R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #4 - Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

[For the last 10 days of the decade, I'm doing a Top 10 list a day, all culminating into an ultimate post of Top 10 lists. We have previously seen Top 10 Comedies, Dramas, and Animation. Now we're moving on.]

Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films of the 2000s

Nothing says Christmas like aliens, dystopian futures, wizards, and elves. I'm not saying Sci-Fi and Fantasy are the same thing. I just didn't have enough of either/or to make two separate lists. So why not put them together? Most people do that anyway. But I have to say, this was one of the toughest to put into a list format. But let's get to it.

10. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 - 2003)

To not include this on the 'fantasy' list would be near blasphemous. There's really not much to say about these films. Between the visuals, the characters, the story, the Oscar wins... it's the definition of epic. I tried watching all 3 extended editions back-to-back once. I got through the first two and gave up... but I plan on attempting it sometime again in the future. Who would have thought three movies "about people walking... even the trees walk in these movies" (as Clerks II puts it) would be so entertaining?

9. Equilibrium (2002)

It's essentially 1984 and Farenheit 451 rolled together and dipped into an action movie. And it's really all about the action. Kurt Wimmer has a fantastic, action-packed imagination. The action is even arguably up there with The Matrix, but without the slo-mo. And then there's Christian Bale... back before people started obsessing over him (and before every one of his movies had a "Batman" voice).

8. Pandorum (2009)

One of my favorite films of the year, Pandorum gave us a classic space Sci-Fi film that we hadn't had in a while. It's also the third film on my list (and not my last) thus far with Ben Foster in it. Similar (but better than, in my opinion) the film Event Horizon, at least in feel/tone, Pandorum has a couple guys wake up from cryo-sleep completely disoriented and with some memory loss. They also seem to be two of the only guys left. They had been on a journey to a new planet when something happened... and that something quickly starts coming around the corner to kill them. It wasn't without its flaws, but it was still pretty dang good.

7. Avatar (2009)

The primary reason this made the list was its outstanding visuals. Yes, the story is nothing to shout over. But the visuals are. And the imagination of the film, ironically taking place on the planet "Pandora," is astounding. From the flora and fauna to the whole mythos of the film, it was just imaginative and fantastic.

6. Star Trek (2009)

J.J. Abrams' re-envisioning of the series was a risk, but it worked out. With enough to please the past fans, but keeping it fresh enough not to alienate newcomers, Star Trek found a middle ground that appeased everybody. It was funny and dramatic, and the special effects were fantastic. And it had Simon Pegg. It quickly found itself in my top sci-fi list of all time from the day I saw it.

5. Minority Report (2002)

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I could have sworn this got only so-so reviews when it came out, but then later started being loved (or maybe I just read the wrong bunch of reviews). But I always loved this movie. I loved the concept, the visuals... everything. But I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick films, as they're always entertaining. And this one in particular was helmed by Stephen Spielberg, so that makes it twice as good. I remember it really stood out to me, as it was one of the first films I'd seen that had a specific color tint throughout (silvery-blue). But anyway, it's a pretty good sci-fi thriller, which is why it made my list.

4. Pitch Black (2000)

Remember when I said Titan A.E. was one of the earliest films on my list? Well, this one beats it, originally released in February of 2000. This is the film that introduced one of my favorite film characters, Richard B. Riddick. It's also one of my favorite Vin Diesel films... and probably his best film to date. Its follow up, Chronicles of Riddick, was a bit of a let down, as it completely changed the tone and scope... but since a third film has been announced (and not only that, but announced as going back to a tone and scope of Pitch Black), I'm pretty excited once again. Thankfully, the sequel wasn't able to destroy my love for this film. A great sci-fi/horror film.

3. The Harry Potter Series, 1-6 (2001-2009)

There are still a couple movies to go (as the final book is being split into two films), but the bulk of the series has finished, and it's quite an achievement. Of course, there have been some downfalls (the third and fourth film, in my opinion). But even the worst movies of the series have outstanding moments (the visuals and overall tone of the third, and the graveyard scene of the fourth). For the most part, the series has been faithful to the books, either nearly page-for-page (the first two) or in spirit (the 5th and 6th). It has every top British actor, and because of that, some of the greatest casting for any film ever. Overall, it's a fantastic series, and the final films are promising to blow the rest of the series out of the water.

2. MirrorMask (2005)

For those of you who know me, not only excluding Harry Potter from the fantasy top spot, but putting over it a relatively unknown film is so preposterous that you'd have to see it to believe it. In other words, that says a lot about this particular film. If ever there was a film that was to delve into the realm of imagination and show it for its pure absurdity and craziness, it's this one. MirrorMask comes from the mind of Neil Gaiman and is about a young girl fed up with her life working in a family circus. But then her mother gets really sick and ends up in the hospital. Similar to the girl in Pan's Labyrinth, she takes refuge in her imagination, and you can never quite figure out whether the events of the movie are real or not. It's pretty much left up to you. But she ends up in a world different than her own, one with an evil queen and fantastic creatures, all drawn in her own style... very similar to the drawings she has all over her walls.

In fact, I find this movie so imaginative that whenever I have writer's block for my fiction, I pop in this movie, and it almost always helps. It's funny, quirky, insanely creative, and an all-around bizarre time. I wasn't sure whether or not I liked it the first time I saw it, but come that second time, I adored it. Fun note, the girl who plays the main character in this movie is sisters with the girl who played Katie Bell in the 6th Harry Potter film (always fun to tie films back to HP).

1. V For Vendetta (2005)

A holiday movie if there ever was one... just not for Christmas. It brought people everywhere to celebrate Guy Fawkes day AKA The Fifth of November. Produced by the Wachowskis (The Matrix) and directed by James McTeigue (also known for the recent Ninja Assassin), V For Vendetta is brutal, honest, metaphorical, heartbreaking, mysterious, thrilling... and probably a hundred other adjectives. I think, overall, the best adjectives would be "beautiful" and "powerful." And who doesn't wanna pop this guy in come November 5th?

End Note: For those curious, Sunshine barely missed my list. While I really like the movie, that last third still irks me too much for me to put it on the list. But it probably would have made #11 had there been more.


  1. I would like to watch the movie. Thanks for the update.

  2. I suppose now would be a bad time for me to vent about people lumping series of movies together into one entry for their top 10 lists? Yours has 17!


    I dig all of the ones you mention that I've seen. As for Minority Report, I think a lot of people (Mrs. Fletch, included) hated the Spielbergian happy ending; it tied the movie into too nice a bow. But aside from that, it's a great flick.

    What, no Matrix sequels?

  3. Well, OK. If I had to choose one LOTR it would be RotK, and if I had to choose 1 HP, it would be Half-Blood Prince. There :P .

    And no... no Matrix sequels.


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