The last decade has been pretty great for science fiction films. But while not every brilliant recent sci-fi flick is worth owning and revisiting time and time again, some definitely are. Here are Top Modern Classic Sci-Fi Movies that are so fun, engaging, and compelling that they’re totally worth re-exploring over and over for years to come.
Directed by Duncan Jones, the amazing movie Moon takes place in pretty much one location, and for the most part, it focuses on just one actor, making the haunting end-result all the more brilliant. The story follows astronaut Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell, who lives all alone on the moon, mining the dusty satellite for fuel. Bell’s only company is a creepy robot named GERTY, but that all changes when Bell discovers a second astronaut, who looks just like him. Naturally, this discovery causes both doppelgängers to question their own existence. A smart, intriguing film with a small budget but big ideas, the mysteries of Moon never grow old, largely thanks to its charismatic leading man.
Mad Max: Fury Road
The pinnacle of George Miller’s career, Fury Road is two adrenaline-laced hours of incredible stunt work, breathtaking cinematography, and badass warrior women riding through the desert in big rigs and on motorcycles. It’s essentially one long, incredible chase scene, with some of the most amazing set pieces ever put on the big screen. There’s the epic sandstorm sequence, the death-defying climax involving bad guys dropping in and out of the action on massive poles, and dozens more instantly iconic moments that deserve to be witnessed again and again, including, of course, The Doof Warrior, wielding his flame-throwing guitar.
Attack the Block
This charming British thriller follows a gang of South London street toughs who find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion. Surrounded by freakish ape creatures with lion-like teeth, the teens decide to press pause on their criminal careers and take on the extraterrestrials, using everything from baseball bats to firecrackers to defeat their otherworldly foes. Attack the Block is a crowd-pleasing gem that expertly mixes carnage and comedy. On top of that, we genuinely come to care about our heroes, especially Moses, the leader of the group who’s played by none other than future Star Wars phenom John Boyega.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, The Martian stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney, an American astronaut accidentally abandoned on Mars. Left to fend for himself, Watney is determined to stay alive until help arrives. But how is one mere Earthling supposed to survive the cold indifference of the red planet? It’s exciting to watch Watney puzzle his way out of one problem after another, whether it’s communicating with NASA or growing the first Martian potatoes. The film is so fun to revisit because it’s a rare, sincere love letter to human achievement. If nothing else, The Martian proves that watching people who are good at their jobs can be addictive.
A truly groundbreaking sci-fi film, Christopher Nolan’s Inception wowed audiences and critics alike with its mind-bending visuals and brilliantly layered action scenes. The story moves with the speed of a runaway train, following a group of dream thieves as they pull off the ultimate heist. The movie is full of twists and turns, so with every viewing, there’s an opportunity to analyze a new detail or catch some fresh clue. As a result, the movie has spawned countless fan theories, proving that when it comes to re-watchability, Inception is a dream come true.
You knew this one was coming. If you’re in the mood for a more mind-bending fun, it’s always a safe bet to relive the past and revisit Rian Johnson’s Looper. This time-travel thriller follows Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a hitman who works for the mob in 2044. His job is to execute victims sent back in time from 2074, but things get a bit complicated when the gangsters send back his older self, played by Bruce Willis. In addition to some breathtaking action scenes, the movie also grapples with weighty issues like the cyclical nature of violence and features Joseph Gordon-Levitt sporting custom facial prosthetics and contact lenses to pull off some impressive “Young Bruce Willis” cosplay — even if he does kinda look a little more like a young Alec Baldwin. It’s got everything you need for the perfect repeat viewing experience.
Edge of Tomorrow
If there was ever a movie meant to be re-lived over and over again, it’s 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow. Kind of like Groundhog Day with guns, this military thriller follows a cowardly major played by Tom Cruise who keeps experiencing the same day over and over again. Too bad the day in question involves a massive alien invasion, and he only gets to start it over after he’s been violently killed. Of course, this freaky form of eternal life has its advantages. The fun here comes from watching Cruise adjusting each new day to the dangers at hand, and slowly becoming a genuine war hero. And while Cruise’s character might get tired of repeatedly seeing the same events over and over again, sci-fi fans will love revisiting a gem like this day after day after day.
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