Power Cords’ Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies

So as I have mentioned several times over the past few weeks that a top ten sci-fi movies list was in the works and as you can see it is finally here. For this list the entirety of the Power Cords crew came together to hammer out and discuss some of the most innovative, creative, thought-provoking, and breath taking movies of the genre. The following ten films are what we as a group settled on as what we believe are the ten best science fiction movies of all time.

10. Predator (1987)

Nick, Associate Editor -1987’s Predator has made the list and I couldn’t be more pleased. A team of commandos, on a mission in a Central American jungle, find themselves hunted by an extra-terrestrial warrior. What more could you ask for? Arnold Schwarzenegger did what he did best and lit up the forest with bullets and was just an overall badass, but what makes this movie stick out from the others is that the CGI and prosthetics used on the predator itself still keeps your eyes glued to the screen. Nothing like hearing the *click click click* noise of the predator or Arnold’s “What the hell are you?” line. It truly is a classic.

9. Planet of the Apes (2001)

Kyle, Associate Editor – Alright so Planet of the Apes was bound to be on our top 10 Sci Fi list. There was some dispute between what version of the movie should be voted into the top 10 slot. I (Kyle) and Nick both wanted the 2001 edition staring Mark Wahlberg and Brendan and Marshal wanted the original 1968 version so appear on the list. Either way it was making the list. The story is about an astronaut that crash lands on another planet where evolved apes are the dominate species and humans are mere slaves. They are both great movies. If you have the extra time you should watch both versions of the film and let us know at askpowercords@gmail.com

8. The Fountain (2006)

Marshal, Senior Editor – The Fountain, while being a beautifully crafted science fiction venture is also simultaneously a heart-breaking love story as well as a glorious, fantasy adventure. The movie is comprised of three different time lines; one of a conquistador venturing to the New World on a voyage for his queen, one of a modern day scientist trying to discover a cure for his dying wife, and one of a space traveler on a long trek to a dying star to return to his love. All of these stories may make the film seem jumbled and confusing but as the film progresses the connections between them become more clear and the three different plots become perfectly intertwined ultimately building upon the story and making it that much better. While the story is powerful, it is also incredibly thought provoking and emotionally evoking thanks to the amazing performances from Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman. The fantastic content is topped off with a perfectly composed score and is visually one of the most stunning movies made to date making it appealing to the ears, eyes, heart, and mind (forgive the cheesiness of that last statement but it’s just so damn true!). The film does an incredible job blending three stories together while simultaneously exploring themes of love, life and death in one of the most breath-taking and all around beautiful movies ever made.

7. Serenity (2005)

Evan, Contributor – Have you ever watched a TV show and thought to yourself ‘damn, this would make an awesome movie’. Well the first time I had this thought occur to me was when my Dad sat me down to watch the show Firefly. With such awesome characters and story behind each corner and every episode seeing the characters come to life even more in the movie Serenity just blew me away. It was spectacular getting to see how the crew changed and grew, and even more wonderful to see what a movie budget could bring to the shows already stunning graphics and effects. I was pleasantly, awestruck by the movie upon release. Intense action, Reavers always keeping you in a thriller like suspense, but knowing that Mal could always keep his crew together and Wash could always keep Serenity afloat was enough to enjoy seeing them together to fight off this Reaver attack. Joss Whedon is without a doubt one serious sci-fi writer and this fantastical universe is one of my favorites.

6. Inception (2010)

Kyle, Associate Editor – This movie isn’t set in the future and isn’t about anything crazy happening to the world; it is just one new piece of technology that grants the user the ability to enter the human mind through dream invasion. This movie is about Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his attempt clean his slate and return home to his kids, but in order to do so he must first pull of Inception. The first time I watched Inception I was somewhat lost and confused during parts. I would say it is the type of movie you want to watch at least twice to catch everything.

5. Star Wars (1977-2005)

Evan, Contributor – When I think Sci-fi, I think Star Wars. There is almost no greater icon for the genre. Star Wars has arguably the most in depth and detailed fantasy universes to date. There are hundreds of books and comics that add to the story that all began with a simple movie trilogy release in 1979. The movies are captivating and draw you in and make you attach yourself to the characters. Not only are there multiple heroes but the heroes are all sorts of unique individuals with a huge array of different personailty traits and special qualities. George Lucas did a great job incorporating tons of different characters, each having their own story behind them and their own role to play in the main over-arching storyline. Bringing them all together with his favorite plot device of huge reveals! There’s something about Star Wars that sticks with you after the movies and it will probably until the day you die. Whether it’s wishing you had a lightsaber, or could weild the force, or even if it was just to have your own space ship. Star wars brought these things to life early on with astounding special effects both visually and audibly. A movie like this is more than just a fun story filled with action and romance, it also sets a technical standard for all sci-fi movies to follow.

4. Alien (1979)

Brendan, Editor-In-Chief – In space, no one can hear you scream. Such immortal words haunted the minds of movie goers in 1979, the year director Ridley Scott’s Alien burst forth and into the collective consciousness of pop culture forever. Alien is special because it wasn’t purely a sci-fi movie, nor purely a horror movie. Instead of just smashing these two genres together into some unrefined mixture of space and spooks, it instead picked out parts of sci-fi – such as the emptiness of space, extra terrestrials, massive space ships – and morphed them to fit a horror theme. A giant, claustrophobic ship in vast and silent space is an unsettling thought in its own right, but to know the halls of this hulking space-tanker are being stalked by an acid-spitting xenomorph has you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole flick. Aliens has awesome technology, other-worldly mysteries, and heart-pounding suspense; its not just the first sci-fi/horror film, it’s the best.

3. District 9 (2009)

Nick, Associate Editor – In 2009, we were introduced to District 9. A film that at least to me, caught me off gaurd with how fantastic it was! From the original setting to the things that happen I was always curious what was going to happen next. The style of the film was a great choice as well. The documentary feel really allowed the viewer to become connected to the characters as the story unfolded, and on top of all that the movie as a whole looked AMAZING. From all the different alien weapons to the Prawn themselves I was glad to see this film make the list.

2. Blade Runner (1982)

Brendan, Editor-In-Chief –Something happens when you mention the word sci-fi to a group of people; either their eyes glaze over and tune out, or they begin to gush about lasers, explosions, and argue over the minutiae of alien politics. Simply put, sci-fi is not usually known for telling stories that challenge audiences. But Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner does exactly that. Set in a dystopic future Earth, where humans have colonized the solar system, and androids (known as Replicants) have reached human-like intelligence – so much so that some now believe they’re human. Que Deckard, a “Blade Runner,” people hired to hunt down and kill Replicants who now believe they’re human – or worse. Blade Runner is not on this list just because of its great sci-fi setting or unique cyberpunk technology, but because it asks questions about what it means to be human, and what it truly means to be “alive.”

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Marshal, Senior Editor – 2001: A Space Odyssey is about progression, advancement and evolution. 2001 starts with the discovery of an alien monolith on the moon and the following measures taken to discover its origin. The story is one of the greatest ever told and the ideas it proposes are some of the most thought provoking and mind boggling in the genre. Arthur C. Clark, the author of the novel on which the film was based once said that “If you understand ‘2001’ completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered” which he and Kubrick do perfectly. The film is a little more confusing than the books in several aspects, which does not make it worse but instead makes it more thought provoking and provides the viewer with a slight sense of ambiguity that allows he or she to interpret it as they see fit. The ideas proposed regarding human nature, life, death, time, existence and alien life will not only change how you see the world but it will change how you see the universe and existence. Stanley Kubrick gives Clark’s story a dash of his fantastic style and goes on to push the limits of film making in a way only fitting for the film’s mind expanding content. 2001 is an absolutely epic story of man and the scale and weight of it makes it stand out significantly above the rest of the genre as well as above most other movies in general, even after almost 45 years since it‘s release. It is because of all of this that 2001: A Space Odyssey is Power Cords number one science fiction movie of all time. Plus, it is one of the most realistic portrayals of deep space travel to date.

Honorable Mentions:
Moon (2009)
The Matrix (1999)
Sunshine (2007)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Fifth Element (1997)

So that is our top ten! For the list we decided to exclude super hero and Zombie movies because including those would open up a whole other can of worms. We were tried to avoid movies that took place in modern times that didn’t have some sort of particularly crazy science fiction aspect to it, ruling out films like Donnie Darko and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. As you might of noticed Ridley Scotts ventures into the sci-fi genre had a tremendous impact on our list and we are all relatively sure that with the release of Prometheus next month the list is sure to change.

So what are some of your guys’ favorites? What are some that you are pissed didn’t make it onto the list? Let us know in the comments below or email us at askpowercords@gmail.com!

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