total Sci-Fi Online came out with their Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies of all time list a week ago, and like what usually happens, people look at such a list and say “what the hey” and “hey, you forgot about” and “why is that ranked so high or so low.” I’m obviously no different, if you remember my post on the Top 100 Singers Of All Time, still one of my most visited posts.
One of the problems you sometimes have with critics is that some stuff they throw on a list is just because they think something is cool and has to be on the list, whether they actually liked it or not. For instance, 2001: A Space Odyssey always makes these lists, yet I’ve always thought it was one of the most boring movies I’ve ever tried to watch. Also, Dune was a fantastic book, yet the movie was a mess.
Of course, my list will have my own biases in it. After all, if you know anything about me, you know I’m a major Star Trek fan, so it will be represented.
Anyway, I hope you check out the list above. Meanwhile, I’m going to list my own favorites, in reverse order, and I decided to go with 16 because, well, I just like that number this morning. Actually, I liked the number 15, but then I had trouble with which two movies needed to be near the bottom of my list, so I decided to keep them both. Here we go; and yes, the link to each one is an affiliate link to buying the movie, if you’re so inclined to do so:
16 Fantastic Voyage – This was one of those big time special effects movies from the 60’s that starred Raquel Welch (that’s enough to put it on my list). Someone is really sick, and these people are shrunk with this new technology and actually “fly” a ship into a person’s body to battle the disease. This was way ahead of its time; nothing like it has been done since.
15 Predator – For me, this was a sleeper hit, because I hadn’t heard about it when it first came out; what rock was I hiding under? This was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best performances, because he wasn’t playing a robot, was with an ensemble cast that included a future governor of Minnesota, and the Predator was so good that they brought him and his family back for at least 3 more movies.
14 War of the Worlds – This movie freaked people out, even decades after learning that Orson Welles radio performance was a hoax. What this movie taught everyone was that you could build up terror without actually seeing monsters, and the pacing was fantastic. Okay, I’ll admit that once we saw the aliens I was a little disappointed, but before then, this movie, even though I saw it many years later since I wasn’t born when it came out, was intense.
13 Omega Man – I saw this movie before I saw Planet of the Apes, and it was my introduction to Charlton Heston. At the time, I didn’t equate the dark creatures he was battling with zombies, ala Will Smith and I Am Legend (which I didn’t see; I don’t like zombies), which is a good thing because I might never have watched it. Talk about scary and being ahead of its time; who’d have thought that the original protector of the right to bear arms would also be one of the first big white Hollywood stars to have an interracial relationship on screen?
12 Fantastic Planet – This little avant-garde cartoon movie is fantastic, hence its name. It’s about these little people who are made slaves for this larger race of people, yet one of the little people discovers a major secret that he uses to free his civilization. This movie really was deep, and way ahead of its time; check out this clip to see if it engages you in any way.
11 Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind – This is how most of us who love space movies hope that, if there ever really is an alien encounter, it goes. Richard Dreyfuss really played his part well, and all of us were hoping he’d make it over the mountain and get to interact with the aliens, which of course he did. This was also, at the time, the longest movie I’d ever seen, yet I could have watched another hour.
10 Planet of the Apes – I actually saw the second movie first, which kept me up late at night for weeks. The first one, with Charlton Heston (though he made a brief appearance in the second movie), was obviously the better movie. Who hasn’t quoted lines from this movie after seeing it? The idea that man will one day ruin the planet and that another race will step up to the plate seems plausible the more you think about it.
9 X-Files: Fight The Future – At this time this movie came out, X-Files was my favorite show. This movie wasn’t for people who’d never seen the show, because they’d have had no idea what was going on. Yet, if they just wanted a thrill a minute, this movie had lots of it. The producers took a major chance with this movie, as it linked the end of one season with the beginning of the next season, and if fans missed it then they’d have had no idea what was going on. For me, it was a perfect compliment to the series.
8 Andromeda Strain – Talk about a movie that was ahead of its time. No one had ever heard of ebola when this story, then movie, came out. In general, something is killing all the citizens in towns around the country, and a small band of super scientists are put together to try to figure out what’s going on. The difference this time is that each scientist has their own personal issues they have to work through at the same time. Very human movie and a precursor to the hysteria we went through in the 80’s when the real thing came to light.
7 Terminator – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second movie on this list, and his best movie ever. Talk about capturing the imagination of the world; robot comes back in history to kill the person who’s eventually going to give birth to the leader they’re fighting in the future. Can one change the future? This movie, and the three that followed it, seem to indicate that answer is no, but they still keep trying. The second movie was great also, but this one started it all. Yeah, tell me you’ve never said “I’ll be back.”
6. The Matric – This movie was just cool. Imagine the premise; everything we see and feel right now isn’t real, just something forced through our bodies by a race of machines intent on eliminating anything else that’s real, which is a dark place instead. If humans created machines, doesn’t that mean that at least one human has the capability to overcome them? “I should have taken the blue pill.” And I’d have loved it even more if it had been this version:
5. Jurassic Park – The build up for this movie was intense; the movie didn’t let me down. Imagine; science realizing that they can actually make dinosaurs via DNA from the past. Then they take a shortcut; what could go wrong? This is science that some are talking about doing today; I think it’s a mistake, but what do I know? This movie was so intense when I saw it that I had to go back 3 days later to watch it again so I could finally get to sleep. It taught me to never, and I mean NEVER, go to any more movies of this type at midnight.
4. Star Wars III – Revenge Of The Sith – In my opinion, this was the best movie out of the six. It was dark, action packed, and definitely the one movie that was more for adults than for kids or swooning little girls. Even though we all knew what was going on, we were captivated in seeing how it all went down, from Yoda battling the Sith to Obi Wan Kenobe and Anakin Skywalker battling to the almost death on a volcano planet. Never had the forces of good and evil been to definitely drawn out and illuminated. It was so good that I easily overcame my one gripe, which was Anakin so immediately giving his life over to the Sith with no qualms whatsoever.
3. Star Trek II – Wrath Of Khan – This was the first movie that almost made me cry since Brian’s Song. They brought back Ricardo Montalban as Khan from one of the best TV episodes, and he was the perfect choice for this movie as well. William Shatner as James Kirk uttered a line in this movie that’s one of my mantra’s these days: “I never believe in the no-win scenario.” That they killed off Spock almost crushed my spirit; I was so glad they brought him back, even if the 3rd movie overall wasn’t top notch. And Kirstie Alley was still hot. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.” For some reason the speech part is against copyright, so this is a clip that’s somewhat different, yet you still get the visual:
2. Armageddon – This movie makes the list because it almost made me cry near the end also, which, from what I understand, a lot of other guys felt the same way. The premise is that a super asteroid is heading towards Earth, and NASA decides to hire some guys known for drilling oil wells to do the job of digging into the asteroid so they can blow it up with a nuke. When Bruce Willis tells his daughter that he won’t be coming back, even though I have no children, that was a tough moment, but when he actually does blow himself and the asteroid up, fulfilling his words, and then they show the wedding scenario with his picture and the other guys who didn’t come back,… well, it took all the reserve I had not to fall out like a baby.
1. Independence Day – This one makes the top of my list because it’s the one movie that I can go to when I need a boost even now. The premise behind the movie is that, just before America’s Independence Day, we’re visited by an alien race that’s intent on wiping out humanity so they can scavenge the planet for all its resources for its own people. And their technology is way beyond ours; how can we overcome it? With Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, and a rousing speech from Bill Pullman, that’s how. This movie is personal with me. For 2 1/2 days after the attack on the Twin Towers in NYC on September 11th, 2001, I was glued to the TV, changing channels every so often looking for something new on what was going on. I didn’t sleep for more than 60 hours. Finally, I knew I had to get away from it. So, I got up, went into the bedroom, and put this movie into the DVD player and went to the speech.
I watched the movie from that point 6 or 7 times in a row before I started feeling good. That’s why this movie is number one on my list.
And there you go. I’d love to hear your comments and see which movies you feel belong on the list. And maybe you’ll put your own list together, and let us know; I love this stuff!