The Sci-Fi Agenda

Mirror of the thinking person’s guide to science fiction cinema at The Sci-Fi Agenda.

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    1.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    ★★★★★

    Former lovers restart their relationship in reverse after mutual memory erase through shady brain firm.

  • Brazil

    2.Brazil

    ★★★★

    Daydreaming pencil-pusher joins forces with clandestine duct repairman to find mirage girl in Orwellian office maze.

  • Her

    3.Her

    ★★★½

    Semi-depressed personal-card-as-a-service hipster Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with operating system entity.

  • Coherence

    4.Coherence

    ★★★★

    Leaps of labyrinthine logic when already awkward dinner party enters entangled quantum state due to passing comet.

  • Ex Machina

    5.Ex Machina

    ★★★★

    Gifted engineer invited by wealthy wizard executive to Turing test humanoid AI at forest tech monastery.

  • The Endless

    6.The Endless

    ★★★★½

    Mystery video tape sends brothers back to childhood cult or commune under the spell of strange physics.

  • Moon

    7.Moon

    ★★★★

    Sam Rockwell battles severe loneliness and weak communications during solo mining mission on the Moon.

  • Melancholia

    8.Melancholia

    ★★★★½

    Spectacular cinematography of worn out Kirsten Dunst with doubts during own wedding as looming rogue planet nears Earth.

  • Donnie Darko

    9.Donnie Darko

    ★★★★

    Troubled teenager faces fate and flying jet engines and converses apocalyptic rabbit on the philosophy of time travel.

  • District 9

    10.District 9

    ★★★★

    Bureaucrat assigned relocation of alien outcasts from Johannesburg ghetto in smart xenophobia allegory.

  • Twelve Monkeys

    11.Twelve Monkeys

    ★★★★★

    Bruce Willis goes back in time to stop eco-terrorists from ruining Earth in brilliant expansion on still short La jetée.

  • The Man from Earth

    12.The Man from Earth

    ★★★

    Professor claims to be ancient at impromptu farewell gathering with cross-disciplinary group of colleagues and disciples.

  • Upstream Color

    13.Upstream Color

    ★★★½

    Strange substance travels through larvae, orchids, pigs and people in poetic weave by the director of Primer.

  • Sorry to Bother You

    14.Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★★

    Race relations and workplace politics in dark comedy on the logical conclusions of scientific corporatocracy.

  • Gattaca

    15.Gattaca

    ★★★★

    Natural born swimmer assumes stealth genotype in hope of going to space in brave new world of eugenics.

  • Predestination

    16.Predestination

    ★★★½

    Ethan Hawke as bartending time traveler setting lives in motion while on final duty to track down elusive bomber.

  • Last Night

    17.Last Night

    ★★★

    Widower’s solitude interrupted by woman looking for lost suicide pact partner during Earth’s last few hours.

  • Primer

    18.Primer

    ★★★★½

    Breakdown of spacetime and personal relations after serendipitous revelation in one of the most mind-bending movies ever.

  • Under the Skin

    19.Under the Skin

    ★★★½

    Clever usage of hidden cameras as humanly disguised alien seductress picks up men around streets of Scotland.

  • Timecrimes

    20.Timecrimes

    ★★★½

    Peeping tom becomes own pawn when trapped in cycle of events at high-tech skunkworks lab up the hill.

  • Open Your Eyes

    21.Open Your Eyes

    ★★★★

    Young man car-crashed into facial disfigurement by manic ex-lover ends up in dreamlike state of altered reality in levels.

  • Frequencies

    22.Frequencies

    ★★★

    Metaphysical love story and fate versus free will struggle in class society determined by frequencies.

  • ANYA

    23.ANYA

    ★★★

    Newlyweds in fertility trouble seek aid of enthusiastic geneticist to solve DNA-driven bloodline mystery.

  • Videodrome

    24.Videodrome

    ★★★★

    One man’s gory pursuit of mastermind behind sensational snuff broadcast that turns out to be neurolinguistic programming.

  • Spring

    25.Spring

    ★★★½

    Young American adrift in southern Italy ends up in primordial romance with secretive lady of fine lineage.

  • H.

    26.H.

    ★★★★

    Fleeting fragments from two Helens of Troy at odds with loss in modern mythology of meteors and motherhood.

  • The Congress

    27.The Congress

    ★★★★

    Multi-level metafilm/acid trip on society’s escalation of escapism, based on “The Futurological Congress” by Stanisław Lem.

  • Starship Troopers

    28.Starship Troopers

    ★★★½

    Teens sent to wage interstellar war on arachnids in subtle and not-so-subtle satire on fascism and propaganda.

  • Evolution

    29.Evolution

    ★★★

    Boys become experiment in wake of unknown sickness in strange seaside village inhabited solely by women.

  • Advantageous

    30.Advantageous

    ★★★½

    Single mother in a future of super-children and rapidly diminishing job count explores the prospects of body sacrifice.

  • The Sticky Fingers of Time

    31.The Sticky Fingers of Time

    ★★★

    Pulp author covering hydrogen bomb test in the 1950’s gains time travel capabilities and meets present day spawn.

  • Strange Days

    32.Strange Days

    ★★★★

    Ex-cop uncovers plot around hard currency of illegal cortex recordings in unrestful Los Angeles at turn of the millennium.

  • I Origins

    33.I Origins

    ★★★★½

    Eye scientist on crusade against creationism stumbles upon deep discovery and meets mysterious love interest.

  • Another Earth

    34.Another Earth

    ★★★½

    Astronomer distracted by duplicate Earth encounter causes tragedy and misses MIT in favor of cleaning up aftermath.

  • eXistenZ

    35.eXistenZ

    ★★★

    Biotech body horror in a future of increasingly immersive virtual reality where gamers versus realists battle it out.

  • Sound of My Voice

    36.Sound of My Voice

    ★★★½

    Covert documentary maker couple infiltrate seclusive sect surrounding charismatic leader claiming to be from the future.

  • Europa Report

    37.Europa Report

    ★★★½

    Intimate space ship interiors from found footage of manned mission to Jupiter’s moons in search for extra-terrestrial life.

  • Never Let Me Go

    38.Never Let Me Go

    ★★★

    Trio coming of age at strangely isolated boarding school in alternate history where life extension happened.

  • A Scanner Darkly

    39.A Scanner Darkly

    ★★★

    Shapeshifting surveillance agent in undercover drug lord operation becomes addicted to Substance D in Philip K. Dick story.

  • Cosmos

    40.Cosmos

    ★★★★

    Three astro-nuts with frictional past camp out in car on observatory all-nighter listening for strange space signals.

  • Cold Souls

    41.Cold Souls

    ★★★

    Captured spirits and soul-searching in Saint Petersburg as Paul Giamatti plays himself on the verge of total theatrical uninspiration.

  • Limitless

    42.Limitless

    ★★★

    Struggling author rids writer’s block with pilot nootropics and advances into finance while watched by the wrong people.

  • OtherLife

    43.OtherLife

    ★★★

    Biotech genius develops total simulation substance with the potential of severe time dilation and struggles to keep it from the wrong hands.

  • Extracted

    44.Extracted

    ★★★

    Scientist trips down unreliable memory lane of alleged murderer through mind extraction machinery of own invention.

  • Embers

    45.Embers

    ★★★

    Newfound lovers/strangers in desolation wander about on amnesic repeat caused by mysterious global disease.

  • The Quiet Earth

    46.The Quiet Earth

    ★★½

    Energy science lab rat tries to trump despair and seek explanations after awakening to a world devoid of people.

  • Travelling Salesman

    47.Travelling Salesman

    ★★★

    Mathematicians make computational complexity breakthrough in π-fi chamber play on the ethics of scientific progress.

  • Splice

    48.Splice

    ★★★½

    Biohacker couple of ambiguous moral fiber in sudden parenthood when illicit gene splicing pet project goes awry.

  • Little Joe

    49.Little Joe

    ★★★

    Triffid throwback in plant-based pastel on the symbiotic merits and morals of genetically modified organisms.

  • Cube

    50.Cube

    ★★★★

    Rational thinking under stress when group of strangers wake up in never-ending cubic deathtrap rigged with math.

  • The Quiet Hour

    51.The Quiet Hour

    ★★★

    Strong sister and blind brother keep up and out in expertly scored story of survival after alien invasion.

  • Robot Stories

    52.Robot Stories

    ★★★

    Makers and machine love in four-part anthology on the limits and possibilities of human-robot interaction.

  • Stranded

    53.Stranded

    ★★★½

    Vastly underrated down-to-earth exploration of Mars after pioneer crew crash-lands in crater on limited life support.

  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

    54.Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

    ★★★

    Collapsing and newfound relations in apocalyptic road movie about earth on the brink of destruction due to asteroid Matilda.

  • Sleep Dealer

    55.Sleep Dealer

    ★★★

    Drone strike surviving village teen hacker meets memory author in Tijuana when looking for fortune in telerobotics.

  • Vanishing Waves

    56.Vanishing Waves

    ★★★

    Surreal erotic encounters as one conscious test subject travels mind of comatose other under not-so-controlled conditions.

  • Uncanny

    57.Uncanny

    ★★½

    Ex-engineer science writer spends week at solitary lab for interviews with prodigal inventor and the AI creation Adam.

  • Self/less

    58.Self/less

    ★★★

    Prosperous property developer attempts escape from elderness through supposedly safe mind uploading to younger body.