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Jeruba's avatar

Your nominees for intelligent sci-fi films?

Asked by Jeruba (48711points) July 22nd, 2010

Here’s a list with a posting date of last week, calling itself “The 16 most intelligent sci-fi films ever made.”

Do you agree with these nominees? Anything you’d add or delete?

A similar question was posted some months ago, but this one starts with a list.

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25 Answers

MacBean's avatar

I find Donnie Darko annoying and pretentious rather than intelligent, so I’d remove that one. I’d nominate District 9, The Final Cut or 9 to replace it.

syz's avatar

Oh, man, I don’t like that list at all! The Fountain?!? I gotta think about this…...

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

A few of those I liked. It reminded me I needed to see Donnie Darko again. A few I didn’t see on the list that could have been were I Am Legend, Soylent Green, Moon. I have to say it even though it isn’t exactly intelligent, but They Live is hilarious!

Aethelwine's avatar

I was happy to see Contact on that list.

I really like Jodie Foster.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@jonsblond GA, I know people who give that movie crap, but it wasn’t that bad.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@MacBean I couldn’t agree with you more about Donnie Darko.

I don’t really have any problems with the list, other than ^ that. I’d highly endorse Pi, and perhaps add Blade Runner.

augustlan's avatar

I agree with Moon and Children of Men (haven’t seen Pi). I’d add District 9.

bob_'s avatar


downtide's avatar

I agree with Contact, The Matrix and The Day the Earth Stood Still. In fact when I read the question here, and before I looked at the list, “Contact” was the first one that came to my mind.

I would add Blade Runner, I, Robot, and The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Aethelwine's avatar

@downtide Contact was the first that came to my mind too. :)

Jeruba's avatar

A couple of weeks ago I saw Fritz Lang’s 1927 Metropolis for the first time. I thought it was amazing and would put it on this list even if I had to take off two other titles to do it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sweet holy moly, I would put District 9 in that, Close Encounters, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Alien Nation, Bladerunner, When Worlds Collide, and John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I think Contact is one of my favorites. Moon was good also. Not so far fetched either.

MacBean's avatar

@Jeruba: Metropolis is getting close to the top of my Netflix queue. I’m kind of excited now!

ragingloli's avatar

Star Trek XI
(I am being sarcastic, of course.)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

GATTACA should definitely be on that list.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, I can’t believe I forgot about Close Encounters of the Third Kind and I, Robot.

Jeruba's avatar

@MacBean, do watch the feature explaining how they made it, especially the sfx. Most atonishing to me was how they created the extreme long shot of cars moving far below in an imaginary city, but the robot-animation scene was pretty impressive too. Also note that the music is the same music that was composed for it and fitted to it scene by scene and in some cases shot by shot.

The acting is bizarre by today’s standards (unless you’re an operagoer), but also fascinating for the same reason.

Zaku's avatar

Fun excercise, though I find it ironic that the page with this list features a gimmick of not being able to spell its own name or the “syfy” section properly. ;-)

I haven’t seen 12 Monkeys, Pi, Dark City, Children of Men, all of Altered States, Minority Report (I doubt it can be all that intelligent, being prejudiced against Spielberg/Cruise in that regard), Gattaca, or Moon.

Primer is good and intelligent.
The Fountain is too, in a different way.
So, I think, is Donnie Darko, also in its own way.
Contact I also liked and found intelligent. I might rate it a bit below those three.
The first Matrix was intelligent and cool… though also sort of super-heroic.

2001 I would call more artsy and interesting than strictly intelligent. Different kind of intelligence than I’d tend to measure when trying to brand a list as most intelligent sci fi films, maybe.

Quatermass and the Pit, I recall I enjoyed, but not as much as I liked the earlier Quatermass films. I thought they were more campy and fun than intelligent.

The Day the Earth Stood Still was cool in it’s day but I don’t know that it’s all that intelligent… I reserve judgement till the next time I see it.

I am kind of struck by how few intelligent sci fi films I can think of, even with the help of some web searching.

Other films I’d put up for consideration include Silent Running, Soylent Green, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Coccoon, Solaris (either), Colossus: The Forbin Project and A Clockwork Orange and in their way Alien, and Aliens.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Zaku I forgot about Coccoon, that was a great movie as well as The Man who Fell to Earth. Though I love a Clockwork Orange guess I missed Gen X with that one I am not sure it would be science fiction, but is is quite differnt of a movie. And I also forgot THX-1138.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Oh yeah. Logan’s Run. interesting story line.

downtide's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet Oooh. Logan’s Run! I forgot that one. Definitely a contender.

Aethelwine's avatar

It has been many years since I’ve seen this film, but I do remember enjoying Starman. Not sure if it qualifies for the list though. Maybe we need to start a new category, “Romantic Sci-fi films”? ;)

mattbrowne's avatar

Enemy Mine.

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