Whether they’re about space travel, time travel, or some other futuristic adventure, sci-fi movies with good stories are always worth watching. And that’s not just because the science is often well-done and the filmmakers aren’t afraid to take risks, but also because a great sci-fi story will always have a timeless appeal.
The best sci-fi movies have an excellent story woven into them, making for a memorable experience no matter how big the budget or how complex the world is. And sometimes, that means a good story that isn’t just about space and time but also deals with some important issues.
A Space Odyssey
In Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick takes the idea of human evolution and explores it in a way that is both prescient and beautiful. In addition to presenting an all-encompassing look at the origins of humankind, the film makes an ingenious argument for how we might evolve to become more advanced and intelligent than we are today.
Another example of a good science fiction film with a great story is Minority Report, a highly edgy movie exploring a world in which people have been programmed to predict their crimes before committing them. It’s a frightening and dystopian vision that’s both a little unnerving and beautifully realized.
Cloverfield, which is based on a novel of the same name by Matt Reeves, tells a compelling alien invasion story using found footage clips that are incredibly eerie to watch. That’s because the filmmaker uses a very eerie style of editing that makes the found-footage segments feel like something you might see in a horror movie.
The Thing, which was directed by John Carpenter and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, is perhaps one of the most chilling and recognizable sci-fi horror movies of all time. It focuses on a group of scientists quarantined at a remote research station in Antarctica and discover that their surroundings are not the safest place to be.
The Hunger Games
Likewise, The Hunger Games, from Suzanne Collins’s best-selling trilogy, is a powerful drama about a group of kids fighting for their lives in a futuristic dystopia where all of their district’s inhabitants are forced to fight for their survival in an annual “Hunger Games.” A great story, a great director, and a stellar cast make this one of the most popular and acclaimed films of the 21st century.
Snowpiercer, a film directed by Bong Joon-ho of Parasite and The Host fame, is an excellent sci-fi film that combines a spooky post-apocalyptic setting with an amazing plot and an intense sense of drama. Despite its relatively slow-moving action, Snowpiercer is still one of the most visually stunning and tense sci-fi movies of all time, as the train in which the story unfolds barrels toward the end of civilization.