Total Nerd The Best Science Fiction Action Movies  

Ranker Film
11.1k votes 1.2k voters 32.5k views 63 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
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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

2
412 148
Delete is listed (or ranked) 2 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.

3
238 55
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

4
335 115
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
384 148
Predator is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
380 146
Alien is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
264 78
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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

8
314 131
Blade Runner is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
311 129
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

10
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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

11
178 72
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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

12
267 149
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 12 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

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

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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

14
164 86
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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

15
150 78
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 15 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.

16
193 125
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
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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

The Best War Movies Ever

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208 151
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
177 122
The Running Man is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
21 1
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
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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

22
117 92
Dredd is listed (or ranked) 22 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

The Best Alien Invasion Movies

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163 166
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
37 17
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
162 187
Waterworld is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
16 2
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
108 129
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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

The Best Performances to Not Win an Oscar

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Inception is listed (or ranked) 28 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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12 4
Avatar is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
127 168
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
112 152
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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 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

The Best Dystopian and Near Future Movies

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7 3
Elysium is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Elysium Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga Elysium is a 2013 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, and starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga and Sharlto ...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

35
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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

36
6 2
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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

37
7 4
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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

20 Heartwarming Random Acts of Kindness Caught on Camera

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5 2
Pacific Rim is listed (or ranked) 38 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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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

40
5 3
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

41
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The Omega Man Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 ...more

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Valdave added Battle: Los Angeles Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Shaffer Smith Battle: Los Angeles is a 2011 American military science fiction war film directed by Jonathan Liebesman. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Chris Bertolini, based in part ...more

18 Reasons Predator Is Objectively The Finest Action Film Ever Made

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Valdave added Ghost in the Shell Maaya Sakamoto, Akio Ōtsuka, Kōichi Yamadera Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 anime science fiction film based on manga of the same title by Masamune Shirow. The film was written by Kazunori Itō, directed by Mamoru Oshii, animated by ...more

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cloudcity40 added Cube Nicole de Boer, Julian Richings, David Hewlett Cube is a 1997 Canadian science fiction psychological horror film, directed and co-written by Vincenzo Natali. The film was a successful product of the Canadian Film Centre's First Feature

45
3 3
Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
Valdave added Cloverfield Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams & Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an ...more

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1 0
War for the Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 46 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 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 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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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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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