Face it: we already live in the future. We’ve got robot cars and computers in our pockets and Large Hadron Colliders and we aren’t stopping anytime soon. The sci-fi movies of yesterday are still wonderful but the sci-fi movies of the 21st century have face an impossible challenge: the future we could envision in the year 2000 is, in many ways, radically removed from the future we envision today, and many of the technologies we now take for granted were a pipe dream only 20 years ago.
So it’s fascinating to explore the last 20 years of science fiction motion pictures and watch filmmakers struggle to stay on the cutting edge of the cutting edge, always one step into the future, and (hopefully) never ruined by the next big leap forward. The best sci-fi movies of the 21st century (so far) have found ways to connect their big, futuristic ideas with contemporary and/or universal concerns. Our anxieties about governments, technology, artificial intelligences, unthinkable new species and our own, potentially questionable natures fuel the fiction we write about what’s in store for us tomorrow.
And these are the best works of cinematic fiction that have been told about our tomorrows, today.