FN’s Response to EW’s List of the 25 Best Sci-fi TV shows and Movies (and a Video Game that sure felt like a movie) of Last 25 Years, as per my gut definition of what would be sci-fi.
(EW rank in brackets)
1. Twin Peaks, 1990-91(NA)
Other than The Prisoner, this may be the show that broke the most television ground, and elevated programing from entertainment to art.
2. Half-Life Series, 1998-present(NA)
eh...Best video game series ever.
3. The X-Files, 1993-2002 (another movie in the works)(4)
Ok, so the last 2 seasons were crap. But it’s serialized drama meets horror anthology format, with a complex and maddening mythology puts it all the way up here.
4. Lost, 2004- 2010 (11)
This may be the best TV show ever after it’s all said and done.
5. The Host, 2006 (NA)
Can’t wait to buy this on DVD (it comes out July 24th). I really can’t say enough about how brilliant, and beautiful this movie is. One of those movies you need other people to see.
6. Blade Runner, 1982 (3)
No one knew what to do with this movie when it came out. I remember hating it, especially since I expected Harrison Ford and sci-fi to equal Star Wars. One of the few movies that gets better with each viewing.
7. Quantum Leap, 1989-93(22)
It’s mixture of pop culture history, very nicely timed comedy, and honest attempts at transcendence reached a whole new audience for sci-fi. BTW, I’ve heard they had to replace much of the period music on the US DVD for copyright reasons. Now the UK version, which you can find on Ebay...we’re just saying.
8. Brazil 1985 (6)
A distopian masterpiece with a rare sense of humor, which makes what happens all the more horrific.
9. Dark City, 1997 (NA)
Roger Ebert is among the small yet devoted following of this noir meets kafka meets Lang sci-fi epic (that the Matrix pretty much owes everything to), which he also called one of the most important films of the last 20 years.
10. Mystery Science Theater 3000, 1988-99 (NA)
Has done more than anything in recent memory to bring attention to bad movies, especially bad sci-fi movies, and some rather cool ones too.
11. The Iron Giant, 1999 (NA)
A rare, intelligent, touching, animated film not made by someone named Miyazaki.
12. A.I., 2001(NA)
Like Brazil and Blade Runner, I think in 20 years this will be considered a great film as well. The definition of a flawed masterpiece.
13. Minority Report 2002 (NA)
14. Videodrome 1983 (NA)
Cronenberg didn’t get any love on EW’s list (btw Scanners was 26 years ago, so don’t freak), and this extremely interesting take on media and technology doesn’t get its due, even though I think it’s his most intriguing film.
15. The Hidden 1987 (NA)
So if you put Starman, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and The Terminator in a blender you’d get something that looks like this film. It goes about with full force, reaching heights as good, if not greater, than the films it derives from.
16. X2, 2003 (NA)
Even after Batman begins, and Spiderman 2 I think this is the best superhero (at least in comic book terms) film made so far. Prove me wrong Nolan!
17. 12 Monkeys, 1995(NA)
A really great adaptation of the best short film ever made. Perhaps the most fantastic thing is that somehow you have Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis in a movie, and they don’t screw it up. Kidding. That used to be true though...
18. Gattaca, 1996(NA)
Very underrated gem by the guy who wrote the Truman Show, and needs to be able to make more movies.
19. V, 1983(25)
I remember how huge this was as a kid. I mean this miniseries was an event, and it lived up the it’s hype. Think Independence Day, but instead of explosions tense political metaphors. Oh and lizards. Big lizards.
20. The Matrix Revolutions, 2003 (NA)
I am certain that this is the best of the three Matrix films. Much darker, less annoying,
still quite engaging, and surprisingly smart.
21. Primer* 2004 (NA)
The most confusing puzzle film I’ve seen so far. It is one of the most inventive takes on the sci-fi genre in recent memory.
22. Abre Los Ojos, 1997(NA)
The original Vanillia Sky, it underwent “The Vanishing” treatment into English, and likewise was turned into a mess. Penelope Cruz is much hotter in this version. Oh, and the movies better too.
23. Donnie Darko, 2001(NA)
A really cool film that got a cult following, and now feels a little annoying because it wasn’t that great of a film. But still a really cool movie.
24. Terminator 3, 2003 (NA)
Ok so it’s not as cool as 2, or as cold and frightening as 1, but every bit as good, if not in some ways better.
25. The Fly, 1986(NA)
Cronenberg remakes a classic, and takes it to anxious, visceral new heights. EW had John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, but forgot this other 80's revision.
Robocop, 1987 (NA) Really, in a strange, cracked out Paul Verhoeven way, this is a better film than most people give it credit for. Probably the most violent mainstream film ever made (at least at the time).
Return of the Jedi 1983 (NA)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds (1984) Would be on the list, but not sure it’s more a fantasy tale.