13 Love-'Em-Or-Hate-'Em Sci-Fi Movies That Split Audiences Down The Middle

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Vote up the polarizing sci-fi movies you love.

Science fiction offers the possibility to take us to places we can only dream about. That kind of freedom lends itself to wild visions of cinema that can be scintillating forms of entertainment... or complete train wrecks. Or, most interestingly, sci-fi films can divide audiences straight down the middle.

Over the years, there have been numerous science fiction movies that have completely divided public opinion upon release. Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain comes to mind. A couple of Star Wars adventures have seriously divided the fan base in recent years. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has proven to be a love-it-or-hate-it film, as well. So, get ready to drink the Kool-Aid or voice your defiant disapproval... we're running through the sci-fi pictures that audiences just can't seem to agree on.

Photo: The Fountain / Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Why People Love It: As is to be expected with each and every film Robert Rodriguez brings to theaters, Alita: Battle Angel is a ton of fun if you can turn your brain off for an afternoon. The man responsible for the Spy KidsMachete, and Sin City franchises doesn't know how to go any speed but a hundred miles per hour - and this goofy manga adaptation has all the elaborate action and spectacle you could ever ask for. Bring Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley to the party and you're in line for a good time.

    Why People Hate It: Naysayers have found many things to complain about when it comes to Alita: Battle Angel. "It doesn't compare to the source material." "Her eyes are too distracting." "The screenplay is atrocious." Even those who enjoyed the movie were disappointed by the ending or, rather, the complete and utter lack of one. Would the oft-rumored sequel fix some of these issues? We may never find out.

    699 votes

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  • 2
    801 VOTES

    Why People Love It: Have you heard? Some denizens of the internet are super into what Zack Snyder has going on. The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement is undeniable proof of that. And after 300 made him a major director, he decided to bring the "unfilmable" Watchmen to the big screen with his signature violent, slow-motion style intact. The opening credits are fantastic. It is (mostly) faithful to the source material. And the actors are doing some great work. There really is a lot to like about this superhero movie.

    Why People Hate It: In its original art form, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins created a seminal classic that stands up as well today as it did upon release back in the mid-'80s. It is dense, it is powerful, and it has a lot to say about the nature of superheroes. Snyder's Watchmen has many detractors because it tries to have its cake and eat it, too. That's the nature of a big-budget film from a major studio: It needs to be bombastic and sell tickets. There are elaborate fight scenes with gratuitous violence in a movie that is supposed to be an intense critique of all things superhero. This causes a serious dissonance that some people just can't overlook.

    801 votes

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  • 3
    552 VOTES

    Why People Love It: When Andrew Niccol, the man responsible for coming up with the ideas behind Gattaca and The Truman Show, releases a major motion picture, sci-fi heads stand up and take notice. This was the case with 2011's In Time, which centers around a society where people stop aging at 25 and a year-long countdown timer appears on their arm. People die when it hits zero, but time has become currency in this world, meaning those with the means can live forever. What follows is a fun thriller with some biting commentary on wealth inequality that only gets more satirically pointed year after year.

    Why People Hate It: Some found the film heavy-handed from the jump, with half-baked ruminations at the center of the conflict. Others thought the premise was too ludicrous to get on board with in the first place. Also, there are some people who just can't get on board with Justin Timberlake as an action hero. That seems a little unfair, but understandable given the man's roots as a boy-band superstar.

    552 votes

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  • 4
    663 VOTES

    Why People Love It: Interstellar is the kind of movie only a few directors get to make. A sci-fi thriller set in the future that deals with wormholes and time dilation with a budget of $165 million? If your name isn't Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, or Christopher Nolan, that film just isn't getting made. All of Nolan's trademarks are on full display in Interstellar, as well. There is a booming Hans Zimmer score, a plot that deals with time, an overly blue color palette, and Michael Caine even shows up! At the end of the day, fans of this film see it as an emotional triumph that focuses on the small and personal as well as the astronomical and universal.

    Why People Hate It: A bookcase? A father is able to cross through the event horizon of a black hole, end up in a tesseract of bookcases, and contact his daughter through space and time via morse code, thereby saving the entirety of the human race? That isn't the easiest ending for some people to get behind. And why is the score so loud in some scenes? Audiences literally couldn't understand what was happening because the dialogue couldn't be heard over the music. And what is Christopher Nolan's obsession with dead wives? Nolan just isn't everyone's cup of tea, it seems.

    663 votes

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  • 5
    599 VOTES

    Why People Love It: 1982's Tron may be quaint by today's standards, but the cult classic was revolutionary at the time. So when Disney finally opted to make a sequel nearly three decades later, fans were ready to be wowed. With Jeff Bridges returning, some incredible production design, and an absolutely bopping soundtrack courtesy of Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy had plenty to love. And whatever it was Michael Sheen was doing? Come on, that was awesome.

    Why People Hate It: The plot of Tron: Legacy leaves plenty to be desired and much of the acting outside of Jeff Bridges and Michael Sheen comes off as pretty wooden. It is also clear Tron: Legacy was meant to restart the franchise into a major moneymaker for Disney and, well, that didn't really come to pass. The opening even sets up Cillian Murphy as a villain for the next movie that, 10 years after release, still has never come out. All in all, for some people, Tron: Legacy comes off as a missed opportunity.

    599 votes

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  • 6
    683 VOTES

    Why People Love It: Ridley Scott's return to the franchise that lit a fire under his Hollywood career was wildly hyped before its 2012 release. More than 30 years after Alien rocked the world, the English director returned to space after the Alien v. Predator series wiped out whatever goodwill was left for the Xenomorphs. And Alien fans got the heady, sci-fi/horror they were looking for. Michael Fassbender absolutely kills it as the android David. The production design and special effects are amazing. Prometheus defenders mark the film as a return to form for an iconic franchise that had been languishing for years.

    Why People Hate It: When tackling heady themes surrounding creation, religion, and artificial intelligence, hitting the mark for each and every viewer is a balancing act that's nearly impossible to pull off. And Prometheus certainly isn't a perfect film, even to its fans. The thing opens with a bizarre scene involving an alien humanoid who commits suicide via a mysterious liquid. There is no explanation. It just happens. Some Alien fans just wanted a simple horror film with a bunch of Xenomorphs running around. Prometheus is anything but simple. 

    683 votes

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