21 Best Sci-Fi Films of the 2020s So Far

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The sci-fi genre offers filmmakers boundless creativity for their projects. From otherworldly conquests to dystopian futures, science fiction showcases all of our collective hopes and fears regarding the future of our species. As new technology continues to rise to the surface, our lives seem to be constantly in a state of adaptation and growth.

Although many of these advancements are beneficial, they often come with unexpected downsides. Science fiction presents this ever-growing balance to us in a thought-provoking light. We have collected some of the best sci-fi films of the past four years for you to examine and gain insight from.

1. Tenet

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This high-concept film received some initial backlash for its convoluted plot line. But Tenet soon became a top choice among sci-fi fans. Christopher Nolan directs this ambitious time-traveling espionage film.

Its stunning visuals and complex narrative will keep viewers entertained throughout its runtime. Tenet features brilliant performances by Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, and Elizabeth Debicki.

2. The Invisible Man

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

This modern retelling of a classic sci-fi film is a masterclass in suspense and paranoia. The Invisible Man uses gaslighting techniques to keep its audience on their toes.

Elisabeth Moss does a fantastic job portraying a victim pushed to the brink of insanity by her abusive ex-partner. The Invisible Man highlights the horrors of modern surveillance in a way few others can.

3. Dune

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

One of the most highly anticipated sci-fi films of the decade, Dune is praised for its epic scope and complex world building. Director Denis Villeneuve brings this sprawling tale to life using fantastic visual effects and a talented cast.

Dune provides viewers with a unique blend of fantasy, sci-fi, and political narratives. The film features unmissable performances from Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson.

4. Possessor

Photo Credit: Rhombus Media.

This unsettling sci-fi film highlight’s themes of identity, morality, and control. Possessor is one of the most disturbing sci-fi films of the decade. Director Brandon Cronenberg tells the story of an assassin who can take control of other people’s bodies to commit her crimes.

This surreal film quickly became a hit in the sci-fi community for its futuristic take and blend of horror and sci-fi. Possessor features an all-star cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

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5. Crimes of the future

Photo Credit: Serendipity Point Films.

This film marked David Cronenberg’s triumphant return to the sci-fi genre. Crimes of the Future is a disturbing dystopian tale of where the human species may end up if we are not careful.

This bold and visionary approach to filmmaking challenges audiences to examine their own lives. Crimes of the Future features performances by Viggo Mortenson, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and Lihi Kornowski.

6. Avatar: The Way of Water

Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

The long-awaited follow-up to James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar once again pushed the boundaries of modern filmmaking. The film makes good use of its massive budget, providing audiences with impressive visuals and special effects. 

Avatar: The Way of Water follows Jake Sully and Ney’tiri as they explore Pandora and face off against an ancient threat. This film is a must-see for anyone fascinated by the sci-fi genre.

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Photo Credit: IAC Films.

This genre-blending masterpiece became an overnight sensation following its release. Everything Everywhere All at Once follows a woman who finds herself in the middle of an interdimensional conflict. Using her newfound powers, she fights to save the world.

This film features an unpredictable plot and is an entertaining ride for sci-fi fans. Everything Everywhere All at Once features Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and James Hong.

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8. Nope

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Jordan Peele’s newest film, Nope, is the creator’s first attempt at a sci-fi film. Nope follows two siblings as they discover something sinister in the skies above their horse ranch. As always, Jordan uses political and societal narratives in this film, making it a blast for sci-fi fans to pick apart and find the meaning underneath.

9. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The new animated Spider-Man franchise surprised audiences with its alluring and effective multi-dimensional approach to the superhero’s legacy. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continues the first film’s themes while amping up the suspense and providing stunning animation. This is a family-friendly sci-fi flick that everyone can enjoy.

10. Godzilla: Minus One

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Godzilla is by far the most well-known Kaiju. The titan has been terrorizing audiences for almost 70 years. Godzilla: Minus One takes audiences back to where it all started with a modern retelling of the classic franchise. This film features fantastic effects and a suspenseful storyline that is sure to be a fun ride for sci-fi and giant monster fans.

11. Free Guy

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

This meta sci-fi film features everyone’s favorite antihero, Ryan Reynolds. Free Guy is the story of an NPC who becomes self-aware and uses his agency for good. The film features hilarious nods to classic video games and sci-fi films. Free Guy is a clever and inventive film with a lot of heart.

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12. The Matrix Resurrections

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This highly anticipated follow-up to one of the most groundbreaking franchises of all time is a must-see for sci-fi fans. The Matrix Resurrections features original cast members and a new generation of characters for audiences to explore. The film focuses on the exploration of reality and existence, continuing in the footsteps that made the franchise so iconic in the first place.

13. Underwater

Photo Credit: Chernin Entertainment.

Kristen Stewart leads this claustrophobic sci-fi horror. Underwater follows a group of survivors in an underground facility who must find an escape route after an earthquake. They soon come to the realization that they are not alone in the facility.

This pulse-pounding thriller offers brilliant visual effects, outstanding performances from the cast, and even some Lovecraftian horror for good measure. Underwater is the perfect blend of sci-fi elements and classic horror tropes.

14. Jurassic World: Dominion

Photo Credit: Legendary Pictures.

The sixth film in the Jurassic Park franchise continues the terrifying legacy of the previous films. In Jurassic World Dominion, humans and dinosaurs hunt side by side, and who will become the dominant species is put into question. As always, this film features brilliant effects, heart-racing action, and a fantastic cast to bring the whole thing to life.

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15. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Transformers have been entertaining families for forty years now. Although the original show was made as a marketing gimmick to sell toys. The sci-fi community loves the franchise for its futuristic storylines, high-tech alien robots, and amazing visual effects.

This iteration follows the Maximals as they combat a sinister force in an attempt to save mankind. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a family-friendly sci-fi flick that everyone can participate in.

16. Meg 2: The Trench

Photo Credit: Alibaba Pictures Group.

Jason Statham lives out his own historic shark week in this sci-fi horror. Meg 2: The Trench builds on the first film’s success by adding even more megalodon related mayhem. This popcorn film doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. 

Meg 2: The Trench is a fun, action-packed film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. While not the most high-tech entry on the list, the film is still a fun romp that everyone should check out.

17. Bill & Ted Face the Music

Photo Credit: MGM.

The third installment of the iconic Bill and Ted franchise comes nearly twenty years after the last entry. And it was worth the wait. Bill & Ted Face the Music follows everyone’s favorite slackers as they are tasked with creating a song that will save the world from imminent destruction. The film is a fun ride and gives fans an on-screen reunion of the beloved actors Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves.

18. A Quiet Place Part II

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A Quiet Place is a surprise hit that won over audiences with its deathly quiet suspense. A Quiet Place Part II picks up where the original left off and further builds the world in which the film is set. Featuring a strong lead performance by Emily Blunt, the film is a masterclass in suspense and offers a unique take on the sci-fi horror genre.

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19. Color Out of Space

Photo Credit: SpectreVision.

Film adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft’s works are hard to come by and often miss the mark. But Color Out of Space manages to grasp the bizarre and otherworldly feeling that made these classic stories work in the first place. The film follows a family as they experience the effects of an asteroid that crashed and landed near their property. Nicolas Cage is at his best in this trippy sci-fi horror film.

20. The Platform

Photo Credit: Basque Films.

This Spanish sci-fi thriller explores social inequality through the lens of a dystopian prison system. The Platform does this by showing audiences a tiered prison where a platform delivers food from top to bottom.

However, the resources become less and less as the platform descends. The film has won critical acclaim for its no-holds-barred approach to filmmaking. While The Platform is political in nature, it takes no sides and attacks each economic system equally.

21. Vivarium

Photo Credit: Fantastic Films.

This surreal sci-fi horror film offers an unsettling view into the dangers of conformity and suburban living. Vivarium is a thought-provoking film that highlights the cost of alienation and isolation.

The film follows a young couple attempting to buy their first home in a difficult economic time. After purchasing a lot in a suburban area, they soon realize that there are no neighbors and that they are seemingly trapped in the neighborhood. Vivarium features fantastic performances by Jesse Eisenburg and Imogen Poots.

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