Best Sci-Fi Movie of 2011

January 13, 2012 by

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Super 8
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • The Thing
  • X-Men: First Class

2011 was a decent, if not solid, year for science fiction. The best superhero film of 2011, X-Men: First Class, proved that the popular Marvel franchise don’t need no effin’ Wolverine as its primary draw. Like honorable mention Another Earth, the mutant movie’s engrossing dramatic story eclipsed its dated special effects. The Thing prequel, our pick for best horror film, provided audiences with a gripping ride even if you discount its disturbing horror aspects. Behind its 3D overload of action-to-the-max bot battles, Transformers: Dark of the Moon spun a Space Race-rooted plot that’s as sci-fi as you can get, but maybe it only seemed impressive because Revenge of the Fallen was such a mess for most people.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, another one of summer’s pleasant surprises, succeeded where Tim Burton couldn’t a decade ago and rebooted a franchise that’s been a staple of the genre for nearly half a century. Despite being a personal favorite of mine this year, Caesar & co. lose a very, very close decision to our pick for top banana, Super 8, in which J.J. Abrams padded his sci-fi wizardry (Lost, Cloverfield, the Star Trek reboot) with a story that warmly harkens back to Spielberg’s masterful early sci-fi work. And even though its ending was a dud, we’re rewarding Super 8, the only non-prequel/sequel/remake on the list above, for its originality and mesmerizing must-stay stinger. Winner: Super 8

Honorable Mentions: Another Earth, Attack the Block, Battle: Los Angeles, Source Code