10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (2024)

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10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (1)

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10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (2)

Given how brainy and compelling the science fiction genre is — often depicting future scientific and technological advancements and serving as sharp satires — it is no wonder why it is among the most beloved in the film industry. Movies like Interstellar and 2001: A Space Odyssey have cemented an indestructible legacy through the years and gathered high spots among the best movies of all time. But where do these rank against other films in the genre in the judgment of Letterboxd users?

The platform was created by and for cinephiles all over the globe, often playing the role of the helping hand whenever moviegoers feel like they're stuck in a crisis of "don't know what to watch next." Their official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films list provides audiences with a solid number of must-see flicks where the sci-fi genre is quite present. These are the best science fiction movies of all time, according to Letterboxd.

10 'Interstellar' (2014)

Letterboxd Score: 4.3

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (3)

A ChristopherNolan essential that is among the filmmaker's best, Interstellar is set in a future where Earth is falling apart and humanity faces extinction. It is up to a team of NASA scientists and a former NASA pilot (Matthew McConaughey) to find a new habitable planet through interstellar travel.

With a truly touching father-daughter relationship at its center and an astounding HansZimmer score that complements its mind-bending narrative, Interstellar is undoubtedly a top-notch science fiction movie. It is also well-acted, with JessicaChastain and McConaughey's performances often taking the spotlight. These elements help cement Nolan's movie as one of the best science fiction movies of all time (also per Collider's official sci-fi films ranking). The way Interstellar tackles moving themes of family and how love transcends space and time will keep audiences invested and possibly be a pleasant surprise even to those who don't usually enjoy the genre.

Interstellar

Sci-Fi

Adventure

Drama

Release Date
November 7, 2014
Director
Christopher Nolan
Cast
Matthew McConaughey , Anne Hathaway , Jessica Chastain , Michael Caine , Bill Irwin , Casey Affleck

Runtime
169 minutes

Watch on Amazon Prime

9 '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968)

Letterboxd Score: 4.3

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (4)

Stanley Kubrick's movie is among the most influential sci-fi movies ever made, and understandably so. 2001: A Space Odyssey centers on a spacecraft sent to Jupiter to find the origins of a mysterious Monolith buried beneath the Lunar surface, which is assumed to have been left there by an unknown species.

Featuring ahead-of-its-time filmmaking techniques that paved the way for many movies in the genre, A Space Odyssey is considered a classic today for a plethora of reasons — between its fantastic cinematography and the captivating narrative (though a bit slow-paced, and not to everyone's liking), there are so many incredible aspects that make the fantastic 1960s filmA Space Odyssey one of the best features ever made. Furthermore, its thought-provoking message about humankind and advanced technology that remains relevant today is among the film's most defining elements. Kubrick's movie is so iconic that it has been referenced in many films, including 2023's summer hit Barbie.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Adventure

Mystery

Sci-Fi

Release Date
April 2, 1968

Director
Stanley Kubrick

Cast
Keir Dullea , Gary Lockwood , William Sylvester , Daniel Richter , Leonard Rossiter , Margaret Tyzack

Runtime
141

Watch on Max

8 'Poor Things' (2023)

Letterboxd Score: 4.3

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (5)

Described as a romance science fantasy black comedy, Yorgos Lanthimos' peculiar latest effort has easily become one of the best movies of the year. Poor Things follows a strange young woman (Emma Stone) who has been brought back to life by a brilliant scientist (Willem Dafoe) after attempting to end her life. Bella then embarks on an intense journey of self-discovery.

Lanthimos' film making it to Letterboxd's top so quickly (given that it was released on December 22) can only be seen as a good thing. Poor Things is assuredly worth checking out — if not only for Emma Stone's impeccable acting in what has rapidly become one of her best and most challenging roles — especially if audiences are also into the fantasy genre. Based on Alasdair Gray's 1992 novel of the same name, this surrealist Frankenstein-esque visual feast, which features some compelling science fiction elements, is a strong contender in the upcoming award season, proving that the Greek filmmaker is one of the most promising and interesting directors working today.

Poor Things

Sci-Fi

Fantasy

Comedy

Release Date
September 8, 2023
Director
Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast
Mark Ruffalo , Willem Dafoe , Margaret Qualley , Emma Stone

Watch in theaters

7 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' (2022)

Letterboxd Score: 4.3

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (6)

In A24's genre-bending viewing experience, Everything Everywhere All at Once, a Chinese-American immigrant (Michelle Yeoh) learns that she must tap into her heroic side and connect with parallel universe versions of herself in order to stop a powerful being from destroying the multiverse.

The Daniels' trippy feature has conquered the hearts of many from the moment it was released, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film by the entertainment company. It was also the most award-winning, gathering the big Best Picture prize at the Academy Awards and featuring Oscar-winning performances at its center. This is no wonder, given the film's overall quality and execution; added to its incredible technical achievements is the way EEAaO expertly deals with generational trauma, family repression, nihilism, and motherhood. Being so unique and original, it is hard to remain indifferent to this unforgettable journey, which is why the film ranks high among the best of the science fiction genre.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Adventure

Fantasy

Comedy

Drama

Release Date
March 25, 2022
Director
Daniel Kwan , Daniel Scheinert
Cast
Jenny Slate , Michelle Yeoh , jamie lee curtis , Ke Huy Quan

Runtime
139 minutes

Watch on Amazon Prime

6 'The Thing' (1982)

Letterboxd Score: 4.4

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (7)

Starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Keith David, among other talented actors, John Carpenter's high-rated The Thing follows a research team in Antarctica who find themselves being hunted by a terrifying shape-shifting creature that assumes the appearance of its victims. Not only is the film one of the best science fiction flicks ever, but it also is among the top horror films of all time.

The suspenseful narrative and believable acting performances are two of The Thing's strongest aspects, but the masterful execution elevates it to higher ground; Carpenter's talents in the horror genre are unmatched. When combined with sci-fi, the results are even more mind-bending and tense, sticking with audiences even after the credits roll. The Thing is a nail-biting thriller that is guaranteed to have viewers hooked from the start.

The Thing (1982)

Horror

Mystery

Sci-Fi

Thriller

Release Date
June 25, 1982
Director
John Carpenter
Cast
Kurt Russell , wilford brimley , T.K. Carter , David Clennon , Keith David , Richard Dysart

Runtime
109

Watch on SHOWTIME

5 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)

Letterboxd Score: 4.4

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (8)

Empire Strikes Back is widely considered one of the best Star Wars movies among general audiences and fans (and also one of the best-reviewed). It sees Luke Skywalker (MarkHamill) carry on his journey after the Rebels are overpowered by the Empire. He then begins his Jedi training, and his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and Boba Fett.

This incredible 1980s movie has it all: adventure, romance, action, and science fiction. It is a timeless classic with incredible storytelling that still stands the test of time, as is evident on the platform. While the special effects in this George Lucas feature may seem outdated to some, there is no doubt that they were incredible when the film was released; in fact, it even took home the award for Best Special Effects (Johnson and Edlund) at the 8th Saturn Awards. Overall, Empire Strikes Back is a great sequel that sets up the final chapter well.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Sci-Fi

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Release Date
June 18, 1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Cast
Mark Hamill , Harrison Ford , Carrie Fisher , Billy Dee Williams , Anthony Daniels , David Prowse , Kenny Baker , Peter Mayhew , Frank Oz

Runtime
124 minutes

Watch on Disney+

4 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' (2018)

Letterboxd Score: 4.4

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (9)

Though it may be hard for some readers to grasp that an animated film is considered, by general Letterboxd users, better than iconic features like A Space Odyssey, it is one of the platform's highest-rated in the category. The movie follows teen Miles Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, as he becomes the Spider-Man of his universe and joins forces with other spider-powered people from other dimensions to stop a huge threat.

It is not exactly hard to understand why Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is such a universally beloved film; its stunning visuals and likable main character, who has captured the attention of even non-Spider-Man enthusiasts, play a part in that. Into the Spider-Verse is a compelling film featuring phenomenal world-building, an inventive premise, and a handful of humorous scenes that will have audiences invested throughout. It is a game changer for superhero films, especially animated ones, quickly becoming one of the best in the genre.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Superhero

Action

Adventure

Animation

Family

Sci-Fi

Release Date
December 14, 2018
Director
Bob Persichetti , Peter Ramsey , Rodney Rothman
Cast
Shameik Moore , Jake Johnson , Hailee Steinfeld , Mahershala Ali , Nicolas Cage , Brian Tyree Henry

Runtime
117

Watch on Fubo

3 'Stalker' (1979)

Letterboxd Score: 4.4

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (10)

This really well-accomplished film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky is an iconic philosophical, existentialist film — and a masterpiece at that. Stalker tells the story of an expedition led by a figure known as "Stalker" (Alexander Kaidanovsky), who guides his clients through a wasteland to find a room that grants wishes.

Captivating and puzzling are two words that describe this metaphysical slow-burn film, which benefits greatly from its stylish arthouse elements. Stalker is perhaps the most influential sci-fi movie of all time — although slow-paced and definitely not for everyone, Tarkovsky's film has raised the bar in the genre by providing audiences with a surrealistic and incredibly atmospheric film with beautiful black-and-white visuals and an intriguing premise.

Watch on Max

2 'Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion' (1997)

Letterboxd Score: 4.5

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (11)

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion is a theatrical ending for the TV series of the same name that illustrates Shinji (Megumi Ogata) and Auska's (Yûko Miyamura) attempt at stopping the occurrence of Third Impact.

This anime feature coming out on top of sci-fi movies may come as a surprise to some readers. Still, there is no doubt that The End of Evangelion is astonishing to look at and considered a masterwork in the animation genre (specifically, an incredible accomplishment in the anime field). Serving as a conclusion to the series of the same name 20 years after its original release, The End of Evangelion is a perfect avant-garde pick for open-minded and curious viewers looking to watch something different. It deals with nihilistic topics, including depression and fear.

Watch on Netflix

1 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' (2023)

Letterboxd Score: 4.5

10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, According to Letterboxd (12)

With an impressive amount of 1.5 million people logging it on the platform, Across the Spider-Verse has come out on top as the best science fiction film of all time, according to Letterboxd users. Though it arguably fits best in the superhero category (just like its predecessor), it is still classified as a sci-fi movie.

Miles catapults across the multiverse in this engaging but painful journey of self-discovery, once again encountering a team of Spider-People (a much larger one this time), but ultimately clashing on how to handle a new threat. It is safe to say that Across the Spider-Verse surpassed the incredibly high expectations that the first entry set, earning an even higher score on the platform. While it is equally entertaining, the 2023 film is a tad more moving and just as visually absorbing, emphasizing once more that it is nearly impossible not to sympathize with and care for its lead character.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Animation

Superhero

Action

Adventure

Release Date
June 2, 2023
Director
Joaquim Dos Santos , Kemp Powers , Justin K. Thompson
Cast
Shameik Moore , Hailee Steinfeld , Oscar Isaac , Jake Johnson

Runtime
140 minutes

Watch on Netflix

NEXT: The 10 Best Hard Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked

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