Forbidden Planet, Logan’s Run, Death Race 2000, The Day the Earth Stood Still, …

What’s your cutoff for “classic”? Are we talking about the classic film era, or anything older than 25 years?

MooseGas avatar

Great picks. I'm not too concerned with the timing. Even more recent, soon to be classics, are fair game.


Well in that case:

  • The Matrix
  • Dark City
  • Pi
  • Confluence
  • Predestination
  • Primer
  • Brazil
  • Time Bandits
  • Gremlins
  • They Live!
  • Escape from NY/LA
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • The Fifth Element
  • 12 Monkeys
  • Six String Samurai
  • Robocop
  • Total Recall
  • Terminator & Terminator 2
  • Event Horizon
  • Stargate
  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • Soldier
  • The Truman Show
  • Mars Attacks!
  • Demolition Man
  • Starship Troopers
  • Tank Girl
  • Cube
  • Species
  • Men in Black
  • Iron Sky
  • Robot Jox

… and many more!

firebat avatar

@lemmyng This is the list I was about to pit together so ty



Glad you included Primer. That's the only mandatory one imo.

NotTheOnlyGamer avatar

A few you missed:

  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • ExistenZ
  • The 13th Floor
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • WarGames
iAmTheTot avatar

The Truman Show is great but I'm not really sure I would put it in a list of sci fi classics.


Being John Malkovich is in a similar vein.


The Truman Show is stealth sci-fi. It has literal world-building.

Durandal avatar

Would make a good double feature with Inception.

HunnyBadger avatar

Yeah, now that I think about it, if you described Truman show to someone that has never seen it, they would have to think it was sci-fi. But it's done so well and plays so close to the realm of possibility that I've never really considered it sci-fi...
Whatever it is, it's brilliant.

khab avatar



Love the campiness of Death Race 2000

Durandal avatar

All great picks. Forbidden Planet trips me out because young Leslie Nielsen, as a dashing leading man, in a non-comedy role is just wild to see heh. The plot is fun and the effects actually hold up really well for the age.


I noticed a lack of Anime. If I may:

Ghost in the Shell (the entire collection if you have the time)
Macross: Do You Remember Love?
Galaxy Express 999
Captain Harlock
Battle Angel Alita
Serial Experiments Lain (Series)
BubbleGum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (Series)
Red Baron (Series)
Saber Marionette (Any, but J is a series that hits maturity in the second half with aplomb)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (Series)
Cowboy Bebop (Series)
The Big O (Series)
Roujin Z
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Iria: Zeiram the Animation

And more I can’t think of right now.

Durandal avatar

If you're gonna do ghost in the shell, I'd also recommend Appleseed.
Akira was one of the first "adult" anime that I watched back in the day. Good stuff, ending is unfortunate. I would have loved if they just made all the books into a series of movies. The animation and soundtrack are amazing though. For Katsuhiro Otomo I'd also recommend Memories.


Here are some classic SF going back a bit further than most of the comments co far.


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Westworld (1973)

Silent Running (1972)

Logan's Run (1976) - Overpopulation (the end)

Mad Max (1979)

Capricorn One (1977) - The movie that started the moonlanding was fake conspiracy.

Soylent Green (1973) - Overpopulation (the start)

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) - AI taking over the world.

The Andromeda Strain (1971) - Pandemic

Rollerball (1975)

Sleeper (1973)

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Barbarella (1968)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

The Time Machine (1960)

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969)


The War of the Worlds (1953)

When Worlds Collide (1951)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) again bit I prefer the 70s remake.,

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957) The first so bad it is good movie.

On the Beach (1959)

Destination Moon (1950)

Durandal avatar

Some of my favorites on here. Plan 9 is great to watch back to back with Ed Wood.
1953 War of the Worlds was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Those ships were super cool. FX hold up really well.
Barbarella is over the top, but still fun to watch... and credited with the band Duran Duran getting it's name. :)
1960 Time Machine was another one of my absolute favs as a kid... best Time Machine adaptation IMHO.


That 70s version of Body Snatchers is awesome. I’m still waiting for a modern remake of Logan’s Run (the 70s movie, not the book).

guyrocket avatar

Some that I'm not seeing here much yet:
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, War of the Worlds, Minority Report, Gattaca, Heavy Metal, Repo Man, Starship Troopers, The Fifth Element, Tron, Tron Legacy, Independence Day, Idiocracy, Predator, Star Trek (2009), Escape From New York, Galaxy Quest, Total Recall, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, E.T., Wall-E, Jurassic Park (1993), District 9, Robocop, Children of Men, Inception, and the Back To The Future trilogy,


You mention Star Trek, but TOS movies are the classic and superior Trek movies.

guyrocket avatar

I like them all. I own almost all of them...maybe all...not sure...

ElectronBadger avatar

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)


A lot of great ones out there but my personal favs probably are Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fifth Element, Event Horizon, Blade Runner in the “earnest” category, then Tokyo Gore Police, Johnny Mnemonic, Starship Troopers, Tetsuo, Total Recall, RoboCop in the campy/wild/fun category.

krzschlss avatar

My all time fav is The Thing https://letterboxd.com/film/the-thing/
It's more mystery than sci-fi I'd say.

Firefly (Is it old enough to be a classic?) is a must watch IMO.

It's more fantasy, but it has a lot of sci-fi elements (IMO): Angel’s Egg https://letterboxd.com/film/angels-egg/
Apparently, I don't know if true, it was an inspiration for some Fromsoft games like Dark Souls. It does have a quite dark and meditative mood.

fearout avatar

Also, if you count ~20 year old movies as classic, I’d add Bicentennial man and Artificial intelligence, haven’t seen these mentioned yet.

Durandal avatar

Depends on how many onions you needed cut...


Golden Age (70s & 80s): Blade Runner, 2001, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country, E.T., Brazil, Lynch’s Dune, Back to the Future, The Thing, They Live, Akira, Buckaroo Banzai, The Abyss

90s Renaissance: Total Recall, 12 Monkeys, Contact, Fifth Element, Starship Troopers, Galaxy Quest, Truman Show, Dark City, The Matrix, Gattaca, π, Strange Days, T2, First Contact, Event Horizon, Jurassic Park

Durandal avatar

Some great picks. I always introduce people to Buckaroo Banzai if they haven't seen it. Love that end theme. :)

I just rewatched several Dune movies. IDK if you've seen the latest release with Clement. It's a decent watch, enough so that I'll watch part 2 when it comes out. I love the sci-fi mini-series though.. "Frank Herbert's Dune" and "Children of Dune" they did.

aleph, (edited )

The Martian
Bladerunner (& 2049)
Ex Machina


If you can handle subtitles Tarkovsky's 1972 version of Solaris is brilliant.


And it’s free to watch on YouTube now. As are Tarkovsky’s other movies

Xeelee avatar

The modern version with George Clooney actually isn't half bad either.


I like them both. I've read the book and they take different tracks but they're both good.


"Yeah... 'bout that..."

MooseGas avatar

I will contribute one. The Last Starfighter. One of the first movies with actual CG. I recommend checking it out.


Fantastic Planet


Ooh, I have a list:

  • Looker - directed by Michael "Jurassic Park" Chricton. The first ever film to create 3D shading with a computer that produced the first ever CGI human character was the model Cindy (Susan Dey).
  • Westworld (1973) - also written by Michael Chricton
  • Mac and Me - It's a movie that's SO UNBELIEVEABLY BAD IT MUST BE SEEN TO UNDERSTAND HOW BAD IT IS. After you watch it, you'll understand why Paul Rudd tortured Conan O'Brien with this famous clip.
  • The Last Starfighter - another cheeseball 80s knock off of Star Wars. Also pioneered the use of CGI
  • Enemy Mine - Dennis Quaid bonds with an alien enemy and eventually helps him bear children. Directed by Wolfgang 'Neverending Story' Petersen. You have been warned.
  • The Quiet Earth - A scientist awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.
  • The Stuff - A delicious, mysterious goo that oozes from the earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation, but the tasty treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers who only want to consume more of the strange substance at any cost begin infesting the world. Co-stars Paul "Goodfellas" Sorvino
  • Miracle Mile - What would you do if you accidentally found out that the world was ending in a little over an hour? Features Anthony "ER" Edwards

Looker is a classic.


Colossus, for anyone interested in AI

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