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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

Science fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres, no matter what the medium is. Here are some movies that remind me about my love for science fiction and that fuel my passion for the genre. Do these films make it on your list of top science fiction movies?

Westworld (1973)

Westworld, which you might recognize from the current HBO hit series, is a 1973 film from Michael Crichton that explores human fantasies played out by theme parks with extremely realistic robots. Westworld is great because it is both fun and damning to the future, which creates a great balance of moods that some science fiction films don’t have. It’s curious yet forewarning, which makes it all the more interesting now that robots could be only a short time away.

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is an adaptation of Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and stands out as Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic. What makes Blade Runner so great is the way that it was able to adapt its deeply complex source into something that still works in a more focused way. The visuals in Blade Runner are also stunning, which adds to the reasons why it stands out in the science fiction genre.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey is probably one of the most critically and culturally acclaimed science fiction films, while also being my favorite. It’s visually stunning, emotionally jarring, and still relevant to the concerns we have about technology today. 2001: A Space Odyssey seems simple on the outside, but the lore has always dragged me back to the movie every single time.

The Martian (2015)

If you’re looking for a more realistic, funny science fiction movie, The Martian is your perfect fit. The Martian is not so abstract like some of the other movies on this list and it is hilarious as well. It focuses on astronaut Mark Watney, who has been stranded on Mars and faces the odds to try and survive. What makes The Martian so memorable is it’s lighthearted tone compared to the dark, foreboding tone that many science fiction films have.

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

A Scanner Darkly is a trippy watch if you’re up for that. It’s rotoscoped, which means that it’s been traced by animators after filming to make it look animated. Also based on a Philip K Dick novel, this movie perfectly tries to keep Dick’s original intentions while creating a trippy experience overall.

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Written by Twilight Zone master Rod Serling, Planet of The Apes is an interesting look at a world in which humans are under the rule of ape like creatures. This movie offers a trippy, futuristic tale that also has an amazing plot twist. Planet of the Apes is a total classic and should definitely be added to your list.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is probably my second favorite sci-fi movie. It’s an emotional and mind bending journey that is sure to blow your mind and pull on your heart strings. The visuals are so stunning as well, which really pulls the movie together. Interstellar is a modern classic that will hopefully be remembered throughout the ages like the older films on this list.

Gattaca (1997)

With genetic technology on the rise, Gattaca poses an interesting look at how genetic technology could affect us in the future in a dystopian sort of way. With all of the concerns that genetic engineering has brought up, Gattaca will make you think twice about how we interact with our genetics and DNA.

Highlander (1986)

Highlander might fall more under the category of fantasy, but it’s still an interesting watch about immortality. It’s a hidden gem from the 80’s and it’s decked out with a soundtrack from Queen. Also, if you’re looking for a tribute for Sean Connery, this would contrast well with the Bond flicks. 

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is one of the most classic and mainstream movies from this genre. It perfectly blends action together with futuristic robots to create the perfect adventure. I had watched this one recently since being a kid and was surprised how well it held up as a great movie all around.

Gillian Anderson is a journalism major at Emerson College. She's interested in film and loves writing about movies. Gillian's favorite movie is Good Will Hunting and her favorite director is Quentin Tarantino.
Emerson contributor