Making list of the best of something always brings out the worst in people; they tend to get angrier about someone who disagrees that Bambi is the best Disney movie than is someone steals their car. A group of us got together to test our friendship and make a list of the top ten best futuristic movies, in random order.
1. Back to the Future (1985) Teenaged Marty accidentally ends up using a time machine to end up in 1955, where he bumps into his parents and has to find a way to get them together before he vanishes from existence. This movie is a lot of fun and has one of the best geeks ever. What’s not to love?
2. Clockwork Orange (1971) Definitely one for the mature set, this frightening future has horrifying gangs that prowl through neighborhoods wreaking havoc. It’s when the government tries to fix to problem, however, that the real mayhem begins. The dark humor helps make this one of the best movies.
3. Star Trek IV or V (1986, 1989) We couldn’t decide. IV is funnier, V a better social commentary, although both have both, as we have come to expect from Star Trek. The first requires the crew to save the Earth which is being bombarded by a probe apparently looking for whales that had gone extinct long before. The time warp does make for some fun situations. The second is the search for god, a god who must lie beyond the barrier. Along with it are some interesting insights into what makes us human.
4. Twelve Monkeys (1995) Human have been all but wiped out because of a virus in this movie. Scientists in the future think they have found out how to stop the spread; now they just need to find out when and where it was loosed. Bruce Willis “volunteers” to help. The time twisting with some great performances create an interesting viewing experience.
5. Omega Man (1971) Another biological apocalypse has occurred, leaving Charlton Heston as the last man from that world trying to fend off the mutants that want him dead. Of course it’s dated, but it has some great one-liners and fast-paced action, which you would think would be difficult when the story is about the last man alive. This is a good enough movie that it has been remade even recently in the guise of I am Legend.
6. Planet of the Apes (1968) No, not the remake that ends up being a comedy. The original movie is really a dark look at society, “civilized” though it may be. A space trip goes wrong, and the astronauts get left on this alien planet. Distrust, confusion, injustice all lead to escape attempts and learning the truth of the astronauts’ trip.
7. Soylent Green (1973) In this future, there isn’t enough food for the crowded populace, and Heston (yes, again) is on a trail that leads him to soylent green. What he finds will change him forever. If nothing else, it’s a great ending.
8. The 13th Floor (1999) Future world creates past world, but members of past world don’t know they’re not real. Past world begins to infringe on future world. Bodies show up. It’s confusing. But it’s really cool. I thought this one looked like a silly horror flick when it first came out, but after watching it, I’m sorry I waited so long.
9. Solaris (2002) A psychologist is called to a space station where the crew start having strange experiences as they orbit the planet Solaris. It’s tough to discern what’s real and what isn’t, for everyone involved. If you’re looking for a movie with a clear plot and an ending that wraps everything up nicely, this isn’t the movie for you. But you should watch it anyway.
10. Gattaca (1997) Ok, I admit that I’m willing to watch anything with Jude Law in it, but this one is a good movie. Really. I promise. This future features people who’ve been created genetically perfect and how they deal with those few who haven’t. Vincent is a have-not who wants to go where only the haves can: space. He must go through elaborate steps to try to get there that make for some of the best watching.So maybe you don’t think of this list as really the top ten futuristic movies, but they are at least ten of the best. There may be a couple here you haven’t seen and more you haven’t seen in a while. So stick some popcorn in the microwave, pull up the couch, and pop in one of these movies for a guaranteed two hours of enjoyment.