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Now You're Thinking with Portals: Our 10 Favorite World-Hopping Movies

The film that launched a surprisingly robust science-fiction franchise, Roland Emmerich's Stargate spends so much time building up to what might be beyond its titular space portal that it's almost a letdown when it turns out to be an endless desert ruled by a Chariots of the Gods-style alien overlord.

Despite the familiarity of the concept, the original Stargate still stands out as one of Emmerich's better efforts. It's a two-fisted pulp action flick initially masquerading as hard sci-fi – one that comes alive when it finally sheds its more dour trappings and goes for broke in its final act. Though the planet beyond the Stargate may not be as enthralling as first advertised, the adventure found there is more than enough to make up for it.

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