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150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies to Watch Now

There’s only one place where you can get clones, time travel, simulated realities, irradiated and irritated giant lizards, and space fights and beyond. (Maybe not all at once, but we can dream.) Anything’s possible in this creative nebula known as science fiction, and with its long and historic association with cinema, we present our choices of the greatest science-fiction movies ever: The 150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies!

As they do with horror, filmmakers use science fiction to reflect our aspirations, terrors, and issues of the times. Through genre lens, we can consider our impact on the environment (Godzilla, WALL-E), technology gone berserk (The Terminator, Ex Machina), identity (Blade Runner, The Matrix), and societal breakdowns (Children of Men, A Clockwork Orange). We might even check-in on the current state of the human condition (Gattaca, Her).

Or, maybe we just want to see giant ants wreak havoc across the neighborhood. There may not be a lot of subtext in a big monster movie like Them!, or even crowd-pleasing masterpieces like Star Wars or Back to the Future, but they speak to the one thing that attracts us to movies in the first place: escapism. Science-fiction movies are our tickets to planets far-away (Star Trek, Avatar, Starship Troopers), or a quick hop to a local joint in the solar system (The Martian, Total Recall). They take us just above the atmosphere (Gravity), deep down to the bottom of the ocean (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Abyss), and into the human body (Fantastic Voyage). Limited only 2020by imagination, sci-fi inspires wonder, awe, terror, and hope for alternative mindsets and better futures.

Sci-fi spreads across subgenres, all represented here: the monster movie (Cloverfield), space opera (Serenity), cyberpunk (Ghost in the Shell), and post-apocalyptic (Mad Max: Fury Road) and more. Or it can fuse onto traditional genres like drama (Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), comedy (Repo Man, Idiocracy), and action (Predator, Demoliton Man). Wherever the destination, these movies — each with at least 20 reviews — were selected because of their unique, fun, and possibly even mind-blowing spins on reality.

It’s time to strap in and cue the Theremin for some of the best science-fiction films created: Time to launch the 150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies!

#150
Adjusted Score: 67938%
Critics Consensus: A frantic and occasional funny adaptation of Douglas Adams' novel. However, it may have those unfamiliar with the source material scratching their heads.
Synopsis: Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def)... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#149

The Endless (2017)
92%

#149
Adjusted Score: 98417%
Critics Consensus: The Endless benefits from its grounded approach to an increasingly bizarre story, elevated by believable performances by filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
Synopsis: Two brothers receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier.... [More]

#148

Timecrimes (2007)
89%

#148
Adjusted Score: 90231%
Critics Consensus: Timecrimes is a low-budget thriller that's well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists.
Synopsis: Nacho Vigalondo's time-travel thriller opens with Hector spying on a beautiful woman undressing in the woods near his property. Investigating,... [More]
Directed By: Nacho Vigalondo

#147

Ad Astra (2019)
83%

#147
Adjusted Score: 106799%
Critics Consensus: Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.
Synopsis: Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#146

Westworld (1973)
85%

#146
Adjusted Score: 88554%
Critics Consensus: Yul Brynner gives a memorable performance as a robotic cowboy in this amusing sci-fi/western hybrid.
Synopsis: Westworld is a futuristic theme park where paying guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial Wild West populated... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#145

High Life (2018)
82%

#145
Adjusted Score: 96495%
Critics Consensus: High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis.
Synopsis: Monte and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of... [More]
Directed By: Claire Denis

#144

Coherence (2013)
88%

#144
Adjusted Score: 90274%
Critics Consensus: A case study in less-is-more filmmaking, Coherence serves as a compelling low-budget calling card for debuting writer-director James Ward Byrkit.
Synopsis: Eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of events due to the malevolent influence of a passing... [More]
Directed By: James Ward Byrkit

#143
Adjusted Score: 80873%
Critics Consensus: Rocky Horror Picture Show brings its quirky characters in tight, but it's the narrative thrust that really drives audiences insane and keeps 'em doing the time warp again.
Synopsis: In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm,... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sharman

#142

Midnight Special (2016)
83%

#142
Adjusted Score: 97824%
Critics Consensus: Midnight Special's intriguing mysteries may not resolve themselves to every viewer's liking, but the journey is ambitious, entertaining, and terrifically acted.
Synopsis: The government and a group of religious extremists pursue a man (Michael Shannon) and his son (Jaeden Lieberher), a young... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

#141

Wizards (1977)
59%

#141
Adjusted Score: 61011%
Critics Consensus: Its central metaphor is a bit too on the nose, but Wizards is an otherwise psychedelic, freaky trip into an alternate version of our world.
Synopsis: After the death of his mother, the evil mutant wizard Blackwolf (Steve Gravers) discovers some long-lost military technologies. Full of... [More]
Directed By: Ralph Bakshi

#140

Annihilation (2018)
88%

#140
Adjusted Score: 108010%
Critics Consensus: Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious -- and surprisingly strange -- exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X --... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#139

Contact (1997)
66%

#139
Adjusted Score: 70084%
Critics Consensus: Contact elucidates stirring scientific concepts and theological inquiry at the expense of satisfying storytelling, making for a brainy blockbuster that engages with its ideas, if not its characters.
Synopsis: In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#138

The Congress (2013)
73%

#138
Adjusted Score: 75930%
Critics Consensus: The Congress rises on the strength of Robin Wright's powerful performance, with enough ambitious storytelling and technical thrills to overcome its somewhat messy structure.
Synopsis: An aging actress (Robin Wright) agrees to preserve her digital likeness for a studio to use in any future films... [More]
Directed By: Ari Folman

#137
#137
Adjusted Score: 85362%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.
Synopsis: This 1978 Disney adventure tells the story of 12-year-old David (Joey Cramer) who lives with his family in Fort Lauderdale,... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#136
#136
Adjusted Score: 94422%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) pines for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#135
#135
Adjusted Score: 81597%
Critics Consensus: Alita: Battle Angel's story struggles to keep up with its special effects, but fans of futuristic sci-fi action may still find themselves more than sufficiently entertained.
Synopsis: Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#134

Ready Player One (2018)
72%

#134
Adjusted Score: 98591%
Critics Consensus: Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg's strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.
Synopsis: In 2045, the planet is on the brink of chaos and collapse, but people find salvation in the OASIS, an... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#133
#133
Adjusted Score: 66951%
Critics Consensus: The epitome of so-bad-it's-good cinema, Plan 9 From Outer Space is an unintentionally hilarious sci-fi "thriller" from anti-genius Ed Wood that is justly celebrated for its staggering ineptitude.
Synopsis: Residents of California's San Fernando Valley are under attack by flying saucers from outer space. The aliens, led by Eros... [More]
Directed By: Edward D. Wood Jr.

#132

Rollerball (1975)
68%

#132
Adjusted Score: 69682%
Critics Consensus: In Rollerball, social commentary collides with high-speed action -- and the audience is the winner.
Synopsis: The year is 2018 in a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries. A violent futuristic game known as Rollerball... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#131

Silent Running (1972)
71%

#131
Adjusted Score: 72857%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't fulfill the potential of its ambitious themes, butSilent Running stands as a decidedly unique type of sci-fi journey marked by intimate character work and a melancholic mood.
Synopsis: After the end of all botanical life on Earth, ecologist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) maintains a greenhouse on a space... [More]
Directed By: Douglas Trumbull

#130
#130
Adjusted Score: 85844%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
Synopsis: Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) struggles to build a positive relationship with his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#129

Metropolis (2001)
87%

#129
Adjusted Score: 87540%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable technical achievement, Metropolis' eye-popping visuals more than compensate for its relatively routine story.
Synopsis: Visually stunning Japanese anime interpretation of Fritz Lang's classic film, also based on Osamu Tezuka's outstanding 1945 illustrations. A Japanese... [More]
Directed By: Rintaro

#128

Shin Godzilla (2016)
86%

#128
Adjusted Score: 90751%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla Resurgence offers a refreshingly low-fi -- and altogether entertaining -- return to the monster's classic creature-feature roots.
Synopsis: A mysterious monster emerges from Tokyo Bay and wreaks havoc upon Japan.... [More]

#127
Adjusted Score: 82561%
Critics Consensus: Though it may be short on dazzling special effects, The Search for Spock is still a strong Star Trek installment, thanks to affecting performances by its iconic cast.
Synopsis: Adm. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) has defeated his archenemy but at great cost. His friend Spock has apparently been... [More]
Directed By: Leonard Nimoy

#126
Adjusted Score: 113388%
Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#125

The Fountain (2006)
53%

#125
Adjusted Score: 60769%
Critics Consensus: The Fountain -- a movie about metaphysics, universal patterns, Biblical symbolism, and boundless love spread across one thousand years -- is visually rich but suffers from its own unfocused ambitions.
Synopsis: A man (Hugh Jackman) travels through time on a quest for immortality and to save the woman (Rachel Weisz) he... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#124

Logan's Run (1976)
63%

#124
Adjusted Score: 64921%
Critics Consensus: Logan's Run overcomes its campier elements and undercooked plot with a bounty of rousing ideas and dashing sci-fi adventure.
Synopsis: In the year 2274, young residents enjoy an idyllic, hedonistic lifestyle within the protective confines of a domed city. The... [More]
Directed By: Michael Anderson

#123

The Blob (1958)
68%

#123
Adjusted Score: 70237%
Critics Consensus: In spite of its chortle-worthy premise and dated special effects, The Blob remains a prime example of how satisfying cheesy B-movie monster thrills can be.
Synopsis: A drive-in favorite, this sci-fi classic follows teenagers Steve (Steven McQueen) and his best girl, Jane (Aneta Corseaut), as they... [More]
Directed By: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

#122

Scanners (1981)
70%

#122
Adjusted Score: 72537%
Critics Consensus: Scanners is a dark sci-fi story with special effects that'll make your head explode.
Synopsis: Scanners are men and women born with incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. There are many who exercise the benefits of... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#121

Things to Come (1936)
93%

#121
Adjusted Score: 97350%
Critics Consensus: Eerily prescient in its presentation of a dystopian future, Things to Come's special effects may be somewhat dated, but its potent ideas haven't aged at all.
Synopsis: It's Christmas 1940, and Everytown resident John Cabal (Raymond Massey) fears that war is imminent. When it breaks out, the... [More]

#120

Cube (1997)
64%

#120
Adjusted Score: 65916%
Critics Consensus: Cube sometimes struggles with where to take its intriguing premise, but gripping pace and an impressive intelligence make it hard to turn away.
Synopsis: Without remembering how they got there, several strangers awaken in a prison of cubic cells, some of them booby-trapped. There's... [More]
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

#119

Strange Days (1995)
65%

#119
Adjusted Score: 67805%
Critics Consensus: Strange Days struggles to make the most of its futuristic premise, but what's left remains a well-directed, reasonably enjoyable sci-fi fantasy.
Synopsis: Former policeman Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) has moved into a more lucrative trade: the illegal sale of virtual reality-like recordings... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#118

Heavy Metal (1981)
61%

#118
Adjusted Score: 62964%
Critics Consensus: It's sexist, juvenile, and dated, but Heavy Metal makes up for its flaws with eye-popping animation and a classic, smartly used soundtrack.
Synopsis: Adventures from deep space to futuristic New York, and beyond. Each world and story is dominated by the presence of... [More]
Directed By: Gerald Potterton

#117
#117
Adjusted Score: 77574%
Critics Consensus: An offbeat, eccentric black comedy, A Boy and His Dog features strong dialogue and an oddball vision of the future.
Synopsis: Vic (Don Johnson) is a libidinous 18-year-old traversing the post-apocalyptic desert of 2024, in the company of his telepathic dog,... [More]
Directed By: L.Q. Jones

#116
Adjusted Score: 81841%
Critics Consensus: A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism, A.I. is, in a word, fascinating.
Synopsis: A robotic boy, the first programmed to love, David (Haley Joel Osment) is adopted as a test case by a... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#115
#115
Adjusted Score: 78602%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After meteors enter Earth's atmosphere, blinding much of the planet's population in the process, plantlike creatures known as Triffids emerge... [More]
Directed By: Steve Sekely

#114
#114
Adjusted Score: 80653%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bronson (Hayden Rorke) discovers Zyra, a new planet, fellow astronomer Dr. Hendron (Larry Keating) checks Bronson's data and... [More]
Directed By: Rudolph Maté

#113

Sunshine (2007)
77%

#113
Adjusted Score: 83182%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet,... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#112

Liquid Sky (1982)
96%

#112
Adjusted Score: 96541%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An alien creature invades New York's punk subculture in its search for an opiate released by the brain during orgasm.... [More]
Directed By: Slava Tsukerman

#111

Dark Star (1974)
78%

#111
Adjusted Score: 79146%
Critics Consensus: A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.
Synopsis: A satiric look at the problems experienced by a crew of bumbling astronauts on a mission to destroy rogue planets.... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#110

Open Your Eyes (1997)
85%

#110
Adjusted Score: 87514%
Critics Consensus: Director Alejandro Amenábar tackles some heady issues with finesse and clarity in Open Your Eyes, a gripping exploration of existentialism and the human spirit.
Synopsis: Handsome 25-year-old Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) had it all -- a successful career, expensive cars, a swank bachelor's pad, and an... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#109

Paprika (2006)
85%

#109
Adjusted Score: 87384%
Critics Consensus: Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that is difficult to follow but never fails to dazzle.
Synopsis: Dr. Atsuko Chiba works as a scientist by day and, under the code name "Paprika," is a dream detective at... [More]
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

#108

Serenity (2005)
82%

#108
Adjusted Score: 88357%
Critics Consensus: Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.
Synopsis: In this continuation of the television series "Firefly," a group of rebels travels the outskirts of space aboard their ship,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#107

Turbo Kid (2015)
91%

#107
Adjusted Score: 91465%
Critics Consensus: A nostalgic ode to kids' movies of yesteryear, Turbo Kid eyes the past through an entertaining -- albeit surprisingly gory -- postmodern lens.
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, an orphaned teen (Munro Chambers) must battle a ruthless warlord (Michael Ironside) to save the girl... [More]

#106

THX-1138 (1971)
86%

#106
Adjusted Score: 91474%
Critics Consensus: George Lucas' feature debut presents a spare, bleak, dystopian future, and features evocatively minimal set design and creepy sound effects.
Synopsis: In the future, mankind lives in vast underground cities and free will is outlawed by means of mandatory medication that... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#105

Attack the Block (2011)
90%

#105
Adjusted Score: 96874%
Critics Consensus: Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary, Attack the Block is a thrilling, briskly-paced sci-fi yarn with a distinctly British flavor.
Synopsis: South London teenagers (John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones) defend their neighborhood from malevolent extraterrestrials.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

#104

Upgrade (2018)
88%

#104
Adjusted Score: 99400%
Critics Consensus: Like its augmented protagonist, Upgrade's old-fashioned innards get a high-tech boost -- one made even more powerful thanks to sharp humor and a solidly well-told story.
Synopsis: A brutal mugging leaves Grey Trace paralyzed in the hospital and his beloved wife dead. A billionaire inventor soon offers... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#103
#103
Adjusted Score: 94420%
Critics Consensus: While fans of the series will surely appreciate it, First Contact is exciting, engaging, and visually appealing enough to entertain Star Trek novices.
Synopsis: The Enterprise and its crew follow a Borg ship through a time warp to prevent the Borg from taking over... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Frakes

#102

The World's End (2013)
89%

#102
Adjusted Score: 97925%
Critics Consensus: Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players.
Synopsis: Gary King (Simon Pegg) is an immature 40-year-old who's dying to take another stab at an epic pub-crawl that he... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#101
Adjusted Score: 97055%
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
Synopsis: This remake of the classic horror film is set in San Francisco. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) assumes that when a... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#100

The Host (2006)
93%

#100
Adjusted Score: 98416%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#99

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#99
Adjusted Score: 118868%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#98
Adjusted Score: 110988%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#97

Repo Man (1984)
98%

#97
Adjusted Score: 100370%
Critics Consensus: Repo Man is many things: an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, a send-up of consumerism. One thing it isn't is boring.
Synopsis: After being fired from his job, Los Angeles slacker and punk rocker Otto (Emilio Estevez) lands a gig working for... [More]
Directed By: Alex Cox

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 70084%
Critics Consensus: A fun movie...if you can accept the excessive gore and wooden acting.
Synopsis: In the distant future, the Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 74084%
Critics Consensus: Visually inventive and gleefully over the top, Luc Besson's The Fifth Element is a fantastic piece of pop sci-fi that never takes itself too seriously.
Synopsis: In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#94

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#94
Adjusted Score: 84199%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#93

Dredd (2012)
79%

#93
Adjusted Score: 85904%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by bombastic violence and impressive special effects, rooted in self-satire and deadpan humor, Dredd 3D does a remarkable job of capturing its source material's gritty spirit.
Synopsis: Mega City One is a vast, violent metropolis where felons rule the streets. The only law lies with cops called... [More]
Directed By: Pete Travis

#92
Adjusted Score: 90665%
Critics Consensus: Featuring director John Sayles trademark humanity and an expressive performance from Joe Morton, The Brother from Another Planet is an observant, dryly comic sci-fi gem.
Synopsis: "The Brother" (Joe Morton) is an alien and escaped slave on the run from his home planet. After he lands... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#91
Adjusted Score: 70895%
Critics Consensus: Sci-fi parodies like these usually struggle to work, but Buckaroo Banzai succeeds through total devotion to its own lunacy.
Synopsis: Buckaroo Banzai is caught with his trusted allies, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, in a battle to the death between evil... [More]
Directed By: W.D. Richter

#90

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#90

#89

Dark City (1998)
76%

#89
Adjusted Score: 80497%
Critics Consensus: Stylishly gloomy, Dark City offers a polarizing whirl of arresting visuals and noirish action.
Synopsis: John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he is wanted for a series of... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#88

Under the Skin (2013)
84%

#88
Adjusted Score: 95071%
Critics Consensus: Its message may prove elusive for some, but with absorbing imagery and a mesmerizing performance from Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin is a haunting viewing experience.
Synopsis: Disguising herself as a human female, an extraterrestrial (Scarlett Johansson) drives around Scotland and tries to lure unsuspecting men into... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 87170%
Critics Consensus: Filled with stunning imagery, The Man Who Fell to Earth is a calm, meditative film that profoundly explores our culture's values and desires.
Synopsis: Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) is an alien who has come to Earth in search of water to save his... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#86

The Fly (1986)
93%

#86
Adjusted Score: 98482%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#85

Cloverfield (2008)
78%

#85
Adjusted Score: 85550%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
Synopsis: As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#84

Men in Black (1997)
92%

#84
Adjusted Score: 97654%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.
Synopsis: They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#83

Tron (1982)
71%

#83
Adjusted Score: 76692%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps not as strong dramatically as it is technologically, TRON is an original and visually stunning piece of science fiction that represents a landmark work in the history of computer animation.
Synopsis: When talented computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) finds out that Ed Dillinger (David Warner), an executive at his company,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Lisberger

#82

Bumblebee (2018)
90%

#82
Adjusted Score: 105129%
Critics Consensus: Bumblebee proves it's possible to bring fun and a sense of wonder back to a bloated blockbuster franchise -- and sets up its own slate of sequels in the bargain.
Synopsis: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach... [More]
Directed By: Travis Knight

#81

Independence Day (1996)
68%

#81
Adjusted Score: 71582%
Critics Consensus: The plot is thin and so is character development, but as a thrilling, spectacle-filled summer movie, Independence Day delivers.
Synopsis: In the epic adventure film "Independence Day," strange phenomena surface around the globe. The skies ignite. Terror races through the... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#80

Barbarella (1968)
74%

#80
Adjusted Score: 79213%
Critics Consensus: Unevenly paced and thoroughly cheesy, Barbarella is nonetheless full of humor, entertaining visuals, and Jane Fonda's sex appeal.
Synopsis: Barbarella (Jane Fonda) roams 41st-century space with her blind guardian angel, Pygar (John Phillip Law).... [More]
Directed By: Roger Vadim

#79

Donnie Darko (2001)
87%

#79
Adjusted Score: 90338%
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.
Synopsis: In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly

#78

Pacific Rim (2013)
72%

#78
Adjusted Score: 84164%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#77

Idiocracy (2006)
73%

#77
Adjusted Score: 73430%
Critics Consensus: Frustratingly uneven yet enjoyable overall, Idiocracy skewers society's devolution with an amiably goofy yet deceptively barbed wit.
Synopsis: In 2005, average in every way private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military... [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

#76

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
81%

#76
Adjusted Score: 82959%
Critics Consensus: Fahrenheit 451 is an intriguing film that suffuses Truffaut's trademark wit and black humor with the intelligence and morality of Ray Bradbury's novel.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel about a future society that has banned all reading material and the job of... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#75

Demolition Man (1993)
60%

#75
Adjusted Score: 60905%
Critics Consensus: A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: With innocent victims caught in the crossfire in Los Angeles' intensifying war on crime, both cop John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone)... [More]
Directed By: Marco Brambilla

#74

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
68%

#74
Adjusted Score: 75006%
Critics Consensus: A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.
Synopsis: In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County,... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#73

Source Code (2011)
92%

#73
Adjusted Score: 101330%
Critics Consensus: Finding the human story amidst the action, director Duncan Jones and charming Jake Gyllenhaal craft a smart, satisfying sci-fi thriller.
Synopsis: Helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is part of a top-secret military operation that enables him to experience the last... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#72

The Abyss (1989)
87%

#72
Adjusted Score: 90558%
Critics Consensus: The utterly gorgeous special effects frequently overshadow the fact that The Abyss is also a totally gripping, claustrophobic thriller, complete with an interesting crew of characters.
Synopsis: Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio are formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#71
Adjusted Score: 91718%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rupert Wyatt's stylish direction, some impressive special effects, and a mesmerizing performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathes unlikely new life into a long-running franchise.
Synopsis: Will Rodman (James Franco), a scientist in San Francisco, is experimenting with a drug that he hopes will cure his... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt

#70

Altered States (1980)
85%

#70
Adjusted Score: 89027%
Critics Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.
Synopsis: Respected scientist and psychology professor Edward Jessup (William Hurt) decides to combine his experiments in sensory deprivation tanks with powerful... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#69

Predestination (2014)
84%

#69
Adjusted Score: 86969%
Critics Consensus: Fun genre fare with uncommon intelligence, Predestination serves as a better-than-average sci-fi adventure -- and offers a starmaking turn from Sarah Snook.
Synopsis: A temporal agent (Ethan Hawke) embarks on a final time-traveling assignment to prevent an elusive criminal from launching an attack... [More]

#68

They Live (1988)
85%

#68
Adjusted Score: 88826%
Critics Consensus: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.
Synopsis: Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#67

Seconds (1966)
78%

#67
Adjusted Score: 84362%
Critics Consensus: Featuring dazzling, disorienting cinematography from the great James Wong Howe and a strong lead performance by Rock Hudson, Seconds is a compellingly paranoid take on the legend of Faust.
Synopsis: Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) gets a call one day from a friend he thought was dead. It turns out... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#66

Soylent Green (1973)
69%

#66
Adjusted Score: 72323%
Critics Consensus: While admittedly melodramatic and uneven in spots, Soylent Green ultimately succeeds with its dark, plausible vision of a dystopian future.
Synopsis: In a densely overpopulated, starving New York City of the future, NYPD detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#65
Adjusted Score: 91339%
Critics Consensus: One of Disney's finest live-action adventures, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea brings Jules Verne's classic sci-fi tale to vivid life, and features an awesome giant squid.
Synopsis: In 1866, Professor Pierre M. Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre), stranded in San Francisco by reports... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#64

The Hunger Games (2012)
84%

#64
Adjusted Score: 97734%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel.
Synopsis: In what was once North America, the Capitol of Panem maintains its hold on its 12 districts by forcing them... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#63

Avatar (2009)
81%

#63
Adjusted Score: 94655%
Critics Consensus: It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.
Synopsis: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#62

Minority Report (2002)
90%

#62
Adjusted Score: 97592%
Critics Consensus: Thought-provoking and visceral, Steven Spielberg successfully combines high concept ideas and high octane action in this fast and febrile sci-fi thriller.
Synopsis: Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, "Minority Report" is an action-detective thriller set in... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#61
Adjusted Score: 97198%
Critics Consensus: While Alphaville is by no means a conventional sci-fi film, Jean-Luc Godard creates a witty, noir-ish future all his own.
Synopsis: Government agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is dispatched on a secret mission to Alphaville, a dystopian metropolis in a distant... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#60

Them! (1954)
93%

#60
Adjusted Score: 97797%
Critics Consensus: One of the best creature features of the early atomic age, Them! features effectively menacing special effects and avoids the self-parody that would taint later monster movies.
Synopsis: While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, Sergeant Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) finds a young girl (Sandy Descher) who is... [More]
Directed By: Gordon Douglas

#59

Videodrome (1983)
78%

#59
Adjusted Score: 82397%
Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
Synopsis: As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#58

Snowpiercer (2013)
94%

#58
Adjusted Score: 104212%
Critics Consensus: Snowpiercer offers an audaciously ambitious action spectacular for filmgoers numb to effects-driven blockbusters.
Synopsis: A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning supertrain. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#57
Adjusted Score: 103694%
Critics Consensus: One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.
Synopsis: In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#56

Predator (1987)
82%

#56
Adjusted Score: 84703%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 92781%
Critics Consensus: Planet of the Apes raises thought-provoking questions about our culture without letting social commentary get in the way of the drama and action.
Synopsis: Complex sociological themes run through this science-fiction classic about three astronauts marooned on a futuristic planet where apes rule and... [More]
Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner

#54

Mad Max 2 (1981)
94%

#54
Adjusted Score: 97780%
Critics Consensus: The Road Warrior is everything a bigger-budgeted Mad Max sequel with should be: bigger, faster, louder, but definitely not dumber.
Synopsis: After avenging the death of his wife and young son at the hands of a vicious gang leader, Max (Mel... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#53

Star Trek (2009)
94%

#53
Adjusted Score: 109157%
Critics Consensus: Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.
Synopsis: Aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 91310%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an atmospherically grimy futuristic metropolis, Escape from New York is a strange, entertaining jumble of thrilling action and oddball weirdness.
Synopsis: In 1997, a major war between the United States and the Soviet Union is concluding, and the entire island of... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 91191%
Critics Consensus: Though it's dated in spots, The War of the Worlds retains an unnerving power, updating H.G. Wells' classic sci-fi tale to the Cold War era and featuring some of the best special effects of any 1950s film.
Synopsis: Scientist Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) and Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) are the first to arrive at the site of... [More]
Directed By: Byron Haskin

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 120779%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right.
Synopsis: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#49

Galaxy Quest (1999)
90%

#49
Adjusted Score: 94479%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and humorous satire with an excellent cast -- no previous Trekkie knowledge needed to enjoy this one.
Synopsis: The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show - now scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions - are beamed... [More]
Directed By: Dean Parisot

#48

Fantastic Voyage (1966)
91%

#48
Adjusted Score: 93661%
Critics Consensus: The special effects may be a bit dated today, but Fantastic Voyage still holds up well as an imaginative journey into the human body.
Synopsis: The brilliant scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) develops a way to shrink humans, and other objects, for brief periods... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#47

Solaris (1972)
92%

#47
Adjusted Score: 98837%
Critics Consensus: Solaris is a haunting, meditative film that uses sci-fi to raise complex questions about humanity and existence.
Synopsis: A psychologist is sent to a space station orbiting a planet called Solaris to investigate the death of a doctor... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

#46

Her (2013)
94%

#46
Adjusted Score: 105292%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, soulful, and smart, Spike Jonze's Her uses its just-barely-sci-fi scenario to impart wryly funny wisdom about the state of modern human relationships.
Synopsis: A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#45

The Iron Giant (1999)
96%

#45
Adjusted Score: 101301%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
Synopsis: In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#44

Fantastic Planet (1973)
91%

#44
Adjusted Score: 90532%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Planet is an animated epic that is by turns surreal and lovely, fantastic and graceful.
Synopsis: This animated tale follows the relationship between the small human-like Oms and their much larger blue-skinned oppressors, the Draags, who... [More]
Directed By: René Laloux

#43

Total Recall (1990)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 87434%
Critics Consensus: Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks.
Synopsis: Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a bored construction worker in the year 2084 who dreams of visiting the colonized Mars.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#42

Moon (2009)
90%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96875%
Critics Consensus: Boosted by Sam Rockwell's intense performance, Moon is a compelling work of science-fiction, and a promising debut from director Duncan Jones.
Synopsis: Astronaut Sam Bell's (Sam Rockwell) three-year shift at a lunar mine is finally coming to an end, and he's looking... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#41

The Martian (2015)
91%

#41
Adjusted Score: 107209%
Critics Consensus: Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.
Synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#40

Gravity (2013)
96%

#40
Adjusted Score: 109984%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is an eerie, tense sci-fi thriller that's masterfully directed and visually stunning.
Synopsis: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#39

Interstellar (2014)
72%

#39
Adjusted Score: 88285%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#38
Adjusted Score: 101335%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#37

Looper (2012)
93%

#37
Adjusted Score: 103714%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is thrilling, Looper delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action.
Synopsis: In a future society, time-travel exists, but it's only available to those with the means to pay for it on... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#36
Adjusted Score: 99250%
Critics Consensus: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is deeply humane sci-fi exploring male obsession, cosmic mysticism, and music.
Synopsis: Science fiction adventure about a group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) witnesses an... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#35

Arrival (2016)
94%

#35
Adjusted Score: 121922%
Critics Consensus: Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person's sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams.
Synopsis: Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#34

Ex Machina (2014)
92%

#34
Adjusted Score: 103686%
Critics Consensus: Ex Machina leans heavier on ideas than effects, but it's still a visually polished piece of work -- and an uncommonly engaging sci-fi feature.
Synopsis: Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#33

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#33
Adjusted Score: 105657%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#32
Adjusted Score: 110789%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#31

Godzilla (1954)
93%

#31
Adjusted Score: 100824%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
Synopsis: A fire-breathing behemoth terrorizes Japan after an atomic bomb awakens it from its centuries-old sleep.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#30

Forbidden Planet (1956)
96%

#30
Adjusted Score: 99424%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi classic, a spacecraft travels to the distant planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a group... [More]
Directed By: Fred McLeod Wilcox

#29

12 Monkeys (1995)
89%

#29
Adjusted Score: 93669%
Critics Consensus: The plot's a bit of a jumble, but excellent performances and mind-blowing plot twists make 12 Monkeys a kooky, effective experience.
Synopsis: Traveling back in time isn't simple, as James Cole (Bruce Willis) learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#28

Jurassic Park (1993)
92%

#28
Adjusted Score: 102598%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Synopsis: In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#27

Primer (2004)
73%

#27
Adjusted Score: 76416%
Critics Consensus: Dense, obtuse, but stimulating, Primer is a film for viewers ready for a cerebral challenge.
Synopsis: Intellectual engineers Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) build and sell error-checking technology with the help of their friends... [More]
Directed By: Shane Carruth

#26

Stalker (1979)
100%

#26
Adjusted Score: 103157%
Critics Consensus: Stalker is a complex, oblique parable that draws unforgettable images and philosophical musings from its sci-fi/thriller setting.
Synopsis: In an unnamed country at an unspecified time, there is a fiercely protected post-apocalyptic wasteland known as The Zone. An... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

#25

Gattaca (1997)
83%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85785%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 99156%
Critics Consensus: A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell offers a thoughtful, complex treat for anime fans, as well as a perfect introduction for viewers new to the medium.
Synopsis: In this Japanese animation, cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi (Mimi Woods) trails "The Puppet Master" (Abe Lasser), who illegally... [More]
Directed By: Mamoru Oshii

#23

Brazil (1985)
98%

#23
Adjusted Score: 100776%
Critics Consensus: Brazil, Terry Gilliam's visionary Orwellian fantasy, is an audacious dark comedy, filled with strange, imaginative visuals.
Synopsis: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#22
Adjusted Score: 90996%
Critics Consensus: Considered by many fans to be the best of the Star Trek movies, Khan features a strong plot, increased tension, and a sharp supporting performance from Ricardo Montalban.
Synopsis: As Adm. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Capt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) monitor trainees at Starfleet Academy, another vessel from... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Meyer

#21

District 9 (2009)
90%

#21
Adjusted Score: 102336%
Critics Consensus: Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.
Synopsis: Thirty years ago, aliens arrive on Earth -- not to conquer or give aid, but -- to find refuge from... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 95135%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
Synopsis: In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his "Droogs" spend their nights getting high at the Korova... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#19

RoboCop (1987)
90%

#19
Adjusted Score: 95719%
Critics Consensus: While over-the-top and gory, Robocop is also a surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.
Synopsis: In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatize the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#18
Adjusted Score: 102081%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
Synopsis: When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#17

Akira (1988)
90%

#17
Adjusted Score: 93563%
Critics Consensus: Akira is strikingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
Synopsis: In 1988 the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019,... [More]
Directed By: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

#16

Children of Men (2006)
92%

#16
Adjusted Score: 101478%
Critics Consensus: Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live.
Synopsis: When infertility threatens mankind with extinction and the last child born has perished, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) becomes the... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#15

The Terminator (1984)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 105176%
Critics Consensus: With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it's clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
Synopsis: Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#14

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#14
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.
Synopsis: When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj.... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#13

Aliens (1986)
97%

#13
Adjusted Score: 104458%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Synopsis: After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team.... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#12
Adjusted Score: 104208%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
Synopsis: The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#11

The Thing (1982)
82%

#11
Adjusted Score: 88509%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 114455%
Critics Consensus: With exhilarating action and a surprising amount of narrative heft, Mad Max: Fury Road brings George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise roaring vigorously back to life.
Synopsis: Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortan Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#9

Alien (1979)
98%

#9
Adjusted Score: 108924%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#8
Adjusted Score: 98521%
Critics Consensus: T2 features thrilling action sequences and eye-popping visual effects, but what takes this sci-fi/ action landmark to the next level is the depth of the human (and cyborg) characters.
Synopsis: In this sequel set eleven years after "The Terminator," young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the key to civilization's victory over... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#7

Inception (2010)
87%

#7
Adjusted Score: 101366%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#6

The Matrix (1999)
88%

#6
Adjusted Score: 95175%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.
Synopsis: Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can... [More]

#5
Adjusted Score: 105728%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#4

Metropolis (1927)
97%

#4
Adjusted Score: 110464%
Critics Consensus: A visually awe-inspiring science fiction classic from the silent era.
Synopsis: This influential German science-fiction film presents a highly stylized futuristic city where a beautiful and cultured utopia exists above a... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#3

Blade Runner (1982)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99674%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
Synopsis: Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter.... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 103089%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Synopsis: In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the '50s when... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106035%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all sci-fi films -- and one of the most controversial -- Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity -- and folly -- of mankind.
Synopsis: An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures

(Photo by Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures)

All Tom Cruise Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

From his teen idol days in the early ’80s to his status as a marquee-lighting leading man today, Tom Cruise has consistently done it all for decades — he’s completed impossible missions, learned about Wapner time in Rain Man, driven the highway to the danger zone in Top Gun, and done wonders for Bob Seger’s royalty statements in Risky Business, to offer just a few examples. Mr. Cruise is one of the few honest-to-goodness film stars left in the Hollywood firmament, so whether you’re a hardcore fan or just interested in a refresher course on his filmography, we’re here to take a fond look back at a truly impressive career and rank all Tom Cruise movies by Tomatometer.

#41

Cocktail (1988)
7%

#41
Adjusted Score: 8936%
Critics Consensus: There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise's talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep's banal fantasy.
Synopsis: Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) wants a high-paying marketing job, but needs a business degree first. Working as a bartender to... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#40

The Mummy (2017)
16%

#40
Adjusted Score: 38654%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the campy fun of the franchise's most recent entries and failing to deliver many monster-movie thrills, The Mummy suggests a speedy unraveling for the Dark Universe.
Synopsis: Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest... [More]
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman

#39

Losin' It (1982)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 8530%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teenager (Tom Cruise) and his buddies drive to '60s Tijuana with a woman (Shelley Long) looking for a quick... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#38

Lions for Lambs (2007)
27%

#38
Adjusted Score: 34852%
Critics Consensus: Despite its powerhouse cast, Lions for Lambs feels like a disjointed series of lectures, rather than a sharp narrative, and ends up falling flat.
Synopsis: Inspired by their idealistic professor, Dr. Mallery (Robert Redford), to do something meaningful with their lives, Arian (Derek Luke) and... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#37
Adjusted Score: 52027%
Critics Consensus: Monotonously formulaic, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is one action thriller sequel whose title also serves as a warning.
Synopsis: Investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) springs into action after the arrest of Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), an Army major accused... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#36

Legend (1985)
40%

#36
Adjusted Score: 42191%
Critics Consensus: Not even Ridley Scott's gorgeously realized set pieces can save Legend from its own tawdry tale -- though it may be serviceable for those simply looking for fantasy eye candy.
Synopsis: Darkness (Tim Curry) seeks to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns. Jack (Tom Cruise) and his... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#35

Days of Thunder (1990)
38%

#35
Adjusted Score: 42651%
Critics Consensus: Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren't enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.
Synopsis: In the fast-paced world of NASCAR, a rivalry brews between rookie hotshot Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) and veteran racer Rowdy... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#34

Vanilla Sky (2001)
42%

#34
Adjusted Score: 48761%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious mix of genres, Vanilla Sky collapses into an incoherent jumble. Cruise's performance lacks depth, and it's hard to feel sympathy for his narcissistic character.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe reunite after "Jerry Maguire" for "Vanilla Sky," the story of a young New York City... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#33

Rock of Ages (2012)
43%

#33
Adjusted Score: 51877%
Critics Consensus: Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen.
Synopsis: The songs of Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and other artists underscore a tale of big dreams in Hollywood. Soon... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#32

Far and Away (1992)
50%

#32
Adjusted Score: 50610%
Critics Consensus: Handsome and simplistic, Far and Away has the beauty of an American epic without the breadth.
Synopsis: Joseph (Tom Cruise) and his landlord's daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), travel from Ireland to America in hopes of claiming free... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 63541%
Critics Consensus: All the Right Moves is an uncommonly grim coming-of-age drama that overcomes numerous clichés with its realistic approach to its characters and setting.
Synopsis: Stefan Djordjevic (Tom Cruise), the star player of his high school football team, is desperately hoping that his football talents... [More]
Directed By: Michael Chapman

#30

Knight and Day (2010)
52%

#30
Adjusted Score: 59848%
Critics Consensus: It's pure formula, but thanks to its breezy pace and a pair of charming performances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day offers some agreeably middle-of-the-road summer action.
Synopsis: June Havens (Cameron Diaz) chats up her charming seatmate on a flight out of Kansas, but she doesn't realize that... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#29

Oblivion (2013)
53%

#29
Adjusted Score: 63507%
Critics Consensus: Visually striking but thinly scripted, Oblivion benefits greatly from its strong production values and an excellent performance from Tom Cruise.
Synopsis: In the year 2077, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) works as a security repairman on an Earth left empty and devastated... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#28

Top Gun (1986)
59%

#28
Adjusted Score: 64615%
Critics Consensus: Though it features some of the most memorable and electrifying aereial footage shot with an expert eye for action, Top Gun offers too little for non-adolescent viewers to chew on when its characters aren't in the air.
Synopsis: The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 62824%
Critics Consensus: Your cranium may crave more substance, but your eyes will feast on the amazing action sequences.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise returns to his role as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of "Mission: Impossible." This time Ethan Hunt... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#26

Valkyrie (2008)
62%

#26
Adjusted Score: 68922%
Critics Consensus: Given the subject matter, Valkyrie could have been an outstanding historical thriller, but settles for being a mildly entertaining, but disposable yarn.
Synopsis: Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#25

The Outsiders (1983)
68%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71975%
Critics Consensus: The cracks continue to show in Coppola's directorial style, but The Outsiders remains a blustery, weird, and fun adaptation of the classic novel.
Synopsis: A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#24
Adjusted Score: 67434%
Critics Consensus: Despite lacking some of the book's subtler shadings, and suffering from some clumsy casting, Interview with a Vampire benefits from Neil Jordan's atmospheric direction and a surfeit of gothic thrills.
Synopsis: Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#23

Jack Reacher (2012)
63%

#23
Adjusted Score: 70615%
Critics Consensus: Jack Reacher is an above-average crime thriller with a smoothly charismatic performance from Tom Cruise.
Synopsis: One morning in an ordinary town, five people are shot dead in a seemingly random attack. All evidence points to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 69438%
Critics Consensus: Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.
Synopsis: When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#21

The Last Samurai (2003)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 72760%
Critics Consensus: With high production values and thrilling battle scenes, The Last Samurai is a satisfying epic.
Synopsis: Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#20

Taps (1981)
68%

#20
Adjusted Score: 69390%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bunker Hill Military Academy has been targeted by real estate developers for demolition. The students, outraged at the thought of... [More]
Directed By: Harold Becker

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 79674%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, with eye-popping stunts and special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible installment delivers everything an action fan could ask for. A thrilling summer popcorn flick.
Synopsis: Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#18

The Firm (1993)
75%

#18
Adjusted Score: 79524%
Critics Consensus: The Firm is a big studio thriller that amusingly tears apart the last of 1980s boardroom culture and the false securities it represented.
Synopsis: A young lawyer joins a small but prestigious law firm only to find out that most of their clients are... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#17

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#17
Adjusted Score: 82227%
Critics Consensus: Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met,... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 85844%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
Synopsis: Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) struggles to build a positive relationship with his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#15

Tropic Thunder (2008)
82%

#15
Adjusted Score: 91388%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#14

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89299%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#13

Magnolia (1999)
83%

#13
Adjusted Score: 89661%
Critics Consensus: Magnolia is an ambitious, lengthy work that ultimately succeeds due to interesting stories and excellent ensemble performances.
Synopsis: On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#12

A Few Good Men (1992)
83%

#12
Adjusted Score: 88393%
Critics Consensus: An old-fashioned courtroom drama with a contemporary edge, A Few Good Men succeeds on the strength of its stars, with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and especially Jack Nicholson delivering powerful performances that more than compensate for the predictable plot.
Synopsis: Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#11
Adjusted Score: 88652%
Critics Consensus: Led by an unforgettable performance from Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July finds director Oliver Stone tackling thought-provoking subject matter with ambitious élan.
Synopsis: In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#10

Collateral (2004)
86%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94839%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A cab driver realizes his current fare is a hit man that has been having him drive around from mark... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#9

American Made (2017)
86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 105276%
Critics Consensus: American Made's fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier -- and delightfully watchable -- energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role.
Synopsis: Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 93097%
Critics Consensus: That it's inferior to the original goes without saying, but Paul Newman and Tom Cruise are a joy to watch, and Martin Scorsese's direction is typically superb.
Synopsis: Former pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#7

Rain Man (1988)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94157%
Critics Consensus: This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson's direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal.
Synopsis: When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#6

Minority Report (2002)
90%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97592%
Critics Consensus: Thought-provoking and visceral, Steven Spielberg successfully combines high concept ideas and high octane action in this fast and febrile sci-fi thriller.
Synopsis: Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, "Minority Report" is an action-detective thriller set in... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#5

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.
Synopsis: When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj.... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#4

Risky Business (1983)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95187%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#3
Adjusted Score: 106614%
Critics Consensus: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence -- and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.
Synopsis: With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#2
Adjusted Score: 102856%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.
Synopsis: Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1
Adjusted Score: 124077%
Critics Consensus: Fast, sleek, and fun, Mission: Impossible - Fallout lives up to the "impossible" part of its name by setting yet another high mark for insane set pieces in a franchise full of them.
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

H.G. Wells’ serialized novel The War of the Worlds was first published in the late 19th century, telling the story of a Martian invasion and attempted extermination of our planet after the English writer had already delivered The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Wells’ works have been adapted several times in several different formats over the last 90 years, but never as memorably or successfully as the repeated attempts to breathe life into this timeless allegory. There was Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio broadcast, which panicked a nation and later inspired the backstory for Buckaroo Banzai, and Byron Haskin’s 1953 film is considered one of the seminal science-fiction films of its era. But in 2005, Steven Spielberg re-teamed with his Minority Report star Tom Cruise to offer a modern take on War of the Worlds, one that represented the culmination of the director’s shift away from the idealist who once encouraged his audiences to watch the skies. On its 15th anniversary, we look back at what made War of the Worlds so effective, how it fits in Spielberg’s filmography, and why it might actually be his most terrifying film.


A GRADUAL PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

Henry Thomas an E.T. in E.T.

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

As early as 1964, when a 17-year-old Spielberg made a $500, 140-minute film called Firelight, his view towards the night skies (as well as life in general) represented more of a hopeful outlook than a cynical one. (He once questioned the screenplay of Used Cars for suggesting that politicians were in it just for the grift.) 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement of fatherhood, but it ultimately concludes on an optimistic note, and in 1982’s beloved E.T., the greatest threat comes not from space or its alien visitor, but from humanity itself.

Spielberg really began to embrace the darker elements of science fiction first in 1993’s Jurassic Park and its immediate sequel, both cautionary tales of human arrogance, and then in Stanley Kubrick’s long-gestating A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, which he took over upon Kubrick’s death. In the latter film, David the robot undergoes a harrowing journey in his search to become human that culminates in a touching but melancholy scene set after the extinction of humanity. Spielberg’s follow-up the very next year, the Philip K. Dick adaptation Minority Report, then presented a world in which literal thought police are in charge and abusing their power in Washington D.C. Still, all of those films feel like a prelude to War of the Worlds, which drops all pretense, pulls out all the stops, and delivers a pulse-pounding survival thriller set into motion by the arrival of a deadly, relentless enemy from the skies. Gone are the days of Close Encounters’ musical tones of peace and the healing power of E.T.’s glowing finger, replaced by darker themes inspired by real life events.


THE UNOFFICIAL “9/11 TRILOGY”

Tom Hanks in The Terminal, Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds, and Eric Bana in Munich

(Photo by (c)DreamWorks, (c)Paramount, (c)Universal courtesy Everett Collection)

While Spielberg never formally gave them a name the way fellow directors like John Carpenter (The Thing, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness = The Apocalypse Trilogy) or Oliver Stone (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Heaven & Earth = The Vietnam Trilogy) did with their own work, his three films from 2004 and 2005 trade in common themes and fears stemming from the attacks on US landmarks on September 11, 2001. The Terminal from 2004 is often dismissed as a whimsical Capra-esque vehicle for Tom Hanks, but it’s also a fable about the trepidation of outsiders entering our country. Stanley Tucci’s customs director even attempts to make Hanks’ trapped immigrant admit that he is afraid of his home country in exchange for passage to ours. At the end of 2005, Spielberg directly tackled the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. That film’s government-sponsored revenge unit epitomizes the never-ending violence-begets-violence message, justifying its supposed righteousness with misinformation, and Spielberg ends the film with the less than subtle final image of the still-standing twin towers of the World Trade Center.

In between The Terminal and Munich came War of the Worlds, which might not seem at first glance to be an obvious thematic fit, despite its heavily allegorical source material. But when Dakota Fanning’s young Rachel asks “Is it the terrorists?” as she ducks for cover in the back of a van and her brother Robbie (Justin Chatwin) echoes the question moments later, it draws a straight line to the events of 9/11, and the references don’t stop there. The alien enemy of the film emerges with weapons buried within Earth itself, like a terrorist cell waiting in hiding for the moment to strike. As Tom Cruise’s Ray seeks shelter for himself and his kids at his ex-wife’s home, a passenger plane comes crashing down into the neighborhood. Spielberg isn’t dabbling in shameless exploitation, though; he never asks us to marvel at the special effects or “ooh” and “ahh” as buildings are leveled the way we whooped and guffawed through Independence Day. When Ray returns home after the initial attack, the realization that the ash on his face belongs to the disintegrated people he ran through pulls him out of shock into a moment of panic, and it’s equally terrifying for the audience, for both its literal and figurative significance.


ABSENT SAVIORS

Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Justin Chatwin in War of the Worlds

(Photo by (c)Paramount courtesy Everett Collection)

Spielberg’s relationship with his own parents — particularly his father — is well documented in his filmography and further fleshed out in Susan Lacy’s 2017 HBO documentary. Understandably, in War of the Worlds, Cruise’s Ray is not exactly the father figure his estranged children need in their time of distress. At the beginning of the film, he’s a divorced deadbeat dad who doesn’t know what to do with the limited time he gets with his kids when they arrive for the weekend, leaving Rachel to order her own food and watch TV while he sleeps; Robbie, who insists on calling Ray by his first name out of spite, seizes the opportunity to take his dad’s car out for a spin. When they make their daring escape from the city later, Ray also appears to be unaware of his daughter’s claustrophobia or her peanut butter allergy. “Father of the Year” material he is not, but he’s the only hope his children have for salvation.

Meanwhile, their fellow humans begin to grow desperate, turning on one another in the tradition of everything from Night of the Living Dead to The Mist. The darker religious connotations of the latter have a more pointed role in 1953’s The War of the Worlds. One priest is martyred early in the film for attempting communication with the Martians, but when they attack the church where a group of survivors have gathered to sing and pray during the film’s climax, they meet their downfall, as if by divine intervention. By contrast, in Spielberg’s version, a church is the first major building to suffer destruction from the enemy as they emerge from underground. God is pushed out of the way right at the onset, resulting in one less reason for the helpless to look to the sky.


SPIELBERG’S MOST TERRIFYING FILM

This may be a controversial claim, given that Steven Spielberg is responsible for two of the all-time most popular terror rides (Jaws and Jurassic Park) and at least an assist on a third (Poltergeist, which he produced and co-wrote), but it’s certainly worthy of debate. He drops us in the water and then traps us on the Orca in Jaws — never let anyone tell you this is not a horror film — but the whole affair is splashed with a great deal of adventure. Jurassic Park’s velociraptors, dilophosauruses, and T-Rex can hunt and chase you down both out in the open and in a kitchen, but the experience is also filled with the benign wonder of the first dino sighting, along with a sick triceratops and a sneezy brachiosaurus.

War of the Worlds has no iconic John Williams theme that you can play over a loudspeaker and feel a sense of euphoric warmth; the music is as eerie and menacing as the aliens’ call-to-arms (a seven-trumpets-like signal that would later be repurposed for humor in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping). Spielberg never lets his foot off the gas, even when Ray and his kids are only walking or hiding. Moments that feel appropriated from his earlier works find fresh life here, most notably the cat-and-mouse game played with an alien tentacle in a basement that recalls the kitchen scene from Jurassic Park as well as the mechanical spiders in Minority Report. There’s even a subtle nod to Spielberg’s Poltergeist screenplay when Ray reassures Rachel that lightning never strikes in the same place twice.

In between, Spielberg dreams up new nightmares, from a dead body floating in a stream that’s soon followed by hundreds more to a flaming train that blazes past Ray and the kids as they make their way to a ferry with a massive crowd of fellow refugees. The ill-fated ferry ride itself is a horrifying set-piece well beyond the nightmares of Sheriff Brody, Jaws’ heroic lawman, who also never had to decide whether to save his kids by killing Mayor Vaughn, whose crimes against humanity were far greater than just making too much noise, like Tim Robbins’ Harlan. The throwaway moment of a blood bank announcing that they “have more blood than we can use” is alternately ominous and reassuring, but paired with the sight of an alien tripod harvesting a human being and spewing their blood across the landscape, it offers little comfort. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.


CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE

Alien in War of the Worlds

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

War of the Worlds is usually not regarded with the same deference as Spielberg’s other timeless blockbusters, but it may surprise some to learn that it is still Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing domestic film with over $234 million at the box office. The ending remains a point of contention for critics of the film, and some still can’t forgive the climactic resurrection of one character. But like many films, its reputation has changed with the times, and the one we are living through now, on the film’s 15th anniversary, is its own reflective nightmare. Today, a mass gathering of sardine-packed crowds is a bad omen, but H.G. Wells himself indirectly predicted what it might take for us to come to our senses, and Spielberg’s film expands on the notion.

The die is cast early with Rachel’s splinter; Ray warns her it will get infected if he does not remove it, but she calmly states that “when it’s ready, my body will just push it out.” As the film ends and Morgan Freeman’s voice is heard explaining its ultimate deus ex machina, we are left with these words: “From the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate, and drank, they were doomed. They were undone, destroyed, after all of man’s weapons and devices had failed, by the tiniest creatures that God, in His wisdom, put upon this Earth. By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity, his right to survive among this planet’s infinite organisms. And that right is ours against all challenges, for neither do men live, nor die, in vain.” The mere thought that the tables have turned, that we ourselves could now be the ones undone by God’s “tiniest creatures,” is scarier than any shark or any dinosaur, and it’s a stark reminder of how prescient the best science fiction can be.


Where You Can Watch It Now

FandangoNOW (rent/own), Amazon (rent/own), Google (rent/own), iTunes (rent/own), Vudu (rent/own)


War of the Worlds was released on June 29, 2005.

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Adjusted Score: 85844%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
Synopsis: Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) struggles to build a positive relationship with his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Thumbnail image by (c)Paramount courtesy Everett Collection

Tom Cruise: American Made. After a few years of mostly palatable action films that saw him in cruise control, critics are responding to his new movie and role as a CIA drug runner as once again adding new pages to his acting playbook. This week’s gallery looks back on his career and the 24 Fresh and Certified Fresh movies in his filmography.

Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate through an intergalactic language barrier with aliens in this week’s Arrival. Are the visitors hostile? Curious? Come bearing presents and gift cards? Those questions answered in this week’s gallery: 24 best and worst movie alien visitors!

20 Years of Renderman

RenderMan, a piece of software created by those masters at Pixar, revolutionised computer-generated special effects when it was originally released 20 years ago this year. Designed to take the information in a CG file and “render” it into an image, the software made the creation of visual effects an art limited only by imagination.

“At [the time of RenderMan’s release] CG was nowhere in the special effects business,” Pixar’s co-founder and president Ed Catmull told The Hollywood Reporter, who published a feature on the software’s anniversary today. The feature, which explains the history of the software in more detail, includes a timeline explaining the product’s milestones.

From infancy in 1985’s Young Sherlock Holmes – the first use of the name “RenderMan” didn’t happen until the product matured in 1988 – right up to this year’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, WALL-E and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, RenderMan has been an essential part of the summer season for its entire lifespan.

To further celebrate 20 years of RenderMan, RT scoured Pixar’s own list of movies that have employed RenderMan to pick 20 visual classics – in chronological order – that wouldn’t exist today were it not for the software’s creation…

20 Years of Renderman - Terminator 2

Terminator 2: Judgment Day‘s breathtaking visual effects are testament to director James Cameron‘s passionate support for new technology. His flirtation with CG began with The Abyss, which also employed RenderMan, in 1989, but when he brought the liquid-metal T-1000 to cinema screens he showed the real potential of computer-generated visual effects. Much as the T-1000 is the successor to Arnie’s T-800, so Terminator 2 sent out an early message about the future of visual effects.

20 Years of Renderman - Jurassic Park

Releasing in 1993, Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park was relatively late to the party, but it’s remembered, rightly so, as the first film which demonstrated that CGI could be relied on to make believable big-screen imagery. Jurassic Park‘s CG set-pieces – including a showcase sequence involving a herd of Gallimimus being attacked by a T-Rex – quite literally brought dinosaurs to life.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Despite winning Oscars for its animation department’s early short films, it wasn’t until the success of Toy Story that Pixar’s priorities shifted. Until then, the animation department’s short films were being created specifically for the purposes of demoing the RenderMan product to help push software sales. As the world’s first fully computer-generated feature film, Toy Story had a powerful effect on animation as a medium.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

The highest grossing feature film of all time may be largely dismissed these days as a schmaltzy love story, but it made a huge – titanic, some might say – impact upon its release in 1997. From the realistic recreation of the ship itself to scores of computer-generated victims bouncing all over the capsizing superliner, Titanic‘s innovations set a new standard for what CG could do. With two places on our list, we’re very excited to see what James Cameron does with Avatar.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Nothing quite compares to The Matrix when it comes to pure visual spectacle. Yes, it’s true that the film’s influencers are many and its originality is arguable at best, but it came from leftfield in 1999 to deliver to a mass audience visual flair that hadn’t been seen in Hollywood before, and it pioneered “bullet-time,” probably the first CG visual effect to be parodied endlessly.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

While The Matrix was all about showing off, Gladiator‘s use of CG was far more subtle, designed to heighten and make more expansive Ridley Scott‘s vision of Ancient Rome but not to take centre-stage. In fact, it’s so subtle most don’t remember it as a film aided by CGI, but its recreation of the Coliseum is breathtaking.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

The film itself may be a bit of a disappointment, but Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within attempted to craft a lifelike stage through full CG animation. It curiously serves as both a fascinating experiment in the limitations of the technology and a moving big-screen treat at the same time. Its characters aren’t quite as believable as actors, but it’s still an insanely beautiful film.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring may have been one of the most anticipated films of 2001, but who knew that its release would set a new standard for visual moviemaking? So powerful was its visual design that it even made Warner Brothers’ big-budget adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was released around the same time, seemed veritably last-millennium by comparison.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Probably still Pixar’s most visually impressive feature, Finding Nemo‘s masterful recreation of the Great Barrier Reef remains one of the finest CG environments ever created. On top, the company’s brilliant grasp of character design and animation meant it wasn’t long into the movie before you forgot the technology and fell in love with the story.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Few could have foreseen the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl before its released. Based on a theme park ride and looking like the pages of a Disney catalogue even before it was merchandised to death, the film proved a hit with audiences the world over and spawned two massive – but much less interesting – sequels.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

We’ve done our best not to include franchise repetition within our list – hence no Reloaded or At World’s End – but The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, with its haul of 11 Academy Awards, deserves a place nonetheless, for managing to take what had been established earlier in the series and successfully ramp it up for a masterful finale.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Roland Emmerich can usually be relied on to serve up eye candy before he can be expected to deliver a believable story, so the less said about The Day After Tomorrow‘s speedy global warming plot the better. Let’s, instead, remember the simply iconic visuals, including this epic shot of a frozen New York City, which redefined the disaster movie.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

After a couple of middle-of-the-road Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took the visual jump the series required to turn it from family favourite into cinematic classic. Alfonso Cuaron rebuilt Hogwarts in the Scottish mountains, crafted a fantasy feel to the environments and made J.K. Rowling’s world come to life for the first time following Chris Columbus‘ by-the-numbers adaptations of Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, like the other two prequels, may not be your average Star Wars fan’s idea of a great time, but from General Grievous’ lightsaber clash with Obi-Wan to Anakin and Obi-Wan’s epic duel, it’s full of expansive visual images. George Lucas claimed that a screening of early footage from Jurassic Park was what inspired him to set the ball rolling on his much-mooted prequel trilogy. The technology had finally caught up with his imagination, he said. Perhaps his sense of storytelling had fallen off the tracks by that point…

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Christopher Nolan really did give birth to a new breed of superhero when Batman Begins first released. As The Dark Knight rides high atop the worldwide box office chart we remember how Begins first introduced us to a Gotham City grounded in the 21st Century to play home to a gruff but realistic Caped Crusader.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

If it weren’t for Tom Cruise‘s public breakdown, which seemed to coincide with the film’s release, War of the Worlds might be more favourably remembered. Sure, Steven Spielberg‘s film might err a little too heavily on the side of fantasy – particularly with its schmaltzy ending – but the ride is well worth the effort and our early glimpses of the film’s iconic tripods against other-worldly stormy skies is simply incredible.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

An odd shift in visual style from the subdued tones of The Lord of the Rings, King Kong was Peter Jackson‘s dream project and he pushed his visual artists to the edge to deliver a Skull Island that blended the latest in visual effects technology with a fantastical old-Hollywood feel. The film may not entirely come together in the end result, but it did serve up mammoth set-pieces that simply hadn’t been attempted before.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Danny Boyle‘s sci-fi movie owes huge debts to Alien and 2001, but Sunshine still looked like gallery of photos from the Hubble Telescope and presented a vision of our star that seemed to be hand delivered for a High Definition world.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Robert Zemeckis had tried, with The Polar Express, to take his own steps into Final Fantasy‘s world of realistic CG animation, but with Beowulf he more readily accepts the limitations of that approach and instead utilises the technology to deliver a real rollercoaster ride. Best experienced in 3D, in the IMAX, Beowulf‘s action set pieces push CG animation to its limit.

20 Years of Renderman - Toy Story

Furthering Pixar’s drive to put story first, the CG world of WALL-E seems almost like a value-add to a heartfelt human (or robot) drama that leads the film. Nevertheless, its vision of a post-apocalypic Earth and the little robot whose job it is to clean it up is simply masterful. That they can pack so much emotion into a small, rusty cube is testament to Pixar’s position as an industry leader in its field.

Did we miss any better examples from Pixar’s list? Are there movies here that don’t deserve their place? Have your say below!

Remember all those rumors about Sam Worthington being in line to star as Duke in Stephen Sommers‘ live-action G.I. Joe? Well, they were true. Emphasis on the “were.”

Worthington’s spokeswoman recently confirmed reports that he’d had to drop out of the running for Joe due to scheduling conflicts with his role in James Cameron‘s Avatar. Cameron has apparently found it difficult to finish his latest sci-fi epic, and the continual pushbacks eventually created an overlap.

So…who’s your Duke, Joe fans? According to Latino Review, producers focused their post-Worthington hunt on three actors — Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, and Matthew Fox — and now, sayeth Ain’t It Cool News (and confirmed by Variety), the search is over. Drumroll, please…

Channing Tatum, Real American Hero!

As AICN notes, Tatum got his start as “Boy in Church” in Spielberg‘s War of the Worlds, and followed it with parts in pictures such as She’s the Man and Step Up — but the buzz surrounding his work in the upcoming Stop-Loss suggests he’s made the jump to more adult roles. That won’t prevent cries of “First Marlon Wayans, now this” from rising up out of the fanboy depths, but hey, it’s G.I. Joe. Is anyone expecting Oscar-level depth here?

Well, maybe you are — and if that’s the case, Variety‘s report that Dennis Quaid has also joined the Joe cast, as “grizzled team leader Hawk,” should help you feel a little better about the direction Sommers’ squad is heading. Who couldn’t use a little extra Quaid in their day?

Source: Daily Telegraph (Worthington article)
Source: Latino Review
Source: Ain’t It Cool News
Source: Variety

Megatron and his sinister robot chums invade the North American box office aiming to extract riches from the multiplexes over the extended Fourth of July holiday week with the tentpole action vehicle "Transformers."

Also entering the marketplace, but likely to gross only a fraction of the cash, is the comedy "License to Wed" starring Robin Williams. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, moviegoers have all different kinds of schedules with some having only one day off from work while others are taking extra time for themselves. That will make for a tricky box office trajectory since ticket buyers have many films to choose from and many days to make their trip to cinemas.

Paramount sets off the fireworks with "Transformers" which already got an early start to the holiday week with a strong $8.8M in ticket sales on Monday night with shows beginning at 8pm. The PG-13 film from director Michael Bay is adapted from the popular toys and cartoon series that became a cult favorite in the 1980s, but instead has been geared up to fit modern summer movie standards with action, humor, and plenty of special effects. Shia LaBeouf stars alongside Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and John Turturro.

[Editor’s Note: "Transformers" broke records for having the biggest opening on a Tuesday at $27.9 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. As of Wednesday night (the original "official" release date), "Transformers" had raked in $36.7 million at the box office — a figure that grants the flick the title of Best 4th of July opening ever. That number (what many have pointed out amounts to over $36 million in 36 hours of release, or $1 million per hour and $16,666 per minute) results from the Paramount release’s $8.8 million Monday night take combined with $27.9 million on Tuesday. An additional $29.1 million from Wednesday’s moviegoers bumps the current "Transformers" box office to $65.7 million — and there are four more days to go.]

"Transformers" is trying hard to follow in the footsteps of "Independence Day" which eleven years ago this week wreaked havoc on the box office with a Fourth of July opening week gross of $96.1M over five and a half days beginning with Tuesday night shows starting earlier at 6pm. That would amount to about $125M at today’s ticket prices from 1,129 fewer theaters than what the robots in disguise now control. Both films are essentially disaster pictures about alien forces that invade Earth that are driven by amazing special effects and feature ensemble casts with no huge stars.

The fanboy crowd has been energized for months for "Transformers" so that vote is locked in. To really see the grosses soar, Paramount and DreamWorks will need non-fans to pony up the dough and take interest not because they remember watching the cartoon as a kid, but because it looks and feels like good escapist summer fare. Luckily the pic delivers on that. Appeal to teens and young adults is potent but older adults looking for action may be tempted to buy a ticket for Bruce Willis in the latest "Die Hard" sequel. In addition, younger children afraid of mean transforming robots will instead line up for "Ratatouille." But so far reviews have been pretty good for its genre and fans are giving high marks too as witnessed by the encouraging A- average grade from over 6,000 votes on Yahoo Movies.

Other effects-driven sci-fi action tentpoles opening over this extended holiday week include 2002’s "Men in Black II" with $87.2M over five days, 2003’s R-rated "Terminator 3" with $72.4M over five and a half days, and $100.5M over five days for "War of the Worlds" in 2005. Optimus Prime should soar higher since it has a full six and a half days of play this week by the time Sunday night arrives. Invading 4,011 theaters, "Transformers" might gross about $67M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a stellar $130M from Monday night through Sunday.


"Transformers"

Taking one of his worst beatings from critics in years, Oscar winner Robin Williams hit multiplexes on Tuesday with his latest comedy "License to Wed" playing a wacky priest who puts a newly engaged couple through a series of tests before marrying them. The PG-13 film stars Mandy Moore and "The Office"’s John Krasinski as the lucky twosome. The Warner Bros. title is slotted into this extra long holiday week as counter-programming to the Decepticons and hopes to appeal to women and adult couples not interested in the summer’s umpteenth action extravaganza.

Aside from the former Mork, "License" has no real starpower at the box office. Even Williams has struggled to pack them in on opening weekend in recent years. His last film "Man of the Year" bowed to $12.3M last fall. Word-of-mouth is not likely to be very positive and if anything, the early opening may spread bad buzz as by Friday many will hear from friends that they should avoid this pic. The midweek debut will also dilute the weekend numbers too. A stronger title could have excelled this week with the target audience given all the testosterone flicks, but this one just doesn’t have the goods. Opening in 2,401 theaters, "License to Wed" might collect about $11M over the weekend and $18M during the extended Tuesday-to-Sunday debut period.


"License to Wed"

Disney and Pixar enjoyed a brief three-day stint in the number one spot last weekend with "Ratatouille" before being pushed aside by the Autobots on Monday. Second weekend drops for Pixar’s summer toons include 44% for last year’s "Cars" and a slimmer 34% for 2003’s "Finding Nemo." The rodent flick is well-liked by moviegoers and competition for younger children is not too direct this coming weekend so a decline in between those two may result. A 35% drop would give "Ratatouille" about $30M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $109M.


"Ratatouille"

Bruce Willis will have his hands full with "Live Free or Die Hard" on the second weekend thanks to fierce direct competition from "Transformers." A 50% drop would not be surprising and would give Fox around $16.5M for the session boosting the 12-day tally to $83M. Universal’s "Evan Almighty" should continue its rapid slide and dip by 45% to roughly $8M. That would put the Steve Carell comedy at $78M after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: After a long four-year term as the top opening of all-time, "Spider-Man" had its record stolen by Captain Jack as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" crushed the industry mark with an eye-popping three-day bow of $135.6M. The Disney smash easily became the biggest blockbuster of the year with $423.3M domestically and a towering $1.065 billion worldwide and it still stands as the third largest global grosser of all-time. "Superman Returns" tumbled down to second place falling by a disturbing 59% to $21.8M for Warner Bros. Fox’s "The Devil Wears Prada" enjoyed a better sophomore hold dropping 46% to $15M for third place. Rounding out the top five were Adam Sandler‘s "Click" with $11.9M for Sony and Disney/Pixar’s "Cars" with $10.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Source: Boxofficemojo.com

And interestingly enough, both of ’em are high-concept sci-fi movies that’d probably fit Mr. Raimi to a tee.

According to Latino Review, Sam Raimi is being offered two different projects for his "Spider-Man 3" follow-up. One is an adaptation of Whitley Streiber‘s "The Grays," which tells the story of a "universal" United Nations that keeps itself hidden on Earth. Neato.

The second project is presently called "No Man’s Land," and producer Walter Parkes describes the package as "War of the Worlds meets Chinatown." Now there’s an interesting combination. FX wiz Rick Baker is already at work on "No Man’s Land," which might have to change its title to something less generic if they want people to remember it. (Plus it’s been used a few times before.)

Whatever Raimi chooses for his next flick, you can definitely read about it here.

Source: Latino Review

Just a few days ago we shared the news that George Lucas was (finally) happy with the "Indiana Jones 4" screenplay, and also that production was set to begin next year. Well now we have a small piece of updated news: Production on "Indy 4" will begin in June!

From The Hollywood Reporter: "After years spent in script development, a fourth installment of the famously successful franchise is set to begin production in June in locations around the world and in the U.S." (Full story here.)

The screenplay that everyone’s so pleased with came from David Koepp, the man who wrote (or co-wrote) stuff like "War of the Worlds," "Spider-Man," "Panic Room," and "Jurassic Park."

As earlier reported, the flick will most likely hit screens in May of 2008. Bring it on!

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