Cinema has always loved to present films that challenge the bounds of the possible and the known, and this is particularly true among the best sci fi films ever.  All of these sci fi films, which are very well-made, challenge our notions of what science can do and what exists beyond the borders of our current knowledge.

  1. "Avatar"- This monumental sci fi film, which earned record breaking amounts of money at the box office, has rapidly become one of the classics of science fiction.  Telling the story of a man who goes to a colony planet and becomes acquainted with the natives, it is a stirring tale of the strength of the human spirit and the dangers of brutalizing the environment.

  2. "2001:  A Space Odyssey"- This classic science fiction film is both intellectually stimulating and, for the period in which it was made, quite visually complex.  It does not have a particularly fast-paced narrative, instead following the evolution of humankind and the possibility of moving beyond our bodies.  It is definitely a mind-bending film that is worth an afternoon watch.

  3. "Star Wars Episode VI:  The Return of the Jedi"- No list of the best science fiction films ever made would be complete without this classic, the brainchild of George Lucas.  In this final volume of his trilogy, Luke Skywalker challenges his father Darth Vader and at last balance is restored to the force with the death of the evil Emperor.

  4. "Dune"- Although David Lynch’s adaptation of the classic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert has received a great amount of criticism, it is nevertheless a fascinating science fiction film, and it adds some interesting touches to the novel’s material.  If you are looking for a science fiction film that is somewhat campy, then this is the film for you.

  5. "Inception"- This mind-bending science fiction film from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan tells the story of a group of men who are able to enter into the dreams of others.  Like any good science fiction film, it challenges us to think beyond what we normally see as the possible, and with its excellent cast (including Leonardo DiCaprio) and intricate plot (which can be somewhat confusing) this is one science fiction film that is not to be missed.

  6. "Planet of the Apes"- This sci fi film definitely stands at the pinnacle of science fiction.  It tells the story of an astronaut who crash-lands on a planet of talking apes, and his struggle for survival in a world gone mad.  The costuming and makeup have become emblematic and Hollywood, and the end of the film (which I won’t give away) is definitely one of the most iconic in the history of the cinema.  This film is both chilling and stunningly thought-provoking, and is an excellent way to spend an afternoon or an evening.

  7. "Splice"- This recent sci fi film, which stars Adrian Brody, is a tale of the dangers of genetic experimentation.  When two scientists blend human and animal genetic material, they soon find that their creation has an unpleasant mixture of both, and they struggle to both survive and keep the creature from wreaking unimaginable havoc.  This film is a chilling reminder of the dangers of science unleashed.