Top 5: Underrated Sci-fi Films

This week’s Top 5 Friday was chosen by @supershortreviews, give that page a follow!

This week, we’re taking a look at our favorite sci-fi films we think deserve a higher rating than they get, which means that they might not get the best reviews, but that we love personally. Without further adieu, here is my list:

5) Europa Report (IMDb: 6.5) This is a movie that I didn’t have any expectations of at all; I had no idea what it was, what it was about, or what kind of movie it was. When I realized that it was a found footage horror film, my hopes went down. However, the movie was very interesting and got better as it went on, and really surprised me overall. For a found footage horror film, this was way better than it should’ve been, and the fact that it’s in space makes it all the better. I’m not sure why the rating is so low but if I had to guess, I’d probably say people’s expectations raised the bar too high- and maybe the marketing for this movie promised more than the film ended up offering… which does seem to be the case as this film was marketed using mostly only footage from the first and third acts (the exposition and climax). The film has a lot more story than expected, and a lot less action if you watched the trailer, but the film in general is definitely worth a watch and needs to be revisited if it hasn’t been viewed for some time.

4) Man of Steel(IMDb: 7.1) Say what you will about Zack Snyder‘s films, but his emphasis on action coupled with the screenwriting gravitas of Christopher Nolan gives us one hell of a superhero origin story. Not only does this have some of the most epic visuals and sequences in superhero film history, but the character is just as monumental. Where Batman v Superman failed, this film excelled with the character of Superman. I’m not saying that this is perfect movie, since there are some convenient occurrences and some cheesy lines of dialogue, but I would have to be nitpicky in order to pick this film apart; the movie treats Superman (and Clark Kent) with such care, and I love the nonlinear narrative structure that we are offered in order to understand why this alien feels like he belongs here – and why he is happy fighting against his own kind for the betterment of the human race. As a whole, it’s just one of the most gratifying superhero films that I’ve seen, and I really hope DC gets their act together and makes at least one more film worth watching. To read more about my favorite superhero films, click here.

3) The Wolverine (IMDb 6.7). When I first watched The Wolverine back in 2013, I was immediately impressed by the look of the film: the cinematography is gorgeous, and James Mangold’s direction makes it the most aesthetically pleasing film in the X-Men film series. A lot of these films are grotesque in some ways, and while this film is too at times, there is more of a reliance on beauty, it seems, which draws and interesting juxtaposition as well as a parallel, even, between Wolverine and the world he is in. If you watch this film series in The Elite Order, the story in this film makes even more sense and really emphasizes how damaged Logan is as a character. Just like how the trailer of Logan made that film look, this one is definitely a Western, in themes as well as story. Logan is without a doubt a lost and damaged drifter, and this film takes us back to his past, in a time before he became the Weapon he was turned into; this film shows us more about this character than all preceeding films, and it’s really a great film to watch as a fan of superhero movies or not.

2) Meet the Robinsons (IMDb 6.9) This film just barely didn’t make the cut for my Top 5 Disney Animated Films list, but it’s absolutely noteworthy regardless of that. At age 12, I saw this film in the theaters, and although I was 100% the target audience, I like to think that I’ve always had at least slightly more sophisticated tastes than the other 12 year olds. My favorite movies then were Aliens and Terminator 2, and I always loved movies with a good story rather than just effects, and this film was definitely one that I loved. I’m not sure why other people don’t like it as much, I thought that the way this film played around with time was genius, and the emotional story we get with our main character and his family turned out to be extremely heartfelt and endearing. Plus, this film is creative and funny and just an absolute blast to watch. I still quote the T-Rex quite often.

1) Deja Vu (IMDb 7.0) My favorite director growing up was Tony Scott. His films, especially Enemy of the Statewere and are a lot of fun to watch, and most of that fandom began with me watching Deja Vu. If there’s ever a type of film that I’m a fan of, it’s the one that takes a strange sci-fi idea, and makes it almost believable. While watching these films, it’s imperative that disbelief be suspended in order to have a good time, and I don’t get why some people refuse to do that. Those people aren’t good movie watchers, in my opinion, if they don’t know how to enjoy themselves with the notions that these films put forward. The way this film involves “time travel,” more or less is mind-blowing, and it’s done in a way that makes the ending extremely satisfying and rewarding. It’s not a kind of twist that warrants a re-watch, but watching the film a second time is just as fun as the first because we kind of understand everything that’s going on before we have to be explained it. This and Eagle Eye are both the same way in that regard, and I really enjoy that film too.

So, there we have it! Thanks to Super Short Reviews for the category, and if you’d like to be the next person to get a shoutout and pick the category, be the first to comment your thoughts on the question on my Instagram page! As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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