Sci-fi author S. Craig Zahler's favorite sci-fi movies and television showsby S_Craig_Zahler | created - 16 Jan 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
This list is of movies and shows that have scientific underpinnings and evoke a sense of wonder or at least speculate on the consequences of certain scientific advances. (Note: Although I really enjoy Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Robocop, to me, these movies feel like action movies in futuristic settings, rather than science fiction.)
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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.
Votes: 555,760 | Gross: $56.95M
2. Babylon 5 (1994–1998)
TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In the mid 23rd Century, the Earth Alliance space station Babylon 5, located in neutral territory, is a major focal point for political intrigue, racial tensions and various wars over the course of five years.
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)
TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
Set almost 100 years after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in the U.S.S. Enterprise-D on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.
4. Moon (2009)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Votes: 316,525 | Gross: $5.01M
7. Armored Trooper VOTOMS (1983–1984)
TV-MA | Animation, Action, Drama
The end of the 100 year war between the planets Bavalant and Melkia does not allow Melkian soldier Chirico Cuvie a moment of peace. His accidental involvement in a clandestine mission ... See full summary »
8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
G | 132 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the overhauled USS Enterprise in order to intercept it.
Votes: 76,209 | Gross: $82.26M
9. The Abyss (1989)
PG-13 | 145 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery
A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.
Votes: 153,709 | Gross: $54.46M
10. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (I) (2004)
PG-13 | 100 min | Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.
Votes: 34,227 | Gross: $1.04M
11. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.
13. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
PG | 138 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.
Votes: 170,622 | Gross: $132.09M
15. Total Recall (1990)
R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?
Votes: 282,510 | Gross: $119.39M
16. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
PG-13 | 105 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
A substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee who leads an ape uprising.
Votes: 478,115 | Gross: $176.76M
20. Oblivion (I) (2013)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.
Votes: 461,057 | Gross: $89.02M
21. Robot Carnival (1987 Video)
90 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A collection of short stories, made by different animators with "robot" as the working title.
Directors: Atsuko Fukushima, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Kôji Morimoto, Takashi Nakamura, Yasuomi Umetsu, Manabu Ôhashi, Hidetoshi Ômori, Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Kôji Moritsugu, Yayoi Maki, Keiko Hanagata, Kumiko Takizawa
22. TRON: Legacy (2010)
PG | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.
Votes: 299,746 | Gross: $172.06M
23. Forbidden Planet (1956)
G | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.
Votes: 42,103 | Gross: $3.00M
24. TRON (1982)
PG | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.
Votes: 107,446 | Gross: $33.00M
25. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)
TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In the vicinity of the liberated planet of Bajor, the Federation space station Deep Space Nine guards the opening of a stable wormhole to the far side of the galaxy.
27. Source Code (2011)
PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes.
Votes: 459,019 | Gross: $54.71M
28. Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954– )
26 min | Family, Sci-Fi
Cruising the galaxy in his space ship "The Orbit Jet" Space Ranger, Rocky Jones, Vena Ray, and 10 year-old Bobby defend the Earth and themselves against space-bound evil doers.
29. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)
TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.
31. The X-Files (1993–2018)
TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two F.B.I. Agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.
33. Primer (2004)
PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.
Votes: 91,304 | Gross: $0.42M
36. eXistenZ (1999)
R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.
Votes: 88,828 | Gross: $2.84M
37. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 147,744 | Gross: $1.24M
38. WarGames (1983)
PG | 114 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.
Votes: 84,916 | Gross: $79.57M
39. Voices of a Distant Star (2002)
Unrated | 25 min | Animation, Short, Drama
The love of Japanese high school students Mikako Nagamine and Noboru Tera is tested when Mikako is sent to fight aliens in a distant universe and voice mails to and from Earth become months to years in transmission.
41. Her (2013)
R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.
Votes: 483,951 | Gross: $25.57M
43. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.
Votes: 277,933 | Gross: $78.62M
46. Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990– )
Not Rated | 120 min | Animation, Action, Crime
In the city of Oedo 2808 A.D., three Cyber criminals are given two choices, to either rot in jail or to join a special force of the Cyber Police to get possibly one more chance at freedom ... See full summary »
47. Contact (1997)
PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.
Votes: 239,372 | Gross: $100.92M