The science-fiction feature film genre has been around for decades, but it went through a curious evolution in the 2000s that gave us some of the best sci-fi films ever made. Coming right on the heels of the internet’s ascension and the rise of the digital age, new technologies opened up a world of possibilities for filmmakers venturing into the sci-fi genre throughout the 2000s. From 2000 through 2009, audiences were glimpsing effects that were growing more realistic on an exponential level, fittingly climaxing with the groundbreaking Avatar to close out the decade. But while technology gave filmmakers more possibilities to make things bigger, better, and flashier, the best films of the genre throughout the 2000s used the technology as a tool, not a crutch, and some of the lower-tech sci-fi films ended up being some of the best.
As we now live in a world where the sci-fi genre is evolving at an impressive rate, we thought it prudent to take a look back and curate a list of the best sci-fi films of the 2000s. Collider’s own Adam Chitwood and Haleigh Foutch settled on a total of 25 sci-fi films that deserve this moniker, so settle in and take a peek at their selections and explanations.
But first, a note: the superhero genre could technically fit inside the sci-fi genre, but we made the conscious decision to not include superhero films in the making of this particular list, as those films could make up a list all their own. So before you start complaining about us leaving out Spider-Man or X2, know that these films were “disqualified” from consideration.