This weekend, “Oblivion” starring Tom Cruise opens in theaters across the U.S. Some critics are giving the movie, which has otherwise been lukewarmly received, the benefit of the doubt for being the rare sci-fi movie that isn’t based on a book or movie.
While there is something to be said about the lack of sci-fi movie in theaters these days, there are much better examples of the genre from the past 10 years that may have slipped under your radar. Check out a sample below.
This one might actually count as two or three movies because that’s how many time you’ll have to watch it to come even close to understand Shane Carruth’s labyrinth of a time travel plot. Plus, a viewing of “Primer” will get you in the right frame of mind to take in Carruth’s latest film, the terrific “Upstream Color.”
We still have a few more months before Neill Blomkamp’s next sci-fi joint, “Elysium,” opens in theaters, so why not take some time to revisit his first theatrical effort, “District 9″? It’s probably been a while since you watched the story of Wikus and Christopher Johnson, so let us remind you that this movie got nominated for Best Picture. Think about that.
Expectations were high for Rian Johnson’s third feature film, and the time travel action adventure starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, playing the younger version of his costar delivered in a big way.
Danny Boyle’s trip to the sun made for a refreshing intelligent sci-fi thriller, and it proved that Chris Evans could actually act. The movie tells the story of a dying sun and the crew of astronauts that go to reignite it.
“Attack the Block”
Though Joe Cornish’s directorial debut didn’t make the enormous splash that it should have, “Attack the Block” found an immediate cult following, so it’s life as a hilarious and fun movie should be one that continues on for years to come.
There’s a reason Gareth Edwards is directing the “Godzilla” reboot, and that reason is “Monsters,” a simple and beautiful low-budget monster movie.
The sci-fi genre owes a debt to Sam Rockwell and writer-director Duncan Jones for this perfect, old-school flick. Watch it and then try to explain why more people haven’t heard of it. Because you can’t.
A handful of lukewarm reviews and one or two odds story choices kept “Contagion” from being the hit that it should have been, but it is certainly worth checking out and enjoying.
“Another Earth/Sound of My Voice”
All hail, Brit Marling, the Queen of indie sci-fi. Marling rose to these heights when she brought two films to Sundance in 2011. Each works on its own terms with different feels and tones.