Science fiction films hold a strange fascination with audiences and have done so since the early days of film-making. The stories can take a glimpse at a possible future of our society, or even explore the impossible in a way that feels somewhat grounded. It is an incredibly versatile genre which has spawned some of the greatest and most popular movies of all time.
IMDB's list of the top rated science fiction films is a great representation of how expansive the genre can be. It includes smaller, more personal stories while also including some of the biggest movies of all time. Explore the great works of the genre with the best science fiction movies ever, according to IMDB.
10 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The Terminator franchise remains one of the most recognizable series in science fiction. With robots and time travel, it is one of those series that seems to encompass the most crowd-pleasing elements of the genre. Terminator 2: Judgement Day picked up after the original and created one of the most unique sequels of all time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the T-800, now reprogrammed and sent back in time by the humans to save a young John Conner from a more advanced Terminator. The special effects are cutting edge, the action is pulse-pounding and there is an element of fun that the first film didn't have. It's a rare sequel that improved on its predecessor.
9 The Prestige
Christopher Nolan is a very popular film-maker with IMDB users, as this list will prove. One of his lesser-acknowledged films even managed to crack the top 10 list of science fiction films, even though it's not a movie you would automatically categorize as sci-fi.
The Prestige is a period drama about two competing magicians, played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, who each go to dark extremes to top the other in their craft. The film is mainly a mystery, but some unmistakable science fiction elements come into play at the compelling story grows deeper.
8 Avengers: Infinity War
The MCU has dabbled in many different genres with their movies and Avengers: Infinity War is their crack at a world-ending science fiction epic. The movie is the Marvel heroes' first face-off with Thanos, a villain who has been teased in the MCU for years. With the heroes scattered, they must fight to keep Thanos from collecting all the Infinity Stones and carrying out his terrible plan.
The movie is the biggest thing the MCU had done to date and it felt a monumental cinematic experience. The MCU managed to create its most interesting villain and leave fans shocked, heartbroken and dying to know what happens next.
7 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the fourth Spider-Man franchise to hit the big screen in less than 20 years. Though that might seem like overkill, this one managed to be regarded as the best of the bunch. The animated film focuses on Miles Morales, who gains the amazing spider powers and realizes he's not the only one.
The movie has an enormous amount of fun playing around with the different versions of Spidey, the classic villains and Miles being the new hero. It is also funny, sweet and looks unlike any animated movie you're likely to see anywhere else.
6 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
It's no surprise that the film that launched one of the most beloved properties in the world makes this list. George Lucas took inspiration from such things as samurai movies, Westerns, medieval legends, and combined them all together to create a space opera. That could have easily been a disaster, but clearly, it was a resounding success.
A New Hope will forever be beloved for introducing audiences to this world and these characters we have been watching for decades. It is an exciting and entertaining ride, no matter when you discovered it for the first time.
Nolan's second film on this list is also one of his films that most divided critics. However, Interstellar clearly has a lot of fans who hold it in high regard. The movie is set in the not-too-distant future, where society is nearing its end and a team of astronauts must venture through a black hole to find a new home.
The film is far more than a simple space adventure, although those elements of the story are very entertaining. It also introduced a lot of complex and fascinating questions about space and time. Even with all these heavy ideas and absurd visuals, the film manages to find some truly effective emotional moments that drive the story.
4 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
While A New Hope introduced the world of Star Wars to us, The Empire Strikes Back dug deeper and changed what we thought we knew. With the Empire and Darth Vader closing in, Luke, Han and Leia attempt to lead the Rebellion in its darkest hour.
Along with giving the established characters more depth, the film introduces such beloved new characters as Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian and Yoda. It is a movie that takes chances and goes to interesting places, while still having fun. And, of course, it has one of the most famous plot twists in movie history.
3 The Matrix
The Matrix is one of the most inventive and unique movies of all time. From the brilliant mind of the Wachowskis, the movie stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, an aimless computer hacker who is exposed to the reality that the world we know is a computer simulation controlled by machines. This sets him on his quest to become the savior of humanity.
This film is a perfect example of how science fiction can allow you to do anything. From the visuals, to the ideas, to the action -- it's all unique and wonderful. It is a highly entertaining thrill ride that is also extremely smart and well-crafted.
2 Avengers: Endgame
The 22-film saga of the MCU had all been leading up to Avengers: Endgame. The movie was the conclusion to the shocking story of Infinity War, but also the climax of the Infinity Saga. The movie deals with the remaining heroes coping with Thanos' actions and searching for a way to undo them.
The film manages to be extremely emotional as it shows heroes who have been horribly defeated. Yet, the movie also maintains the fun and exciting tone that has served the MCU so well thus far. It is the perfect conclusion to the massive story to date, and a great way to set up what's to come.
Christopher Nolan manages to pull off a hat-trick on this list and nab the top spot with his mind-bending action film. Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a thief who enters people's dreams and steals their ideas. However, in his latest mission, he is asked to implant an idea that wasn't there before, which could allow him to return to the life he once had.
The movie is a testament to both Nolan's unbelievable creativity and his brilliance as a film-maker. The action and adventure of the movie use the unique premise to its full potential. It is a complex, thrilling and stunning movie which cemented Nolan as one of the great modern film-makers.