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The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Updated June 2, 2020 9.3k votes 1.3k voters 48.5k views 90 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite thrillers set in a science fiction universe.

This list contains information on the best sci-fi thriller movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best sci-fi thriller films come in many forms. Some good sci-fi thriller films take place in outer-space while other good science-fiction thriller movies feature multiple dimensions. Many of the best sci-fi thriller films have won awards.

What films will you find on this top sci-fi thriller movies list? The Thing has to be at the top. John Carpenters 1982 remake of this classic science-fiction tale is one of the most suspenseful films to ever hit the silver screen. Kurt Russell leads an all-star cast who face off against an ever-evolving extraterrestrial foe in the film. Futuristic crime-solving techniques prove to be untrustworthy in 2002 thriller, Minority Report. Other great sci-fi suspense films featured on this list include Alien, Children of Men and Total Recall.

Do you have a favorite sci fi thriller? Give the best movies a thumbs up and share some of your favorite scenes in the comments section.

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1
Inception is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard

Released: 2010

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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

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List of Movies Like Inception #9 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #19 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

Released: 1999

Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

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

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14 Matrix Fan Theories That Will Have You Saying 'Whoa' #7 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Alien is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm

Released: 1979

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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 ...more

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50 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Alien #2 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
JacobMcDonald added Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

Released: 2014

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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

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#59 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #35 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

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

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The Best 'Aliens' Quotes #1 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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

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Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True #79 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #22 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books

7
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac

Released: 2015

Directed by: Alex Garland

Ex Machina is a 2015 independent science fiction psychological thriller film directed by Alex Garland. A young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) is selected to participate in a ground-breaking ...more

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#62 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #282 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

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

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#6 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #178 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1984

Directed by: James Cameron

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

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56 Things You Didn't Know About the Terminator Movies #8 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #4 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

10
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

Released: 1982

Directed by: 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

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#96 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #13 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #61 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books

11
Arrival is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It stars Amy ...more

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#51 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #237 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan ...more

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The Best Characters in the Whole Alien Franchise, Ranked #24 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #79 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

13
Minority Report is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell

Released: 2002

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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

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Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True #30 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #23 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

14
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer

Released: 1995

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

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

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories From '12 Monkeys' #27 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #190 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

15
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood

Released: 2009

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

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

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#9 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #34 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #173 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

16
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside

Released: 1990

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. In 2084, a construction worker, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), suddenly finds himself embroiled in ...more

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Every Warning Sci-Fi Writer Philip K. Dick Gave Us About Technology That Is Coming True #15 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #137 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books

17
Looper is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Released: 2012

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Looper is a 2012 American science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. In the film, time travel is ...more

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#64 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #668 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #316 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

18
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
metzler added Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Released: 2014

Directed by: Doug Liman

Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more

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#189 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #40 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #24 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

19
Annihilation is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
utkrishtsingh added Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez

Directed by: Alex Garland

The Greatest Science Fiction Thriller

Annihilation is a 2018 science fantasy action horror film directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer. A biologist (Natalie Portman) signs up for a dangerous, secret ...more

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#131 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #635 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #9 of 36 The Best Mystery Thriller Movies on Amazon Prime

20
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

Released: 1968

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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

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#77 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #28 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
Oblivion is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko

Released: 2013

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Oblivion is a 2012 action and science fiction film written by Joseph Kosinski and William Monahan and directed by Joseph Kosinski.

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#63 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #81 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #86 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

22
Source Code is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

Released: 2011

Directed by: Duncan Jones

Source Code is a 2011 science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. The film had its ...more

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#160 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #137 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #1,396 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

23
Predestination is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor, Sarah Snook

Released: 2014

Directed by: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction film, written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film is based on the Robert A. Heinlein short story "—All You ...more

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#175 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #152 of 163 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #54 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

24
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine

Released: 2006

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more

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#133 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books #873 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #118 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

25
The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci Fi Thriller Movies, Ranked
Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman

Released: 2004

Directed by: J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress

The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 American psychological thriller film that was written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The title refers to the butterfly effect, a popular ...more

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#33 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #477 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #325 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made