Total Nerd The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time  

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436.6k votes 16.8k voters 397.2k views 634 items

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

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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
5,229 2,099
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
5,721 1,589
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
4,585 1,679
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
4,481 1,560
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
4,065 1,741
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
4,818 1,843
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
3,931 1,361
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. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

8
4,076 1,234
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
3,428 1,673
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
3,955 1,446
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more

11
3,659 1,404
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
3,462 1,486
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
2,180 1,362
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
2,354 1,728
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
2,613 1,261
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
2,621 1,336
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
2,997 1,017
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
2,428 1,322
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
2,667 1,336
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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
2,950 1,480
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 thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more

21
2,468 1,349
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
2,574 1,563
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
2,139 1,154
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
2,243 1,095
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
2,238 986
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