Sci Fi

10 Most Underrated Sci-Fi Motion pictures

The science fiction genre is responsible for some of the most influential films in history, from the 1927 German film Metropolis to Ridley Scott’s Alien in 1979, and in more recent years, films like Neil Blomkamp’s District 9. Yet, for every sci-fi film that blows away the audience, leaving an impression on them, some didn’t quite have the same impact.

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While many middling films are expected to be quickly forgotten, many underrated science fiction films deserve more than they got. Underrated can relate to several different elements. Underrated films can mean a great film losing money at the box office or a poorly received film that, through the lens of time, has become more appreciated.

10/10 Slither Showcases James Gunn’s Talent Before Guardians Of The Galaxy

While writer/director James Gunn has become known for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, he got his start on lower-budget horror and comedy films. One of the best of Gunn’s early work is the horror, sci-fi, comedy hybrid, Slither. The film focuses on a town infected by an alien parasite. The movie stars Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, and frequent Gunn collaborator Michael Rooker.

Gunn’s signature filmmaking can be found in Slither. The comedy, horror, and science fiction elements are balanced perfectly. Fillion rounds an impressive cast of well-rounded and relatable characters. While Gunn’s superhero flicks will always overshadow Slither, it’s a great film that shows Gunn’s knack for directing and character work.

9/10 Tron: Legacy Is One Of Disney’s Only Live-Action Films That Took Cult Classic Status

TRON Legacy Recoginzer

Following the end of Disney’s box office juggernaut Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Disney quickly found other properties to turn into big blockbuster franchises. One of those attempts was Tron: Legacy, a sequel to a forgettable and long-forgotten movie about a virtual reality called The Grid. Despite a mediocre 2010 release, the film has recently garnered a significant cult following.

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The movie takes place years after the first movie’s events, focusing on Sam Flynn (played by Garrett Hedlund), son of Kevin Flynn (played again by Jeff Bridges), as he travels into The Grid to search for his father. Tron: Legacy has many great aspects, from fantastic special effects, the razor-sharp directing of Joesph Kosinski, and Daft Punk’s incredible soundtrack.

8/10 Ad Astra Is Led By A Great Brad Pitt Performance And Breathtaking Visuals

Brad Pitt Ad Astra

Throughout his illustrious career, actor Brad Pitt has been in various movies with vastly different genres. Yet, science fiction is remarkably sparse in his filmography. Despite being nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the 1996 sci-fi cult classic Twelve Monkeys, it took 25 years for Pitt to appear in another actual sci-fi film.

2019 saw the release of Ad Astra, the story of Roy McBride, an astronaut who travels across the solar system to learn the truth about his missing father. While Ad Astra was relatively well received critically, it failed to impact the box office much. Regardless, Ad Astra is a visually stunning film led by excellent direction from James Gray and another powerhouse performance from Brad Pitt.

7/10 Overlord Is An Absolute Blast That Blends Genres

Overlord Sack Scene

2018 was quite the year for science fiction and action films. While releases like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Avengers: Infinity War, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and A Quiet Place were massive hits, other films had more challenging times making a splash. One of those films was Overlord, which focused on American soldiers uncovering a mystery Nazi operation during World War 2.

Initially, Overlord was supposed to be another entry in JJ Abrams’s Cloverfield universe. However, after the failure of The Cloverfield Paradox, Overlord was released as a stand-alone flick. Ultimately, this was to the film’s benefit. Overlord instantly stood out for its blend of sci-fi, action, and horror, held up by an excellent script, great direction, and likable characters.

6/10 Dark City Was An Overlooked Science Fiction Classic With A One Of Kind World

Dark City Cross Scene

It’s rare for a director to release one cult classic movie, let alone two back-to-back. Yet that’s the position writer/director Alex Proyas found himself in. After releasing The Crow in 1994 to moderate success, he followed it up in 1998 with Dark City. Focusing on John Murdoch (played by Rufus Swell) as he tries to recover his memories, Dark City takes audiences to a world full of mystery.

The bending science fiction story and setting have since become influential to many sci-fi stories that came after. Swell is supported by an excellent cast, including Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, and Donald Sutherland. While it might sting that Dark City wasn’t a huge hit, it is now regarded as one of the excellent sci-fi cult classics.

5/10 A Scanner Darkly Remains A Mind-Bending Flick By Mastermind Richard Linklater

A Scanner Darkly Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr

Few can claim to have a unique filmography as director Richard Linklater. The five-time Oscar nominee has made everything from romance to comedy to thriller, but his 2010 overlooked gem A Scanner Darkly might be the best of them all. The movie had an all-star cast, including Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Robert Downey Jr.,

A Scanner Darkly focuses on Reeve’s Bob Arctor, an undercover cop who begins to lose his identity after taking a new drug. Filmed with animation rotoscoped over the movie, A Scanner Darkly was a critical darling among critics that failed to make a profit upon release. Regardless much like Linklater’s other work, A Scanner Darkly is a breathtaking movie that has to be seen by all.

4/10 Starship Troopers Became One Of The Most Misunderstood Yet Genius Sci-fi Films

Starship Troopers Super Bug

Based on the 1959 novel by Robert A. Heinlein, the Paul Verhoeven-directed Starship Troopers focuses on teenager Johnny Rico (played by Casper Van Dien) as he and his classmates join the war against alien bug monsters known as the Arachnids. Upon its release, Starship Troopers was met with negative reviews by critics who believed the film was pro-fascism. This resulted in the film failing at the box office.

However, in recent years audiences have recognized the brilliant ways Starship Troopers satirizes fascism and authoritarian governance, something critics didn’t recognize back then due to the film being marketed as mostly an action flick. Because of the retrospective look at the film’s writing, Starship Troopers has become a famous science fiction cult classic.

3/10 Starman Is The John Carpenters’ Best Movie That Not Enough People Talk About

Starman Light Scene

John Carpenter has become synonymous with some of the most iconic horror and sci-fi films. From Michael Myer’s Halloween to the groundbreaking The Thing, the Kurt Russell lead Escape From New York, and the always culturally relevant They Live, few directors have impacted the film industry quite like Carpenter.

Yet, in one of his best films, Starman isn’t always put in the same conversation as his other work when it absolutely should be. Telling the story of an alien (played by Jeff Bridges) coming to earth and bonding with recent widow Jenny Hayden is a heartfelt movie from start to finish. In contrast, it lacks the scares or gore of Carpenters’ more iconic work, Starman more than makes up for it with emotional storytelling.

2/10 Sunshine Is A Beautiful Yet Haunting Movie That Deserves The Spotlight

Sunshine Screenshot

Nothing screams science fiction quite like a mission into space. In Sunshine, a group of astronauts travels to reignite the dying sun with a stellar bomb. With Danny Boyle directing, Alex Garland writing the script, and a great cast including Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, and Chris Evans, everything pointed in the direction of a big success. Yet much like the sun in the film, Sunshine was met with a generally lukewarm positive reception and middle-of-the-road box office numbers.

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Like other films that failed to make an impact financially, Sunshine suffered from a marketing campaign that tried to pass the film off as a high-octane space adventure. In reality, Sunshine is a thought-provoking and intense psychological thriller masterfully presented in nearly every filmmaking element.

1/10 Blade Runner 2049 Remains A Sci-Fi Masterpiece From A Directing Legend

Blade Runner 2049 K and Joi

The long-awaited sequel to the iconic Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, is widely regarded as one of the most tragic box office disappointments in history. The quest of K (played by Ryan Gosling) as he tracks down Deckard Shaw (played again by Harrison Ford) was well received by critics but failed to impress audiences.

Despite the disappointing numbers, Blade Runner 2049 is considered a bona fide sci-fi classic. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (the director behind Dune, Prisoners, and Sicario), the movie is a visual feast for the eyes boasting some of the best cinematography in film history, a gripping story, fantastic acting, and a masterful score. Blade Runner 2049 is a must-watch for anyone who considers themselves a science fiction fan.

NEXT: 10 Best Foreign-Language Sci-Fi Movies

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