The past decade’s sci-fi offerings may have OD’ed on CG effects, but some efforts actually deserve the “thinking man’s SF” moniker . . .

#10 MOON (2009)

What’s it about? Working stiff astronaut (Sam Rockwell) discovers that everything isn’t as it appears to be. Either that or loneliness had driven him mad . . .

Why? Thoughtful hard SF tale that not only harkens back to the 1970s, but also to short stories by the likes of Arthur C. Clarke.

#9 TIMECRIMES (2007)

What’s it about? Clever time travel story about a middle-aged schlubb who might or might not be a witness to a murder.

Why? Don’t be misled by the DVD cover. This isn’t some torture porn horror movie, but a clever Spanish time travel movie that inexorably follows its own plot logic in the best tradition of the genre.

#8 FLATLAND (2007)

What’s it about? Indie SF movie based on a Victorian novel (!) set in a world that lacks depth, i.e., the world is completely 2-D!

Why? It isn’t only math buffs that will enjoy this oddity. Science fiction fans of a certain inclination (those who enjoy the science more than the fiction) will find loads to appreciate. Besides, chances are that you’ve never seen anything like it before!

#7 SERENITY (2005)

What’s it about? Full-length feature film based on Buffy-creator Joss Whedon’s sadly doomed space opera TV show Firefly.

Why? Because it’s a better Star Wars flick than any of the prequels . . .

#6 DONNIE DARKO (2001)

What’s it about? Who knows exactly! Giant talking monster rabbits and time travel, we think . . .

Why? An instant cult smash Donnie Darko had everything from hilarious chats on the Smurfs to an intense foreshadowing of doom that’ll make even Stephen King wet his pants!


THE MIST (2007)

What’s it about? . . . and speaking of which. This horror movie about some townspeople trapped in supermarket by nasty beasties from another dimension is based on a novella by Stephen King. It is directed by Frank Darabont of Shawshank Redemption fame.

Why? The. Best. Ending. Ever.


What’s it about? Steven Spielberg movie starring Tom Cruise as a cop who arrests murderers before they can commit any crimes. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.

Why? Minority Report gave sci-fi cinema some astoundingly new and fresh visual ideas . . .

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