7 of the Most Thought-Provoking Sci-Fi Movies

Science fiction isn’t just about laser battles in space or evil robots — science fiction is amazing because it allows us to ask fascinating questions about the universe and our place in it. What does it mean to be human? What is time, and how does it work? How do we know we exist, and why do we care? Are good and evil relative? What are magnets, how do they work? There’s no better way to examine these questions than an awesome science fiction movie. Here are seven of the most thought-provoking sci-fi movies.

1) 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 is one of those movies that’s a classic so I assumed it would probably be boring until I finally saw it. I was very wrong, it’s amazing. If you haven’t seen it and you like sci-fi, change that right now. There are so many themes in the movie that film critics and writers have been analyzing for decades. It’s one of the most influential films of all time and an important part of the human quest to understand ourselves through science fiction.


2) Moon

I can’t give much away about Moon because there’s a fantastic twist and you need to just watch it. But this movie raises a lot of questions about the essence of humanity, who we are, and how we know who we are. It also raises the thought — how the hell did Sam Rockwell not even get nominated for an Oscar for this movie? He’s incredible in it.


3) Interstellar

Interstellar deals with themes of time, dimensions, wormholes and even… love. Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne was the scientific adviser on the film and the science holds up better than almost any other sci-fi movie. Interstellar is the type of movie that gets better after multiple viewings and deep discussions, so much so that it can open up your mind to the possibilities of the nature of the universe.


4) Donnie Darko

It’s impossible to turn off Donnie Darko and then go about your day unaffected. It’s so weird and fascinating, and much closer to home than any other film on this list. It’s about time travel, mental illness, the greater good, and creepy supernatural bunnies. This movie has unlimited re-watch potential and it will make you want to be depressed in your room alone listening to “Mad World” for hours.


5) Blade Runner

Blade Runner asks a lot of questions — what does it mean to be a human? What is our destiny? Will we destroy ourselves? Are humans caring and empathetic, or are we cold? What separates us from other sentient beings? WHO AM I????


6) The Matrix

The Matrix put one of the greatest moral choices in clear view — do you take the red pill, or the blue pill? There are so many interesting questions in the original movie. When it came out my mom wanted me to see it even though I was too young so she paused it like every two minutes to explain what was going on. It seriously took us like four hours to watch but it exploded my tiny mind. What is reality? Is it better to be happy, or honest? How do we know what is true? Can we trust our own perceptions? Is there shame in being a blue-pill person? Since the Wachowski siblings have both come out as trans since the movie was released, they have acknowledged that the film has trans themes. Just when you think you’ve analyzed The Matrix as much as you can, there’s more to think about.


7) Battlefield: Earth

Battlefield Earth provokes so many thoughts, like why? How? Does anyone like this movie? Is John Travolta embarrassed? How exactly does a movie get 3 percent on Rotten Tomatoes?



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