The most popular science fiction movies for guys feature plenty of action and often some humor. But mostly it's fight scenes guys want to see, whether in space or in the virtual world of "The Matrix" or in present day with robots from the future (or another planet). The most popular science fiction movies listed here also benefit from great stories and clever writing.

  1. "Aliens." One of the greatest science fiction action films ever made, James Cameron's "Aliens" features Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and some gung-ho Marines up against some of the deadliest critters in movie history. The movie, the seventh highest grossing picture of 1986 with a box office take of $82.5 million, starts with Ripley still having nightmares about her encounter with the alien aboard the mining ship Nostromo years earlier. She is recruited to return to the alien planet because communication has been lost and "The Company" wants to find out if there are survivors or aliens there. At least this time, she's backed up with some firepower. Once the action starts, it never lets up and Ripley has an unforgettable showdown with the alien queen.

  2. "The Empire Strikes Back." The coolest of the Star Wars films, this 1980 classic features the great battle on the ice planet Hoth, the introduction of Yoda, Han and Leia finally getting it together and the first great duel between Luke and Vader. The story picks up soon after the first movie ends, with Luke (Mark Hamill) teaming with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher in her prime) and the rest of the rebel forces as they are on the run by the evil Empire, which is seriously pissed that the Death Star was blown up. Unlike the gee-whiz fairy tale aspect of the first "Star Wars" movie and the goofy cutesiness of "Return of the Jedi," "Empire" keeps things relatively dark and edgy. And back when this was released, the surprise connection of Vader and Luke truly stunned audiences.

  3. "Terminator 2." With better special effects than the 1984 original, this 1991 sequel (also directed by Cameron) keeps the storyline moving ahead at breakneck speed. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a good terminator this time, is sent to protect John Connor, who is still destined to be the leader of the humans in their future war against the machines. Undoubtedly one of the most popular science fiction movies for guys, "T2" was the box office champion of 1991, raking in an impressive $205 million.

  4. "Blade Runner." Director Ridley Scott, who helmed the original "Alien" film and star Harrison Ford helped make this 1982 movie one of the all-time great science fiction classics. Ford plays a detective searching out "replicants," androids who look human, but may be dangerous. In 1982, several other big-budget science fiction movies came out, including "E.T.," "Tron," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," and "The Thing," but "Blade Runner's" noirish tone and the world-weary persona of Ford, just coming off his debut at Indiana Jones the year before, has made this film into a cult classic and a favorite of guys who like sci-fi movies.

  5. "The Matrix." A popular movie for guys and chicks, too, this 1999 hit was a fitting way to close out the 20th century as computers began presenting the world with new mysteries, opportunities and dangers, and a new wave of technology that was allowing filmmakers to break barriers. Not since the original "Star Wars" in 1977 had a single film changed the look of movies quite as dramatically as "The Matrix," with its physics-defying stunts and 360-degree camera work in the middle of fight scenes. The movie, which made Keanu Reeves an international superstar and was the fifth highest-grossing movie of 1999," follows the story of a computer programmer (Reeves), who discovers that the reality most of the world perceives is a simulated reality. He joins up with a rebel force to fight the machines, but the layers of themes, storytelling and symbolism are much richer than in most action movies.