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Alien: If you haven't heard of this movie, then it's certainly time to pay attention because Alien is indisputably one of the most iconic science fiction films ever made. For the 2 percent of people who haven't seen Alien, prepare yourself for an irreplaceable story filled with dread, mystery, and intensity that’ll leave you gripping the edge of your seat hours after the film’s final shot. Alien chronicles the persistently unnerving story of a mining crew aboard the commercial starship “The Nostromo” who, after unexpectedly detouring to an extraterrestrial moon, must conjure the willpower and intelligence to fight off a powerful, stealthy alien that has surprisingly made its way onto the ship as well. As an unending, claustrophobic nightmare that doesn’t stop until you finally reach the film’s breathtaking conclusion, Alien is a film that any sci-fi or horror fan needs to see.
Edge of Tomorrow: Expected by many to simply be another throwaway sci-fi film about humans vs aliens, Edge of Tomorrow actually far exceeds most people’s initial negative assumptions. Following the story of a soldier, played by Tom Cruise, who, after a deadly encounter with an extraordinarily rare alien, receives the ability to restart his day every time he dies. While embarking on the seemingly impossible mission to destroy this invasive extraterrestrial species, he repeatedly finds and teams up with another soldier, wonderfully portrayed by Emily Blunt, in hopes of finally ending humanity’s desperate war with these deadly aliens. Filled with high-paced action, unforced humor, and some unexpectedly emotional moments, Edge of Tomorrow is undoubtedly a film you should see.
Children of Men: Presenting an intriguing post apocalyptic tale of desolation and despair, Children of Men is not only one of the best science fiction films I've ever seen but it’s also one of the best films I've ever seen regardless of genre. This well-executed masterpiece directed by Alfonso Cuaron, also known for his work on Gravity and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, follows the story of Theo, masterfully played by the always spectacular Clive Owen who lives in a world where humans are no longer fertile, leaving a population consisting solely of adults. After some persuasion from an old flame, Theo, despite his reluctance, desperately helps the world’s only pregnant woman get to safety while weaving through unyielding danger and facing some persistent threats in this well-acted, beautifully shot, and emotional tale of sorrow and hope.
Ex Machina: As one of the undisputed best science fiction films of the decade, Ex Machina presents a thought-provoking story guided by a trio of interesting characters played by their equally impressive actors in Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, and Domhnall Gleeson. Ex Machina details the intriguing story of a programmer named Caleb Smith who, after receiving an invitation from his company's CEO, skillfully portrayed by the talented Oscar Isaac, learns about his secret project with Artificial Intelligence and befriends an android named Ava as part of his job. Questions surrounding the nature of life, existence, consciousness, and morality arise throughout the film as well as some profound, and at times, devastating revelations, making this a must watch for any film fan, but sci-fi especially.
The Thing (1982): Being perhaps my favorite film on this list, director John Carpenter’s 1982 body horror classic The Thing will certainly leave you feeling a little unhinged, even hours after watching it for the constant and unending sense of hopelessness and desperation that permeates most of the film. 1982’s The Thing follows a team of researchers stationed in Antarctica who, after some dangerous encounters, discover a stealthy, shape shifting organism capable of perfectly and indistinguishably imitating any living creature. Of course, upon the unsettling realization that this creature has made its way into camp, chaos ensues as the team desperately tries to uncover the mysteries surrounding this alien before it kills them all. Filled with tense scenes, unexpected reveals, incredible acting, and some amazing practical effects, John Carpenter’s 1982 sci-fi horror classic The Thing is certainly worth the watch.