100 best sci-fi movies of all time

April 2, 2021
Lucasfilm

100 best sci-fi movies of all time

Like most movie genres, science fiction goes back almost as far as the medium itself, all the way to 1902 to be exact. That was when Georges Méliès—an innovative genius of many talents—unleashed his 14-minute masterwork: "Le voyage dans la lune," better known to American audiences as "A Trip to the Moon." Inspired by the written works of Jules Verne, among other things, and laced with satirical jabs toward the scientific community, the surrealist short follows a group of astronomers as they embark on a trip to the moon. While not scientifically accurate by any means—the astronomers do travel by way of cannon shot, after all—the film did kick off a cinematic trend of depicting hypothetical ideas in anticipation of future realities.

Stacker compiled a list of the 100 best sci-fi movies of all time based on our own Stacker score, a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be listed as sci-fi on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user votes. Every film on the list has been considered according to the cinematic history and development of sci-fi.

To this day, the trend of exploring what the future may hold for humanity and our own inventions continues. Contemporary scientific breakthroughs like gene editing, as well as the development of robots, virtual reality, cloning, and wearable tech have all been foreshadowed by the sci-fi genre. Great sci-fi movies are not just a qualitative way to pass the time, but a way to explore the full realm of human potential, as the ideas of today might well become the realities of tomorrow. That said, sometimes a great sci-fi movie is just a great sci-fi movie—especially when comic book adaptations enter the fold.

Counting down from #100, here are the best sci-fi films of all time.

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1 / 100
DNA Films

#100. 28 Days Later... (2002)

- Director: Danny Boyle
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 113 minutes

An environmentalist terrorist group attacks a lab, unleashing the "Rage Virus" by allowing infected chimps to get loose, which brings about a plague that turns humans into zombies. These were not your run-of-the-mill zombies though, thanks to director Danny Boyle, who consciously chose to avoid the typical zombie tropes by instead making his zombies fast moving, athletic, and strong. "28 Days Later" is often credited with revitalizing the tired zombie genre.

2 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#99. Zombieland (2009)

- Director: Ruben Fleischer
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 88 minutes

Infusing the horror genre with copious amounts of comedy, this 2009 smash hit takes place after a zombie outbreak has eradicated most of mankind. By sticking to a very strict set of rules, a scrawny guy named Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) manages to survive, though just barely. Joined by a gun-crazy troublemaker (Woody Harrelson), and two no-nonsense sisters (Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone), Columbus embarks on a cross-country trip that's equal parts grotesque and hilarious. Both the original director and original main cast members reunited for a long-awaited sequel in 2019, set 1 years after the events of the first movie.

3 / 100
Summit Entertainment

#98. Source Code (2011)

- Director: Duncan Jones
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 93 minutes

Like a clever combination of "12 Monkeys" and "Groundhog Day," this exhilarating thriller finds a soldier (Jake Gyllenhaal) waking up inside a stranger's body aboard a commuter train. As it turns out, the train has already exploded in the present timeline, and the soldier's been sent into an alternate reality to find the bomber. Can he solve the mystery before the bomber strikes again in the real world?

4 / 100
Solofilm

#97. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

- Director: Philip Kaufman
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 115 minutes

This terrifying alien invasion movie was remade a handful of times, but most cinephiles think it's the original 1956 version that reigns supreme—though the 1978 version is likewise held in high regard. In the film, a San Francisco health inspector and his colleague begin to suspect their friends and neighbors aren't who they seem. Their worst nightmares are confirmed when he discovers that aliens are in fact replacing humans with drone-like doppelgangers.

5 / 100
Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

#96. Sleeper (1973)

- Director: Woody Allen
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 89 minutes

When audiences think of Woody Allen films, most do not think of the sci-fi genre, but the director's early 70s effort featuring Diane Keaton was epic. In 2173, nerdy New York City health store owner Miles, who was cryogenically frozen 200 years earlier, is awakened to help overthrow an oppressive government. David M. Walsh served as the film's cinematographer, marking his second and last time in such a role for a Woody Allen film.

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6 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#95. The War of the Worlds (1953)

- Director: Byron Haskin
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 85 minutes

Based on H.G. Wells' science fiction novel, this film version finds a California town under attack by Martians. Most of the movie's filming actually took place on a Stage 18, the largest stage at Paramount Studios, which was known for many years as "The DeMille Stage" and is now called the "Star Trek Stage."

7 / 100
HandMade Films

#94. Time Bandits (1981)

- Director: Terry Gilliam
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 110 minutes

Starring Shelley Duvall and Sean Connery, this film features an eleven-year-old boy who accidentally joins up with a group of time-jumping dwarves as they attempt to steal valuable treasures from various eras. Beatles guitarist George Harrison served as one of the film's executive producers and also penned and performed the song "Dream Away" that plays at the end of the film.

8 / 100
Cinereach

#93. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

- Director: Boots Riley
- Stacker score: 82.3
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 112 minutes

This dystopian film is a biting satire and a scathing take on class and race. Lakeith Stanfield stars as Cassius, a man trying to work his way up the corporate ladder in a society where people like tech giant Steve Lift rule over people with the promise of food and money for the small price of a lifetime of servitude. A.O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, says of the film's director, "Mr. Riley is not sorry at all. If you're not bothered—also tickled, irked, mystified and provoked—then you've fallen asleep on the job."

9 / 100
Warner Bros.

#92. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

- Director: Doug Liman
- Stacker score: 82.9
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 113 minutes

Initially underperforming in theaters, this wild sci-fi adventure eventually caught on with audiences. Based on a graphic novel, the movie takes place during a future war between mankind and alien invaders. After a man (Tom Cruise) is enlisted to fight against his will, he inherits the unique ability to live the same day over and over again, which he eventually uses to his advantage. When it was released on DVD, the movie repositioned its title as "Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow."

10 / 100
Warner Bros.

#91. Wonder Woman (2017)

- Director: Patty Jenkins
- Stacker score: 82.9
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 141 minutes

Sisters are doing it for themselves in this wildly successful comic book adaptation from Patty Jenkins. Set during World War I, the film starts off on a distant island paradise, where Diana (Gal Gadot)—princess of the Amazons—hones her indomitable powers. Upon discovering the existence of evil in the world, Diana embarks on a quest to end all wars for good, uncovering her true identity along the way. A sequel, "Wonder Woman 1984" premiered Christmas 2020.

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11 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios

#90. Village of the Damned (1960)

- Director: Wolf Rilla
- Stacker score: 82.9
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 77 minutes

This campy cult classic features creepy blond children with glowing eyes and unusual abilities, who were born after all the town's women of child-bearing age became pregnant rather mysteriously. It is based on the novel "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham.

12 / 100
Touchstone Pictures

#89. The Prestige (2006)

- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 66
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 130 minutes

Christopher Nolan co-wrote and directed this 2006 film, which combines elements of history, drama, and science fiction. Set toward the end of the 19th century, the film follows two magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) as they try to outwit one another on stage. After the rivalry gets personal, each magician goes to extreme lengths in his respective pursuit of the ultimate magic trick.

13 / 100
Argos Films

#88. Fantastic Planet (1973)

- Director: René Laloux
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 72 minutes

This French film, based on a novel by Stefan Wul, features humanoids rebelling against their tyrannical leaders, who are giant blue aliens. The animated counterculture cult classic won a Special Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.

14 / 100
Color Force

#87. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

- Director: Francis Lawrence
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 146 minutes

Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen in this acclaimed sequel, which takes place 12 months after the 74th Hunger Games. As Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) embark on a Victory Tour, Katniss discovers her previous act of defiance has spurred an uprising against the Capitol. After refusing to quell the rebellion, the two champions are thrown into yet another Hunger Games, where they must once again fight for their survival.

15 / 100
The Geffen Company

#86. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

- Director: Frank Oz
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 94 minutes

Rick Moranis stars as a geeky florist who enlists the help of a man-eating plant to find romance. The film, based on the off-Broadway musical of the same name, spawned the famous line, "Feed me, Seymour." One of the songs, "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" was nominated for an Oscar and was the first song nominated for such an honor to contain profanity.

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16 / 100
Universal Pictures

#85. The World's End (2013)

- Director: Edgar Wright
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 109 minutes

Humanity's only hope is a group of five reunited childhood friends attempting to recreate a moment from their lost youth and find a fabled pub, The World's End. The film is part of a thematic trilogy alongside "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz."

17 / 100
Edge City Productions

#84. Repo Man (1984)

- Director: Alex Cox
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 92 minutes

This sci-fi black comedy marks Alex Cox's directorial debut. Emilio Estevez plays a repo man who comes across a mysterious Chevy Malibu. Mike Nesmith from the musical group The Monkees served as an executive producer.

18 / 100
Dovemead Films

#83. Superman II (1980)

- Directors: Richard Lester, Richard Donner
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 127 minutes

The man of steel gives up his powers to be with his lady love, Lois Lane. Lex Luthor teams up with escaped prisoners from Krypton to bring down the superhero once and for all. A commercial for the film aired during MTV's first hour on television on August 1, 1981.

19 / 100
GED Cinema

#82. The Vast of Night (2019)

- Director: Andrew Patterson
- Stacker score: 83.4
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 91 minutes

In 1950s New Mexico, a switchboard operator and a radio DJ pick up an unusual audio frequency. Could it be extraterrestrial in origin? While the radio station's call letters, WOTW, probably weren't accurate, since beginning in 1912 nearly all United States radio stations west of the Mississippi began with K, they were an intentional homage to the H.G. Wells novel "War of the Worlds."

20 / 100
Marvel Studios

#81. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

- Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 68
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 149 minutes

Released in 2018, this "Avengers" installment finds a villain named Thanos (Josh Brolin) on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones, which will bring him unspeakable amounts of power. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, the world's foremost superheroes join forces to stop Thanos in his tracks. This Marvel epic was the fastest movie ever to cross the $1 billion mark in worldwide grosses.

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21 / 100
Universal Pictures

#80. Serenity (2005)

- Director: Joss Whedon
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 119 minutes

Written and directed by Joss Whedon, this cult sci-fi adventure flick follows the renegade crew of spaceship Serenity, as they take aboard a telepathic fugitive named River Tam. As a result of their hospitality, the fleet soon finds itself in the crosshairs of a ruthless regime who will stop at nothing to get River back. Meanwhile, the real threat might already be onboard. Set in the 26th century, the movie expands upon Whedon's acclaimed but short-lived TV series, "Firefly."

 

22 / 100
FortyFour Studios

#79. Big Hero 6 (2014)

- Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 102 minutes

A young boy named Hiro, his inflatable robot, and his group of brainy friends form an unlikely group of superheroes in this animated Disney movie. Based on a Marvel comic book series, "Big Hero 6" goes down in the city of San Fransokyo, representing a blend of two distinct cultures. A Disney Channel TV series followed in 2017, with a further spinoff slated for 2022.

23 / 100
Aurora

#78. The Secret of NIMH (1982)

- Director: Don Bluth
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 82 minutes

In this dark animated adventure, a field mouse must cure her son's illness before their home is destroyed by a plow. Desperately seeking help, she visits a colony of super-intelligent rats, and soon discovers the secret of NIMH. This film marked the directorial debut of former Disney animator Don Bluth, who went on to make animated features like "An American Tail" and "The Land Before Time."

24 / 100
Jet Tone Production

#77. 2046 (2004)

- Director: Wong Kar-Wai
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 129 minutes

Director Wong Kar-Wai created a visually stunning film by using three different cinematographers for the story of a science-fiction writer and his connection to several women who live in the same Hong Kong hotel. The film arrived just three hours before its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, a record for the festival, and its public premiere also had to be rescheduled.

25 / 100
Zentropa Entertainments

#76. Melancholia (2011)

- Director: Lars von Trier
- Stacker score: 84
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 135 minutes

Kirsten Dunst plays a woman getting married just as the planet Melancholia is hurtling toward Earth. While doing press for the movie, director Lars von Trier was barred from the Cannes Film Festival, a first in the festival's long history.

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26 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#75. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

- Director: Taika Waititi
- Stacker score: 84.5
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 130 minutes

2017's "Thor: Ragnarok" finds its titular hero racing against time before his home planet is destroyed by Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death. Distinguishing this installment from its predecessors is director Taika Waititi's humorous tone and an eye-catching palette of neon hues. Due to the film's infectious personality, the Thor franchise itself was arguably given a new lease on life, with a Waititi-helmed sequel, "Thor: Love and Thunder" scheduled for a 2022 release.

27 / 100
Marvel Studios

#74. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

- Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Stacker score: 84.5
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 147 minutes

The next best thing to a full blown "Avengers" movie, this 2016 action flick finds members of the beloved superhero squad disagreeing over a new government protocol that would hold them accountable for their actions. Unable to reach a compromise, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) lead their respective sides into civil war. To make matters worse, a new villain emerges, with a secret that can tear the Avengers even further apart.

28 / 100
Kennedy Miller Productions

#73. The Road Warrior (1981)

- Director: George Miller
- Stacker score: 84.5
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 96 minutes

The follow-up to the 1979 film "Mad Max" features Mel Gibson helping a small community deal with a group of biker bandits in a postapocalyptic land. Gibson only uttered 16 lines of dialogue throughout the entire film.

29 / 100
Dovemead Films

#72. Superman (1978)

- Director: Richard Donner
- Stacker score: 84.5
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 143 minutes

This origin film tells of Superman's descent to Earth, his childhood as Clark Kent with his adoptive parents on the farm, and his career as a reporter for The Daily Planet where he falls for Lois Lane. The film's opening credit sequence was the most expensive of any film at the time. It was very elaborate and was meant to build on the grandeur of a film that paved the way for future epic superhero movies.

30 / 100
Universal Pictures

#71. 12 Monkeys (1995)

- Director: Terry Gilliam
- Stacker score: 85.1
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 129 minutes

Starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, this mind-bending film was inspired by the 1962 French short film "La Jetée." A man travels back in time to stop the virus that wiped out most of the world's population.

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31 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#70. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

- Director: Bryan Singer
- Stacker score: 85.1
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 132 minutes

The seventh film of the "X-Men" franchise opens in the future, where a range of indestructible robots known as Sentinels are destroying everything in their path. To stop the robots, a group of heroic mutants uncover a nifty time travel hack, which involves having Logan, aka Wolverine, inhabit his 1973 body. With help from his 1970s peers (i.e. the players from "X-Men: First Class"), Logan sets out to stop the Sentinel program from getting off the ground.

32 / 100
Toho Film (Eiga) Co. Ltd.

#69. Godzilla (1954)

- Director: Ishirô Honda
- Stacker score: 85.1
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 96 minutes

An atomic bomb rouses a beast from his centuries-long slumber and he wakes to terrorize Japan. This first film in the prolific Godzilla franchise was released by famous Japanese production studio Toho Studios.

33 / 100
Film4

#68. The Lobster (2015)

- Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
- Stacker score: 85.1
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 119 minutes

In this unique love story set in a dystopian future, single people are forced to go to a hotel and find a match within 45 days or else they are doomed to be transformed into an animal and sent into the woods. The film received both an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as a win for the Jury Prize at Cannes.

34 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#67. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stacker score: 85.1
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 152 minutes

In this installment of the "Star Wars" film franchise, Rey trains under Luke Skywalker to develop her newfound abilities while the Resistance and the First Order prepare for an epic battle. Out of the 11 Star Wars films to date, "The Last Jedi" clocks in with the longest running time at two hours and 32 minutes. "A New Hope" is the shortest, with a running time that is still longer than most films at two hours and five minutes.

35 / 100
A24

#66. Ex Machina (2014)

- Director: Alex Garland
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 108 minutes

A young programmer wins a work-sponsored retreat to the remote cabin of the company's reclusive CEO, where he participates in an experiment involving a beautiful 'woman' who turns out to be the first true artificial intelligence. The film marked Alex Garland's directorial debut. Garland also wrote "28 Days Later."

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36 / 100
SLM Production Group

#65. The Fly (1986)

- Director: David Cronenberg
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 96 minutes

A remake of a 1958 film, "The Fly" tells the story of a scientist who turns into a fly/human hybrid after an experiment goes awry. It took nearly five hours each day to apply actor Jeff Goldblum's fly makeup, but it was all worth it because the film won an Oscar for Best Makeup in 1987. Three years after the release of the original came the lesser sequel "The Fly 2."

37 / 100
Chernin Entertainment

#64. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

- Director: Matt Reeves
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 130 minutes

A follow-up to 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," this 2014 film takes place 10 years after a deadly virus was unleashed upon the world. As the human survivors regroup and gather resources, a colony of genetically evolved apes grows restless in the woods, wondering if they can trust the humans. Ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) would prefer to avoid a violent confrontation, but according to his subordinates, it's only a matter of time before the two cultures clash.

38 / 100
Permut Presentations

#63. Face/Off (1997)

- Director: John Woo
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 138 minutes

An FBI agent played by John Travolta and a terrorist played by Nicholas Cage switch places in one of 1997's highest grossing films. Many moviegoers believe this to be director John's Woo's best work, and there may yet be a sequel in the works.

39 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#62. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

- Director: Richard Fleischer
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 127 minutes

Based on Jules Verne's famous novel, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" tells the tale of a crew who investigates a series of sinkings and encounters a submarine run by Captain Nemo. This Disney production featured only two women in the entire film, one of whom was actress Laurie Mitchell in her uncredited feature film debut.

40 / 100
SnowPiercer

#61. Snowpiercer (2013)

- Director: Bong Joon Ho
- Stacker score: 85.6
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 126 minutes

A train called Snowpiercer houses the last humans after a failed experiment in climate change led to a global freeze. Class struggles emerge for the survivors as the train travels the globe. The 2013 film spawned a TNT television series starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs.

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41 / 100
Kôdansha

#60. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

- Director: Mamoru Oshii
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 83 minutes

Saved from a horrible crash and equipped with a life-saving set of cyber enhancements, Major Mira Killian now functions only as a super soldier whose mission is to stop the most dangerous criminals in the world. The film starring Scarlett Johansson is based on the comic series of the same name by Masamune Shirow.

42 / 100
Marvel Studios

#59. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

- Director: James Gunn
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 121 minutes

One of the MCU's biggest surprises, this 2014 smash hit centers on a group of intergalactic criminals who must join forces to stop an evil villain before he takes over the entire galaxy. Leading the way is an Earth-born bounty hunter named Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), also known as Star Lord. Quill's motley crue is made up of a talking raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a sentient tree of few words (voiced by Vin Diesel), a green-skinned warrior (Zoe Saldana), and a destroyer named Drax (Dave Bautista).

43 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#58. Incredibles 2 (2018)

- Director: Brad Bird
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 118 minutes

The world's favorite family of superheroes are back in this wildly successful sequel from Pixar, which soared past the $1 billion mark faster than any other animated film in history. Written and directed by Brad Bird, the film sees Mr. Incredible staying at home to watch the kids while his wife, Elastigirl, embarks on a world-saving adventure. Of course, knowing this family, it won't be too long before they're all fighting side by side.

44 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#57. Minority Report (2002)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 145 minutes

Like certain writers before him, sci-fi author Philip K. Dick is no stranger to numerous big screen adaptations. Among them is this 2002 film from Steven Spielberg, which stars Tom Cruise as a cop named John Anderton. To do his job, Anderton relies on the clairvoyant visions of beings called precogs, who can see crimes before they actually occur. After the precogs foresee Anderton himself committing a crime, he goes on the run to prove his future innocence.

45 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#56. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

- Director: Matt Reeves
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 140 minutes

After an epic and violent battle brought on by the Colonel, ape leader Caesar reels from the loss, ultimately deciding he must seek vengeance on the humans. The Colonel and Caesar finally face-off, with the future of both species at stake. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

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46 / 100
Columbia Pictures

#55. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

- Director: Sam Raimi
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 127 minutes

The second film in the series features the continued adventures of Peter Parker as superhero Spider-Man. In this installment, Spidey battles villain Doc Ock, who blames the web slinger for a failed experiment that killed the doctor's wife. The trilogy concluded with Spider-Man 3, which was released in 2007.

47 / 100
Chungeorahm Film

#54. The Host (2006)

- Director: Bong Joon Ho
- Stacker score: 86.2
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 120 minutes

This South Korean film features a creature living in the Han River who terrorizes people, eventually kidnapping a man's daughter. The man attempts to rescue her, but things do not go well. Writing for RogerEbert.com, Jim Emerson said, "A horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama, Bong Joon-ho's 'The Host' is also one helluva movie."

48 / 100
Toho Company

#53. Battle Royale (2000)

- Director: Kinji Fukasaku
- Stacker score: 86.7
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 114 minutes

This controversial film saw high school students in a dystopian Japan fighting to the death on a deserted island. The film was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards and won four. Filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku was working on a sequel to "Battle Royale" but died of prostate cancer before he could finish it.

49 / 100
Sever Studio

#52. Hard to Be a God (2013)

- Director: Aleksey German
- Stacker score: 86.7
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 177 minutes

Shot in black and white and inspired by the novel of the same name, this film features a space traveler from Earth interfering with life on a medieval-era planet. Director Aleksey German died before he could finish post-production for the film.

50 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#51. Logan (2017)

- Director: James Mangold
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 137 minutes

The final film of the Wolverine trilogy is also the best, with Hugh Jackman reportedly donning the deadly claws for the last time. Set in a futuristic wasteland where the mutant population has dwindled, the movie finds Logan struggling to protect an ailing Professor Xavier and frequently succumbing to the lures of alcoholism. However, when he's asked to escort a young female mutant to the Canadian border, Logan discovers there's still some life left in him yet.

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51 / 100
Tokuma Shoten

#50. Castle in the Sky (1986)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 125 minutes

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal try to find a legendary floating castle in this Japanese animated film. Writing for The Washington Post, Richard Harrington called the film "a frequently astounding animated feature."

52 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#49. Iron Man (2008)

- Director: Jon Favreau
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 126 minutes

The Marvel movie that started it all, 2008's "Iron Man" still endures as one of the best installments in the MCU. At the heart of the film is weapons magnate Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who ends up in captivity during a trip to Afghanistan. To escape imprisonment, Stark designs and builds a weaponized suit of armor, thereby spawning his newfound gig as a superhero, and likewise spawning Marvel's dominance over the live action film industry.

53 / 100
Madhouse

#48. Paprika (2006)

- Director: Satoshi Kon
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 90 minutes

When a machine that is intended to help psychiatric patients is stolen, scientist by day, dream detective by night Dr. Atsuko Chiba tries to retrieve the machine before any real damage is done. "Paprika" inspired director Christopher Nolan's 2010 film "Inception."

54 / 100
TriStar Pictures

#47. Looper (2012)

- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 113 minutes

A man named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a "looper," killing people from the future in the past for the mob. One day the mob turns on Joe, sending his future self back in time to be killed. Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips noted, "That first hour cooks. And the second hour brings Emily Blunt into the story, which is a fine thing for any second half to offer."

55 / 100
Je Suis Bien Content

#46. April and the Extraordinary World (2015)

- Directors: Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci
- Stacker score: 87.3
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 105 minutes

In this animated film, a girl searches for her scientist parents in France in the 1940s. However France appears to be stuck in the nineteenth century, as the country operates without technology, is governed by Napoleon V, and continues to see the disappearance of scholars. Famed French comics artist Jacques Tardi helped with the visual style of the film.

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56 / 100
APJAC Productions

#45. Planet of the Apes (1968)

- Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
- Stacker score: 87.8
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 112 minutes

Featuring one of the best surprise endings in movie history, the original "Planet of the Apes" paved the way for a string of sequels, not to mention the 2001 remake or the recent franchise reboot. In the film, an astronaut (Charlton Heston) crash lands on a strange planet, where super intelligent apes run the show and humans are considered an inferior species. Co-written by "Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling, the movie delivers a range of prescient allegories.

57 / 100
Lucasfilm

#44. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

- Director: J.J. Abrams
- Stacker score: 87.8
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 138 minutes

A desert scavenger and an ex-storm trooper join forces with Chewbacca and Han Solo when the galaxy is threatened. The film also features Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher's daughter, in her film debut. Lourd wrote about working with her mother on the film and her mini-Leia buns for Time magazine: "Some people carry on their family name, some people carry on holiday traditions—I was going to carry on the family hairstyle."

58 / 100
Hydraulx

#43. Take Shelter (2011)

- Director: Jeff Nichols
- Stacker score: 87.8
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 120 minutes

A young husband and father has hallucinations about the world's end. Unsure if he is mentally ill or seeing the future unfold in his dreams, he builds a storm shelter that causes chaos in every part of his life. "Take Shelter" won two Saturn Awards, one for Michael Shannon for Best Actor and one for Best Writing for Jeff Nichols, who wrote and directed the film.

59 / 100
Warner Bros.

#42. The Matrix (1999)

- Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 136 minutes

During the 1999 Super Bowl, a movie trailer flashed a series of compelling images across the screen, all without giving a single aspect of the plot away. Just a few months later, people lined up in droves to unwrap the riddle of "The Matrix." What they got in return was one of the greatest films of the modern era, about a computer hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who uncovers the true nature of reality. Two sequels followed, neither of which came close to the original's brilliant mix of sci-fi, philosophy, and action.

60 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#41. Interstellar (2014)

- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 169 minutes

Set in a future that's potentially too close for comfort, this 2014 Christopher Nolan film finds mankind under threat from a host of climate-related disasters. In search of a solution, a team of explorers journey through space, where they hope to find an inhabitable planet. What follows is a mix of hard science and earnest philosophy, some of which is accurate and most of which is confusing. Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway star.

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61 / 100
Carolco Pictures

#40. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

- Director: James Cameron
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 137 minutes

Armed with a much bigger budget and considerably more experience, James Cameron followed up his original cult classic with this groundbreaking sequel. In the film, two cyborgs are sent back from the future, one to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong) and another to protect him. In a surprise turn of events, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the good cyborg this time around. But is he a match for the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), a supremely advanced cyborg made of liquid metal?

62 / 100
Warner Bros.

#39. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 136 minutes

After sending viewers through space in "2001: A Space Odyssey," Stanley Kubrick brought them down to Earth with a cruel thud by way of this 1971 cult classic. Set in future England, "A Clockwork Orange" chronicles the ultraviolent adventures of its protagonist, an utterly amoral thug named Alex (Malcolm McDowell). Along with his fellow droogs, Alex commits a range of atrocities, sometimes while singing a happy tune. Eventually, he's sent to prison, where he enrolls in a conditioning program designed to rob him of his ability to commit crime. Upon being released back into society, Alex discovers the tables have turned, as his former victims become his tormentors.

63 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#38. The Martian (2015)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 144 minutes

Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, this similarly successful film opens on Mars and dives right into the action, with a massive storm separating an astronaut (Matt Damon) from his team. Presumed dead and thereby abandoned, the astronaut finds himself alone on a foreign planet, where he must learn how to survive using the sparest of means.

64 / 100
Lava Bear Films

#37. Arrival (2016)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 116 minutes

In the spirit of movies like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," this 2016 film kicks off with the arrival of massive extraterrestrial vessels on Earth. Unable to understand what the alien's motives are, the U.S. government hires an expert linguist (Amy Adams) to decipher their language. Can she learn how to communicate before it's too late? To lend the film an authentic vibe, director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer actually created an entirely new language.

65 / 100
TriStar Pictures

#36. District 9 (2009)

- Director: Neill Blomkamp
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 112 minutes

Rife with sociological overtones, this 2009 surprise hit imagines a society where aliens exist here on Earth but are forced to live in a militarized slum called District 9. When a government agent is hired to evict the aliens from their home, he ends up being exposed to some of their biotechnology, leading to a radical shift in his perspective. Filmed in an actual Johannesburg ghetto, the movie explores prescient themes of ethnic division.

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66 / 100
Double Dare You (DDY)

#35. The Shape of Water (2017)

- Director: Guillermo del Toro
- Stacker score: 88.4
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 123 minutes

In this surreal film, an amphibious creature held in captivity and a lonely janitor find each other at a research facility in the 1960s. "The Shape of Water" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and grossed $195 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $19 million. Director Kevin Smith was so smitten with the film that after seeing the trailer he tweeted, "Seeing something as beautiful as this makes me feel stupid for ever calling myself a 'director.'"

67 / 100
Alcon Entertainment

#34. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 81
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 164 minutes

This follow-up to the cult sci-fi film "Blade Runner" takes place 30 years after the original, following a young bounty hunter (Ryan Gosling) as he tracks down replicants and uncovers a vast conspiracy in the process. Appearing about halfway through the film is actor Harrison Ford, reprising his role as Rick Deckard. While the movie did open to a palpable sense of anticipation, it underperformed at the box office, meaning "Blade Runner 2079" probably won't appear anytime soon.

68 / 100
Indian Paintbrush

#33. Isle of Dogs (2018)

- Director: Wes Anderson
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 101 minutes

Returning to an aesthetic he'd previously explored in "Fantastic Mr. Fox," Wes Anderson delivered this stop-motion sci-fi comedy adventure in 2018. The film takes place in a future Japan, where a flu outbreak has exiled all canines to Trash Island, and follows a young boy as he searches for his missing dog. Providing their voices are a variety of notable actors and actresses, including Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, and Edward Norton among others.

69 / 100
Paramount Pictures

#32. Star Trek (2009)

- Director: J.J. Abrams
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 127 minutes

J.J. Abrams resurrected the "Star Trek" movie franchise with considerable panache in 2009, when he unleashed this action-packed prequel. It stars Chris Pine as a young and rebellious James T. Kirk, who struggles to fill the shoes of his deceased father, a starship captain. After an emergency breaks out on Vulcan, Kirk joins a young crew of cadets aboard the USS Enterprise, and so begins one of the most enduring sci-fi sagas of all time.

70 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#31. Avatar (2009)

- Director: James Cameron
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 162 minutes

Taking 3D technology to new heights, this insanely successful adventure flick from James Cameron centers on a paraplegic marine named Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). At the behest of his superiors, Sully inhabits the body of a Na'vi, the native humanoid species on the moon Pandora. While Sully's initial task is to help his bosses eradicate the Na'vi and get their hands on a precious mineral, he soon finds himself pledging loyalty to his blue-skinned brethren. A whopping four sequels are in various states of production, with the next installment scheduled to premier in December 2022.

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71 / 100
Marvel Studios

#30. Black Panther (2018)

- Director: Ryan Coogler
- Stacker score: 89
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 134 minutes

When Prince T'Challa's right to the throne of the advanced African nation of Wakanda is challenged, Black Panther must fight back and prevent Wakanda from being pulled into a deadly world war. The film's star, Chadwick Boseman, died two years after the movie was released; Marvel Studios said it would honor Boseman's legacy by not recasting the role of T'Challa for any subsequent films.

72 / 100
Warner Bros.

#29. Inception (2010)

- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stacker score: 89.5
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Runtime: 148 minutes

This heady sci-fi thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who's skilled at the art of extraction, meaning he's able to enter other people's dream worlds to retrieve information and change their minds. After being hired for a dangerous assignment, the thief and his team find themselves going deeper and deeper into the target's dream world, potentially beyond the point of no return. Christopher Nolan initially conceived the idea as a horror movie in the early 2000s and continued to toy with it until landing on the final version.

73 / 100
Marvel Studios

#28. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

- Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Stacker score: 89.5
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 181 minutes

A follow-up to Marvel's 2018 "Avengers: Infinity War," "Endgame" deals with the devastation of a chaotic and ruined universe. The bruised and battered Avengers come together to restore order and try to undo the damage unleashed by Thanos. The film marks comic book icon Stan Lee's final cameo in a Marvel movie, though it was not his last film cameo. Lee died on Nov. 12, 2018, at the age of 95.

74 / 100
Embassy International Pictures

#27. Brazil (1985)

- Director: Terry Gilliam
- Stacker score: 90.1
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 132 minutes

Former "Monty Python" member Terry Gilliam infused George Orwell's "1984" with his unique satirical sensibility in this cult classic. Set in an overly bureaucratic future society, "Brazil" centers on a low-level government employee named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) who daydreams of heroism and an escape from the doldrums of his claustrophobic office. After manipulating documents for the love of a woman, Lowry finds himself on the run from government officials. Suffice to say, it's not exactly the escape he was hoping for.

75 / 100
Universal Pictures

#26. Children of Men (2006)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 90.1
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 109 minutes

Based on a novel by P.D. James, this gripping sci-fi thriller takes place in a future where the human population is no longer able to reproduce. Surrounded by chaos on all sides, a man (Clive Owen) risks his life transporting a woman to sanctuary. What's so special about the woman? She's pregnant, and everyone wants to get their hands on her baby.

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76 / 100
Cinema '84

#25. The Terminator (1984)

- Director: James Cameron
- Stacker score: 90.6
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 107 minutes

Inspired by his own feverish nightmare, director James Cameron created this iconic sci-fi thriller about a cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who travels back in time to assassinate a waitress (Linda Hamilton). To combat the cyborg, a human resistance fighter (Michael Biehn) is also sent back in time, and he explains to the waitress that her future son, John Connor, will one day lead mankind in the war against machines. True to its origins, the movie imparts a nightmarish vibe and throws in a mind-boggling predestination paradox for good measure. Numerous sequels and video games followed, as did a short-lived live-action TV series. The 2019 franchise reboot, "Terminator: Dark Fate" was a disappointment at the box office, dashing any hopes for its planned sequels, but Netflix has announced the development of a new Terminator anime series.

77 / 100
Universal Pictures

#24. The Invisible Man (1933)

- Director: James Whale
- Stacker score: 90.6
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 71 minutes

Writer H.G. Wells delivered some of the most enduring science fiction stories of all time, and "The Invisible Man" was certainly no exception. In this big screen adaptation from 1933, actor Claude Rains tackles the lead role, playing a scientist who unlocks the power of invisibility. Unfortunately, side effects may include total insanity.

78 / 100
The Ladd Company

#23. Blade Runner (1982)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- Stacker score: 91.2
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 117 minutes

Ridley Scott's arthouse answer to "Star Wars" follows a Blade Runner named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as he tracks down four rogue replicants. Replicants are genetically engineered humans created for hard labor on distant colonies, whose four-year life spans come built in to their DNA. Against a backdrop of eye-popping visuals and lush music, Deckard hunts down the replicants one by one, grappling with some philosophical conundrums along the way.

79 / 100
Warner Bros.

#22. The Iron Giant (1999)

- Director: Brad Bird
- Stacker score: 91.2
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 86 minutes

Before dazzling audiences with movies like "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille," animation veteran Brad Bird released this cult classic in 1999. Based on a 1968 novel, the movie chronicles the adventures of a young boy and his giant robot friend, who forge a tight bond as they flee from a paranoid government agent. Actor Vin Diesel voices the giant, who mostly issues guttural sounds in lieu of actual dialogue. Diesel later put those same skills to work while providing the voice of Groot in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise.

80 / 100
Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips Productions

#21. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Stacker score: 91.7
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 138 minutes

What began in the early 1970s as a political UFO thriller called "Project Blue Book" eventually became this family-friendly classic from Steven Spielberg. In the film, an ordinary man and his family play a central role in the first encounter between mankind and alienkind. Like so many early Spielberg works, this one permeates with a sense of wonder. Furthermore, it distinguishes itself from the common "alien invasion" trope by way of an optimistic outlook.

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81 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM),

#20. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

- Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Stacker score: 92.3
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 149 minutes

The year 2001 might have come and gone without any star children or monoliths, but this sci-fi masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick is nevertheless as visionary as it ever was. After opening with the evolution of mankind's apelike ancestors, the movie soars into space, following a small crew of astronauts on a secret mission to Jupiter… and beyond. Aboard the ship is an advanced computer system known as HAL, who begins to exhibit some troubling behavior as the mission progresses.

82 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

#19. Aliens (1986)

- Director: James Cameron
- Stacker score: 92.3
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 137 minutes

For this blockbuster sequel to 1979's "Alien," director James Cameron cranked up the dial in virtually every department, delivering a longer runtime, more action, and more aliens, including a big momma alien. Set 57 years after the original, the film finds Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) waking up on a salvage ship. Soon enough, her worst fears are realized, as she joins a team of marines on a trip to a moon she knows all too well, where acid-spewing creatures await.

 

83 / 100
Nibariki

#18. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Stacker score: 92.3
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 117 minutes

Acclaimed Japanese artist Hayao Miyazaki might be best known for works like "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke," but also worthy of note is this 1984 fantasy film, which incorporates ecological themes into Miyazaki's stunning visuals. It follows the adventures of a peace-loving warrior named Princess Nausicaä, who tries to stop two nations from battling one another before the planet itself gets destroyed. In the wake of its success, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, the production house behind his most iconic films.

84 / 100
Pandora Cinema

#17. Donnie Darko (2001)

- Director: Richard Kelly
- Stacker score: 92.8
- Metascore: 88
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 113 minutes

The ultimate modern day cult classic, "Donnie Darko" tells the story of a troubled teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) who narrowly escapes death, and proceeds to grapple with metaphysical phenomenon and a hallucinatory bunny. Thanks to the film's mind-bending premise, there are many theories as to what it all means. A subsequent director's cut provided more questions and frustrations than it did answers.

85 / 100
Lucasfilm

#16. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

- Director: Irvin Kershner
- Stacker score: 93.4
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 8.7
- Runtime: 124 minutes

For countless fans, this 1980 "Star Wars" installment is as good as the never-ending franchise gets. After seeing their precious Death Star destroyed, Darth Vader and the Imperialist Forces go on the hunt for Luke Skywalker and his rebel brethren. Meanwhile, Luke pays a visit to an ancient Jedi knight named Yoda, who helps him unlock the secrets of the Force. The action culminates with a reveal that's still making a formidable impression on new generations of viewers.

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86 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

#15. King Kong (1933)

- Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
- Stacker score: 93.4
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 100 minutes

Former army pilot Merian C. Cooper was living in New York City and working on a script treatment about gorillas when he looked up and saw a plane flying over a skyscraper. At that moment, the seed for "King Kong" was planted in his mind. Soon enough, Cooper was co-directing this 1933 classic about a giant ape who falls in love with a young actress and ultimately ends up terrorizing the Big Apple. Numerous remakes followed, none of which truly capture the magic of the original.

87 / 100
Universal Pictures

#14. Frankenstein (1931)

- Director: James Whale
- Stacker score: 93.4
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 70 minutes

Marking Boris Karloff's debut as Frankenstein's monster, this 1931 sci-fi horror movie brings Mary Shelley's classic tale to life in a timeless fashion. Karloff was such an obscure actor at the time there was a question mark in lieu of his name during the opening credits. Thanks to a subsequent horror boom in Hollywood, in part fueled by the success of "Frankenstein," Karloff rapidly became one of the industry's biggest stars. Needless to say, his days of being credited with a question mark were over.

88 / 100
Universal Pictures

#13. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Stacker score: 93.4
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 115 minutes

Quintessential viewing for children of all ages, this 1982 film chronicles the symbiotic relationship between a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) and his androgynous alien friend. Featured in the film is a scene so iconic it later became the logo for Steven Spielberg's production company, Amblin Entertainment. Of course, Elliott and E.T. soaring past the full moon is but one among countless memorable moments in this timeless classic.

89 / 100
Allied Artists Pictures

#12. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

- Director: Don Siegel
- Stacker score: 93.4
- Metascore: 92
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 80 minutes

This terrifying alien invasion movie was remade a handful of times, but most cinephiles think it's the original 1956 version that reigns supreme—though the 1978 version is likewise held in high regard. In the film, a small town doctor begins to suspect his friends and neighbors aren't who they seem. His worst nightmares are confirmed when he discovers that aliens are in fact replacing humans with drone-like doppelgangers. Released on the heels of McCarthyism, the film is commonly perceived as a thinly veiled warning against the spread of harmful ideologies.

90 / 100
Annapurna Pictures

#11. Her (2013)

- Director: Spike Jonze
- Stacker score: 93.9
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 126 minutes

This 2013 sci-fi dramedy might take place in the future, but in some ways its premise has already arrived. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, the film depicts a blossoming romance between Twombly and his sentient operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Against all conceivable odds, the two form a genuine romantic relationship, but can it last?

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91 / 100
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)

#10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

- Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
- Stacker score: 94.5
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 117 minutes

In this installment in the Spider-Man franchise, teen Miles Morales is bitten by a spider on the subway and turns into the one and only Spider-Man—or so he thinks until he meets Peter Parker and realizes there could be more than one Spidey. Miles fights the villainous Kingpin, whose secret weapon can pull different Spider-Men into our world from other universes. The film won an Oscar in 2019 for Best Animated Feature Film.

92 / 100
Mosfilm

#9. Solaris (1972)

- Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
- Stacker score: 94.5
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 167 minutes

On a space station orbiting a distant planet, a crew struggles with the return of repressed memories and wonders if it might have something to do with the mysterious ocean. This Russian film is based on the novel by Polish author Stanislaw Lem. American director Steven Soderbergh rebooted the film in 2002.

93 / 100
Warner Bros.

#8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

- Director: George Miller
- Stacker score: 94.5
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 120 minutes

Who knew that George Miller's original "Mad Max"—made for a mere $350,000—eventually paved the way for this $150 million epic? Starring Tom Hardy as the post-apocalyptic warrior and introducing Charlize Theron as his renegade counterpart Furiosa, the movie sends both heroes on a desert chase of epic proportion. Hot on their tail is a vicious warlord and his endless supply of pale-skinned minions.

94 / 100
Universal Pictures

#7. Back to the Future (1985)

- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Runtime: 116 minutes

In this truly timeless sci-fi comedy, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) journeys 30 years into the past by way of a souped up Delorean. Once there, he ends up romantically pursued by his teenage mother, thereby compromising his own existence. With help from Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), Marty works on getting his parents back together for the first time, and getting himself back to the future.

95 / 100
Focus Features

#6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

- Director: Michel Gondry
- Stacker score: 95
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 108 minutes

If headlines are to be believed, this surrealist film might one day soon be the stuff of science, minus the fiction. Directed by Michel Gondry from a Charlie Kaufman script, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" stars Jim Carrey as Joel Barish, a man who wishes he could erase ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) from his memory. As it turns out, there's a medical procedure that will do just that. Things only get weirder from there.

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96 / 100
Brandywine Productions

#5. Alien (1979)

- Director: Ridley Scott
- Stacker score: 95.6
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 117 minutes

Before battling scores of aliens in the 1986 sequel, Ripley took on just one in this 1979 original. It all starts when the crew of spaceship Nostromo picks up a deadly lifeform, which proceeds to wreak total havoc in the vein of an acid-spitting serial killer. A milestone in the horror sci-fi genre, the film features a stomach-churning historic scene.

97 / 100
Warner Bros.

#4. Gravity (2013)

- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Stacker score: 95.6
- Metascore: 96
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 91 minutes

Viewers flocked in droves to this 2013 3D space adventure, which sees two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) fighting for survival after their shuttle is destroyed. In preparation for her role, Bullock worked with Australian dancers, retraining her body "from the neck down, to react and move as though it's in Zero G." Alfonso Cuarón directed the film and co-wrote the script with his son, Jonas.

98 / 100
Lucasfilm

#3. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

- Director: George Lucas
- Stacker score: 97.2
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 121 minutes

Hollywood's endless space opera began in 1977 with this game-changing film from George Lucas, in which a young man named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) joins the rebels in their fight against Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces. Getting in on the fun are a range of characters who have since become immortalized via every conceivable outlet, including waffle makers. Sir Alec Guinness (who plays Obi Wan Kenobi) once referred to "Star Wars" as "fairy-tale rubbish." Millions upon millions of fans would beg to differ.

99 / 100
FortyFour Studios

#2. WALL·E (2008)

- Director: Andrew Stanton
- Stacker score: 98.9
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 98 minutes

Pixar's 2008 film finds the normally optimistic studio in a downright scathing mood. Specifically, it opens on a future Earth where the trash problem became so bad that humans took off. After wending its lonely way through piles of waste on Earth, a lovable robot named WALL·E finds a way onto a manned spaceship. At long last, viewers can see what humans have been up since destroying the planet—watching TV and eating, naturally.

100 / 100
Universum Film (UFA)

#1. Metropolis (1927)

- Director: Fritz Lang
- Stacker score: 100
- Metascore: 98
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 153 minutes

This early film tells the tale of a futuristic city with stark class divisions. At the heart of "Metropolis" is a love story between a have and a have-not and the prediction of a coming savior. New York City circa 1924 inspired the look of the city in the film, which went on to influence pop culture in many ways.

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