Total Nerd The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time  

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List Rules Which 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? 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, but it is by no means complete. Feel free to add your favorite sci-fi movies if they aren't listed, and vote for your favorites.

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. 

list ordered by

1
5,096 2,017
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

2
5,568 1,520
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill 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 ...more

3
4,422 1,638
Alien is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

4
4,325 1,497
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir dystopian science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The screenplay, ...more

5
3,955 1,675
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

6
4,665 1,775
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

7
3,809 1,320
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton 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, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...more

8
3,929 1,198
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn 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 ...more

9
3,310 1,611
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

10
3,859 1,385
Return of the Jedi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas was from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive ...more

11
3,546 1,352
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

12
3,360 1,423
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

13
2,105 1,310
Close Encounters of the Third ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more

14
2,285 1,666
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

15
2,519 1,216
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

16
2,535 1,294
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer adn directed by Nicholas Meyer.

17
2,897 990
Predator is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more

18
2,334 1,286
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and James ...more

19
2,591 1,292
Ranker Video
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

20
2,857 1,426
Inception is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, ...more

21
2,391 1,302
Star Trek is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. It is the eleventh film based on the ...more

22
2,493 1,503
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

23
2,067 1,115
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer 12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

24
2,187 1,053
Ranker Video
Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou Stargate is a 1994 French-American adventure science fiction film released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco Pictures. Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first ...more

25
2,140 959
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

26
2,389 1,688
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more

27
1,751 1,284
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell Minority Report is a 2002 American neo-noir science fiction mystery-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick. It is set ...more

28
2,472 756
Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
AndrewGreen added Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic criminals ...more

29
1,877 1,231
Back to the Future Part II is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 American comic science fiction film and the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who directed all three ...more

30
2,097 1,168
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

31
2,062 988
Ranker Video
Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion Serenity is a 2005 American space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox science fiction television series Firefly and stars the ...more

32
1,925 1,217
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more

33
1,873 772
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
but chickens double d added Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. ...more

34
1,918 1,141
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier, originally from an unrelated script called Bug Hunt at ...more

35
1,719 950
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

36
1,463 961
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

37
1,442 1,074
Contact is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

38
1,618 1,069
Ranker Video
Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen Galaxy Quest is a 1999 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. The film follows the adventures of a troupe of actors ...more

39
1,586 940
Mad Max 2 is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

40
1,402 859
Ranker Video
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. When an American submarine ...more

41
1,322 907
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor, Alan Young The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960 Metrocolor time travel science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in ...more

42
1,608 655
Ranker Video
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

43
1,288 844
Ranker Video
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

44
1,380 608
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
mysmith50 added Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more

45
1,199 574
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
PascalWaitek added Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film based on a screenplay adapted from the 2004 Japanese ...more

46
1,236 954
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

47
1,416 1,038
Ranker Video
Will Smith, Shia LaBeouf, Bridget Moynahan I, Robot is a 2004 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman, and is inspired by Isaac Asimov's ...more

48
1,397 938
Ranker Video
May Em added Joan Rivers, John Hurt, Mel Brooks Spaceballs is a 1987 American parody film co-written and directed by Mel Brooks and starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy and Rick Moranis. It also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, ...more

49
1,244 846
Star Trek: First Contact is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film based on Star Trek, and the first film to feature no cast members ...more

50
1,217 789
Tron is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars ...more