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The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas 

Ranker Film
1.9k votes 377 voters 9.1k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the top psychological drama movies with elements of sci-fi.

When psychological dramas bring in elements of classic science fiction, the result can be a mind-bending movie-going experience. The best science fiction dramas feature intriguing characters whose everyday lives are complicated by new technology or unexpected events. This is a list of the top psychological science fiction movies including everything from Donnie Darko to A Clockwork Orange to Vanilla Sky.

What films will you find on this list of the best sci fi dramas? At its heart, the Charlie Kaufman-penned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a love story. The film follows the relationship of Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) after they erase each other from their memories. Michel Gondry used in-camera techniques to add to the wonder of this acclaimed film. Inception is another good psychological drama that dabbles in science fiction, while David Lynch's Mulholland Drive has more twists and turns than a supernatural rollercoaster. Other movies featured on this list include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cloud Atlas, and The Butterfly Effect.

Which science fiction drama deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any films that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Inception is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
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

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2
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Mohammed Hafiz Alshafie added
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss
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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3
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
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

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4
Ex Machina is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
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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5
Eternal Sunshine of the ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more

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6
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop
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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7
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
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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8
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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9
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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10
Looper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
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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11
The Butterfly Effect is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman
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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12
Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Mark Strong
Sunshine is a 2007 British science fiction thriller film directed by Danny Boyle. The film was adapted from a screenplay written by Alex Garland about the crew of a spacecraft on a dangerous ...more

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13
The Adjustment Bureau is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Jon Stewart
The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 American romantic science fiction thriller film loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "Adjustment Team". The film was written and directed by ...more

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14
Vanilla Sky is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz
Vanilla Sky is a 2001 American science fiction thriller film directed, written, and co-produced by Cameron Crowe. It is an English-language remake of Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 Spanish ...more

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15
Solaris is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
JerryDurrwachter added
Anatoly Solonitsyn, Natalya Bondarchuk, Jüri Järvet
Solaris is a 1972 Russian science fiction art film adaptation of Polish author Stanisław Lem's novel Solaris. The film was co-written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The film is a meditative ...more

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16
Madeline's Madeline is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Madeline's Madeline
Helena Howard, Miranda July, Molly Parker
Madeline’s Madeline is a 2018 mystery-thriller film directed by Josephine Decker. A theater director's (Molly Parker) latest project takes on a life of its own when her young star (Helena ...more
17
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon
Cloud Atlas is a 2012 science fiction film written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has ...more

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18
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George
Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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19
Triangle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani
Triangle is a 2009 psychological horror thriller film written and directed by Christopher Smith. Jess (Melissa George) plays a single mother who goes on a boating trip with several friends. When ...more

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20
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane
Serenity is a 2019 American noir thriller-drama film directed by Steven Knight. The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt ...more

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21
The Man Who Fell to Eart... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg. The film is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, about an extraterrestrial on ...more

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22
A Girl Walks Home Alone ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a 2014 American vampire western film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Arash (Arash Marandi) is caring for his addict father and being harrassed by a drug dealer ...more
23
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield
Never Let Me Go is a 2010 British dystopian science fiction drama film based on Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Mark Romanek from a screenplay by Alex ...more
24
Splice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac
Splice is a 2009 Canadian-French science fiction horror film directed by Vincenzo Natali and starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, and Delphine Chanéac. The story concerns experiments in ...more

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25
The Box is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Science Fiction-y Psychological Dramas
Cameron Diaz, Gillian Jacobs, James Marsden
The Box is a 2009 American psychological thriller film based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson, which was previously adapted into an episode of the 1980s ...more