Science fiction movies, the best of the 21st century

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Writer Robert A. Heinlein defined thescience fictionas “a realistic speculation about possible future events, solidly based on an adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present.” Under this premise, it is not surprising that it is considered one of the most fascinating genres in all of cinematographic history. Here the best science fiction movies.

Its futuristic nature has caused countless projects to opt for visual spectacularity. However, there are numerous filmmakers who have taken advantage of the opportunities to explore all kinds of stories. Which ones have transcended among the greatest jewels so far in the 21st century?

From aliens to dystopian worlds. We take a tour of science fiction films in recent years that have explored the future to explain the society of the present.

Sector 9 (Dir. Neill Blomkamp, ​​2009)

Science fiction movies

The film shows an alien species stranded on our planet and condemned to a life as refugees. Far from inspiring compassion, these ‘prawns’ are seen as inferior beings who only deserve contempt. But also as a latent threat to the lifestyle of its hosts. However, the creatures cling to life and yearning to find their own place in the universe. This is where we meet Wikus Van De Merwe, a bureaucrat condemned to a terrible physical transformation that will turn him into what he has so often rejected.

Despite the obvious physical differences, this change will allow you to discover who the real monster in our story is. In this way, Sector 9 rises as one of the determining science fiction films in the evolution of the extraterrestrial subgenre, which stops showing creatures as mere invaders to turn them into victims of human nature. Finally, he highlights that this film is increasingly relevant to the growing refugee crisis that generates so much nervousness around the world.

Upstream Color (Dir. Shane Carruth, 2013)

Science fiction movies

One of the most misunderstood, but also most celebrated science fiction films of recent times. Shane Carruth takes an authentic journey into the human mind through a microorganism that grants him mental control over his guests, which eventually results in a singular reflection on our emotions. But don’t expect a traditional film, as the director resorts to all sorts of unorthodox techniques to get the job done. Quite a feat if we consider that this film was made with just $ 50,000 USD. A film that is virtually impossible to classify and that opens the way for countless debates.

Read on: the best science fiction movies of the 21st century.

Minority Report: Prior judgment (Dir. Steven Spielberg, 2002)

Philip K. Dick’s adaptation of The Minority Report has been unfairly classified as a palomera film, but time has vindicated it among the greatest exponents of contemporary sci-fi. Steven Spielberg leaves behind his kind metaphors of the genre to delve into his first – and only – cyberpunk work about a world completely dominated by the image: personalized advertising campaigns, an absolute surveillance with infinite eye controls and a controversial justice that operates under the reliability of the Pre-Cogs, whose premonitions act as a disturbing death lottery in anticipating the execution of a murder. But the view can be deceiving and the creative will prove it with a complex accusation against a Pre-Crime agent. A work that deserves more in-depth reviews than those it has received and that allows us to question the complexity of man in the face of the wide range of possibilities that his path offers.

She (Dir. Spike Jonze, 2013)

There are many filmmakers who resort to visual spectacularity to capture the duality between man and machine. However, Spike Jonze prefers to employ more subtle techniques in what many consider to be his masterpiece: Ella. Theodore is a lonely man who turns to the latest technology to alleviate his ills, software programmed to become a completely personalized friend. Or even something else. Based on these elements, the director offers us an interesting reflection of our interaction with technology, but also opens important debates about the dehumanization of our species. And it is that while the central character looks inoperative before the society that surrounds him, his virtual partner exhibits increasingly human features that allow him to listen to his neighbor, but also break his heart before his own desires to explore his new emotions.

Read on: the best science fiction movies of the 21st century.

Blade Runner 2049 (Dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

Science fiction movies

Only a creative genius like Denis Villeneuve could take one of the great classics of all time to transfer its mythology to new generations. Blade runner 2049 (one of the most outstanding science fiction films) never tries to imitate what is done by the original work, but takes advantage of its most important elements to build an important reflection of man based on his relationship with the machine.

And it is that the human is a complex species that enjoys while playing God, but is terrified at the slightest possibility that their creations lose control. All this while trying to solve the eternal dilemmas of his own existence: Who are we, where do we come from and where are we going? This in turn leads us to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? The simplest answer refers merely to the species, but is complicated by a destructive society and a technology that doubts, fears, loves and just wants to ‘live’.

Interstellar (Dir. Christopher Nolan, 2014)

It may be the riskiest film in Christopher Nolan’s work, but not necessarily the most appreciated. Despite this, Interstellar has become an object of worship among those sectors of the public who have appreciated the message of humanity hidden in its elaborate plot. And it is that the director resorts to an impressive scientific base that explores the most important theories of space-time to show the history of a decadent world that can only be saved by the bravery of one man.

But our protagonist is not a hero, because he only accepts because he knows that it is the only way he could guarantee the salvation of his children. In the end, this love manages to cross all the boundaries of physics and ends up being the key to guaranteeing our survival. Although misunderstood by many, Interstellar is a science fiction film that deserves numerous reviews to better appreciate its message. And no matter how many times we do it, it will always end up surprising us.

Read on: the best science fiction movies of the 21st century.

Under the skin (Dir. Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

What does it mean to be human? Science fiction movies have tried to answer this question on numerous occasions, Under the Skin being one of the most effective. To do this, Jonathan Glazer draws on the perspective of an alien roaming around Glasgow in an effort to understand our species. This allows the visitor to begin to find answers through her nascent humanity. But do not expect sentimentality, the director offers an extremely ambiguous message that must be interpreted by each one. After all, no one said that human beings were easy to explain. Not even the presence of Scarlett Johansson saved the film from a box office failure and a harsh critical reception, but time seems to consolidate it more and more in cult status. We trust that in a few more years she will be recognized as one of the best exponents in the history of the genre.

Eternal radiance of a mind without memories (Dir. Michel Gondry, 2004))

The human psyche is a fascinating subject, but little explored by science fiction. Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman rescue the tradition started by Alain Resnais (Je t’aime, je t’aime) and Chris Marker (La jetée) with Eternal radiance of a mind without memories, an exquisite love story that leads us through a loop infinite to explore the emotional wounds that do not want to heal. The filmmaker makes perfect use of the qualities of his cast headed by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, and technical resources such as flashback to lead us on a temporary journey with a technology that makes it possible to erase any pain from memory. But also all the lessons learned from experience, which opens the way to a series of interesting reflections: Is it possible to erase the past, fall in love with the same person twice, or simply live without the memory of being loved?

Read on: the best science fiction movies of the 21st century.

The arrival (Dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

Cinematographic aliens often represent an external threat, but Denis Villeneuve prefers to take advantage of Ted Chiang’s story The Story of Your Life to turn it into an opportunity. Arrival is more than just an alien science fiction film, as creatures from outer space are used as a mere narrative tool to capture the violent essence of man. Well, what can be more dangerous than an animal subjected to fear and determined to attack at the slightest provocation?

Opportunities open up when we think outside the box, as the protagonist demonstrates by risking everything to gain understanding from visitors. But in one of the great ironies of knowledge, the film shows us that wisdom can bring great opportunities, but also great hardships. And still we can’t live without it. A special mention for director Denis Villeneuve, who draws on a complex narrative at different times to create one of the most moving time travels in cinematic history.

Children of Man (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)

Science fiction movies

It is not only one of the best science fiction films so far in the 21st century, but one of the best exponents of the genre in all its history. Alfonso Cuarón leads us through an uncertain future in which humanity has been condemned by nature itself after the species lost its reproductive capacities. Just like that, like a plague that deserves to be exterminated for the common good.

It only remains to wait patiently for our extinction. Or maybe not, because hope resurfaces with the surprise pregnancy of a young refugee. And humanity reacts as it knows best: a conflict that aims to take advantage of the woman and her child as political propaganda. An interesting exploration of human nature in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to our mistakes. All this built with enormous narrative and technical mastery, in which it could well be classified as the great Mexican masterpiece.

Read on: the best science fiction movies of the 21st century.

The entry Science fiction movies, the best of the 21st century was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.

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