Total Nerd The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies  

42k votes 2k voters 31k views 169 items Follow Embed

List Rules Movies which are more than just action. Please don't include superhero movies or The Matrix series, Star Wars series, Star Trek series, or the Terminator series.

Cerebral sci-fi is sci-fi that cares as much about ideas as explosions. I like Star Wars, Star Trek, and superhero movies. But how many more space battles can I watch without getting bored?

Sometimes cerebral sci-fi is weird  but not for the sake of being weird. How many people understand the ending of 2001, a fine example of cerebral sci-fi? These kinds of movies keep your mind occupied rather than force you to sit on the couch passively for two hours. My favorites include Gattaca, 12 Monkeys, Moon, and Contact.

This list contains movies I like, movies I dislike, and some I haven't seen. You can help the rest of us decide what to see by voting for your favorites and voting down the ones you disliked. You can also add movies to the list. Movies which are more than just action. Please don't include superhero movies or The Matrix series, Star Wars series, Star Trek series, or the Terminator series.

list ordered by

1
+ - 876 169
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time The Best Netflix Original Comedy Movies

2
+ - 670 170
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Serenity Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion

3
+ - 754 213
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12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe

4
+ - 594 172
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

5
+ - 660 205
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2001: A Space Odyssey Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, Douglas Rain

6
+ - 585 180
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The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

7
+ - 683 230
Inception is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

8
+ - 744 273
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District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James

9
+ - 532 174
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Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

10
+ - 484 155
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
The Martian Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

11
+ - 480 155
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Enemy Mine Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett, Jr.

12
+ - 403 124
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Ex Machina Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

13
+ - 427 136
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Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

14
+ - 486 175
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Gattaca Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, Uma Thurman

15
+ - 515 190
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Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Tom Skerritt

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16
+ - 536 201
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Interstellar Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

17
+ - 555 212
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Groundhog Day Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

18
+ - 504 190
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Unbreakable Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright

19
+ - 233 50
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Highlander Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Michael Hayes

20
+ - 463 171
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Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

21
+ - 431 155
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

22
+ - 447 167
Edge of Tomorrow/Live.Die.Repe... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Edge of Tomorrow/Live.Die.Repeat Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

23
+ - 204 44
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

24
+ - 314 105
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Children of Men Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine

25
+ - 430 172
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Looper Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

26
+ - 450 184
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Minority Report Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow

27
+ - 427 172
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Idiocracy Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Thomas Haden Church

28
+ - 354 137
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

29
+ - 335 133
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
The Fly Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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30
+ - 403 173
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The Prestige Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

31
+ - 313 129
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Moon Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Kaya Scodelario

32
+ - 337 145
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox

33
+ - 327 143
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I, Robot Will Smith, Shia LaBeouf, Bridget Moynahan

34
+ - 302 130
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Outbreak Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman

35
+ - 383 183
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The Truman Show Jim Carrey, Paul Giamatti, Ed Harris

36
+ - 269 122
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Limitless Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Lee

37
+ - 313 152
Elysium is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Elysium Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga

38
+ - 262 119
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Flatliners Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland

39
+ - 237 103
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Fahrenheit 451 Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Oskar Werner

40
+ - 247 110
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
The Birds Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette

41
+ - 257 118
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Starman Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, M. C. Gainey

42
+ - 143 43
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They Live Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

43
+ - 209 88
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Equilibrium Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs

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44
+ - 256 126
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Cocoon Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

45
+ - 322 180
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The Butterfly Effect Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman

46
+ - 175 76
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Metropolis Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos

47
+ - 207 101
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Westworld Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Dick Van Patten

48
+ - 271 149
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

49
+ - 286 160
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Cerebral Sci-Fi Movies
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

50
+ - 260 143
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Brazil Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial