5 underrated sci-fi movies that deserve your love
Science fiction has been a staple of the movie industry since the silent era and has since grown in influence over time. With various auteurs and directors taking on the genre, nurturing and enriching it, giving us some of the most amazing cinema, moments and cinematic achievements. Somehow these movies like their literary counterpart have pushed the limits of human imagination and the medium, all the while providing some really prophetic predictions. So when something so influential comes along, there are bound to be some good ones, bad ones, some ahead of its times, commercial failures, cult followings, generally a mixed bag so to say.
For instance, for every E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, somewhere a gem like Slipstream is lost. But to make a list of all the ones we lost would take ages; maybe we will go on and give you more in time. But for now, you can start off your journey with these five gems, which are readily available and are not too old. By the way these movies are by no way underrated or definitive but definitely deserve more than they get. So if you loved a Interstellar or a Martian, go give these some love.
Children of Men
Before Alfonso Cuarón made Gravity, he made Children of Men based on P. D. James’ novel of the same name, which somehow goes missing from his filmography. It may be reckless of me to say this but it’s definitely a better movie than Gravity. There I said it. It’s a nuanced take on human nature, war and redemption through a dystopian future where mankind is going extinct as there is no birth. Everything changes with a miracle pregnancy and the film deals with what follows. The movie has no special effects or anything but its take on society and collapse of it, till the birth of a messiah is compelling. And Clive Owen probably delivered the best performance of his life with this one, it literally made me feel he is so underutilized as an actor. It also has an interesting cast featuring Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Charlie Hunnam. This one surely deserves your time.
Alex Garland’s Natalie Portman led Annihilation didn’t fare too well upon release despite being lauded by critics for its stunning visuals and thought-provoking story. The cinema has however gained a following of late and why not? The movie, which is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name, is rich in its story telling, study of the human condition and Lovecraftian themes. It follows a group of women investigating a mysterious quarantine zone called the Shimmer to find answers, what follows is sheer beautiful cosmic horror that will stay with you for a long time. Go watch this one, you won’t be disappointed.
Directed by Danny Boyle, this science fiction should be a classic by now but unfortunately Boyle for many is Slumdog Millionaire. But a director whose movies range from zombie horror like 28 Days Later to a cult drug addiction drama, Trainspotting; it’s only too natural that when he makes a science fiction movie, it will be good. This Cillian Murphy led movie is gorgeous to look at (I feel even that is an understatement), and with a story by none other than Alex Garland, it follows a group of astronauts abroad Icarus II on their mission to reignite the sun. In the process they start questioning their own choices and humanity, ultimately leading to a beautiful ending. You got to watch this understand how beautiful it is. If it helps, the movie has an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong and Michelle Yeoh.
Directed and written by Sam Esmail, this movie is more romance than science fiction but I am allowed to one cheating I guess. The movie features no A-listers (the leads being Emmy Rossum and Justin Long) and is focused entirely on the love story of its leads told through a non-linear method featuring flashbacks and parallel dimensions. Despite being not a very deep and enriching, it is sensitive and beautiful enough to haunt you for days. Watch this with your loved one and you are sure to fall in love all over again.
Mike Cahill’s I Origins is a curiously good cinema which questions the cosmic design through the life of its protagonist (played by Michael Pitt) as he deals with life, love and his vocation, science; only to discover something that will life-changing or rather world altering. It is beautifully made with a good story, decent performances, and a soulful ending. At the core, it is a story of love and redemption. You won’t regret this one.
The author Tuhin Roy
Anything and everything at 24 fps interests me. Trying to learn new things about it everyday.