There are so many movies that almost qualify for our 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2013 list, but don’t quite make the cut. 'World War Z' was great, but was more of a zombie flick. 'Iron Man 3' was amazing but we all know that’s more of a comic book movie. Then there were all those hilarious post-apocalyptic movies like 'This is the End' and 'The World’s End' that just didn’t meet our science quota. We decided to limit our Sci-Fi movies list to flicks that feature space ships, robots, or at the very least a piece of technology more complex than an iPhone. These are GuySpeed's 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of 2013.
This sci-fi horror flick gets on our Sci-Fi Movies list because its plot surrounds the exciting thought that there may be life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Unfortunately, the mission goes pretty horribly wrong and, surprise surprise, the astronauts start dying off one by one. However, failing equipment and space radiation are only part of the problem. The life they do find on Europa is much more than they were prepared to handle. The film work in this movie is astounding, waiting to show the “monster” until the last minute, and even then giving us only a glimpse.
'Cloud Atlas' almost didn’t get on this list because it just barely counts as sci-fi. The movie is really about how events have a lasting effect throughout history. The movie starts in 1849 and ends in 2321, but even then the world is more post-apocalyptic than science fiction. However, the story is amazingly powerful and the actors do an outstanding job. This movie has pirates and nuclear melt downs and tribal fights and rebellions and slaves and all sorts of compelling storytelling. It could use a few more explosions, true, but it’s a phenomenal movie nonetheless, even if it does sort of straddle the boundaries of sci-fi.
'Ender’s Game' is a movie that has quite a bit of controversy surrounding it. Orson Scott Card has said some pretty bigoted things in the past, but 'Enders Game' almost expresses values directly in opposition to its author. It’s about responsibility and growing up and how the words of your elders are not always trustworthy. It also has some outstanding space sequences and special effects. Though you may be boycotting the movie due to your personal politics, and that is a valid choice, we can confidently say you are missing out on one hell of a sci-fi flick by doing so.
A sci-fi movie written by Will Smith, starring Will and Jaden Smith, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan is… believe it or not… actually pretty good. It was kind of like Man VS Wild, sci-fi edition. Jaden Smith had to learn how to conquer his own fear, fight back against the wilds of an alien planet, and eventually come to an understanding with his father, though he never drinks his own piss. Will and Jaden actually do a great job acting across from each other and the fights and conversations they have in the movie feel genuine and while there is a bit of hokey shyamalany twist stuff going on, it was an enjoyable sci-fi experience in the end.
Up next on our 2013 list of the best sci-fi movies is 'Elysium,' a movie that is absolutely saturated with POLITICAL SYMBOLISM! We typed that as hard as we possibly could. It tells a story of a world divided into two classes: rich and affluent citizens of 'Elysium,' a space station that offers impeccable medical care and living conditions, and the poor, sick, and hungry residents of a post-apocalyptic earth. It’s a pretty heavy handed commentary on our current healthcare situation, but it also super-strength robot exoskeleton fist-fights, so it balances out in the end.
'Oblivion' is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name. It takes place in a far future earth, ruined by aliens called the Scavs… or does it? It’s difficult to explain much of the plot of 'Oblivion' without spoiling it, but trust us, it’s awesome. It asks questions like “are we our bodies or our memories?” and “what is a human life actually worth when technology outpaces biology?” It also has Tom Cruise playing an actual space man, and Morgan Freeman playing the leader of a band of post-apocalyptic renegades. What more do you want?
When in doubt, watch Vin Diesel punch things! Riddick is an awesome return to the sci-fi action that made Pitch Black so great. It’s far less goofy than The Chronicles of Riddick was and it gets across a tone of solitude on a ruined alien planet. It’s kind of like Metroid: The Movie, but with Vin Diesel’s fist in the starring role instead of Samus Aran.
'Gravity' is, simply put, a terrifying movie. There aren’t jump scares or aliens or sharknados to terrify you. There is just the cold, oppressive, uncaring vastness of space, and the thought that if anything goes wrong out there, you could die and no one would ever even be able to locate your body. It makes us feel utterly small when compared to the emptiness of the universe. You’ll have to get past a couple nitpicky physics errors to enjoy this one, but if you can it will leave you shaking in your seat in both fear and admiration.
Benedict Cumberbatch steals the show as… a character that we can’t really name… in this amazing sequel to 2009’s alternate time-line Star Trek movie. Benedict shows us that there is a darker and more sinister side to… uh… that guy he played, who could really strike fear into the hearts of a movie audience that exists in a world where terrorism is a very real threat. It makes a ton of political statements about the use of excessive force in war and Kirk has to make tough decisions when he goes up against… Cumberbatch’s character, and the conflict only gets resolve when- HE’S KAHN OK! OF COURSE HE’S KAHN! SPOILERS! WHATEVER! JUST GO SEE THIS MOVIE!
Giant robots fighting giant monsters in the middle of the ocean with a chainsaw sword… Gentlemen, we have found a singularity of awesomeness. This movie is a giant monster movie fan’s wet dream. It’s like a living anime brought to life through gratuitous use of CGI that makes your eyes want to jump out of your head due to the sheer shineyness of it all. It’s a movie that will get you standing up and cheering when you see a huge Kaiju get punched in the face and then wondering who you are drift compatible with when the movie is over. It also has one of the best “go get em” speeches of movie history. “Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!”