Total Nerd The Best Science Fiction Action Movies  

Ranker Film
30.9k votes 2.3k voters 62.2k views 93 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.

list ordered by

1
450 82
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
cloudcity40 added 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

2
783 228
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Dan Thompson added 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

3
601 196
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Neil McDowell added 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

4
692 243
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Dan Thompson added 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

5
789 293
Delete is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss Matrix is a 1999 short film directed by Nicky Hamlyn.

6
563 179
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Neil McDowell added 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

7
690 263
Alien is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

8
713 276
Predator is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

9
672 280
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Dan Thompson added 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

10
350 99
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added 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

11
487 227
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Dan Thompson added 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

12
549 296
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

13
446 245
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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

14
249 99
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added 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

15
438 241
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Dan Thompson added 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

16
386 228
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Ненад Мићевић added 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

17
366 215
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Ненад Мићевић added Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

18
248 122
Inception is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added 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

19
265 149
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
billymac00 added 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. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his ...more

20
452 322
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

21
345 255
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

22
363 277
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

23
327 247
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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 distopian United States ...more

24
77 12
Guardians of the Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 American superhero film directed by James Gunn, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) forms a group of intergalactic "bad ...more

25
197 130
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Valdave added 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

26
277 210
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Neil McDowell added 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

27
206 140
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added 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

28
179 117
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Valdave added 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. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more

29
364 322
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

30
65 11
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

31
155 106
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Valdave added 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 man Richard B. ...more

32
63 12
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

33
59 12
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starwarssuperfan added Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

34
54 10
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starwarssuperfan added 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

35
71 33
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Valdave added 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

36
110 79
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Valdave added 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

37
57 18
Avengers: Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Torn apart after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers join forces with the Guardians ...more

38
158 140
Pacific Rim is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman Pacific Rim is a 2013 action sci-fi film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

39
249 250
Dredd is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Neil McDowell added 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

40
48 11
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added 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

41
125 105
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Valdave added 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

42
136 121
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Valdave added 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

43
139 127
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

44
117 104
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Valdave added 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

45
124 119
World War Z is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse This film 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

46
275 322
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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

47
43 23
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
starwarssuperfan added Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed This film is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards. The daughter (Felicity Jones) of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to take the plans.

48
111 118
War for the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added 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

49
112 131
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Valdave added 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

50
232 303
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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