Nasa / Space

Peer seeks science-fiction movie recommendations

TechRepublic member jardinier is looking for science-fiction movie recommendations. Check out some of the film suggestions he's already received and then add your picks to the list.

TechRepublic member jardinier is looking for science-fiction movie recommendations. For more details, read jardinier's discussion post:

I know that this has been done to death in the past, but I am facing a dilemma in that some recently released movies ("Moon" for example) which received rave reviews was totally boring and at the end of it I was not even sure of the plot (theme).

So I am looking for older movies that have been tried and proven.

Obviously not all recent releases are bombs. Avatar was awesome. But the online reviews I read rarely coincide with my idea of a good Sc-Fi movie.

All recommendations, with reasons, will be gratefully received.

The member also notes that Forbidden Planet, The Forbin Project, and Logan's Run are movies he likes.

Since jardinier posted this question in January, a number of members have offered their sci-fi movie recommendations. Here are some of the suggestions to date:

What science-fiction films do you think this member should check out? Please post your recommendations in the discussion.

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Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

142 comments
lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

Here is a list of some of my favourite/recommended shows. Movies Forbidden Planet (1956) An all-time classic. Quatermass and the Pit (a.k.a. Five Million Years to Earth) (1967) Creepy. Barbarella (1968) Campy (starring a young semi-clad Jane Fonda. Anita Pallenberg was hot as The Great Tyrant). The Planet of the Apes (the original) (1968) The final scene is a cinema classic. A Clockwork Orange (1971) Westworld (1973) Probably Crichton's best movie. Alien (1979) Creepy. My favourite of the series. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) My favourite Star Wars movie. Heavy Metal (1981) The Thing (1982) Creepy. How did they create the effects for this in 1982? Blade Runner (1982) Repo Man (1984) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) A "laugh-fest". Re-Animator (1985) I was rotflmao at the scientists vs the cat scene. The Return of the Living Dead (1985) Another "laugh-fest". Predator (1987) Prince Of Darkness (1987) Darkman (1990) Hardware (1990) Tremors (1990) The Fifth Element (1997) Dark City (1998) The Faculty (1998) eXistenZ (1999) Donnie Darko (2001) V for Vendetta (2005) TV Series ST - TOS Blake's Seven My favourite TV SciFi series. Captain Scarlet Lexx Campy & offbeat. Red Dwarf My favourite TV SciFi comedy series. The Omega Factor Creepy. Thunderbirds UFO I love the Moonbase girls.

valley-media
valley-media

No one has mentioned The Lathe of Heaven (the 1980 PBS version...not the remake). From the Ursula K. Le Guin novel about George Orr (Bruce Davison) whose dreams can change reality and his court appointed Dr. Haber (Kevin Conway) who tries to take control of George's power. Not a high budget film but very well acted and thought provoking. Also for those who like time travel movies, a guilty pleasure could be Time after Time with Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen. H.G. Wells (McDowell) is, unknowingly, friends with Jack the Ripper (David Warner). The Ripper steals his time machine and escapes to the future. The ever-honorable H.G. must bring him back to justice.

nojo
nojo

D.A.R.Y.L. and Dreamscape.

suzannebraun
suzannebraun

The Fourth Kind. Just saw it. Freaked me out.

darije.djokic
darije.djokic

The SOLARIS spelling is the correct one. The funny confusion might have happened when somebody tried to reverse-engineer the Russian language and the way it is written and spoken. Most Slavic languages have a very firm rule with almost no exceptions: one grapheme - one phoneme, meaning that each letter has only one way it is pronounced and it sounds the same irrespectively of where in the word it is set. But, Russian is not such a language - similarly to English (and some other European ones like the Italian and the German) a same letter might sound differently depending on other letters flanking it. An example: the capital of Russia in Russian is written MOSKVA (here using latinic characters); while most other languages pronounce it with the accent on the O that is generally uttered as an O, the Russians pronounce it as if it were written MASKVA with the accent on the last A, although the O may still be an O in other words. So SOLARIS may well be pronounced as if it were written SOLYARIS but the correct spelling is still SOLARIS.

rsbrux
rsbrux

Hard to find any more really outstanding ones after the exhaustive listing above, but here are some "B" movies I enjoyed, which I didn't see mentioned: The Omega Man Critters Tank Girl The Running Man The 6th Day Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

darije.djokic
darije.djokic

--- but others, even if good movies or just fun to watch, are questionable as deserving the SF appellative. And if the jardiner did not think MOON is a good true hard SF I am afraid he has the notion of SF as a rather vague one; or just what makes a good movie. Anyhow, either I missed it in the flood or nobody is as old as I am: here are two more b/w oldies: THE THING (original) and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN).

ragskl
ragskl

Sapphire & Steel - excellent British sci-fi series about a male & female time-warp busting agents. Captain Scarlet - puppet-animation series about space agent that becomes immortal after a moon accident. Thunderbirds - puppet-animation about disaster-saving agents using super-cool planes/rockets/sub/car etc. The Ark - series about space ark carrying multiple cultures in pods on collision course with unchartered sun. Lexx - really nice sometimes funny and way cool scifi about organic starship manned by escaped convict and crew consisting of a horny robot head lusting for a sexy half-reptilian babe who's in love with a non-living humanoid.

homedoc21k
homedoc21k

Man Facing Southeast Contact Solaris Pi Mission to Mars 2010

john.lovrinic
john.lovrinic

As much (or more) horror as Science Fiction but a great popcorn movie. Great blend of both. I never get tired of this one. Not an A movie but better than B grade. Great acting (as always from the brits - with one exception), but not for the kids. Lots of action, well paced.

flexnfx1
flexnfx1

This is big-budget cheestastic, 80's awesomeness....

rbaruch
rbaruch

"Them". The original "Thing".

ddocean
ddocean

These are fringe SF, but didn't see them listed: - Tremors (seen about 20 times and still LOL) - Iron Man (best of the comic book movies) - Donnie Darko (mind games) - Flight of the Navigator (Disney film but fun)

brasspounder.wk
brasspounder.wk

I think they should make a series to reflect the New World Order trend we're in. It could start with Nineteen Eighty Four to cover Big Brother, then Fahrenheit 451 to show the banning of books and the rewriting of history, and finish off with Soylent Green to show the cumulative conditions and particularly the method of end-of-life termination, a beautiful way to go, and even the solution to the food crisis. Socialism at its best.

K7AAY
K7AAY

Three two-hour segments, excellent writing, decent production budget. Also, for B-movie fare, THEY LIVE.

htmapes
htmapes

Many old films. You might want to include some of the biologicals as well -- Island of Dr Moreau, Andromeda Strain, Outbreak, The Fly, and so on.

blackepyon01
blackepyon01

Shirow Masamune's "Ghost in the Shell." Availble in manga, 2 movies, 2 anime seasons, 1 OVA, even a PS2 game. Worth checking out.

Conanb
Conanb

Plot idea: A space trip using robot to fertilize, give birth and raise human beings to colonize a distant planet after a voyage that lasts hundreds of years.

Stafoosh
Stafoosh

The Quiet Earth War of the Worlds-Gene Kelly Invaders from Mars-'50s Time Machine Crossworld-Rutger Hauer SciFi/Fantasy A great B movie

celphick
celphick

From a 71 year old: A shortened list retaining some just for the adventure 1984 20000 Leagues Under the Sea 2001: A Space Odyssey A Clockwork Orange Alien Aliens Apollo 13 (not fiction but, ...) Avatar Close Encounters of the Third Kind Contact Destination Moon Dune Enemy Mine Escape from New York Fahrenheit 451 Forbidden Planet Galaxy Quest Independence Day Jurassic Park Mad Max Planet of the Apes Predator Quatermass and the Pit RoboCop Soldier Soylent Green Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Stargate Starship Troopers Star Wars (the original) Space Cowboys The Abyss The Day of the Triffids The Andromeda Strain The Day the Earth Stood Still The Invisible Man The Last Starfighter The Terminator The Thing from Another World This Island Earth Timeline Total Recall Tron War of the Worlds Westworld

midgarddragon
midgarddragon

This guy just called Moon boring. He doesn't deserve to be recommended anything other than repeats of something he'll probably be entertained by: Space Chimps.

aeiyor
aeiyor

There's a lot of Science Fiction movies out there after spending some of my time trying to recall. Thanks to others who posted that helped to jog my memory. Here's my listing to share.. it's not the end all as I am sure I can think of MANY others but its a good start to what's been added already. Happy Viewing.... Alien Resurrection ---- I liked the idea of the genetic manipulation Scanners ---- Telepathic warfare - brain blowing up. Matrix ---- a Landmark special effects movie with a great story as well. Independence Day ---- Super Special Effects - THX -- Rocky Horror Picture Show ---- Cult classic more comedy but great mix. Minority Report ---- interesting speculation on the future of fighting crime. Dune ---- Sorry but I really liked the original uncut version. Not all movies can match the book and in some ways it takes a life of its own. Total Recall ---- Great take off with blending virtual reality with reality. Dreamscape ---- technology in enhancing psychics into powerful Lucid Dreamers. The Thing ---- great alien invading Earth movie. Invasion of the Body Snatchers --- great alien plant invading Earth movie. Pitch Black ---- humans on alien planet being attacked by night dwelling aliens. The One ---- futurisitic Time travelling / Parallel reality movie Time Bandits ---- Unique interplay of time travelling and Creator vs Destroyer. StarGate ---- Folks unearth an ancient gate that opens to other worlds. Fifth Element ---- Like this as well, concept of aliens engaging humans to defeat evil with the ancient 5 elements. Galaxy Quest ---- great parody on Star Trek.. very nice. Lawnmower Man ---- Exploration on Virtual reality gone haywire. He Man and the Masters of the Universe ---- interesting depiction from the cartoon series. Transformers ---- have always been a fan of the Transformers -- robots that change into various vehicles, devices and common-every-day items. Dark City ---- Fantastic movie dealing with reality altering aliens. Space Balls ----- Spoof on Star Wars.. Meet the Robinson ----- Animation, time travel, inventions. Back to the Future ----- I liked just the first one, time travel in a Delorian (which is no longer made). The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension ---- campy, but interesting science fiction. K-Pax ---- alien consciousness take over of someone who is insane.. X-Men ---- one of my favorite comic book series that did a fairly good carry over to the movies. Terminator ---- I like the first 3... then it starts loosing the concept. Abyss ---- Interesting alien encounter from the ocean depths. Millenium ---- interesting take on airplane crashes and time travel Twelve Monkeys ---- intersting spin on the future after a virus and people trying to correct it through time travel. The Last Star Fighter ---- video game enthusiast finds out actual combat in space. Star Wars ---- one of the landmark movies of Science Fiction -- Alien Race warfare 2001 Space Odyssey ---- interesting interaction between man and machine and space. Wall-E ---- great animation- robot care taking of planet Earth when it was deserted by humans. War Games ---- Shall we play a game -- computer and Nuclear warfare gone haywire. E.T. ---- Alien interaction with kids and trying to get the Alien back home. Star Trek ---- pretty much all of them are great.. I like the Voyage Home - whales and time travel. Starship troopers ---- interesting idea of how military / citizenship takes course in a possible future with Earth vs. Alien Insects. Lost in Space ---- interesting movie rendition of the TV Series.. The Time Machine ---- Classic Science Fiction Time Travelling to change the future. The Philadelphia Experiment ---- great movie - interesting things on time travel and military experiments. Journey to the center of the Earth ---- previous version not the remake -- very intriguing concepts of what lies within the planet. LifeForce ---- Space Alien Vampires -- wreak havok on Planet Earth. Godzilla ---- one of my childhood favorite monsters -- radioactivity alters a creature to turn it into a dinosaur + dragon. Mimic ----- Special drugs help fend of contagious disease but alters cockroaches to become our nemesis. Eagle Eye ---- Computer System begins wreaking havok in peoples live to strategically place power accordingly. Electric Dreams ---- more of a romantic comedy but has elements of science fiction -- computer comes to life and tries to rule over a guy and his dating a girl in his same apartment complex.

Bob Blahblah
Bob Blahblah

It came from outer space, both versions of invasion of the body snatchers, on the beach, all three creature from the black lagoon films, the monolith monsters, kronos, the incredible shrinking man, Quatermass and the pitt (a.k.a. 5 million years to earth), omega man, the amazing colossal man, both seasons of the original outer limits, firefly(series), Dr. Who (tv and movies), It the terror from beyond space, the thing from another world, super argo and the faceless giants, planet of the vampires, the invaders(series, 2 seasons), V(tv series), sleeper (woody allen movie), chosen survivors, goliath awaits (tv mini series), what waits below (tv movie), the time travelers, inner space, black hole, the quiet earth, lost in space (movie), u.f.o. (british tv series), district 9, space 1999 tv series, time tunnel tv series, island of terror, 20,000 leagues under the sea, mysterious island, destination moon, king of the rocket men ( 1940,s serial), life force, no escape, star wars-the clone wars (movie and tv series), any thing star trek and star wars for that matter, the love war, the puppet masters, tron, thuderbirds, this island earth, watchmen, the boys from brazil, westworld, trilogy of terror (tv movie), robinson crusoe on mars just to name a few.

thamadgreek
thamadgreek

Almost forgot this one too. The Lawnmower Man

thamadgreek
thamadgreek

What about Johnny Mnemonic Max Headroom These are real interesting ones.

rsflea
rsflea

Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Haunting was HOT

azbat
azbat

I agree with the "A scanner darkly", odd but great movie ...... there is also the creepy sci-fi movie called Dark City that starred some more notable actors as well .... like Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and Richard O'Brien ... once you've seen that, the Matrix doesn't look so creepy .....

adams.michaelj
adams.michaelj

Has anyone suggested these? Time Bandits; WOW what an undisovered classic. Who can forget David Bowe in Labyrinth.

winston.hunt
winston.hunt

Hey what about Planet of the Apes orginal.

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

Forget the overblown, overwrought, under-thought sequels. The Terminator - Again the sequels can be skipped. 2001 - A Space Odyssey

rsbrux
rsbrux

The Lathe of Heaven remains one of my favorite books, which makes it hard for any film to do it justice in my eyes!

vucliriel
vucliriel

Ah!!! I have the theme song as my cell phone ring :) "Captain Scarlet, Captain Scarlet, In-des-tructible, Captain Scarlet." BTW, you should have said "filmed in Supermarionation" instead of "puppet animation" :)

vucliriel
vucliriel

... Makes me want to look up "Man Facing Southeast", never heard of that one before...

vucliriel
vucliriel

Loved the original Tarkovsky take on Lem's book, and after watching Solaris (the latest version), I have come to like it as well, but the original goes much deeper, IMO. The only thing I disliked about the original was the Tokyo driving scene... Never could figure out its place in the story...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

although usually with a limited number of humans assisting the robots / computers. Google the term 'Generation ship', or start with Heinlein's 'Tunnel in the Sky'. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama' includes a g-ship with programmed non-autonomous robots as it's only active crew. There have been rumors of a 'Rama' movie for at least a decade.

Bapizoid
Bapizoid

They Live : Disturbing concept but a great movie!

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Yup. Good choice. Egyption gods are really alien parasites. And I do like [i]Independence Day[/i], too. It has some fine moments. Funny, punny, action filled.

adams.michaelj
adams.michaelj

Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Justin Long, and many other stars....."Does the rolling Help?"..."Maybe your the plucky comic relief."..."You don't know, is there air?"

vucliriel
vucliriel

Now, that's Bowie as it's finest (in SF) at least to me...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Nothing new here; the story's been told before and better.

staffordd
staffordd

I would LOVE IT if they would make one of the RAMA books into a film. But it would not be easy, because the ship itself would need to be so awe-inspiringly perfect and large and alien - the book gives a sense of vastness and impossible...alienicity that I doubt even the best CGI people could EVER re-create - a very complex world indeed. Maybe Rama is Clarke's best book - very possibly. On the other hand, it's a shame what's been done with Heinlein's books - the attempts to film them are DISASTERS - argh. I'd love to see a word for word version of Stranger In A Strange Land for example - if someone could make that with Lord Of The Rings Peter Jackson style attention to detail - well, that's what you would need to make RAMA work on film too. Probably better if they never get made, nothing to get upset about then ! I was really disappointed with the varying and bizarre attempts to film Dune, dismaying really, mostly just not right - except for a few bits, which were chillingly right - which only gives you the taste for what COULD be if the RIGHT filmmaker takes on the RIGHT Sci-Fi classic. So what books SHOULD be made into movies? I've got stacks of books that I think would make amazing movies, for example, for Heinlein, not just Stranger In A Strange Land, but also I Will Fear No Evil; the Lazarus Long stories - those would be awesome - NOT frickin Starship Troopers - please GOD NO. That was a HORRIBLE choice, and in my opinion, one of his WORST books. But there you go - it's all opinion anyway. I happen to favour The Past Through Tomorrow and Stranger In A Strange Land and I Will Fear No Evil, over some of the more obvious Heinlein stories. I would say, there is one of his juvenile books that would make a terrific film - whose name escapes me, kids are on a training exercise, dropped on an empty, terraformed planet for training purposes - and can't be retrieved for 20 years or something like that. Obviously, a la Lord Of The Flies, they create a new society, but they way Heinlein writes it, it just comes over brilliantly - and their LIVES become the test. Now why can't I recall the name of that book? I must be getting old. Anyway, my .03 for today... have fun dave

Iforgotmydisplayname
Iforgotmydisplayname

One of the best. I've watched it so many times and still crack up at it. "It is more art than science." One of the many great lines.

Daughain
Daughain

I agree, the insult that was perpetrated in the name of film must have cranked RAH up to 12,000RPM, but... Consider that Starship Troopers is as much social commentary as entertainment. Anyway, dave, you just wanna see bewbies. :)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The computer running the world? See the aforementioned 'Colossus'. The computer as pablum server to the mind? Any number of Star Trek episodes, in less than six hours. Hell, many animated series have done this story - Batman, Kids Next Door, Dexter, Powerpuffs - at least as well. Actively controlling cyberspace? Any of William Gibson's books would adapt to a better movie. 'Bullet time' got old fast. I knew it had become an overused cliche when it was satirically used in the first Shrek movie.

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