Science fiction movies have always had a place in cinema history, as it tends to draw in bigger crowds compared to other genres. Production companies had gotten massive incomes from family friendly sci-fi films such as the Star Wars franchise. But in comparison, science fiction movies designed to cater to the over-17 crowd have garnered both critical acclaim and a loyal cult following.
To round up the best R-rated science fiction movies, ExploreTalent has compiled a list of the most popular among both audiences and critics alike in no particular order.
1. Alien (1979)
In this movie, director Ridley Scott introduced the world to one of the most memorable heroines of all time: Officer Ellen Ripley, played by the captivating Sigourney Weaver. But despite Weaver’s excellent portrayal as one of the members of the ill-fated space voyage, it was the terrifying elements of the movie that made it one of the best science fiction movie of all time. The Xenomorph, which are a savage alien race incapable of any form of reasoning or emotion for that matter, added to the horror factor of the film, and it’s brutal attacking methods was forever instilled in the minds of audiences.
Alien prompted several prequels and sequels, including an infusion with the other hit movie Predator, but they haven’t had as much success as the first film.
2. Clockwork Orange (1971)
Clockwork Orange is a dystopian film that does not only focus on scientific technology but psychiatry and violence as well. It follows the sociopath Alex DeLarge, a delinquent in London who is subjected to a form of psychological conditioning. The movie is dark and disturbing at the same time because it deals with rape, gangs, and other controversial topics at the same time.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
When Mad Max was released in cinemas, fans of the cult classic were thrilled. It definitely did not disappoint as the movie was released to critical acclaim. Unlike most science-fiction movies nowadays, Mad Max: Fury Road made sure that the exhilarating action sequences did not make it lose its own narrative. The film also allowed actress Charlize Theron to showcase her talent as she did not hold back when playing the buzz cut heroine Furiousa. Before the movie had hit cinemas, two sequels were already planned. With the success of Fury Road, director George Miller gave the go signal to proceed.
4. The Terminator (1984)
It wouldn’t be a science fiction list without mentioning Arnold Schwarzenegger and his iconic role in The Terminator. Schwarzenegger played the titular character, and his portrayal as a cyborg on a killing spree was truly unforgettable. While the movie did go on and receive numerous accolades and box-office success, the movies that followed didn’t fare just as well.
5. 28 Days Later (2002)
The terrifying British film 28 Days Later is responsible for reinventing the zombie apocalypse theme. Director Danny Boyle has helped in doing this by making the zombies faster and more vigorous in what many call “rage” mode. The movie opened to both critical and commercial success, with many praising the film for its unique story line and thrilling scenes.
6. The Thing (1982)
It seems like the infusion of horror and science fiction goes well if the right elements are brought together. Such is the case of the 1982 movie The Thing, which was such a big hit that it spawned a legacy of action figures, theme park rides, and even comics. The Thing is all about a sinister and parasitic organism capable of assimilating other organisms. Now what makes this film so memorable is the fact that it doesn’t just tackle humans versus a monstrous creature, but it also deals with the group’s paranoia as they slowly turn against each other because of mistrust.
7. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is unarguably Keanu Reeves most memorable film of all time, and in the process, it has become the greatest sci-fi movie that does not deal with any aspect of horror. In other words, this is plain science fiction at its finest. The movie is set in a dystopian future, where humans are subdued into an alternate reality known as The Matrix.
Reeves plays the main character Neo, who discovers the unfair situation his society is put in and decides to rebel against it. The movie is thrilling and mind-boggling at the same time and contains elements of cyberpunk too. It has gone on to be a critic favorite, with many of its loyal fanbase still enjoying the movie up to today.