The Top 50 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1990s

You and I live in the future of our past, and no, that’s not a wad of meaningless bullcrap. A lot of the science fiction we are inundated with every day is based and inspired by the science fiction of the past, recycling old ideas and trying – and sometimes failing – to make them feel new again.

Ghost in the Shell came out last week, and it’s a remake of a classic sci-fi movie from 1995. The Matrix is getting new installments at some point in the future, and that concept dates all the way back to 1999. We’re supposedly getting a Rocketeer sequel sooner than later, a long-awaited follow-up to a sci-fi superhero classic from 1991. The list goes on and on.

Sci-fi movies were plentiful in the 1990s, but it’s an unusual era for the genre. Cynicism and optimism appeared to be in a constant clash, and the internet – a technology that would soon come to dominate the planet – was still the subject of speculation and fantasy. Low-budget sci-fi flicks were able to compete with major blockbusters, and silly sci-fi movies were able to hold their own against serious examinations of our place in the universe.

Also: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and the Commodification of Scarlett Johansson’s Body

So when you try to consider how these many disparate sci-fi movies compare to each other, it’s a tricky business. As always we try to focus on how successfully each film accomplished its own, distinctive goals. We also try to emphasize on how effective each film is as science fiction, not just as pure entertainment (but of course entertainment is an important factor too).

Everyone has their favorite sci-fi films from the 1990s. Now, let’s see how your favorites hold up! Which one(s) do YOU think will be the next to get big remakes or reboots (for better or worse)?

The Top 50 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1990s

Top Photos: Warner Bros. / Warner Bros. / TriStar Pictures

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.