12 sci-fi movies you should see this holiday

Ex-Machina-Download-Wallpapers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

“Wonderful time” being Christmas, and the year being 2016. It hasn’t been a great year, but it has been a quick one, and for that I am grateful. I think the best word that describes this year is “2016” (you have no idea how much I love that Slate made that the word of the year…quite very meta).

Just how 2016 has 2016 been? Personally, not that much, but globally, it’s been a bit of a shitfest. I’m not going to bore you with how my year went, but I’m somehow hoping this will be me come New Year’s.

Metropolis (1927)

To “celebrate” the last working week of the year, we came up with a list of science-themed (or is it tech-themed?) movies we think you’d enjoy over the break. I know you’re probably expecting (or even seen at this point) Rogue One, Passengers, and Assassin’s Creed; and you’ve probably seen Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond, and Independence Day: Resurgence.

So we’re going to skip movies that came out this year, and focus on some movies that came out in the 2010s (with a few exceptions). Why? Because what’s the holiday without some good old nostalgia?

FYI – It was quite (very) difficult to whittle my list to just 13, so forgive me if this post has more movies than you’re expecting (it does).

 

1. Source Code (2011)

Of time loops and science fiction movies. Source Code is about an army pilot who has to live the last 8 minutes of a train explosion over and over again in order to find out who the bomber is. Jake Gyllenhaal is a great actor, and you can see it here.

 

2. Serenity (2005)

This is a post-apocalyptic movie that’s the spinoff/conclusion of Joss Whedon’s TV Show, Firefly. Serenity is about badass psychic assassin/science experiment, River Tam and her brother who are on the run from “The Alliance.” It’s got space ships, planets, awesome fight scenes, and of course, Chiwetel Ejiofor.

 

3. Real Steel (2011)

A futuristic sports film, if there ever was one. It’s like SouthPaw (or is it the other way around?), but with robots. Hugh Jackman’s here, and boy, does he deliver.

 

4. Pacific Rim (2013)

It’s the future, and mankind has to protect itself from some monsters (kaiju) that come from deep in the Pacific. This is another great sci-fi movie that features fighting robots. There’s ultimate, forever bad guy, Ron Perlman, there’s Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi (47 Ronin), and Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men) who plays the lead character.

 

5. Children of Men (2006)

Year 2027, and mankind is facing extinction as all women have been infertile for 18 years. Children of Men is about the “fight” to protect the only pregnant woman in the world. Apart from the fact that this movie has one of the greatest one-shot scenes ever, it stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Michael Caine.

 

6. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Okay, this movie has a bit of romcom in it (lol at “a bit”), but it’s about time travel and all mushy feel-good stuff that people like to watch during the holidays. Who’s in it? The dude from New Girl and the chick from Parks and Rec. Who directed it? The guy who did Jurassic World.

 

7. The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)

What happens when Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron and Rand Ravich come together? Okay, it was a box office bomb, but I enjoyed this movie because Johnny Depp. It’s about an astronaut that has a near-death experience in space, and returns…different. If you like movies about aliens inhabiting bodies, this is for you.

 

8. Moon (2009)

Starring Sam Rockwell as astronaut Sam Bell, and Kevin Spacey as the voice of robot GERTY, Moon tells the story of Sam who’s been alone on the moon for 3 years and is nearing the end of his contract. Of course there’s a plot twist. That’s why it’s on this list.

 

9. Attack the Block (2011)

Before Stars Wars, John Boyega featured in this British sci-fi comedy (I’m putting comedy on this list for those of us who like our laughs). Attack the Block is about about an alien invasion in a neighbourhood in London. If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead and liked it, you’ll like this one. However, if you don’t like comedy, you can pretend this whole paragraph is about District 9, and watch that instead.

 

10. The Martian (2015)

Another movie about an astronaut who has to spend some alone time in outer space. This time, it’s Mars, and it’s by accident. The Martian stars Matt Damon as Mark Watney who’s stuck on Mars and has to figure out how to survive until he’s rescued. The movie is fun and the dialogue’s witty. Oh, and Childish Gambino’s here. Chiwetel Ejiofor, too (I promise, I’m not putting all his movies here on purpose).

 

11. Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina is just brilliant, fantastic, and all the great superlatives you can think of. It’s about what? AI and the Turing test? Robots and a mind fuck? Anyway, it’s brilliant and you should watch it (again). Who’s in it? Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander.

 

12. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

“On your feet, maggot!”

Another time loop movie on the list. Featuring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow is about a soldier stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, who has the misfortune to live a day over and over again. Brightside, he gets to save the world from aliens. I found this movie really fun (funny too, but more fun) and here, Tom Cruise does what he does best – run.

 

Honourable Mentions

  1. The Fifth Element (1997)
  2. Her (2013)
  3. Dreamcatcher (2003)
  4. Pitch Black (2000)
  5. Mr Nobody (2009)
  6. Looper (2012)
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)