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5 Great Science Fiction Films that You May Have Missed

Updated on May 30, 2015

I love science fiction in films, in books, and on TV. I am also a discriminating consumer of sci-fi. While I do watch big budget sci-fi from time to time, I usually gravitate towards smaller films.

Below are five such sci-fi films that I've seen over the past few years. These are some of the standouts and are all either indie or foreign films, the kind that do well at film festivals, but not so well at the box office.

So here are 5 Great Science Fiction Films that You May Have Missed:


The Divide (2011)

When an apocalyptic event descends on the Big Apple, a small group of survivors take refuge in the basement of their apartment building. Trapped with no hope of escape and knowing that the world outside is a post nuclear wasteland anyway, the group hunkers down. The situation is grim, but the survivors actually manage to make it worse.

The Divide takes place almost entirely in a basement. The director's use of the confined space is impressive (like Buried or The Exam). The tone is reminiscent of Tres Dias and Bellflower and has an ambiance similar to Alien and Sunshine - gritty, scary, out of control, and little depressing.

The cast is amazing with several great veteran actors (Michael Biehn, Courtney B. Vance, Rosanna Arquette) as well as some great younger ones (Milo Ventimiglia, Lauren German, Michael Eklund).

This film is powerful. Watching it is like being run down by a truck that you know is going to hit you, no matter what you do to escape.

While it is is dark and nihilistic and certainly not for everyone, I think The Divide is brilliant and absolutely love it.

Director: Xavier Gens
Writers: Karl Mueller, Eron Sheean

Rotten Tomatoes: 26%

Trailer: The Divide


Errors of the Human Body (2012)

When a well known American geneticist takes a position in a German research lab, he reconnects with an old friend and meets a new enemy.

A very intriguing, well written, and beautifully shot film. I've not seen a film with this type of storyline that wasn't extremely unrealistic or cheesy or both.

Michael Eklund (who I loved in Xavier Gens' The Divide) does a superior job of carrying the lead role. He is supported by fantastic cast.

Written by Shane Danielsen and directed by Eron Sheean, Errors of the Human Body makes few mistakes.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Trailer: Errors of the Human Body


Extraterrestre (2011)

Extraterrestre (or Extraterrestrial in English) is a sci-fi film from Nacho Vigolando, the man who brought us one of the best time travels films ever, Los cronocrimenes (Timecrimes).

Julio wakes up in a strange apartment with a strange woman. Neither of them remember much about the previous night's exploits. And to make things even more confusing, apparently aliens invaded earth while they slept.

This lighthearted approach to the alien invasion genre lets the bigger sci-fi concepts serve as the backdrop for what it really is, a romantic comedy. This film is funny and endearing.

Thankfully the great writing, great acting and great cinematography make this film more than just a sci-fi flick or just a romantic comedy. Most definitely one of the best alien invasion/ romantic comedy films of all time.

Starring: Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Raúl Cimas and Julián Villagrán
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Trailer: Extraterrestre


Another Earth (2011)

Rhoda searches out a stranger with whom she has a horrific connection. Bad choices & their consequences, forgiveness & reconciliation, and penance, play large roles in this human centered drama.

The focus in Another Earth is on this earth (our earth?), and on Rhoda, played convincingly by Brit Marling. and John (William Mapother (Ethan from Lost)).

While the drama is playing out between these two, a second earth, Earth 2, appears in the sky and looms in the background throughout this science-fiction drama.

This same story could have been told without Earth 2, the spector of the 2nd earth only adds to another layer of intrigue of this subtle film directed by Mike Cahill.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Trailer: Another Earth


Chronicle (2012)

Chronicle tells the story of three high school guys who discover something in an underground tunnel which changes them. They discover they all have telekinesis and begin to explore the boundaries of their new found powers. And not all three agree on how to best use these powers.

Filmed in kind of a 'found footage' format, Chronicle is a sci-fi film which more than exceeds the its genres. This film manages to outdo most Hollywood sci-fi films by a long shot. It takes the whole 'super hero' and 'origins' trope and turns it on its head.

Definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it.

Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Max Landis and Josh Trank
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

Trailer: Chronicle

What do you think?

Seen any of these films? Tell me what you think of them.

And I've you've got any favorite films to recommend, sci-fi or otherwise, let me know!


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    • JamieHGarrett profile image

      JamieHGarrett 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Never heard of Europa Report, but its streaming on Netflix, and I just added it to my queue. Thanks!

    • profile image

      SamG 2 years ago

      Europa Report

    • profile image

      Moe 3 years ago

      I would add serenity

    • profile image

      sunshine 4 years ago