Total Nerd The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time  

Ranker Film
244 votes 36 voters 32 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

An intelligent sci-fi movie isn't necessarily hard to come by, but in a sea of thousands of alien-wrangling and space-ship-flying films, they can certainly be overlooked for their wit and progressive thinking. In other words, plenty of clever and thought-provoking sci-fi flicks are out there, many of which may change how you view the genre—while some may even make you think twice about the existence of extraterrestrial beings. In short, these aren't your average, quintessential sci-fi films

Of course, it's not just how convincing or thought-provoking a movie is that makes it intelligent. Even the best sci-fi movies can miss the mark here. Whether it's the general storyline or even the setting, such as a dystopian wasteland set 30 years in the future, a sci-fi film can boast intelligence and cleverness in a variety of ways. Take 12 Monkeys for instance. While time travel was nothing a movie hadn't done at the time, the film's screenplay, dialogue, and setting (not to mention the acting) all work hand-in-hand to make it one hell of a mind-boggling journey. But is it the best sci-fi movie of its kind?

Be the deciding factor here and vote up your favorite intelligent sci-fi movies below, while voting down any films you feel aren't as smart or cerebral as the next. You can also add your own choices to the list.

1
12 3
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Blade Runner Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

2
10 2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

3
11 4
Primer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Primer Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw

4
8 3
Inception is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

5
6 2
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

6
6 2
Dark City is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Dark City Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland, Melissa George

7
6 2
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
District 9 Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

8
6 2
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Martian Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

9
5 1
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

10
7 4
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

11
7 4
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Serenity Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Nathan Fillion

12
6 3
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Children of Men Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine

13
6 3
Contact is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Contact Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

14
5 2
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Abyss Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

15
4 1
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

16
9 7
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Interstellar Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

17
7 5
Close Encounters of the Third ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

18
5 3
Moon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Moon Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario

19
4 2
Pi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Pi Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell

20
4 2
Gattaca is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Gattaca Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Ethan Hawke

21
4 2
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Donnie Darko Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

22
3 2
Her is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Her Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams

23
3 2
The Quiet Earth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Quiet Earth Bruno Lawrence, Pete Smith, Alison Routledge

24
3 2
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

25
3 2
Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Sunshine Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Mark Strong

26
3 2
The Fountain is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
The Fountain Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn

27
2 1
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Solaris Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet

28
2 1
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey

29
2 1
Predestination is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Predestination Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor, Sarah Snook

30
2 1
Under the Skin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Under the Skin Scarlett Johansson, Kryštof Hádek, Paul Brannigan

31
3 3
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Minority Report Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell

32
2 2
Unbreakable is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Intelligent Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
Unbreakable Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright