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The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Of All Time

Updated October 7, 2020 532.9k votes 23.4k voters 459.2k views498 items

List RulesWhich science fiction films are the best? Vote up your favorites and add any that aren't already on the list.

What are the greatest sci-fi movies of all time? These good science fiction films are among the most popular movies in cinematic history, with films like Star Wars and Aliens keeping audiences on the edge of their collective seats for decades. This list includes these classics, and many more, so get ready to vote for your favorite sci-fi movies of all time.

Want to see more of the best Sci-Fi? Here are the Best Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time

Great sci-fi films include stories of extraterrestrial life, time travel, space travel, robots and more. Some of these amazing science fiction movies are more fantasy-oriented, while others are a bit closer to reality. Either way, sci-fi films keep audiences rapt with tales of science and technology, combined, at times with the supernatural.

Some sci-fi films are based on classic novels or short stories by such heavyweight authors as H.G. Wells (War of the WorldsThe Invisible Man) or Philip K. Dick (Blade RunnerMinority Report).

What are the best sci-fi movies of all time? This list of the best sci-fi films is also crowd ranked, meaning you can rerank your own greatest sci-fi movies. Your reranks can change the overall order of the films on the list! Also, if you love sci-fi, check out this list of the best new sci-fi shows of the last few years. 

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  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    Photo: 20th Century Fox
    The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story and serving as executive producer. The second release in the Star Wars franchise, it was produced by Gary Kurtz for Lucasfilm Ltd and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz. The film is set three years after Star Wars. The Galactic Empire, under the leadership of the villainous Darth Vader and the Emperor Palpatine, is in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader chases a... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Irvin Kershner
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  • Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set loose on the ship.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton
    • Released: 1979
    • Directed by: Ridley Scott
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  • The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a cyborg sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to take out Sarah Connor, played by Hamilton, whose son will one day become a savior against machines. Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Sarah.... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn
    • Released: 1984
    • Directed by: James Cameron
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  • Aliens
    Photo: Aliens / 20th Century Fox
    Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment of the Alien franchise. The film follows Weaver's character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of space marines. Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill of Brandywine Productions, who produced the first film and the later sequels, were executive producers of Aliens. They... more on Wikipedia
    • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen
    • Released: 1986
    • Directed by: James Cameron
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