The 10 Best Science Fiction Films of the Decade

Best Science Fiction Films of the Decade

(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)

In a surprising turn of events, stitching together a list of the greatest science fiction movies from the past ten years proved to be harder than I initially assessed. The reason, however, isn’t because there weren’t enough sci-fi standouts to conjure up a list, but rather, quite the opposite. Upon careful consideration, it turns out that there is a plethora of noteworthy under-seen gems, making the real challenge whittling down this list to a mere top ten.

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Movies to Watch Before Knives Out

(Welcome to Knives In, a series about the movies to watch before Rian Johnson’s Knives Out arrives in theaters.)

Put on your murder-solving hat, because /Film has given me jurisdiction to dive deep into one film a day in preparation for the release of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which hits theaters tomorrow. Each film relates to Johnson’s “whodunit” in its own unique way, and each picture should hopefully be viewed prior to patrons watching the new movie on the big screen.

Today, we’ll be discussing Rian’s Johnson’s 2005 debut Brick, and how the movie is a perfect companion piece to his modern day murder mystery.

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Movies to Watch Before Knives Out Stoker

(Welcome to Knives In, a series about the movies to watch before Rian Johnson’s Knives Out arrives in theaters.)

Put on your murder-solving hat, because /Film has given me jurisdiction to dive deep into one film a day in preparation for the release of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which hits theaters this week (read our review here). Each film relates to Johnson’s “whodunit” in its own unique way, and each picture should hopefully be viewed prior to patrons watching the new movie on the big screen.

Today, we’ll be discussing the 2013 film Stoker, and how the movie is a perfect companion piece to Johnson’s modern day murder mystery.

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(Welcome to Knives In, a series about the movies to watch before Rian Johnson’s Knives Out arrives in theaters.)

Put on your murder-solving hat, because /Film has given me jurisdiction to dive deep into one film a day in preparation for the release of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which hits theaters next week. Each film relates to Johnson’s “whodunit” in its own unique way, and each picture should hopefully be viewed prior to patrons watching the new movie on the big screen.

Today, we’ll be discussing the 1940 film Rebecca, and how the movie is a perfect companion piece to Johnson’s modern day murder mystery.

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Movies to Watch Before Knives Out

(Welcome to Knives In, a series about the movies to watch before Rian Johnson’s Knives Out arrives in theaters.)

Put on your murder-solving hat, because /Film has given me jurisdiction to dive deep into one film a day in preparation for the release of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which hits theaters next week. Each film relates to Johnson’s “whodunit” in its own unique way, and each picture should hopefully be viewed prior to patrons watching the new movie on the big screen.

Today, we’ll be discussing the 2014 film Gone Girl, and how the movie is a perfect companion piece to Johnson’s modern day murder mystery.

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(Welcome to Knives In, a series about the movies to watch before Rian Johnson’s Knives Out arrives in theaters.)

Put on your murder-solving hat, because /Film has given me jurisdiction to dive deep into one film a day in preparation for the release of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which hits theaters next week. Each film relates to Johnson’s “whodunnit” in its own unique way, and each picture should hopefully be viewed prior to patrons watching the new movie on the big screen.

Today, we’ll be discussing the 1946 film The Big Sleep, and how the movie is a perfect companion piece to Johnson’s modern day murder mystery.

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Saw at 15

Horror movies tend to reflect the time in which they were made, and Saw is no exception. Following the wave of meta ‘90s slasher standouts like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, audiences were craving a scary movie with grit, a sincere film that sought to frighten and exhilarate its viewers, rather than pat them safely on the back for recognizing familiar tropes. A film that didn’t underestimate its spectators.

On October 29, 2004, Saw burst onto the scene like a feminist in a John Updike novel. Unapologetically brutal, crafted by an up-and-comer, and a total game-changer, Saw stood out against the crowd, to say the least. During the height of the nation’s constant paranoia and overall high anxiety, director James Wan and writer/co-star Leigh Whannell brought the iconic character of Jigsaw to the silver screen for the very first time – a villain who seeks not to kill his targets, but rather, to inspire them to live.

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Monos Review

A group of child soldiers kick a can around in a makeshift game of soccer atop a misty mountain. Blindfolded, arms out, wandering haphazardly around the foggy peak, their little hands nearly tickle the clouds. Suddenly, a messenger arrives on horseback and runs his “monos” through a standard series of military drills. Rambo (Sofia Buenaventura), Lady (Karen Quintero), Bigfoot (Moises Arias), Boom Boom (Sneider Castro), Wolf (Julian Giraldo), Smurf (Delby Rueda), Dog (Paul Cubides) and the others are assigned various tasks, approved for proposed romantic relationships, and gifted a contribution for their cause – Shakira, and black and white milk cow whom they have sworn to guard and protect, much like their human hostage Doctora (Julianne Nicholson). What begins as a playful experiment in freedom quickly devolves into a horrific descent into madness as inevitable war rears its ugly head and the stars themselves hide from the fury of man’s own damnation.

On an unspecified mountaintop somewhere in Columbia, in an undetermined period of time, director Alejandro Landes brilliantly welcomes the viewer into the void. Gone are the archetypal safety nets of good wholesome family names, exact locations, society’s gender labels, clear political affiliations, or even a rough estimate of the decade in which these characters reside. From the very beginning, the audience is kept off kilter, forced to watch a story unfold in a non-binary world wherein soldiers are humanized not only because they are children, but also because it is never quite clear if they are fighting for the right or the left, or if they are the so-called ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’. Like a heightened waking dream, the viewer is dropped smack dab into the middle of the story and told to keep up, thereby highlighting the murkiness of war and the unease with which many innocents are forced to participate.

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Whether you’re a hardcore horror fan, a casual moviegoer, or an avid comic book collector who occasionally catches the latest Guillermo del Toro adaptation, chances are you’ve witnessed some of Norman Cabrera’s legendary special effects work. Known mainly for his stunning contributions to del Toro’s Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Cabrera has had a hand in countless productions, ranging from John Flynn’s cyber thriller Brainscan, to Sam Raimi’s wickedly gruesome Drag Me To Hell, all the way to Quentin Tarantino’s ferocious femme fatale flick Kill Bill. Now, Cabrera is back on the big screen with his latest artistry in André Øvredal’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a chilling tale of four children who learn the hard way what happens when one reads from an ancient book etched in blood. 

I had the pleasure of chatting with the man himself about his incendiary career, in addition to his work on the new Alvin Schwartz adaptation. In the interview, we discuss Cabrera’s early days under the wing of his mentor Rick Baker, his views on the classic practical versus CGI effects debate, and what went down the day when his scarecrow Harold went missing in the corn field. 

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Gentrification in the Movies

It’s not a comparison most would make, is it? After all, what could two movies that are seemingly as vehemently opposed as The Farewell and The Last Black Man in San Francisco possibly have in common? One is a story about a Chinese American woman dealing with her grandmother’s illness, and the other is an account of a young African American man attempting to reclaim a childhood home he can no longer afford.

As strange a pairing as these two A24 releases may seem at first glance, there’s a lot more shared idiosyncrasies than what meets the casual observer eye. At their core, both of these films are fish-out-of-water narratives in which white lies serve as the antidote to the terminal loss of home.

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