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RareDenver's avatar

Any suggestions for intelligent Sci-Fi movies?

Asked by RareDenver (13163points) September 7th, 2009

I like to read people like Stephen Baxter so maybe something similar to his work but in film or TV?

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40 Answers

willbrawn's avatar

Firefly is an awesome TV show, was cancelled early on. But very smart and hopefully falls under what you consider intelligent. (sorry cant read the link at the moment to see how Baxter is)

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

Never heard of that guy, but anyway
Pi
Blade runner
12 monkeys
Cube
Solaris

filmfann's avatar

Dark City
Minority Report
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
2001 A Space Odyessy
Battlestar Galactica (the new series) (edited—thanks)

willbrawn's avatar

@filmfann Battlestar** Galactica very cool series too, just started watching it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Blade Runner
A Scanner Darkly
Gattaca
12 Monkeys
Paycheck
Minority Report
Children of Men
KPAX
Equilibrium
Brazil
Cypher

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t like sci-fi, but my guy does and he’s a bit of a snob about the quality of his sci-fi. We saw District 9 together. He thought it was one of the best in the genre and I didn’t hate it at all.

filmfann's avatar

@Likeradar while I thought District 9 was terrible. I really was looking forward to it, too.

Likeradar's avatar

@filmfann What didn’t you like about it?

I was kept engaged with the characters, and I was interested in the (very blatant) parallels with apartheid.

filmfann's avatar

Lots of great Sci Fi will parallel current events (Twilight Zone and Battlestar Galactica), but this movie was just handled so badly. I really wanted to enjoy it, but the lead character was such a dweeb, the evil guys had no nuance, and the direction of story-telling just drifted.
Cloverfield was terrific, btw. And the first 2 Alien movies.

drdoombot's avatar

Nine responses and no one has mentioned The Matrix and its sequels? The Matrix Reloaded in particular was a head-spinner.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

I’m with @willbrawn on “Firefly,” and the movie version Serenity. Those are pretty awesome (Joss Whedon has a great sense of humor). Also I Robot was pretty good.

And Battlestar Galactica…

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

By the time the end roles around it’s pretty crazy, but it’s still awesome. And all the other good ones I can think of have already been listed so there’s no sense in me repeating them!

mrentropy's avatar

Contact was all right. I also cast votes for Gattaca and Serenity. And Dark City. And AI (Artificial Intelligence).

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

AI was such a sad movie :(

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Oh, yeah. Would Armageddon be considered sci-fi? If so, that was another good-ish one. More emotional than intelligent, but oh well.

mrentropy's avatar

@teh_kvlt_liberal I thought AI was a great movie and also very sad, which is why I swore I would never watch it again.

filmfann's avatar

I love the movie Contact! Lurve for that!
The movie Moon was okay (no longer in theaters, not on DVD yet), but predictable.
I didn’t care for the Matrix, which is why I didn’t mention it.
Solaris (both the Russian and American versions) rocks!

ratboy's avatar

The Man Who Fell To Earth.

filmfann's avatar

I didn’t understand Man Who Fell To Earth, so I have only seen it twice.
The original Metropolis is good (it’s a silent movie).
The Happening was terrible, but a good idea for a film.
The Abyss was good, and worth your time if you haven’t seen it.

skfinkel's avatar

See District 9. Very cool.

evegrimm's avatar

@Introverted_Leo and @willbrawn have the right of it—Firefly and Serenity are your best bets, I think. (And of course BSG.)

Sci-Fi can be hard to find because it’s difficult to pitch to the general public (I think).

Dollhouse is good, and has some sci-fi elements, but it’s a tv show.

Fringe is okay, but a lot of people have complained about the science, and, again, that’s a tv show.

I think The Prestige could be argued as Sci-Fi, especially given the time period it’s representing. (It’s also an intelligent movie!) Similarly, The Illusionist could also be argued as Sci-Fi, but it’s more of a romance than The Prestige. (I would say both are more Steampunk in their Sci-Fi.)

filmfann's avatar

What about Life On Mars? It ended up being sci-fi…
Also Max Headroom.

avvooooooo's avatar

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been watching old SeaQuest episodes on Netflix. Its so stupid, but I love it!

zarnold's avatar

Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Event Horizon, and The Thing are also great sci-fi movies in my opinion, although the latter two are more horror themed

Buttonstc's avatar

What, no Babylon 5 fans around here? A few of their movies were good as well. I don’t remember the title, but the one with Martin Sheen and the Well of Souls.

Also another one of the B-5 movies with the storyline about the Techno-Mages. Interesting concept.

Still can’t believe no B-5 lurve around here.

RareDenver's avatar

Thanks everyone, I’ve seen just about everything on that list except Moon, District 9 and The Illusionist which are already on my to-do list. I loved the new BSG and Firefly/Serenity were good too. Can’t believe Firefly was cancelled after what appeared to be half a season. I really like Life On Mars but wasn’t taken with the follow up series.

I’m also gonna give Dollhouse and Fringe a go, look interesting, thanks especially for those suggestions.

And Paycheck I had not heard of so I’ll give that a go.

Another show I can’t believe they cancelled, The 4400, anyone know if that’s ever likely to come back?

And if you never saw The Lost Room it’s worth checking out.

mattbrowne's avatar

Silent Running.

ShanEnri's avatar

Fringe is excellent! I also like Sanctuary on sy-fy!

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Oh, no. I think 4400 is pretty much gone. But who knows? They could surprise us. (I don’t even understand why they stopped playing it!)

hex's avatar

Planet of the Apes (1968)
Soylent Green (1973)
Strange Days (1995)
Sunshie (2007)
Brainstorm (1983)
The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

RareDenver's avatar

@hex thanks, I’ve just added Strange Days to my list

It’s got Juliette Lewis in it, she looks like a complete chav but you still would ;)

Lightlyseared's avatar

How did I forget Strange Days?!?? The soundtrack is so good I still listen to it nearly every day.

Ria777's avatar

Stephen M. Baxter tells the kind of stories you’d find it very hard to do in any other form. still I have a few suggestions: Things To Come (though it has not dated well), The Day The Earth Stood Still (the original, not the remake), Phase IV, THX-1138, La Jetee, Time Crimes (not sure if you can get a DVD of this in the u.s.), eXistenZ, Gattaca (though I had problems with the main characters omnipotence and blatant soapbox message), Voices From A Distant Star, The Wings of Honneamise. for brilliant sf horror see Scanners and Videodrome.

I have not seen The Fountain, Primer or The Place Promised Us In Our Early Days but i have heard good things about them.

Ria777's avatar

I notice a number of you guys think sf means clearly identifiable “sci-fi” premises, lasers and/or rocketships. sf means having a speculative premise. Dollhouse has to do with storing and transferring personalities. Life On Mars has to do with eiher time travel or else with its protagonist “living” in a dreamworld inside his head, which also makes it sf.

RareDenver's avatar

@evegrimm Just watched the first episode of Fringe, lurve it

RareDenver's avatar

I’ve gotten to episode 7 of Fringe, very addictive but I worry that it will go the way of Lost and just get ridiculously convoluted and annoyingly answerless

evegrimm's avatar

@RareDenver, unlike Lost, JJ Abrams has a plan for Fringe, an “endgame”, if you will. I’m not sure if he’s going to stick to it, especially if Fringe stays lucrative, but there ya go—it’s definitely not supposed to be as convoluted as Lost.

I don’t have a quote for you, partly because the articles with all this info were out when Fringe first came out. :D

RareDenver's avatar

@evegrimm thank god they are not just making it up as they go along this time

tomasreichmann's avatar

I loved both new Sci-fi movies Moon and Surrogates, I don’t know if you count Jennifers body as a Sci-fi or Fantasy, but I liked it too. I’ll make a list with personal ranking:

Moon ****
Surrogates *****
DejaVu ****
The Island ****
Cypher ****
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel *****

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Jerome Bixby’s ‘The Man From Earth’. It’s about a man who claims to be 14,000 years old. Among his many projects, Jerome Bixby also wrote for the original Twilight Zone and Star Trek Series.

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