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20 best Sci-Fi Movies that you must watch

Movies are a great source of entertainment for people more so now than ever because of the pandemic and the lockdown. So, today, we have come up with a list of best Sci-Fi movies of all time that you must watch. The Sci-Fi genre has become so broad that it explores so many topics like aliens and outer space, time travel, technology, artificial intelligence, etc. Sci-Fi genres have a big fan following which can be evident by the huge successes of various Sci-Fi movies.

Therefore, here we have for you, a list of 20 must-watch Sci-Fi movies both for fans and general people. Sci-Fi movies have something to offer for everyone, from action-packed movies with amazing technologies to horror to even romantic films. We know you’ll love it even if you haven’t watched Sci-fi movies before.

1. Avatar (2009)

Avatar best Sci-Fi movies
Image Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Well, how can we not mention this amazing movie when talking about the best Sci-Fi movies. This movie was an amazing success not among the Sci-Fi genres but among films in general as well. It was the highest-grossing movie of all time at the box office at that time. Avatar is a movie about a marine who’s dispatched to an alien planet and has breathtaking visuals portraying the alien planet and its people. Add to that a great storyline, and you have Avatar, one of the most successful movies of all time.

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

2. The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator

The Terminator portrays Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg from the future with a mission to kill a woman whose son could be the savior in a post-apocalyptic future. This 1984 movie marked the beginning of the famous Terminator series. With action-packed story, it surely is one of the best Sci-Fi movies you can watch.

IMDb rating: 8/10

3. Her (2013)

Image Source: Sensacine

Her is a heartfelt romantic movie about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with an Operating system. It is a unique movie like no other which brings up questions about humanity’s relationship with technology. Add to that the mesmerizing voice of the AI dubbed by Scarlett Johansson, you are looking at a great movie with a great cast and a unique storyline like no other in its genre.

IMDb rating: 8/10

4. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)


E.T. the Extra Terrestrial is a sweet heartwarming movie about a friendship and childhood. An alien, E.T. gets left behind on earth. He is a kind-hearted alien and befriends a Californian family. This movie introduces you the warm experiences of the special bond rather than the common blockbusters will special effects.

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

5. Inception (2010)

Image Source: IMDb

This 2010 Sci-Fi movie is still one of the most jaw-dropping movies in this genre even if you watch it now again. The movie is based on the story of people who try to plant an idea into a CEO’s mind with the use of dream-sharing technology. This movie features many amazing scenarios like a multi-layered dream world and its relation with time. This movie won four Academy Awards. And it was nominated for the best picture as well.

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

6. Interstellar (2014)


Interstellar is another blockbuster by Christopher Nolan (who also directed Inception) who has brought some great movies in the Sci-Fi genre. This movie is about a futuristic space exploration in which a group of astronauts attempts to travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, this movie keeps you hooked through the entire runtime.

IMDb rating: 8.6/10

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

This movie starring Jim Carey and Kate Winslet is a combination of Sci-Fi and romance genre. Jim Carey and Kate Winslet meet as stranger in a train and fall in love with each other. However, they later realize that they had fallen in love before but had conducted an experimental procedure to erase their memories. This Sci-Fi and romantic comedy movie gives an imaginative and heartfelt look at relationships, loss and heartache.

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

8. Wall-E (2008)

Wall-E best Sci-Fi movie

Wall-E is an animated film by Disney’s Pixar. This movie revolves on a story of a robot, Wall-E, who has been sent to the Earth to clean up the planet’s garbage. While living a lonely life in Earth, another robot, EVE, appears with whom Wall-E falls in love with. Along with the entertaining animated story, it has also tried to impart the awareness of environmental risk and devastation that may follow.

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

9. Ex Machina (2014)

Ex Machina best Sci-Fi movie

Ex Machina is one of the best Sci-Fi movies with stunning visuals. This movie tells the story of a programmer named Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) who wins a competition to spend a week at a remote house of the CEO of the company he works for. However, later he realizes that he has been selected as the human component for conducting a Turing Test for a robot named Ava. Moreover, Ava might be more intelligent and self-aware than anyone had ever imagined.

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

10. Arrival (2016)

arrival best Sci-Fi movie
Image Source: Nerdrepository

Arrival is one such movie that portrays the situation of alien arrival on earth with more realism than any other movie of such genre. This movie takes inspiration from the short novel by Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life. This movie centers around a linguistics expert (Amy Adams) trying to find a way to communicate with the aliens. However, her attempts to communicate with the aliens bring her unsettling visions about her daughter. This movie is one of the best Sci-Fi movies that focus on communication and love.

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

11. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix best Sci-Fi movie

When The Matrix was first released, it was the type of movie no one had ever seen before. The movie tells the story of a Hacker, Neo, who discovers that humans are living in a simulated world and he tries to discover the uncover the truth. This movie also features a great mix of cutting-edge technology during that time with great action scenes involving martial arts and inspiration from Japanese animations. Starring Keanu Reaves and Laurence Fishburn, this movie marks the beginning of the ever popular matrix series that came later.

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

12. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

edge of tomorrow
Image Source: FilmStarts

How would you feel if you had to relive your death over and over again? Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage in this movie and he is killed in combat against the aliens. However, every time he dies, he is sent back to the combat again and again. Edge of Tomorrow is a Sci-Fi movie that everyone should watch and you will enjoy the whole time watching it.

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

13. The Martian (2015)

The Martian best Sci-Fi movie

The Martian is a movie about an astronaut who is stranded on Mars all by himself. Matt Damon plays the astronaut. He is left behind after his team assumes that he is dead. Now, he is left alone on Mars and now he must survive by himself on Mars before the scientists back on Earth find a way to bring him home. With such a great story and visuals, this movie got nominations for seven Academy Awards including the Best Picture Award.

IDMb rating: 8/10

14. Gravity (2013)

Gravity best Sci-Fi movie
Image Source: TV Guide

Gravity is a movie about two astronauts who get stranded on space after their shuttle is destroyed. Although this movie is about space, if you watch closely, it is more about the resilience of humans. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play the two astronauts stranded in space. They must now find a way back to Earth which is a very difficult task when you are spiraling around on the space with just a spacesuit on. This is a chilling movie that keeps you on your feet the whole time. With 7 Oscar wins and 10 nominations, it really does reflect the quality of the movie.

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

15. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the future

This is one of the most iconic classic Sci-Fi movies of the 80’s. This movie is about time travel in which an American teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) ends up in 1955 accidently from a time machine. This movie was so successful that it gave way to two more sequels to the movie. It will be a very good watch who loves classic Sci-Fi movies and also to people who want to know how the 50’s and the 80’s looked like.

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

16. Contact (1997)

Image Source: TV Guide

Contact is the movie adaptation of the novel of the same name by Carl Sagan. This movie is about an astronomer (Jodi Foster) who was always interested in contact to faraway lands since childhood. Then, later she discovers a signal from Vega star and gets the chance to make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

17. Source Code (2011)

Source code

Source code is also one great action-packed Sci-Fi movie. Here, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a US Army pilot, who wakes up in another person’s body. He finds out that he is in a simulation and every time the bomb explodes, he must go back again and again to identify and stop the culprit. However, he just has 8 minutes every time he goes back. This Sci-Fi movie has some amazing twists and you will be hooked into the movie the entire time.

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

18. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner 1982
Image Source: Fandom

Blade Runner is a movie of 1982 which tells the story set in 2019 (which was still a future back then). This movie shows 2019, in Los Angeles, Rick Deckard plays a blade runner who tracks and kills human-like androids called ‘replicants’. This movie is really famous among Sci-Fi fans. Recently, in 2017, Blade Runner 2049 also came to theaters in 2017. This movie stars Ryan Gosling as the blade runner. I hope you enjoy both the movies.

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

19. The Thing (1982)

The Thing best Sci-Fi movie
Image Source: Art Abyss

The Thing is an amazing Sci-Fi horror that will provide you a fresh and chilling Sci-Fi horror experience. This movie is about a group of researchers who encounter a parasitic extraterrestrial life-form in Antarctica. This is one of the best classic Sci-Fi horror movies. It started off with negative reviews when it was first released. However, later critics reappraised it as one of the best Sci-Fi horror movies.

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

20. Alien (1979)

Alien best Sci-Fi movie
Image source: Rotten Tomatoes

Alien is a movie about a commercial spaceship’s encounter with an alien vessel. The commercial spaceship called Nostromo receives a distress call from a moon while they were on their way home. However, when they land on the moon and investigate, they discover that they may not be alone in the spaceship. This is one of the great classic Sci-Fi movie that terrified viewers for decade. To all the Sci-Fi lovers, this movie is a must watch.

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

So, are you ready to indulge into the marathon watching of these must watch Sci-Fi movies?


About Author

Robin Gurung

Robin is a BSc. CSIT graduate, interested in tech and digital marketing. His hobbies includes watching movies and traveling.