Total Nerd The Best Science Fiction Action Movies  

Ranker Film
23.6k votes 1.9k voters 50.8k views 78 items

In space, no one can hear you scream... but everyone else in the movie theater can. If you're searching for a gasp-worthy flick for movie night, look no further. These are the best science fiction action movies, featuring humans battling each other and struggling for survival against alien forces. These top sci fi action movies include titles ranging from Blade Runner to Planet of the Apes to Waterworld.

What films will you find on this list of the best sci fi action movies? In the 1979 film Alien, the crew of the Nostromo spacecraft fights a seemingly unstoppable extraterrestrial being that is both deadly and terrifying. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) used every resource available to survive the voyage. Mad Max: Fury Road is another acclaimed action science fiction film that focuses on earthbound monsters instead. Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg teamed up for the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds. Other good movies featured on this list include The Matrix, The Last Man on Earth, and 12 Monkeys.

Which film deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and please add any good action sci fi movies that are missing.

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Dan Thompson added Star Wars 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

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
cloudcity40 added Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 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

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The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Neil McDowell added The Terminator 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

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Neil McDowell added Aliens 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

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Delete is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss Matrix is a 1999 short film directed by Nicky Hamlyn.

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Dan Thompson added Terminator 2: Judgment Day 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

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Predator is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Predator 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

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Alien is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Alien 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

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The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Dan Thompson added The Fifth Element 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

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Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Independence Day 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

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Dan Thompson added Total Recall 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

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Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Blade Runner 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

The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a 2014 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Captain America, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios ...more

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Dan Thompson added Mad Max Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy and starring Mel Gibson. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by ...more

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Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Men in Black 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

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Ненад Мићевић added Stargate 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

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RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Ненад Мићевић added RoboCop Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

The Very Best Mila Kunis Movies

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Serenity is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Serenity 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

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Inception is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Inception 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

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Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
billymac00 added Starship Troopers 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

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The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
The Running Man Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura The Running Man is a 1987 American science fiction action film loosely based on the 1982 novel The Running Man, written by Stephen King and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. ...more

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12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
12 Monkeys 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

18 Reasons Predator Is Objectively The Finest Action Film Ever Made

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Escape from New York Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a crime-ridden United ...more

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Neil McDowell added Minority Report 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

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Valdave added I Am Legend Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's ...more

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District 9 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
District 9 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

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Avatar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Avatar 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

101 Things You Didn't Know About the Lord of the Rings Films

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film directed by J. A. Bayona. When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire ...more

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Dredd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Neil McDowell added Dredd Lena Headey, Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby Dredd is a 2012 science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character ...more

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Valdave added Edge of Tomorrow 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

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Pacific Rim is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Pacific Rim Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman Pacific Rim is a 2013 action sci-fi film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

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War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more

12 Bananas Fan Theories About The Predator Franchise That Change The Game

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Valdave added Pitch Black Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The film stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Keith David. Dangerous criminal Richard B. ...more

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Valdave added The Matrix Reloaded Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 American science fiction action film, the first sequel to The Matrix, and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy, written and directed by The Wachowski ...more

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War for the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added War for the Planet of the Apes Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves. Following the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the apes are ...more

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Valdave added Resident Evil Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs Resident Evil is a 2002 German-British-French science fiction horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. It is the first ...more

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Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Planet of the Apes Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Giamatti Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estella ...more

The Worst Parts of Being a Bridesmaid

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Valdave added The Chronicles of Riddick Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Thandie Newton The Chronicles of Riddick is a 2004 American science fiction film which follows the adventures of Richard B. Riddick as he attempts to elude capture after the events depicted in the 2000 film ...more

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Valdave added Looper Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt 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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World War Z is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added World War Z Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse World War Z is a 2013 American apocalyptic action horror film directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof is from a screen story by ...more

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Valdave added Event Horizon Laurence Fishburne, Jason Isaacs, Sam Neill Event Horizon is a 1997 British-American science fiction horror film. The screenplay was written by Philip Eisner and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Laurence Fishburne and Sam ...more

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Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Waterworld Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Dennis Hopper Waterworld is a 1995 American post-apocalyptic science fiction action film directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It was based on Rader's original 1986 ...more

NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

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Logan's Run Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov, Jenny Agutter Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov. ...more

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Blade Runner 2049 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Blade Runner 2049 Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American neo noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve, and a sequel to the 1982 film. A young blade runner's (Ryan Gosling) discovery of a long-buried ...more

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Valdave added The Book of Eli Mila Kunis, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, ...more

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Valdave added Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

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Escape from L.A. Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier Escape from L.A. is a 1996 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter, co-written and produced by Debra Hill and Kurt Russell, with Russell also ...more

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Valdave added Lucy Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Silla for his company Europacorp. The film was shot in ...more

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Valdave added 28 Weeks Later Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner 28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British-Spanish post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film, structured as a sequel to the 2002 critical and commercial success, 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was ...more

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Dan Thompson added Judge Dredd Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, James Earl Jones Judge Dredd is a 1995 American science fiction action film directed by Danny Cannon, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. The film is ...more