Cool Sci Fi Movies - 5 of the Best Science Fiction Movies You've Probably Never Seen
Science Fiction Movies I love
A lot of science fiction movies tend to be big blockbuster style endeavours, whether they make money or not, but every once in a while a smaller movie comes around that makes either a hell of an impact on me or just proves to be remarkably entertaining despite its flaws.
So here's a short list of sf movies I've falled in love with over the years. It's a mix of movies that are legitimately excellent and movies that are dumb as hell, yet awesome.
Somehow Jude Law ends up on my list twice, in this movie that also stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.
Gattaca's universe is one in which bioethics are out the window and your genetics are your destiny. Thus, Vincent (Hawke), who was born the old-fashioned way instead of having his genes artificially manipulated and fixed in a test tube, is subject to various types of discrimination due to his bad eyesight and imperfect heart.
Jude Law's character, Jerome, an Olympic athlete who is genetically perfect, suffers a serious accident which leaves him in a wheelchair. Since no one knows about his accident, he and Vincent arrange to swap identities. Vincent gets surgery to make himself taller, gets work done to correct his eyesight and he uses Jerome's DNA to pass a job interview to join the astronaut program.
Yes, some of this is absurd if you stop too long to thing about it, but they pull it off anyway. Gattaca it is a well done and tightly claustrophobic movie, masterfully directed by Andrew Niccol that is also nerve-wrackingly suspenseful and really beautiful to look at. Gattaca has also been very influential on the look and feel of other science fiction movies and television shows. Naturally, Andrew Niccol's other movie In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, is strongly reminiscent of Gattaca, and the upcoming new series from the Syfy channel, Incorporated, seems strikingly similar.
Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this movie directed by David Cronenberg. It's almost enough said, but I'll say a little more. The movie is about a virtual reality game called eXistenZ.
Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the game designer who is being pursued inside the game. Jude Law plays the flunkie turned bodyguard who is on the run with her and things pretty much stay wacky for the whole movie -- there are times when you you never really know whether they are inside or outside of the game. And there are some decent twists and turns as well. In a lot of ways I think Existenz makes an interesting precursor to the movie Inception, another huge favorite of mine.
I've watched the film multiple times and it's probably my favorite Cronenberg movie. Lots of fun. And also, incredibly bizarre with lots of slippery slimey grossness. Cronenberg really likes his body horror and there are moments during the movie where I feel compelled to look away because it is just so gross. It certainly won't make anyone's list of "classic SF" movies, but it is awfully entertaining.
Christian Bale in Equilibrium
Oh Equilibrium, you are both the most ridiculous and most awesome movie ever. Stealing bits and pieces from 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and The Matrix, Equilibrium stars Christian Bale as a "Grammaton Cleric" who basically runs around ensuring that everyone is taking their emotion suppressant drugs and not collecting any artwork, knick knacks or any bits of nostalgia that would imply fun, love, attraction, appreciation, etc. Basically this is a NO FUN zone.
Then he finds the most adorable puppy in the world and his life changes forever. Mwaha hahha! Oh how I love this ridiculous movie! Oh sure, there's a woman too. But I think the movie makes it pretty clear that it's the puppy that provides the straw that breaks the camel's tear ducts and makes Bale's character go all emo.
Other pluses of this film are the amazing gun fights, called Gun Kata. It's like Martial Arts with the weapons always remaining in your hands. Christian Bale is his usual badass self in action scenes and it is extremely satisfying to watch. Also, he looks ridiculously hot the whole movie, hot enough that you can ignore some very silly plot holes, such as the fact that Taye Digg's character never seems to be suppressing his emotions -- he's pretty much always gleeful.
I could watch this movie a 100 times and never get sick of it. It's that stupidly brilliant.
I love this movie! In fact, right after watching Deja Vu as a Netflix rental, I immediately went out and bought my own copy. That's how much I love this movie.
One of my favorite things about Deja Vu is that it doesn't reveal the science fiction premise underlying the plot until you are a good way into the movie. I had an inkling of course, or rather, a hope, but the reveal is nicely done and I like the way that Denzel's character gradually moves to a place where the conclusion that this has to be time travel is inevitable. He's so emotionally involved in what he's witnessing that no other explanation would even make sense for him.
Denzel Washington does a great job, as usual, in making you care about his character and the story is very suspenseful. This is a seriously great popcorn movie and if you love time travel you will love Deja Vu. I also recommend this movie to fans of Source Code, or vice versa! If you like Deja Vu, you will probably really enjoy Source Code ,starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It didn't do that well in the cinema, but I think it's an underrated movie.
Cillian Murphy in Sunshine
Sunshine is another great movie that I originally rented from Netflix just because I wanted to watch Chris Evans, who prior to getting cast as Captain America simply didn't work enough or at least... didn't work often enough in movies that were actually good. I wasn't nearly expecting the movie to be as good as it was though. It's really the film that the incredibly boring George Clooney sci-fi movie Solaris should have been. Sunshine has the same sort of pacing and quietness to it, but far more effectively accomplished. For some viewers, the pacing may be too languid, but I found the movie pretty engrossing and the performances were excellent, particularly Chris Evans and Cillian Murphy.
Sunshine is sort of a melding of sf and horror. Cillian Murphy is the protagonist and he's one of a team of scientists that is on a mission to "reignite the sun" which is fading out. The intent is to blast a couple of nukes into the center of the sun in the hopes that this will postpone the sun's death throes a bit longer. This is actually the second mission since the first mission failed after the disappearance of the first spacecraft sent to do the job.
While on the way to their destination, the crew encounter the distress beacon from the first mission and the decision is made by Cillian Murphy's character, Capa, that they should pursue the first vessel in order to retrieve the payload so they'll have a second chance in case their first shot at the sun fails. This is definitely a mistake so as you can imagine, things go awry immediately! But I shall say no more, you'll have to watch the movie.
Directed by Danny Boyle, who also directed 28 Days Later (which gets a write-up in my post-apocalyptic movies hub), Sunshine also features Michelle Yeoh and Rose Byrne.