Must Watch Hollywood Sci Fi Movies


Alien (1979) is one of the most iconic horror-sci-fi movies ever made in Hollywood. Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie follows the crew of the fictional spaceship Nostromo, who investigate a distress signal from an unknown source. The crew members, played by Tom Skerrit, Sigourney Weaver and John Hurt, must face a new and hostile alien life form that has deadly intentions. Alien is not only an intense horror-sci-fi movie with some of the most iconic scenes in Hollywood cinema, but it’s also a clever discourse on mankind’s hubris, in which our search for knowledge can lead us to destruction. Tom Skerrit sadly passed away in 2020, and his performance in Alien made him one of the Best Supporting Actor nominees in 1979.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) is a classic action-thriller and a milestone in sci-fi genre. Directed by James Cameron, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular terminator, a cyborg sent back in time to save the future. This time, Kyle Reese (portrayed by Edward Furlong) must protect Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) and her son, future leader of the human resistance against the machines, from an advanced terminator, portrayed as one of the best villains in cinematic history by Robert Patrick. The movie features some of the most iconic action sequences of the 90s and its special effects, for its time, are simply outstanding and almost hard to believe.

Blade Runner

Blade Runner (1982) is a dystopic sci-fi masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Starring Harrison Ford, Blade Runner follows a man, Rick Deckard (Ford), a blade runner, who is assigned to hunt down a group of replicants (androids) led by the rogue Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). Blade Runner is an intensely thoughtful and atmospheric movie, exploring themes such as morality, the meaning of life, human rights and more. Its iconic soundtrack by Vangelis, beautiful special effects and unique, neo-noir/cyberpunk visual style make Blade Runner one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made in Hollywood.

Star Wars

Star Wars (1977) is one of the most iconic sci-fi sagas in cinematic history, written and directed by George Lucas. Star Wars follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he teams up with the rebels against the galactic empire, led by the evil Darth Vader (David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones). With some of the most iconic characters ever created, particularly Darth Vader and its iconic soundtrack theme, Star Wars has inspired generations of directors and writers, becoming one of the most important science fiction franchises in Hollywood.

The Matrix

The Matrix (1999) is a groundbreaking film written and directed by The Wachowski Sisters and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss. It follows the journey of Neo, a computer programmer, who discovers that the world he lives in is actually a simulated reality, created by a powerful artificial intelligence to keep human beings enslaved. With groundbreaking special effects and action sequences, and a thought-provoking story, The Matrix is one of the most influential sci-fi movies of all time, inspiring later films and opening a whole new field of special effects.


Avatar (2009) is a groundbreaking science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver, it is set in the mid-22nd century, when people of Earth travel to Pandora, a distant moon of an inhabited planet to extract a valuable mineral. The movie follows Jake Sully (Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, who is sent to Pandora to infiltrate the Na’vi, an indigenous species, in order to gain information about the mineral. Avatar features groundbreaking special effects and visuals, earning it several Academy Awards and several other accolades.

Ex Machina

Ex Machina (2014) is an intense science fiction thriller written and directed by Alex Garland. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander, it’s a story of a young programmer, Caleb Smith (Gleeson) who is invited by his enigmatic employer, Nathan (Isaac) to his mountain estate to participate in a scientific experiment. In the experiment, Caleb must evaluate the capabilities of a new artificial intelligence, Ava (Vikander). Ex Machina explores fascinating themes such as technology, morality and the power of emotions and has become a much-loved sci-fi classic.

Back To The Future

Back to the Future (1985) is one of the most beloved sci-fi comedy-adventure movies in Hollywood, written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. It stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, an accidental time-traveler who must travel back in time and help his parents meet in order to make sure he will be born. Featuring some of the most iconic sequences and music, Back to the Future is a timeless classic that has inspired generations of filmmakers.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) is an iconic science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr, it follows Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) a powerline technician who becomes obsessed with UFOs after having a close encounter with an alien spaceship. As he races across the country to finally meet up with the alien visitors, his obsession with the unknown and the need to understand it intensifies. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a powerful and touching exploration of the boundaries between reality and the unknown and human curiosity and exploration.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) is an underrated sci-fi classic, written by Richard Matheson and directed by Jack Arnold. Starring Grant Williams as the titular character, it follows the story of a man who is exposed to a radioactive cloud and begins to shrink uncontrollably. As he gets smaller and smaller, he begins to realize the dangers of the world and is forced to confront them. The Incredible Shrinking Man is an exploration of courage, survival and the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is a beloved sci-fi classic written and directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore. It follows the story of Elliot (Thomas), a young boy who befriends a stranded alien from outer space, whom he affectionately names E.T. After initially being afraid of him, Elliot and his friends help the alien return home. This heartfelt movie explores themes of friendship, loyalty and family and has become a quintessentially iconic classic film.

The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element (1997) is a visually-stunning science fiction action-adventure film, written and directed by Luc Besson and starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. Set in an interplanetary future, it follows the adventures of a cab driver Korben Dallas (Willis) and a mysterious woman, Leeloo (Jovovich), who must save the world from darkness and destruction. With breathtaking visuals and exciting action sequences, The Fifth Element is a cult classic beloved by millions of fans around the world.

Vicki Strouth is a life-long film enthusiast, having grown up watching classic cinema in her childhood. She has since gone on to pursue writing about films and movie news, with her work being published on various online platforms. She is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers and highlighting important stories from around the world. She has also written a successful book about classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age era. Vicki currently lives in Seattle, where she continues to explore films of all genres and eras.

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