Top 10 Science Fiction Movies 2016

6 of the 10 movies being reviewed in this article about top 10 science fiction (sci-fi) movies of 2016 so far. 

6 of the 10 movies being reviewed in this article about top 10 science fiction (sci-fi) movies of 2016 so far. 

There have been quite a few science fiction movies that came out this year.  This list is not complete as two of the movies have yet to come out.  So, this is a mix of brief movie review as well as a list of movies most anticipated.  This is not a list of worst to best or vice versa.  They are in chronological order of release dates.

 

Terminus

Released: January 22, 2016

This movie came out at the beginning of the year.  I think because of that it went largely unnoticed.  It is also more of an indie movie than commercial.  Yet, I felt like it deserves mentioning for the quality of its trailer and content.

The setting for this science-fiction, psychological thriller is in a small rural town.  The story follows a working dad who survives a car crash after being blinded by light from a meteor crash.  Waking up near the meteor, a foreign object somehow allows David to walk away from the crash unscathed.  The government soon takes an interest in the object David has and from there the conflict begins.

This movie received a pretty low score on Rotten Tomatoes, 26% of critics liked it.  But for a science fiction movie that doesn’t have a large commercial backing, I thought it deserved a higher rating.  It made a strong attempt to blend apocalypse and conspiracy theories─ unlike Inferno (2016).

A full movie review of this will be out soon.

 

The 5th Wave

Released: January 22, 2016

Even though I enjoy reading, I could not bring myself to read this book.  It was a little less difficult to watch the movie.  After watching Carrie (2013) it is hard for me to take the teen, lead actress Chloë Grace Moretz seriously.  She is one of those actresses who is struggling to break out of the “child-actor” mold.  This was a major fault for me throughout the movie.

Released on the same date as Terminus (2016), it got worse reviews even though it earned more in the box office.  This is because it already had a following with the book.  But unlike Terminus, The 5th Wave takes place during the middle of an apocalypse as a series of alien attacks destroy the planet.  With humanity being wiped out by disease and natural disasters, Chloë’s character Cassie Sullivan endures a world of chaos to reunite with her brother.  Forced to trust a stranger she is determined to find her brother during the fifth wave of alien attacks.

Yeah, this movie was as exciting and predictable as the synopsis I just gave.  I only have this in the top ten, as it is the top ten commercialized movies.  A lot of advertisements, previous following, and breaking doing okay at the box office.

Would I recommend watching The 5th Wave?  No, unless you feel you must because you read the book.

I will not be doing a full review of this movie.

 

Midnight Special

Released: March 18, 2016

I do not know about the rest of the world, but I could not wait to see this movie.  I would say my anticipation for this movie was equal to Super 8 (2011) when it came out.  I am normally not a fan of movies with kids in it, but I had to because of the trailer.

The basic synopsis of this story is that a religious group and the government are after a boy with special powers.  The boy’s father is trying to understand and keep his son out of these two organization’s hands.  I can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the movie.  But I will be writing a full review soon.

Definitely, a must-see for 2016.  The following movies are all highly recommend, even though I probably won’t be watching Rogue One (2016).

 

Captain America: Civil War

Released: May 6, 2016

Best Captain America to come out yet?  I would say yes.  Though this movie is a mix of science fiction and fantasy it had to be on the list.  Most anticipated Marvel movie of the year besides Doctor Strange (2016), the villain or antagonist in this movie was too great.  Black Panther was my favorite new hero thus far (#sorrynotsorry Spiderman) and it was not short of enjoyable face-offs.

The basic synopsis of the movie revolves around the Avenger’s actions over the past two movies.  Politicians around the world agree the Avengers need supervision to cut collateral damage done.  For example dropping a meteor back onto Earth. Some Avengers agree with this while others don’t.  Captain America (Chris Evans) believes that the Avengers should protect humanity without government interference.  While Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) believes otherwise.  So, a division is created between the two, forcing the others to pick a side.  While all this is going on, there is an individual plotting to ensure the Avengers stay divided permanently.

The reason I liked this movie more than Doctor Strange was the antagonist.  He wasn’t plotting against the world.  Yes, he was getting revenge but it was for a different reason than what has occurred in other Marvel movies.  The humor was there but it wasn’t forced like I felt it was in the second Avengers.  The second Avengers movie also had a weak antagonist in my opinion when it came to an era or “Age of Ultron.”  This felt like a war between the two Avengers, with an extra subplot that was too strong to go unnoticed.

I will not be doing a full movie review of this movie as it isn’t necessary this late into the year.  Watch it. The end.

 

Star Trek: Beyond

Released: July 22, 2016

This is one movie that I do not have a lot to say about it.  The makeup was great.  The crises were realistic and the emotionally investing in the characters was worth it.  Was it as good as Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)?  I would say no.  However, it was a good summer flick.

Surprise, surprise... the "Starship Enterprise" gets destroyed on a rogue mission.  The end result is the Starship's crew stranded on a planet with a leader wishes to destroy a major planet.  Though this may sound like Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) the machine is not destroyed as fast as it is introduced.  This weapon is introduced early on and is the major source of conflict throughout the movie. Meanwhile, Spock learns more about his emotions after suffering a great loss.

The crew gets separated in this film and it was nice to see the different relationships beyond the main characters.  Much of the movie wasn’t just about Spock or Kirk, but the villain, his followers and those who had fallen victim to the villain’s cruelty. 

Watch it if you have a fear of missing out on sequels.  Especially since the next Star Trek release date has yet to be announced.

 

Doctor Strange

Released: November 4, 2016

I was not the largest fan of this movie.  It received the same score on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb as Captain America: Civil War though I would give it more of a 7/10 (IMDb) and 80% (RT) instead of an 8/10 and 90%.

The reason for this is because I am picky when it comes to a good villain or antagonist.  Doctor Strange delivered decent character depth for the initial villain.  Yet, like so many Marvel movies the main villain or antagonist lacked depth.  They also made this super god-like figure killed / destroyed so fast.  Faster than Ultron.  So, if I were to compare the two side-by-side, Doctor Strange was better because it was graphically more intriguing.  That cannot be denied.

Synopsis:  A rich, celebrity doctor gets in a car accident while driving distracted looking at x-rays of a potential patient.  After surviving a car crash (that any normal person would have died from), he is no longer able to perform surgeries.  As the nerves in his hands are permanently damaged.  He later learns that a patient was able to walk again after being paralyzed from the neck down. This is the beginning of Dr. Stephen Strange's quest (Benedict Cumberbatch) to find the eastern temple where the patient was healed.  Yet, this temple challenges his beliefs of modern science.  Though he comes around after going on an intense and rapid journey through the universe.  With The Ancient One’s help and his photographic memory, Dr. Strange learns to control time just in time to save not only himself but all humanity.

It was an okay Marvel movie.  I hope it ends up being like Captain America and fine wine:  only gets better with time.

Recommend it as highly as the next movie?  Certainly not, but if you want some Inception (2010) world-bending graphics with magic, then go for it.

 

When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - is brought together to investigate.

Arrival

Released: November 11, 2016

Best science fiction movie of the year.  I am not saying that Passengers (2016) will not be better, but all my energy was geared towards this movie.  It did not disappoint.  When I walked out of the theater I heard three things: “I didn’t know it was going to make me cry.”  “That writer definitely read Nietzsche.” “That movie was dumb.”

This movie can be a tear jerker.  Not in the typical John Green The Fault in Our Stars (2014) kind of way, but how much you relate and understand the actions of the main character.  The second comment about Friedrich Nietzsche and the “eternal recurrence” is also true.   The eternal recurrence is a hypothetical concept that the universe is recurring over infinite time.  In combination with another theory of the movie “Sapir–Whorf hypothesis,” an individual can gain knowledge and learn from events.  Amy Adams character does this by using the aliens' language, allowing her to see time as infinite and non-linear.

And if you thought this movie was dumb, then you should stick to Marvel Studio productions.  Less depth and less complicated for your brain.

How is this done?  Well, a linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams), is selected to lead a team who's mission is to learn the aliens' language and understand their purpose.  The aliens are stationed at twelve different sites globally, with each host country trying to understand the language.  As Louise learns the aliens’ language she starts to hallucinate about events that she doesn’t understand.  A serious conflict arises as human nature takes over and China wants to attack the aliens.  When the crisis comes, Louise must choose to change the future of her world and humanity's forever.

So many themes.  I am a philosophy of science nut so I loved this movie.  What amazed me most of all was that this movie was a short story titled “Story of Your Life” written by Ted Chiang.  I am going to read this for sure to weigh the execution of the movie with the short story, but I hope this movie makes it to the nominations.  It deserves it.

I forgot to mention that this movie was also directed by the same man who did Sicario (2015).  That was another movie that I greatly enjoyed.  Highly recommended and a must see.

As the last three movies have not come out yet, I am only going to mention their dates and other general information.  No reviews.

 

Watch the official second trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which Jyn Erso leads a group of unlikely heroes to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters December 16, 2016.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: December 16, 2016

I most likely will not be watching this one.  To shock my readers, I did not enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) as much as others.  The Disney tragic hero theme smothered the story, along with the comedic relief.  So, I am going to wait and won’t be too upset if I miss this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assassin’s Creed

Release Date: December 21, 2016

Because I played the game, one through three and brotherhood I must watch the movie.  Though I am not expecting the movie to be spectacular, I have high hopes for the action scenes and Michael Fasbender as the main character. 

I will do a full movie review when this comes out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen Passengers Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Jennifer Lawrence Movie A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.

 

Passengers

Release Date: December 21, 2016

I tend to avoid movies with Jennifer Lawrence in it.  Not because of Hunger Games, but because of her constant type-casting with Bradley Cooper and working under David O. Russell, i.e. Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013), Joy (2015).

The director for Passengers also did The Imitation Game (2014).  If he delivers on this one, I might be watching two movies in one day the week before Christmas.

If it’s worth it, then I will do a full movie review.